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Celebration evening for Open Academy students with Paralympian guest of honour

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Many students undertook an extra half term of preparation for sixth form after the Centre Assessed Grades process ended in June, completing the Open Academy Internship Program that involved a two-week voluntary personal development program and four weeks of peer teaching and subject preparation.

Jon Ford, Principal of Open Academy, Norwich said: “The evening was a wonderful opportunity to congratulate our students on their resilience and character in getting through their GCSEs during such challenging times.”

Mr Alfie Hewett, British wheelchair tennis player who is the current world No.1 doubles and 18-time Grand Slam champion, was the evening’s keynote speaker. At the event the students enjoyed an inspirational talk from him, as well as a Q&A session where he answered questions about getting the most out of life and dealing with adversity.

Alfie said: “To attend the Open Academy High School awards evening was a humbling experience. It was evident on the night with how many students receiving certificates of achievements that the school has done amazingly to bring up such role models with bright futures ahead of them, even through the recent tough period of distance learning as a result of Covid. I was there to share my story and inspire however I found myself walking away feeling incredibly inspired myself. That’s credit to all the teachers and staff involved with the school who continue to excel in developing young children at Open Academy High School.”

Alfie presented trophies and shield awards to:

  • Mia Atkins, The Outstanding Contribution to the Arts Award
  • Jess Roll, The Outstanding Contribution to the Life of the Academy Award
  • Calvin Smith, The Open Academy Sports Achievement of the Year Award
  • Daniel Swatman, The John Jarrold Award
  • Karma Blyth, The Donna Ling Award
  • Joshua Clark, Sam Mixer, Matt Mixer, Alex Corless, Lewis Walker, The Business and Enterprise Award
  • Shadrak Mushengezi, The Platten Plate – Demonstrating Core Values
  • Quinlan Orr, Open Academy Award for Outstanding Effort
  • Lilia College, Open Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement

The KS4 and KS5 subject awards saw students being recognised for effort, attainment and progress in every subject taught.

Principal Jon Ford said: “It was wonderful to see the tremendous resilience and spirit shown by so many students to achieve such fantastic grades and awards and wished all the students whether they were in work, apprenticeship, training or further study, his thoughts and prayers for a wonderful future where their talents interests and efforts become honed into rewarding careers.”

Oliver Burwood, CEO of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) said: “The staff at Open Academy and across the trust work hard to motivate our children and young people to succeed. The chance to meet such an inspirational sports person will contribute greatly to this effort. We are so proud of the success of all the children who attended.”

A charitable donation is going to be made to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children as a thank you for Alfie’s attendance.