Top students given platform at Leigh Park school’s Oscars night

WINNERS Back row, left to right, Louise Corps, Kendal Pitman, Charlie Darwin, Matthew Godfrey, Paiger Roberts, James King, Declan Cordwell, Rosie Mellish and Tyler Paxton. Centre, Will Gemmell. Front row, Bethany Stallard, Eloise Bryant, Zoe Manchip and Eloise Houghton

WINNERS Back row, left to right, Louise Corps, Kendal Pitman, Charlie Darwin, Matthew Godfrey, Paiger Roberts, James King, Declan Cordwell, Rosie Mellish and Tyler Paxton. Centre, Will Gemmell. Front row, Bethany Stallard, Eloise Bryant, Zoe Manchip and Eloise Houghton

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor David Fuller, Georgie Howard, 18, Head of Gaskell House, and deputy headmistress Heather Trim with students at the start of the walk Picture: Sally Tiller

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HUNDREDS of students were given the ultimate accolade at a special ‘Oscars’ awards ceremony.

The 11 to 14-year-olds from Park Community School in Leigh Park were cheered by parents and teachers as they collected medals and vouchers for a range of accomplishments.

Awards were dealt out for a range of achievements such as community work, performing arts, sports and 100 per cent attendance.

For a school that boasts an outstanding Ofsted report and is always placed among the top in the country for student progress rates, this was a night to say ‘congratulations’ to the children.

The school’s community manager Susan Parish said: ‘We launched our Oscar awards ceremony four years ago because the staff here wanted to show the parents and the community how much they respect the children and how much they want to advertise their achievements.

‘We didn’t want the awards evening to be a boring affair, and staff volunteered their weekend to transform our sports hall into a venue fit for the event.

‘The theme changes from year to year, and we’ve had space, World War Two and gold in the past. But this year, following on from the royal wedding and street parties, we decided to go with the garden party theme and covered the sports hall with union flags and red, white and blue decorations and served lemonade and traditional sweets like pear drops.

‘It was a fantastic evening. There were lots of smiles from the children who were suitably in awe of the whole event.’

Will Gemmell, 14, was awarded a special trophy named after the former Mayor of Havant Yvonne Weeks.

Despite suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which makes it difficult for him to concentrate, staff nominated him for being a pleasure to teach, unfailingly polite and a hard worker in lessons, which recently paid off with a C grade in his first reading controlled assessment.

Will said: ‘I’m so proud I won the trophy.

‘I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was an amazing night and I thought the Oscar idea made it feel extra special.

‘I do have a lot of difficulty concentrating in class as I get distracted easily and it takes a long time for me to understand what is being taught, but I try my hardest.

‘I realise how important it is to get good qualifications. I don’t know what I want to do when I’m older, but doing well in my exams will help a lot.

‘Sometimes I am frustrated but I always keep a smile on my face and stay positive.’

His mum Donna, 48, added: ‘The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and it was lovely to see so many children being rewarded for their achievements.

‘It’s important to celebrate their good work because it gives a real boost to morale – not just of the children but also their parents.’

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