Schools across the region are celebrating after being named on the shortlist for the Educate Awards 2018. For each award category, we have rounded up the shortlisted schools, giving you an insight in to their projects, vision and outcomes!


The Communication Award

Alsop High School’s Alsop Communicating Excellence (ACE) strategy saw the school reimagine the role that it plays in their community. It hoped to encourage young people, parents, partner primary schools and residents to look to the school as a ‘community hub’ for life-long learning.

Through high profile visits, a poster campaign, social media and press releases, the school communicated its vision far and wide and attracted both national and international interest.

St Peter’s CE Primary School in Farnworth has been shortlisted for The Communication Award. Serving one of the most deprived boroughs in Bolton, the school works hard to ensure parents and the local community are fully engaged with the work it does.

Utilising its own website, blog, Twitter account and YouTube channel, the school keeps subscribers regularly up-to-date and fully informed as to what is happening at the school.

Pontville School in Ormskirk is an independent specialist residential and day school supporting children and young people with social communication difficulties.

Pupil voice is extremely important to the school and when a couple of students came up with the idea of a newsletter, it was implemented online as a blog so that it could be regularly updated.

The newsletter team meet weekly, writing and uploading a range of different blogs and news articles, such as individual achievements, charitable events and awards.

Eco School Project of the Year

Heswall Primary School’s ‘Wirral Science Under the Stars – Wirral Saves the Planet’ project is in the running for the Eco School Project of the Year award.

The project’s aim was to raise the profile of science and sustainability across the Wirral, Merseyside and Cheshire community. Over two years, school’s festival of science has brought together over 80 eco organisations and has been visited by nearly 2000 children as well as parents, teachers and educational professionals.

Queen’s Park CE/URC Primary School set about improving the school grounds through many projects, including the ‘School Grounds Planter Challenge’ competition.

Children also planted their own saplings on the perimeter of the school field, thanks to 120 tree saplings provided by the Woodland Trust. With an established Eco Team, the school has planted an extraordinary 2,637 trees in their school grounds and has fostered an ‘Eco Ethos’ throughout the school.

In the last two years, Booker Avenue Junior School has completely transformed an empty space to create an engaging, eco and environmentally friendly garden for the whole school to benefit from.

Children can now explore a natural habitat with a sensory garden for children, a wildflower area with pond and an area dedicated to growing fruit and vegetables as well as planting trees. It’s been a real whole school project and the outcomes and impact on pupils has been overwhelming!

Spirit of Enterprise Award

Wirral Hospitals’ Schools is in the running for the Spirit of Enterprise Award. Its Joseph Paxton Campus is a small community special school offering a therapeutic alternative setting for young people in Wirral.

The school runs a range of initiatives developing enterprise skills through a combination of teacher-led sessions and visits from local companies and charities. Examples include a visit to the University of Liverpool, talks from special guests and a £5 fundraising challenge where students have to start up their own enterprise! The school says the impact has been huge, as well as raising over £1,500 for various charities, students’ self-confidence and self-esteem has flourished.

Neston High School in Cheshire has been shortlisted for the Spirit of Enterprise Award. The school uses enterprise activities to bring parts of its business studies course to life. Students are encouraged to work as teams and solve problems for real-life opportunities.

From organising parties for senior citizens to running a small business, students have shown entrepreneurial traits that will help them through life.

Morecambe Bay Community Primary School works hard to introduce its children to a wide variety of career choices and aspirations as staff are keen to ensure pupils become happy, successful learners, responsible citizens and confident individuals.

Each year it conducts an Enterprise Project which every class works on for a week, setting up mini businesses which is designed to equip them with useful skills that will help them for many years to come.

The school also arranges work base trips to different business, enabling them to experience the world of work.

St Oswald’s CE Primary School in Bootle is up for the Spirit of Enterprise Award. Its TREE (training for responsibility, education and employment) project sets out clear targets for the children to work towards and are based on the values the children will need to succeed in education or employment.

The school encourages entrepreneurship and runs an enterprise week which sees children take part in the annual Christmas fair and raise money for worthwhile causes.

