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The college last week held its latest iteration of Staff Development Day with an end-of-year celebratory BBQ on Friday, 28th June 2024. 

The focus was on positive student behaviour and de-escalating negative situations, with excellent speakers Andy Edwards (‘Behave Yourself’ talk) and Martin Burder (‘The Art of Being Brilliant’ talk).

Several senior staff introduced the Student Behaviour Policy and The KWP Ltd gave an overview of positive challenges to students and how to create a safe, respectful and inclusive space for everybody. 

Afterwards, following drinks and food, staff had the opportunity to join together to celebrate at the end of the academic year at our annual Staff Celebration event.  We had several colleagues celebrating long service milestones and some long-serving staff moving on or retiring

Long Service Awards:

20 Years

  • Gillian Martin
  • Paul Ralph
  • Maura Mowlem
  • Ivan Darley
  • Mandy Stone

25 Years

  • Mark Davis
  • Jaynie Gillies
  • Lorna Musker

30 Years

  • Kate Blake

Long-serving leavers

  • Alan Card (11 years) - Lecturer- Business, Tourism & Sport
  • Steve Bell (12 years) - Learning Manager, Media
  • Paul Cheater (19 years) - Catering Manager
  • Peter Sykes (21 years) - Purchaser, MITS
  • Jacque Saul (22 years) - Lecturer, Foundation
  • Nicky Keogh (23 years) - Teaching Assistant, Student Inclusion & Support
  • Pam Alderman (26 years) - Stores Supervisor, Service Industries
  • Jane Fisher (34 years) - Catering Assistant, Cafeteria
  • Paul Judd (39 years) - Director of IT Services

The Innovation in Education award went to Sylvianne Lambert-Hutchinson – described as  “Always first to assist with any training or roll-outs of new platforms. Her ability to use innovation in teaching is outstanding.”

Next, was the Inclusion award which went to Lisa Claxton for “celebrating diversity and working compassionately with teaching staff through 1:1 coaching and departmental training sessions to raise awareness and understanding of inclusion issues.”

The Sustainability Star award was awarded to Liz Soloman for helping to send all of our IT waste to an accredited zero landfill re-cycling company. She has also helped to donate over 100 old usable laptops, screens and PC base units to IT Schools in Africa. 

The award for Community Engagement was for Karen Chase who has “Shown amazing commitment to engaging with a wide range of employers to provide valuable work experience for our students.” The commendation also acknowledges that: “Karen has found so many opportunities for our students, enabling them to get real work experience.” She has helped to support and encourage students with learning difficulties. Karen has found so many opportunities for our Foundation students and has enabled them to get a real experience of work.

The college’s Technology Trailblazer’ award went to Jason Eastwood for “driving innovation in the college, from immersive rooms and VR suites to artificial intelligence and Moodle resources alongside introducing Magic School AI.”  At our last Professional Services Day, Jason walked us through some AI-wins and opened the doors of opportunity for staff.

Our Unsung Hero award well-deservedly went to Nadia Cassettai, who is “constantly on her feet and putting 100% into her duties, even when things are especially stressful and demanding. Despite having to deal with some very difficult incidents or complex situations, Nadia has always remained professional, measured and helpful. 

We always put our students at the heart of our experience – and certainly our winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience, Graham McGregor does, for he is described as having: “attended workshops and training sessions to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in education. Graham’s dedication and passion for teaching has made a significant impact on the lives of students, inspiring them to reach their full potential and pursue their goals with confidence.”

Our Apprenticeship Champion award winner is Tony Bennett, awarded for: “always going the extra mile to support students, especially during End Point Assessments (EPA). Arriving early, staying late, and working diligently to ensure apprentices have every opportunity to excel and achieve top grades.”

The Nicola May Smile Award goes to Beckie Watson for “Lighting up every room she walks into, always taking time out of her day to talk to students and staff and leaving them with a smile.” Beckie is attributed by the following words from the nominees: “You can feel the positive impact of Beckie’s presence in the room and everybody is happier when she is around.  She is   the bond between teams and connects everyone, making the environment and the office a better place to work in.”

The Leadership Award was given to Kelly Dix for being: “an excellent manager who treats all of her staff fairly, looking after the team incredibly well, often supporting personal issues as well as with work.”

The Professional Services Staff Member of the Year award was given to Rob Owen for  “constantly thinking of new developments and being known to spend free time keeping up to date with IT security to ensure that the College's Network is secure constantly.  Rob has a genuine interest in IT and helps all other colleagues with patience and understanding.”

Finally, Teacher of the Year award goes to Rob Forrester, who truly cares about students, always having their best interests in mind. Rob sets high expectations and keeps a consistent approach, earning respect and admiration as a role model. Rob also encourages students to think outside the box and supervises them with enthusiasm and effectiveness.”

Of the Team awards, Professional Services Team of the Year went to the Exams Team, for “working collaboratively and tirelessly to successfully run this summer's GCSE exams” and the Curriculum Team of the Year award went to Foundation, for “having a huge increase in enrolments. They have adapted and got on with the job. There is clearly a sense of camaraderie within the members and their superb Line Manager and there is laughter and fun outside of the classroom.”

Do have a look through some images from the day, with DJ Darren (from Building Services) and a bit of the outdoors al-fresco lunch. With many thanks to all involved in pulling together this great team event – including special thanks to Jo Daniel. 

Summer Staff Development Day and Staff Celebration