Picture the scene: soft light twinkles from suspended glass baubles, a piano tinkles above the warm hum of voices, the scent of a roast dinner wafts conformingly across the room. At circular tables, students and their parents wait in anticipation for proceeding to start. A teacher makes a final adjustment to his waistcoat, another twists her necklace between her fingers. Balloons waft slowly in the rising warm air.

This was the scene that greeted me at the start of the Year 13 Awards Evening last Thursday. It was a very special evening where 25 exceptional Year 13 students gathered with their parents to be recognised for their achievements in sixth form.

Some students were recognised for their academic excellence, others for their resilience and determination, sometimes in the face of extreme challenges. As each prize was awarded and staff spoke about why they were presenting their prize to each student, it was clear that all prize winners were truly exceptional. One member of staff spoke about how she had chosen her winner from a large class of contenders because the student demonstrated not only excellent academic ability, but matched this with an extremely hard-working attitude and a desire to do her very best at all times. Another spoke of how her winner had overcome huge personal challenges and used that experience to support students across the academy facing similar obstacles. It was an absolute pleasure for me to see the passion with which staff spoke about the students in the room and to hear about the marvellous things that those students had achieved.

It was a wonderful evening. I very much hope that you, either as a student or as a parent, have the opportunity to take part in a Year 13 Celebration Evening in the future.

Prize winners were as follows:

Prizes for Academic Subjects

Sport Sophie Price

Applied Science Albany Smith

Fine Art Keira Stewart

Information Technology Maddison Frears

Forensics Millie Lewitt

Level 3 Core Maths Amber Lewitt

Art & Design Karina Slater-Rodwell

Sociology Amber Lewitt

History Sam Lockwood

AS Mathematics Maddi Hawthorne

English Language Benedict McLoughlin

Chemistry Christina Smith

Mathematics Lawrie Walker

Health and Social Care Georgia Hodgson

EPQ Evie Wilson

Biology Katie Kinnear

Further Mathematics Imy Marsh

Psychology Isla Henderson

Business Studies Single Award Sophie Price

Business Studies Double Award Sophie Baille

Product Design Albany Smith

Engineering Luke Pae

Physics Luke Pae

English Literature Lawrie Walker

Geography Emily Nicholl

Media Eve Iona Wilson


Principal’s Award Grace Haggart

Service to the Academy Award Tilly Fillingham

Governors’ Award Sean Looney

Head of Year Award Esme Ashbrook

Head of Year Award Maddi Hawthorne

Head of Sixth Form Award Christina Smith