The evening of 20 November celebrated the achievements of girls at Saint Martin’s with the annual Commemoration and Prize Giving event. The School has enjoyed a hugely successful year achieving the best A-level results in the area, and being named the top smaller school in England by the Daily Telegraph. We were honoured by the presence of the Mayor and his daughter Hannah Tildesley, a former Head Girl of Saint Martin’s.
Commemoration Evening focused on the value of an all-girls education – a theme which resonates with an increasing number of parents and pupils. The opening address was made by Chair of Governors, Ross Furby, who spoke enthusiastically of what he terms “this exceptional school”. His remarks focused on not only the academic achievements, but also the importance of the stimulating and inspiring environment that is Malvern Hall, and the absolute commitment of the Head and teachers to offer an unrivalled level of education and pastoral care.
The evening’s guest speaker was Jenni Fernando, Associate Head of the Aviation and Aerospace Engineering Department at Coventry University. After leaving university, Jenni went into industry and travelled the world by following a career in aviation, and has since entered the world of academia. She addressed the audience of parents, pupils and guests, and gave an inspiring talk on her work in the traditionally male environment of aviation. She impressed upon the girls the importance of self-belief and a single-minded approach to achieving their goals, and where determination and flexibility are key attributes in today’s workplace. She went on to say that she realised early on in her chosen career that she needed to be the ‘very best that she could’ to compete on a level playing field with male colleagues. Her address was met with warm and enthusiastic applause by all.
Each year a Service of Praise and Thanksgiving is held on the following afternoon with all girls from Year 3 to Sixth Form attending. This year the Service was led by Reverend Helen Greenham. Reverend Libby Talbot from Dean Close School, Cheltenham gave the address with a theme of “Dare to be Different”. Paul Allen, Director of Music, conducted the staff and student choir in their rendition of “Ave Verum” by Sir Edward Elgar at the opening of the service. Other performances included “Risen Lord” with a flute solo by Poppy Bamford; “Gaelic Blessing” sung by the Sixth Form Choir and an inspiring performance of the School Hymn “God Make Me Kind” sung by all pupils and staff, past and present.