Aspire Awards 2016

A celebration of the skills and achievements of some of our most inspiring pupils took place at Inspire 2 Learn on the evening of Thursday 23rd June.

Motivated by its key objective to develop and celebrate pupils’ non-academic qualities and characteristics, the Partnership worked with staff from Inspire 2 Learn, to organise its first Aspire Awards event.  Staff in all Partnership schools nominated pupils for awards in a range of categories including Citizenship, Team Player, Healthy Lifestyles and Resilience.  

Award categories were sponsored by businesses and organisations that share the Partnership’s aims and with which they have worked over the last 2 years. A panel of independent judges from Inspire 2 Learn carried out the incredibly difficult job of shortlisting and deciding on the winning children. “It was a difficult task” said Pauline Jackson, one of the judges “and we would like to commend all the children nominated on their achievements”.

Three finalists from each category, together with their parents and teachers, attended the glittering event at Inspire 2 Learn.  Sponsors also came along to present the awards.  They each spoke warmly about the importance of celebrating the personal skills and qualities that are so important for a child’s future success. David Major, School Improvement Adviser for Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council compered the evening, and kept things moving along smoothly. The sponsors’ support enabled every child to receive a trophy and a prize of a voucher of their choice to a range of activities such as trampolining, cinema, bowling and climbing.

The evening opened with a speech by Andrew Pidgeon, Senior Engineer from Jacobs Highway Technology, on the theme of Aspiration.  Andrew grew up locally and attended the local secondary school, so the future of the Partnership’s children is close to his heart.  He spoke with feeling about how, despite not being a high achiever at school, he had worked hard and shown determination to pursue his chosen career.  He is now in a senior position, working on the design of Smart Highways and Autonomous vehicles – a career area that did not exist when he was at school. He urged the children to keep an open mind, believe in themselves and “Think Big – Aim High”.

The presentation of the awards began with the Citizenship Award, sponsored by the local MP, Anna Turley, which was won by Tyler Upton of Overfields Primary School.  Tyler had raised money to buy Christmas presents for 3 children whose mother had sadly died from a brain tumour.  The Enterprise award followed, sponsored by Lucy Wray of School House Arts.  This was won by Naomi Bird of Grangetown Primary, who, together with her fellow nominees, Hollie Wilson and Rebecca Hunter, had made large profits from setting up a juice bar in school, and used the money to finance school trips. Lucy said of the evening “It is a reminder, if one was needed, of what makes the world of education worthwhile.” 

The Green Award, sponsored by Alec Smithson, of Eco Scan Environmental Consultancy, was presented to Josh Reed of Overfields Primary, who has carried out pioneering eco work in his school, and raised awareness of this important issue amongst his fellow pupils.  The Healthy Lifestyles Award, sponsored by Kidz Konnect, went to Kyle Goodman of Grangetown Primary, for the support he gives to younger children in organizing activities and challenges, and for helping his teacher run the school breakfast club.

The families enjoyed refreshments during the interval, followed by the presentation of the Resilience Award, sponsored by School House Recruitment, to Joe Field from Wilton Primary School.  Joe has a serious and life limiting medical condition, but never lets it dampen his enthusiasm for life.  He attacks every challenge head on and always has a smile on his face. “You cannot overestimate the importance of an evening like this to Joe” said his mum, Vicky.  “Memories like these help get him through the bad times and inspire him to drive on to even greater achievements.” “When I saw Mrs Richardson (Joe’s Teaching Assistant who nominated him) get up to speak, I knew I had won” said Joe.  She kept smiling at me and I kept smiling too”.

Cory Lynas from Teesville Primary School, took away the Supporting Others Award, sponsored by The Streetz.  He completed a 10 mile sponsored walk to support a fellow pupil with leukemia, raising £200.00 for Cancer research.  Lee-J Durrant from Caedmon, won the Team Player Award, sponsored by The Friends of Eston Hills, for being an outstanding teammate. 

Finally, the Aspire Learning Partnership Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement went to Nikodem Ligezer from Grangetown Primary.  Niko only started at the school in year 6 last September after moving to Middlesbrough from Poland, when he spoke no English.  “He has worked his socks off” said Stephen Jackson, Niko’s teacher “and made amazing progress.  Niko was nominated by all his classmates for this award, because he has worked so hard, and never let the language barrier get in his way. He is a lovely boy who always has a smile on his face”.

“It is wonderful to hear these heartwarming stories which remind us of the wonderful attributes of the young people of our region.” said Claire Moore of School House Recruitment. “These kind of events are a true marker of the amazing achievements of students across the Aspire schools.”

The evening drew to a close with a speech by Mal Fitzgerald, Chair of the Aspire Learning Partnership Board of Trustees. Mal, who is from South Bank, and still lives and works in the area, spoke about the importance of our pupils to the future success of our region, and of the important contribution made by the dedicated team of head teachers, teachers and support staff in our schools, who work so hard to give the children the best experiences possible.

A wonderful time was had by all, and the Partnership hopes to make the Awards an annual event.  Thanks are extended to Judges, Pauline Jackson, Andrew Stogdale and Ann Ryalls and to the sponsors from businesses and other organisations, without whose support, the event would not have been possible.

Photography by Phototronics Scholastic.

Trophies by Guisborough Trophy Store.


The full list of finalists is as follows:

Citizenship Award:

1st place - Tyler Upton, Overfields Primary School

2nd Place - Jodie Stallard, Whale Hill Primary School

3rd place - Grace Murphy, Bankfields Primary School

Enterprise Award

1st place – Naomi Bird, Grangetown Primary School

2nd place – Hollie Wilson, Grangetown Primary School

3rd place - Rebecca Hunter, Grangetown Primary School

Green Award

1st place – Josh Reed, Overfields Primary School

2nd place – Katie Tyreman, Bankfields Primary School

3rd place – Grace Garbutt – Bankfields Primary School

Healthy Lifestyles Award

1st place – Kyle Goodman, Grangetown Primary School

2nd place - James Harker, Wilton Primary School

Resilience Award

1st place – Joe Field, Wilton Primary School

2nd place – Dylan Whincup, Whale Hill Primary School

3rd place – Harrison Scott, Whale Hill Primary School

Supporting Others award

1st place – Cory Lynas, Teesville Primary School

2nd place – Josh Reekie, Wilton Primary School

Joint 3rd place – Harley Tyerman, South Bank Primary School

     Niall Paul Richards, Wilton Primary School

Team Player Award

1st place – Lee-J Durrant, Caedmon Primary School

2nd place – Dominic Thompson, Overfields Primary School

3rd place – Laura Robson, Grangetown Primary School

Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement

Winner: Nikodem Ligezer, Grangetown Primary School