Gold medal awards ‘first’ for town grammar school

Boston Grammar School’s annual prize-giving event saw two pupils awarded with a certain gold medal for the first time in the school’s 467-year history.

2020 winner Harry Hopkins, Flt Lt Jack Bosworth, headteacher John McHenry, and 2021 winner Matthew Dickens.
2020 winner Harry Hopkins, Flt Lt Jack Bosworth, headteacher John McHenry, and 2021 winner Matthew Dickens.

The pandemic meant the school was unable to hold its annual awards event last year and the previous year - so two pupils were given Parry Gold Medals this year - for being the ‘highest performing students’ in 2020 and 2021.

Usually held on the last day of term before Christmas, the ceremony had to be moved this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and that was not the only ‘first’.

Head boy Siddarth Annand explained that it was the first time in the school’s history that two Parry Gold Medals had been presented to prize winners from two consecutive years.

Matthew Dickens received this year’s medal with last year’s winner Harry Hopkins returning to receive his medal in front of an enthusiastic assembly of students, faculty, parents and governors.

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BGS old boy Flight Lieutenant Jack Bosworth joined the ceremony and gave a talk on how his dreams and ambitions helped him overcome obstacles to achieve his aim of being an RAF fighter pilot.

The Parry Gold Medal was endowed in 1875 by the former MP for the area, Thomas Parry. It is conferred annually on the highest performing student in the upper sixth. Harry Hopkins is currently reading Economics at the University of Cambridge and Matthew Dickens is studying Physics at Imperial College London.

Headteacher John McHenry commented: ‘It was clear from the exuberant applause that greeted all the prize winners and speakers, how much prizegiving had been missed. There was two years’ worth of congratulation and celebration in the Centenary Methodist Church.

“I was delighted to be able to welcome our school community to celebrate together again after two of the most challenging years I think any of us have experienced.

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“Congratulations to all our prize winners and actually, every student, colleague and parent who have all shown the most tremendous resilience in the face of enormous uncertainty and change.”

Chair Of Governors Phillip Bosworth added: ‘We were pleased to celebrate our official return to Ofsted ‘good’ status in October of last year, but this was our first opportunity to acknowledge together as a school how hard everyone has worked to not only secure that recognition, but support our students through a pandemic and produce excellent academic results.

“I was doubly proud to address the school community not only as Chair of Governors but also as the father of our guest speaker, himself an old boy of the school.

“The contribution Boston Grammar School has made over its 467 year old history not only to our local community but also nationally and even worldwide thanks to successful BGS graduates like Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, himself a former guest speaker at prizegiving, cannot be overstated and we look forward to continuing to support all of our students present and future to reach their full potential.”