Olympics theme marks school’s awards to its talented students

JPCT 270412 Steyning Grammar School Sixth Form awards. Top award winners L to R Jos Knowles 17, Izzy Smith 17 and Hester Gill 17. Photo Derek Martin

JPCT 270412 Steyning Grammar School Sixth Form awards. Top award winners L to R Jos Knowles 17, Izzy Smith 17 and Hester Gill 17. Photo Derek Martin

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ACHIEVEMENTS of sixth formers in many different spheres were marked at the annual Reflections Assembly at Steyning Grammar School on Friday last week, when awards were presented in nine different categories.

This year the occasion took on an Olympic theme, with a locally made cake in the form of a 2012 Gold Medal, which bore the not only the Olympic motto but also the school’s vision of ‘Every Student The Best They Can Be’. Medals were also awarded under nine enterprise skills.

Winners of the Leadership Award who received limited edition Olympic London 2012 coins were head boy and head girl, George Hall and Bethany Richards, along with deputies Rosella Whitehead and Boni Babel. They all agreed that one of the highlights of their year had been the school’s Jailbreak event in December, which had raised more than £6,000 for charity and involved the entire sixth form.

The Paul Holt Memorial Sculpture, one of three memorial awards, was awarded to Isabelle Smith (17) of Henfield in recognition of her outstanding art work, presented by head teacher Chris Taylor. Performance representing the school in football as a centre forward and mid-field player, earned Joss Knowles (18) of Steyning, the Gary Reeve Memorial Cup, while Hester Gill (17) of Thakeham received the Tim Roberts Memorial Cup for achievements in dance. She has achieved a place at the famous Laban Dance Conservatoire in London.

Further awards for outstanding achievement in sport went to: Sam Aviss, Georgia Tysall Blay, Mike Sherwin, Jonathan Dungay, Alex Gathern, Piers McDermott and Jess Cusdin.

In the Commitment category. Laura Allen (16) of Lancing, who is in her first year in the sxith form, was presented with a Millennium Trust prize of £250 for her outstanding commitment to the wider life of the college and for exceeding academic expectations.

“ I was shocked and very moved to win the award. I received it not only for my performance in French, sociology and English but also for inspiring students to be positive, no matter what happens in life. I have had a few bumps along the road because my grandmother died and I was very close to her,” she said.

Fellow students had described her dedication after this bereavement as ‘inspiring’.

Laura added: “ I was shocked to receive the £250 Millennium Award. It is the sentimental value rather than the money- though I will use it towards university,” she said.

Team working awards were received by Tim Williams and Merlin Williams who have successfully completed the full Gold Programme in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.

Decision making awards went to Model United Nations students Sam Day, Isabelle Hudson and Anisha Gosh following their first year of the International Baccalaureate while a Young enterprise Company of 11 young entrepreneurs received the Innovation Award. They had designed, created and sold an educational mat that could be drawn on and wiped clean.They were: Lara Wilson, Obaya Dralega, George Spiller, Hannah Wallce, Millie Brokenrow, Anna Burton, Emily Rolfe, Sophie Heskewth, Jon Hamley, Sam Plowman and Naief Al-Shibli.

The school’s sixth form has become renowned for its charity fundraising efforts, which go well beyond the annual Jailbreak. Anthony Njoku and Ellie Young received the Risk-Taking Award for co-organising a highly successful Gala Night, which raised money for Sports Relief, the Steyning Greening Campaign and Sussex Air Ambulance.

At the assembly, the head boy and girl presented cheques to chosen charities, for which more than £12,200 had been raised. These included Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Trust, Malawi School Appeal, Steyning Greening Campaign, Sussex Air Ambulance, Breast Cancer and BEAT eating disorders.

The school’s debating team of Evie Breese, Seb Cox, Lauren Haines and Antoine Vagneur-Jones, which won the local regional final of Debating Matters and were runners up in the regional final, received a speciual award for their success.

Mrs Sally Randall, director of the Sixth Form College and assistant head referred to the Olympic Creed- “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought hard.”

She added: “Our Reflections Assembly 2012 has evidence just how well our students have fought to be the best they can. They have done much to be proud of.”