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Achievement awards for Aberdeen’s outstanding young people
The outstanding achievements of Aberdeen's children, young people, and the people who work them have been honoured at a special awards ceremony.
More than 80 groups and individuals were nominated for Aberdeen City Council's Children & Young People's Services Awards in recognition of their sporting success stories, academic attainments and triumphs over adversity.
Education, Culture and Sport convener Councillor Jenny Laing said: "These awards recognise people whose achievements and contributions to their communities are truly inspirational and it was humbling for me personally to be able to be present to meet them in person.
"All of the winners the young people and the adults have excelled through their commitment, determination and hard work. They are so often the unsung heroes in our midst but we have made sure that they know that their efforts are admired and hugely appreciated."
The Beach Ballroom awards ceremony was attended by the shortlisted nominees in each category and by parents, councillors and business and community partners, with the 300-strong audience treated to performances by some of the city's talented young musicians and dancers. This year's event was sponsored by BP, Stewart Milne Homes and Total.
Integrated Working Award
Project Fit is a multi-agency partnership project and part of Northfield Youth Action Group, instigated by the police service to identify opportunities for diversionary activities in Northfield and Mastrick in the wake of concerns about antisocial behaviour and low-level crime.
The scheme gave young people the chance to join in sporting and other activities in the evenings. Local youths helped design the project and the branding and it has proved such a success that plans are already in the pipeline to continue through the coming winter months and into 2014.
Aberdeen a City of Culture Award
The Reading Bus
Some 3,500 children from more than 50 schools across Aberdeen spent 18 months creating the Apardion website and iPhone app, offering an interactive guide to their home city and its historic landmarks..
The guide uses children's voices, artwork, writing, music and drama to illuminate Aberdeen's past, during a tour of 14 of the city's most popular places. An evaluation by the City Council showed that working on this real-life project increased the children's motivation and literacy skills.
Business Links Award
Oldmachar Academy & Sparrows Group
In April 2013 seven S6 pupils from Oldmachar Academy, working in partnership with Sparrows Group, won a national award in the Engineering in Education Scheme. This joint project was the start of a partnership which provided an opportunity to aspire to excellence together.
At the heart of the partnership is a shared commitment to promoting the skills and knowledge of students and teachers and the employees of Sparrows Group in the field of engineering in education. A wide range of areas of cooperation which will be of mutual benefit are in place for the 2013/2014 school session.
Working in the Community Award
Carl was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum at the age of 18 months, but this hasn't held him back. With the support of his family, he has made tremendous progress, which can be seen in his contribution and commitment to the local community.
Since joining the Air Cadets in September 2009, Carl has been an enthusiastic member of the squadron, regularly attending fundraising bag-packs and sponsored runs and marches, and helping with marshalling at community events. He raised £2000 for the for the RAF Association charity through fund raising events and has just completed his John Muir Conserver Award.
Hazlehead Academy Energenious Group
This year a group of pupils set about the task of redesigning the dilapidated façade of Hazlehead Academy and investigated how feasible it would be for the school to embrace the benefits of renewable energy. Their study investigated the energy efficiency of the school and in particular looked into the impact renewable technologies could have on the building.
ICT was used to enhance the visuals of their project. Every presentation page was graphically designed and the pupils produced a scale architectural Auto CAD Model of the school, identical to the existing building.
Positive Ethos Award
Cordyce, which meets the needs of some of Aberdeen's most challenging and vulnerable young people, has embraced a 'Person-Centred Planning' approach to running their pupil review meetings, supported by the Educational Psychology Service. Evidence shows that those involved including young people, parents and carers appreciate and respond positively to this approach.
The school was also highly commended as secondary school of the year in the Aberdeen Sports Awards and reached the national finals of an SFA football tournament, with three of their players gaining trials for the national under 19s side.
Enterprising Young People Award
Young Déjà vu Kincorth Academy
Kincorth Academy has been engaged in a Wood Family Trust-supported enterprise pilot project since 2010, aimed at making the pupils entrepreneurial citizens, and has seen pupils from all year groups establish a smoothie bar in the school.
The pupils oversaw the building scheme and met with the clerks of work to discuss the tradespeople they could use, giving them an insight into how real-life businesses operate. The project has had a massive impact on the pupils involved, developing their teamwork, confidence and organisational skills, and teaching them how to communicate with outside agencies and meet deadlines.
Global Citizenship Award
Team Rwanda Harlaw Academy
Over the last three years Harlaw Academy has developed a partnership with charity Rwanda School Village Project, which led to pupils to sponsor five Rwandan children through their six years of secondary education and more recently to send 10 pupils to Western Rwanda to meet the sponsored children and experience their way of life first-hand.
The group wants to make sure their trip has a long-term impact on the wider school and community and is looking at how their experiences can develop a deeper understanding of global citizenship and a greater appreciation of the value of education in lifting the most vulnerable children out of poverty, malnutrition and aid-dependency.
