Northampton College has underlined its commitment to the environment by ‘going green’ and stopping the sale of single-use plastic bottles of water in its canteen.
The move has seen students heavily involved in the design and sale of new reusable college-branded water bottles – helping to cut down on plastic waste and further reduce the college’s carbon footprint.
The bottles, which are being sold for £2, replace individual bottles of water previously sold for 70p, helping students save money at the same time as protecting the environment.
Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of Northampton College, said: “As part of our continued drive to minimise plastic waste and reduce our carbon footprint, we are introducing reusable college-branded water bottles for both students and staff.
“We want to raise awareness of the issue of single use plastic and show our students that we all have a role to play in helping to protect our planet. If all of us make a small but significant change it can add up into something far bigger.”
Every year 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40 per cent of it is single-use, meaning it is only used once before being thrown away.
More than eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world's seas each year, with most of that coming from land. However, the majority of man-made plastics are not bio-degradable, meaning they will not rot.
For sea birds and large marine creatures, the danger comes from being entangled in plastic bags and other debris, or mistaking plastic for food. Larger pieces of plastic can also damage the digestive systems of animals and can be potentially fatal.
The reusable bottles are being sold in The Lookout, Northampton College’s canteen area, with business students involved in selling the bottles.
Students from Northampton College have collected money to help raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome and raise funds to build a specialist playground for children with severe learning disabilities.
The Progression Diploma students raised £130 at the Lower Mounts campus and will put the cash towards East Hunsbury Primary School’s ‘Project Playground’ – an ambitious scheme to upgrade their current outdoor play space that is expected to cost £50,000.
Throughout the day, all Essential Skills classes had starter activities to raise awareness and staff and students wore colourful and odd socks to help raise awareness of the condition.
Andrew Griffiths, Essential Skills teacher at Northampton College, said: “The students really embraced the chance to have some fun and help raise money for a project which has the potential to change dozens of lives for the better. I’d like to thank everyone that contributed to the collection and I’m looking forward to seeing the project become a reality.”
Staff at East Hunsbury Primary School want to create an inspiring and inclusive play space for pupils with severe learning difficulties and their mainstream peers. The school has a 40 place specialist unit for children with severe learning difficulties.
Outdoor learning forms an essential part of the curriculum at the school and enables children to play together, build relationships, take risks and gain a better understanding of the world.
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.”
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