Over 300 former Sixth Form students and their parents returned to St Bartholomew’s School on Thursday 19 December to be awarded with A Level certificates and prizes at the annual Awards Evening in the School Hall.
Their former teachers, governors and guests, including Councillor Graham Pask, Chairman of West Berkshire Council, Councillor Nigel Foot and Lee Hunt, Deputy Principal of Newbury College, joined students to celebrate their outstanding achievements. The evening commenced with some words from Mr Ian Peddie. This was his final event as Chair of Governors after a successful eight-year tenure. Ms Julia Mortimore, Headteacher, then introduced the guest of honour and former student, Guy Shrubsole, activist and recent campaigner for Friends of the Earth and author of ‘Who Owns England?’ He gave a fascinating and motivational address.
“We were delighted to welcome Guy back to St Bart’s,” said Ms Mortimore. “It was inspirational for the students to hear his message about the impact of individual environmental activism. Guy’s passion for this subject started when he was a student at St Bart’s and has driven his successful career. His speech comes at a time when the environment is very important for our all students. Our Sixth Formers have been particularly instrumental is ensuring that St Bart’s is addressing these concerns: being at the forefront of a real Eco-drive at school, pushing through dramatic changes to our waste disposal and indeed challenging the habits that generate so much waste in the first place.”
Students Amy (former Deputy Head Girl) and Harriet were particularly recognised for their contribution to the St Bart’s Go Green initiative. The occasion also highlighted the importance of community, with awards given to recognise students who have made a truly significant contribution to each of the school’s four Houses. Former Deputy Head Boy, Marc was acknowledged for his outstanding contribution to the wider community. This included raising money for Newbury and District Cancer Care, the Puerto Rico earthquake relief fund and organising school events.
A notably high number of 25 students were awarded special prizes for academic achievement for having obtained 3 or more A* and A’s at A Level. Special prizes for progress shown between KS4-KS5 were also given to a further 10 students.
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Adam Robbins, says, “We’re so proud of all the achievements we celebrate at the KS5 Award Evenings. It is always a pleasure to reward our A Level students for their hard work and commitment. In the summer of 2019, we saw some exceptional results with 25% of all grades at A*/A, a 99.2% pass rate at A Level and a 100% pass rate for BTECs. The Sixth Form continues to grow and focus on fostering a sense of community, inclusiveness and belonging within our school and local community. I’m in no doubt that both the students and the Sixth Form as a whole will go on to achieve great things.”