Engineering tutors and lecturers from a South Wales valleys college have received a top accolade in a prestigious awards programme keenly contested by 20,000 nominees from right across the UK.
The engineering team from Coleg Y Cymoedd, were named UK Further Education Team of the Year in the high-profile annual Pearson Teaching Awards and will now go forward to compete for a Gold award against teams from all UK education sectors at the grand final in London in October.
The team’s celebration is one of just 55 taking place in schools and colleges across England, Ireland and Wales on Thank a Teacher Day,16 May 2014, when prestigious Silver Pearson Teaching Awards will be presented to outstanding local heroes of education.
The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching, founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.
The College’s 28-strong engineering team was chosen because of its range of exceptional expertise in aeronautical, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as their clear vision, "to be the best provider of engineering apprenticeship training in Wales".
Commenting on his team’s success, Gavin Davies, assistant curriculum director for technology at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “This award is the result of an inspirational collective team effort. It follows an incredibly successful year for our department, which is itself built on our college’s thirty years of working in partnership with businesses to deliver a curriculum that caters to the specific needs of our learners and their employers.”
He added: “The credit must go further than the exceptional 28 members of the engineering team. Speaking on behalf of the department’s lecturers, tutor technicians and employment officer, I would like to thank our senior management team for their continued support and investment in our facilities. Year-on-year, this culture of support ensures we provide training which is second to none. I am proud to be part of a college with a mission to provide excellence in education and training in the South Wales Valleys.”
The Engineering team will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards at London’s Guildhall on 26th October, where 10 of the 55 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Award. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC.
There are currently 152 full time and 194 part time learners enrolled on engineering programmes at the college, ranging from entry level qualifications, such as a Foundation Learning Tier in Engineering, up to level five qualifications such as a Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Many of these learners are apprentices and approximately 150 of them are sponsored by their employers.
Coleg y Cymoedd, which has been created from the merger of Coleg Morgannwg and The College Ystrad Mynach, serves more than 25,000 students drawn from Wales’ traditional industrial heartland in the boroughs of Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf and surrounding areas. In addition to vocational training the college also provides the largest choice of A-levels on one site to over 600 learners. The college has 1,000 staff working across five campuses - Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda, Rhymney and Ystrad Mynach.
Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, president of the Teaching Awards said, “I am genuinely proud and honoured to be the president of the Teaching Awards. I owe so much of what I’ve done to my fantastic teachers at school and university and it is exciting to join in celebrating what is probably the most important profession of them all.”
Rod Bristow, President of Core Markets at Pearson, said: “Everyone can remember a teacher who inspired and challenged them so it's important to say thank you. It is great teaching that makes the biggest difference to learning and that's why great teachers must be recognised.”