New national league tables have revealed Northampton College has soared 178 places in the rankings in just three years, to become the leading provider of Further Education in the region.
Data released as part of the latest 2016/17 National Achievement Rates Tables (NART) shows Northampton College is ranked 31st out of more than 200 colleges for 16 to 18-year-old education and training.
The transformation has also seen a major improvement in the GCSE maths and English resit pass rates for 16 to 18-year-old students, with the college now ranked 15th nationally for maths and 18th for English. The data has revealed that 95 per cent of Northampton College students pass their course.
The college performed well across all levels of course provision, coming out as the best college in the South East Midlands region for level 1, 2 and 3 courses.
Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal at Northampton College said: “These results are phenomenal and are testimony to the rock solid professional approach of our staff and students to improve our performance so markedly in just three years.
“At Northampton College we concentrate on developing each individual’s wider skills for employability, innovations, communication and work ethic. Many of our students are the employers of the future. We take great pride in our students’ success.”
A major investment programme has seen an overhaul of the college’s facilities, with new buildings in both Northampton and Daventry completed in recent years and plans in place for a state-of-the-art £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering centre to be built at Booth Lane.
Chair of Governors at Northampton College, Geraldine Schofield, said: “We have an exceptional team of teaching staff to help meet the educational challenges we face and a Board of Governors which has helped guide, challenge and support our long-term strategy.”
The latest tables follow on from positive finding in last year’s NICDEX college rankings, which saw the college named the second best in the country based on student and employer satisfaction as well as the proportion of younger and adult students who move on to good quality work or further study.
Patrick Leavey, Deputy Principal at Northampton College added: “We have focused on supporting our students, equipping them with the skills they need to excel both in the classroom and in the workplace. Our retention rates have improved significantly, allowing us to work with students for longer and encourage them to keep on learning.”
Northampton College’s Student Governor has won a national filmmaking award for a piece explaining the importance of voting for young people.
Ada Stone landed first prize in the National Association for Managers of Student Services (NAMSS) annual film competition, fending off competition from colleges from up and down the country.
Media student Ada wrote, directed and produced the film himself, with the support of friends and classmates.
He said: “I approached it from a modern perspective: making it more exciting and less of a lecture, so that’d be most likely to appeal to other teens. I went for a hip hop style with a genuine sounding spoken word, aiming to make it seem like this is dozens of young people pitching in for one goal.”
Ada’s film included students from the college, a script read out by students, views of Northampton and the college campus as well as facts about voting.
The judging panel was so impressed with Ada’s film that it was shortlisted alongside entries from Burnley College and Cardiff and Vale College to receive an award at the NAMSS annual conference gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in Birmingham – with Ada and Northampton College emerging triumphant.
When asked how he will use the experience of entering the competition in the future, Ada said: “I plan to take a film production course in university, and enter the film industry – this experience is invaluable. I shall use this to improve my personal skills as a student and filmmaker, understand a lot more about being prepared, communication and delivering a message.”
You can view Ada’s winning entry by clicking here.
Catering students from Northampton College teamed up with three award-winning local chefs to create a delicious three-course ‘binner’ out of ingredients destined for landfill.
The students joined forces with James Peck of Burnt Lemon Catering, Arthur Dzerins of The Hopping Hare and Natasha Caton ‘The Loving Chef’ to produce a series of stunning dishes as part of the fundraiser for Elsie’s Café in Northampton.
The chefs were handed ingredients from supermarkets that were earmarked for the rubbish dump as they were approaching their best before date. The food, which included prime cuts of rib eye steak, chicken and root vegetables, was then transformed into restaurant-standard dishes for 70 diners at The Lane – the college’s own student-led brasserie.
Phil Martin, head of catering at Northampton College, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work in a busy service under the guidance of some exceptional chefs. They will have learnt a lot from the experience and it was very pleasing to see them come together and work for each other as part of a team to make the event a roaring success.”
Diners tucked into a starter of pressed chicken with curried onion puree, pickled carrot and burnt cauliflower before enjoying a main course of steak with root vegetable dauphinoise, sautéed greens and horseradish crème fraiche. Dessert was an all vegan trio of tofu tiramisu, cacao and bluebuerry torte and mango and ginger ice cream.
Sheena Cooper, founder of Elsie’s Café which is part of the national Real Junk Food Project, said: “We are thrilled with the event and are very grateful to Northampton College for hosting us in their state-of-the-art kitchens and beautiful restaurant. The students were a credit to the college.
“The standard of food prepared by the chefs and the students was unbelievable. It really is incredible to think this food was on its way to landfill before we intervened. We are passionate about feeding bellies, not bins and thankfully this food was given the treatment it deserved, ending up on people’s plates rather than joining the tonnes of needless waste in a landfill site.”
As well as helping out in the kitchens with prepping and plating up, catering students also worked as front-of-house, assisting volunteers from Elsie’s Café to serve dozens of diners who helped raise hundreds of pounds for charity.
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