ThePreparatory School was delighted to welcome broadcaster, marine biologist, naturalist, travel writer and formal Royal Marine,Mr Monty Halls, as guest speaker to the annual school Speech Day.Monty Halls is a familiar face on BBC2 with his recent series, Monty Halls’ Great Hebridean Escape. Throughout the series Monty and his canine companion, Reuben, share a restored crofter’s cottage on the Hebridean island of North Uist, where he throws himself into island life.

Speech Day started with a reflective end of year Chapel Service at the Senior School, after which visitors could visit the ‘French Café’ to enjoy fresh coffee and pastries served by pupils. Throughout the morning the children’s classrooms were open so parents could review their work, including projects such as, Maths Puzzles, Creative Writing, World War II, How the Eye Works and Viking Longboat races. Alternatively, they could enjoy a play entirely in Latin, performed in the School’s beautiful Tuckwell amphitheatre which was impressive as most of the actors were just 13 years old.

Mid morning everyone made their way tothe marquee on the school field
to take theirseats for speeches and the prize-giving ceremony. In his speech the
Headmaster encouraged the children to always give their bestefforts as it is
inhard work that success can be found. He concluded his addresswith a quote
fromAbraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s school teacher, Try to give
my son thestrength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is doing it. Teach
him to listento everyone, but teach him also to filter all that he hears on a screen
of truth andtake only the good that comes through.’

After prize-giving Mr Halls, wearing a Dean Close School tie, gave an entertaining speech about resilience explaining that each time we don’t quite succeed or things don’t go quite to plan, this is when we learn the most. Highlighting the tenacity of many successful people, such as Walt Disney, JK Rowling and Jonnie Wilkinson, who despite being told they would not be successful, continued to believe in themselves and in the end prevailed. Monty explained it is how we respond to our setbacks and adjust our behaviour that can really make a positive impact on our future, these ‘moments’ large and small are what shape us.

Deputy Head Girl, Isabelle Tingey said, “I love Speech Day! The School looks beautiful with the flowers and the marquee and there is a real buzz in the air. This year it was even more exciting as no-one knew who had won prizes, I was lucky enough to win a Headmaster’s Award. It was wonderful meeting Mr Halls, he
had so many funny stories and he inspired me to follow my dreams.”