The unstinting efforts put in by West Norfolk’s dedicated pupils and hardworking teachers over the last year were honoured during the third Lynn News Education Awards.
Youngsters and staff from primary and secondary schools “made some noise” during last week’s glittering ceremony in LynnSport.
Hundreds of people gathered in the Sandringham Suite on Wednesday evening to celebrate the achievements of schools during the awards, which are held in association with Learning Resources, which is based in Bergen Way, Lynn.
Editor Mark Leslie, who hosted the awards, said: “The quality of nominations was inspiring and the opportunity as a community newspaper to say ‘well done’ to staff and pupils for everything they are achieving felt so rewarding.”
Learning Resources head of marketing and communications Claire Johnston started the evening by saying how proud she was to support the Pre-School of the Year Award.
Buttercups Pre-School, Little Discoverers West Norfolk and the Phoenix Montessori Nursery were nominated.
But the award went to Little Discoverers.
Chairman Katie Fisher said: “This is amazing and fantastic. It really boosts our determination to keep going.
“The management group is entirely voluntary and this celebrates all the hard work which goes into the group.”
In presenting the Pre-School Staff Award, Tara Rye, from Planet Zoom, shared how her life was changed by a caring teaching staff member.
The award was presented to Hannah Clark, who until recently worked at Clenchwarton Pre-School.
She said: “I would like to say thank you. The pre-school was a huge part of my life for 18 years. It is hard work but we do it for the children, who are lovely.
“I did not think for a moment that I would win.”
Runners-up were Katie Adams, of Terrington Community School, and The Phoenix Montessori Nursery.
The Environmental Award was presented by Julian Beresford-Peirse, of Dow Chemical, who stressed the importance for future generations to understand nature.
Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery School, North Wootton Community Primary and Tilney St Lawrence Primary School.
The award went to Fairstead and was collected by teacher Glen Rossiter and eight-year-old Charlie Hammond.
Mr Rossiter said: “The credit should go to the children, who came up with the idea of a fountain.”
The Contribution to the Community Award, which was sponsored by West Norfolk Council, was presented by leader Nick Daubney.
James Bamford and the Year 9 Citizenship Class, both from King Edward VII Academy were nominated along with Sandringham and West Newton School.
But the primary school’s dedication to remember the West Norfolk men who fought and died in the First World War won the award.
Former headteacher Alexis Brand collected the award with Hugo Barker and nine-year-old Nathan Taylor and project historian Neil Storey.
Hugo, 11, said: “We put so much effort into the project.”
Mrs Brand added: “Our school is on Sandringham estate and the men probably went there as children. It is important that the children know about their history.”
Alive Leisure sponsored the Student of the Year Award, which was presented by Elizabeth Nockolds.
Jasmine Long, of Downham Academy, Lucy Edwards of Sacred Heart Convent School were nominated but the winner was Belinda Clark, from KES.
Sixth-former Belinda, 16, who achieved 10 A* GCSE grades in the summer, said: “I am quite surprised to win and it means a lot. I was completely overwhelmed with my GCSE grades.”
The Most Improved Student of the Year Award supported by the College of West Anglia Trust.
Principal David Pomfret announced the nominees were: Sanija Vilkaste from Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery, South Wootton Junior School pupil Joseph Barnes and Jessica Cooper, of Walpole Cross Keys Primary School.
Winner 10-year-old Jessica said: “It is very shocking and surprising. I’m really glad I won.”
D&H Coaches sponsored the Support Staff Award, which was presented by the Lynn News’ David Dixon.
Sandra Harvey, from KES, was named award winner over fellow nominees Lee McCowen from King’s Lynn Academy and Glenn Russell of St Edmunds Community Foundation School.
Mrs Harvey, who has been working at the school since 1977, said: “I am very honoured and proud to receive this award.”
Sponsor Gordon Chilvers, of Double G Clothing, presented the Outstanding Sporting Achievement award.
Assistant Principal Chris Teanby and Mitchell Crown,15, picked up the prize on behalf of the Year 10 Football Team at KES.
Mr Teanby said: “It is a great achievement and a lot of team work went in. They had been through some hard times but it was a great experience for the boys to come from behind and then go onto win.”
Runners-up were Dominic Carter, of KES, and Riley Bell from St Martin at Shouldham Primary School.
Jason Brewer, from Reffley Community School, Runcton Holme teacher Ashley Cawley and Sue White, of The Norman Primary School, were all nominated into the Most Inspirational Teacher (Primary) award.
Laura Bell, from sponsor Strikes Bowling, presented the award to Mrs White, who said she had been proud to be nominated.
She said: “It is wonderful to know that I have made a difference to the children and that is why I do the job.”
The Most Inspirational Teacher (Secondary) award was sponsored by Beds of Paradise and Living in Paradise.
Jamie McGuffog and Terry Hills, who gave a very entertaining speech, presented the award to Anton Modica from St Clements High School.
Mr Modica said: “I am shocked but very proud. We don’t do it for this kind of thing. We do it to help the children be ready for the world. But this is lovely.”
Runners-up were Ian Gooda, from Downham Academy, and Andy Arndt, of St Clements.
Scott Richardson, from Pandora Books took to the stage to present one of the headline awards for the evening, Primary School of the Year.
Nominees were Fairstead Community Primary, Magdalen Village School and Whitefriars Primary Academy.
But it was Whitefriar’s headteacher Matthew Tuckwood and his team who took the spoils.
Mr Tuckwood said: “We are overwhelmed. I am very proud of being the head of such an amazing school. The staff are dedicated, the governors give so much of their time and the parents are supportive.
“This is our first big award.”
The College of West Anglia supported the other headline award, Secondary School of the Year.
Director of partnerships Mark Reavell announced the nominees were: KES, Springwood High School and St Clement’s High School.
The winner was St Clement’s
Headteacher Nigel Willingham said: “It is a great boost for all staff to know their hard work has been so publically recognised. We are very proud of our school and very proud to win the award. We have fantastic students and we have received great support from parents. “Thanks must go to the West Norfolk Academy Trust for the support and challenge they have provided”
Award judges were former headteachers Marika Mears and Michael Foot along with Hannah Gargen of Learning Resources, and Allister Webb and David Dixon, from the Lynn News.