16 July 2020
A unique award ceremony has recognised extraordinary staff who have helped transform the lives of students and supported their colleagues at Bradford College.
The Virtual Reunion united staff online to showcase their achievements over the past academic year.
Staff across the college were nominated the teams and individuals who they believed had worked exceptionally hard and had seen outstanding achievements.
In the ceremony, comperes Mylo and Rosie, known across the region as hosts of the Breakfast Show on Pulse 1 Radio, announced the winners in 12 categories:
Further Education (FE) Lecturer of the Year: Esther Wilkey
Esther teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages. It is easy to see how much she loves to teach by the way she engages her students. She uses her creativity and imagination to make the curriculum exciting, which motivates and inspires her students.
Esther embraces language and culture into her lessons. She uses everything from people’s personal stories to world events, Shakespeare to the Beatles and beyond to bring learning to life.
Higher Education (HE) Lecturer of the Year: Hannah Lamb
Hannah consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that her students have the best learning experience possible.
Hannah likes to think outside the box. She has single-handedly developed qualifications, writing foundation degrees from scratch to ensure that the courses she teaches are what students want.
She works hard to recruit new students to her courses. Every year Hannah spends months preparing to attend shows where she can showcase student work and promote her courses.
During lockdown she has looked for opportunities for her students to showcase their work virtually. She has also invited students from across the curriculum department to showcase their work too.
Bradford College’s Support Person of the Year: Mark Campbell, IT Internal Campus Manager
The people that nominated Mark describe him as: amazing, supportive and the most helpful person in college.
When it comes to providing IT support, Mark never lets you feel that anything is too much of a hassle. He always seems to find the time to help people out, even at short notice.
When the country went into lockdown in March, Mark was a reassuring presence for people at college. The epitome of cool, calm and collected, he appeared undaunted by the challenges lockdown provided.
Bradford College’s Innovator in Teaching and Learning: John Hughes
John believes his students deserve the best learning experience possible. He has given hours and hours of time to make an online learning system work seamlessly for the Motor Vehicle and Engineering departments’ students.
He has created work files on Moodle. Not only that, he has sourced a new online interactive learning system called Elec-tude. This is now being trialled alongside Moodle. It will help students during lockdown and when things start to return to normal.
And whilst doing all this, he helps run a family business and is currently studying for his Certificate in Education.
Inspirational Leader of the Year: Chris Thornton
Chris, Head of Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) & Additional Learning Support (ALS), is passionate about transforming the lives of students.
He puts maximum effort into running his department, and has done significant work to ensure that important services for vulnerable students continued uninterrupted during lockdown.
Behind the scenes Chris works with local authorities and external organisations on SEND legislation and initiatives, driving and contributing to local changes and improvements.
Within college, he works with other Heads of Departments to raise awareness. He also ensures they are equipped to support students with special needs, additional needs or disabilities.
Chris has a calm approach to life, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety in others. He supports his staff with an ear to listen, and does his best to keep spirits up via regular virtual meetings, daily updates and fun quizzes.
Curriculum Team of the Year: Progression to Learning & Work
Helen Denning and her Progression to Learning & Work team really go the extra mile for each and every one of their students.
They are hugely supportive of enrichment and the benefits of personal development activities which offer their students a well-rounded learning experience.
They collaborate well with other departments, contribute fantastic ideas and can easily be described as a team with heart.
Support Team of the Year: IT Services
IT Services have stood out for all the right reasons this year. A number of staff nominated IT for rallying as a team during lockdown; they work hard to make sure the college has been accessible to staff and students online.
They pulled out all the stops to get IT equipment, software and access needed for staff to work from home. Even now they are working away behind the scenes, keeping things running.
IT have supported multiple projects and requests with expert advice and implemented technology that adds to the working experience of staff and learning experience of students.
Delivering a friendly, polite and helpful IT service to everyone, IT Services is this year’s Support Team of the Year.
English Teacher of the Year: Ummera Iqbal
Ummera has proved herself to be an important and valuable member of the English department.
She has integrated herself well into the vocational area in which she has been teaching. As a result, Ummera’s students have excelled in English, with results that were unprecedented during the last academic year.
