Students rewarded for contributions and achievements

All the prize winners. Picture: Luke Talbot
All the prize winners. Picture: Luke Talbot

More than 500 students from Steyning Grammar’s sixth form college gathered to mark the formal end of the academic year last week.

The college reflections service, held on Friday (May 5) presented students with awards for characteristics such as self-control, curiosity and the ability to understand others.

Head teacher Nick Wergan opened the celebrations with his thoughts on the widely recognised characteristics of the students.

He said: “You are 21st century citizens. You are born into a world where having a black president in America is normalised not a momentous achievement, where gay marriage is already legal, you don’t remember 9-11.

“You are prudent but entrepreneurial, you know uncertainty as you have grown up in it, and you have higher expectations of the world than it is now, you are intolerant of inequality. You will create the jobs you want to work in, and one day I hope I will work for you.”

The overall self-control with learning awards went to three technically savvy students who helped the Henfield and District Lions with their new website. Each of the three year 12 students; George Ralph, Charlie Sleight, Jack Matthews were pivotal in the development of the website.

Students were praised for their ability to think other people’s feelings in acting considerately.

Killian Glemas, Daniel Hurrell, Gemma Darling and Geenuka Bandaranayake were awarded for their work as Literacy Leaders.

Mrs Nicky Mc Ivor from Steyning First Responders praised the large number of year 12 students who had undertaken defibrillator training.

An outset community volunteering award was presented to students who have volunteered for more than 150 hours or more. This included, volunteering in local hospitals, charity shops, clubs for those with disabilities and local conservation projects.

A special award went to Gemma Coulson for her volunteering work of more than 340 hours service at PAWS Animals.

Over the Easter holidays, the Rotary Clubs of Storrington and Pulborough, together with the Steyning and Henfield Club sponsored four of year 12 students to attend a week’s residential course for the Rotary Youth Leader award.

All four learnt a lot about themselves, made strong friendships and appreciate the value of teamwork.

Rotarian representatives Mr Firth and Mr Parfitt presented certificates to Prema Purcell, Kathryn Whitting, Benjamin Beazley, Jacob Liley.

Mr Luke Talbot, director of sport, reviewed the sporting year with the football, rugby, hockey, dance and netball teams.

Members of the first XI football team were given engraved glasses to mark their achievement in reaching the county cup final, before losing 1-0 to Worthing College.

Special congratulations went to Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award students Emma Vickers, Emily Anderson, Hannah Randall, Harriet Williams, Anna Mosely and Megan Haigh for completing the qualification as they now await their visit to the Palace to receive their Gold Awards.

Mrs Gue, chairman of Steyning Grammar School Governors, dedicated a Gratitude Award to Paisley Thompson.

Paisley has shown endless concern for others, supporting aspects of sixth form life by being an active member of the Student Liaison Committee and helping with fundraising events for Red Nose Day, with further charity work in support of Target Ovarian Cancer.

Mr Wergan added: “I am so optimistic in such an uncertain world because I have the utter privilege of seeing you in action, day in day out. I am proud of every one of you.

“Today we celebrate why I am so optimistic by reflecting on your achievements, on your embedded learning character. Many of you have won individual plaudits today, and we celebrate those. I want to thank every one of you, now, for the part each of you have played in such great achievement.

“You should each take credit for the different awards today, because they are borne from your collective culture of zest and curiosity, grit and growth mind-set.”

Steyning Grammar School Sixth Form College celebrated another record charity fund raising year with more than £11,060 raised for their chosen charities: NSPCC, Comic Relief, Macmillan Cancer Trust, Cancer Research UK, East Clayton farm Project, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Meningitis Research Foundation and Right to Play.

Mrs Sally Randall, director of the Sixth Form College (Assistant Head), said: “I am always amazed at how much we acknowledge and applaud in these two hours.

“The awards, presentations and performances represent so much of what make Steyning Grammar school such a wonderful place to be.

“However, I would add that it is this shared sense of excitement and enthusiasm for all that we do, each day, which is much more important than any one prize or trophy. At Steyning we are a strong and inclusive community – this is our great strength and it does not happen by accident. Every individual contributes to our success as a collaborative college. We thank each and every one of you.”