Glittering awards night honours Burnley schoolchildren for their talents and commitment

Some of the main award winners at Blessed Trinity RC College with Mr John Harker.
Some of the main award winners at Blessed Trinity RC College with Mr John Harker.
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A glittering awards night saw Burnley students honoured for their talents, commitment and skills.

John Harker MBE was the guest of honour chosen to present the accolades at the junior awards night held at Blessed Trinity RC College.

Officials and award winners at Blessed Trinity RC College.

Officials and award winners at Blessed Trinity RC College.

Colne born John, who is a Burnley fan, joined the army at a young age, working his way through the ranks to major and gaining multiple honours along the way.

He now works raising awareness and recognition for the injured armed service men, women and veterans in Wigan.

He told the audience that, although he wasn't 'the best' at school because he wasn't focused, he loved it and he joined the army after failing to get the job he wanted as a carpenter.

He said: "I have been all over the world and the army has taught me a lot.

Ethan Smith who won a new awardOutstanding Achievement in Mathematics after excelling at the UK Junior Maths Challenge.

Ethan Smith who won a new awardOutstanding Achievement in Mathematics after excelling at the UK Junior Maths Challenge.

And Mr Harker said the two things he would pass on to today's generation would be to 'always do your best, always try and improve and do better.'

He added: "I did this in the military and got recognition and promotion.

“It’s also about respect, I worked in Afghanistan and it’s important to respect other religions, beliefs and other cultures.

“If you respect people and do the best you can in your career, as well as having a plan, even if it doesn’t work, then you will go far.”

Among those honoured on the night were Ethan Smith who won a new award ‘Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics’ after excelling at the UK Junior Maths Challenge – a national competition.

More than 300,000 people take part in it every year and Ethan got the ‘Gold Award’ to make him one of the top 8,000 students in the country and he secured qualification to the next round – ‘The Kangaroo Round.’

At this stage, Ethan achieved a merit – the highest possible award in the competition – putting him in the top 2,000 year seven and eight mathematicians in the UK.

Ethan, who is 13, said: "I was really honoured to win a special award.

"The UK Junior Maths Challenge got harder as it went on. Maths is my favourite subject and I want to do something with it in my future career."

Lillie Townley won two awards – the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Roger Barlow Endeavour Award.

Footballer Tiggy Gent won the Specialist College Sports Award and sisters Iqra and Nimra Shafqat were presented with the Sporting Commitment Award in memory of former teacher Mick Ennis.

Heleena Ramzan won the Specialist College Humanities Award, Jack Poole won the Achievement at Work prize while Ashwin Stanley, who supported the school in his role as Mission Leader including charity work and participating in school liturgies, was presented with the Contribution to College Faith Life.

Matthew Nicolls took home the Contribution to Community award while Eve Bibby and Ruby Stannard won another new award – Headteacher's Contribution to School Life.

In the subject awards, Ross Schofield won two awards in chemistry and mathematics, Cara Latham won the drama and music prizes while Beth Molloy won dance and sociology.

Headteacher Mr Richard Varey said: “We are proud of all the students who have won awards.

“They give us a lot of hope for the future to make the world a better place.”