Video: Celebrating joys and successes of West Sussex education

The joys and successes of students, their teachers and schools have been celebrated at a new awards ceremony.

The West Sussex Education Awards were held at Fontwell Park on Tuesday (March 20) where some of the finest young people in the county took to the stage.

The winners and runners-up celebrate. Picture by Derek Martin

The winners and runners-up celebrate. Picture by Derek Martin

Nearly 200 pupils, teachers and school staff were on hand. Among them was Taz Moyo, of Sir Robert Woodard Academy, who won the Secondary School Pupil of the Year award.

The judges and audience were deeply moved to hear about his incredible recovery following a road accident in July 2016, which left him in a coma for a month. For a fortnight, family and friends feared for his survival.

Taz's musical and academic achievements had everyone applauding the extraordinary young man.

Then there was Emma Shaw, of St Mary's Catholic School, in Worthing, who was described as "a shining example of resilience and achievement" despite having endured much adversity in her young life.

Emma, who designed her school's Christmas card and serves on the school council, was named Primary School Pupil of the Year - a feat that made her grandmother "extremely proud".

Aaron Connor, of Felpham Community College, won the Inspirational Teaching Award and said of his approach to teaching: "I turn up every day, work hard and be nice. I left school without passing my GSCEs and I worked hard to redo them.

"If I can make every day really great for them then great."

He added: "I want to say a huge congratulations to every teacher in West Sussex as they step up to the chalk face every day."

Madolyn Hickman, of Parklands School in Chichester, won the Unsung Hero Award for her work in setting up a weekly visit of 10 care home residents to the school.

She said she was inspired after watching Channel 4's Old People's Home for Four Year Olds. She forged a relationship with a local home and the sessions are now very popular.

She said: "We had 84 children apply - more than football, more than ballet. These children want to experience things they cannot elsewhere and we have heard stories about the Second World War.

"I look forward to Thursdays!"

Headteacher of the Year was awarded to Jules White, of Tanbridge House School, Horsham, not only for his work in his own school but for the monumental effort he has put into the WorthLess? campaign for school funding.

While unable to attend the ceremony, he said later: "I’m delighted to receive this award and hope that it reflects positively on our whole Tanbridge House School community.

"I also hope that it continues to show the importance of the WorthLess? school funding campaign and continues to raise the profile of this important issue”

The Special School of the Year Award went to Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee School, in Horsham. Headteacher Lesley Dyer described her students as "inspirational" and praised the "most fantastic parents and supporters and amazing staff".

Joint winners of the Sports Award were Andrew Fadera, of Felpham Community College, and Emily Carmen, of Arundel CE School.

Big-hearted Emily discovered a love of running after embarking on a charity run between Chichester and Yapton.

She said: "I thought that there are children less fortunate than me so I want to help them have a better life. I found I quite liked running and sport and it carried on from there."

As for Andrew, he has taken big steps onto a rugby career, already playing for the Harlequins Elite academy, while coaching younger children in his spare time.

The awards were organised by JP South Events and this newspaper. The successful nominees were presented with their prizes on stage by a number of special guest presenters including Gary Shipton, editor in chief of Sussex Newspapers; Louise Goldsmith, the leader of the county council; Shelagh Legrave OBE DL, the chief executive officer of award sponsor the Chichester College Group and Sharon Collett, the principal of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, which also sponsored the event.

The awards were hosted by broadcaster and journalist Vicky Edwards and were officially supported by the county council.

The full list of winners and runners-up are:
Headteacher of the Year

Jules White, Tanbridge House School, Horsham (winner)

Peter Woodman, The Weald Secondary School, Bllingshurst (runner-up)

Primary School of the Year

Elm Grove Primary School, Worthing (winner)

Lyndhurst School Worthing (runner-up)

Secondary School of the Year

Chichester High School (winner)

The Regis School, Bognor Regis (runner-up)

Special School of the Year

Fordwater School, Chichester (runner-up)

Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, Horsham (winner)

Primary Pupil of the Year

Emma shaw - St Mary’s Catholic Primary School Worthing

Secondary Pupil of the Year

Taz Moyo - Sir Robert Woodard Academy

Special Pupil of the Year

Mikey Webb, Woodlands Meed School (winner)

Rhys Harding, Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, Horsham (runner-up)

Young Scientist / Engineer of the Year

Blaise Cloran - Our Lady of Sion School

Career Aspiration

Phil Dean, Worthing High School (winner)

Marie Harding, The Regis School, Bognor Regis (runner-up)

Inspirational Teaching

Aaron Connor, Felpham Community College (winner)

Katie Raye, Holy Trinity Secondary School, Crawley (runner-up)

Sports Achievement

Andrew Fadera, Felpham community College (joint-winner)

Emily Carman, Arundel CE School (joint-winner)

Health & Wellbeing

The Regis School Rights Respecting Ambassadors, The Regis School, Bognor Regis (winner)

Broadwater Church of England Primary School (runner-up)

Unsung hero

Madolyn Hickman, Parklands Community Primary School, Chichester (winner)

Laura Favel, Sir Robert Woodard Academy, Lancing (runner-up)