A SPECIAL awards event has been held to celebrate the achievements of students who left Middlewich High School in the summer.

The 2020 class of year 11 pupils have been hailed selfless and courageous for gaining excellent results despite difficulties posed by the pandemic.

The group of 150 students spent months working remotely at home yet demonstrated discipline, expertise and tenacity to persevere and excel in their GCSE exams.

In a virtual presentation, headteacher Heidi Thurland said: "You guys are the most incredible cohort this school has had the privilege of working with.

Winsford Guardian: Year 11 students from Middlewich High School praised for their courage, resilience and optimismYear 11 students from Middlewich High School praised for their courage, resilience and optimism

Year 11 students from Middlewich High School praised for their courage, resilience and optimism

"I want to commend you for your courage, resilience, sense of humour and optimism. We are incredibly proud of you and want to celebrate all that you have done.

"The things you have had to deal with have been like no other student has had to face. You have overcome so much."

BBC Breakfast TV presenter Dan Walker commended pupils on their resilience by making a surprise guest appearance.

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The journalist, who hosts Football Focus, said: "Congratulations on everything you do. You have gone through a weird 2020. From this point on, it's onwards and upwards. Enjoy your prize giving."

Winsford Guardian: Year 11 students from the class of 2020 pictured before the pandemicYear 11 students from the class of 2020 pictured before the pandemic

Year 11 students from the class of 2020 pictured before the pandemic

Assistant headteacher Steve Wiseman said: "Our year 11 students missed out on all the usual things, their exams, prom, end of year celebrations and certificate evening and yet they put in a great effort.

"We want to celebrate everything they have achieved and give out prizes in a different way."

Awards were announced on social media as students and their families watched the presentation at home.

Head girl Mollie Dillon received the headteacher's award for excellence which recognises a student who contributes above and beyond what is expected.

Ms Thurland said: "Molly absolutely embodies everything that is brilliant about this school and our community. She is selfless to a fault, raises her head above the parapet and is a great role model.

"During lockdown she welcomed and advised our new year 7 students and gave our teachers faith, belief and confidence because of the way she works.

"Molly is an exceptional young women and will probably go on to rule the world."

Students are now making excellent progress at college and on vocational courses.

"You have already come back and told us about the extraordinary things you have achieved since leaving us," said Ms Thurland. "We have heard how well you are doing on your courses. Dare to dream and be proud of yourselves. We are so proud of you.

"No matter where you go in life you will always be part of our family."