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Annual Prize Day

Wednesday, 09 October 2019

City of London School’s Annual Prize Day took place on Thursday 3 October at Guildhall. James Thomson, Chairman of the Board of Governors, opened with some words about the School’s outstanding academic results this year and the recently-launched Strategic Vision.

Head Boy, Philip, spoke in praise of John Carpenter, the School’s founder. Philip talked of how he had benefitted from the School’s progressive atmosphere and flourished in his time at CLS, which he joined from a small primary school. Carpenter himself was the son of French immigrants and held a firm belief in an inclusive, welcoming, progressive and well-rounded education. All of these are values which to which each of the Prize Day speakers alluded.

Head, Alan Bird, thanked the many contributors to the School’s Bursary Fund and those who had supported his parachute jump last June. He undertook this in order to raise money for bursaries and the School’s annual charity appeal, which last year raised just under £70,000. In the words of the Head himself: “Bird by name, bird by nature.”

With reference to John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood” and the Silicon Valley Theranos scandal, Mr Bird described the challenges of growing up in an age in which depth of analysis is not always valued. A CLS education values nuance and questioning. It is an education in which the process of rigorous enquiry matters more than the answer itself. CLS is committed to creative approaches, educational risk-taking and cross-curricular thinking. The Head highlighted the School’s “relentless, unapologetic interest in the individual” and our belief in “the diversity of the City we call home…We have a responsibility to build on our endowment and to be true to the aspirations of John Carpenter.”

The prizes were then handed out by The Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor, Alderman Peter Estlin. He spoke of the importance of energy: how it should be honed and focussed to enable future success. The Chamber Choir sang Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Seal Lullaby’ (Music: Eric Whitacre) and ‘My Companion’ (Words: Edith Franklin Wyatt; Music: Elaine Hagenberg).

After concluding remarks from Deputy James Thomson, the guests repaired to the Old Library for an excellent tea.

Congratulations to everyone who won a prize. Until next year...

The Head highlighted the School’s relentless, unapologetic interest in the individual.
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