MORE than 200 students were recognised for outstanding achievements at a Cradley Heath school’s awards ceremony.

Guests of honour at Ormiston Forge Academy’s night of celebration were UCAS boss Mary Curnock Cook OBE and television producer/director Rob Whitehouse.

The 830 capacity Champions Church, Netherton, was packed with parents and other special guests, including Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris, to see the students receive their prizes celebrating academic achievements and contributions to school life.

As part of the school’s drive to improve literacy skills, especially reading, every prize winner also received a national book token.

Ms Curnock Cook, who is chief executive of the organisation that manages applications to higher education courses in the UK, presented students with community awards, while Mr Whitehouse, handed out sports, house and pastoral awards The audience was entertained with interludes from performing arts students who sang songs from Fame and Hairspray.

The evening concluded with a reading by students of For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon, in honour of Remembrance Day.

Principal Andrew Burns said: "To be able to celebrate our students in this way makes me very, very proud to lead Ormiston Forge Academy."

He added: "We were delighted and honoured that we were able to attract such distinguished and successful speakers in Mary Curnock Cook and Rob Whitehouse.

“When a student leaves Forge they are prepared for the outside world – be it employment or higher education; it was apt, therefore, that our speakers represented the pinnacle of both worlds."