The Upper School Prize Giving is always a wonderful occasion to not only celebrate achievements and inspire pupils for the next academic year, but also to reflect upon the exciting opportunities open to Year 6 as we say goodbye.
We were honoured and privileged to welcome Baroness Floella Benjamin of Beckenham OBE as our guest speaker this year.
Born in Trinidad, Baroness Benjamin arrived in a cold, unwelcoming UK in 1960. Since then, her list of achievements are impressive. She is, of course, best known for appearing in BBC’s iconic Play School and Play Away, but is also an actress, author, businesswoman, award-winning producer and was also Chancellor of the University of Exeter until 2016. Baroness Benjamin was elevated to the peerage in 2010 and she has used this platform to realise her ambition to make the world a better place for children. In June 2018, she was appointed Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee.
Baroness Benjamin captivated and entertained pupils, parents and staff with her thought provoking, inspiring and funny speech. We were proud to hear Baroness Benjamin described St Mary’s School as an “oasis of love and joy where the pupils are encouraged to make a difference and change the world for good.”
Mrs Connor-Earl commented:
St Mary’s was absolutely delighted to invite Baroness Floella Benjamin as our guest of honour for Prize Giving this year. Her talk (and singing!) was uplifting and truly reflected our theme of celebrating the uniqueness of you. I was also particularly touched to see her celebrate the contributions and achievements of every child.
We thank Baroness Benjamin for visiting St Mary’s School and for the considerable time she dedicated to the pupils and parents on the day. It was a truly memorable and inspiring occasion that the whole School will remember for a very long time.