ACADEMIC, sporting and community achievements of students at Windermere School were celebrated at its 159th annual Prize Day.

The event makes its return as an in-person event for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Andrew Chamberlain, the chairman of the Board of Governors, opened proceedings by highlighting the school’s best ever results in last year’s International Baccalaureate, as well as its outstanding results in last year’s GCSEs, where 98 per cent of the grades were A* to C.

Mr Tom Hill, Headmaster at Windermere School, followed Mr Chamberlain, thanking the staff, parents and the board of governors for their warm welcome, commitment to the school and passion for the success of all in its community. 

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Following the opening speeches, the students were called up to receive their prizes. The presentation commenced with the external awards, including Music Theatre Diplomas for Alexander Bousfield and Lucy Samson; ABRSM Diploma in Piano for Tania Pencu; and numerous Royal Yachting Association awards including those for the RYA British Youth Sailing Regional Training Group for Oskar Dobson, Edie Johnson, Henry Taylor and Silas Taylor.

The Westmorland Gazette:

The lower and middle school (Years 7-11) academic prizes, awarded for consistent effort and academic attainment throughout the year, were next on the agenda, followed by the open prizes. These cover all areas of the curriculum and recognise individual effort and attainment.

The Sixth Form then took centre stage, following the same format, with the presentation of academic and effort prizes, followed by the individual open prizes.

Before the presentation of the eagerly anticipated whole school open prizes, the students’ endeavours in sport were rewarded. Prizes included all round success in Junior Sport, awarded to Bethany Saunders; the Tweedale Cup for Excellence in Games, awarded to Zoë Sanderson-Davies; and the Individual All-Round Sports Cup, awarded to Kacper Dobson. Other prizes include kayaking, cross-country running, athletics, tennis, cricket, football hockey, netball and basketball.

The presentations finished with a number of open prizes including the John Halstead ‘Extra Mile’ Award, presented to Milly Moore; the Nicholson Shield, awarded to Laura Bethell for her extensive contribution to the school community; the Derek Scott Cup, awarded to Halle Wormall for meeting every challenge with courage and good humour; and the International Prize, awarded to Natalie Wong.

Natalie joined the school in Year 10 and instantly began an integral part of the boarding community, providing an excellent role model to the younger students and establishing herself as a central figure in the fun and games that motivated her year group through the often-challenging periods of online learning experienced over the years.

The final two prizes were the Inter-House Endeavour Cup and the Headmaster’s Prize.

The Headmaster’s Prize, considered to be the most prestigious, was awarded to Margaret Lo, who has shown remarkable resilience during her time at Windermere, as well as great determination and whose kindness knows no bounds.

Before Head Students Isabella Scowcroft, Idris Hill and Georgia Mills delivered the closing address, describing the school as a friend that always has your back, the final prize was presented. The Inter-House Endeavour Cup, awarded to the house which fares best in all inter-house events, including sport, debating and performing arts.

This year’s winner, by the narrowest of margins, was Strickland.