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Founder’s Day Celebration

December 2nd, 2012

On the last day of November the school held its 146th Founder’s Day – a day when we celebrate our Founder, Rev William Rogers, and the achievements of our students.

Each year the school welcomes a number of guests from different walks of life. In the past these included the Prince and Princess of Wales (afterwards Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) in 1870, the King of the Belgians in 1872, and Prince Albert Victor and Prince of Wales (afterwards King George V) in 1874.

In the school’s modern history, our guest list has included government figures, such as Lord Adonis and Iain Duncan Smith. Business, media and sport celebrities have also attended, such as Andy Haldane (Bank of England Executive Director for Financial Stability), Robert Peston (Business Editor for the BBC) and Olympic rower Tom Solesbury.

Our annual Founder’s Day is an important occasion for the school to inspire and motivate students to achieve their full potential. Since the purpose of the day is to celebrate the founder of the school and the achievements of its students, we have started a tradition of inviting our successful alumni as guest speakers. In November 2011 we welcomed back BBC TV and radio presenter Reggie Yates.

This year our guest speaker was Henry Goodman. A Central Foundation student between 1961-66, Henry Goodman is a highly acclaimed actor of stage and screen, attending RADA before going on to become one of the most recognisable and respected names in British theatre. He has performed at the National and on Broadway, as well as starring in the film adaptation of The Damned United.

Among other guests present at our Founder’s Day this year were the leaders of the Islington Council and Local Education Authority, corporate partners, governors, trustees, alumni and, of course, a large audience of our prize winners’ parents.

Our 146th Founder’s Day opened with a brass and string ensemble performance followed by an address from Mr Brownhill, the Headteacher, and then Nat Erickson, our Head Boy. Mr Goodman’s address, very much reflecting his great acting skills, was aimed to inspire our students not only to follow their talents but also to confront their weaknesses and obstacles that they will encounter in their lives. Mr Goodman described how he, a boy from a regular East End family, through his determination and hard work went all the way to become a highly acclaimed and multi-award winning professional.


Mr Goodman handed over 80 prizes and among the awarded students were:

  • Mohamed Abdullahi Yr 12 – 12 A* and A GCSEs
  • Denzeil Boadu-Adjei Yr 11 – Training with Arsenal and representing England U16s football team
  • Khristen McDermoth Yr 11 – Reaching the 100m & 200m National Championships. Khristen is the third fastest 200m runner in the country for his age
  • Derek Nightingale Yr 10 – Services to the school, chairing the school council, playing a leading role in the City Safe Campaign and winning regional and national debating competitions

The ceremony ended with performance of Zadok the Priest by a joint orchestra and choir, a group of over 100 students.