awards ceremony 2017

A teenager with Asperger’s syndrome has won a top award having become the first Supported Learning student at Northampton College to progress directly onto a Level 3 course.

Liam Hargreaves-Playford was honoured at the college’s annual awards ceremony – which saw dozens of students celebrated for their academic achievements over the past 12 months.

The 19-year-old from Moulton was frustrated by previous experiences of education when he arrived at Booth Lane but has thrived in his new surroundings and is now studying sports development and coaching.

Bev Davies, Assistant Principal for the School of ESOL, Supported and Foundation Learning at Northampton College, said: “Liam quickly worked hard to make new friends and learn more about his diagnosis, as well as developing social skills and starting to enjoy education, perhaps for the first time in his life.

“Liam became the first student on the Moving On programme to sit a GCSE and was thrilled and proud to achieve a B grade. As a result, he is the first ever Supported Learning student to progress directly onto a Level 3 course.

Liam typified the stories of life-changing commitment and dedication showcased at the annual awards event staged at the college’s Booth Lane campus on Thursday, November 23.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “It has been a real privilege to hear so many inspiring stories and to hear about the progress our students have made, both personally and academically. The annual awards ceremony showcases a truly exceptional display of talent and determination and our students have a lot to be proud of.”

A series of special awards were presented to recognise outstanding achievements. These included best overall progress, best apprentice, the best progress in maths and the most public spirited student.

More than 300 guests attended the event at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus and the 13 themed awards were each sponsored by a local business. The sponsors were John Lewis, Opus Energy, MAHLE Powertrain, Briggs & Forrester, The University of Northampton, Siemens Rail, Igus, Recol Engineering, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), Knorr-Bremse, Oakleaf Group, Great Bear Logistics and Church’s Shoes.

Finally, the Katy Wright Award was presented to Anthony Davies, a postman who enrolled onto the Access to Science pathway and quickly became known as the ‘guru of chemistry’. He achieved distinction grades for every single assignment and is now studying biochemistry at the University of Southampton – where he has been tipped to become a leading light in the science industry.

This special award is given in memory of former Northampton College tutor Katy, who sadly died five years ago after a long illness. Katy’s parents, John and Anne Wright, have endowed the College with a fund to support an annual award in their daughter’s name.

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