Former Shrewsbury Colleges Group students were celebrated at the first student awards ceremony held at Shrewsbury Town Football Club.

Shrewsbury Colleges Group held their Celebrating Student Achievement Awards, which will be the first of many as it becomes a permanent fixture in their college calendar. SCG wanted to celebrate the exceptional students from the 2017/2018 year and reward all their hard work. Stand-out students who had gone the extra mile during their time at the College, from all areas, were nominated by their teachers.


Celebrating Student Achievment Awards for website

28 students were eventually chosen and invited to the event; along with family, friends, College staff and members of the local education and business community. Guests were greeted on arrival by Travel & Tourism students who guided them to their seats and music from a college band made up of A Level Music students.

The ceremony concluded with three special awards, for Outstanding Contribution, Success Against the Odds and Overall Student of the Year. Jack Kirby, a current apprentice at the College restaurant and former Hospitality and Catering student won the Outstanding Contribution award. Daniel Thomas, a former and current Sports student won the Success Against the Odds award for persevering through his studies whilst dealing with a devastating bereavement. This award was generously supported by University Centre Shrewsbury and presented by Deputy Provost Paul Kirkbright.

The Overall Student of the Year was chosen out of the 28 already successful students. This year’s winner was Connor Bennet an A Levels student who is now studying Mathematics at Cambridge University. Connor was invited to the evening on the premise of winning Maths Student of the Year, but was surprised with this accompanying award. Staff believed Connor was a deserving winner because of his success in achieving 4 A*s, winning Maths and Chemistry awards, completing his Duke of Edinburgh Gold award, captaining the College Hockey team and his overall enthusiasm for subjects and hard-work ethic.

Connor, 19, from Much Wenlock said: “I am in shock and so surprised with receiving the Student of the Year award – it’s amazing. I have to thank my College teachers and all they did to help me enjoy my time and thrive at SCG. I am having a great time at university and settling in well – I have actually started a Shropshire Society there and the members are made up of Salopians and non-Salopians who just have an interest in the county!”

Another kind donation from Mr and Mrs Jowett saw the Earth Sciences award include an additional trophy. This was in recognition of the enjoyment and success of their sons whilst studying Geography A Level at the College.

SCG Principal, James Staniforth said: “The class of 2018 was the first class to graduate from Shrewsbury Colleges Group following our merger in 2016. The achievements of the students collectively were truly outstanding across the wide range of academic and vocational courses. Therefore to win an award is to know that you are the best of the best – all our award winners should be very proud. It has been a wonderful evening – a chance to celebrate, as well as to catch up with the winners, many of whom are now studying at university or in employment. Their success reflects on them as individuals, as well as on the excellence of the teaching and support at the College”.

Adult Student of the Year – Abigail Arthur

English was Abigail’s second language when she began studying the Extended Diploma in Creative Media as well as GCSE English and Maths. She was a talented and committed student, who worked hard and enjoyed exploring fresh ideas. Abigail’s attendance and punctuality were excellent and she eventually achieved a Distinction*. She has gone on to study Graphic Communication at Birmingham City University.

Apprentice Student of the Year – Jake Martin

Jake completed his A levels in September 2013 and began an Accounting Apprenticeship in 2015 with Greenhous – with day release to study Accounting at College. He has successfully passed 16 AAT exams and achieved a Level 4 Diploma in Business Skills. Jake has significantly developed his analytical skills, has a hard working nature and grown in confidence.

Biology Student of the Year – Sophie Scott

Sophie worked consistently hard and what she produced was always detailed and well-reasoned. She helped and encouraged her classmates and also took part in the Concord College Medics Summer course. Sophie is now studying Biomedical Sciences at Oxford University.

Business Student of the Year – Gabriel Williams

Gabriel applied himself to his studies with determination and consistently went the extra mile. He continuously strived to improve his writing and examination techniques with analytical and independent study. Gabriel is now studying Business and Economics at Cardiff Univeristy.

