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Success celebrated at Speech and Prize Giving

Last night, we celebrated our students' successes at our Speech and Prize Giving Evening, rearranged from September because of a lightning strike and flooding. There were no such dramas yesterday, and we were delighted to welcome students, staff, governors, trustees, Old Danes, parents and guests to the school. Hundreds of students were awarded prizes for attainment, achievement, community service and a whole myriad of sporting and other competitive successes.

In her speech, Dr Valentine spoke passionately about the superb outcomes achieved by the students at our comprehensive school and the support which exists: of staff for students, between students and from home. Prizes were presented by Cllr Christopher Hayward, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, who then addressed the student body. Paying tribute to the school and Dr Valentine, he said that students experienced "the very best of education", led by "the finest Head in our county of Hertfordshire". He exhorted the students to focus on "passion" and "aspiration" as they progress through their school careers and beyond, a theme complemented by the words of Head Boy, Josh Walton, who relayed his father's advice that "education is a privilege, leadership a service". The coverted Poppleton Prize was awarded to Estelle Quaye for services to the school community. Dr Valentine was fulsome in her praise of last year's Deputy Head Girl who, she said, had been a member of the School Council throughout her time at the school and had made huge contributions to St Clement Danes from the moment she joined. It was a memorable night of celebration, accompanied by the superb Gospel Choir who sang "Joyful, Joyful" by Emerson, and a fitting end to the term.

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