The inaugural Sophie Waylen Award for Excellence in English Summer 2021

As many in our school community will remember, last autumn, a much-loved former student of Purbeck, Sophie Waylen, passed away during her first term at university. In addition to being an energetic, kind and wonderful role model to others, Sophie was an excellent student of English Language and English Literature at A Level. Last year, the school and Sophie’s family, decided to make an annual award for excellence in English, and we were proud to present the inaugural award together at the end of May.

The first winner of the award is Sophie Campbell, pictured above second left with Assistant Head/English teacher Simon Holmes, Sophie Waylen’s parents Tina and Chris, and sister Rebecca.

Sophie’s namesake, Sophie, has worked with determination and commitment throughout the English Language course, consistently producing perceptive and thoughtful responses. As such, she is a worthy first winner of the prize and will go on to study linguistics at university. Sophie was joined at the presentation by her parents and Headteacher Adam Darley. We would like to thank the Waylen family for the considerable gifts (including a sizeable book token and chocolates!) that accompanied this award, including Sophie’s uncle Gary Pitman.

In September, the school and Waylen family will plant a Mimosa tree at school in Sophie’s memory, the yellow blossom reflecting her favourite colour. Additionally, former students at the University of Exeter recently raised £420 in Sophie’s memory and, likewise, an ongoing sponsored run initiative at school is currently remembering Sophie, with all proceeds being donated to supporting the education of impoverished children in Rwanda.

Simon Holmes
Assistant Headteacher

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