Final Collect 2020
Final Collect at the end of the Summer Term is always a memorable experience, marking the end of another academic year and gathering the current community together for one last time as we celebrate the efforts and achievements of our students and say farewell to those pupils and staff who are leaving us. This year was especially poignant because it also marked the end of the most unusual term; one where the majority of students and staff have been absent from the Park. As was fitting for a summer of guided distance learning and virtual co-curricular activities, Final Collect was delivered online and almost 500 families simultaneously streamed the YouTube broadcast live from Main Hall.
Prizes were awarded to individuals in Drama and Sport for their achievements over the term and those who completed their DofE Awards were recognized. The Fryer House sports trophy went to Cadbury, beating Bourneville on their virtual Pentathlon points, and the Richard Coleman Shield, for the first time in 23 years, went to School House! The hotly contested Merit Cup reached new statistical heights as 18,540 merits were awarded over the course of the year and the previous record for the greatest number of merits awarded in a term, standing at 2,360, was smashed with 6,346 merits for our Covid-19 summer! It seemed a timely opportunity to unearth the Sissons Cup, first awarded in 1901 and most recently awarded in 1968, to the House with the most co-curricular merits; School House. The overall merit cup in Fryer was picked up by Rowntree and the Senior House overall was School.
One of the very first recipients of the JB Fryer award, seven years ago, was Shaun, now in the Upper Sixth, who delivered a message of support to this year’s winners, Charlotte and Noah, saying “I am sure the next recipients of the award will carry kindness, perseverance and enthusiasm into Year 9.”
The Duncan Wood Biology Prize and the OL Award went to Bibi who will be studying Zoology at the University of Reading next year, and the Paul Dardell Art Prize, described by Head of Art Mark Wood as “an award providing a light for others to follow” was won by Tom who goes to Central St Martin’s for his Art Foundation course in the Autumn. Drama prizes in Fryer (Charlotte, Year 8), Middle School (Sam, Year 10) and Senior categories (Letitia, Upper Sixth) were followed by the Mary Triddon Award for outstanding musical achievement to an unprecedented five winners, the Upper Sixth music prefects, Megan, Nikki, Tom, Lihi and Michael, most of whom are pursuing musical ambitions at university. Announced online by Old Leightonian, Mary Triddon herself, she reflected that the school has “so much more than a Music department. It’s part of the community and it brings everyone together.” The Matthew Pott Award recognizing the student who has done the most for the good of others went to the founder of our student Amnesty International group, Letitia (Upper Sixth) and the Jorge Hortal Award for best all rounder to Megan (Upper Sixth). The WH Scarborough award, fought for by 25% of the Sixth Form leavers this year, was given to Michael who the judges felt benefitted from the values of the school and was exceptionally kind and considered in his essay submissions.
The final moments of the term’s Final Collect were presented by Matthew Judd, Head, offering an overview of the year and announcing next year’s Head Girl, Lorna, and Head Boy, Spencer, the outgoing senior prefects, Jasmine (Head Girl) and Joseph (Head Boy) with their gratitude to our leaving staff and, after a pause for reflection, a fun musical piece by the Lower Sixth led by Music and Film teacher, Dan Fisher-Weinesen, complementing the exceptional musical offerings earlier in the Collect from soloists Nikki and Megan and the Upper Sixth Music prefects ensemble performing ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables.