On the 25th April, Burntwood School’s annual Awards Evening was held to celebrate the achievements of hard-working pupils from all years, right before the Year 11s take their GCSE study leave. Although not quite as glamorous as the Oscars, the warm applause that rang throughout the main hall all evening was just as loud, if not louder, and the event was filled with talented students as deserving of their prizes as any Hollywood star. 

The night was kicked off with an introduction from the Head Teacher, Helen Shorrock, followed by a compelling speech about realising your dreams and succeeding in life by Renée Elliot, founder of Planet Organic. She told us about her personal journey finding a career in organic food sale, and that the three things she values most about her job is that she has a passion for it, that she is her “own boss”, and that she is doing something that would help others, giving the audience a strong message of perseverance and ambition. 

Then the award-giving commenced, starting with the Year 7s, who came onto the stage to receive their award (a special edition hardback classic of their choice) one by one as each name was called out. 

In between each Year group there was a short performance from students showcasing a range of skills, such as a monologue written and performed by an A level drama student, a presentation by our team of Wimbledon Ball Girls, a thought-provoking short film titled “Alone” by a pair of sixth formers, and an impressive recital by a talented Year 7 pianist, to name but a few. 

Near the end there was also a bonus round of Gold Achievement awards handed out, reserved for only those who had collected at least 150 achievement points throughout the year.

The Principal rounded off the event with a few closing remarks before inviting everyone to the canteen for some cupcakes and coffee to continue the festivities. 

Much of the school year is taken up by the stress of exams and the pressure to do well, so it is nice to take a moment to stop and appreciate our achievements so far. I'm sure that everyone attending was immensely proud of their successes, and that they were inspired to carry on the good work in the future.