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Stoke Damerel Community College

College celebrates amazing students at glittering awards evening

Stoke Damerel Community College’s outstanding students have been recognised for their achievements and dedication, at our 2022 Awards Ceremony held on 29 June.

Dozens of students from across the school received awards, cheered on by family and friends in a packed Main Hall.

It was an evening full of pride and smiling faces as year and department heads presented the awards - and it was a fitting way to mark what has been a hugely successful year for the College.

In her welcome message, College Principal Miss Frier said: “We will hear from Jonathan, who seized opportunities within his career to follow his passion.  Students – every day, you ‘Seas the day’, seizing opportunities, moments and experiences that shape and define you as individuals as you travel towards independence and adulthood. The famous quote by Robin Williams is certainly apt – ‘Carpe Diem, seize the day’ - make your lives extraordinary!’

“Your teachers have nominated you this evening. Tonight, this is our opportunity to recognise your achievements. You have excelled, whether that is in a subject area, as a leader or representing the College. You have put the time and effort into your studies and the school and have succeeded. This evening we come together as one to celebrate and award your achievements - this is your moment to shine, and you should be proud.”

The theme for the evening was ‘Seas the Day’, and we were delighted to welcome as our inspiring guest speaker, Jonathan Smith, one of the producers with the BBC’s multi-award-winning series, Blue Planet II, and other BBC Natural History Unit wildlife documentaries.  


There was a surprise in store, when Jonathan showed a sneak preview of his latest BBC documentary which has yet to be aired, as well as clips from Blue Planet II. He also shared his own inspiring story: “When I was at school in St Austell, I went to see the careers lady and I said I wanted to be a film maker, the best nature film maker in the world. And she said, ‘that’s great, but let’s get realistic. Here are some other jobs you can go for’.

“But I believed I could do it. I went to university and studied Marine Biology; I travelled the world, volunteering for marine biologists; I learnt how to dive; and I thought, ‘if I am going to do it, I’m really going to have to believe’.”

Jonathan told the story of how he and friends were out diving off the coast of Cornwall one day when they found a basking shark tied up and trapped by plastic: “We thought she was dead but then we saw her eye was open. It took us 20 minutes to cut her free, using our diving knife.  And within 30 seconds, she was away, swimming free. We believed we could get her free.” The rescue was filmed, and it was this that got Jonathan recognised by the BBC. His dream career had become real.

Jonathan had this special message for our students: “I am here to provide inspiration for you, but it is all of you who have inspired me tonight. Each of you is awesome, unique, and special. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.”

During the evening, our College Poet Laureate, Molly, read out a poem she had written specially for the event, reflecting on the environmental damage being caused to the planet, particularly the oceans. Jonathan commended her for her message, comparing it to the message his films carry, and which have had an impact right across the world.

Molly’s Poem:

The world is taking a turn for the worse
Being placed under man’s evil curse.
Earth’s natural beauty, we have exchanged
For fast fashion and excess, causing climate change.

Due to the vast amount of waste,

The Earth is diminishing at a rapid pace.

Plastic swarms the oceans like bees

And we are cutting down life-saving trees.

Instead, we should be cutting down on plastic use

And free Earth from our constant abuse.

Soon humans will not be able to cope

And will continue to lose all forms of hope. 

What can we do to save our planet and places unknown?

We must clean up the seas, countries, towns, and our home.

It is essential that we do these difficult tasks together

So that the world can heal and last forever.

The ceremony also saw guest appearances from some of our Wizard of Oz stars, with Mollie and Gray performing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and Mollie joining our scarecrow, Josh, to introduce the Year 8 award presentations while in character!

Congratulations to all our award winners, and well-done, too, to the students who stood on the stage and introduced the award presentations for their year groups.

There was a special mention for our Class of 2022, and for our Year 13s, with Mr Tinkler expressing his pride in seeing our leavers develop into “amazing adults as they take on the next stage of their lives”.

It has been a truly exceptional year of achievement for our College, epitomised by the winners of our Special Awards.

