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Headmaster’s Blog – Speech Day, Flame and Holidays

July 16, 2012

Moment to Shine – the Olympic torch bearers’ motto
Our summer term finished on the 12th July with the traditional Ballard School speech day. The Sports’ Hall was packed to capacity with pupils, parents, staff, visitors and VIPs – around 650 people. At the very same moment as we met together for the prize giving and speeches by the Chairman of Governors, the Headmaster, the guest of honour and the Heads of School, one of our staff members was carrying the Olympic Torch in Wilton, near Salisbury.
Mr Mike Clifford (our Director of Alumni and Development) was this torch bearer and was nominated by parents for his unstinting school mastering. As his citation says, The children call him a ‘Legend’, to the parents he’s a ‘Saint,’ it is an honour to nominate Mike to carry the Olympic flame and I cannot think of a more deserving person. The citation also includes the following stirring homily:
‘Care more than others think wise.
Risk more than others think safe.
Dream more than others think practical.
Expect more than others think possible.’
Mike Clifford exemplifies this and it was also a delight at the Speech day to see so many pupils go forward for their certificates, books and trophies which were also a sign that they, too, had reached towards these high standards. The biggest clap of the morning went to three Y11 pupils who have fought hard against debilitating illness over the past three years and each received an award for ‘grit and determination against the odds’.
The guest of honour, Mr Richard Tilbrook (Clerk to the Privy Council amongst much else) spoke about re-discovering a moral compass in life and a spirit of selfless service. We also considered ‘caring for children for all they’re worth’ and thus it was that we came away from the speech day and another successful year at Ballard, encouraged to find our own ‘moment to shine’ in the service of others – being prepared to ‘care more than others think wise’.

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