On Thursday 29 November we held an awards evening to celebrate the outstanding educational achievements and successes over the past year of more than 100 pupils and staff from secondary schools in our area.
The winners and guests, including parents and carers, were invited to Aerospace Bristol for the South Gloucestershire Secondary Education Awards 2018, which was an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of youngsters across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. We also recognised the dedication of school teachers and staff who helped make this possible.
Those receiving awards were nominated directly by their peers and heads in each of the schools. The categories covered were outstanding progress, outstanding contribution to a school and the wider community, and also staff who have made an exceptional contribution to improving outcomes for students.
The 118 award winners, covering 18 different schools, included the following examples:
- In Key Stage 5, Brimsham Green School sixth form pupil Marcus Jefferies, 18, worked tirelessly in his studies which enabled him to achieve A* in Maths and Further Maths, plus an A in Physics, and a place studying Physics at Bristol University. He combined this with taking a full part in the life of the school, including appearing in drama productions such as Les Miserables, while The Castle School pupil Jack Viles, 19, was described by his teachers as ‘a determined young man’. His positive attitude, commitment and determination enabled him to achieve 3 A* grades and a place at Exeter University.
- In Key Stage 4, Culverhill School pupil Jordan Foyle, 17, was awarded for his efforts in terms of an outstanding attitude to learning, while his significant mentoring of other pupils through sports leadership was highlighted. He is described as a ‘very positive role model for others’.
- In Key Stage 3, Sir Bernard Lovell Academy 13-year-old pupil Lottie Johnson’s outstanding contribution to her school and wider community were highlighted. She is described as ‘a model student but, above that, an exceptionally compassionate and dedicated member of the school community.’ When she joined in Year 7, she was already volunteering to support disabled children in swimming classes. Lottie has continued her caring approach, applying for the position of House Captain in Year 8, which she successfully achieved, and then participating fully in all aspects of charity fundraising at the school.
- Teachers and school staff award winners included Downend School’s Caroline Baxter, who was nominated to receive the award on behalf of their Student Support Centre, which was set up in January and has been hugely successful in providing a central point of contact for students and staff for a wide range of pastoral issues. The school said: “The support provided has enabled many of our most vulnerable students to achieve significant success in school.” Hanham Woods Academy’s Elliott Swanton was nominated for his energetic and passionate leadership of their successful Physical Education department, which resulted in excellent examination results in GCSE PE and BTEC Sport. Also, in extra-curricular activities, hundreds of students benefit from his team’s support. The school excels in football and netball, regularly winning county, regional and national competitions.
Certificates and £50 Mall gift vouchers were presented to each award winner by guest speaker, Commonwealth Games gold medallist gymnast and Strictly Come Dancing semi-finalist, Claudia Fragapane.
She was joined on stage by Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Employment Cllr Toby Savage, and representatives from the award sponsors – UWE Bristol, Wessex Water – YTL Group, Airbus and Taylor Wimpey.
Claudia, who trains in Longwell Green, said: “It was fantastic to be part of this celebratory event and so inspiring to hear more about all the academic successes of those attending. The students and teachers have clearly worked really hard and deserve this recognition for their positive efforts.”
Cllr Savage said: “Education standards are one of the Administration’s highest priorities. I am delighted to see this wonderful event return after a four year hiatus to recognise some truly outstanding young people, teachers and staff from across South Gloucestershire as the positive role models they are.
“A massive well done to all our winners this evening, you are a testament to the fact that, whatever level of study you are in, having the right attitude and working hard always pays off.”