This year’s most talented, ambitious and dedicated schools, pupils, teachers and staff in Knowsley have been celebrated at a fantastic ceremony held in the borough’s new Shakespeare North Playhouse.
The 2022 Knowsley Education Awards shone a spotlight on the very best of education in Knowsley – and were yet another prestigious event in Knowsley’s Borough of Culture year.
In all, 17 awards were up for grabs on Tuesday, 8 November, recognising outstanding team and individual achievements, as well as best practice across the sector.
The competition was fierce, with so many wonderful nominees put forward for the awards, which took place for the first time since the COVID pandemic.
The winners were as follows:
Outstanding Achievement – Primary: Jaden Tagoe – Holy Family Catholic Primary, Halewood
Jaden is described by his teachers as being a “model pupil” who shows perseverance and persistence to do his very best in everything. As well as being a great role model at school, with an “outstanding work rate, manners and personality”, Jaden has also recently raised more than £1100 for the Anthony Walker Foundation by taking part in the Great North Run. He chose the charity as he wanted to highlight that “discrimination for any reason should not exist.”
Highly Commended went to Kirtheepan Partheepan from St Luke’s Catholic Primary School, Prescot. Kirtheepan was nominated because of his incredible hard work and dedication to his studies – his teachers say he “grasps every opportunity” to learn and improve.
Outstanding Achievement – Secondary: Isabelle Cosgrove – All Saints Catholic High School, Kirkby
Isabelle is the leader of the Knowsley Youth Parliament, and Head Girl at All Saints. Her teachers say she is an excellent role model to all. She has taken an active role in the school’s Scholar programme, supporting younger pupils, and recently raised money for Macmillan Cancer Research with a cake sale in school.
Highly Commended went to Aimee Clare from The Prescot School. Her teachers nominated her because of the great progress she has made during her time at the school, and because of her great attitude – she is always hardworking and supportive of her friends and peers.
Outstanding Achievement – Special: Callim Tumbare – Finch Woods Academy, Halewood
Callim is a student who has demonstrated excellent behaviour and is described as “a pleasure to have at the school.” His teachers say he has worked hard to achieve his goals and has a bright future ahead of him.
Highly Commended went to Liam Harricke from Alt Bridge School, Huyton. Liam’s teachers say he is a “phenomenally positive and sociable” person who is always polite and helpful to others. He is an active member of the student council and was recently nominated as a ‘Kindness Champion’ by fellow pupils.
Outstanding Achievement – Post 16: Shea Browne – All Saints Catholic High School, Kirkby
Shea was nominated by his teachers in recognition of his hard work, determination, incredible positivity and resilience, all of which has made him a fantastic role model for others in the All Saints Sixth Form.
Eco Champions Award: Class 3/4 Miss Williams – Holy Family Catholic Primary, Halewood
Inspired after reading ‘The Tin Forest’ by Helen Ward, Class 3 / 4 have become passionate about reducing, reusing and recycling. Linking in with work on climate change and conservation, the children have taken part in activities including the Great Big School Clean, acted as community ‘Litter Heroes’ and used their persuasive writing skills to encourage others to play their part in protecting the local environment.
Highly Commended in this category was Gaynor Walker and Laura McGuire from All Saints Catholic High School, Kirkby.
School Citizen of the Year: Lucy McKevitt – Halewood Academy
Nominating her, Lucy’s form teacher, Karen Williams, said: “Lucy truly embodies our school ethos of a RACER student – showing Respect, Aspiration, Collaboration, Excellence and Resilience every day and we are very proud to call her one of our students.” Lucy’s behaviour and attitude are both outstanding, and she has also been actively involved in fundraising for Alder Hey Hospital, a cause which means a lot to her. Most recently, she raised more than £1,310 for Alder Hey by climbing Snowdon with a group of friends and family – battling some truly horrendous conditions and showing great determination to reach the summit.
Highly Commended in this category was Terry Clarke – St Leo’s & Southmead Catholic Primary School, Whiston.
STEM Project of the Year: Year 2 Designosaur group – St Joseph the Worker Catholic Primary, Kirkby
This group of Year 2 pupils took part in a STEM based project during British Science Week. The pupils were invited by the STEMettes Youth Board North West Regional consultant and a group of Year 10 pupils from Liverpool Bluecoat School to collaborate with them on a national competition. Together, they designed and constructed a ‘Designosaur’ prototype, using creative thinking, problem solving and team work to build their model. The finished product was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the competition, and is now on display in the Design Museum in London.
Highly Commended in this category was Kirkby Collaborative of Schools.
Diversity and Inclusion Award: Yew Tree Primary Academy, Halewood
Yew Tree Primary Academy is a school that prides itself on a welcoming, inclusive and caring ethos. It offers fantastic support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and believes that all children can be supported to dream big and achieve excellence. It embeds inclusivity into all aspects of school life – even recently hosting its first fully Inclusive Sports Day this year. The event brought together children from nine local schools and ensured all pupils could take part, including those with complex needs.
Highly Commended in this category was Claire Swinburn from Park Brow Primary School, Kirkby.
