Friendship, Pride and Loyalty - the essence of being an alumnae
Alumnae Awards Presentation Assembly 2021
Since 2015 the Royal High School Bath Alumnae Network has continued to present every autumn four awards to promote and inspire in current students the characteristics of friendship, kindness, dedication, community spirit and academic endeavour that make up our alumnae family, otherwise known as ‘RHS Spirit’.
It was wonderful to be able to welcome our guests in person and we were delighted to be joined by current parent and alumna Daphne Hemingway (BHS 1982), alumna Sarah Dix (RHS 2006), Chair of the Royal High School Bath Alumnae Committee, Mr Richard Hall, Chair of Governors and Mrs Kate Reynolds who kindly presented the following awards, all nominated and voted for by staff from across the school:
The Sarah Williams Red Squirrel Award
The Red Squirrel Award was instigated by a group of Bath High alumnae in memory of their friend, alumna Sarah Williams (BHS 1982), who sadly passed away in 2015 from cancer. The award is given to a girl in Year 8-13 who has shown spirit, courage, support for others, kindness and loyal friendship.
The nominees for the 2021 award were:
Hannah Ford, Year 13
Hannah gave excellent support to a fellow A-level Drama student who needed encouragement.
Charlotte Osburn-Hughes, Year 12
Lottie has shown incredible kindness and generosity of spirit towards a new student significantly helping the student's transition into the Sixth Form.
Sophie Phipson, Year 12
Since Sophie joined RHSB last year she has fitted in like a glove, and is described as quite simply friends with everyone, optimistic and kind.
Olivia Phillips, Year 10
In every GCSE Dance session or extra-curricular club Olivia goes above and beyond with kindness and encouragement when others may be struggling with a particular movement or choreographic dilemma. She always gives constructive support to every member of the group and inspires the girls to develop their work further.
Daphne Hemingway told us a little about Sarah Williams, one of her closest friends from Bath High School, explaining that Sarah had striking red hair and was nick-named Squirrel, hence the red squirrel trophy, and how she was the inspiration for this award. As one of the key people who kept the BHS Class of 1982’s friendships going after their school days, the Award celebrates Sarah’s other qualities as somebody who had a lust for life and embodied the true spirit of friendship. Ms Hemingway was then delighted to announce that the 2021 winner of the Sarah Williams Red Squirrel Award is Sophie Phipson.
The Hilary Williams Award for Dedication
The Hilary Williams cup is awarded to a girl in Year 8-13 in recognition of exceptional dedication in her approach, either to schoolwork and activities or to something extra-curricular.
Hilary Williams attended Bath High from 1948 to 1963, and then studied Psychology at St Mary’s College, Durham University. On leaving Durham, knowing only that she wanted to do something fulfilling, challenging and rewarding Hilary embarked on a career which saw her become the first female governor of a male prison and take on senior management roles at companies like Mobil Oil, Hays Consulting, and British Gas. As the most senior female at British Gas at the time, when Hilary was on the cups of being made the first female Director, the business was suddenly restructured, and her promotion vanished. Having successfully sued British Gas and helped change laws regarding discrimination, Hilary went on to become the Chief Executive of Girl Guiding UK and took on numerous media appearances whilst being a member of several women’s business networks, holding a non-executive position for Bath’s RUH and volunteering at her local guide group in Bath.
Hilary was a hugely committed member of the alumnae committee and was Chair for 15 years. Fiercely loyal to Bath High, she was also incredibly progressive and played a valuable part in ensuring that the alumnae committee from Bath High came with us into the Royal High School as it is today. At her funeral in 2015 she was described as a people-orientated and inspirational leader with vision, who had her feet firmly on the ground and who relished achieving results through others by encouraging, empowering and supporting. Something for us all aspire to.
The nominees for the 2021 award were:
Eliza Hyde, Year 13
An outstandingly committed student, Eliza works at the RUH every Thursday afternoon (with permission to leave school) where she either works as a Ward Volunteer or as a Welcome Volunteer speaking to patients and their families to improve their time at hospital. As a St John Ambulance Brigade member, Eliza attends weekly unit meetings and volunteers on duties at public events where SJA provide First Aid cover. Additionally, Eliza is a BANES volunteer and has been involved with leaflet drops, providing people with information about how they could access support during lockdown. She also made a Christmas Day phone call to a lonely person last year which inspired her to organise a Christmas Hamper challenge whole school competition which provided many families in the community with a special box of treats during the festive period. All this alongside her school studies and commitments, and she also swims for a Bath club.
Maddie Whitmore, Year 12
As our inaugural RHS poet laureate last year, she has now been shortlisted for a BBC Young Writers Award and a Foyle Poetry Prize.
Holly Lancaster, Year 11
Holly is an exceptional all-rounder, dedicated academically she is a music scholar and a prefect in School House. She is always putting herself forward to help to promote the school and boarding, giving tours and getting involved in promotional marketing projects.
Daisy Jackson, Year 11
Excellent dedication shown to Drama, both in and out of class.
Jess Lewis, Year 11
Jess works really hard in lessons, represents the school in Sport and gets involved in many other activities as well.
Ella Condrau, Year 13
Ella simply says yes to anything the school ever asks of her, and always with kindness and generosity of spirit.
Kashuf Rehman, Year 10
Kashuf always goes above and beyond in her learning.
Freya McIntyre, Year 10
Freya has demonstrated excellent dedication to Dance, in GCSE Dance and Extra Curricular Dance Clubs. Freya goes above and beyond, even when she has an injury she attends and gives positive praise and encouragement from the side lines.
Having reminded those present of Hilary Williams’ story and the background to the award, Sarah Dix was delighted to announce that this year’s winner is Eliza Hyde, Year 13.
Alumnae Network Award for Continued Academic Endeavour
This cup is awarded to a girl in Year 8-11 in recognition of continued academic endeavour. Reminiscing about his own school days and the importance of striving for success whatever your ability, Mr Hall announced that the nominees for the 2021 award were:
Emmeline Branston, Year 9
The commitment, hard work and energy Emmeline has shown in Drama and English is unparalleled.
Lola McIntyre, Year 10
Lola works hard both in class and beyond, and it pays off in her results.
Sophie Craggs, Year 8
Sophie is a student who always tries her hardest and is determined to succeed.
This year sees two winners of the Alumnae Network Award for Continued Academic Endeavour who received the same number of votes: Lola McIntyre, Year 10 and Emmeline Branston, Year 9.
Alumnae Network Junior Cup for Services to the School Community
The Alumnae Network Junior cup is awarded to a girl in Year 12 who is a committed and enthusiastic member of the school community who gives her all and is a role model to others.
This year’s nominees were:
Annabel Callan, Year 12
Always bright and committed and has brought a high level of dedication to Sixth Form Drama rehearsal, Annabel is a wonderful student who is reliable, committed and always eager to help and take part in everything.
Charlotte Osburn-Hughes, Year 12
For the great kindness she has shown in welcoming new students to our community.
Sezi Balaban, Year 12
For her contributions to the boarding community and for regularly supporting Admissions events as an excellent Ambassador for the school.
Jess Philips, Year 12
For being a true unsung hero! Always understated and unwaveringly reliable, Jess is always ready to do anything to help with anything.
Mrs Reynolds was delighted to announce that we have two winners of the 2021 Alumnae Network Junior Cup for Services to the School Community, Annabel Callan and Sezi Balaban.
Huge congratulations to all our fitting winners and thank you again to our guests for presenting this year’s awards. We are of course ever grateful to our alumnae for their support and look forward to seeing what further endeavours they provide our girls with inspiration for in the years ahead!