Heathfield Community College celebrates students’ achievements at awards event

27th September

Some Heathfield Community College students with their awards and certificates from the event

On a sunny September evening last week, parents, staff and students gathered to celebrate the achievements of the students of Heathfield Community College over the course of 2022-23.

Award certificates were presented to a number of students in each year group. These include ‘Honours’ for Effort and Progress and ‘Excellence’ awards for individual subjects as well as the traditional Heathfield awards; the Tony Russell, Chris Gully, Gill Holtham and Paul Delderfield Awards.  

Honours Awards recognise students that have made outstanding and sustained effort throughout the year in a number of subjects. The students that receive these awards will have either made or exceeded their expected progress for the year. Getting nominated for these awards is an achievement in itself and every student receiving a nomination for an award is notified and celebrated.

The evening was opened with an impressive performance from the College Choir and later in the evening a beautiful solo performance by violinist Ellie Gingell impressed everyone present. Headteacher Ms Barlow, provided reflections on the year and the achievements over 6 terms which show the genuine range and depth of student accomplishments; a video showing the Heathfield Habits in Action provided compelling evidence of the success of all students throughout the year.  In addition, Lead Team students Charlie Ferguson, Sienna Greenlees, Sacha Hammond and Emily Waghorn reflected on their time at College and left a message for younger students to take every opportunity open to them and be as ambitious as possible for their future.

Our guest speaker, Ben Smith was with the College on the evening to present the awards to students and to speak to the collected audience in an inspiring talk which told the story of how he overcame the adversity of his childhood and young adult life to commit to the endurance athletic achievement of 401 marathons in 401 days, founding the charity of the same name to raise money for anti-bullying and mental health work. Ben spoke authentically of the importance of being true to yourself, resisting peer pressure to be something or someone you are not and challenging yourself to achieve your goals and dreams. His story and charismatic delivery moved everyone in the room.

Parents said: “an amazing, thought-provoking speaker who I’m sure not only inspired pupils, the adults also took a lot away from his time talking to us”

Earlier in the day, Ben had spent time with all nominees, ensuring they too had the same motivation and understanding of the importance of continuing their hard work and recognizing the success they had achieved. Ben said “Students were amazing, it was like having a conversation with a friend, they were respectful and you could see that they took onboard what I was saying. I was made to feel really safe and welcome, this helps when you are sharing such personal things that have happened in your life. There was a real sense of empathy with those that listened during the day. It was both a pleasure and honour to be part of the day and evening events.”

Headteacher Caroline Barlow stated: “The College congratulates all Honours Award students and nominees in every year group for their achievements this year, they have shown the ambition, determination and confidence that will undoubtedly lead to future success. They can be proud of their efforts and hopefully be inspired by what they can achieve in the future.”