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West Suffolk education champions scoop awards




The winners of this years Raising the Bar Awards were announced in a glittering ceremony on Wednesday held in Wherstead Park in Ipswich.

Ten awards were presented across four categories, for children and young people, teachers, staff and volunteers working in education, schools and education settings.

Hundreds of nominations were sent in by people across the county. These were narrowed down to the short-listed finalists and the winners were selected by a panel of expert judges.

The awards are to recognise children and young people whose attitudes and positive approach to life have a direct impact on the social, moral, cultural and spiritual aspects of others.

This years Raising of the Bar awards which was held on Wednesday
This years Raising of the Bar awards which was held on Wednesday

Inspirational Young Person of the Year the Early Years and Primary award went to Manny Smiley, from St Mary’s Academy in Mildenhall.

Manny uses a wheelchair due to a tumour on his spine, which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite his health condition he always gets his schoolwork completed and takes part in all activities. Manny is an active school council member and extremely helpful to younger pupils at his school.

Manny has had to adjust to being confined to a wheelchair and losing a lot of his freedom and independence, but he never fails to stop smiling.

Manny Smiley from St Mary's Academy in Mildenhall who won Inspirational Young Person of the Year award
Manny Smiley from St Mary's Academy in Mildenhall who won Inspirational Young Person of the Year award

The award for secondary school went to Martha Cooper, from Horringer Court School in Bury.

Martha is a role model to the entire student population at her school. She is well liked within her year

group and she goes out of her way to support and look after younger students.

Martha is her House Captain and one of her roles is to show visiting parents around the school. She

is an outstanding ambassador for the school, conducting herself in an exceptionally mature and

professional manner.

Martha Cooper From Horringer Court Middle School in Bury St Edmunds who won the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award
Martha Cooper From Horringer Court Middle School in Bury St Edmunds who won the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award

Joanna Brawn from Westley Middle School in Bury, scooped the award for secondary school.

Since coming into the post of PE technician Jo has made a huge impact on the school. Even though she has a 3-day contract she has put in many voluntary hours which have enabled activities, competitions and tournaments to run.

Her role has not only enabled higher ranking sports achievements, but it has encompassed the long-term welfare of all pupils regardless of abilities.

As a former pupil at the school, Jo has a healthy respect of the workings of the school environment

which means she is respected and given a high regard by the pupils and staff alike.

Her commitment to the curriculum and extra-curricular activities means that every pupil has the opportunity to excel in whichever sport they participate in and at any level.

She is a positive role model and has made an immeasurable impact on the PE department and the pupils.

Joanna Brawn from Westley Middle School from Bury St Edmunds who won the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award
Joanna Brawn from Westley Middle School from Bury St Edmunds who won the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award

In the apprenticeship category the award went to Kayleigh Elmer from West Suffolk College in Bury.

Kayleigh completed her level 3 Business Administrator apprenticeship standard in March 2019.

During this time Kayleigh has stretched her learning and shared this with other apprentices within her

workplace via an apprenticeship forum.

Kayleigh has gone above and beyond to achieve the best results throughout her learning journey and has become an ambassador for apprentices as well as the business that she represents.

Kayleigh Elmer from West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds who won the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award
Kayleigh Elmer from West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds who won the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award

Deborah Ball from Kinetic Science won the Business Supporting Ambition Award.

Founder Deborah Ball is an accountant by trade, with a passion for science and maths.

Her Kinetic Science journey began when she decided that she wanted to share her love of science and maths by creating a problem-solving road show.

She started with test tubes and a tray - going into local primary schools, and it is now a massively successful charity promoting STEM to the next generation.

The aim is simple, to inspire and inform children and young people to consider that science and maths are for everyone.

Making these subjects accessible to all and helping them to realise that you do not necessarily have to be good at a subject to make a difference in our world.

Raising the bar awards which were held in Wherstead Park in Ipswich
Raising the bar awards which were held in Wherstead Park in Ipswich

Jenny Snape from Little Teapots Preschool in Chedburgh came runner up for the Educational Leader and Setting of the Year Award.

In a quote directly from Little Teapots’ latest Ofsted report, an inspector, said: “Teaching is consistently of very high quality throughout the pre-school. The experienced and well-qualified staff have a superb knowledge of how children learn and are very responsive to children's changing interests and needs.

“Highly positive and trusting partnerships are established with parents.

“Children's welfare and personal development are central to everything staff do. Staff are highly skilled in providing an exceptionally warm and caring environment that supports each child and their family.”

Joanna Brawn from Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds with her award
Joanna Brawn from Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds with her award

Cllr Gordon Jones, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills said: “The Raising the Bar awards are a celebration of excellence in Suffolk education, and the perfect chance to recognise the outstanding work happening in schools and education settings across the county.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists and to thank the young people, education staff and volunteers who have been a part of the awards ceremony. It was a memorable evening and a great way to celebrate the hard work of so many people in our county.”



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