2018 marked our first V Cert Aspiration Awards, recognising achievements by pupils with big aspirations. The scheme was launched to recognise learners who are using V Certs to help them reach their goals and make positive improvements to their life.
We understand that growing up is about more than getting the best marks and young people often face multiple challenges during their time at school. That’s why we asked schools and teachers to consider a range of criteria, including achievement rates, innovative work and overcoming personal challenges, when nominating a learner for Pupil of the Year.
We had a great response and received a number of very compelling entries from hardworking learners. We’re delighted to announce that the winner of the Pupil of the Year award is Emma Owen, a pupil at Everton Free School who after a tough start and expulsions from 2 previous schools, has reengaged with education, using learning techniques to reach her potential. Emma showed qualities of resilience, determination and personal growth and development which has set her on course for a very bright future. Her teacher, Ms. Spooner, said:
“Emma has achieved a place to study at Birkenhead Sixth Form College next year. She wishes to study PE, Biology and English at A Level with a view to study Radiography at University. She has achieved this place with the help of the Distinction* grades she has achieved for her V Cert in Health & Fitness. This has helped her breadth of knowledge, time management and study skills, enabling her to understand topic areas by applying them to real life vocational situations. It has given Emma strategies to complete work, helping her to focus and achieve grade 4 and above GCSE qualifications within the core subjects.”
Emma has used her V Cert knowledge to make changes at home and wrote that: “[the qualification] has helped build my relationship with my mum. I have involved her in my learning which has helped with my studies and our home life.” Emma and her family now attend aerobics once a week and cycle the Wirral Way together.
To help Emma on her journey, we’re sending her and her mum to London to explore the city, spend the evening and also visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. You’ll hear more about Emma and her trip over the coming weeks.
With so many amazing entries for the award, we also decided to highly commend 2 other pupils for their hard work and determination with £200 towards learning resources or an experience.
Not forgetting the schools who deliver the qualifications, we were also very moved by an entry from The Farnborough Academy. The teachers went above and beyond for a learner who really didn’t believe in himself; going out of their way to make sure he was comfortable to sit his exam and ensure he passed his V Cert. They have also received £200 in learning resources.
You’ll see learner stories over the coming weeks from Emma Owen, Joe Armstrong and Nicholas Earl-Phillipps, who’ve all demonstrated their ability to dream big and have gone on to make it happen. The Aspiration Awards are a great reminder of why we do what we do and that NCFE V Certs really have created opportunities to enrich society.