St Richard’s Catholic College celebrated the successes of another academic year when it held its annual Prize Evening, held at the De La Warr Pavilion.
It was an opportunity for the college to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of its staff, parents and pupils and to thank the leavers and current pupils for their outstanding commitment to college life.
Academic, artistic, sporting and pastoral successes were all honoured equally, with over 100 individuals and groups being awarded prizes throughout the evening.
This year’s guest speaker was Lance Corporal Derek Derenalagi. Derek is a GB Paralympic Discus Thrower and has also represented the country at the World and European Championships and the Invictus Games. Originally from Fiji, Derek lives with his family in the UK and he shared his inspirational story.
Derek told the incredible story of his experience as a soldier in Afghanistan, which resulted in the loss of both legs in an explosion. Having been declared ‘dead on arrival’ at the battlefield hospital, he was thankfully saved by an expert medical team and flown back to England for emergency surgery and care. He has dedicated himself to the encouragement of others through visits, talks and his own incredible athletic achievements. His final words to the leavers were, “I never gave in and I never gave up”. The resounding applause as he finished was testament to the impact Derek’s story had on everyone in the audience.
Principal, Miss Cronin, gave a report on the achievements and events of the past academic year, thanking all the staff who inspire and challenge the pupils to get involved.
She said: “I am always really proud of the pupils’ response to fundraising and the past academic year was no exception, with over £18,000 being raised for our local, national and global community. In total, the pupils donated funds to 19 different charities.”
Besides fundraising, pupils have remained committed to supporting ‘Surviving Christmas’, Love in a Box, Fairtrade Fortnight, CAFOD’s ‘One Climate, One World’ campaign and Oxfam’s ‘Donate a Book’ campaign with our leavers supporting HCPT: The Pilgrimage Trust at Easter-time, forming their own Service Group 715 to look after needy and disabled children.
Extra-curricular trips totalled 85 and ranged from trips abroad to Berlin, Austria, Iceland, the Christmas Markets in Aachen, to local trips to Space Camp, Oxford, Swanage and Chichester.
Notable successes of the past academic year included: winners in a range of STEM challenges, science and engineering competitions; 32 Bronze and 18 Silver CREST award winners; South East winners of the Lions Peace Poster Art competition; National finalists in the British Dance-Off competition; prize winners in a range of creative writing competitions covering poetry and short stories; National Film Reviewer of the week twice; Bronze Art Award winners; 24 Bronze Awards in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and finally Maths Challenge Awards included 6 gold, 32 silver and 58 bronze. Sports results were also excellent with the college finishing competition winners or runners up on over 40 occasions.
The school community also received a number of accolades in 2014-2015. It was re-designated as a Fairtrade School and its International Schools Status Award was re-designated; the SSAT awarded the school two certificates for being in the top 20% of schools nationally for pupil progress made by pupils KS2 to KS4 and for being in the top 11% nationally for high attainment.
St Richard’s was one of only 15 schools in the country to be invited to work with the Stimulating Physics Network and the Institute of Physics supporting the professional development of all teachers of physics across England.
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