Derby Grammar School was delighted to welcome former Headmaster Roger Waller to speak and present prizes at this year’s Speech Day, a celebration of the many and varied achievements of the DGS students. For the first time, the event was hosted at the Riverside Centre, Derby and was held on Thursday, 17 September.
Throughout the evening Roger Waller presented over 100 awards to pupils from Year 3 to Year13, recognising their success and achievement throughout the previous academic year. Awards included ‘The Headmaster’s Award to the Head of the School’ received by Ollie Dixon; The ‘President’s Shield for Debating’ presented to J Hewitt and ‘The UK Senior Mathematics Challenge Best in School’ given to Richard Bowen.
Roger Waller was the first Headmaster of Derby Grammar School from 1995 until 2008. During his speech, Roger reminisced about the grammar school reform in the early 90’s and the subsequent effect that this had upon Derby City’s education system. He explained how Derby Grammar School was born from these political and governmental changes, and recognised John Blackton and Anthony Southgate as the founders of the school.
Richard Paine, current Headmaster of Derby Grammar School paid tribute to the late David Walker, the school Chair of Governors who sadly passed away in April 2015. Richard described him as a “wise, dedicated and passionate supporter of the School”. As remembrance, the school have formed a leading scholarship award called the David Walker Scholarship. Richard Paine said “I hope that recipients in the coming years will rise to the challenge of matching the impact and success that David had through his life”.
The School has recently celebrated examination success, with 1 in 5 A level results an A* and a record of 43% of students gaining ABB at A level, half of its students are going on to Russell Group Universities in the next few weeks – it is safe to say, the twentieth anniversary year looks to be the best yet.
The evening was also the perfect opportunity for the School to officially announce the exciting news of a visit by The Princess Royal on Wednesday, 7 October 2015 as part of the twentieth anniversary celebrations. Richard Paine said “it is a huge honour for the School and hopefully will provide a lasting memory for current pupils as they look back on their time at DGS in later years.”
The Derby Grammar School’s musical talent was demonstrated throughout the whole evening. The audience was welcomed with a dramatic Taiko Kazan drum performance, later followed by a lively performance of ‘Don’t Mean a Thing’ (Duke Ellington) by the School Swing Band and the finale of the evening was a performance of the Jackson Five’s classic, ‘Want you back’ with outstanding vocals performed by a Year 5 pupil.
MP for Derby North, Amanda Solloway also addressed guests and described how important it is for young people to follow their dreams. Amanda described how, despite challenges along the way, she was determined to achieve her goal of becoming an MP, something she has recently accomplished. Amanda said “it has been an incredible evening, I love celebrations of success. I also enjoyed hearing of the work the School does in Tanzania. The values and lessons it teaches young people, and the different perspective on life it gives them is so valuable.”