Pupils head to Japan and America after award success

Every year the school awards a bursary to individual pupils from the sixth form who would like to travel to further their experience and knowledge of a passion or subject.

The Albert Johnston Travel Award interviews for the 2016-17 school year took place before the end of the autumn term with the breadth and standard of the applications again being excellent.

The judging panel, which included head of psychology Miss Hannah Barton and former teacher and school archivist Mr Stuart Helm, awarded two prizes with both pupils receiving £1,000.

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The first of the winners was Adam Keyworth and he will be heading to Japan after his ‘A Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun’ presentation wowed the judges. Adam will be travelling around interesting sites in Japan, learning about the language and the culture as well as doing a homestay with a Japanese family. The experience will help him on his quest for a career in international relations or politics.

Speaking about the award, Adam said: “I was surprised but, of course, very excited when I found out I had won. I was quite nervous about the presentation, however it went well and all the staff members that were there were very supportive. It is definitely something I would recommend other pupils to apply for.

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“I felt that maybe going to Japan was too ambitious but if you have an interest in a certain place, no matter how far it is, you should definitely apply. It is probably one of the best co-curricular opportunities we get at the school.”

Natasha Brickstock was the second winner and she will be travelling to the United States of America following her ‘The Psychology Behind Art: New York’ presentation. Whilst in America, she will visit museums such as The MET, Guggenheim and The Museum of Modern Art where she will be looking at the impact of mental illness on artists and their work. This experience will be informative for Natasha as she looks ahead to the future where she aims to study medicine at university and then may go on to do Psychiatry.

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Looking ahead to her trip, Natasha said: “My project is to try and understand how mental illnesses and traumas such as a stroke can affect an artist’s work and how in some cases it can change an artist’s style drastically.

“Finding out I was one of the winners of the Albert Johnson Travel Award has filled me with excitement and I hope to gain many things from the trip such as greater independence, organisation and the skills to analyse the most beautiful pieces of art and understand the story behind them. Going to New York to explore my project idea is going to be a great adventure and I am very thankful that Stockport Grammar School has given me this amazing opportunity.”

Five other pupils also applied for the bursary and they prepared well thought-out and interesting ideas. With the standard being so high this year they were unsuccessful but they should be proud of their efforts which hugely impressed the judging panel.

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