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Speech Anthea gives vote of thanks,

Firstly, I would like to express the pride I feel in being able to address you all today, it truly is an honour to be representing the wonderful girls who will be leaving Malvern St James today. When umming and ahhing over what on earth I was going to speak to you all about, it seems that Mrs Woodhouse has come to my rescue (as usual!). Her description of her beginnings this year in Malvern St James made me think... Beginnings... perhaps you would expect me to be talking about endings as we say goodbye to our year 13 leavers, but as we stand ready to launch, full tilt into our new lives outside this school, I think its important to think back on the beginnings given to us by this wonderful place. It is true to say that school plays a big role in our start to life. It is the beginning of huge opportunities to grow and to flourish, whether academically or on a more personal level. But perhaps most importantly school marks the beginnings of friendships. And for me, and I know many of the U6, these

bonds of friendship will last a lifetime. To say weve had some fun over the years would be an incredibly huge understatement! Weve had an absolute blast. Whether it be sitting in our dorms gossiping about so and sos boyfriend, or time-wasting in the dome gardens soaking up the sun, or even dare I say it, eating in the library (I know!). Over the years, we have begun to make a little family for ourselves here and it is with a bitter sweet taste in our mouths that we speak the words goodbye - excited to be starting our own new beginning but sad to leave the beginning that we have all shared in. This school has also begun to teach us of responsibility, both to ourselves and to others: pushing ourselves to the best of our ability, even if at times we really didnt feel like it. None have done this more so than my practically perfect prefect team for this year - the wonderful, Becky, Sam, Maria, Joy, Clemmie, Alice, Fiona, Annabel, Ellen, Hannah, Jean, Seyi, Emma, Gigi, Lizzy and Livi. Through our work together this year, we began to learn what it is to be a team, to experience the joy, satisfaction (and sometimes frustration!) this can bring. You have all been so wonderfully dedicated to this school. Thank you so much for all youve done.

But now I come to the beautiful Anthea. It is said that behind every man there is a great woman. Well Id like to adapt that saying to reflect life here at MSJ. Behind every clueless Head Girl, there is a Deputy who actually knows what shes doing! What can I say but thank you? You have been the best support system anyone could ask for a sort of human swiss army knife with a solution for every situation. Youve cheered me on in the good times and scooped me off the floor in the bad, always with that mega watt smile on your face. You are incredible. My own beginning at this school, seems far too long ago to recall! The scariness of the sixth formers, the hugeness of the campus and the mountain load of prep! all seem like distant memories now, (ok maybe not the prep). Certain beginnings, I think will stay with me for a lifetime. For example, the beginning of a lifelong aversion to tartan started right here, as did the constant yelling wheres the chocolate spread? and giving yourself a mental pep talk every time you attempt the stairs!

Our time at Malvern has meant that from the very beginning and with the unswerving support, love and guidance of our wonderful teachers, we have learned to become our own person. We know what we want, and well try our damned hardest to get there! This is embodied in our fearless leader, Mrs Woodhouse. In this short year that Year 13 has had to get to know you, we hope its clear how much we love and admire you. Through your example, you have taught us all to be bold young women with ambition, integrity and compassion and for that we thank you very sincerely. We should all be so proud of ourselves for reaching this momentous day that we have all dreamed of since that first commemoration as pip-squeak 11 year olds. Im sure all of us would like to thank our families for supporting us through our years here and for being here today to celebrate with us. As I gaze around this room today I see before me girls who are now grown into confident young women; a Band of Sisters (very similar to a Band of Brothers only with better shoes!). Girls who have been wholly themselves with each other and unashamedly so, and girls who will do all they can to make this school proud to call them its own. But, Ill leave you now to dream bigger dreams of your own new beginnings,

whatever they may be, with this thought to accompany your cherished memories of our time together, Good Friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget. THANK YOU.