SEND Provision Award

Leasowe Primary School is shortlisted for the SEND Provision Award. Inclusion is paramount at Leasowe and is at the heart of everything that the staff do.

In 2017, the school opened Hub 1, an inclusion base managed by Miss Tyler which is dedicated to children whose needs vary so considerably. The Hub proved so popular that Hub 2 and Hub 3 followed closely behind, the school now has inclusion bases for every child who needs them.

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi’s vision of ‘Success for All’ is evident throughout the school. 22% of its students in Year 7-11 are on the SEN register and across the school 44 languages are spoken. Initiatives include targeted intervention for reading and writing, a Small Learning Community where students receive support in English and Maths and individual sessions for social, emotional and mental health.

Outcomes for SEND students are positive – last year’s Year 11 students with SEND performed as well as their peers and significantly better than students with SEND nationally.

Alsop High School’s Nurture Group continues to go from strength to strength. Pupils in Year 7 and 8 have become ‘Community Ambassadors’, completing over 50 hours of community engagement work.

The SEND department also ensures a smooth transition to secondary school with projects such as #BeKind, a breakfast club and ‘Mile a Day’. One parent said “The life skills and opportunities Nurture Group gives the pupils is amazing. I wish I could come back to school!”

Gateacre School’s SEND department support, promote and develop inclusion for their exceptional young students. The school has achieved so much this year, from a therapeutic inclusion room, counselling, mental health first aid kit, running workshops and various after-school clubs.

One parent sums up the work of the department, led by Tara McKibben, saying: “Their continuing care and commitment they have shown to both our daughter and ourselves, long before her transition to Year 7, has been fantastic. The team at Gateacre are exceptional.”

Innovative and Creative Literacy Award

Halewood Academy’s ‘Pride and Promises Poetry Anthology’ project is shortlisted for the Innovative and Creative Literacy Award.

Miss Archer runs a weekly creative writing club after school and what began as an idea from a few likeminded pupils quickly developed in to something startling. Miss Archer asked students and staff to write poems around the theme of ‘Pride and Promises’ and the response was immediate. Poems came flooding in and the school decided to publish the poems in an anthology which they made available to purchase via Amazon. The initiative has had a long-standing impact and as the school puts it: “If you can be published and sell a book, what can’t you do?”

Queen’s Park CE/URC Primary School is also in contention for the Innovative and Creative Literacy Award. Their entry, written as a poem, described just how innovative and creative the staff and pupils are at Queen’s Park.

From learning Dickens to Shakespeare, to a dedicated reading garden and school library, the school says: “We’re sharing a passion our teachers instil, We’re creating a culture, Because Writing’s a skill!”

Bishop David Sheppard CE Primary School is shortlisted for this award because of an innovative experience staff recently created after recognising boys at the school were not writing at the same standard as the girls.

A WWI fighter plane was positioned on the school field in order to excite and enthuse pupils – an actress was even recruited, playing the part of a WWI pilot who had ‘landed in the area’. Children throughout the school were in awe and were tasked throughout the day with writing about their experience, giving them an exciting learning opportunity to remember.

STEM Project of the Year

Rudston Primary School has engaged in many creative, whole-school projects and have a developing history of STEM projects. One aspect that the school wished to develop is within the area of Working Scientifically.

This year, the school considered physics with a space-based topic, with a particular focus on Women in STEM. The project started with a crashed satellite in the centre of its outdoor reading area which was ‘discovered’ by pupils and staff. Children have developed investigative enquiry skills, drew conclusions and worked with Liverpool John Moores University to inspire investigations!

Sandbach High has been shortlisted due its successful after-school STEM club for key stage 3, 4 and 5 students. Starting in 2010, the club has grown from strength to strength due to the enthusiasm of individual teachers and the receptiveness of students.

The school has managed to increase the popularity of product design and engineering and has seen 35% of its students go on to study a STEM related subject at university.

Warrington’s Beamont Collegiate Academy has also been shortlisted for STEM Project of the Year.

