On Saturday 23rd September 2017 our Annual Mill Hill Foundation Day took place. Over 900 people enjoyed the occasion full of prize giving and tournaments. Current pupils, parents, staff, Old Millhillians and VIP guests came together for the special day.
The day began with a Service of Commemoration of Benefactors in the Chapel led by Rev Dr Richard Warren, followed by speeches and a prize giving ceremony with our Guest of Honour, Sir Anthony Seldon.
That afternoon guests enjoyed a barbeque on the Quad accompanied by The Corps of Drums giving an outstanding display on Top Field. Followed by 1st XV Rugby on Top Field playing against The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School. Both of which were thoroughly enjoyed and praised by guests.
Sophie Fresco a Senior Monitor at Mill Hill School gave a captivating speech reflecting on her time at The Mill Hill Foundation. As Sophie approaches the end of her time at the Foundation, she shared just how crucial it is to focus on becoming the best version of you.
Sir Anthony, Ladies and Gentlemen,
During the summer a younger student asked me how to go about fundraising for a charity within school. This made me realise how far along I am in my time at Mill Hill, and in all honesty, it also made me rather envious of my fellow pupils sitting in this room. They have more time left than me to explore the endless opportunities here at our school.
Having been through from Grimsdell to Belmont and then on to Mill Hill, this foundation has essentially become a second home to me. Somewhere I have gained not only an education, but I have made friendships I know will last a life time, and gained qualities I am truly grateful for. It is the non-conformist and accepting nature of our foundation that truly allows everyone to blossom into the wonderful young people I see sitting in this room.
I can recall being in fourth form with a knee injury, when my house master signed me up for the school council so as to involve me in ways other than sports. I can so clearly remember going to that first meeting absolutely terrified. I was so worried that I would say something stupid or that the older students would think strangely of me. I honestly wish I could go back in time and tell myself to enjoy it and to have got stuck in sooner, because once I found my feet, it was this very involvement that has made my time here at school so enjoyable. Don’t be afraid of speaking up or getting involved. Whether it’s sports, or music, or being on a council – exploring the opportunities here at Mill Hill may seem daunting at first, but what I can tell you is, you’ll only regret the things you didn’t try, not the things you did.
When I began to research our guest of honour, Sir Anthony, who is frequently referred to as “Britain’s best-known headmaster”, I was rather surprised that he also had time to write over 40 books on contemporary history, politics and education! I was also struck by his approach to his role as headmaster and the importance he placed upon his students’ happiness and well-being… I must admit I was also extremely impressed to read that he stands on his head each morning as he practises yoga!
When asked 5 of the most important things he’s learnt in his life, one of Sir Anthony’s responses was to ‘Be Yourself’. He has said he believes his students need to ‘learn that making mistakes can often be a good thing’ and that it had become “an obsession [of his] as a head master that young people are encouraged to make their own choices and learn how to live.”
During my time here at Mill Hill I have learnt as much, if not more, from my failures than my successes. It is crucial that we do not fixate solely on our grades; it’s our effort and engagement that counts academically and in all other spheres. As I begin my time in Upper 6th and am rapidly approaching the end of my journey here, I realise that whilst trying our hardest within the classroom, it is crucial that we also focus on becoming the best version of ourselves, finding our passions and getting involved.
Sir Anthony, it is truly an honour to have you here.
Finally, our Guest of Honour Sir Anthony Seldon closed the ceremony with an excellent and thought provoking speech, urging students and the audience to really take full control of their destination in life and to enjoy every inch of the journey along the way. Keep an eye out for his speech, coming to the website very soon.
Mill Hill Foundation Day was a wonderful celebration which captured the true principles which have made the Foundation a huge success.