The Herts Advertiser School Awards 2011 - with galleries

ST Albans’ and Harpenden’s education elite have been recognised at a prestigious ceremony marking the inaugural Herts Advertiser School Awards.

Hosted in conjunction with Oaklands College at its Smallford campus, the event was the culmination of a district-wide campaign to celebrate the achievements of schools within the district, from their academic successes through teaching triumphs and sporting victories.

The awards were divided into categories covering both primary and secondary level education, offering the chance for schools of all different sizes to shout about their successes.

A special panel of judges including representatives from the Herts Advertiser, Oaklands College and category sponsors Collinson Hall estate agents and Neves solicitors had the arduous task of sorting through dozens of nominations, all of exceptionally high standard, to decide who would be the beneficiaries of this year’s accolades.

Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams, who gave a speech at the awards, said: “As the leading newspaper for the St Albans district, we are constantly made aware of the high standards of education across the Herts Advertiser area, whether at primary or secondary school level, but there has never been an awards competition to do justice to these successes.

“Working closely with Oaklands College has enabled us to create an event which we hope has shown just how innovative and successful the schools in our area are.

“We have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal response we have received to these inaugural awards, which really seem to have captured the public’s imagination, and I hope the Herts Advertiser School Awards will become a fixture in our events calendar going forward.”

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Zoe Hancock, principal of Oaklands College, said: “This evening is an opportunity to honour teachers, staff and students who consistently go the extra mile to achieve success and reach their potential.

“We are very fortunate in our district that we have so many talented and valued individuals in schools and we were overwhelmed by the number of nominations received for each award.

“Schools play such an integral role in the community and help to shape its future so it’s very important to recognise dedication, hard work, outstanding individuals and the extremely high standard of our local education.”

The awards evening, which took place in the main hall on the Smallford site, saw invited guests enjoy a buffet laid on by Oaklands students and an inspirational speech by St Albans athletics legend Tom McNab. Mr McNab’s incredible career includes winning five Scottish triple jump titles, and writing various sporting books, including the novel Flanagan’s Run.

The winners were:

Sporting Achiever of the Year (Primary Schools)

Sponsored by Neves Solicitors of Harpenden

Winner: James Lawrence

Second: St Albans District Primary Representatives

Third: St Adrian’s Catholic School

Sporting Achiever of the Year (Secondary Schools)

Sponsored by The Maltings Shopping Centre in St Albans

Winner: Dominic Hopkins, Sir John Lawes

Second: Isabel Hatt, Nicholas Breakspear

Third: Lee Close, Sir John Lawes

Academic Achiever of the Year

Sponsored by Deloitte of St Albans

Winner: Glenn Shorey, Sandringham School

Second: Amoi Bhuptani

Third: Harriet Brown

Innovation or Project of the Year

Sponsored by Collinson Hall estate agents

Winner: The Eco Garden, Oakwood Primary School

Second: Caring Schools Initiative, Fleetville Infant and Nursery School

Third: Gambia Link, Sandringham School

Special recognition to Engaging Minds of Verulam, Beaumont and Sandringham Schools

Teacher of the Year

Sponsored by Stevensons

Winner: Chris Armitage, Sir John Lawes School

Second: Imogen Lyon, Sauncey Wood Primary

Third: Laura McCormick, Sandringham School

Special recognition to Claire Reaney of The Grove Junior School and Alex Jeavons of Aboyne Lodge School

To find out more about the winners and the finalists, see this week’s Herts Advertiser.