Head Boy, Richard Warwick, delivered his speech at 2016's Prize Day as he prepared to leave the School. Richard now goes onto study an artchitectural degree at Leeds University.
It is almost exactly three years since I first set foot in Newcastle School for Boys. Being perfectly honest I was quite nervous about the whole situation. I had just spent eight years at another school, and had lost my enjoyment of learning and felt that I could have done better academically. Three years on and things could not be more different – thanks to NSB and its amazing staff team, I am already standing with an exceptional A Level result under my belt with hopefully a few more to follow. I have enjoyed representing the school where I can and I have taken tremendous pleasure out of being part of the sports teams in particular. I have relationships with staff which are positive, meaningful, mutually respectful which I wouldn’t have imagined from teachers. I even have to own up to enjoying singing and performing with Newlands House, featuring the legendary Mr Drax at the House competitions which we won.
I can honestly say I have learnt so much at NSB, and not necessarily just in the classroom. I have learnt about kindness, compassion, inclusiveness and I have been given a sense of responsibility and purpose. I have learnt that whilst passing exams is important, there is so much more needed to become a rounded human being and to put something back into your community. NSB, itself, is an inclusive community and one which welcomes everyone. If you had asked anyone who knew me when I joined the NSB community if I would be Head Boy and stand up in front of everyone here to make a speech, they would not have believed it would be possible – to tell you the truth I wouldn’t have believed it would be possible.
By entrusting individuals with responsibility and encouraging them to stretch themselves and get involved in things that might seem challenging or even uncomfortable, NSB has a way of bringing out the best in its pupils. There are academic opportunities which have led to numerous boys accessing universities such as Durham and Oxford, the development of musical talent which has led to us all being able to enjoy many performances from fellow students and the school creates a strong sense of belonging. When you are outside of school – whether representing the school in a sporting fixture or “socialising”, you can spot an NSB pupil straight away – a strong sense of togetherness, fair play and belonging – fun and lively, but knowing where the boundaries are.
It has been a privilege to serve the school as Head Boy especially in this prestigious year which celebrates the tenth anniversary of the School, and what a celebration it was, culminating in a fantastic ball which brought together the entire school community with current boys, staff, parents and old boys all there. I would like to thank Mr Tickner, the Senior Leadership Team and the Governors for putting their faith in me for this role. I would also like to thank all of my teachers for all of the help and guidance they have given me. I have personally benefited from subjects being tailored to my own individual needs. I know of no other school who would care so personally for me, even with my stroppiness!
I would particularly like to thank Stuart Lancaster for agreeing to be our guest today and undoubtedly the boys will draw comparisons with the direct style of coaching he employs with the way we have been coached in all sports by our outstanding sports department.
NSB is not just about subject knowledge, it’s a family where many people care about each other. On a more personal note I would like to thank every teacher who has supported me by giving their time, care and commitment to help with the pressures of this last year, I would also like to thank all of my classmates for the fun and wise words of encouragement my time here.
And finally, I would like to thank the NSB Community for inviting me in and making me feel so welcome and I’d like to wish Cam Baker, better known as Baz, all the best for next year, I’m sure he’ll do a great job!