Musical staff

Heartfelt Speeches for Staff, Parents and Students

The very first speech day at Monmouth Prep School, which became fully coeducational last September, took place on Friday July 8.

The students, staff and parents of The Grange came together to celebrate a year of excellence, inspiration and achievement.

Director, Mr. Neil Shaw, opened the event with an encouraging speech centered on children’s author, Roald Dahl.

He highlighted the success of Matilda The Musical JR, the school’s first production, and shared how the exceptional strength of the school’s performing arts program was evident to all.

Mr Shaw also spoke of Agincourt’s close connection to the very first West End production of Matilda.

The choreographer, Mr Shaw said, had close family ties to Agincourt and spent time watching our own children’s moves, to inspire the dances and performances that countless people watched in the West End.

However, he was quick to point out that the look and behaviors in the musical were not based on the excellent kids at Monmouth Prep School!

Head Boy, Drew White, and Head Girl, Lauren Powell, then took the stage and captivated the entire audience with a powerful and encouraging speech.

Both spoke of how they believed, as young people, that it was their responsibility to make positive changes in the world around them, sharing Charlie Mackesy’s famous quote “Never forget that you matter, you are important and you bring things to this world that no other can.

They also shared the positive changes they have seen since the co-ed prep school was established and once common ground was found (no feet in netball and no hands in soccer !), everyone quickly became friends.

Speeches were also made by Old Monmothian, the Reverend James Power, Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers; and Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the Governors.

Throughout the event, prizes and scholarships were awarded to students. With every round of applause, it was clear to see the tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment among fellow students, parents and staff.

The following day, Speech Day at Monmouth School for Boys saw Mr Simon Dorman deliver his first principal’s speech via a pre-recorded video message after being struck down with Covid-19.

Old Monmothian, Mr Richard Booth QC, was an excellent guest speaker as teachers, pupils, parents and staff came together to celebrate a fantastic and memorable school year.

Catering manager Ms Karen Wood has been recognized for her hard work behind the scenes to feed the boys and staff with healthy and nutritious meals.

Even during the pandemic and the lockdowns, Ms Wood and her dedicated team worked every day to look after the boys and there was applause and cheers from the audience as people recognized her dedication and efforts for a period very demanding.

A highlight of the warm sunny day of speeches was the inspirational speech from Head Boy Theo Mayell, who shared how Monmouth had given him ‘memories for life’ that would set him up for the next leg of his journey.

He shared with the audience how teachers helped him acquire not only vital academic intelligence, but also key emotional intelligence and practical real-world knowledge.

Theo spoke of the great resilience of his classmates and the courage and determination they showed in everything they faced.

“But don’t talk to me about resilience. I live in a house where we still have ‘courage’ and ‘determination’ written on the kitchen wall, to be read every morning at breakfast,” he says.

He went on to say, “You only have to read this year’s big, sweeping hits to realize that you don’t achieve any of this without trying…then trying…then trying again. ”

Mr. Dorman congratulated the students and staff for the great success in all areas of school life, especially athletic achievements.

He gave a special mention to the academic staff who had worked so hard to teach the boys during the Covid-19 pandemic and thanked the support staff who had worked tirelessly, 24/7, throughout. throughout the calendar year to provide the best possible environment for the boys to flourish.

Keynote speaker Richard Booth QC told the audience that Monmouth was an excellent school. Mr Booth said it was only because of the education he received at Monmouth that he is now doing his dream job.

He thanked all the parents in the audience for the financial sacrifices they make to send their boys to Monmouth and said he could personally testify that it was worth it.

He said: “What makes Monmouth a great school? You all do. There remains an unprecedented mix of pupils at Monmouth. It is unlike any other independent school. just be kind to each other, watch out for each other, and give freely of your time to others.

Speeches were also made by Old Monmothian, the Reverend James Power, Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers; and Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the Governors.