College celebrates 15th HE Awards at Bridlington Priory

14th October 2019 12:44pm - Return to press releases

College celebrates 15th HE Awards at Bridlington Priory

90 graduates and over 300 guests attended East Riding College’s HE Awards ceremony in Bridlington on Saturday.  It is the 15th year the College has held the ceremony at the historic Priory Church of St Mary.  Honours were conferred by the University of Hull and the University of Huddersfield to graduates from across the East Riding at the traditional ceremony.  The address was given by Dr Jacquie White, Senior Lecturer for the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull.

Fern Smith from Bridlington was among the graduates, having completed her Pre-Service PGCE teacher training qualification at the College over the last year.  Fern achieved outstanding results in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the PGCE.  Course tutor John Aston said, “Fern’s teaching practice was creative and innovative and she produced high quality resources to support learners.  Despite her dyslexia, she submitted outstanding work which demonstrated perceptive analysis and reflection.  Overall, her achievements are some of the best we’ve seen on this programme.”

Fern also made an outstanding contribution during her work placement, which she undertook in the College’s own art department.  She played a key role in developing three major land art projects that celebrated the St Mary’s Walk campus’ 10 year anniversary, including creating a large-scale bicycle sculpture which was shortlisted in the Tour de Yorkshire land art competition.

Fern said, “It’s been a really rewarding year for me, doing my teacher training at East Riding College.  My tutors and mentors were very supportive and I was given a lot of freedom to develop new ideas and work with students from across the curriculum areas, not just the art students.  In fact, when I got my first commission as part of the Artwaves Festival I collaborated with the welding students to create a free standing ironwork sculpture of a fish that is now permanently installed on the foreshore in Bridlington.”

Fern is now the programme leader at Scarborough TEC, teaching art and design.

Graduate Natalie Holmes holds up her Student of the Year AwardNatalie Holmes was named HE Student of the Year at the ceremony.  Natalie also gained a BSc (Top Up) in Sports Coaching and Health Sciences from the University of Hull. 

The Hornsea-based student first joined the College in 2010 after leaving full time education at the age of 14 due to personal difficulties.  She achieved her level one qualification at the College before moving on to complete sports coaching apprenticeships at Elite Soccer and Goal Sports.  Natalie then returned to the College in 2016 to undertake a foundation degree in Sport, Exercise and Science, achieving a merit grade, before going on to ‘top up’ her foundation degree to a bachelor’s degree this year. 

Natalie was nominated by her tutors for student of the year because of the exceptional progress she has made since she first joined the College as a level one learner nine years ago.  Her tutor Abigail Brunton said, “Natalie is a highly skilled sportswoman and has done very well in all the practical aspects of the programme, but has not always found the more academic aspects of the programme easy.  She’s worked incredibly hard and shown tenacity and determination to succeed.  Her hard work has paid off and her success is well deserved.”

Natalie said, “I’m over the moon to be named student of the year. I wouldn’t have believed it, if you had said to me when I was 14 that I would be doing a degree in sports coaching in a few years’ time.  I couldn’t have done it without the support I received from the tutors and everyone at the College along the way. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, from leaving school without qualifications to accomplishing what I’ve achieved.” 

Higher education at East Riding College is built on partnerships with the University of Hull, the University of Huddersfield and national validating bodies.

The College runs an expanding range of degrees, foundation degrees and higher national certificates and diplomas in a wide variety of subjects, as well as a Master’s in Education and various teacher training courses.  The HE Awards ceremony also celebrates the success of Access to Higher Education Diploma students.  Access courses prepare people to step up to higher education level and are especially appropriate for people who have been out of education for some time.