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Last week, students from Budehaven Community School in North Cornwall took to the airwaves as they joined the school’s senior leaders in featuring on BBC Radio Cornwall to discuss sports leadership, social action and, above all else, winning this year’s National Leadership Academy of the Year award for schools.
Each year, Sports Leaders recognises the centres which go above and beyond to support their learners and help them to develop the skills needed for the next leg of their journey into education or employment as part of the Leadership Academies programme.
Senior staff from the school were joined by learners and former pupils from the school at a celebration event held early in November, followed by a visit from BBC Radio Cornwall, demonstrating the significance of the achievement.
In addition to offering learners the chance to build their leadership skills through sport, the school also runs the Leadership Skills Programme, which develops abilities through maths, English and Science.
Budehaven Community School’s Head of PE and Sport Science, Kirsten Hilton, plays a key role in delivering Sports Leadership courses and was delighted to be receiving the award. She said: “I am incredibly proud of our former and current Sport and Science Leaders.
“They have worked with immense pride, enthusiasm and maturity, consequently contributing to this award. The Year 10 and 6th form students plan, prepare and evaluate many festivals, tournaments and events throughout the academic year for all our local Pre and Primary Schools.
“The Awards and Qualifications give the students so many transferrable skills that impact their behaviour and attitude in lessons as well as their motivations for future career ambitions.“I really do value the importance of leadership and want to congratulate each and every student.”
Joining Mrs Hilton in receiving the award was the schools recently-appointed Headteacher, Dom Wilkes, who in a short space of time has already seen the impact of the Sports Leadership and Leadership Skills Programme courses. He said: “I’m incredibly proud of our students already, I’m in my eighth week here and I’m already incredibly proud of what they do.
“Being named the National Sports Leadership Academy winners just reinforces the pride that we’ve got for our students and their families and the staff – this couldn’t happen without them.”
At a recent event, the school played a key role in organising and delivering activities to visiting schools from around their local community, something that Mr Wilkes was extremely happy to see run so smoothly. He added: “We held a Key Stage 1 festival about three or four weeks ago and that was when we were presented with the Leadership Academy of the Year Award.
“It was amazing to see the students, who were Sixth Formers mainly and Year 10s, they ran the event themselves with the leadership skills that you would normally see adults have and it was fantastic that the event just ran and the staff stood back.
“To see that with youngsters, that’s what we want.”
In addition to current students celebrating the award success, a number of former pupils returned to the school to share their stories and inspire the next generation of sports leaders.
Among the alumni in attendance was Matt, a former 6th Form pupil who was planning for life at university. Since completing his Sports Leaders qualification and leaving Budehaven, Matt has taken an active role in volunteering in sport locally, passing on the skills and knowledge he has gained. He said: “After I finished, I went straight in and picked up my own little football team. I’ve got the youngest of the young, working with six and seven year olds.
“I’ve got all the skills that I’ve learned in school from when I started in Year 10 doing my leadership and I built my way up until I got the Spirit of Leadership Award last year, which meant a lot to me.
“Now that I’ve got my own team, the best thing for me is that I’ve got my own young leaders to work with who have just started Year 10 so they’ve started their own journey that I’m on.
“It’s great to be giving something back that I’ve already had which has really helped me with university applications and job interviews and stuff like that, so it’s been really beneficial to me.”
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