Academy Awards at Kings
23rd September, 2016 by Jude Owens
On the second Thursday of the new term (15 September 2016) The Kings of Wessex Academy held its 40th Annual Awards evening to celebrate the last academic year chaired by the Chair of Governors Brian Kirkup.
A packed audience of student award winners, parents, staff, Governors and friends of Kings celebrated the presentation of over 350 awards including academic high achievement at GCSE, AS Level and A Level; Subject, Star and Tutor Awards; Outstanding Progress in Literacy and Reading; 100% attendance and Work Experience placements. Nearly 50 of which were Special Awards for contribution to the life of Kings.
Executive Headteacher Chris Richardson began by praising students for their outstanding exam results in the summer. The GCSE results are a school record with 82% of students awarded five or more grades A* - C and 76% achieved five or more Grades A* - C including English and Maths. The overall pass rate was once again 99%, and a quarter were the top Grades A*/A. This places Kings in the Top 100 Schools in the country for its performance at GCSE. Similarly, at A Level the results are amongst some of the best in the country. The overall pass rate was 99% and more than 50% of students were awarded Grades A*, A and B.
There was a moving moment when a student was guided to the stage to receive her award for high achievement at GCSE. Now in Year 12, the student became blind between Years 10 and 11, yet still achieved an excellent 10 Grade A*s and 2 As.
Mr Richardson spoke about some of the highlights of the last year, including: enrichment trips to San Francisco; Poland and Auschwitz; the First World War Battlefields of Belgium; Normandy; Mexico; and closer to home the Eden Project, as well as the annual Art and Fashion Show, music concerts and drama performances. On a fun note, he also thanked last year's Senior Student Team for their thrilling Charities Week on the theme of "On the Box" when they raised over £10,000.
Mr Richardson finished by thanking staff, parents, the Governing Body, Cheddar Valley School colleagues and the PTA for their support. But above all, Mr Richardson praised the students "for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment and for all that they do for Kings. They are fantastic and each one makes a special contribution to the life of their Academy". He wished well those students off to university, the world of work or a gap year. Several students will be studying at Oxbridge and the Russell Group universities, and one student successfully gained a place at the prestigious Norland College.
This year's Community Awards were presented firstly to four longstanding Mendip Rotarians Derek Evans, David Pottow, Patrick Simpson and Mark Summers whose combined service to Kings is a staggering 91 years! Secondly, to Police Community Support Officer Matt Hawker, now in his ninth year as a PCSO for the Cheddar area, and who works closely with the Academy in the Restorative Justice programme.
Deputy and Assistant Headteachers Barbara Marshall and Christian Hughes compered the ceremony, and musical interludes were provided by the Brass Band of the Cheddar Valley Music Club with a fabulous performance of "The Best of Bond" - an arrangement by Darrol Barry and conducted by Anne Higgs. Year 11 students performed a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".
This year's Head Boy and Girl Jack Bardle and Emma Treharne ended proceedings with the vote of thanks. In an amusing and warm speech they celebrated their fellow students and thanked everyone possible for their support and encouragement. Not least their parents: "we are all eternally grateful, even if as your child, we perhaps don't always say it."