Celebrating a year of helping others

Prize-winners from Bede Academy South.
Prize-winners from Bede Academy South.

An annual presentation day has celebrated the difference that students have made during the course of the year.

From money raised for the Nepal earthquake disaster appeal by Bede Academy’s youngest students to a video sent by sixth formers currently volunteering in South Africa, the idea of embracing difference to make a difference was a central theme.

Gateshead mum Katie Cutler, whose social media appeal raised enough money to buy attack victim Alan Barnes a new home, was featured, along with the world-changing achievements of scientists, artists and royalty.

The presentation day at the Blyth academy recognised the academic and extra curricular success of students across the year groups.

Rugby player Tom Marshall, who has been selected for the Newcastle Falcons Academy and England U15s, England footballer Bethany Guy and Tyler McGowan, who has been selected for England hockey, were all mentioned.

The Outstanding Academic Achievement prize went to Alexander Dodds for being the highest achieving student in his year group for the last three years.

The Outstanding Student of the Year was Mark Auty. Principal Gwyneth Evans said: “Mark has gone from strength to strength, always displaying a positive and determined character, making excellent progress in terms of learning and being undeterred by difficulties. He has grown in confidence, overcoming initial worries about moving to Bede Academy and all with a big smile and minimum fuss.”

The guest speaker was Shephen Mbewe, national director of Youth With A Mission Mozambique.

As a child he had to work in the fields and walk five miles barefoot to school along dusty tracks, while his playground, where he found “treasure” in the form of comics and books, was a rubbish dump.

Chairman of governors Nigel Robson said: “It has been an extraordinary, really impressive year at Bede Academy which we, as a board, have watched with some admiration.

“It’s been demonstrated that we can deliver transformational outcomes and that’s what we are about, making a difference.”