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The Corporation

Posted: 30/06/10

An outstanding college celebration of the year

West Nottinghamshire College students enjoyed one of the grandest celebrations of the college year on Friday, 25 June.

The annual Celebration of Achievement event, which ranks as one of the highlights of the college year, sees students from each school of learning recognised for achievements over and above their studies, for overcoming adversity and for being truly outstanding.

Principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE presented certificates and awards at Mansfield’s Civic Centre to around 50 students who had been nominated by their tutors for recognition. 

Asha was joined on stage by Baroness Verma, Government spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, International Development, and Women and Equalities.

Baroness Verma said: “The students here tonight really are a credit to West Nottinghamshire College.  They have a great forum to thrive here and they have an inspirational principal leading them.

“I am particularly delighted to hear of the excellent provision geared towards ensuring disengaged learners have a real opportunity to develop and change and go on to have rewarding experiences at this college.”

The apprentice of the year award went to Liam Barnes, 21, from Langwith Junction.  Liam attends the college’s Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and has consistently achieved the highest grades in the theory and practical elements of the electrical installation course. His positive learning experiences have inspired him to progress to the level four programme next year to complete the HNC in electrical engineering.

On receiving his award, Liam said: “This award was totally unexpected.  I have worked very hard for three years at college and I feel I have progressed really well.  On top of this I am proud to have been promoted to contracts manager in my job at Cranton Electricals of Basford.”

The overall principal’s award was presented to Emma Pearson, 16, from Forest Town.  Emma’s award was given for her overall journey on her entry level childcare course and amazing progression.  Emma was home schooled since year 7 and didn’t achieve any GCSE qualifications. She came to West Notts in September 2009 feeling apprehensive and nervous about rejoining education.  Since then she has flourished and is predicted to achieve the highest grade possible for her course work and is progressing straight onto the Level 2 diploma in childcare and education in September.

Emma said: “I am very proud of my own progress since last September – I feel I’ve really moved on.  I certainly didn’t expect to win the principal’s award tonight though – I couldn’t believe it!”

Outstanding achievement awards were presented to:

  • Karen Smith from the academic studies curriculum, for broadening her horizons with a range of new IT skills after being made redundant;
  • Jessica Foot from the schools academy for her commitment to her health and social care course and her outstanding work while caring for her baby;
  • Jessica Barella from the hospitality, sport, leisure and travel team for her growth in confidence, potential and progress;
  • Will Shipley from the college’s Ashfield Project for his excellent attendance on the entry to employment fabrication and welding course, as well as his new positive attitude to work;
  • Magdelena Mielke from the business, professional and continuing education curriculum for juggling her time on the ESOL level 2 course around family life and for always being dedicated.

Principal Asha Khemka OBE said: “This annual event is our opportunity to show off and showcase the work of our students over the past twelve months.  Some of the students here tonight will go on to continue their studies at the college – others will go on to other things such as higher education at university or a career. 

“I wish every one of them luck with their futures.  I am proud, their parents are proud and each student should be proud of their educational journeys so far.”

Joining Asha on stage to present certificates to the college's Ashfield campus was Deborah Wray, business manager for City & Guilds East Midlands.  City & Guilds sponsored the awards for the courses at Ashfield which are geared towards supporting students who have otherwise been classed at NEETs (not in education, employment or training).

Also attending the event were family and friends of the students, tutors and VIP guests Terry Laws, head of service for standards and commissioning for children’s and young people’s services at Nottinghamshire County Council, Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton and chairman of Ashfield District Council Councillor Mick Parker.