This has been our first chance to welcome you back to these celebrations in two years and I thank you for your support during difficult times and to share in the considerable successes our children have achieved.
And these achievements are even greater when we pause to consider the adversity that our students have been through; yet, they have persevered, been tenacious, been Poly and Proud. So tonight is for them. But also take a moment to congratulate yourselves, parents and carers, in steering your children to their great successes.
A summary of this success can be captured in our 2021 results: 80% of our year 11 students achieved passes in English and maths, with 30% of all GCSE entries achieving grades 7-9; 90% of our year 13s have secured places at university, more than ever before to Oxbridge and Russell Group, whilst the majority of the remaining students have secured high-quality apprenticeships. Our vision is “Success for Everyone”. Everyone includes our students, our staff, our parents/carers and our wider community: our students’ successes enrich the wider community with hope, founded in proof of ambition realised. I am confident that our students’ contributions to study, work and culture will make the future better for us all.
The purpose of Prize Giving is to pause and take note of a milestone in life – a sort of graduation from toil to achievement. Each of the students that will receive commendation tonight will have their own unique stories of difficulty, hard work, set-backs and triumph. To you, the students, I acknowledge your trials and I am in awe of your considerable accomplishments. I know that this admiration is shared by all of our staff, a staff that cares deeply for your personal and academic development.
Revel in this milestone tonight. You deserve it. Let it be just one of many more glorious milestones to come!