Nominated by Head of School, Suzanna Thomas, in recognition of their achievements, the team have overcome the challenge of engaging, motivating and encouraging learners to do their best, so they can take their place with the brightest of learners at university, irrespective of their background. The FE Team of the Year award recognises the valuable contribution made by the dedicated teaching staff at Coleg Gwent’s Ebbw Vale Campus and the positive impact they’ve had on the lives of young people in the area.
Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone opened in 2013 as the home for all A-Level education in Blaenau Gwent, with a team made up of 27 highly qualified specialists who teach across the broad offering of A-Level subjects. They work closely to focus on doing their very best for learners to see them achieve and go on to study in universities of their choice, working hard to maintain learners’ motivation in spite of adverse circumstances. Their commitment ensures that attendance is above expectations with few learners leaving their courses, but above all, they ensure that learners know how to improve and get the best grades they possibly can, exceeding expectations.
They’ve worked diligently with learners remotely during the pandemic to ensure they were engaged, offering follow-ups where needed. This extra support has meant that all learners received their first-choice university places even though there had been the significant disruptions due to COVID. Head of School, Suzanna Thomas, said; “the dedication and support of the A-Level team to ensure the best for learners during this time has been remarkable.”
Thanks to the team’s passion for teaching, learners have emerged over the past 8 years with A-Level grades much higher than their target grade predictions and they’ve gone on to study at universities of their choice across the UK. Results have increased consistently, with learners achieving pass rates above 98% and grades above national benchmarks for both the UK and Wales, and learner value-added achievement is in the top 20% score of 3,000 institutions offering A-Levels across the UK.
Michael Morpurgo, President of the Pearson National Teaching Awards, said; “The work you do – day-in, day-out – is life-enhancing, life-changing… I am writing to you to congratulate and to thank you. For a child to have a great teacher like you is so important. You open doors, shine a light. You spend your working life passing on to children all that you know and love… So, bravo you, bravo!”