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Annual Bloxham School Founderstide Celebrations!

Bloxham School Founderstide celebrationsThis year’s annual Founderstide festivities had an exciting new format. The celebrations began on Friday 24th June with a whole school church service at St Mary’s, before a whole school prize-giving celebration on Saturday 25th, followed by a community event and sports day and a spectacular ball in the evening.

Bloxham School’s Founderstide celebrations began with a Eucharist service on Friday afternoon, led by Dr Gerard Moate, and included an inspiring speech by retiring Chairman of Governors, Mr Nigel Bankes. Mr Bankes offered the students some lessons that he’s learned throughout his own life, such as the value of emotional intelligence and taking responsibility for their own lives, and harked back to his own final day of school. His key message, taken from “Bankes’ Top Tips”, encouraged students to embrace their individuality and to:

“always remember that every human being is unique.”

Saturday morning’s prize-giving celebration for 1200 members of the community was a splendid event. The morning began with a round-up of the year from the school’s Headmaster, Paul Sanderson, and a speech from journalist and broadcaster, Declan Curry. Mr Sanderson reflected on the achievements across the academic year and congratulated the staff and their students on all their hard work. He drew comparisons with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, comparing his pride at the diverse talents across the student body, to the delight of Miranda exploring new sights as she arrives in a new land. Mr Sanderson also thanked those staff who are leaving Bloxham at the end of the year, praising their dedication to the school’s values and the students throughout their time at the school. Prizes were then awarded to those students who were being recognised for their various achievements across the year. Once the prize-giving was complete, the day’s guest speaker, Declan Curry, economic journalist and broadcaster, took to the stage to give the community a hugely entertaining speech. Declan talked about his time at school and spoke on the current economic climate in the UK due to recent events. His talk was very engaging and thought-provoking, as he underlined to students that you never stop learning and should seize every exciting opportunity that comes along, whether it fits in with their life plan or not.

Next was the daytime event. Students, parents, OBs and staff returned to school to take part in a range of fun activities across the school site, including a music concert, a laser assault course, meeting the science pets, and exciting explosions and demos in the Chemistry Department. The community then descended onto Main Field to make the most of the good weather to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, whilst watching the 1st XI cricket v OBs match. The crowd was divided into Houses and it provided a lovely opportunity for students and parents to relax and enjoy each others’ company after what has been a very busy term.

After lunch it was time for the Junior Sports Day and the audiences enjoyed some brilliant athletic displays across the disciplines from our First to Fourth Form students. The students were spurred on by enthusiastic cries from their audiences along the race track and the rain stayed away just enough to allow the Sports Day to be completed. Congratulations to Seymour, the winning boys’ House on the day, and to Raymond, the winning girls’ House.

The evening saw Sixth Form, staff, parents and OBs come together for the highlight of the school’s year, the Founderstide Ball. This year, it was hosted in an enormous marquee at the top of the Courtington Lane playing fields, and the guests enjoyed an evening of good food, dancing and spending time with friends. Quest the band provided brilliant musical accompaniment to the evening and lots of the guests enjoyed the opportunity to let their hair down on the dance floor at the end of the night.

Thank you to everyone who supported all of these events and for making it such a special celebration. We’re looking forward to next year already!

View a complete album of photos on our Flickr profile here.

Access a complete list of prize winners here.