RICHMOND School and Sixth Form College held its annual presentation evening last week.

Hosted by Mark Woolley, alumnus and internationally acclaimed creative entrepreneur, the event was attended by proud families, teachers and members of the community who enjoyed watching the students receiving their accolades.

Hairstylist, Mark Woolley, founder and international director of leading British hair brand Electric, encompassing award-winning salons, an ethical product line, global education, a photographic and film studio, and a shared workspace for leading creatives in central London.

Mark’s editorial work regularly appears in leading publications across the globe, such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Wallpaper and Elle and he maintains a loyal clientele of noted A-list musicians, actors and sports personalities from his salon space in central London, including Siena Miller, Jude Law, Paloma Faith, and Luke Evans.

Mark treated the audience to an inspirational address which tracked his journey from student at Richmond School to his rise to become one of the most acclaimed hair stylists of his generation.

Mark said: “It has been an honour to return to school to present the awards to these amazing young people who have clearly worked incredibly hard during such a challenging year.

"Ahead of the presentation evening, I was privileged to spend the day with groups of business, economics, technology and media students to share my experiences in these fields and was most impressed with how they engaged and asked pertinent questions.

"I was also delighted to meet four Year 11 students who are interested in following a career in the creative hair styling industry and pass on advice and tips for them to consider.”

“It has been fantastic to hear about the terrific careers support that the students receive here. It was actually a careers’ talk at Richmond School that inspired me. I got a Saturday job and made my mind up that I wanted to open my own salon. Once I left school I took a job at Saks in Darlington, and the rest is history!”

Subject awards were presented for every year group, including an overall cup winner for each subject, as well as a number of special awards. Uchenna Anyadiegwu, former headboy, received the Governors’ cup for his outstanding contribution to school, having created welcome videos for last year’s virtual open evenings as well as launching ‘Five-a-side-Friday’ football for sixth formers.

Will Arnold collected the Areté Learning Trust cup for exemplifying the school’s motto of ‘being the best we can be’. Will independently planned and executed an inclusive walk, run and cycle challenge in memory of Dave Clark, encouraging students, staff and the wider community to keep fit, and in doing so raised over £1,400 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Headteacher Jenna Potter said: "It has been an honour to welcome Mark Woolley back to school and we are hugely appreciative of the time he has spent with our students today who have learned so much from his career and experiences. We always look forward to our annual presentation evening, but this year, more than ever, it has been eagerly awaited after last year’s virtual event. It has been truly humbling to hear the successes of our fabulous students who have achieved so much in such a difficult year."

"They have wholly embraced and demonstrated our school values of Creativity, Excellence, Independence, Resilience, Respect and Teamwork and demonstrated what wonderful and well-rounded individuals they are. They are, without doubt, fantastic ambassadors for their peers and exemplify everything that is so positive and outstanding about Richmond School and Sixth Form College.”