Opportunities for All Award
St Machar Academy in partnership with the Outward Bound Trust
For the past 12 years the nominees have provided outdoor learning opportunities for groups of young people and since 2007 whole year groups have had the chance to attend a five-day course each September, with at least 90% of the cost covered by fundraising and charitable donations.
By participating in the 'Adventure and Challenge' course, pupils experience a very different learning environment and have a unique opportunity to take part in many activities they may otherwise never have tried. The benefits in terms of teamwork, leadership skills, self-esteem and self-confidence stay with them throughout their future careers. Over the past six years nearly 900 young people have taken part in the programme.
Inspirational Adult Award
Joyce Rae from Hazlehead Academy
Joyce has been a member of the Additional Support Needs department at Hazlehead Academy for 21 years and has helped hundreds of pupils reach their potential and achieve qualifications which might not otherwise have been possible. Joyce has given pastoral support to vulnerable pupils, giving up her own time to listen, counsel and offer advice and support.
She is a truly inspirational teacher and her professionalism and dedication to pupil support has raised the bar when it comes to the way her departmental colleagues work.
Physical Achievement Award
Katie Knowles from Hazlehead Academy
Katie is a GB Modern Pentathlon Young Development athlete and gained first place in the Scottish Pentathlon. She has achieved a huge amount of success in her young sporting career but was described by her nominators as a polite, well-mannered and very humble girl who takes all the success in her stride. She is also very encouraging towards other pupils, as demonstrated when she helped to organise a P6 Olympics for 126 pupils in her local catchment area. Katie has also recently won the SPA Scottish Youth Tetrathlon Championship
All of this has been achieved whilst she has been studying hard at school. She is described as having been a credit to Hazlehead Academy and to Aberdeen as a whole.
Healthy Living Award
Andy Martin from Danestone Primary
Andy took on the curriculum lead role for PE at Danestone and undertook significant training and professional development in this area to support his own class, the whole school staff and ultimately the school's development. Each of his endeavours resulted in a new pupil club, or an opportunity for other teachers to come along and learn from his new skills and his dedication resulted in him undertaking a postgraduate qualification in PE.
He committed to delivering PE two days a week across the whole school and in a two-year period a pupil survey showed an increase in the proportion of pupils enjoying PE, from 41% to 88%. Pupil participation in after-school sporting activities also increased significantly and this remains the single biggest curriculum improvement made at Danestone since the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence
Inspirational Young Person Award
Morgan Allan from Manor Park Primary School
On 21 May this year, a tragic road accident took the life of eight-year-old Manor Park pupil Kyle Allan. Kyle's death devastated the school, the community and of course Kyle's family. Despite losing her twin brother, Morgan has provided unbelievable strength and support for all those around her her family, her classmates and the staff of the school.
At Kyle's funeral, Morgan stood in front of around 300 friends and family and read a letter of tribute to her brother. She also led her class's tribute to Kyle at the school's memorial service, reading a story about what losing Kyle meant to her and the school. She has comforted others in their grief, helping to brighten up the days at school with her positive and upbeat approach, demonstrating courage, empathy and strength.
Sandra Burnett Award for Environmental Awareness
P1/2 Hanover Street School
Hanover Street School pupils have learned a great deal about the theme of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle and entered and won the Scottish Total Green School Award for their DVD 'Aliens from Planet Green visit Aberdeen'.
They also re-used over 500 plastic bottles, by turning them into the bright, colourful flowers that can be seen on the school's railings. They recycle paper, don't drop litter and spread these messages throughout the school. By selling their DVD, they raised over £100 for Oxfam's Water Aid project.
Raising Achievement Award
Cummings Park Drivers
Four young people, all aged 13 years who attend the Cummings Park Flat youth group, have been working towards achieving a 250-hour Dynamic Youth Award organised by the national Youth Scotland organisation.
As part of this work, they took part in a fancy dress sponsored walk to raise funds for a trip to Shetland and also raised more money through organising a Christmas fayre.
The Dynamic Award will be a big success, as it is believed that no other group in Aberdeen has yet achieved it.
The Schools Award
Riverbank Primary School
Riverbank was formed out of the merger of St Machar and Donbank Primaries in August 2008. Through the leadership of headteacher Maxine Jolly, the school undertook a great deal of work in establishing a positive ethos for learning based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. By adopting a rights-based approach, the school and its community ensured that adults were clear in their responsibilities as duty-bearers, and in this way the needs of all children were put at the heart of all of the work of the school.
The young people also developed a deeper understanding of their rights and in so doing were encouraged to set high standards in their work and in their behaviour towards one another. In a school inspection report, inspectors recognised that the children have an awareness of environmental issues, the rights of the child and the importance of following a healthy lifestyle.
The Baillie John Porter Award
Bramble Brae Primary School
The award is presented to the primary school which has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the education of children and young people. It thereby acknowledges the work of the wider school community - of the pupils, their teachers, all other school staff and the support of parents, volunteers and partners.
The winner of this year's award has been identified through assessment scores as having contributed most significantly towards pupils' academic progress.