Wirksworth pupils had plenty to smile about at school award ceremony

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Celebrations were rife at the Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth as staff, guests, students and parents attended a year 11 and year 13 certificate evening.

All of the determination, drive and desire to succeed paid off for so many students and they wanted to celebrate their achievements at the event on January 7.

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GCSE and A-level certificates were presented to the proud pupils at the ceremony in the school hall.

After the presentation, parents, staff and students mingled to talk about the past, present and future. It was a great evening that celebrated academic achievement and the creation of future successes. The guest speaker was Will Smith, a former student, who at the age of 26 has more letters after his name than Stephen Hawking.

Will attended Anthony Gell between 2001 and 2008. He studied maths, physics, chemistry and French at A-level. He went on to Oxford and now has a Masters in Chemistry from Balliol College, a Systems Biology DTC, and is currently a graduate lecturer in Chemistry studying a PhD in computational biology.

His intellect is also blended with humour. He was an inspiration to all of us listening. A role model that was attainable to the students in the audience. He classed himself as a ‘Gellybaby’, complementing the nurturing ethos of Anthony Gell – a school that produces people who could ultimately shape our future.

Headteacher Malcolm Kelly said: “Evenings such as this allow us another opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students at Anthony Gell.

“These achievements are made possible by us encouraging all to aspire and learn within a very supportive environment. It was an absolute honour to acknowledge the academic success of so many and a pleasure to hear about what they are doing now. Gell students are excellent ambassadors for their community.”