An academy has marked the end of its first decade with a celebration for students and staff, past and present.
Bede Academy, in Blyth, opened in September 2009 and its tenth year has included a royal visit and the arrival of a new principal.
This year’s annual Presentation Day, hosted by students Neve McNally, Tabby Carling and Lucy Wilkinson, provided an opportunity for the whole academy, guests and parents to look back over the past ten years of success and achievement.
Highlights included students becoming ambassadors for the Holocaust Memorial Trust, voluntary work at Nokuphila school for vulnerable children in South Africa, taking part in Prom Praise at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004, the Emmanuel Schools Foundation annual ‘Olympics’ and Business Game and German school twinning.
The academy’s founding principal Gwyneth Evans returned as guest speaker and told the students they were benefiting from an exceptional education that encouraged them to develop their character, fulfil their potential and contribute in service to their community.
She said every one was unique and had a life of significance and special gifts.
“You will have challenges, embrace them,” she said. “Failure and disappointments happen to us all but going through these difficulties makes us stronger. When difficult things happen, be the most positive person in the room, see the possibilities and solutions. It can be difficult to see your way through but believe you can; hope will bring creativity.”
As special guest, Miss Evans presented prizes to students across the year groups in between entertainment by the academy orchestra, Bede South and Bede Combined Choirs and grade eight pianist Jack Beall.
Star performers from the academy’s alumni – Ashleigh Charlton, Olivia Byrom, Olivia Logan – and current student Joanna Swainston took to the stage for a medley of songs taken from popular musicals performed at Bede over the past decade including Les Miserables and The Sound of Music.
The celebration concluded with the presentation of the House Cup, which went to Cuthbert for the first time ever, and special prizes.
The award for Outstanding Academic Achievement was presented to Haneen Al-ghazawi, 17, who joined Bede from her home country of Syria in 2018.
Principal Andrew Thelwell told the audience she had shown “outstanding motivation” in the build up to her GCSEs and never shied away from work to achieve her goals.
“She is a fine role model for young students and has supported Syrian students, making their transition as smooth as possible and often acting as translator,” he added.
Cory Davison, 15, who suffered a brain tumour when he was six and has undergone so many operations he has lost count, was honoured with the Founders Award for Outstanding Student of the Year.
Mr Thelwell said: “Cory is an inspiration to us all. He has shown great courage and determination and is as comfortable rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous as he is working with vulnerable young people in his many charitable pursuits.
“He comes to school every day with a smile on his face and his cheery disposition has had a positive effect on all of us he meets. He is incredibly popular with all his peers and staff. He is a comedian, a budding entrepreneur, a chef, a politician and an all-round nice person to be with.”
The Founding Principal’s Award for Outstanding Character went to Jack Beall who “has made Bede a better place to be with his contribution”.
Mr Thelwell added: “His GCSE results were among the best in his year group and he has been an ever-present helper in the music and audio visual departments for school productions and concerts, as well as regularly playing piano in assembly.
“He has taken much from life at the academy and paid it back in full through his commitment and willingness to go the extra mile.”
Primary years academic awards: Thomas Wormwell (French), Isaac Neave (homework), Charlotte Lamb (literacy), William Potts (mathematics), Ashton Glover (music), Louie Graham (best progress).
Academic Excellence awards: Alysse Clough, Max Elliott, Leah Johnson, Charlotte Penman, Phoebe Harrison, Liam Burns, Andrew Cooke, Ben Anderson.
Academic Endeavour awards: Alina Cherkassky, Daniel McPhail, Arya Abbas, Ethan Atkinson, Brooke Baxter, Christopher Hartfield, Chloe Dickinson, Andrew Mather.
Academic Improvement awards: Freyja Simkins, Tomas Smith, Faith Greener, Reece Scott, Grace Brown, Stefan Crown, Jasmine Armitage, Ethan Sawyer.
Spelling awards: Lily Malligan, Nathanial Allan, Molly Griffiths, Aylsha Harris.
Merit Champions: Steven Bowmaker, Kyle Brown, Scott Frazer, Abigail Herron.
House awards: Amber Cochrane, Shannon Hill, Jessica Bate.
Sportswoman of the Year: Abbie Ross.
Sportsman of the Year: Vegas Liddell.
Sports Team of the Year: Year 8 Netball – Eve Turner, Jayci Barclay, Kelly Derbyshire, Zara Cook, Grace Legender, Sophie Dixon, Eva Wellington, Grace Harrison.
Primary Sports award: Katie Dixon.
Victor Ludorum: Mason Taylor, Ethan Irving, Stewart Bestford, Ethan Alia, Ethan Griffiths.
Victrix Ludorum: Ellie-Mae Robison, Amie Wilkes, Rachel Bate, Abbie Ross, Sarah McGuigan.
Primary Engineering: Harrison Wilson.
SONIK Award for Extracurricular Involvement: Rebecca Middleton.
Contribution to the Local Community: Erin Barker, Matthew Jefferson, Anna Leason, Hollie Hunter, Rosie Legender, Samuel Little, Adam Swalwell, Erin Kutyla, Sarah McGuigan, Olivia Quinn.
Young Musician of the Year: Serena Chahal.
Most Promising Musician: Amy Bryson.
Short Story: Ellie O’Brien.
Thomas Award for Perseverance and Grit: Neave Douglas.
Best All-Round Achievement (Primary): Emily Johnson.
Outstanding Contribution (Primary): Freya Dyos.
Outstanding Attendance: Sarah McGuigan.
Outstanding Academic Achievement: Haneen Al-ghazawi
Founders Award for Outstanding Student of the Year: Cory Davison.
Founding Principal’s Award: Jack Beall.