Legendary actor Dame Emma Thompson sent a heartfelt message to an Argyll and Bute school for an “amazing” international achievement.
In a personal video to pupils and staff at Dunoon Grammar School, she congratulated them on reaching the final ten shortlist of the T4 Education World’s Best Schools Award for Community Collaboration.
She described the news as “amazing”, and said she had everything crossed for the final.
Dame Emma said: “I’m here to congratulate you so, so much on this extraordinary global award category that you’re in, Community Collaboration in the World’s Best Schools Awards. It’s amazing.
“It means that all you wonderful young people have been going out nationally, internationally and locally, and sharing your skills, learning and giving. It’s an amazing initiative to be part of.
“I’m just keeping my fingers crossed – well, I don’t need to keep them crossed because you’re all so extraordinary.
“I cannot wait to hear about the outcome later in the year. Good luck, congratulations, well done and lots of love.”
The award-winning actress has had prior affiliations with Dunoon, and planned to visit the school in person to hear the announcement, but was unable due to prior work commitments. Her husband and fellow actor, Greg Wise, visited the school in her stead.
The award celebrates schools for working with their communities to secure solid grounds necessary for the children’s progress. The ten shortlisted schools will showcase their expertise at World Education Week in October 2022.
David Mitchell, head teacher at Dunoon Grammar, said it was an honour and a privilege to receive support from Dame Emma, and thanked Greg for his attendance.
David said: “Dame Emma is a long-time friend and supporter of the school so it means a lot to everyone that she has kindly taken time out from her busy schedule to send us this lovely video.
Being shortlisted for the World’s Best School is obviously an amazing achievement for us, so it is great to see it acknowledged by two globally recognised actors.
“Greg is also a great friend and supporter of Dunoon Grammar, so it was a true honour to have him in attendance at the school when we announced the news to staff and pupils.
I really appreciate the efforts that both Dame Emma and Greg have gone to and would like to sincerely, thank them for their best wishes. It means a lot.”
Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education, councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “This is a very exciting time for everyone, not just Dunoon, or indeed Argyll and Bute, but the whole of Scotland.
“The school carries out tremendous work in the community, so it’s wonderful to see this being recognised on an international level, and by two well-known and respected actors such as Dame Emma and Greg.”