Chemistry & Applied Science Student of the Year - Frankie Rose

Frankie achieved outstanding marks throughout the course and made a valuable contribution to class discussions. He was always attentive, receptive and meticulous. Frankie gained a gold award in the Chemistry Cambridge Challenge – making him one of the top 20 students nationally. He is now studying Chemistry with International Studies at the University of Manchester.

Computing & IT Student of the Year – Zac Orehawa

Zac travelled over 45 miles to College each day to pursue a career in technology. He is a team player and teachers always considered him the ‘go-to’ ambassador to advise new entrants on the course. Zac worked hard to get great results and was offered two higher-level Apprenticeships in Computer Science. He chose to take up a prestigious civil service post within a high-profile government agency.

Construction Student of the Year – Alex Burgoyne

Alex was always eager to learn more and an excellent role model to his peers – constantly striving for perfection. He retook assessments to further improve his skills and has helped improve the College environment for students. Alex is now studying a Level 2 Site Carpentry and has applied for Level 3 in 2019/20.

Earth Sciences Student of the Year – John Lewis

John was an exceptional student in both Geology and Geography being extremely thorough and dedicated to his studies. He achieved an A* in both subjects and is now studying Geography at Oxford University.

Engineering & Motor Vehicle Student of the Year – Owen Mason

Owen worked hard to improve certain skills such as welding and was highly supportive to his peers. He developed excellent analytical, problem solving and communication skills. Owen achieved a triple distinction grade and now works at Grainger and Worral in Bridgnorth, as a Design Apprentice.

English Student of the Year – Joseph Orrin

Joseph achieved A* in English, which he worked hard for during his time at College. He had an appetite for hard work and showed admirable commitment. Joseph became an inspirational member of his class and is now studying English at the University of York.

Health & Social Care Student of the Year – Rhona Darling

Rhona excelled at College and thrived on the challenge of completing the Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care and an A Level in Biology. As the course student representative she addressed the concerns of others and provided a strong student voice. Her can-do attitude complimented her compassion, care, courage and commitment. Rhona is now studying Midwifery at De Montfort University.

Higher Education Student of the Year – Bethany Ryan

Beth quickly established herself as an outstanding student, gaining high marks consistently. She demonstrated achievement as an independent learner, a commitment to study and meet deadlines and undertook the student representative role for her course – all whilst meeting the demands of her job and parenting her daughter. Beth graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Education.

Humanities Student of the Year – Chris Davies

Chris was a dedicated student going above and beyond whilst studying his four A Levels. He taught himself Greek and Latin to support himself in his future university course. Chris attended several seminars and talks to build up both his knowledge and useful contacts. He is now studying Classics at Oxford University.

Maths Student of the Year – Connor Bennett (also Student of the Year)

Connor had a vast amount of natural flair and enthusiasm for the subject. He scored 100% in the Senior Maths Challenge, which has never been achieved in the College before, and won the regional heat with the Maths Challenge team. Connor always showed modesty, good humor and worked very well with others. He is now studying Mathematics at Cambridge University.

Media Student of the Year – Eleanor Webb-Thomas

Eleanor was an exemplary student who impressed with her ability to engage with complex scholarship and film analysis. She excelled at creative tasks and won an ‘Into Film’ award for a short film she made. Eleanor is currently studying filmmaking at the University of the West of England.

Modern Foreign Languages Student of the Year – Hope Rodenhurst

Hope gained A grades in both French and German and has always given her best and constantly questioned ideas to further her understanding. Hope had a determination to master the complexities of grammar and maintained regular contact with a German pen-friend. During this year Hope has been a regular volunteer and assisted in year 1 German classes. She is also a hugely talented musician and is studying at Royal Northern College of Music next year.

Music Student of the Year – Aaron Evans

Aaron was a high-achieving student who helped out at multiple extra-curricular events, including: organizing a very successful Battle of the Bands night that raised money for charity and working on the Performing Art’s shows. He always said yes to helping when he could and is now studying Music Production at Leeds College of Music.

