ALVA ACADEMY has become one of only two Scottish schools to be shortlisted for the Times Education Supplement awards.

The Clacks school has been shortlisted for the Community Engagement Initiative of the Year category for their work with the Parkinson’s Choir.

The choir was formed by Alva music teacher David Clifford, who has also been shortlisted for Subject Lead of the Year.

Scott McEwan, headteacher at Alva Academy, added: “We are extremely proud to be representing the Hillfoots and Clackmannanshire at the TES Awards and I am over the moon that the outstanding work of our school community and our own David Clifford is being recognised at a national level.”

David formed the choir five years ago and now has between 20 to 30 members attend each week.

The teacher said: “We, as a music department, couldn’t be prouder of this shortlisted nomination.

“To see the joy the choir bring to the school and community is incredibly heart-warming but to know that our young people play a part in bettering the lives of others is remarkable.

“The group are absolutely buzzing and the nomination is testament to the sheer determination of all staff, pupils and participants involved.”

The project sees local people living with Parkinson’s work alongside pupils to unlock physical, social and emotional benefits of singing.

The choir aims to enhance volume of speech and song and social interaction but also work towards the realisation that there shouldn’t be a stigma surrounding Parkinson’s.

Jim Clifford, David’s father and a member of the choir, said: “One of the most distressing symptoms many people with Parkinson’s face is the loss of their voice.

“The singing group not only helps to increase strength and volume but it has developed confidence and makes you feel good. It’s fun.

“I know thar I speak for all our members when I say that we feel very much a part of the school family.”

The choir has performed at multiple events over the past five years, won a Towards Excellence Award and has been invited to perform at the MacRobert Theatre next year.

David was nominated for the Subject Lead of the Year not only for his work with the choir, but for his classrooms to care homes music videos initiative, musical involvement in the community through Remembrance and Christmas concerts and considerable academic music success.

“Whilst it is incredibly humbling to be shortlisted,” David added. “This really belongs to the entire Alva community.

“Alva Academy is without a doubt the beating heart of our community and I am so proud of every pupil who has played or sung their part over the years.”

The awards ceremony will take place on June 23 in London.