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A Celebration of Whitgift life and a fond farewell to Headmaster after 26 years.

The culmination of the 2016-17 academic year saw Whitgift welcome back Patron of the School, HRH The Duke of York, KG, for the end-of-year prize-giving event, a day that also saw Whitgift School bid farewell to their Headmaster of the past 26 years, Dr Barnett.

Whitgift Trumpet Ensemble provided the pre-ceremony music, followed by the Corps of Drums with their ever-popular, glow-in-the-dark routine. A host of academic prizes were awarded, across all subjects, along with co-curricular prizes and sporting honours. Further interludes were enjoyed, with the cast of the Lower School production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe performing a short scene, and one of this year’s Whitgift International Music Competition (WIMC) winners, Marian Bozhidarov, playing the clarinet. The Whitgift Barbershop Ensemble provided two poignant yet entertaining renditions of songs popularised during the First World War (a tribute to the School’s successful Remembering 1916 exhibition), and the Whitgift Brass Ensemble closed proceedings. Students, staff, parents and guests were also treated to video snippets of the Eugene Onegin opera, performed at the School earlier in the year, as well as a sports montage from what has been an exceptionally impressive year for Whitgift, with bountiful sporting attainments.

HRH The Duke of York, KG, paid tribute to Dr Barnett, highlighting his accomplishments with many comparisons between the Whitgift of 1991 and the School today. Dr Barnett credited all the people involved throughout the School, who have contributed to its success over the past 26 years, finishing with a closing reminder that ‘anything is possible’, as the School motto proclaims: Vincit qui patitur - he conquers who endures. We wish Dr Barnett all the best for his retirement, and look forward to another year of outstanding achievements at Whitgift.  

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