The President of Imperial College Union, in London, Lucinda Sandon-Allum, was the guest speaker at Talbot Heath’s annual Speech Day this year. The former pupil, who left in 2010, gave an inspirational address at the close of the awards ceremony about women and leadership, and focused on getting more young women into the exciting field of STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Lucinda’s position as Union President heralds an important moment for women – it is the first time both the College and the Union have been run by two females at the same time.
Throughout the afternoon the school community celebrated the talents and achievements of its pupils, both academic and non-curricular. Awards for A-Level and GCSEs, music and Young Enterprise, as well as mathematics, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and sport were presented. The array of sporting achievements – locally, nationally and internationally – included netball, tennis and triathlon, alongside some less typical pursuits such as shooting and stock car racing; all reinforcing the message that there are no boundaries to what girls can achieve.
Earlier in the day Lucinda spoke first with A-Level biology students, followed by the pre-prep and junior pupils, encouraging them all to aim high and work hard in their studies. She said how the specialist science lessons that she had received at Talbot Heath from Year 6 onwards excited her interest in science, adding: “Talbot Heath made me love learning; the teachers always made it fun to learn. Most importantly from an early age I never questioned whether or not I could do anything just because I was a girl – and that is the most important lesson of all to learn.”