Students receive awards for their talent and hard work

County Upper school award winners.   Left to right -  Katie Thomas, Grace Waters, Denise Webb, Jack Yallop and John Young.
County Upper school award winners. Left to right - Katie Thomas, Grace Waters, Denise Webb, Jack Yallop and John Young.

A BURY St Edmunds school has recognised the talent and hard work of its top students with a morning of prize giving.

On Friday, in an end of year assembly, more than 100 academic prizes were awarded to pupils at County Upper School, with a further 40 awarded for getting involved and giving service.

Among those recognised was 17-year-old John Young.

He composed the special anthem for the opening of the Suffolk School Games, which was performed by one of the school’s choirs at the assembly.

The musician from Whepstead, who sings and plays violin and piano, also composed two songs performed in a recent Evensong service in Cambridge and was leader of the band during the school’s The Phantom of the Opera at The Apex, which received standing ovations.

On receiving the music prize for Year 12, he said: “It’s a great feeling, I’m really grateful for it. It’s topped off a great year for me.”

Katie Thomas, an 18-year-old from Great Barton, received the prestigious Princess Diana Award for her service to the school and its wider community.

“It was a really nice feeling to be recognised by the school and to know that I’ve been noticed even though I’m not very loud,” she said.

Jack Yallop, from Bury, won the Luke Southgate Shield for his ‘huge service’ to school sport.

The 15-year-old, who enjoys playing football and basketball, said: “I’ve taken part in quite a few sporting events and I like helping out with events such as young people’s sports days and competitions.”

“I feel quite privileged to get it, it’s the first award I’ve had at the school.”

The Heilgers Cup was awarded to Grace Waters, from Moreton Hall, for her involvement in the school’s productions and sports.

“I felt really proud because my mum got it when she was at County as well,” said the 18-year-old.

Headteacher Vicky Neal said: “I think everyone recognises that County Upper is a strong community where all the young groups get along and staff and students respect each other.

“There’s no better way to reinforce that than to get the whole school together and celebrate the success of a fantastic year, which has included being BBC East School of the Year for Sport and the brilliant Phantom of the Opera performances.”