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Olympic Gold and poetry inspire Speech Day celebrations

Kate Richardson-Walsh At Speech Day

Prize giving celebrations brought the school year to a close, with former England Hockey Captain and Olympic Gold Medallist Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE returning to her home town of Stockport as the guest speaker for the Senior School and poet Matt Goodfellow presenting the Junior School awards.

Kate visited the school in the morning to join a coaching session for some of our keen hockey players, including our U13 team who this year took part in the National Hockey Finals in Nottingham.

Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE teaching Hockey

In the afternoon, Kate took her seat on the stage at The Stockport Plaza alongside Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths Michael Prideaux, Chairman of Governors Christopher Dunn, Headmaster Andrew Chicken and President of the Old Stopfordians’ Association Tim Stretton. This was Andrew Chicken’s last Speech Day as Headmaster prior to his retirement and Christopher Dunn paid tribute to his outstanding contribution and his dedication to the highest standards of education for all the School’s pupils.

Kate Richardson-Walsh at Speech Day

Following performances of The Girl from Ipanema and Eye of The Tiger by the Big Band, Kate Richardson-Walsh presented prizes to pupils who had excelled themselves throughout the school year. Speaking to the packed audience of pupils, teachers, parents and governors, Kate’s inspirational address encouraged the children to aim high, to be true to themselves and to support each other.

Matt Goodfellow with Stockport Grammar School Students

Held on a beautifully warm evening and followed by a reception in the Quad, the Junior School Prize giving was a happy celebration of the school year. The audience enjoyed performances by the school orchestra and the junior choir; and speeches by Junior School Headmaster Tim Wheeler, Head Girl Molly Parnell and Head Boy William Daniels focused on the life of the school.

Matt Goodfellow at Speech Day

Guest speaker Matt Goodfellow put his previous experience as a primary school teacher to good use, with increasingly energetic audience participation throughout a series of poems. Prizes were presented for achievement and contribution to school life as well as books for every Year 6 pupil as they make the transition to senior school.