We take a look at all the winners and runners up in fourteen categories that our schools have excelled in.
Where better to celebrate the magnificent work of the Fylde coast’s schools and young people than in the grand surroundings of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom?
The Gazette celebrated its biggest ever Education Awards in the venue on Tuesday evening, welcoming hundreds of guests to celebrate winners across 14 categories.
The breadth of work undertaken by these winners, often going without praise, was both moving and inspiring.
The glitzy ceremony included budding performers from Blackpool and The Fylde College and guest appearances from Madame Tussauds figures Cheryl Cole, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.
This was made possible by BAE Systems, Blackpool and The Fylde College and each of the category sponsors.
Andy Iredale, director of student recruitment, support and guidance at the college, said: “The college works closely with all local schools and we are lucky enough to see first-hand much of the positive work that inspires and motivates pupils to succeed.
“By working together, we can raise aspirations of pupils on the Fylde coast and enable them to realise their full potential.”
Representatives from the sponsors joined the Mayors and Mayoresses of Blackpool and Wyre, along with proud parents, siblings and colleagues to cheer on the winners.
A BAE Systems spokesman said: “We take our responsibilities to investing in our young people seriously.
“Celebrating the success of all those involved in education is crucial if we are to continue to create a thriving future for the area and these awards are an excellent example of how we do that.”
YOUNG SCIENTIST/ENGINEER AWARD
Robert Heaton - Fleetwood High School
It was perhaps one of the most touching moments of the Education Awards ceremony when Robert Heaton’s proud dad cheered on his son.
The 14-year-old is The Gazette’s first ever winner of the Young Scientist/Engineer Award.
And future winners could well be his schoolmates from Fleetwood High School, as Robert works with and mentors in his school’s science clubs at lunchtimes to pass on his knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject.
It was this, as well as his academic achievements and work as an ambassador for the science department, that so impressed judges from BAE Systems - the same place Robert hopes to one day land a career.
The Year 10 pupil said: “It was exciting.
“I think having the award will give me an added bonus and it’s something to add to my CV. It’s definitely an accolade.”
Delighted pupils from Park School stormed the stage when it was announced they had won the Sustainable School Award.
The proud youngsters were over the moon to know the hard work of their eco team and their work with other schools was recognised in the Education Awards.
The school off Whitegate Drive has come up with ways to maintain and promote eco challenges, constantly pursues its ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ strategy and has a Legacy Garden.
Eco co-ordinator Donna Irving said: “The school is delighted to have won the award.
“The children have put in so much hard work in so many areas and we’ve got a great staff team, we’re all in it together.”
And pupil Ben Miller, 12, said: “It was about winning a trophy for helping the planet.”
It has also won a Civic Trust Award, Eco School of the Year and a Wipe Out Waste Award and achieved Green Flag status.
Sunhil Gohil - St George’s High School
Sunny by name, Sunny by nature - the 2013 Inspirational Teacher winner has lit up St George’s CE School, Marton.
Sunny Gohil received his accolade to rapturous applause from his colleagues, after the awards received numerous nominations for the maths teacher.
It comes at the end of a difficult time for Mr Gohil.
After a year hard at work with his pupils Mr Gohil found out in July that he had a seven centimetre brain tumour.
After a 12 and a half hour operation and a spell recovering in hospital, Mr Gohil was discharged on August 20.
Two days later he found out his pupils had achieved the school’s highest GCSE maths grades and the best scores across Blackpool.
Colleagues, pupils and parents alike agree he is an inspiration. He said: “I’m over the moon for the children. The only reason I’ve got this award is for them and for my wife as well.”
“I’m extremely pleased to have won. It’s not often you get congratulated for your work.”
Sam Baruca - Millfield College
Sam Baruca is used to winning.
In just two years the 16-year-old has fought his way to the top, being named a world champion kick boxer having a record of 20 fights with 17 wins and just three losses.
So it seemed right for the Millfield pupil to win the Sports Achievement Award.