Performing Arts Student of the Year – Alex Austin

Alex grew from a quiet, shy student who wouldn’t sing a solo in front of her classmates to a very talented performer. She played the lead in the pantomime and showcased her excellent singing, dancing and character acting skills when taking the lead in the end of year performance. Alex travelled in every day from Caersws and her perseverance paid off with high grades. She is now studying Singing at Bristol University.

Physics, Computing and Electronics – Rose Laurie

Rose was one of the finest Computer Science students, who was a superb programmer and her problem-solving skills were exemplary. She took 4 A levels and gained A* in all of them – she is a 21st century pioneer for women. Rose is paving the way for other young women progressing in STEM subjects and now studying Computer Science at Oxford University.

Political Sciences Student of the Year – Courteney Young

Courteney was an exceptional student in Law with hard work and commitment to the subject. She wanted to be a Lawyer and committed fully to this aspiration. Courteney obtained a place on a law residential Summer school programme and was an ambassador during Open Evenings to promote Law. She is now studying Law at University of Leeds.

Preparation Routes Student of the Year – Elise Thomas

Elise made the most of all opportunities afforded her, gained confidence throughout the course and engaged fantastically. She was a positive presence in class and influence on her peers. Elsie is now working through her Professional Chef qualifications and still devotes time to speak to prospective College Ready students.

Professional Services Student of the Year – Olivia Whiteley

Olivia achieved a triple distinction in her Extended Diploma in Travel & Tourism and also gained her English GCSE whilst as College – with 100% attendance throughout the two years. She was conscientious and hard-working – with the added challenge of Dyslexia. Olivia volunteered at multiple events, represented the College at the Athens Erasmus programme and took part in the Italian exchange. She is now studying International Tourism Management at Chester University.

Social Sciences Student of the Year – Raven Undersun

Raven was a gifted social scientist, demonstrating an enthusiasm for Psychology that was infectious. She questioned research and theories and went beyond the constraints of the specification. Raven had a thirst for knowledge and achieved an A* in Psychology. She is now studying Experimental Psychology at Oxford University.

Sport, Outdoor and Public Services Student of the Year – Rebecca Wright

Beccy achieved Distinction* in BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Sport, represented the West Midlands in Squash at the Association of Colleges National Championships and been a vital member of the College netball team. She Trains junior squash players and has a career target to become a secondary school PE teacher. Beccy has now progressed onto the Degree Foundation in Sports Coaching and Physical Education at SCG.

Visual Art 2D Student of the Year – Ava Cooke

Ava was a genuinely exceptional student – positive, diligent, responsive to suggestions and with an excellent record of attendance. She had exceptional drawing, painting and layout skills and gained an A* in Fine Art A level. Ava is now studying on the Art Foundation course at SCG.

Visual Art 3D Student of the Year – Charlie Wardle

Charlie was very enthusiastic about all aspects of Art & Design – a friendly, polite and hard-working student. She gained a Distinction on the Art Foundation course and is now studying Sculpture at Camberwell School of Art.

Outstanding Contribution – Jack Kirby

Jack started at SCG on the Hospitality & Catering programme, then jumped at an Apprenticeship role in Origins kitchen. He has completed Level 2 and is currently continuing on Level 3. Jack has a real zest and passion for what he does, going over and above. He has given his own time to many charity events, excelled in competitions and represented the student body with enthusiasm as the student president.

Success Against the Odds – Daniel Thomas

Dan started on Level 2 Sport and successfully progressed to the Level 3 programme. He suffered a huge loss during his time at College and battled with dealing with his bereavement as well as completing his coursework. Dan’s hard work and commitment was rewarded when he completed Level 3 and in his free time he offers cricket coaching to young people as well as football coaching at Wem Town. He is now studying a Foundation degree in Sports Coaching and Physical Education at SCG.

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