IT WAS a day of celebration yesterday for students at the Oakfield Project as they were presented with their end-of-year awards.
The scheme looks to give a second chance to youngsters who have struggled to fit into mainstream education.
The Year 11s recently completed their exams and all of those at Oakfield are now preparing for college next year.
However, before they left the teachers rewarded them for their hard work with a presentation in which the top students for each course were given a certificate by Mayor Teresa Page.
Manager Kim Tupper said: “This year’s students have been absolutely fantastic and this is a great way to recognise all they have achieved.
“We give out two certificates for each subject, one for effort and the other for achievement. The improvement this year has been fantastic.
“The turnaround for the students has been remarkable when you take into account some of them have only been with us for a year.
“The presentation is a way of celebrating all the hard work they have put in as well as saying thank you to all the staff who have taught them.”
In total there are 16 students moving on from Year 11 this time and all are looking to either go to Swindon or Cirencester College in September.
As well as the students and teachers, parents were also invited to the event, which included a buffet put together by those in Year 10.
There is also a special award for the student who has made the biggest improvement over the course of the year.
It is known as the Rex Barnett Award, after the former Swindon Mayor who was a big supporter of the Oakfield Project.
This year’s winner was 16-year-old Kyle Parmenter, who said the project had made a huge difference to his life in the one year he had been there.
He said: “It has really helped me out.
“I am hopefully going to Swindon College next year, which probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t come here. The teaching is very good.
“Everyone here is really supportive and I am very grateful for everything they have done.”
Another student who won a number of prizes was Jordan Collier, 16, who is looking to do a plumbing course at Swindon College.
He said: “I really struggled with the other four years at school but I have made a lot of progress this year.
“All the teachers are really supportive and always help with any question you ask them.”