Teacher of the Year: Penny Lunt – Blacklow Brow School, Huyton
Miss Lunt is a Year 4 teacher at Blacklow Brow, she also heads up Physical Education and Design and Technology at the school. In nominating Penny, Deputy Head Teacher Gary Latham said: “Penny has mastered the elusive art of being firm but fair, having rules yet maintaining relationships, and keenly remembering that though she teaches numerous content/subject areas she is really teaching “children” whom she freely offers support, acceptance, and grace.” Indeed, Miss Lunt even got a special mention from OFSTED during the school’s recent inspection, highlighting her dedication to her role.
Highly Commended in this category was Kenniann Grainger from The Prescot School
Support Champion of the Year: Simon Watson – St Marie’s Catholic Primary School, Kirkby
Simon is described as “an outstanding practitioner” in the role of Safeguarding and Attendance Lead, working with parents, pupils and agencies to support families. His work has helped ensure attendance at St Marie’s is consistently in line with or above average. Headteacher Sheelagh O’Keeffe says: “Simon is at the centre of school life, he is everywhere, every day supporting each member of the school community. There is never a day when someone doesn’t ask: ‘Can I speak to Mr Watson please?’ And he is there.”
Highly Commended in this category was Debbie Walker from Park View Academy, Huyton.
Team of the Year: Supporting Vulnerable Pupils Team – Lord Derby Academy, Huyton
This team work collaboratively with pupils, families and other agencies to respond to any safeguarding issues identified either in school or outside. They work with each case to offer a range of child-centred interventions which offer ongoing support. As a result, the school has not made a permanent exclusion in more than four and a half years, with suspensions below 1% for three consecutive years.
Highly Commended in this category was the Reading Team from St Luke’s Catholic Primary School, Prescot.
School Governor of the Year: Ian Marshall – Lord Derby Academy, Huyton
Ian has been a Governor of Lord Derby Academy since 2002 and in that time has demonstrated an ‘unwavering ambition’ for the whole school community and the local children of Huyton. His “razor-sharp focus and meticulous attention to detail” is always delivered with an understated and respectful approach, and Ian is always willing to go above and beyond in his voluntary role.
Highly Commended in this category was Lindsey Barry from Blacklow Brow School, Huyton
Enterprise and Careers Award: Claire Haigh, The Prescot School
Mrs Haigh is Head of Careers at The Prescot School. As well as working year round to help children learn about careers, career pathways, opportunities, job roles and related qualifications, she helps to organised an annual ‘Working Lives Day’. This allows students to meet a variety of employers and ask questions about their career offer and paths to employment.
Highly Commended in this category was Lesley MacCallum and Halewood Academy Careers
School of the Year – Primary: Prescot Primary School
In April this year, the school were graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted, with Outstanding Early Years Foundation Stage. Not only did inspectors find that staff successfully help all children to achieve highly, they also praised the school’s welcoming, family feel and found it to be a place “full of smiles and laughter”.
Highly Commended in this category was Yew Tree Primary Academy, Halewood.
School of the Year – Secondary: All Saints Catholic High School, Kirkby
This year, All Saints achieved an incredible turn-around – once graded as ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted, in January it achieved a ‘Good’ grading in all areas. It’s rapid improvement and work to build relationships and trust in the local community has seen the school become an incredibly popular choice, and is now oversubscribed.
Highly Commended in this category was Finch Woods Academy, Halewood
Special School of the Year: Alt Bridge School, Huyton
Alt Bridge has recently made significant developments to enhance the provision for students. A whole school learning environment review was undertaken in order to provide a very calm and sensory-friendly place of learning. Enhancements have included classroom refurbishments, the development of shared areas, the creation of therapeutic spaces and significant improvements to the outdoor spaces. Alt Bridge Students are now flourishing thanks to facilities including forest school provision, a wellbeing hub and calm sensory spaces.
Highly Commended in this category was Bluebell Park School, Kirkby.
Post-16 Provider of the Year: Alt Bridge School Post 16, Huyton
Judges were impressed with Alt Bridge’s curriculum choices – purposely selected to enhance life chances for pupils beyond school and to inspire learners. This year, Alt Bridge have introduced the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Community Day, Forest School, PGL residential, and both internal and external work placements, to help ‘bounce back’ from the impact of Covid. The post-16 provision began at Alt Bridge in September 2021 and has been so successful that they have now extended their enrolment by a further 50%.
Highly Commended in this category was All Saints Catholic High School Sixth Form, Kirkby.
Inspirational stories from across the education sector in Knowsley
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Once again the Knowsley Education Awards have been a fantastic reminder of the very many inspirational individuals, teams and organisations that we have in the borough.
“We’ve recognised individuals who have overcome significant challenges in order to achieve and inspire others, and people who’ve gone above and beyond to ensure others are supported and able to reach their full potential.
“It’s been wonderful hearing about the school teams, the teachers, the Governors and support staff whose dedication makes a positive contribution every day.
“It’s been the perfect opportunity to recognise, celebrate and thank everyone whose efforts are genuinely helping to change lives.
“Congratulations to all our winners, and our excellent Highly Commended nominees.”