Parents, pupils, staff and members of the Benenden community enjoyed a unique Speech Day event today, as the ceremony was produced virtually for the first time in Benenden’s history.
Due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, a traditional Speech Day event was not viable this year. However, this did not deter Benenden from creating a thoroughly enjoyable and emotional day to remember for the girls and their families.
Hundreds of families from across the world logged on to enjoy the day online, with many of the traditional Speech Day elements reproduced in a virtual format.
The occasion began for our departing Six Two with their traditional Leavers’ Service presented live from the Chapel. It was an inspiring and energetic service featuring readings, hymns and even aerobics led by our Chaplain and a guest experience from our previous Chaplain.
The main event, the ceremony for the entire School, began with memorable speeches from Headmistress Samantha Price and Anna Birkett, Chairman of Governing Council. Pupils were commended on how well they have adapted in the current circumstances, and on the determination they have shown to continue to strive for success.
Parents and families then enjoyed a range of different video messages from pupils and staff, along with a traditional picture montage covering the highlights from the past academic year. Various awards and prizes were handed out to girls from across the School, with several members of the Senior Leadership Team taking their turn on the lectern to announce the prizewinners.
The Speech Day event then continued with a nostalgic speech from the Head Girl before Mrs Price introduced one final tradition – the floral arch. The audience enjoyed watching a special video of the Six Twos waving goodbye through a virtual floral arch, before they walk through the floral arch for real later in the year.
The audience was also treated to a very special rendition of the School’s hymn, with a video montage of girls singing from around the world (which we had to have two attempts at broadcasting when computer gremlins on the first occasion proved to the audience that we were indeed live!).
Mrs Price then said her farewells to both the Six Two girls and retiring members of staff, with the promise of further celebrations when restrictions have eased.
The wonderful event was enjoyed by all in attendance and the girls’ achievements over the last academic year were celebrated in style – virtually of course!