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King Charles rewards King's Lynn scholars at awards ceremony at Sandringham House





Former students from a West Norfolk school met the King when they visited the Royal Sandringham Estate for an annual prize giving ceremony.

In a tradition dating back to the 19th century, the group of Lynn scholars attended the awards ceremony at Sandringham House, where King Charles III was on hand to hand out the prizes.

Three high achievers from Lynn’s Springwood High School were invited to the event, which took place in the ballroom on January 7.

Simona and Fatima at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Simona and Fatima at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

Each received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Academic Excellence, which was being awarded for the first time since both the pandemic and the death of the Queen.

Andrew Johnson, executive head at Springwood, said: “The prize has been awarded to the school since 1888.

“Two years of prize winners were awarded this year for 2022 and 2023.

Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

“The King met with the prize winners and their families, along with other local prize winners.”

Winner Simona Pilmane, who left Springwood in 2022, achieved A* A-Level grades in Chemistry, EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics, before going on to study Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London.

Graduating in 2023, fellow recipient Fatima Massawi also attained top A-Level results, with A*s in Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry and EPQ, and is currently studying medicine at the University of Manchester.

The third prize winner, 2022 graduate Zara Bek, who is reading Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, matched their achievements with A* grades in Economics, History, Mathematics, Politics, and EPQ.

Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

Miss Pilmane and Miss Massawi were both given their awards by the King, while Miss Bek, who was unable to attend the ceremony, later received her prize from Mr Johnson at Springwood.

Mr Johnson said: “This is an incredibly important event for the school.

“We are proud that the King has chosen to present this prize to our highest-performing student each year.”

Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Simona and Fatima with Andy Johnson, Executive Head at Springwood at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Simona and Fatima with Andy Johnson, Executive Head at Springwood at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
Queen Elizabeth Prize Presentation at Sandringham House. Credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

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