SHARP minds, a soupcon of creativity and a heavy dose of work led four shrewd pupils in Thornbury to victory at the Bristol Young Student of the Year Awards.

When Castle School sixth-formers were tasked with designing their own app for BrisFest as part of the challenge, they jumped at the opportunity to show other schools what Thornbury was made of.

With input from the music festival organisers, Seren Davies, 17, Simon Ash, 17, Claire Pilgrim, 17 and Daniel Hallam, 17, spent nine months straight coming up with their own innovative and quirky ideas while still staying true to the ethos of the event.

The teenagers not only beat the three teams vying to win over BrisFest organisers hands down, but all 15 groups competionwide who had been designing apps for various other firms as part of the challenge.

Kevin Fearon, trustee and director of BrisFest, told the Gazette he was hugely impressed with the pupils’ app and their ability to follow direction while still coming up with a unique concept.

He said: "We liked it instantly. It was the look and the feel of it. It’s easy to use. One of the most different difficult thing with apps is to make them look good on a small screen. Our relationship was great. We were on the same page."

But what most impressed judges was the students clever addition of a ‘personal timetable’ feature.

Competition creator Elaine Brown added: "What was unique was the individual timetable. Two of the companies taking part said it was a very unusual feature. The design, look and feel of it was excellent."

The competition which set out to develop employability skills in young people not only gave the pupils a welcome head start on the job market, but most importantly a tremendous confidence boost.

Seren, who also snatched most innovative student of the year, said: "It was really useful. It was great. With the software they gave us it was not as hard as we thought."

Group leader Claire added: "We came up with lots of ideas for them and they really liked most of our ideas. They were very supportive. It was very constructive."

What will stay with Simon, the second in command, is the satisfaction of a job well done.

He said: "We started in September last year and it took nine months. Now it’s live on the appstore. It was fun."

To thank them for their hard work, BrisFest presented the foursome with VIP tickets to BrisFest which will take place in Ashton Court this weekend.