Pupils from Currie Community High win John Byrne Award

A team of pupils from Currie Community High School have fought off stiff competition to win a first prize of £7000 in the inaugural John Byrne Award.

The competition, launched last year and funded by entrepreneur Andrew Paterson, aims to encourage young people to consider and challenge society's values and to identify changes that they feel might be appropriate.

The winning team of senior pupils produced a documentary film which explored the themes of greed, selfishness, alienation and participation as their entry. They used a speech by Jimmy Reid on his inauguration as rector of Glasgow University in 1972 as their stimulus for producing the film.

Currie Community High School Head teacher Percy Farren said:

"The amount of detail and research that went into the production of the film was phenomenal.  The creativity shown, particularly in the accompanying artwork, captivated those who have had the pleasure of seeing it.  The team are absolutely delighted to have won and the school is immensely proud of these four young people and we know that the values that we all hold so dear are safe in their hands."

City Education Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said:

"When pupils leave school we want them to feel free to contribute to the values held by a society that can seem very established and set, to challenge the status quo as they see it and make their own impact on the world. This competition encourages this and we've seen some fantastic entries that have captured the spirit of the award in its inaugural year."

The Award ceremony was held at the Ingleby Gallery.  The winning team were Terri Steel, Beth Cairns, Hannah Smith and Calum McCulloch.

Pupils were allocated a week for the study of their project, three weeks for the development of the concept and one week for the preparation and presentation of their entry.

The panel included artist and playwright John Byrne, religious writer and broadcaster Richard Holloway, political journalist and theatre critic Joyce McMillan, Boroughmuir Head Teacher Jack Hamilton, Jeanine Davies, and Scott Paterson.

The benefactor has chosen to name the award after John Byrne because of his contribution to the arts in Scotland, and because of his view that students should be encouraged to think about values. 


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