The Bolton News Education Awards are back for 2023. 

Our awards celebrate the best in Bolton’s schools, from students to teachers to entire schools. 

Our Pupil of the Year, sponsored by Ye Olde Pastie Shoppe, is Mapha Oceane Benie of St Catherine's Academy​. 

Oceane has been recognised for her ambition, her work to help her friends and her work to help the school. 

The nomination reads: "(She) is clear on her goals, and desires to study medicine at university and become a doctor. This is an ambitious goal, however over the past two years she has sought out opportunities to ensure she reaches this goal.

"Her passion and drive are inspiring and she has taught me lessons as a staff member. 

"Her relationship with her friends is one of purpose, and she is a clear leader within her friendship group. She regularly motivates her friends, gives them advice, and provides tough love when it is needed. 

"This year’s winner is working on a project which she has been committed to for the last year. She is working with a team of students on a review of how racial incidents are handled at BSCA." 

It adds: "This came about through a discussion during Black History Month 2022, and she is now working with myself, SLT and Manchester Diocese to review the process of reporting a racial incident and looking at areas for improvement." 

Oceane said: "It feels very overwhelming, but it is something I'm very proud of, something that is like a reward for all the work that I've done in school. I'm very shocked about it. 

"It felt a bit unreal, because at the start I was like 'that's not me', but then slowly as it kept on going, I thought that's the work that I've done. 

"It being read out altogether, it's like wow, that is how much work I've done, it's very surreal. 

"I know that if I am this driven, I will be very pleased with myself in the future. I know what I'm doing right now is going to pay off, so that is what drives me." 

Congratulations also go to Morgan Wright at Harper Green School, who was highly commended for this award.