Sam said: “I’m proud of myself for winning and all the hard work. It’s kind of the same feeling as winning a fight.
“Winning a world title is probably the best achievement I’ve got so far, winning Sports Achievement for Blackpool feels the same.
“It’s nice people recognise me outside of my sport now.”
The Year 11 pupil follows a relentless training programme as well as keeping on top of his studies, which includes having completed a BTEC Level Two in Sports, and finding time to represent his school in athletics, football and basketball too.
Cardinal Allen - High School
The Education Awards this year launched a new category to celebrate the excellent work schools do to teach outside of the classroom.
The Educational Tours award recognised schools that work to give children new opportunities on school trips, whether within the Fylde coast or further afield.
Winners Cardinal Allen Catholic High School took pupils to Calcutta, India, in October.
The teenagers were immersed in Indian culture, living with families and attending school, as well as visiting Mother Teresa’s house.
Teacher Andrew Harding said: “I’m very proud to have won, it just capped off what was a great and successful trip.”
Pupils from the school on Melbourne Avenue, Fleetwood, developed strong bonds with their Indian counterparts and learned lessons for life while on the trip.
He added: “I think the more we learn about other cultures the more we understand about our own, it helps us to become better people.”
Stuart Ronson - St Aidan’s
St Aidan’s CE Technology College thinks Stuart Ronson is blooming marvellous.
His efforts as the groundsman of the school on Cartgate, Preesall, led it to win the Wyre In Bloom school category award.
And now he has been honoured himself, winning the Unsung Hero Award, seeing off competition thanks to text votes sent in by admiring colleagues, pupils and parents.
The school’s headteacher Andy Smith said: “Stuart is very happy to have won the award and have that recognition.
“It’s thoroughly deserved - our grounds are different to any other school’s.
“He inspires an interest in his area of things but the other thing is more subtle; because it looks so nice the children take good care of the grounds and we all work harder in a happy environment.”
Unity Academy pupils have the world at their feet thanks to the efforts of their teachers.
The Blackpool school won the Education Award’s new category, Career Aspiration, after impressing judges with its hard work.
The school on Warbreck Hill Drive holds a careers week for all pupils, from juniors to seniors, to look at career paths.
And its Year 10 classes visited a career convention in Manchester looking at higher education providers and specific employment sectors.
The range of options open to teenagers after school are shown to them, including through an apprenticeship guidance company ‘Not Going Uni’ to advise youngsters on a handy mobile app.
INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Highfurlong Special School
While most people might not be able to imagine communicating without technology such as iPads and Twitter, children at Highfurlong Special School would be completely lost without their state-of-the-art technology.
The school’s use of inclusive technology in classrooms has already won it the Ace ICT Award and the Third Millenium Award for ICT, and now the Innovation in Technology Award at The Gazette’s awards.
Using a range of technologies children at the school on Blackpool Old Road can demonstrate their skills, join discussions and access learning.
Teaching assistant Nichola Gall was particularly praised in nominations: ‘Without her support students’ learning would be hindered.’
She said: “I’m so proud of the students and the school.
“Alot of our children can’t use writing or talking so they need to be given tools.
“They have to work so hard to get over everyday barriers, they’ve all achieved so much.”
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Mereside Primary School
For all the work Mereside School’s staff do for their pupils it seemed only right to celebrate their efforts in the Education Awards.
The school’s dedicated Pupil Welfare Team was named winner in the Health and Wellbeing Award category after three years of hard work.
Its team members support children through social and emotional crises, implement safeguarding and behaviour mentors ensure the children succeed in class.
Headteacher Sue Diver said: “We are very proud, it’s recognition for all the hard work.
“The team is like a safety net really.
“I think it’s very important because children have to have that support for things that are going on in their personal lives before they can succeed in their work. The awards were a really special event and it made the team feel quite special.”
Millie Hansford - Cardinal Allen
Remember the name Millie Hansford, you could well be going to see her perform in the West End in the future.
The passionate performer won the Creative Arts Award after impressing judges with her commitment to and flair in performing arts.
