THE achievements and landmarks of the last 12 months were recounted as Hanley Castle High School held its annual Celebration of Achievement evening.

Headteacher Lindsey Cooke spoke of the “momentous year” the school has been through, with record-breaking exam results, a move to academy status and the visit of a new Chinese partner school.

Mrs Cooke was also delighted to welcome back to the school guest speaker Peter Pumfrey. The university professor, a former student who left in 1946, spoke of his fond regard for Hanley Castle, which was then a boys-only grammar school.

He emphasised the importance of the friendships he forged at the school, many of which were rekindled during a recent reunion.

He also captivated students and alarmed staff in equal measure by recounting an occasion on which a classmate dropped a .22 bullet into a bunsen burner.

As part of the evening certificates and awards were presented to successful students. The most prestigious award on offer, the Lechmere Medal for outstanding contribution to school life, was given to former head girl Kat Lewis.

Mrs Cooke described her as “the most loyal and wonderful support that a new head could have had”.

She added: “She acted as the perfect role model and we were richer for her presence. Kat’s influence was felt across the school as she organised activities and events that benefited all aspects of the life of Hanley Castle High School.”

List of major prizewinners: Key stage three award - Rosie Arnold (year seven), Rosie Grinnell (year eight), Emily Brookes (year nine).

Key stage four award - Becky Harbour (year 10).

Valentine award for best GCSE result - Sophie-Marie Price.

Friends of Hanley Castle award for best AS results - Rory Mathews.

The William Tennant award for the best A2 results - Nick Wilson.

Old Hancastrians award for best language student - Charlotte Darrell.

Lechmere Medal for Contribution to School - Kat Lewis.