After a fantastic evening of celebrations, we would like to share with you the highlights from the NCG Excellence Awards 2017!
The weather wasn’t enough to dampen the mood at our Summer Garden Party – complete with planting displays from our Newcastle College Horticulture students – as colleagues from across the country gathered to celebrate some of our greatest achievements from the past year.
We launched into a night of live entertainment from our fabulous Newcastle College Music Student, Sam Harris, and an inspirational introduction from NCG’s CEO, Joe Docherty. This was followed by a delicious three-course meal prepared and served by our Hospitality and Catering students, and a huge prize raffle featuring an Acer laptop kindly donated by Stone Group.
The real highlight of the night, however, was the award ceremony which celebrated the fantastic work of some of NCG’s most talented colleagues. We received 567 nominations this year, and our panel of judges had the unenviable task of choosing just 12 worthy winners for the award categories, presented by our governors, sponsors and CEO.
Here are our 2017 winners:
Excellence in Advice and Guidance
Jennie Ellis from Kidderminster College
Jennie offers advice and guidance to all apprenticeship learners, as well as Employability and traineeship learners and always goes above and beyond to help. The impact of this help and support can be clearly seen in the success rates and development at The Point.
Excellence in Learner Support
The Learner Support Practitioner team from Kidderminster College
Kidderminster College has a high proportion of supported learners and the team of Learner Support Practitioners are central to this, providing everything from a comprehensive assessment to personal care support, through assistive technology and in-class support.
Excellence in Enriching the Learning Experience
Hospitality & Catering Team from Newcastle College
As part of the Level 3 Hospitality and Catering programme, students engaged in a ‘Farm to Fork’ initiative. This project involved a thorough understanding of all stages of the food chain, reinforcing the values of team work, responsibility and problem solving. The nominator said “In over 15 years in the FE and Skills sector, including through my work as an active Ofsted Inspector, I have not seen a more holistic and rounded project in terms of preparing students for the world of work, developing deep understanding and values and bringing their learning to life in the most amazing and inspiring way”.
Excellence in Unlocking Learner Potential
Matty McLeish for Carlisle College
Matty has a unique ability to engage with entry level learners, especially learners who have struggled with education or have high-level social needs. This is reflected in his Learner Voice feedback, with rates of over 10% above the national average and excellent teaching and learning observations. He encourages learners to stretch their potential and strongly promotes engagement in life-changing activities, such as the World Skills Competition.
Excellence in Innovation or Technology
Apprenticeship Vacancy Team from Carlisle College
The Apprenticeship Vacancy Team has shown real commitment and dedication and making continuous improvements as part of the innovation process. They have coped with increasing volumes and demands as the new service has been used to its full potential. The numbers support this, as following the introduction of the recruitment agency model the number of apprenticeship starts increased to 201 in 2015/16 – an outstanding 35% growth on 2014/15, with 238 starts in 2016/17.
Excellence in Internal Customer Experience
Ashley Ford from Intraining
Ashley has shown complete commitment in his job role as Compliance Advisor by consistently providing outstanding support services to Intraining and Supply Chain partners, Newcastle College, Rathbone Training and West Lancashire College operations colleagues. Ashley also supports members of his team with their day to day roles which improves colleague skills and has a positive effect on the services provided within the compliance department overall.
Our Values are what define us as an organisation, and we are thrilled to celebrate colleagues who live by them. The next three categories are designed to raise the profile of colleagues who have shown excellence in Our Values: Ownership, Valuing our People, and being Open and Honest.
Excellence in Our Values – Ownership
Bette Kerr from Carlisle College
In difficult, challenging and uncertain times Bette has consistently demonstrated commitment above and beyond reasonable expectations. As Finance Manager Bette has been central in financial planning and control, as well as cashflow monitoring. Throughout the area review and merger process Bette has demonstrated a can-do attitude, working with Carlisle and NCG colleagues, dealing with colleague uncertainty and new systems and ways of working and committing many additional hours to achieve desired and necessary outcomes.
Excellence in Our Values – Valuing our People
Tina Vos from West Lancashire College
Tina has been mentoring a second year PGCE trainee who is on a voluntary placement at West Lancashire College. She has been more than generous with her time, offering just the right amount of support regarding teaching practice, but at the same time has given the trainee the freedom to develop the course and initiate new activities to support learning. This support has resulted in the trainee making significant progress in her teaching.
Excellence in Our Values – Open and Honest
Matthew Ward from Group Services
Matthew has identified over £20,000 of savings in his first six months and identified the potential to save tens of thousands over the coming year. This has only been achievable by being very open and honest in our approach and clearly demonstrating that we are here to support and help on the environment and sustainability. This has also been the key to getting environment on the agenda at what used to be the health and safety councils and committees.
The following three categories are designed to recognise the individual colleagues who have really inspired us to be the best we can. These are the teachers, lecturers or tutors who lead by example, constantly have high expectations of us and encourage us to meet them.
Excellence in Teaching – Work Based Learning
Gemma Rooney from Rathbone Training
Gemma has a fantastic personality which shines in the Rathbone centre and is a very dedicated person who always puts her learner’s first. Gemma takes the time to listen to them and supports and encourages them in every way to achieve their goals.
Excellence in Teaching – Higher Education
James Edge from Newcastle College
James is the programme leader for the Airline and Airport Management Degree and singlehandedly reviewed the 2015/16 provision for three courses, identified areas for improvement and set himself a clear objective; to improve the Airline & Airport Management Higher Education Provision. James embeds the most up to date material in his sessions and reflects on practice across the sector to ensure that learners are fully prepared for demanding roles within the aviation industry. James is a true inspiration to his learners and colleagues.
Excellence in Teaching – Further Education
Anthony Crute from Newcastle Sixth Form College
A learner nomination for Anthony reads “he is by far one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He’s always really happy and smiley and always in a good mood, which is one reason why I actually enjoy coming to my lessons, he always puts the class in a good mood ready to learn. Not only that, if you need help with something he’s available literally 24/7 and he will explain something to you in so much depth until it’s embedded in your brain making sure you fully understand and aren’t left confused! I’m really lucky I got to be taught by him this year and I genuinely believe he’s the best teacher in the world!”
Congratulations to all of our very worthy winners, and to all of our talented colleagues who were nominated for an award. As a thank you for your hard work and dedication, all attendees received an exclusive NCG Excellence Awards 2017 star, made by the Creative Arts and Design Innovation students, to commemorate the evening.
Finally, we would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has contributed to making this year’s NCG Excellence Awards special, and to our sponsors and partners for your generous support. We are already looking forward to the NCG Excellence Awards 2018!