Speech Day 2022 was most certainly a day to remember. With the much-anticipated occasion back to its full glory after two years of Covid restrictions, the QM Family gathered to celebrate the girls' many achievements from the past year and to bid a fond farewell to our UVI leavers.
The outfits were chosen, the trophies engraved and the weather was on our side. Our day began with a moving Chapel service led by Chaplain, Robert Owen. We gave thanks for all those that make QM such a very special place and readings were given by the UVI Prefect Team.
The Prize Giving Ceremony followed in the Garden Marquee. A warm welcome from Chairman of Governors, Terry Burt, preceded a speech from Head, Sue Baillie, and an address from our Guest of Honour, Jean MacQuarrie. Jean has been a leading figure in local journalism for over 40 years and she shared words of advice from her career with our UVI girls, who are about to embark upon careers of their own.
Prizes which recognised improvement, achievement and goodwill were awarded to girls from all years. We then heard from Head Girl, Emily Hope, who so brilliantly took us on a journey through her time at QM. Emily's speech evoked every emotion and her standing ovation from the audience was thoroughly deserved.
Once the formality of the Prize Giving was completed, the families of girls from Years I - LVI gathered on the Rounders Lawn for drinks, hosted by our wonderful house staff, and for their lovely picnics. Meanwhile, our Catering Team had worked tirelessly on the most beautiful formal lunch for our Upper Sixth Leavers and their families to enjoy on Cloisters Lawn.
After lunch, guests were encouraged to take a look at the girls' hard work from the last year with an Academic Work Trail which weaved its way through the school and culminated in the ever-popular Art Exhibition (complete with Pimm's, of course!). Finally, the proceedings came to a musical close after a very emotional Leavers' Concert. The finale of Your Song ensured there was not a dry eye in the house!
It didn't take long before the Garden Marquee was transformed (thanks to our hard-working Estates Team) into a 007-themed party venue for the magnificent Summer Ball. Complete with life-sized Daniel Craig, white cat, casino and a giant golden gun, it was the perfect backdrop for the evening event. The Summer Ball is a Sixth Form event which sees our senior girls, their families and guests come together for an evening of glitz and glamour. Guests enjoyed the last of the sunshine with cocktails on Wenlock Terrace upon arrival before taking their seats for a three-course meal which included From Bruschetta with Love, Quantum of Salmon, and Diet another Day! The dancefloor was soon put to good use and a brilliant evening was had by all.
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If you missed the live event you can still watch the recordings of the Service of Praise and Thanksgiving, the Prize Giving Ceremony, and the Leavers' Concert below.