Star pupils shine at Heriot-Watt leadership ceremony



Winners from high schools across south east Scotland were recognised at a special awards, this week.

The prizes were given in recognition of their outstanding leadership qualities, including: initiative, teamwork and respect for others.  

Five of the winning pupils were given additional cash prizes for their leadership activities, both inside and outside their schools.

The awards are to celebrate the university's educational mission to create 'leaders in ideas and solutions' and its unique 'Go Global' scheme.

Through the scheme, students have the opportunity to study overseas at campuses in Dubai and Malaysia as part of their degree programme.

Professor John Sawkins, Deputy Principal of Learning and Teaching, said: “The reason we introduced these awards was to recognise and celebrate the leadership skills of High School pupils in our corner of Scotland. 

"All the winners have pushed the boundaries of what they, and their peers, thought possible.

“In doing so they have shown what might be achieved with vision, determination in the face of opposition or apathy, and sheer hard work. Their individual stories are inspirational and they bring credit to themselves and their Schools.”

Winners of the additional Go-Global prizes were: 

Meg Wishart from Broxburn Academy, West Lothian - after studying social inequality, Meg organised a food bank collection. She also represented West Lothian on a nationally organised trip to France to commemorate the Battle of Arras. Last December, she was the speaker at the annual Lords Chamber debate in the House of Lords.

Shannon Donoghue, Holy Rood R.C. High School, Edinburgh - Shannon has been volunteering since the age of 11 for Young Edinburgh Action. She has committed a staggering 4,000 hours to volunteering, whist also working part-time and studying. The pupil has been a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament since 2015 and recently completed a six month work placement in a local primary school.

Alice Ferguson, Linlithgow Academy, West Lothian – Alice stood for election as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and campaigned in person through social media. She has used her skills to engage with pupils in the work of the School Pupil Council and was part of the Period Poverty Campaign, campaigning to provide an appropriate mechanism to provide free sanitary products to the girls in school.

George Reid, Craigroyston Community High School, Edinburgh – George is Depute Head Boy and organised a bingo evening for pupils and the local money to raise money for the school fund. Having had success with the bingo night, he worked card to publicise a car wash event, raising hundreds of pounds to buy food, water and other items for the homeless people of Edinburgh.

Gregor Nichol, Selkirk High School, Scottish Borders – Gregor took a lead in delivering a whole school consultation of pupils to establish what values in action really means in the classroom and wider community. He played a crucial role in raising the profile of the school's values of respect, responsibility, relationships and resilience.