Staff and students at Richmond School and Sixth Form College are buzzing with excitement after being crowned the school of the year in the Northern Echo Education Awards, with Mr Boyd, lead teacher for Music, receiving the award for secondary teacher of the year!  Mrs Potter, Headteacher, was over the moon as Richmond School was announced the winner, in the words of the Northern Echo, ‘It’s the big one! The one we’ve all been waiting for. Give it up for Richmond School and Sixth Form College. Deserved winners of School of the Year.”

The live virtual awards ceremony was hosted by BBC presenter Wendy Gibson and each finalist was present as the winners were announced.  The Awards celebrate the achievements, hard work and all-round positivity in education across the North-East and North Yorkshire, with a flood of entries from schools and colleges across the region. This is tremendous and well-deserved recognition for all the students and staff at school who do so much to make Richmond School and Sixth Form College the special place it is, together with the support received from the Areté Learning Trust, governors, trustees, families and the wider community.

The school was recognised for the way it excelled throughout the last twelve months, especially during lockdown, ensuring that students continued to receive outstanding education and enrichment opportunities. It was also acknowledged for its exceptional careers’ support, involvement in the prestigious social media education ERASMUS project and developing its Alumni network for the benefit of students. The students and staff were praised for  the way they rallied together following the devastating loss of Dave Clark, their Deputy Headteacher, which led to them finding creative ways to raise thousands of pounds for the Great North Air Ambulance in his memory.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “The magic of Richmond School and Sixth Form College is created by each and every member of the school community, each and every day. I simply consider myself to be the conductor of the orchestra.”

Mr Boyd received his award in recognition of the amazing work he did to ensure our students could continue to perform and learn music during the lockdowns. He swiftly swung into action and, within days, instrumental music lessons were being seamlessly delivered online, he encouraged students to join virtual music groups, masterminded the runaway success of the virtual musical advent calendar and then rounded the year off with Richmond’s Got Talent!

Mr Boyd said: “I’m very proud of the award, but this is for everyone I work with, we are part of a team. The community is the lifeblood of our music department and the musical advent calendar was a creative way that, between a group of sixth form students and myself, we came up with to take a concert out into the community. It really lifted spirits at a time when we all needed it.”

Congratulations also go to Sarah Manning, Uchenna Anyadiegwu and Judy Hooton who were finalists in the Star Student and Governor of the Year Awards, an amazing achievement to reach the final three in their categories.

Richard Crane, CEO of the Areté Learning Trust, concluded: “These awards are fully deserved and a recognition of the many brilliant facets of the school and the community it serves. We are all extremely proud of the pupils and staff at the school and look forward to seeing it continue to go from strength to strength.”