Maths Teacher of the Year: Adam Longden
Adam is a lively and upbeat person which shows in abundance when he is teaching maths.
He is enjoying the challenge of teaching maths and helping students overcome their struggles when it comes to maths.
Adam is keen to participate in opportunities to improve his skills in teaching maths. He has even taken on new responsibilities to enhance the perception of the maths area. He’s made some fantastic displays, bringing numbers to life.
His enthusiasm has had a positive effect on the whole maths team, and that’s why Adam Longden is Bradford College’s Maths Teacher of the Year.
Bradford College’s Outstanding Team: Learning Support
One teacher who nominated this team said, “I could not carry out my role as a teacher without our invaluable team of Learning Support assistants. They work incredibly hard to support students and staff every day. Their support covers all aspects of student’s daily college experience, from their highs to their lows, personal care routines, lunchtimes, when students get on with their friends and when they fall out.
Their support is vital, unwavering and goes beyond words. That’s why Learning Support is Bradford College’s Outstanding Team.
Outstanding Individual: Dillian Simpson
Dillian has only been with the College a short time, but has had a big impact. His enthusiasm and passion for teaching, learning and assessment has been clear for all to see.
He has worked with apprentices who were falling behind making quick work to turn things around getting them back on track.
Dillian has also displayed outstanding empathy and compassion. Dillian ensured one of his vulnerable apprentices were safe and continued to receive support whilst maintaining employment and progressing with their learning. He continued to support the learner out of hours by responding to text messages and requests for help and assistance. He has ensured the learner has completed her apprenticeship and retained her employment following the completion of the apprenticeship.
CEO Award for his lifelong commitment to transforming lives at Bradford College: Zaid Bashir
Zaid Bashir is an amazing individual who has been transforming lives at Bradford College for decades.
Zaid, who celebrates 28 years with the college this year, received numerous nominations for this award. They not only demonstrated his long-time commitment to supporting both students and staff, but showed the tremendous respect everyone has for him.
Here are just some of the reasons people gave for nominating Zaid:
“Zaid and his team are always welcoming, friendly and have the patience of saints as they deal with repeated questions.”
“Zaid has played a huge role in the life of my class. When we were studying ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Zaid offered to take the class to Venice with the use of 3D viewers. This brought the learning to life for them, and he continued to show them the Seven Wonders of the World. The students were talking about their virtual ‘travels’ for days afterwards.”
Treasured memories of a good friend
Just before Christmas, a student was in hospital with cancer. Zaid made a beautiful wooden treasure chest for his classmates so they could write and place notes of friendship in it. The student received the treasure chest the day before he died. At Christmas, in a gesture of kindness during a sad time, Zaid made a treasure chest for each of his classmates so that they could place notes to each other in them.
Zaid and his team support IT requests and offer advice, guidance and training to support students and staff to achieve the things they set out to do. They don’t focus on problems, they find and offer solutions.
When lockdown came into effect, Zaid immediately looked for ways to help others. Using the college’s 3D printers and other materials he made over 1,000 face masks for Bradford’s NHS and health workers.
CEO Chris Webb: Thank you so much
Chris Webb, CEO at Bradford College, presented this award to Zaid. He said: “Zaid, thank you so much. You are so deserving.”
Zaid said: “It really does mean a lot. Working with our young adults is what makes our job what it is. Thank you.”
Chris continued: “May I congratulate all of our award winners today. Keep doing the great work that you’re doing.
“I think these awards are particularly special as they have been nominated by their colleagues. Thank you to everybody who sent nominations.”
There were special commendations for other staff who were also nominated for awards. They were: Dianna Robinson, Debbie Rolls, Julia Black, Tracey Wilkinson, Clare Wolfenden, James Brickley, Johnathon Denham, Juliette Black, Maria Patterson and Helen Griffin.
Teams who received commendations in the awards were Pharmacy, Adult and Community, Safeguarding and Wellbeing and Skills for Independence.
In addition to the awards, the event included videos featuring thank you messages from the leadership team, governors and representatives from Bradford’s Teaching Hospitals and a fun virtual performance by the College’s staff choir.