Prefect Appointments 2012 - 2013
Head Girl - Carolina Frumusachi
Head Boy - Ken Ho
Deputy Head Girl - Katie Mudge
Deputy Head Boy - Tom Larner
Sports Captains - Tom Larner & Amy Large
Head of Mary Templer House - Pippa Richards & Lewis Jeffery
Head of Elizabeth/Seymour House - Anastasia Korotkova & Will Loughton
Head of Victoria/Courtney House - Bethany Mudge and Jamie Bristow
Sixth Form Co-ordinator - Charlotte Stead
Charity Co-ordinator - Charlotte Holman & Charlotte Goord
Fairtrade Coordinator - Charlotte Holman
Boarding Prefects - Anastasia Korotkova, Linh Nguyen, Quynh Khanh and Kenneth Hui
Head Boy and Head Girl - Speech Day 2011
Sian Wood, Head Girl
Novak Djokovic is the world's number one male tennis player. He's the winner of four grand slams, the Master's tennis cup and the 2010 Davis Cup. However, he couldn't have achieved any of this without the help of all of his coaches; past, present and future. I wonder how many times after Djokovic wins a match his coaches are congratulated for their excellent coaching. I suspect very few and yet it is thanks to them that he is at the top of his profession today.
Whilst there can only be one person in the spotlight to receive all the glory – it is important to remember that these individuals can only triumph with the aid of a team of people behind the scenes. These are the unsung heroes of the World who really deserve more recognition. After all, how many of you heard that Nu Vibe went out of the X-factor on Sunday night? And how many of you heard that a soldier was killed in Afghanistan just the day before? It's quite worrying that most of us probably knew about the former and yet very few about the latter. It is important to get our priorities right and value what really matters, not a singing competition but a young man's life.
Anuradha Koirala has dedicated her life to combating the sexual exploitation of women and children. Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow has tried to defeat world hunger by setting up a charity that provides free school meals to over 500,000 children daily and Aki Ra is trying to get rid of all the land mines in Cambodia.
I was privileged enough to see Aki Ra's work when I visited his museum in Cambodia. It tells the story of what happened in Cambodia under Pol Pots' reign; how the country came to be littered with land mines and what Aki Ra is doing to help clear them. What is particularly moving about Aki Ra's story is that some of the land mines he clears were actually planted by him during his time as child soldier with the Khmer Rouge. By visiting his museum I discovered what a truly amazing man he is - dedicating his life to the cause of making his country safe for its people. He is the unsung hero of Cambodia.
Each of us sitting here today has our own unsung heroes whether they are parent, a sibling, a friend or even a teacher. We probably don't thank them as much as we really should or even notice how much they actually do for us.
Before you ran out the door this morning how many of your parents made sure you were smart, wearing the right colour tights or trousers and had polished shoes? I know my house mistress did! Just that little check this morning probably prevented an awful lot of us getting into trouble at school and that was only with a few little questions. Think how many other things they do for you, day in, day out which involve a lot more than a couple of questions!
Here at Stover, is a veritable army of 'unsung heroes;' teachers, ground staff and of course, our superb kitchen staff. The teachers spend an extraordinary amount of hours planning, preparing, marking and remarking our work, especially course work, just to make sure we get the maximum marks we can and they have to put up with us! How often do we really thank them for it?
We also have some amazing ground staff here at Stover. Our sports pitches and beautiful environment are the envy of many other schools. The ground staff not only keep the whole school well maintained and safe but are also one of the most cheerful groups of people I know. Without them the schools grounds wouldn't be half as beautiful and inspiring we wouldn't have anyone to show our guests where to park or to cut the locks off our lockers when we've lost our keys. And I'm sure every student at Stover will tell you that that happens a lot! I think it's safe to say that they keep the school running smoothly.
After winning the Archant prize for 'The Best School Dinners', I think it's safe to say our kitchen staff are one in a million! They're in at seven and then leave at seven and most of the time all they get is a quick thank you whilst we hand over our trays and a stack of dirty dishes. They say "An army travels on its stomach".
Well, so does a school and speaking as a boarder it's twice as important! If anyone deserves appreciation it's them, after all it is thanks to them that our stomachs aren't rumbling through every lesson!
Parents and grandparents are also frequently taken for granted. They not only provide food and a home for us but offer moral support. We all know that if we're having a bad day, they'll be there for us. It is also because of them that we can come to a school as good as Stover.
It would take me hours to stand here and list all the unsung heroes as there are many more that I haven't named who also deserve credit. So as we sit here today applauding every student's achievement remember there are also many people out of the limelight that also contributed towards their successes.
Hugh Reade, Head Boy
Sian has quite rightly highlighted the unsung heroes who keep the ship afloat here at Stover. I apologise now, but the next few minutes are unashamedly self centred.
When I first knew that I was to have the opportunity to speak today my thoughts first turned to those who have inspired me, especially those close to me.
Firstly, my grandmother, who has seen out two world wars and celebrates her 100th birthday next week and secondly my step grandfather, Tom. In his sixties, Tom suffered a major heart attack. In theory he died five times. A widower at the time, his chances of survival were so slim that when he did return home, his mother in law had parted with many of his possessions. An ex bomber pilot, Tom saw this not as a setback but an opportunity to start again. During his next twenty years, he went on to sail his yacht single handed into his eighties, climb in the Himalayas and help many less fortunate than himself through hours of voluntary service at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
He taught me that no mountain is too high, you should strive to achieve for yourself but also that to find time for others can also be fruitful to your self-worth. A true inspiration.
Five years ago, I had the chance for a new start when I moved to Stover. The school had made the decision to allow boys to continue into the senior school and as a member of that first year of boys to make the journey all the way through to the Sixth Form, I felt that my speech this year should also reflect on that journey.
Has it been worth it?
Has Stover been able to offer a well-rounded education, prepare me for the big wide world and my first steps into adulthood?
Having just prepared my personal statement for my UCAS application, the answer has to be a resounding yes. The personal statement is an opportunity to summarize experiences that have helped to shape and define you outside of the academic exam structure. With a strict limit of 4,000 characters and my starting draft of 6,500 there must have been something to write about. So what filled those pages?
There are the more obvious: playing in the orchestra, singing in the choir, acting in the school plays, being a member of the sports teams etc. but there are also things that many of you may not know exist or consider as real opportunities here at Stover. There are my Duke of Edinburgh awards from bronze through to gold, my World Challenge trip to Botswana and Zambia, my Community Sports Leaders awards and my role as a peer mentor.
Alongside such calculable achievements are some immeasurable benefits of having been educated in this privileged environment such as an acceptance of multiculturalism or the self-esteem that comes from being one of a few, rather than one of many. However, the most important opportunity of all is the fact that I have been allowed to be me and develop me, warts and all.
It is at this point that I would like to take the opportunity to divert my attention from the rest of you and speak to the boys who are following me on this journey through Stover (though girls, you might find it helpful too!). The opportunities are here for you all at Stover but they won’t necessarily come to you.
As boys we are notoriously bad at not being willing to stray outside of our comfort zones, try new things or put ourselves up for a possible fall. However much we might fancy giving something a go it is much easier to take the easy option and avoid the ridicule we might face from our mates.
So, let me advise you to listen to the words of Charles Schultz, an American cartoonist who many of the older generations here will remember for his comic strip ‘Peanuts’ He said, “Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use”. He was alluding to the opportunities we all have but don’t always take advantage of to get the best out of ourselves and reach our full potential.
I feel Stover has allowed me to use all the gears on my bike, make sure you allow it to do the same for you.