Last Friday night Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield was filled with the overwhelming sound of cheers and applause as over 50 pupils and staff were recognised at United Learning’s annual Best in Everyone Awards.
The Best in Everyone Awards, which for the first year celebrated the achievements of both the Group’s primary and secondary schools on the same evening, recognise the talents, achievements and dedication of pupils and staff across the country.
Over 400 nominations had been received giving the judging panel a difficult task of narrowing down the winners. After much deliberation, the panel, which comprised members of United Learning’s Executive and Senior Team, chose to award the Group’s most hard-working, committed and enthusiastic pupils and staff.
As well as a host of subject-specific awards, there were awards that celebrated and rewarded the most inspirational, diligent and dedicated students and staff. These included Young Hero of the Year, Leadership and Service Awards and the coveted Pupil of the Year and School Leader of the Year Awards.
During the spectacular awards ceremony, which saw the delighted winners collect their awards from Group Chief Executive Sir Jon Coles and Chair of United Learning Trust, Nigel Robson, there were performances from the winners of the Music Awards. Kettering Buccleuch Academy’s Alicja Kwiecen and Accrington Academy’s Thomas Pickup both gave moving and impressive performances demonstrating why they were worthy winners of the award. The guests were also treated to a wonderful performance from Stockport Academy’s Choir which won Team of the Year in 2018.
Sir Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning, said:
“United Learning schools across the country share a common aim to provide a rich and meaningful education for all our pupils to bring out ‘the best in everyone’. Across our group, there are countless examples of young people and members of staff doing exceptional things academically, musically, on sports fields, in the performing arts and in their communities.
“These awards celebrate our ethos of ambition, confidence, creativity, determination, enthusiasm, respect and those who most embody these qualities. Of the hundreds of worthy nominees selected by their schools, tonight we celebrate those young people and colleagues who have achieved the most, made the greatest progress and inspired others.”
Head Teacher of Langford Primary Seamus Gibbons, who was named School Leader of the Year, said:
“I am honoured and humbled to receive this award. The entire Langford Primary community has played an important role in driving Langford forward and it has been a privilege to lead the school during the transformation. We have fantastic pupils, staff and parents at Langford and I know that together we can continue to make improvements and reach even greater heights.”
Goresbrook School teacher Laura Birdsey, who picked up the Primary NQT of the Year Award, said:
“I am absolutely over the moon and feel extremely honoured and privileged to have been nominated, let alone receive this award. Although it has been a challenging year, I have loved every single minute and could not have done it without my wonderful students and the support of everyone at Goresbrook School, especially my amazing Year 2 team. I knew I had made the right decision choosing to complete my NQT year with United Learning and I’m excited to see what the future holds within the trust.”
There was also special recognition of the Chair of United Learning Trust (ULT) Nigel Robson who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Nigel, who was appointed to the ULT Board in 2010, became Chair in July 2014. As well as serving on a number of Committees, Nigel is heavily involved in many of the Group’s schools in the North including Richard Rose Morton, Barnsley and The Hyndburn Academies. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognised Nigel’s significant contribution to the Group and to children’s education.