The academy has been recognised for its unique project with United Utilities. The 16 week STEM based project focused on multi-disciplinary real world problems experienced within the North West by the country’s leading water supplier.

The real-life experience has hugely benefitted students, allowing them to be involved in a creative project which will help them in their future careers.

Outstanding Arts in Primary School

Riverside Primary School is shortlisted for its ‘Archie and the Royal Avocado’ project. During Prince William’s royal visit to the school, four-year old pupil Archie gave him a unique gift for the Duchess of Cambridge – an avocado. Inspired by the excitement that the royal visit has generated, the school made an all-singing, all dancing production, ‘Archie and the Royal Avocado’ which involved the whole community.

With a focus on enhancing the mental health, well-being and happiness of pupils, the impact of the far-reaching project has been vast – all pupils state they are ‘happy’ at Riverside and writing progress is at 100% good or better across the entire school.

Lister Junior School prides itself on providing pupils with amazing opportunities in performing arts. It has always had a huge, all-inclusive cast of between 50 and 250 children, of all abilities and backgrounds. In 2017, the school decided to do something different, it became a Public Examination Centre for Trinity College London and set about creating a performing arts programme to showcase their skills and talents.

Almost 50 children received a Distinction – the highest achievable grade! The school also won the St Francis Choir of the Year competition and defended its Choir of the Year title.

Netherton Moss Primary School is in the running for this prestigious accolade with its whole school performance, Unwritten Story.

Pupils came up with a unique tale based on a group of children who regularly meet at their local library and begin to notice that the endings to their favourite stories have all been changed, such as Little Red Riding Hood being eaten by wolves!

From reception to year 6, everyone participated in the production, allowing children of all ages to channel their interests and imagination into a positive creative outcome.

Outstanding Arts in Secondary School

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi’s (ASFA) music department includes every child from Year 7 to 11. Music at ASFA is the catalyst for social change, cultural and racial acceptance.

Projects include the sold out gig, ‘Live at the Cavern’ and various initiatives beyond the classroom. Over 200 students have been involved in community events such as the Gubay Foundation by Nugent, Cultural Christmas Celebration evening and Battle of the Bands.

Since setting up the ABS Performance department in 2015, Archbishop Blanch has put its heart and soul into gaining rapid recognition. This year, the department has ‘stepped up its game’ to continue to involve as many students in the arts as possible – now almost 20% of the whole school intake – as well as supporting city wide arts initiatives.

Its thought-provoking piece called ‘My teacher thought I was so I am…’ won the ‘Best Overall Performance’ at this year’s Now Festival and raises awareness of stress and mental health issues in education.

The Belvedere Academy Drama and Music departments proudly presents…A Night at the Musicals. The evening of glitz, glamour and toe-tapping tunes journeyed audiences in to a world of musical theatre, featuring Les Misérables, Chicago, Billy Elliot, The Lion King and more.

Performing Arts is flourishing at Belvedere and with almost 100 students involved (including a student tech team who operated the whole production!), it has been its biggest in-house production to date. Staff have been overwhelmed with the feedback, with many applauding the talent of pupils and likening it to ‘West End quality’.

Hillside High School’s new Arts Showcase has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Arts in Secondary School award.

Artistic students have excelled so much over the years, the Bootle school now hosts a dedicated event to display its students’ hard work which also includes other creative areas such as design technology, dance, drama, film and music.

Career Aspiration Award

All Saints Sixth Form College, linked to The Academy of St Nicholas, offers a unique ‘futures gateway programme’ to inspire students.

Close industry and business partnerships include Biograd, Astra Zenca and The Crowne Plaza. The personal best scholars’ programme provides Year 7-11 students with access to Russell Group universities, employment and apprenticeships. 98% of vocational subjects are now on target to meet or exceed target grades and it is also on target to meet their aspirational goal of zero NEET students.

Canon Slade School in Bolton has been recognised for the Career Aspiration Award.

The secondary school delivers an inspiring careers programme for all students, including careers conventions, talks from professionals in a range of industries as well as taster visits to universities and work placements.

