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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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Schools from across Northamptonshire will go head-to-head to compete in a ‘low carbon challenge’ aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

‘The Big Rig’ will be held as part of Northampton College’s ongoing ‘Igniting The Spark’ campaign – a drive to encourage young people to consider courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

The event, to be held on April 24 and 25, will see teams of eight Year 10 and 11 pupils competing against other local secondary schools to install a solar powered water system on a large scaffolding platform at the college’s Booth Lane campus.

The challenge will consist of a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions linked to the curriculum, with a strong focus on health and safety. Teams will be judged on a range of set criteria including how well they understand and plan the project, economical use of materials, design of a rain water collection system, waste management process and how effective they are as a team

Hands-on activities will enhance pupils’ problem solving skills and improve communication team-working and leadership skills. At the end of the session, tutors will provide feedback and pupils will be encouraged to reflect on their group experiences. Daily winners will then compete in a final on Friday, April 27.

Patrick Leavey, deputy principal at Northampton College, said: “We hope ‘The Big Rig’ will mark a renewed interest in, and commitment to, the development of science, engineering and technology as a career for young people in Northamptonshire.

“There is a skills gap in these industries, representing an opportunity for young people to step in and bring their own ideas and thinking to the workplace. We want to create a future workforce capable of thinking for themselves, solving problems quickly and efficiently and using technology to create innovative new ways of doing business.”

The session follows on from two previous ‘Igniting The Spark’ workshops held in conjunction with the UK Space academy, which has seen students from seven Northamptonshire schools take a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the solar system and find out more about the science of space.

Northampton College has recently revealed its proposal for a £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre at Booth Lane, which will help train the next generation of construction industry professionals including builders, plumbers, carpenters and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping future workers with the very latest skills.

Alongside courses which focus on craft skills there will also be courses at Level 3 for those looking for supervisory, technician or management careers in the sector, such as in Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering, or Project Management.

Building work on the centre, which will include a revolutionary ‘Digital Lab’ featuring a Virtual Reality classroom, 3D printing facilities and industry-standard workshop equipment, is scheduled to get underway next summer.

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Matthew Quincey

Matthew Quincey

Engineering student Matthew Quincey is in pole position for an exciting career in the high octane world of F1 after landing an apprenticeship with world champions Mercedes AMG High Performance...



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