WINNER: Kirsty Challis, Ormiston Denes AcademyRising Star of the Year - Secondary - winner

The barriers and obstacles Kirsty has overcome are quite astonishing. She shows unwavering optimism and belief that she can create a future for herself in the career she wants. She will work at something until she is happy with her achievement – and sees difficulties or challenges as a skill she has yet to master or learn rather than something that is impossible. Kirsty is an amazing student who has refused to let anything dull her shine and contributes to the wider life of the school through the school production and charity work.

Shortlisted Finalists

  • Jordan Ablett, Claydon High School

Jordan started high school as a shy student, and has risen to become Deputy Head Boy. He is always positive and kind, and is an incredibly hardworking student. He is registered blind, but never lets the problems with his vision get the better of him, learning his GCSE music performances by heart, as he cannot read the notes from a sheet when playing. His teachers say his grit, determination and positivity make this young man stand out beyond others; he will go on to great things and is an inspiration to us all.

  • Aaron Farmer, Thurston Community College

Aaron was nominated for his tremendous courage and determination, and the positive way that he has acted on the support he has been given. His attendance, behaviour and attainment have all improved, he has a positive attitude and is determined to achieve. Aaron always comes in ready to learn and has built a brilliant relationship with staff, with a little respectful banter thrown in, and the college say that they could not be more proud of him.