Special Award Winners

Character Curriculum Award: Ophelia Phillips, Year 9, for commitment to work outside the classroom.

“Ophelia has achieved certificates in 12 different sections, in all colours. She has gained a bronze badge in all three values and has achieved two silver and one gold award in a variety of areas, from excellence in her classwork, to organising and running charity events in school; from being involved in clubs and Duke of Edinburgh to attending educational visits and reading from the literary canon. She has dedicated herself to taking the opportunities to develop her character and is really making the most of the Character Curriculum.

Governors’ Award: Roslyn Fernando, Year 13, for outstanding academic achievement in KS5.

“An exceptionally talented student who puts her heart and soul into every aspect of her studies.”

Christine Parker Bursary Award: Mischa-Lou Davies, Year 13.

“A truly dedicated student who is destined for an extremely bright future.”

Jay Rumbold Award: Amelie Underwood, Year 9, Sports Leader Award.

“Amelie has had a fantastic year as a sports leader. She has regularly been highlighted as an excellent leader by Plymouth School Sports Partnership and primary staff. Amelie has been extremely proactive and organised, whilst also being a dedicated, empathetic, and enthusiastic sports leader when working with younger students.

Alison Penney Award: Cassie Lynch, Year 13, for DoE achievement.

“Cassie showed personal dedication and achievement in gaining the full Gold Award.”

Sylvia Jarvis Award: Ciarra Clevett, Amy Parmenter, Ophelia Phillips, Year 9, for their services to the College Library and dedication to reading.

“For their significant contribution to the redevelopment of the library, enabling students of the future to access a wonderful learning resource.”

John Leslie Webb Award: Mollie Waterworth, Year 8, for contribution to the arts.

“Mollie has demonstrated commitment to her Performing Arts subjects throughout the year. Her attendance to clubs, along with her being cast in the lead role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, has been inspiring. Mollie has also had the opportunity to share her beautiful rendition of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' at the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Gala, hosted at Plymouth Argyle. She is a real talent and an ambassador for the Performing Arts.”

Kate Angus Award: Lottie Letchford, Year 8, for personal dedication and achievement.

“Lottie has shown a high level of dedication to her studies.  She takes the challenges that come with education with a smile and a positive attitude. Through hard work and endeavour, Lottie is a role model to other students.”

Carol Hannaford/Janet Griffiths Award: Olivia Coy, Year 10, for dedication and commitment to academic studies in preparation for Year 11.

“Olivia is a diligent student who consistently has a positive outlook and embraces all parts of school life.”

Roma French Award: Lucy Newton, Year 11, for dedication to the College and a great role model for younger students.

“Lucy has been a great role model since the day she joined Stoke Damerel. Lucy has regularly represented the College, from talking at open evenings to being a fantastic sports leader. This year alone has seen Lucy embrace her CCF, DoE and her studies. She has worked tirelessly for her exams, and I am sure she will get great results. As one of only a handful of students in the country who has ever completed every task on Hegarty Maths, it is safe to say she is a well deserving winner of this award.”

Principal’s Award: Joshua Gue, Year 8.

“Joshua is a determined, polite, and hard-working student who takes time out of his day to greet his peers and staff with respect and care. Josh represents the school in many different activities such as cricket, football, and other sports. Josh blew the crowds away with his fantastic portrayal of The Scarecrow in this year’s production of The Wizard of Oz. Josh embodies everything that Stoke Damerel is and that is hardworking, dedicated, loyal and always achieving greatness. Well Done Josh.”

Principal’s Award: Cassie Lynch, Year 13.

“Our aim is to help students to be the best version of themselves. That often takes a bit of work and dedication from both us and the students. However, one student in Sixth Form has needed no persuasion and has stretched herself at every opportunity. She has represented the College at the Remembrance Day Parade, completed her Duke of Edinburgh award and taken part in CCF on a weekly basis. On top of this her dedication to studies has been second to none and she is on course to achieve an outstanding set of results in August. If there was a blueprint for a perfect student, it would be … Cassie Lynch.