A young woman who is a police cadet and an entertainer who has built his own recording studio were among pupils honoured at Ysgol John Bright’s graduation evening.

The Venue Cymru event featured 2008 world in-line skating champion Jenna Downing and a surprise musical performance by staff led by former X Factor contestant and IT Director, Steve McElroy.

In all 156 pupils were presented with their Records of Achievement, 16 received staff awards and nine were honoured by their fellow pupils including Bradley Hughes, a head of year, who won the Staff and Student Choice Award and judged by fellow pupils to be Most Likely To Be Prime Minister.

Jess Harries, 16, a volunteer police cadet from Deganwy who received a Commitment to the Community Award, said: “The Police Cadets came to the school over two years ago looking for volunteers and because my mum and my auntie were in the police.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been very good and it’s great to get involved in the community.”

Euan Butterworth, one of the stars of the school’s production of Guys and Dolls, presented with Musician of the Year said: “I love being on stage and I’ve done musical theatre and performance for the past seven years with different companies. I’ve actually built a home studio to record in and although I’m a singer I also do guitar, bass and drums.”

Earlier Jenna Downing told students how she transformed her life from being the daughter of a single mum from Barnsley to reaching the pinnacle of her sport as the world champion in-line skater.

Jenna, the 10 times British champion who is also planning a return to the sport in Barcelona this year where the world’s biggest Championship Roller Games will be held, told her audience: “When I became the best in the world in my chosen sport it took me 13 years. It wasn’t easy because success isn’t easy.

“You have to be prepared to make mistakes and use that resilience to get back up and keep going.”She described how she suffered the disappointment of a string of high placed finishes in the world championships and then a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis but battled on and finally won her gold medal.

She added: “I was so proud of myself for working so hard so follow your dream and go for it and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.“Stay focused, work hard, dream big and never stop going for your dream.”

Headteacher Ann Webb said: “I taught a very special group of Year 11s last year when they were Year 10 and they grounded me for 12 months and made me appreciate why I came into teaching.“Lots of changes have taken place at the school over the last five years and that’s not going to stop – the pace of change and improvement is going to continue.

“Our ability to be versatile and flexible and manage change is as important now as it will be in the future.”

She added: “Ysgol John Bright is not a building, it’s a community of people. You will always be a part of John Bright and it will always be a part of you.”