December 6th, 2013
On the last Friday of November the school held its 147th Founder’s Day – an annual event 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 its first decade the school welcomed many royal dignitaries as guests such as the Prince and Princess of Wales (afterwards Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) in 1870, King Leopold II of Belgium in 1872, and Prince Albert and the Prince of Wales (afterwards King George V) in 1874. In recent years Founder’s Day has welcomed back former alumni as guest speakers; two years ago BBC TV and radio presenter Reggie Yates joined us while one year ago Oliver Award winning actor Henry Goodman was our guest speaker.
This year’s guest speaker was Baron Grabiner, QC. A leading barrister and heavyweight in the legal world, Tony Grabiner attended Central Foundation from 1956-1963 before going on to read Law at the London School of Economics (LSE).
In his speech he shared stories of his life at school and how he kept a determined attitude and was dedicated to working hard. He talked about growing up in the East End of London and then, after his years at Central Foundation, deciding to study Law at LSE. He also revealed that he had once delivered a case in the court rooms that were recently redeveloped into the school’s Court Building and was able to look out onto the playground in his private chambers and reminisce about school before going into the court.
Founder’s Day, however, is just as much about looking forward as it is about remembering the past. As well as speeches from Mr Brownhill, the Headteacher and Lord Grabiner about the school’s history, the current Head Boy Derek Nightingale delivered a speech while last year’s Head Boy and current sixth former Nat Erickson hosted the event alongside Ms Brunton, Head of Drama.
The hosts were on hand to read out the names of over 80 award winners, who had their prizes handed to them by Lord Grabiner. The awards gave a variety of recognition to the best students in Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 subjects, as well as extended prizes for progress, excellence and services to the school and community across all years.
Throughout the event Music School’s choir and orchestra, comprising 101 Central Foundation pupils who arrive at school at 7:30 in the morning for their lessons and rehearsals, performed various pieces for the audience of parents, corporate partners, representatives of the Islington Council and Local Education Authority, governors, trustees and of course the guest speaker and guest prize winners. A brass quartet piece composed by Wahid Khan called Ingresso Dei Fondatori, opened the ceremony, while Masih Ahmady’s violin solo of Tartini’s Affettuoso preluded the prize giving before Music School closed the ceremony with a rousing rendition of Take That’s Rule the World.
More images of the event can be found in the website’s gallery.