Left to right: Mr Walter Cha, Chair of Governors, Dr Anne Cotton, Mr Alan Eisner

St Thomas’ Cathedral once more provided a beautiful setting for the Senior School Prizegiving evening as pupils, parents, staff and guests gathered to celebrate the achievements of the last academic year.

We were delighted to welcome Mr Alan Eisner as the Guest of Honour at the event.  Alan is the Chairman of Maggie’s Centres, which offer practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. There are 23 centres throughout the UK and three centres abroad, with five more in development including one in Portsmouth. Approximately 400,000 people a year are supported by these centres.

In her welcome, Dr Anne Cotton, Head of The Portsmouth Grammar School, spoke about the strong resonance of community within the school and within the story of our foundation. Through partnerships beyond the Arch, we are committed to working with the city and at the same time offering our pupils opportunities which help them grow as they prepare for the world beyond school..  In his address, Alan Eisner reflected this theme, underlining the importance of engaging with the world we live in, remembering that people are central to every aspect of our lives and that talking and listening to people is how we learn.  He also encouraged the pupils gathered to embrace potential failure and to learn how to come back and recover from it, to find something they are passionate about, and to work hard in pursuing that passion, since success can come through the very narrowest of margins.

Mr Andrew Fisher with Alice Leonard

This year the inaugural presentations of the Mr Aeneas Fisher Prize for the IB Extended Essay was awarded to Alice Leonard.  Mr Aeneas Fisher attended PGS from 1943 – 1950 and in his words, The Portsmouth Grammar School is “where it all started.” Aeneas’ inquisitive mind was nurtured at PGS, and on leaving he went to Cambridge where he entered the medical profession.  The prize recognises the holder’s achievement in researching and producing their extended essay.  Through this prize his family want to encourage others to benefit from the education and opportunities PGS offers.  We were delighted to welcome Mr Andrew Fisher, Aeneas’ son, to Prizegiving to present the award to Alice.

Click here to read the Head’s Report 2019