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July 01st 2019

A Day of Joy and Celebration

There’s no better way to mark the end of the academic year than with a celebration of the achievements of our pupils, and reflecting on the highlights along the way. And so on Saturday, with glorious sunshine blazing down, we held our Festival Day.

Interspersed by a selection of highlights, including excerpts from the Lower and Senior School Productions, performances by the School Choir and Benesonantes, and a reading by Britta, Headmistress Ms Roberts detailed the successes and activities across the School during the year. “One thing that Cobham Hall does so incredibly well,” she stated, “is to provide that nourishing, caring, happy and stimulating environment for girls to thrive.”

This was evident in the array of prizes being given out and the confidence with which Dami and Maci took to the stage to recreate a scene from “The Sad Club”, and the poise displayed by Year 7’s Alice, capturing the spirit of her monologue from “I Got Superpowers for my Birthday” as she stood before the amassed school community.  

Ending with some sage advice for Year 13, Ms Roberts said, “Aim high, remember there is more in you than you think, break the glass ceiling, but above all be happy and at peace with yourself. In the words of the immortal Bob Marley, “Love the life you live, but live the life you love.””

Our guest speaker was a wonderful illustration of Ms Roberts’s depiction of a Cobham girl: Elder and Founder/CEO of International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini. 

Opening with a powerful and emotional account of joining Cobham Hall in 1979, Sanam reflected on how Cobham Hall became her home and gave her the opportunity to have a normal childhood. Throughout her charming speech, Sanam recounted tales from her time here, and how lessons she had learned, and experiences she’d had, particularly as Richmond House Captain, had supported her throughout her career. She reflected, “At Cobham Hall, we are given the chance to think of and imagine our lives for ourselves.”

Continuing to relate her career experiences to life at school Sanam explained, “When I came to Cobham, I realised it was ok to be good at different things. It was really interesting to experience what it means to value people for what their skills are, as opposed to taking one set of skills and thinking we’re just going to assess everyone on that.”

Sanam closed her witty, inspiring speech encouraging her fellow Cobham girls to take responsibility for their lives, to be true to themselves, not to worry about being bad at things; to just enjoy themselves. She urged them not to worry, stating that worrying is useless and that life will unfold as it will; and to not let others define them or their ambitions. Many commented after how inspirational they found Sanam’s speech, and how they could have listened to her for hours.

Prizes were then handed out by Sanam to girls across the School before refreshments were enjoyed in the sunshine and beautiful surroundings of Lady Darnley’s Garden.

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