HARD-WORKING and bright pupils have been rewarded for their achievements as many of them enter the final weeks of their school careers.

Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, presented year 11 pupils at St John's RC Comprehensive School in Bishop Auckland with their Records of Achievements on Friday.

The records are an account of every student's academic, sport and extra-curricular accomplishments in their time at the school.

Head of the year group, Lisa Byron, said: "It is important to recognise every student and not dismiss five years of education.

"They all deserve something to celebrate the their individual talents and strengths, which hopefully they'll make the most of in the future."

Two special honours, the Father Thomas Towers awards, in memory of a former chairman of governors, were presented to Robert Bowron and Emma Collinson, both from the town.

Mrs Byron said: "Fr Towers was a very pleasant and wise man, so each year since 1996 we have presented awards to a male and female year 11 student, who made a special contribution to the school, in his memory.

"Throughout his education Robert has been a very conscientious student, reliable, helped staff, never shied away from responsibility, has been a pleasure to teach and an asset to the school.

"Emma has taken part in maths and science challenges, captained the school hockey club for three years and played goalkeeper for South West Durham under-16s for two years. She is a born leader."

GCSE art student Rachel Bainbridge presented Peter Barron with a painting of the Bishop's Palace Gates to thank him for presenting the awards.

Pupils also celebrated with an alternative awards ceremony honouring classmates with prizes.