On Friday 5 July, United Learning held its first ever Best in Everyone Awards to recognise the achievements of its students and staff.
Hosted by Surbiton High School, the evening saw students from across the Group’s schools pick up awards for outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements including:
Sports Team of the Year;
Young Hero’s Award;
Pupil of the Year.
There were also subject-based awards for students in Years 7 to 9 and Years 10 to 13.
The Best in Everyone Awards were launched in the Autumn Term of 2012 when staff across all of the Group’s schools were invited to nominate their students for the awards. Over 450 nominations were received by the judging panel which comprised:
Jon Coles – Group Chief Executive
Charlotte Rendle-Short – Managing Director – Independent Schools
Andy Buck – Managing Director – Academies
Lord Carey – President of United Learning
The judging panel then had the arduous task of considering all the nominations and choosing the winners. The finalists travelled to Surbiton for the black tie awards ceremony where the winners were presented with their prestigious trophies.
In all, there were almost 70 winners including:
Surbiton High School’s Gymnastics Team who were named Sports Team of the Year in the Years 10 to 13 category;
Midhurst Rother College student Tiffany Underdown who won the Charitable Endeavour Award in the Years 7 to 9 category;
Accrington Academy’s Vocal Adrenaline group who won the Team Work Award in the Years 10 to 13 category.
Commenting on Vocal Adrenaline’s success, Accrington Academy student Ellie Meadowcroft said:
‘It was interesting to meet other people and be a part of the ceremony. We feel really lucky and proud to have won the award.’
However, it was not just about the students; there were also three award categories for staff:
For a full list of winners, click here.
As well as the award presentations, guests at the ceremony were treated to musical performances from students at Accrington Academy and Surbiton High School. They also heard from two guest speakers; ex-Premier League footballer and BBC presenter, Stewart Castledine and British Olympic skier, Chemmy Alcott delivered inspirational speeches in which they encouraged students to aim high and work hard to achieve their dreams.
Accrington Academy teacher, Louise Davenport, said:
‘It was a fantastic opportunity for all the students to perform and share their success with other students and staff from across United Learning. Being part of such a prestigious event really supports the students in feeling proud of their achievements and enabled them to feel part of something very special.’
Group Chief Executive Jon Coles said:
‘As a Group with a mission to bring out 'the best in everyone', it is very important that we take the opportunity to recognise and celebrate those who contribute the most to making this statement a reality.
‘Each term in our schools, we see some remarkable achievements by our students – in the classroom, on the sports field, in the performing arts and across the academic and enrichment curriculum.
‘Behind every student success is the support and commitment of staff, coaches, mentors, producers, leaders and teachers. This is why we have introduced the Best in Everyone Awards; to recognise and reward exceptional performance by students and staff alike.’
Ann Haydon, Principal of Surbiton High School, which hosted the Awards, said:
‘It seems fitting that the first awards evening should take place at Surbiton High School, the founding school of United Learning.
‘All our schools share a common aim to provide outstanding education for our pupils and to bring out 'the best in everyone'. These awards are a perfect opportunity to recognise and reward young people educated at United Learning schools for their performance, perseverance and participation and to acknowledge the dedication, professionalism and inspiration that is offered by our staff.’