A Sleaford school welcomed back ex-students – including one who has since served with the Armed Forces in Afghanistan – as it celebrated the achievements of last year’s GCSE, AS, and A-level cohort.
Kesteven and Sleaford High School (KSHS) held its annual Senior Prizegiving ceremony last Monday.
Among those to attend were former students, now at university, on apprenticeships, or in employment.
The speaker for the evening was one-time KSHS pupil Hannah West who came to talk about the keys to future success – self-belief, aspiration, personal fulfilment, and the power of asking others for advice and support.
After leaving school in 2000, Hannah joined the Royal Navy and would later complete professional training with the service as an Air Engineer.
She would go on to be deployed to the Southern Arabian Gulf on operations as a Squadron Engineer for Sea King helicopters; work on a trials programme for the Chinook helicopter and on the introduction of a new identification radar for ships, aircraft and land platforms during which time she achieved Chartered Engineer status; and spend two years with the British Army, a period which saw her deployed to Helmand province, Afghanistan.
She left the Navy in 2015 and has now started a PhD at Bath University on the theme of Women in Conflict.
Head of school Josephine Smith said it was ‘lovely’ to welcome Hannah back, saying: “She had really fond memories of the school.”
In addition to Hannah’s talk, the hall heard from students in Years 12 and 13: head girl Emily Nuttall, deputy head girl Chloe McGill, assistant head girls Harriet Kirsopp and Francesca Holmes, and, representing the sports department, Laura Bates.
Ex-head girl and deputy head girl Phoebe Dales and Lorna Swan, respectively, shared their memories of being Year 13 students last year and spoke about their early impressions of university life.
Sixth form students Harriet Kirsopp and Josie Ambler provided musical entertainment during the ceremony.
Mrs Smith said she was ‘delighted to share with parents the tremendous achievements of all staff and students last academic year’.
She said: “With an Ofsted short inspection under our belts this term and plenty to celebrate both in terms of academic, sporting and extra-curricular achievements it was fantastic to be able to formally revel in our young people’s success”.
She thanked the Old Girls’ Association and other annual benefactors for their generous donation of prizes.