Windermere School recently hosted its largest ever Prize Day as almost 600 staff, students, family and friends packed into the school sports hall.
The morning began with an address from the Chairman of Governors, Mr Mike Dwan, followed by Ian Lavender’s Headmaster’s Report.
The students were then called up to receive their prizes, recognition of their efforts and achievements over the course of the last twelve months. The presentation began with the external awards, including Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards for William Chamberlain and Jonathon Harwood, followed by the academic prizes for the lower and middle school (Years 7-11). These are awarded for high effort and academic attainment throughout the year.
The lower and middle school remained the focus of attention as the open prizes were presented. From art to mathematics, science to dance, these prizes cover all areas of the curriculum and recognize individual effort and attainment.
The Sixth Form prizes were next on the agenda, following the same format, before sport took centre stage, with prizes awarded for sailing, kayaking, cross-country running, athletics, tennis, cricket, football and basketball, as well as individual awards for all-round success in sports.
The morning finished with a number of open prizes including the Marga Stofberg Prize, the Inter-House Endeavour Cup and the eagerly anticipated Headmaster’s Prize. Of all the prizes presented on the day, these are the only three that remain a closely guarded secret until the respective prizes are presented.
The Marga Stofberg Award is all about character. The recipient is nominated by his or her fellow students based on courage, perseverance and hard work. This year’s winner was Isabelle Svatins. Isabelle who comes from Ulverston, was nominated because she is seen by others as one of the kindest people they have ever worked alongside. Hard working and determined, many fellow students describe her as a true friend because she is so genuine and selfless.
The Inter-House Endeavour Cup is awarded to the house which fares best in all inter-house events, including debating, chess, performing arts and sport. This year’s winning house was Cavendish.
The final act of the morning is the presentation of the Headmaster’s Prize. This award is considered to be the most prestigious and is awarded based on nominations from the staff. The winner of the Headmaster’s Prize this year was Isla Hamilton. Isla, who lives in Windermere, has embraced the maxim ‘Opt in, not out’, throwing herself into every activity she possibly could. Her reports have become increasingly impressive and she radiates positivity.
One student said, “Every single day she has never failed to make me smile or laugh. She is always so positive and welcoming… every time she gets knocked down, she stands back up. Even if things are getting her down, she always perseveres.”
Simon Rowe, Head of Lower School added, “Every groups needs an Isla Hamilton.”
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.