Harlow College students wins prestigious national BTEC award

Education: Secondary / Tue 8th Jul 2014 am31 09:25am

LOCAL student Sophie Stacey from Harlow College has won Media BTEC Student of the Year at the National BTEC Awards.

The ceremony was held in recognition of the nearly one million students around the country who are studying BTEC qualifications this year. Pearson, who own Edexcel, the awarding body for BTECs, received over 1000 nominations across the 20 award categories for this year’s Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the Awards were hosted by DJ and Presenter Jameela Jamil, at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London. The attendees (who included the winning students, teachers, and leaders in education) also heard from philanthropist and presenter, Katie Piper, and were treated to a dance performance from BTEC students.

Ahead of the Awards Ceremony, the winners, their family, friends and nominators attended a Parliamentary reception in the House of Lords, hosted by Government Education Spokesperson Baroness Sharp.

Nominated by her tutor Lorraine Love, Sophie switched to the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production at Harlow College after realising her AS Levels were not giving her the practical experience in film making that she wanted. She is set to achieve a triple-starred distinction and has been accepted by Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication to study for a degree in Digital Film Production.

Described by her tutors as diligent, conscientious and an excellent role model for her peers, Sophie never takes the easy option. In an interview techniques assignment she interviewed a member of Uttlesford District Council to discuss housing development issues in the area. As part of her marketing unit, Sophie developed a marketing and PR strategy for Harlow College Apprenticeships and the college’s marketing department have since adopted her branding proposals.

Sophie is not only an exemplary student, she also contributes widely to extra curricular activities at college. She has filmed and edited the Performing Arts and Fashion students’ end of year shows, producing showcase DVDs for both groups of students and films vox pops with prospective students at college open evenings. Sophie is also a proactive fund raiser for the college and for the Alzheimer’s Society for whom she is a media volunteer and fundraiser.

Mark Anderson, Managing Director, Pearson UK said, “The National BTEC Awards are a fantastic way to celebrate all that is excellent in vocation education and I always enjoy meeting these truly inspirational teachers and students.

“Every year, thousands of BTEC students go on to further study and good jobs that really value their skills. They achieve great things in a wide variety of industries vital to the economy, ranging from business and engineering to ICT and healthcare.

“At a time when the value of vocational learning at school and college is continuing to be robustly debated, we believe the example set by these Award winners is part of a growing body of evidence that clearly demonstrates their valuable contribution to both the education system and the broader economy.

“It is vital to support and celebrate the hard work and achievements of outstanding BTEC students and their teachers. This year’s judges were impressed by the quality and number of nominations we received but Sophie really stood out as a truly exceptional student at Harlow College.”

Sophie said, “I am thrilled to win this award. My BTEC has helped me understand so much about Media. It has also given me more self-confidence as well as the determination, motivation and the desire to accomplish my ambition of becoming a digital film producer.”

Karen Spencer, Principal of Harlow College, said of Sophie: “We are incredibly proud of Sophie – this award is a great credit to her and her teachers at Harlow College. To be selected as the ‘Outstanding BTEC Student of the Year’ is a fantastic achievement. At the same time she has made herself stand out from the crowd and secured a place on one of the top courses in the country for Digital Film Productions. One of the key values we instil in students is ‘Be Your Best’ and Sophie truly demonstrates this in all that she does – we hope to see great things from her in the future.”

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