Ormiston Chadwick Academy student first to be awarded top private school scholarship

A 16 year-old state school student is celebrating after being selected as the first recipient of a new scholarship to study in the sixth form of one of the country’s leading private schools.

Samantha Horan

It is the first time that the national award, which is co-funded equally by Ormiston Trust and Gresham’s, a private school in Holt in Norfolk, has been given.

Samantha Horan, a Year 11 student from Ormiston Chadwick Academy, in Widnes, was selected for the scholarship from a strong field of candidates from across Ormiston Academies Trust’s (OAT) network of academies. The two other finalists were from Ormiston Victory Academy, near Norwich, and Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, in Gorleston. All of the candidates impressed the awarding panel with their skills, confidence and determination.

On receiving the news of her scholarship award, Samantha Horan said:

"I am delighted to be awarded the scholarship to go to Gresham’s. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which I will fully embrace. I have learnt so much at Ormiston Chadwick and it is thanks to the academy that I have been given such a great foundation."

The judges said Samantha was selected because of her "independence, resilience, positive attitude and her incredible ambition". She hopes to study four A-levels – maths, further maths, physics and chemistry – and then win a place at a Russell Group university or the California Institute of Technology, before going on to do a Masters. Samantha has a burning desire to then go on to teach in areas of social disadvantage to make the biggest difference to the lives of future young people. That's something that is at the very heart of Ormiston Trust and that sense of moral purpose is something she feels has been really shaped by being part of Ormiston Chadwick.

A local collaboration between Gresham’s School and Ormiston Venture Academy has been long standing, with a student from Venture being offered a scholarship place each year for the last seven years. One of the existing Ormiston Venture Academy scholars will shortly become an Oxford graduate. This latest initiative is the first time a scholarship opportunity has been opened up to the entire network of Ormiston Academies.

Peter Murray, Chair of Ormiston Trust, said:

"We are so proud of all the students who applied for this scholarship. It has really showcased the amazing talent that is being nurtured across our

"Ormiston family and I am confident that all of the nominees will go on to great things. Samantha is an extremely deserving winner and I look forward to following her progress at Gresham’s and beyond."

Toby Salt, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust, said:

"There was stiff competition for this life changing opportunity, with our previous Ormiston Venture Academy Gresham’s scholars having gone onto the best universities. Venture alumni Callum Cooke, for example, is graduating from Oxford this month. Samantha is a deserving winner and will be a fantastic standard bearer for OAT. Our sixth forms are fantastic but this scholarship is a special chance that we have encouraged students to grab with both hands."