A CLACKS secondary has been shortlisted for as many as four accolades in what has been dubbed the Oscars for teachers and schools.

Alva Academy, including two members of staff, has been shortlisted at this year's Scottish Education Awards.

The school is in the running for the Making a Difference (Secondary) Award and the Curriculum Innovation Award.

Modern languages teacher Shiona Finn, who has been serving the school for 31 years, has been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award while music teacher David Clifford is up for Teacher of the Year.

The Making a Difference award is seeking to recognise schools which transform the life chances of young people and the academy's teachers spoke of the effort to support pupils as they emerged out of lockdown.

Mr Clifford said: "Especially post-lockdown, it's been about putting things in place to try and get pupils re-integrated, develop friendships, create the memories they've missed out on for the past two years."

This has included a complete revamp of the extracurricular programme, offering diverse activities such as rugby in partnership with SRU and Hillfoots RFC, girl's football, a very popular knitting club, a breakfast club and much more.

Miss Finn has been an educator for more than 37 years, coming to Alva 31 years ago.

The modern languages teacher said: "The pupils here, the staff here, the whole community is just so welcoming and you become a part of that."

She has been involved in a wide range of initiatives over the years, but explained that "ultimately, I think the relationship with the pupils and staff is most important to me".

Mr Clifford said: "Shiona won't tell you half the things that she does and what she does most of the times goes unnoticed because she doesn't ever want to put herself in the shop window."

The nomination for curriculum innovation is based on the academy's approach to Remembrance and Holocaust education, something previously highlighted by the Advertiser.

Speaking of his nomination, Mr Clifford said: "It is humbling, you realise there are things that you have helped to do, to either shape someone's life or something that has made a difference."

Miss Finn added: "This year in particular, David just amazingly managed – I don't know how – to get get kids involved recording [music] at home, helping out care homes.

"So many things which we thought during Covid wouldn't happen – but he managed to make it happen in collaboration with lots of people."

Headteacher Scott McEwan proudly spoke of the day-to-day efforts of everyone at the school, saying the awards are "a fantastic recognition of the achievements of the young people".

Speaking of Mss Finn and Mr Clifford, he added: "As a headteacher you are blessed by the good people in the school, in my time here I've been really lucky to have fantastic teachers and two no better than Shiona and David.

"The energy, the imagination, the drive to do the very best for our young people – if every school in Scotland had that they could count themselves as lucky as I do every day."

Award winners will be announced at a Glasgow ceremony on June 8.