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Awards for students

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Westwood College. From the left, Adam Arshad, chairman of governors Mandy Bennett, Ben Richards, Helena Hargreaves, and Professor Nigel Ratcliffe.

  • Damien Birks who won the BTEC Level Three Course Prize for ICT Practitioners, who is now completing an Business and Administration Apprenticeship, working on Reception at the Leek Campus.

  • Buxton and Leek College. Professor Liz Barnes, with Beth Knowles who won the AS Level Media Studies course prize, and who also helped on the night along with another AS Level photography student, Becky Coates, to take the pictures.

  • Above, The winners at The Leek College Awards evening. Right, Damien Birks who won the BTEC Level Three Course Prize for ICT Practitioners, who is now completing an Business and Administration Apprenticeship, working on Reception at the Leek Campus.

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BOTH GCSE and A Level students were invited to an awards evening at Westwood College before the end of the school term.

The evening, which took place in the campus's Old Hall Assembly Hall, was led by headteacher Richard Hey after a welcome from the chairman of the Leek Federation governing body, Mandy Bennett.

A host of awards were handed out to top-achieving students and all students, who completed their GCSEs or A Levels at Westwood College in the summer, were able to collect their well-earned certificates.

The guest speaker for the evening was Professor Nigel Ratcliffe, Professor of Pharmacy and Head of School at Keele University.

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Mr Ratcliffe, who was raised in Leek, spoke of Leek being a "great place".

He also spoke words of encouragement for those going out into the world of work, as well as continuing with their education.

The evening had an Oscar-style atmosphere with tables laid out with glittering decor.

Subject awards at Westwood College were handed out to: Charlotte Thorneycroft (art), Eleri Davies (archeology), Matthew Lirby (business studies), Hannah Gee (design technology), Jenny Gibson (drama), Emma Claydon (English literature), Matthew Kirby (English language), Adam Arshad (extended project), Carla Sanzeri (geography), Holly Machin (health and social care), Philip Matthews (history), Michael Foster (maths), Michael Simpson (further maths), Laura Hinds, (media studies), Emma Claydon ((french), Katie Madden (german), Ryan Abberley (spanish), James Buxton (sport), Emma Claydon (music), George Morton (pe), Hannah Gee (psycology), Eleanor Boucher (religious education), Helena Hargreaves (sociology), Robert Middleton (biology), Joshua Dow (chemistry) and Charlie Eardley (physics).

Individual awards went to: Adam Arshad (Governors' Academic Achievement Award), Ben Richards (Sixth Form Student of the Year), Helena Hargreaves (Governors Progress Award), and Grace Aldridge (Jane Barr Memorial Award.

Meanwhile hard-working students who have helped put Buxton and Leek College at the top of national league tables stepped forward to receive their awards.

All Saints Church in Leek was the setting for the celebration event for learners from the college's Leek campus. And College Principal Len Tildsley, in his welcome speech, told those gathered: "Buxton and Leek College is now ranked higher than any other college in Staffordshire or Derbyshire. Out of 225 colleges nationally, we have been placed 14th for young people and 33rd for adults. We are very proud of the performance of our students and the wide range of education and training opportunities we now provide. Since Buxton and Leek College has become part of the University of Derby it has provided us with the opportunity to invest in new facilities which include a £1 million new motor vehicle training centre in Buxton and the first phase of a £7 million project to replace and refurbish buildings on the Leek campus."

Guest of honour Professor Liz Barnes, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Derby, presented students with their awards.

She said: "I hope that, this evening, you will all see that education remains a great investment because it transforms lives.

"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."

In her closing speech, chairman of the college's Further Education Governance Committee, Tina Heathcote, said that it was fitting that the ceremony should take place in the grand setting of All Saints Church, famous for its William Morris connection. The poet, artist and designer worked on stained glass windows in the church and other people, including, the then Leek College's head of woodwork, left their mark in the form of carvings.

Mrs Heathcote added: "These people all did something positive and left their mark. Make sure that you all make your mark as you go through life and make sure it's a good one."

Students from the University of Derby's Event Management degree course organised and ran the event while A-Level photography students pictured the award winners.

Special achievement prizes at Leek College went to Iona Letby (Samantha Cope Memorial Prize), Justin Rasbridge Nolan (Polly Furnival Memorial Prize for Art and Design), Kim Riley (Barclays Bank Rosebowl for Financial Studies), Jane Maxwell (Prince's Trust Award), James Alcock (JCB Compact Products Award for Engineering Excellence), Christopher Seymour (Lafarge Cement Award for Perseverance in Engineering), Joe Allen (Arthur Peake Memorial Prize), Joanne Bark (Retreat Beauty Student of the Year), Louise Knight (Retreat Hairdressing Student of the Year),Stephen Bailey (North Staffs Engineering Group Training Association - NSEGTA -Award for Engineering Excellence), Kyle Abel (NSEGTA Advanced Apprentice of the Year), Josh Cooper (NSEGTA prize for Engineering), Amy Fradley (Keele University School of Nursing and Midwifery Award), Lucy Jackson (Jess Harrison Memorial Prize for Health and Social Care), Arthur Copplestone (Tony Tovell Award for Outstanding Achievement), Caroline Birley (Skillsbase Trainee of the Year), Sam Holmes (Val Smith Memorial Prize for Outstanding Dedication) and Joseph Walton (John Knox Award).

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