St Damian’s RC Science College in Ashton-Under-Lyne is also shortlisted due to its dedicated mission to inspire all students, regardless of their academic ability and background.

The programmes ensures individuals are well informed and develop self-knowledge and skills to take charge of their personal and career development.

Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Primary School

This year, Plantation Primary School wanted to build upon its past success by using sport to achieve wider school aims. One such aim was to improve parental engagement, and this was achieved through various parent/child workshops. The Knowsley school has also increased opportunities for children with SEND and helped children create team-based competitions.

The school has increased its extra-curricular sports programme from 74 to 77 clubs, improved attendance through clubs such as ‘This Girl Can’ and ‘Skills Builder’ and seen success at a number of competitions.

Saughall All Saints Primary School in Chester has been nominated for the Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Primary School Award.

Sports, physical activity, healthy lifestyles and emotional well-being are at the heart of the school and children are constantly given opportunities to take part in sport and are actively encouraged to make healthy choices.

This year, Ofsted recognised that the extra-curricular sporting opportunities on offer was a strength of the school.

Over the past three years, there has been a transformation of attitude towards the importance of sport at St Aloysius Catholic Primary School. It has established stronger partnerships with the likes of Everton in the Community and became a Primary League Primary Stars school.

It also became a ‘trailblazer’ school for the BBC’s ‘Supermovers’ campaign, which involved children taking part in short bursts of activity with an academic focus. One parent says: “The team are really supportive in encouraging a range of activities that are inclusive to all children.”

Community Partnership Award

Northwood Community Primary School is in the running for its work with charity FareShare and Magic Breakfast. The school identified that a significant number of pupils were arriving to school in the morning not having a healthy breakfast, or any breakfast at all. With the support of organisation Magic Breakfast, the school now offers pupils a proper start to the day with cereal, juices and bagels.

With the support of charity FareShare, who redistribute surplus food to different organisations, the governors committed to providing funding to enable all pupils to receive a free lunch.

The Academy @ Worden in Leyland is up for the Community Partnership Award because of its dedicated health and wellbeing mela.

Over the past three years, the school has hosted the event for the community, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone in the area. Months of hard work and preparation is involved with many students volunteering their time towards it.

Bickerstaffe CE School has developed excellent links with the local community, even though it is sparsely populated, with very little amenities and an ageing population.

Ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day, the school planned to have their own special day and recruited members of the local community to donate items or services to ensure the day was just as good as the Royal Family’s!

The Hollins’ Let’s Be Foundation is also in the running for the Community Partnership Award.

The initiative focuses on three areas; helping people in need and the homeless, tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly and supporting people with illness.

From tea parties, Christmas dinners and art projects, students regularly dedicate their free time to the community and are able to experience and cultivate positive character traits such as civic responsibility, resilience, patience, kindness and gratitude.

Outstanding Teaching of Life Skills

Abbot’s Lea School works hard to ensure students are introduced to new challenges each day, which allows them to build new skills. Headteacher Mrs Ania Hildrey and her team have devised a unique programme to get students out of their ‘comfort zones’.

This includes community outreach such as volunteering at foodbanks and opportunities in the world of work for senior students. The school also offers supported internships through collaborating with facilities management company, Amey.

Archbishop Blanch School undertakes various initiatives to instil life skills in students. Its Humanutopia programme has had a huge impact on students as well as the local community. Recent projects include donating to the Whitechapel Centre and working with local primaries.

Other projects include apprenticeship fairs, visits from external speakers and achieving the Gold Reading Quality Mark. Students are well prepared for life in ‘modern Britain’!

Middlefield Community Primary School believes that it can have a transformational and lifelong impact on its children. Its pastoral provision is a key strength of Middlefield and the team work tirelessly to ensure that the needs of its most vulnerable children are met.

It uses a wide range of educational therapeutics and supportive interventions including ‘A Quiet Place’ programme and ‘Theta’. The introduction of the ‘Philosophy for Children’ programme has brought its bespoke curriculum and outstanding pastoral care close together.

Innovation in Education Award

Last year, The Hollins in Accrington launched its ‘Let’s Be Foundation – a platform for students to serve their local community.

