A Boy’s ViewThis speech was delivered by a Year Six student at Speech Night and captures the essence of what it is to be a ‘Coogee Prep’ boy.
As I have approached my last day at Coogee Prep I have thought a lot about my experiences here and the things about the school that have made me the person I am now. Quiet but a dynamo!
Now that I’m in year 6 I try to think back to my start in Transition, and even before that, to my interview with Mr. Dicks, who seemed even more imposing to a boy six years old than he does now. In the interview I’m not even sure that he got me to speak — in fact, I’m told by my Mum, who seems to remember all these sort of things, that I didn’t even get out from under the chair until it was time to leave.
One of the best things about Coogee Prep is that it is small school. Small is good. People are close; they know each other and recognise each other in the playground every day. You get to know one another, maybe not as well as a real family but close enough to be able to say that Coogee Prep is a family, without making it sound silly.
Small is also good because it makes you feel confident, you know that the whole school is behind you when you try something. You won’t get laughed at when you try something new because the main thing is the trying not winning - but winning is good too!
In a small school you can try all sorts of things that you might not try in a bigger place — like represent your school on the New Zealand Rugby and Soccer Tour or take part in debating or athletics. The important thing is everyone gets to have a go and is confident about it and feels the rest of the school supports them for the attempt.
Whether it is playing the guitar or jamming on the African drums with Mr. Metliss or getting up on the stage in the school play to be a hungry friar, they all add to my great memories of a school that gives you the sort of confidence to try things you may not have thought of trying before. Bit by bit, over the years without even noticing - well maybe Mum and Dad noticed - I outgrew my shyness. The little boy who couldn’t even get out from under the chair is giving this speech in front of millions of people - well lots of people!
Coogee Prep has taught me that anything and everything is possible. From surviving Mr. Hanscombe’s projects, morning training sessions up endless stairs for the New Zealand tour and even beating New Zealand in rugby and soccer, that’s a day I will never forget.
It will be sad to leave this small close knit group at Coogee Prep but I know the lessons that we have been taught and the confidence in ourselves that we have developed over our time here has prepared us for life in senior school - and later.
I’d like to thank all my teachers and Mr. Dicks for my great time at Coogee Prep, for their help and support to get me to this point.
I’d also like to thank my classmates for just being who you are. I’ll remember all of you!