NOTHING is stopping students at Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath from achieving success.

The academy’s top students were recognised during a prize-giving ceremony at Champions Church in Netherton last week.

The annual event celebrates the achievement of students over the academic year and regularly attracts an audience of more than 800 people.

More than 200 students from Forge were recognised for outstanding achievements in a wide range of academic, extracurricular and social aspects of school life.

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

A spokesman for the school said the themes of the evening were its values – respect, aspiration and resilience.

After giving a speech, Dr Emmanouil Nikolousis, clinical director of haematology and stem cell transplantation for the Heart of England NHS Trust, presented students with community awards.

Dr Nikolousis said: "I was honoured to be invited along to this incredible evening where I met some of the future leaders of the West Midlands and the UK.

"Well done to all students, staff and the governors for their endless efforts to achieve excellence and success."

Other awards were presented by the chair of governors at Forge, Siddique Hussain, the head of academy at Forge's sister school Tenbury High Ormiston Academy, Vicki Dean, executive principal over both Tenbury High and Forge, Andrew Burns, and head of academy at Forge, Lisa Mason.

Champions Church was packed and throughout the evening, performing arts students kept the audience entertained with readings and musical numbers including a show-stopper from Legally Blonde The Musical.

The Mayor of Sandwell, councillor Joy Edis joined head boy Vikramjeet Singh and head girl Lauren Southall for photos at the start of the evening.

In their speeches Vikramjeet and Lauren spoke about overcoming odds and being the best you can be.

Head of school, Dr Lisa Mason, congratulated parents on their efforts to raise good children as well as thanking the teachers for nurturing students.

A special award was presented to Louise Morris, CME (Children Missing Education) and Alternative Provision Officer for Sandwell. Louise works to ensure young people across Sandwell have their safeguarding needs met. The award, seven industrial chain links forged and donated by local chain maker, William Hackett Chain Products Ltd, will be displayed in reception at the academy.

Each link represents a year for the academy and is presented annually to someone who has made a positive impact on the local community. The links represent the proud history of the area, also symbolised in the Academy logo.

Ormiston Forge opened in January 2012 as an academy, sponsored by Ormiston Academies Trust. It was rated good by Ofsted in March 2016 and has 1,500 students aged between 11 and 18. The sixth form is also rated good by Ofsted. Academies are independent state-funded schools run by sponsors.