Stewards Academy celebrated the achievements of its pupils at the annual Presentation Evening, in front of a hall packed with proud families and staff. 128 pupils received their awards from guest speaker Chris Pope, Co-Director of the Prince’s Teaching Institute.
Chris spoke with eloquence to the young people with three key messages. The first was ‘Yes, you can!’, stating that you should never say never and take every challenge that comes your way in life, even though sometimes the hurdles may seem initially insurmountable. Secondly, ‘embrace diversity’, stating that we are all citizens of the world, recounting a personal recollection of a recent visit to the Lebanon, which is slowly recovering from fifteen years of civil war, where ideologies clashed, and a nation was torn apart. He told the young people that we all need to learn to live together in harmony and celebrate diversity in all its forms. His final message was that we all need to ‘keep listening, learning and, if necessary, changing’. Chris started his career in music, but since 2007 has worked with the PTI, a charity which supports teachers with their professional development. So, flexibility is the order of the day for young people in 2019, as life is an ongoing process of learning and adapting.
The prize winners listened attentively to Chris’ message, with one young man telling his mentor the following day that he had felt inspired by Chris and felt that now anything would be possible for him.
Nine ex-pupils came back to receive prizes for their excellent exam results last summer - a total of 99 high level GCSE grades! The three most prestigious Governors’ awards of the evening began with the Academic Prize awarded to Head Boy Bradley Rimell, followed by the Contribution to the Life of the School Prize awarded to Deputy Head Girl Darcy Wylie, and finally, the Gordon Hewlett Prize for Citizenship awarded to Head Girl Libby Morland-Banks, in the presence of his widow Bettina Hewlett.
The audience were wowed by superb vocal and instrumental performances by pupils from years 7 to 11, Erin Baldry, Sonya Kemsley, Aimee Mayo, Adela Mikolayova, Mia Christie, Charlotte Easby, Fraser Mann, Bradley Rimell and a special mention for George Berry who was in three of the performances.
Headteacher, Helen Ginger, spoke with huge pride of the inspiration she feels every day when she walks the school and interacts with the pupils and staff. She congratulated everybody for their achievements and the evening ended with a delicious buffet provided by the catering team for everybody present on the evening.