Being presented with an award recently by The Princess Royal was the icing on the cake for Fermanagh schoolgirl Sophie Coalter.
The recent special date was no ordinary school day for the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School pupil, daughter of Helen and Norman Coalter.
Her day started with a journey to Belfast International airport with her Home Economics teacher, Mrs. Heather Kettyle, to catch the first flight to London.
Sophie and Mrs. Kettyle had been invited to attend the British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) Annual Day where Sophie was to collect the BNF Drummond Education Award.
Early in the autumn term, Miss Armstrong, Principal of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, had shared the good news with the school community that Sophie had been placed first in Northern Ireland in GCSE (CCEA) Home Economics.
As a result of this achievement, Sophie’s name had been put forward for consideration for the Drummond Education Award, which is presented by the BNF to students from across the UK for outstanding work in food and nutrition. In addition, the Foundation recognises and rewards the hard work by the student’s teacher.
Once in London, Sophie and Mrs. Kettyle enjoyed breakfast in the Savoy Hotel; they then travelled to the edge of Regent Park to the Royal College of Physicians where the BNF was hosting a reception and luncheon in the Long and Osler Room.
The gathering subsequently proceeded to the Wolfson Theatre and very promptly at 2.30pm, the audience was hushed and asked to be upstanding to welcome the BNF President, HRH Princess Anne who then made the presentations to Sophie and Mrs. Kettyle.
Later that afternoon, Sophie and Mrs. Kettyle viewed the Christmas lights in Regent Street and Oxford Street before travelling back to Belfast.
Mrs. Kettyle commented that “despite the Home Economics department having had a GCSE pupil placed within the top three in Northern Ireland in five out of the last seven years this award at national level was a first for the department.”
She concluded that this accolade was down to Sophie’s enthusiasm and hard work in partnership with the members of the Home Economics department; she also acknowledged the support of Sophie’s parents in the winning recipe for success.