The school was keen to create a system that does not just heavily rely on academic learning and attainment, but also focuses on social and emotional learning, character development, wellbeing and kindness and coexisting together.

Eldon Primary School in Preston, takes pride in adapting the curriculum to provide children with opportunities they wouldn’t normally get to experience.

By utilising a building next door, Eldon House has created an enhanced curriculum for all ages. It offers an inclusive environment and a way of developing the life skills of pupils, such as cooking, cultural awareness and understanding safety around a home.

Almost all students at Mayfield School have communication difficulties. Staff constantly review research and consider new techniques and adopt a ‘can do’ attitude to challenge restricted thinking around special educations needs and disability.

Its ‘Talk Tools’ project is a unique programme and Mayfield is one of very few schools in the UK to offer the system which aims to improve oral strength, stability and oral motor control. Since introducing it, feedback from staff, parents and students have reported life-changing results.

Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Secondary School

Physical Education and school sport is at the heart of Hope Academy, with an emphasis on ‘PE for all’.

The school prides itself on its elite performers and mass participation, with students taking part in a wide range of sports including rugby, trampolining, badminton, athletics and table tennis. Sporting success also continues to grow, with its boy’s and girls’ teams excelling in St Helens and Merseyside.

Rainford High is in contention for its inclusive and aspirational approach to PE & Sport.

The school has achieved outstanding team and individual success within a wide range of local, regional and national competitions. It has also focused on breaking down traditional gender participation barriers through increasing the number of girls in school football and rugby teams and doubling the number of boys participating in cheerleading and dance clubs.

Ridgeway High School’s commitment to sport has been recognised. The Prenton school has had a phenomenal year of sport which saw the introduction of ‘Sports Voice’ for students to have their say and the creation of a PE department twitter account @RHS_Sport.

Sports lunch clubs are booming with 65% of the school community now involved in extra-curricular on a regular basis. Ridgeway also introduced an inaugural Winter Games which saw an incredible 200 students enter and take part in the winter sports day.

School Support Star of the Year

St Damian’s RC Science College’s chair of governors, Elizabeth Jones has been nominated for Support Star of the Year.

She has been a stalwart for the St Damian’s community for over 40 years and has made an outstanding contribution initially as the Bursar and part of the Senior Leadership Team, and more recently going the extra mile in a voluntary capacity as chair of governors.

Julie McNally from St Oswald’s CE Primary School is nominated for this prestigious award because of her continued dedication to pupils and their parents. As Parent Support Advisor, Julie’s roles is to engage with parents, raise attendance of pupils, and signpost and support parents in engaging in the wider community.

One key area of focus for Julie is pupil attendance. She offers families a range of ways to help improve their child’s attendance, with many initiatives also used in school. Since Julie joined the school attendance is now above the national average.

Judith Bowden from St John Bosco Arts College has been a stalwart at the school for over 27 years. As the cleaning supervisor, Judi is committed to ensuring St John Bosco shines like a new pin! Described as a team player through and through, Judi has a wonderful relationship with staff and students and takes an active role in school life.

Often care of the college site can go unnoticed and everyone assumes it just happens, but at St John Bosco, it happens because of Judi. “Every school should have a Judi,” says the entry.

Teacher of the Year

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi’s Head of Music, Jay Bradley has been shortlisted for the coveted Teacher of the Year Award. With ‘music flowing through his veins’, Mr Bradley unites cultures, embraces diversity, inspires generations and creates lifelong opportunities for ASFA students.

Since joining over three years ago, Jay has transformed the music department. Music results have improved from 14% A*-C to consistently above the city and national average. He is described as a truly inspirational teacher with an ‘immeasurable’ impact on the whole school culture!

Lister Junior School’s Peter Kelly embarked on a remarkable charity marathon for Sport Relief earlier this year, aiming to bring schools and pupils together and inspire them in the name of sport. Peter ran 34 miles across the city, visiting 18 schools on his journey and raising over £4,000!

