Connaught School wins gold in county school competition
Monday, 16 July 2012
Connaught School, Aldershot, has won the annual Hampshire Schools' Challenge, backed by London 2012's Inspire Mark.
In second place was Icknield School, Andover and in third place was Swanmore College of Technology, near Southampton.
The final took place yesterday at Hampshire County Council, and saw five finalists (out of a group of 16) fight it out to win the top prize of Paralympic tickets.
This year's competition, inspired by London 2012, challenged schools to use the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver a project or event that embraced two or more of the 'Inspire Themes' and would leave a lasting legacy for their chosen community. The schools were also asked to produce a short video about their projects to be viewed by the public in a Community Vote.
Connaught School in Aldershot won the competition with their Aldershot Paralympics project. The pupils wanted to raise the profile of the Paralympics and give the area's young people an opportunity to appreciate what it's like to be a disabled athlete. The school worked with a local disability sports team and primary and secondary schools and used their knowledge and expertise to put on a tournament of disability sports.
Memories of the 1948 Games
Icknield School in Andover were very proud to have won second place. Icknield is a special school for pupils aged three to 19 with severe learning difficulties and focussed on working with the elderly for their community project. They held an afternoon tea on St Georges Day and recorded people's memories of the 1948 London Olympic Games. They hope to repeat the event next year as well as stay in touch with the people they have met.
Swanmore College of Technology, near Southampton, took third place with their project on Travellers. As a mono-cultural school they wanted to educate local people about the heritage of travellers and showmen and change people's perceptions. They have worked hard to produce information boards, newsletters and even a cookery book.
Prestigious panel of judges
Five finalist schools had to present their projects to a prestigious panel of judges including Paralympian Gold medallists, Peter Hull MBE (swimming), Andy Cassell (sailing), local business leader Clare Scheckter, Deputy Director of Children's Services John Clarke and the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber CBE.
Councillor Thornber said:
"The calibre of entries this year was outstanding and there was very little between the finalist schools. The Olympics was obviously a theme that really captured the imagination of the students and inspired them to create some extraordinary community projects. Huge congratulations to the winners and two runners up who thoroughly deserve their prizes. The finalist schools were The Connaught School, Aldershot; Cove School, Farnborough;Horndean Technology College; Icknield School, Andover and Swanmore College of Technology"
The annual schools competition, now in its sixth year, is run by Hampshire County Council to encourage pupils to get more involved with their local community and improve their understanding of local government and the services it provides. Students work alongside chosen mentors at the council to innovate and debate the issues their communities face. The project also gives the council , an invaluable insight into what younger residents are thinking.