Primary School Pupil of the Year

Whether they have excelled academically, been successful in their extra-curricular activities or had to overcome adversity to succeed, we wanted to hear about your hardworking children. We aimed to honour a youngster who plays an active role in all areas of school life, is respectful of others and is always willing to lend a hand.

Winner: Olivia Grannell at Darnhall Primary School

OLIVIA Grannell is kind, thoughtful and animal-mad and she’s also our Primary School Pupil of the Year 2024!

The inspirational seven-year-old from Winsford climbed to one of the highest points in the UK for her dogs, raising money for the shelter which rescued her beloved pets.

The Darnhall Primary School pupil braved the hike up Mount Snowdon and collected more than £1,000 for ARC Animals, who saved her dogs Daisy and Asana from a life of abandonment and neglect in Macedonia.

Olivia’s latest school report highlighted the youngster’s kindness and how she enjoys looking after other children in her class.

Primary School Pupil of the Year Olivia Grannell with mum Laura and dad Paul

Primary School Pupil of the Year Olivia Grannell with mum Laura and dad Paul

Mum Laura said: “She is a very thoughtful little girl.

“Hearing how kind she is at school is all you can ask for as a parent.

“Obviously grades are important, but I would rather she is a kind human being.”

Olivia has always been an animal lover - she won’t eat meat and is animal mad.

The Grannell family lost their dog Maizie to heart failure in June 2022 and had never planned on getting another.

Laura, who owns Stagecoach Performing Arts Nantwich, said: “I was absolutely devastated.

“I was scrolling through Facebook and saw this little cream coloured dog with blue eyes.

“I don’t know what it was, but she just melted my heart.”



The inspirational winners of our Guardian Education Awards 2024


She added: “The dog arrived and she was skin and bone, it really upset me, it was awful.

“But she has settled in really well and we love her to bits.

“Then we got a message saying her sister still hadn’t been adopted and my husband said ‘we can’t leave her can we?’”


Olivia came up with the idea to climb Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa, after her mum told her about what their dogs had been through.

The shelter put up a post saying they needed food and beds for the winter and Olivia decided she wanted to raise money for them.

Primary School Pupil of the Year Olivia Grannell at Darnhall Primary School

Primary School Pupil of the Year Olivia Grannell at Darnhall Primary School

Mum Laura added: “We are super proud of her.

“Her resilience on the hike was second to none and she was an absolute super star.

“She was shattered after such a busy weekend but says it’s all worth it.”

Headteacher at Darnhall Primary School Sarah Tomlinson said: “Olivia is an such inspiration to young and old!

“A delightful little girl with the biggest of hearts.

“She cares so much about others and animals that she has raised so much money to help stray dogs abroad and provide toys to children in war-stricken countries.

“We are all so proud of her achievements and know she will continue to do good throughout her life.

“Well done Olivia and thank you for all that you do to help others.”