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School celebrates first awards night as an academy

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The Portsmouth Academy for Girls has celebrated its first awards night since becoming an academy in style.

Many of last year’s Year 11 pupils joined current students as they were invited back inside the new-look school to pick up trophies.

Former head girl Ruby Walker, 16, of Powerscourt Road, in Copnor, Portsmouth, was given an award for student leadership.

It was the first time Ruby, now studying at Portsmouth College, had been back in the school since it was the City of Portsmouth Girls’ School.

She said: ‘It was really nice to receive the award and just to see what everyone had achieved.

‘Throughout the year it’s so stressful and it is just really nice to be rewarded for the work that you’ve done.

‘Being head girl was big job so being rewarded for it was nice.’

Being back in the building seemed like a perfectly ordinary day for former pupil Hannah Dawson, 16, who picked up a prize for never missing a day off school.

Hannah, of Manor Park Avenue, in Copnor, was delighted to get the trophy.

She said: ‘It’s nearly 12 years at 100 per cent (attendance) – I’ve only had one afternoon off ever.

‘So that’s pretty impressive for me and my mum and my family for getting me to school, so I was pleased about that.

‘Lots of people try and bunk off school – I don’t know why but everyone always has imposed on us that if you attend you will get good grades.

‘I think if I hadn’t attended I wouldn’t of got as many good grades as I did get.’

The start of the evening on November 20 saw executive principal Denise Shepherd welcome youngsters and their parents.

Guest speaker Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the Portsmouth Tories and ward member for Hilsea, took to the stage after a performance of the school’s French Choir.

The head boy and girl also spoke in the assembly, between performances by the school’s dance company and Year 11 band.

Principal Natalie Shephard closed the assembly.

Speaking to The News after the awards, she said: ‘This evening we’ve held our first awards evening as Portsmouth Academy for Girls.

‘It’s really an opportunity to celebrate all of our young women who aspire and achieve, and really to reward them for all of their effort, determination and success.’

Cllr Jones added: ‘I’m overwhelmed by the changes to this school.’

 

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