She has already been honoured once for her outstanding commitment and performances in drama at school and winning in the Tower Ballroom was another glitzy moment for the teenager. The 15-year-old said: “It was amazing. And being in the ballroom on the night made the awards feel quite prestigious.
“It really made me feel better about myself and confident in my ability.”
Millie, a pupil at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School, Fleetwood, founded her school’s theatre company, BRAVO, and is one of just three girls at the secondary to appear in every school show.
PRIMARY SCHOOL OF THE YEAR
Pilling St John’s CE Primary School
“We’re a small school with big ideas.”
It’s this ethos that has seen Pilling St John’s CE Primary School named Primary School of the Year in the 2013 Education Awards.
Headteacher Pauline Tate said: “We were very excited to win, it was a nice suprise just to be nominated.”
Nominations for the school on Fluke Hall Lane, Pilling, were full of praise for its work not only in core subjects but also in music, science, archaeology, sustainability and Fair Trade.
And the school won a gold medal in the Wyre Council Chairman’s Challenge.
Mrs Tate added: “I feel passionately that the children should achieve really well in English and maths but have a breadth of curriculum. I think we should send a well rounded person out.
“It’s the things that you get this award for that make a difference and it’s nice for someone to recognise that.
“And the children have worked so hard, a prize like this makes them more keen to carry on.”
SECONDARY SCHOOL OF THE YEAR
Hodgson Academy, Poulton
It’s all about sharing at Hodgson Academy.
Its title as Secondary School of the Year in The Gazette’s Education Awards is an accolade to be shared equally between students, staff and parents, said proud principal Toni Roethling
And the very work that inspired its nomination and win is now being shared with other schools across the Fylde coast. She said: “I was so pleased to win. Our students will be very proud.”
Hodgson Academy, on Moorland Road in Poulton, spearheads the Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance, meaning it works with other academies, schools and sixth forms in the area.
Ms Roethling added: “We hope by the work we do all children across the Fylde coast will get an outstanding education.”
It was nominated for the prestigious award following a record year for GCSE results, with 84 per cent of pupils achieving five A*-C GCSE grades, and the school ranking nationally in the Department for Education schools performance tables.
PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPIL OF THE YEAR
Charlotte Rossall - Fleetwood Charity Primary School, Preesall
Charlotte Rossall’s story is a sweet one in many ways.
The kind-hearted youngster was named Primary School Pupil of the Year at The Gazette’s awards after impressing judges with her heart-warming work for charity.
While at Fleetwood Charity Primary School the 11-year-old set up a charity appeal, inviting friends to ‘adopt a Tic Tac’ for 50p in order to raise funds for a leukaemia charity.
It was the plight of seven-year-old Jessica Pinder, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in February and has undergone extensive chemotherapy, that inspired Charlotte. She said: “When I heard about Jessica I decided to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. I came up with the idea which they all thought was mad at first.”
But she has single-handedly raised more than £140 so far. Now a pupil at St Aidan’s CE Technology College Charlotte shows no sign of slowing down.
She added: “I am thinking of a new idea right now. I was very surprised when I heard my name read out. I couldn’t believe I’d won such an amazing award. Now that it’s sunk in I feel really proud of myself and what I’ve achieved.”
SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPIL OF THE YEAR
Lydia Lake - Hodgson Academy
It’s a wonder there’s enough hours in the day for Lydia Lake to be excelling academically when she’s working on her student council, raising money for charity and representing her community.
But it’s all well worth it the 16-year-old has said, especially since they’ve led her to be named Secondary School Pupil of the Year for the Education Awards 2013.
The former Hodgson Academy pupil was nominated for her tireless work, which also includes being deputy chairman of Poulton Parliament.
She said: “It was amazing to win and be recognised for all the things I’ve done. It was a nice suprise in a gorgeous venue.”
Now studying at Blackpool Sixth Form Lydia hopes the award will help her on her way to university and a successful career.
She added: “It’s something that will be extra sparkle to my CV or a UCAS application.”