Further Education Awards at Selby Abbey | Selby College
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Further Education Awards at Selby Abbey

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Looking back on another year of success at Selby College

Staff, students, sponsors, governors and family enjoyed a festive evening at Selby Abbey on Friday 14th December for the College’s 26th Annual Awards Evening.

Guests celebrated the successes of nominated A Level and Vocational students as they received their awards for Effort & Achievement or Best Student in their respective courses, as well as a number of special Unique Awards. Select staff members also received their awards for 20 or 25 years’ long service.

Last year the college celebrated its best ever A Level results with a fantastic 100% pass rate across all subjects, with over 50% high grades and 22% at grades A*-A, putting Selby College in the top quarter of school sixth forms and colleges in the whole country.

Many of December’s award winners achieved these impressive A Level results and returned for the Awards Evening, after heading off to esteemed Russell Group destinations across the UK, including Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester and University of York.

A number of students also progressed on to Higher Education at Selby College in the Autumn to study programmes such as HND Art & Design, of which, some of their work was exhibited within the Abbey on the Awards Evening, exploring and celebrating the building’s 950 year anniversary in 2019.

Selby College’s overall top performer Matthew Dales, formerly of Brayton Academy achieved A* grades in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and an A grade in both Physics and Chemistry. Matthew went on to study Physics at Durham University and received the award for Best Student for A Level Mathematics.

Winner of the Allan Stewart Award for Individual Effort and Achievement and the top female student, Madison Whitaker, formerly of Selby High School, achieved an A* in Mathematics, an A in Further Mathematics and Physics, and a B in Chemistry. Madison was still completing her first term studying Mathematics at Warwick University, so she came into College just before Christmas to personally receive her award from Principal Phil Sayles.

For the seventh year running Selby College was proud to present the Awards in association with the main sponsor Doosan Babcock, with Commercial Manager Doug Skelton representing the company on the evening. Doosan Babcock are the industry specialist in the delivery of engineering, projects, aftermarket and upgrade services to the thermal power, nuclear, oil and gas, petrochemical and process industries.

In addition to our main sponsor, there were also attendees from local and regional firms and groups who sponsored individual awards. Sponsors included BDO LLP, Club Doncaster, Drax Power, John Wright Electrical, JWP Creers LLP, Keith France Electrical, NFU Mutual Selby, Press Association, Russums, RSM UK Tax and Accounting Ltd, Rollits LLP, Selby College Corporation and Thornes Independent. Individual sponsors included Selby College’s recently retired Principal Allan Stewart OBE, Mary Goldthorpe, who founded the college’s Fashion Department, and John Cattanach, District Councillor for Cawood and Wistow.

Francis Loftus, Chair of Corporation, formally opened the ceremony, followed by a Christmas carol from the Selby Abbey Choristers. Councillor Mark Crane, Leader of Selby District Council was the evening’s key speaker and presented the Awards to the students. Principal and Chief Executive Phil Sayles spoke about the College’s major achievements over the past year and congratulated each of the award winners, proudly stating, "Selby College challenges students to find their ambitions - their own horizon, to aim for it and to reach it".

Guests also enjoyed a fantastic performance of two original songs from Selby College’s former Music Performance & Production student Fiona Lee, who was also an award winner on the night. Fiona completed her studies back in the summer and has recently been been chosen by PRS, the UK's leading charitable funder of new music and talent development as one of the winners of the prestigious Lynsey de Paul prize for emerging female solo music creators. As well as speaking at a BBC Introducing Live Event in London, Fiona has also been busy recording her album due out in the New Year.

The current Selby College Student Union President, Dottie Robinson helped close the event with her ‘Vote of Thanks’. Dottie explained the work of the Union, stating: “This year the Union are focusing on student well-being and experience, as well as continuing our campaign focused on mental health.”

The President recognised the tutors for their time and effort over the past year, saying: “So much work goes on behind the scenes for the students to achieve the wonderful grades they do, and every member of staff plays their part in this learning journey.

‘On behalf of the current student body of Selby College, we wish you the best of luck in your chosen paths as you go forth and make your future your present.”

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