Term may be over, but The Henley College looked to the future and celebrated the Class of 2020 last week with video messages from famous faces and the annual Education Awards.
Learning during these unprecedented times has been a huge undertaking for students and teachers alike, but The Henley College’s students have risen to the challenge taking remote learning in their stride, and have been recognised for their achievements.
Famous faces from the worlds of entertainment and sport recorded special video messages wishing graduating students luck for the future and welcoming prospective students who will be starting at the College this Autumn. Messages of support were recorded by professional rugby players Steven Shingler and Craig Hampson from Ealing Trailfinders, the College’s new partners delivering the Rugby Elite Player Programme next year, local music legend Carol Decker, whose two children both attended the college, Strictly Come Dancing’s Musical Director and former student, Dave Arch, BBC Berkshire presenter Anoushka Williams and Xfactor semi-finalist and People’s Postcode Lottery Ambassador Danyl Johnson. You can view all of the video messages on The Henley College’s website.
The College’s annual Education Awards were held via Zoom, kindly sponsored by Henley Educational Trust, and were attended by special guest, Henley Town Mayor, Councillor Ken Arlett. The awards recognise achievement as well as effort, enterprise and service to the college community. 48 students studying subjects ranging from Ancient History to Politics were awarded after being nominated by their teachers and tutors. Steph Preston and Emily Foster also received the Principal’s Award for their outstanding contribution to the College.
Alongside her studies, Steph was made Equality Diversity and Inclusion Officer and has worked tirelessly with Student Services and tutors to make The Henley College an environment where every student, regardless of gender, race or religion feel that their voices are heard on all levels. Her tutors describe her impact on the college community as profound and she has been selected from thousands of applicants to partake in Stonewall’s Youth Summit to discuss with 100 like-minded students how they could best tackle LGBT+ inequality amongst young people.
Steph said: “I feel incredibly honoured and grateful to win this Education Award! Working in various voluntary roles alongside my studies has been tough at times, but it’s so worth it to see the end result, and to receive this award is just an added bonus! The thing that I’ve enjoyed most about life at Henley is the warmth and sense of community that everyone contributes to. Every teacher, and tutor, is dedicated to making you feel so welcome and at ease, and it just makes studying so much easier and more enjoyable!”
Student Union President, Emily, has been involved with a vast number of committees and became a real asset to Student Services during her time at the College, liaising with the Principal, governors and external agencies, including Ofsted. She has been an outstanding and invaluable member of the College community making changes to the Welcome Day, Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Enrichment, and student behaviour, as well as being involved in the College’s theatre group, stage managing productions and offering technical help. Both students have made an indelible mark on the College community for the benefit of future students.
Principal and CEO, Satwant Deol, said: “I am so proud of our students, especially this year where they have shown great resilience and creativity in finishing their studies. They have been a great support to each other and stayed connected through learning with their teachers. I am sure that they will go onto achieve great things in the future and I wish them all the very best.”
Eamonn Eagan, Vice Principal, said: ‘I am always amazed and inspired by the incredible achievements of our students. This year even more so, as those achievements have been made in part while the College campuses have been closed. It is for this reason, acknowledging our students’ resilience, that this year’s Awards Ceremony was more inspiring than ever. I’d like to extend my congratulations to all our final year students on their success at the College, and wish them well in their next steps.’