Hucknall pupils join thousands more at special awards to celebrate Flying High Trust achievements

Pupils from two Hucknall primary schools were among 4,000 who attended the Flying High Trust Awards at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.

Hillside Primary and Nursery School and Hucknall Flying High Academy joined 30 schools from around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire at the event.

Children from attending schools joined together to perform musical pieces for the audience and to celebrate the achievements of staff and pupils over the previous year.

Among the speakers were Hucknall Flying High triplets and environmental campaigners Waimi, Mbetmi and Yimi Fongue, who last year went to Downing Street to meet then Prime Minister Boris Johnson following the success of their YouTube videos promoting green issues.

Hucknall Flying High Academy triplets Waimi, Mbetmi and Yimi Fongue spoke to the audience about taking responsibility for our environment. Photo: Lou Brimble

Chris Wheatley OBE, Flying High Partnership chief executive, said, “It is fantastic to bring all of the schools together into this magnificent space to look back with pride on the achievements we have seen over the previous year.

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"Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, which created a barrier to learning for children across the country, our results suggest that in fact we have made consistent improving gains since 2019.

"This is an incredible achievement by our schools, their staff and most importantly, the children.

Pupils from Hillside Primary School in Hucknall took part in a dance performance at the awards. Photo: Lou Brimble

"This event is a celebration of the resilience of our schools, and the determination of staff and pupils to create the best schools in the universe.”

The event saw various awards given, many reflecting the trust’s values of aspiration, confidence, creativity, enjoyment, perseverance, pride and responsibility.

The award for sports was presented by special guests Tom Norton, of Nottingham Forest Community Trust, and Paralympian, world record holder and multiple gold medallist, Richard Whitehead MBE.

He commented: “It was an inspirational evening, and great to see the impact that the Flying High Trust has on the children.

"It is also a great platform for the parents to be able to see the work that the Trust is doing – shining a light on the leaders of tomorrow.”

Richard first worked with the trust following his London 2012 gold medal win and visited its founding school, Cotgrave Candleby Lane, to inspire children with his story.

He now works through The Richard Whitehead Foundation to continue to inspire and encourage young people.

He continued: “Since my first visit to Cotgrave, and over the last 10 years, I have been able to continue my work supporting young people and their families to educate themselves about equality and diversity, creating an inclusive environment for all.

"It was great to see the children from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire come together and support each other at the awards event, all striving to be the best they can be and showing the spirit it takes to succeed.”

Helping to make the event happen were business sponsors from around the county who presented individual value awards including platinum sponsor Tramlink, gold sponsor LTF Recruitment and award sponsors Breedon Group, Browne Jacobson, Mardel, Nottinghamshire County Council, Connex Education/The Classroom Partners, TTS/Consortium, Trident Construction, ASL Group and Schools Advisory Service (SAS).

Abi Moody, event organiser, said: “We want to thank everyone who supported the children and staff of 30 Flying High schools to come together and create a glittering ceremony, recognising the efforts of staff and children over two counties.

"Our sponsors have supported us to make this such a special day for everyone who attended.”