A SCHOOL in Thornbury has been presented with a national award for its work to encourage students towards careers in engineering.

Staff and students from the Castle School were presented with the national “Inspiring Futures through Engineering Engagement” award at the Bing Bang Fair, a national science event held in Birmingham on Thursday, March 16.

Joanne Mitchell from Young Engineers, who give out the award, praised the school for doing “such a brilliant job at the event.

“The students were fantastic, the teachers were brilliant and the school really does inspire all those who come in contact.

Adding that the award was “truly deserved”, she said: “the school inspires its students and those around you, I couldn’t think of a more deserving winner.”

Alongside the award, the school was included in the shortlist of eight finalists, nominated for the national STEM School of the Year award.

The school have a growing reputation within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) community, with teacher Rachel Beddoes winning the STEMNET Leadership award last year.

Also at the Big Bang Fair, a separate team from the Castle School took part as one of six national finalists in the Tomorrows Engineers Lego Robotics Space Challenge.

Speaking to the Gazette, Ms Beddoes said: “It was such a privilege for Castle School to be recognised with this National Award - Inspiring Futures is definitely what we are all about.

“We try and offer STEM opportunities for all ages of students either through competitions such as The Bloodhound Rocket Car Challenge in Year 7 or through working with our Premium Partners, such as Essilor, on longer engineering projects, where the students are currently make wind turbines and infinity mirrors.

“Many of these lead on to work experience for students and also, by giving the students a real application of the subjects they are studying at school, these opportunities help raise the students attainment too.”

Deputy head teacher Andy Bethell said: “I’m really grateful to a large group of staff here who help to inspire students to consider careers in the STEM area.

“Our students have many opportunities to get involved, and we are seeing lots of students heading off to apprenticeships and degree courses in these areas.”