Alongside this, Peter is an outstanding teacher helping pupils progress academically. Headteacher Simon King said: “In my 27 years in the profession I have seen few teachers able to inspire and motivate pupils as Peter does.” And as one pupil put it: “Every day is a fun day with Mr Kelly.”

St Joseph’s RC Primary School’s deputy headteacher and year six teacher, Stephen Hill has been recognised for his unrivalled commitment to pupils, the school and also the wider community.

Stephen encourages every child to fully realise their potential and under his guidance, they grow in confidence. He also regularly dedicates his time to arranging unique experiences for his pupils to enjoy and learn from, both after school and at weekends.

St Damian’s RC Science College’s assistant headteacher, Margaret Banks has been shortlisted for Teacher of the Year.

After 27 years of service at the Ashton-Under-Lyne college, she has now decided to retire but is unlikely to be forgotten due to her incredible work during her time with the college.

In particular, Margaret worked closely with students who had special emotional and social needs and those with disabilities, helping them overcome whatever challenges they faced.

Academy @ Worden’s head of English, Mrs Suzanne Gardner, has been nominated for the Teacher of Year Award after 35 years at the school. Having retired in July, Mrs Gardener is sorely missed by staff and students and has left a legacy that will be hard to replace.

From her enthusiasm of engaging youngsters to read, to her dedicated charity work, the school truly believes she is worthy of this prestigious award.


Leadership Team of the Year

Under headteacher Mr Roberts’ leadership, Gateacre School has made giant leaps forward. He has turned the school around and both the school and the environment is practically unrecognisable.

Described as ‘boss’ by students and ‘calm, focussed and quietly inspirational’ by Ofsted, he is the integral driving force with an innovative approach. Leadership, parental engagement and collaboration are now stronger and more focussed and a culture of high standards of expectation has been introduced.

As a faith based school, Archbishop Blanch’s entry criteria is based on faith not academic ability. Therefore it is extremely proud of its students’ achievements and progress, such as a +0.42 Progress 8 score; 96.7% school attendance and its SSAT award for being in the top 10% of schools nationally for student attainment.

This is a result of the school’s strong leadership and commitment to ensure every child is successful by combining academic rigour with excellent pastoral care. Staff development and enrichment activities for students are also part of its leadership strategy.

The Great Schools Trust took over King’s Leadership Academy Liverpool in 2015 when the school was in special measures and in danger of being closed. Since then, ASPIRE values have been introduced, a new leadership team in place and various initiatives implemented such as the King’s Scholars Program.

The impact has been drastic – King’s was in the top 0.6% of schools nationally in terms of improvement for pupil outcomes and the most improved school in Liverpool for pupil outcomes. A ‘Good’ Ofsted soon followed and the Principal was invited to Downing Street to celebrate the school’s success.

Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider

A few years ago, Gateacre School’s 16-18 provision was deemed inadequate by Ofsted and the outcomes by students were unimpressive. But in the last two years, the sixth form team, led by Mrs Kinder has transformed the provision on offer. Academic and vocational subjects now perform well above national levels and it is currently placed as the top performing school for both A level progress and Applied General progress.

Headteacher Mr Roberts says: “I am very proud what we have achieved and in a short space of time through the talents and hard work of both staff and students.”

Middleton’s Cardinal Langley RC Sixth Form has also been shortlisted. The Sixth Form is in the top 25% of schools and colleges nationally for A-Levels and BTECs.

The dedicated team continually strives to ensure that they provide the best standard of provision to students, caring and supporting each individual which in turn, has improved the sixth form’s overall academic performance.

Formby High Sixth Form has been nominated for the Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider.

With excellent A-Level and BTEC results, a wide range of extra-curricular activities and an enrichment programme on offer, students are given the right balance of independent learning, specialist teaching and access to support and guidance whilst studying at the ‘small but perfectly formed’ sixth form.

Since opening its doors in September 2017, All Saints Sixth Form College has had a positive impact on the community by raising aspirations, improving outcomes and promoting skills for working life.

The college has also developed relationships with businesses such as Kier Construction, Urban Farm, The Crowne Plaza and Astra Zeneca. One student says: “There is lots of support with post school option such as university or employability.”

