PRIZE GIVING 2016

Cradley Heath parents, teachers, students and Major Naveed Muhammad MBE, National Liaison Officer for the Army based at Aldershot, gathered at Champions Church in Netherton this week for a night of celebration at the annual Ormiston Forge Academy, Prize Giving ceremony.

Over 200 students from Ormiston Forge Academy were recognised for outstanding achievements in a wide range of academic and social aspects of school life. As part of the school’s drive to improve literacy skills, especially reading, every prize winner received a national book token.

The theme of the evening was leadership and many of the speakers took the opportunity to talk about personal experiences such as volunteering and travel.

After delivering a rousing speech, Major Naveed Muhammad presented students with the community awards. Major Muhammad was awarded an MBE earlier this year for his “exemplary” service which saw him become a key role model for Muslims in and out of the Armed Forces.

The other awards were presented by the chair of governors at Forge Stephen Rayner, teacher Dawn Fellows, who also received the commitment award, and the principal Andrew Burns.

Major Muhammad said: “I’d like to thank Ormiston Forge Academy for inviting me along to this very special evening. To be able to share and be a part of it has been incredibly inspiring. It is our responsibility to equip young people and expose them to this rapidly changing world. I hope that my experiences and background are able to form a part of the well-rounded education that these young people are already getting. I want to wish them all the very best for the future and I want them to work hard and make the most of their opportunities.

The 800 capacity Champions Church in Netherton was packed to the rafters and throughout the evening the audience were entertained with interludes from performing arts students who danced, sang, played a jazz solo on the clarinet and gave a poetry recital.

The evening concluded with the presentation of a special award to principal Andrew Burns. Mr Burns’ tireless and determined leadership over the last 5 years has seen the school achieve an Ofsted Good certification and outstanding exam results for both GCSE and A level year after year. The award, five industrial chain links forged and donated by local chain maker, William Hackett Chain Products Ltd, will be displayed in reception at the academy. Each link represents a year for the academy and has Mr Burns’ initials engraved on it. The links represent the proud history of the area, also symbolised in the academy logo.

Principal Andrew Burns said: “It was an incredible honour to be recognised in this way and I’m grateful to everyone who contributes, on a daily basis, to what we do. Our young people are what makes Forge tick, to see over 200 of them collect awards this evening is the most humbling and exhilarating feeling a school principal can have.

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.