It’s no wonder Kaydence Lacey has plenty to beam about!

The Year 7 student has become the first at Atlantic Academy Portland to be given an Aspirations Edge Award.

The accolade is her reward for successfully completing a range of activities both inside and outside of school. From helping her younger sister with her homework to becoming a leader at her local Brownies and mentoring beginners at her swimming club, Kaydence, who is 11, has had plenty to keep her busy.

Her efforts have seen her grow in confidence, resilience and boosted her organisational, leadership and communication skills.

Kaydence told the Dorset Echo: “It feels really nice to have the award and all the activities I have taken part in have boosted my confidence. I used to be quite shy but now I’m not so reluctant to put myself forward or to talk to people I don’t know when taking part in activities or events.

“It has also increased my patience and strengthened the bond that I have with my sister and my friends – I’m much more supportive.”

Kaydence with her Aspirations Edge certificates

The Aspirations Edge is being rolled out at Atlantic and Budmouth Academies, both of which are part of the Aspirations Academies Trust.

The award underpins the ethos and three guiding principles of the Trust: Self-worth, Purpose and Engagement.

In order to achieve her award and small gift of recognition, Kaydence completed 10 activities which also included designing a road safety poster and talking to an audience about it in order to increase awareness.

The Aspirations Edge programme enables students to become accredited at the levels of ‘Apprentice’ (Year 7 & 8), ‘Graduate’ (Years 9,10 & 11) and ‘Masters’ (6th Form).

Kaydence said she is now looking forward to progressing to the next level.

Andy David teaching Atlantic students

Lesley Bishop, Principal at Atlantic Academy Secondary, said she was thrilled with Kaydence’s efforts and added: “Kaydence is our first student to complete the award and she has given 110% commitment and engagement to the programme and she has been a true inspiration to her whole year group to get involved.

“We believe the Aspirations Edge programme will not only develop our students’ confidence and character but it also encourages them to have positive interactions and in turn have a positive impact on our local community.”

Andy David, Director of Student Leadership & Engagement, at Aspirations Academies Trust, is overseeing the Aspirations Edge programme. A former national leader for ‘The Edge’ his previous role saw him introduce the programme in schools across England and Wales.

Places are currently available for Year 7 at Atlantic Academy Portland, September 2022 start. To apply or for more information, please email: