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The cream of Excelsior Academy’s academic, personal and community achievement took centre stage clutching a host of silverware at the school’s annual awards ceremony.

Steve Furnell – North Shields-born co-host of the hugely successful Steve and Karen Metro Radio Breakfast Show – was guest of honour at the glittering event at Newcastle’s International Centre for Life.

He handed dozens of certificates and trophies to the Excelsior pupils judged by staff to be the school’s top performers in the last academic year.

The awards night celebrated academic success as well as the creativity, ambassadorial skills and contribution pupils make to everyday school life.

The packed event attended by pupils from Excelsior’s Rainbird Primary Academy through to its sixth form Excelsior College, was watched by parents, friends and family.

The evening featured drama performances and musical sets by talented pupils as well as a song by X Factor stars ‘He Knows, She Knows.’ Host Steve Walls expertly oversaw the event.

Excelsior Academy Executive Principal Craig Taylor said: “This whole evening is about you the pupils, so enjoy your triumph and success.

“The academic year 2015-16 produced our best ever GCSE results. Excelsior is now ranked in the top three schools in Newcastle against the Progress 8 performance measure.

“We are amongst the highest performing schools in the North East. Excelsior is a really special place, the most diverse and inclusive school in the North East, possibly in the UK, and our schools within a school model is unique and has proved hugely successful.

“It is important that I mention the absolutely brilliant Excelsior staff who never cease to astonish with their commitment and outstanding practice.”

Excelsior Academy sponsor Lord Laidlaw said in a message to the event: “It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the many personal as well as the academic achievements of our pupils.

“Every year the academic standards and levels of progress achieved by our pupils in all key areas have improved tremendously.”

Guest of honour DJ Steve gave an inspirational speech to pupils, telling how he rose from aspiring hospital radio DJ to co-host the North East’s favourite radio breakfast show.

“It’s a real inspiration for me to see all you guys doing so well,” he said.

“I loved my time at school and I can tell you love your time at school as well. Enjoy your school and get as many contacts as you possibly can to get whatever job you really want to get.”

To cap off the night of success, Mr Taylor announced the special awards winners recognising their exceptional contribution to academia and school life:

Victor Noble Rainbird Award – Sarah Morton

Chris Woodhead Award – Migle Glazauskaite

Tony Pattison Award for Contribution to the Community – Laura Cather

Howard Litchfield Award for Contribution to Design – Abbie Wright

Gaia Technologies Award for IT Excellence – Shaun Dearden

Surgo Construction Award – Annie Wilson

Geoff Younger Award – Kurtis Cowan

Michael Sehgal Award – Robert Kotlar

Governor’s Award – Amilah Ashfaq

Chair of Governor’s Award – Shahad El Hiblu

Executive Principal Award – Man Tik Lam

Lord Laidlaw Award – Akrem Nashih

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