Most Inspirational Secondary School

Gateacre School is celebrating a significant and rapid rate of improvement – it is now the top performing school in Liverpool; top 10% nationally for A Level and Applied General results and in the top 10% of schools and colleges in the country for Vocational qualifications.

In a short amount of time, the school has achieved an Ofsted Good rating (removing itself from special measures) and had its Academy order revoked due to substantial progress. GCSE attainment and progress has also increased significantly.

Ormiston Chadwick Academy in Widnes has been turned around after it was judged ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted three years ago.

Principal Tuesday Humby, together with her dedicated team, has transformed the school and it is now one of the best performing in the area, with many students wanting to attend.

Results have also vastly improved and the class of 2018 are set to achieve over 1.0 for Progress 8.

Archbishop Blanch School has achieved an overwhelming variety of success throughout the year. These achievements, both academic and extra-curricular, have inspired all of the ABS community to continue to strive for excellence.

Success includes being recognised nationally for excellent results, achieving the Liverpool Counts Quality Mark Gold Award and receiving various awards for its arts, sport and music offer. The school has also ‘closed the gap’ between the progress of disadvantaged pupils and the performance of non-disadvantaged pupils nationally.

Most Inspirational Primary School

Billinge St Aidan’s C of E Primary School has been recognised for its dedicated support towards its pupils’ mental and physical wellbeing.

This year has been a difficult year for the school, having lost a pupil who was fighting a brain tumour. Staff and pupils went above and beyond to help the family, and raised money when needed. The school also regularly welcomes therapy dogs which help pupils from all walks of life, as well as an aroma therapist who teaches ways in which the children can relax.

Kentmere Academy Primary School in Rochdale has been recognised for its unique and inspirational journey of improvement. Less than five years ago, it was amongst the worst schools in Greater Manchester and was put in to special measures by Ofsted.

With the relentless drive for improvement by all members of staff, its strong culture of support and the need to know that in every classroom the children were getting the best possible education, the school went from strength to strength.

Summerhill Primary School in Maghull is also shortlisted due to its excellent reputation for its caring ethos, creative curriculum and close links with parents.

Voted the number one primary school in Sefton and 77th in the country, it is also in the top 2% of schools in England in terms of progress for reading, writing and mathematics.

As well as academic success, the school boasts a varied enrichment programme for pupils which stems from its Forest school status as well as being a ‘Rights Respecting School’ which helps children understand their rights from a young age.

WOW Recognition Award

Halewood CofE Primary School’s outdoor development project has been recognised. Valuing the positive impact that outdoor learning can have on children’s physical, social and emotional development, the school made a commitment to invest in this area.

Children can now explore nature in a range of environments, including aquatic, woodland and wildflower, marsh, horticulture areas and a dry zone for nesting pollinators.

The rich, natural environment has allowed children to become immersed in writing experiences and take part in orienteering, den days, outdoor classroom day and read a book in the outdoor reading space, aptly named ‘Book Nook.

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi’s cavern gig, which saw 75 students take part across all year groups, is also shortlisted.

‘Live at the Cavern’ was an evening of great music featuring bands and acts from the Academy. Performances came from the Academy’s band ‘Vocalize’, drum ensemble ‘Stix’, a Year 7 body percussionist, bands from Years 8, 9 and 10 and fantastic soloists including Candice Ranario, Rhys Johnston and Lisa Mhagrh.

Chorley’s Mayfield School has been shortlisted for its innovative, child centred, joined up approach to its work with children, families and other professionals.

Almost all of its students have communication difficulties, yet the school aims to give them all a voice via its total communication approach, making what may seem unremarkable, remarkable.

The Hollins in Accrington is in the running for the WOW Recognition award for its ‘Let’s Be Foundation’ – a youth-led, social action initiative that empowers and gives its students the platform to serve their local community, develop into future leaders and create a movement for positive changes.

Even though it is still in its infancy, students have already made a big impact and demonstrated that through compassion, responsibility and kindness, they have the ability to change the world they live in.