Wednesday night saw education heroes from across Peterborough being honoured at the ET’s 10th Education Awards. Here HANNAH GRAY gives a full report on the events of the evening, and the winners.
The awards, held at the city’s Key Theatre, were opened by Peterborough Young Musician of the Year Toby Hession, who performed trumpet and cornet solos, and were rounded off by a stirring performance of Defying Gravity, by talented Peterborough singer Elizabeth Watts.
In between, some of the most remarkable pupils, teachers and support staff in the city were rewarded for their hard work and dedication.
It was an exciting evening, with much cheering from the audience, and some really delighted children made their way to the front to claim their prizes.
The theatre was packed with award nominees, family members and staff representing the awards’ sponsors.
One of these was John Chillcott, the chief executive of Anglia Co-operative, which sponsored two awards.
He said: “We have sponsored these awards for a number of years, and we continually support education in Peterborough.
“It’s absolutely vital to businesses that we have enthusiastic, well-educated young people coming through.”
ET editor Mark Edwards closed the awards ceremony, and said that it had been a “humbling experience” for the audience.
He added: “This evening is a real testament to the great work that goes on in Peterborough’s education community.”
The award winners:
Environment Award – sponsored by Parent Mail:
Winner: Eye Primary School
THE children at the school have worked really hard to achieve their Silver Eco School Award.
They have done this by developing their class allotments, looking after the school hens and chickens, monitoring how much waste they produce, and much more.
Heather Revell, a Year 6 teacher and the school’s eco committee leader, said: “It means a huge amount to us to win this award. The children have worked so hard for the last couple of years, and it’s something we’re working on every single day. to have it recognised is fantastic.”
Support Staff Award – sponsored by ChromaSport:
Winner: Carol Costello, St John’s Church School, Orton Goldhay
CAROL has worked tirelessly and selflessly as a dinner lady, cleaner and caretaker for 26 years at the school.
During that time she has always put 110 per cent into everything she has done, sometimes sacrificing her own personal time to be available for anything that is requested of her.
As the school year ends, Carol will be retiring.
After picking up her award, Carol admitted that she was “shaking”.
“The school’s my life,” she said. “I’ll by crying my eyes out next week when I retire. It’s not like a school, it’s like one big family. everybody supports one another from the top down to the bottom.”
Please note – in yesterday’s ET we listed the wrong person as the winner in this category, and would like to apologise for any confusion caused.
Outstanding sporting achievement – sponsored by Peterborough Regional College:
Winner: Simi Pam, the King’s School
Simi will be familiar to ET readers, as we have recently been charting her huge success in athletics.
While also working hard at her studies, Simi has excelled in shot putt, winning third in the girls’ under 17 category at the British Indoor Championship.
She has qualified for English schools, and is the champion record holder for Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and East Anglia.
At just 15 years old, she is the second ranked under 17 in the country.
She said: “I’m really surprised to have won this award because there are lots of people who have really great achievements as well, such as England and Great Britain selections.
“I think there was no clear winner. I didn’t really expect to get it, but I’m really happy.”
Design and Technology Award – sponsored by University Centre Peterborough:
Winner: Zuber Khan, of the Thomas Deacon Academy
ZUBER is an A-level pupil, who has a clear vision with respect to his vocation.
His passion to become an engineer has been evident from an early age, and he has always shown great potential and determination with his design and technology work.
This investment and accumulation of skills and knowledge culminated in his final year project, when Zuber developed a portable wind turbine, which included a self-contained energy storage device with inbuilt charging stations.
After picking up his award, Zuber said: “I’m very happy and excited. It was quite nerve-wracking. it’s the best thing that’s happened so far.”
Best pupil aged 11 to 16 – sponsored by Anglia Co-operative:
Winner: Francine Anderson, Thomas Deacon Academy
FRANCINE has always put 100 per cent into her studies, and is currently on track to receive an astonishing nine A* grades and five A grades at GCSE level.
Her tutor has noted in reports that she has never gained an effort level below the maximum available.
In addition to her academia, Francine plays for the school’s hockey, netball, rounders and athletics teams. She was nominated by her school because, despite all of these commitments, she still finds time to give something back to the school, mentoring younger pupils with their maths work.
Francine is currently in Spain, so her brother, Jonathan, collected the award on her behalf. He pledged to text her to let her know the good news, and said she would be “delighted”.
The Arts Award – sponsored by Peterborough City Council:
Winner: Jamie Cunningham, from the King’s School, and Charlotte Barlow and Shivani Patel, from the Thomas Deacon Academy
BECAUSE of the high standard of entries for this award, the judges decided that Jamie, Charlotte and Shivani should be joint winners.
Jamie, who is in Year 9, has gone from never acting, singing or dancing before to getting a starring role in the school production of Oliver! and then two roles in the West End production of the musical.
Shivani and Charlotte are best friends ,who have both demonstrated an outstanding ability at art.
They have produced the best quality paintings the school has ever seen by pupils.
A smiling Jamie told the ET: “It’s overwhelming. I can’t believe it. it’s brilliant.”
Meanwhile, Charlotte and Shivani remained modest, admitting to being very surprised to have been named joint winners among the talents of the other finalist.
Charlotte said: “Jamie’s really good; he’s come really far for his age.”
Support for pupils with special needs – sponsored by the Key Theatre/Vivacity. :
Winner: Monica Dowland, Fulbridge Primary School
MONICA is a specialist teaching assistant for a deaf child and works tirelessly not just for that child, but for others in Dryden class.
She spends much of her own time making visual resources, and also organises and runs extra spelling groups to support learning.
Monica took two pupils from Dryden class along with her to the awards – Ethan Hagger and Kelsey Walton – and both youngsters were highly excited to see Monica pick up her prize.
She said: “I just feel I represent every other teaching assistant who does this job. I’ve had a fantastic time at Fulbridge School. they just include me in everything, even though I work for the Sensory Support Service.”
Best pupil aged four to 10 – sponsored by Royal Mail:
Winner: Kayla Abbott-Strong, Longthorpe Primary School
AGED just seven years old, in one school year Kayla has achieved a terrific five levels of reading, increasing from a level three to an exceptional level eight.
She has been noted for her outstanding handwriting and commended by her school with a certificate of achievement for great effort with her studies at home and in class.
After picking up her award, Kayla said she was “happy and excited”.
Best school or pupil contribution to the community – sponsored by Anglia Co-operative:
Winner: Voyage to Hollywood Community Cinema Group
THIS is a community cinema that is run for the community by community members and school staff and pupils.
It is open to everyone, aims to show films at an affordable cost, will show new and classic films, and will eventually provide somewhere for the community to gather together.
As well as staff and pupils, it is supported by a community cinema group, and everyone involved gives up a lot of their own time.
The group were highly excited to have won the award.
Louise Hill, head of community arts and extended schools, said: “I’m really proud and pleased because it shows the recognition and appreciation of the community for the time the group puts in.”
Outstanding Teacher Award – sponsored by Fusion:
Winner: Samantha Webb, Dogsthorpe Junior School
SAMANTHA is a calm and caring teacher who shows great respect to all the pupils she comes across and, in return, the pupils truly respect her.
She was nominated for the award by her pupils and their parents, and the ET received many touching comments about her hard work.
Pupil Savio Varghese said: “She has helped me to become a gentleman and a better person.
“Her warm smile always brightens my day. She is the best teacher I have had.”
Samantha was left emotional on hearing the comments from parents and pupils.
“I haven’t heard the things the parents and children had said so it was amazing, I can’t believe that at all,” she said.