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Peterhouse Boys

Peterhouse Boys Speech Day 2021 - Head of School's Speech

Chairman of the board of Governors Mr Hammond, the Rector Mr Trafford and his wife Mrs Trafford, The Guest of Honour Dr Mbanga, Mrs Hough, Mr Martin, staff and other invited guests, ladies and gentleman of Peterhouse. A very good morning to you all.

Driving back into the school on the 31st of August, I realized it was my last term at this stunning establishment we all call home; Peterhouse. Our Class of 2021 has achieved more than we all thought possible. We may have lost a few of our brothers along the way but that doesn’t mean a thing because they will forever be a part of us.

One thing we, as a year, do appreciate is what all the staff have done for us along our journey, especially during the virtual or “Digi” school. They worked extremely hard to make sure that all of us could finish our syllabuses in time for the Cambridge examinations. With very little time off, they strove incredibly hard and did what they could to leave us in the best position possible regarding our academic careers. For this, we will always be grateful, thank you.

A special mention must also be made to our housemasters who have guided us and been great mentors in their respective houses, being organized and approachable as well as keeping us in line when need be. We all know the key to quality and efficiency is professionalism and I have no doubt that each and every one of us have been shown that throughout our lives here at Peterhouse, all by these excellent and memorable housemasters; all of you will be missed.

This year it has been nothing but an honour and privilege to work alongside Mr Trafford and the Deputy Head of School Charles Moscrop. Charles and I have learnt so much. Both of us respect and agree with every decision, controversial and otherwise, that Mr Trafford has made through these unforeseen times, under what we all know was huge amounts of pressure. Thank you for moulding us that little bit extra in order to prepare us for ‘the big world’.

Last but not least is our parents; this may sound cliché and you have probably been told this before, but I will say it again. Without their hard work, none of us would be here. For the entire duration of online school we all undoubtedly tested their patience and perhaps pushed them right to the very End of their tethers. I am sure the reopening of the school brought about a massive sigh of relief collectively from our parent body. So I would like to take this chance to, once again, thank all those parents who made everything possible. We are eternally grateful for your love and support and everything you have provided us with these past six years.

Being Head boy this year wasn’t easy, thankfully with the help of the senior master Mr Barbour, Mr Dekock and the 2021 office bearers I can gladly say we did a fine job despite all odds. We strived for success and didn’t fall short. Never did I think that we would be delivering thousands of Easter eggs to the school after we were locked in over Easter. Despite all those times we persevered and didn’t let them get the best of us. Another thing I can’t not mention are the lavish school grounds we have in and around this school, Although they have not been used as often as usual these last few years I’m sure we can all agree they are always in the best condition and I’m sure it will remain that way thanks to Mr Waller and all others involved. Every Petrean leaves this place and finds out that they miss it more than they ever thought possible, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me at all as this school and everyone associated with it are special and bring about an addictive lifestyle with a perfect balance between work and play.

We have all had our ups and downs in the last few years, for example my man Tristan Chiutsi went from humiliating the whole of the St John’s first team rugby in 2019 to having a near death experience at the following interhouse swimming gala where he ended up in an ambulance needing oxygen.

Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift… that’s why it is called the present. This is a powerful phrase I’d like to extend towards my 6th form brothers as well as the 5th form future leaders of the school. We have had an incredibly difficult year, but challenge often brings opportunity. Time is a priceless, non-refundable and non-renewable resource; we all take it for granted until it’s gone. It is free but there is no trading it. Use it wisely and do not waste it, or it becomes an expense. In your years ahead I urge you to strategically choose your goals so that the time you spend on them becomes a worthwhile investment and not just an expense, as aforementioned. We are all close and connected at the moment and I would like to think we will continue to be in the not too distant future, but we need to make sure that we still communicate effectively in order to keep each other in line and happy. Leaving these gates is going to be hard knowing the reality is that I may never see some of you ever again, but I hope you all know: I have got your back, no matter what; once a brother always a brother. We are tighter than most school years have ever been and I personally believe that some things, like this, never change.

Our school motto, Conditur in petra meaning founded on rock; is not just for show on our school crest and on the front of our blazers. We need to keep reminding ourselves that we do not settle for second best or mediocrity and should we find ourselves there, we do all that we can to change it. Again, it doesn’t just portray our life in and around school it can also be linked to our strong base of faith in Christianity; a solid foundation that cannot be shaken. Now, as we prepare to leave the pyramids one final time and hang up the royal blue blazer, we ask ourselves: what does our foundation become? The answer is this; these 6, long, hard, memorable years we have spent building this brotherhood; that has become the foundation. The solidarity of our year group will propel each and every one of us into our separate lives beyond this place, safe in the knowledge that we have this foundation, this rock, which will never abandon us. Our lives full of both success and failure aren’t over yet, we have a lot to conquer as a year and school. Heads up Kings, Life only begins at the edge of your comfort zone. We just getting started.

Thank you.

Kyle Saywood