Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Who says we are only concerned about academia?

We are well into the New Year and I would like to wish you continued success and happiness in 2012.

The end of term in December seems like a whirl and such a long time ago.  I have great memories of the Leavers' Awards Evening and our presenter, Claire Rogerson, an outstanding role model, and the wonderful advice that she gave to our subject prizewinners, most of whom were returning after a successful first term at University.  Whilst I didn't know the award winners, I had read about their achievements and seen clips of some of them on the College website.  However, it was great to meet them in person and their proud parents who were very complimentary and delightful.

One of the best parts about my role is to celebrate the success of our students: musical, sport, drama, arts, academia and listen to their stories.  Of course, such success reflects the tremendous work that is undertaken by the students, staff and the sacrifices made by the parents.

Recently, we introduced half-termly awards and it was great to have over 40 nominations, all of a very high standard.  It was brilliant to have the privilege of meeting the five winners, their "glowing" parents and particularly pleasing to hear the tremendous applause that the award winners received from their fellow students upon hearing about their achievements.  On the theme of celebration, two weeks ago I was honoured to be invited to sit on the podium at a graduation ceremony at Hull University.  I was full of admiration for the students as they came on stage to collect their graduate and postgraduate awards.  I was particularly in awe of some of the older students who had returned to education at a later stage in life, having raised their families and pursued their careers.  Some parents were collecting their awards at the same time as their children.  As I marvelled at how proud these individuals were, I was delighted to find that a parent of one of our students (who was in the audience to support his mother), was collecting her Masters award in social work.  How wonderful.  (I just hope that my football team is in a position to compete for some awards at the end of this season). 

This morning as I skidded into work on the snow and ice, a large group of our music students and staff were just leaving to perform in Harrogate this lunchtime.  This week is particularly busy and we have the following events taking place:

·         A group of our top 30 students at AS-level are at Edinburgh University for two days;
·         Our Media and Film Studies students are in New York for the week;
·         The Business Studies students have gone to EuroDisney in Paris to study the business aspects of the theme park;
·         There are a series of workshops at our College next Friday about applying to Oxbridge.  There will also be a number of other schools and colleges present;
·         On Wednesday, our first eleven football team is in the final of the British Colleges' Cup.

Who says we are only concerned about academia?  This highlights our commitment and belief in providing a wide range of experiences to create well rounded students.  Long may it continue.