OTLEY students have been congratulated on a year of impressive achievements - by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Anne Longfield was the guest speaker at Prince Henry's Grammar School's annual Celebration Evening last Thursday, December 14.

Some 500 students, guests, parents, carers and staff enjoyed the event- which included award presentations, speeches and music - at the Leeds City Museum Central Arena.

Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield, a former Prince Henry’s student, spoke of the key qualities the school imbues as well as her office’s campaign to help vulnerable children.

She said: "Self-confidence as an individual, good at making friends and networks, flexible, able to find new solutions to old problems and an ability to nurture the world around you.

"These are the things that are going to be prized over decades to come and these are the things that I think Prince Henry's has been able to offer you.

"I had the privilege to visit the school last month and talk to teachers and pupils about the work of the school.

"I was really impressed by the achievements of children at Prince Henry's and I'm really grateful to the young people I met who talked to me about their concerns and priorities."

This year's prestigious Kerr Scholarship, awarded for the best A Level results, was received by two students this year - Euan Walkley and Sam Graham.

They both achieved an A* grade in all three of their A level subjects which included a mix of Chemistry, Maths, Physics and Further Maths.

Euan is now studying Chemistry at Oxford University while Sam is studying engineering at Durham University.

The Walter Robinson Award for Top Performance at GCSE was shared by Jack Auchterlounie, Marc O’ Halloran and Olivia Timmins.

The trio earned 34 top grades between them including the new Grade 9s, which was achieved by just the top two per cent of students nationally.

The school also rewards students for excelling personally and in service to its community and ethos.

Lily Cratchley won the Alice MacGill Memorial Award for displaying thoughtfulness, helpfulness and compassion in her work with younger students.

She was joined at the ceremony by pupils from younger years who were also awarded prizes for Service to School.

Unusually, Year 11 student Adel Watt won the Josh Frankland Memorial Shield for Outstanding Achievement in Sport, which is usually won by a Year 13 student.

A talented golfer, Adel won the St Andrew’s Junior Ladies Open in 2017.

Headteacher Janet Sheriff had opened proceedings with a speech congratulating the students.

She said: "The high level of success at Prince Henry’s makes it increasingly difficult for staff and governors to select from the wide range of high calibre students.

"In addition to awards for attainment, there are the equally important awards for excellent progress, outstanding attitudes to learning and service to the school community across every age group - areas highly valued in the inclusive

school ethos.

"We were particularly proud to welcome both Anne Longfield and her Head of News, Jo Green, both ex-students of Prince Henry’s, to the evening.

"As Anne mentioned, it is unusual to find as many alumni from a state school in such a position of influence in government.

"It was lovely to hear her say that Prince Henry’s is a springboard for success.".

The audience were also treated to performances by singer Becky Holmes, pianist Natalia Chamberlain and brass ensemble No Strings Attached.