Heroes honoured at 2018 Northamptonshire Education Awards

Northamptonshire's education heroes have been honoured at our annual awards.

Thursday, 28th June 2018, 1:42 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:52 pm
Double award winner Kacper Laskowski with Kevin Rogers of Wilson Browne Solicitors

The awards, run by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, Northants Telegraph and Daventry Express, took place last night (June 27) at Wicksteed Park in Kettering and celebrated our outstanding schools, and the people who make them great.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Primary School of the Year – sponsored by the Northamptonshire Telegraph

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Rushden Primary Academy

Hardingstone Academy

Mawsley Community Primary

Windmill Primary, Raunds

Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

St Andrews CE, Northampton

Grendon CE

The Bliss Charity School, Nether Heyford

Winner – Mawsley Community Primary School

One of the parents who nominated the school said: “I’m so glad my children went to this school and feel confident they have had the best educational grounding to their life. Would recommend Mawsley School to any parent.”

Secondary School of the Year – sponsored by Teach Northamptonshire

Winner – Wrenn Academy, Wellingborough

This year Wrenn Academy became the most improved school in Northamptonshire, based on the Government’s headline Progress 8 measure. This result has also been reflected in the school’s recent Ofsted inspection, where through the exceptional commitment from the staff and students, and the brilliant support of its parent body, has meant that a judgement of ‘serious weakness’ in late 2016, has now been upgraded to ‘good’ in all categories.

Principal Steve Elliott said: “We are committed to enabling every student here to fulfil themselves now and in the future and we will not stop striving to support our young people in being ambitious and adventurous.”

Inspirational Teaching Award – sponsored by Wellingborough School.


Lesley Browning, Kingswood Academy, Corby

Sue Jennings, Little Harrowden Primary

Louise Blair, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary, Corby

Daniel Ives, Duston Eldean Primary

Tracey Brock, Daventry DSLV

Miss McGinty, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Mrs Geraghty, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Mrs Millers, Delapre Primary, Northampton

Lauren Jones, Moulton Primary

Felicity Pirie, Brixworth Primary

Lyndsey Roe

Winner – Lauren Jones

Lauren has a passion and a flair for dancing and three times throughout the year, she dedicates much of her own time to training a group of children in preparation for the county strictly come dancing awards. On top of this she is an inspirational and dedicated class teacher who is loved by all of her students and inspires them to strive to do their best. She is always bubbly, happy and smiling and has such a positive outlook on life!

Sporting Achievement – sponsored by The Qube Modular Buildings


Mr Dent, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Year 7 Football Team, Wootton Park School, Northampton

Winner – Year 7 Football Team, Wootton Park School

The Year 7 Girls were crowned county champions after successes against Sponne School and Caroline Chisholm School saw them travel to Northampton School for Boys for the final against Moulton School, which they won 2-1. This is the first year that the team have played together as Wootton Park School.

Unsung Hero Award


Amanda Cowley, Windmill Primary, Raunds

Steve Watson, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Angela Gibbins, Grendon CE

Gill Whyte, DSLV, Daventry

Mrs Hayes, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Julie Luddington

Mrs Geraghty, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Miss McGinty, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic Primary, Corby

Winner – Amanda Cowley

Amanda Cowley is a Learning Mentor at Windmill Primary School, but Mrs Cowley is much more than that. She looks after families that need a little extra help, often working into the evening. She will write letters of support or help with filling in forms. She will always step up and attend meetings to take notes and minutes to help others and support them in anyway she can. On top of everything else she also coaches the gymnastic team, helping them to achieve a place at the county finals this year.

Special School or SEN Provision of the Year

Winner – Rowan Gate Primary, Wellingborough

The team go over and beyond for the pupils and they are truly inspirational. It is clear each child is really valued and the school celebrate each achievement together with such pride.

Community Award – sponsored by Wicksteed Park


Edward Harvey

Theatre in Education at Rushden Academy

Standens Barn Primary, Northampton

Dawn Sadler, Moulton Primary

Wootton Park School, Northampton

Jenny Lawrence, Ashurst Mews care home, Moulton

Winner – Theatre in Education at Rushden Academy

With the ever-increasing publicity around using social media, the academy’s sixth form performing arts students have written a play called Add Me about the dangers of using social media and making sure you know the person you are speaking to. Add Me has been a runaway success with a cast of nine students touring 28 primary schools, as well as performing at the Northamptonshire Safeguarding conference and to a packed Deco Theatre.

These dedicated students have now been invited by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold to professionally film the play, which will be distributed nationally for other schools and groups to see.

The Year 13 students involved in ‘Add Me’ have all been offered university places to study drama, theatre, comedy writing or performance.

Inspirational Pupil Award


Kacper Laskowski, Standens Barn Primary, Northampton

Daisy May Blissett, Latimer Arts College, Barton Seagrave

Kaiden Wakefield

Immogen Roberts, Hospital & Outreach Education

Zoe Johnson, Hospital & Outreach Education

Winner – Kacper Laskowski

In 2017, Kacper became ill and was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a very rare blood disorder. He received urgent medical treatment in Nottingham, including nine weeks of chemotherapy.

Kacper eventually returned home and to school, while still making the journey to Nottingham, and later more locally, to receive further medical interventions, treatments and blood tests.

Despite being absent for most of Term 1 and 2 and the incredibly traumatic time both he and his family experienced, Kacper soon settled right back into school life and class routines, rekindled friendships and returned with such confidence and enthusiasm.

His school ethos is BEST (Brave, Enthusiastic, Safe and Thoughtful) and they continually strive for the children to demonstrate this when they are faced with adversity and new challenges in all areas of their lives.

Kacper is the epitome of BEST- he has demonstrated bravery in ways that many of us cannot comprehend.

He is an absolute credit to us as a school, his parents and family but, above all, to himself.

The University of Northampton Changemaker Award


Abbey Tortoishell

Joanne Vann

Theatre In Education at Rushden Academy

Jenny Lawrence, Ashurst Mews care home, Moulton

Winner – Theatre in Education

Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by The Bathroom Studio, Kettering


Angela Gibbins, Grendon CE Primary

Brenda Hunt, Delapre Learning Centre, Northampton

Evelyn Gibson, Our Lady’s of Walsingham Catholic School, Corby

Winner – Angela Gibbins

In July, Angela Gibbins retires from her teaching assistant role at Grendon CE Primary School after 25 years of unbroken service, leaving a legacy of pupils, past and present, who are better people for knowing her.

Pupils rarely think of Mrs Gibbins as a teaching assistant. Instead, they think of her in terms of her capacity to be their friend, counsellor, role model, champion and adopted grandmother, which is why her contribution to the lives of hundreds and hundreds of children over a quarter of a century cannot be neatly pigeonholed; nor can it be overstated.

Mrs Gibbins is part of the fabric of the school (she is the only member of staff who knows where the water stopcock is). She regales stories of the former heads, quirky ex teachers and lovable rogues who have graced the corridors of the school. Her long journey with the school has seen Ange contribute hugely to its sustained improvement: she will leave in the summer safe in the knowledge that the school is now recognised by Ofsted as an ‘outstanding’ place of learning and by Peterborough Diocese as an establishment that is ‘outstanding at meeting the needs of all learners.’

Wilson Browne award for excellence (chosen from all the winners of each category)

Winner – Kacper Laskowski