Prize Giving 2022
We recognised our students’ achievements from the previous academic year on a hugely momentous evening.
Minutes before this year’s prize giving ceremony, as prizewinners and parents took their seats in Waterlow Hall, we were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Mrs Bingham’s opening remarks paid tribute to Her Late Majesty’s stoicism, dignity and grace, as everyone bowed their heads for a minute’s silent reflection as a sign of respect.
As a community, we proceeded with our own time-honoured tradition and ceremony, albeit for an abridged evening, marking the achievements and commitment of our own community. Despite the sombre context of the evening, students in Year 8 to the Sixth Form were applauded in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement and commitment to co-curricular life over the past year. Subject prizes were awarded to those in older year groups, with most presented to those who recently sat their GCSEs – 81% of all grades were an 8 or 9 this year, with nearly half the year group awarded ten (or more) of the very top grades. The prestigious Penguin Prize was awarded to Lara in Year 11 for her enthusiastic participation in debating, music and other areas of school life.
Our guest of honour for the evening was alumna Tiina Lee, Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank UK and Ireland. After studying at King’s College London, she explained why she decided to pursue a career in investment banking. “South Hampstead instilled the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to.” Reminiscing about her school days, when she decided to set up her own alternative school magazine, she added: “I developed the confidence and ability to debate, to argue, to speak my mind, and to make my own weather…” She advised pupils to embrace opportunities. “Now is the time to explore – once you’ve found what excites you, stick with it. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and mastery takes a long time.” Her most important life lesson was to be nice, reminding the audience that the people you meet on the way up are the same ones as you meet on the way down.