News from The Kings of Wessex Academy


Bettine and Nina celebrated with Axbridge Youth Civic Award

11th March, 2019 by Jude Owens

High achieving Years 11 and 13 students Bettine Harris and Nina Tyrrell were proud to receive an Axbridge Youth Civic Award last weekend as part of the ninth Civic Service led by Rev. Tim Hawkings in St John the Baptist Church in Axbridge.

Bettine’s Young Person’s Award was in recognition of her sailing achievements. Indeed, it was a particularly busy weekend for Bettine as she was in London the day before at the RYA Dinghy Show to receive another award for the Top Youth and Top Girl and 4th overall in the Winter Sailjuice series with her sailing partner. Bettine has many sailing accolades, including becoming 2017 Cadet National Champion and competing at The Endeavour (Champion of Champions) Trophy and last year, she qualified to represent GBR sailing at the 420 dinghy European championships in Portugal and World Championships in Newport Rhode Island, USA. Bettine’s award was presented by the High Sheriff of Somerset and the Mayor of Axbridge and she is following in the footsteps of her older brother Jamie who won the award in 2018.

Nina’s award was presented by the Secretary of the Axbridge Branch of the Royal British Legion, Brian Winder who praised her interest in music. An accomplished musician, Nina enjoys increasing success and is a member of the prestigious South West Music School and has a Robert Lewin Scholarship from Awards for Young Musicians. Nina has also played with members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bristol Brass Consort and closer to home, she currently plays with the Cheddar Valley Brass Band and our Kings’ school band. Nina also plays the Last Post at various Remembrance Services, including our school service. One of her favourite and very rewarding experiences is playing with a small group of musicians for people with dementia and watching them become involved in the music and triggering positive memories.

The service was especially lovely as many other Kings students were in attendance to show their support to Bettine and Nina; as well as providing the beautiful music as the Cheddar Valley Voices and Brass Ensemble of the Cheddar Valley Music Club.

This summer Bettine will be taking her GCSE exams and hopes to continue to combine studying at Kings for her A Levels and competing internationally for Great Britain in the 420 Dinghy and maintaining her place in the British Youth Squad. After her A Levels Nina has a place to study at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball said:

“On behalf of us all here at Kings, I am very proud that Bettine and Nina have been recognised for their outstanding achievements with an Axbridge Youth Civic Award. This is a wonderful accolade and I hope it will inspire them for their future accomplishments.”