daventry campus imageAdults with mental health needs are able to ‘keep on learning through lockdown’ thanks to a remote working initiative launched by Northampton College and leading charity MIND.

For several years, Essential Skills tutors from the college have been visiting MIND in Daventry as part of weekly sessions with adults who have previously been unable to engage with mainstream education due to their acute mental health difficulties.

will greavesA Northampton College business student who found fame on social media app TikTok has landed a clothing deal with fashion giant Boohoo to show off the online retailer’s latest lines to his army of followers.

Will Greaves, aged 19 and from Duston, now has almost 100,000 fans on the video sharing platform, while his clips have been seen more than 14 million times and attracted 1.2 million ‘likes’.

art students for website
Two Art and Design students at Northampton College are looking forward to a bright future having accepted places to continue their studies at two of the leading art colleges in the country.

Sophie Carter and Lucy Mason will progress from the art rooms at Booth Lane to the globally respected Goldsmiths and the Chelsea College of Arts respectively.

The pair have worked under the guidance of Sophie Pennington and Jayne Williams to produce a portfolio of incredible artwork that has helped them beat off competition from hundreds of students across the country and land the coveted places at the two illustrious art colleges.

Sophie, aged 19 and from Wellingborough, said: “Coming to college has made me look at art in a different way and now I’m thrilled to have accepted a place at Goldsmiths in London. Painting was always my main passion but at college I’ve discovered model making and that’s something I’ve really developed. I’ve created a series of clay and wire marionettes, little puppets depicting imaginary characters. It was a way of taking my portraiture work and turning into a 3D medium.

“Initially I was quite sceptical about college courses because I was so set on going to University but I knew I needed a Foundation course to get into uni and it was a great way of learning and developing my skills. I’ve had an amazing time and the teachers have been superb, just letting us explore, experiment and ‘go for it’.

Lucy Mason, aged 18 from The Headlands in Northampton, said: “The sheer number of materials and equipment available at Northampton College allowed me to explore new ways of working and expanded my repertoire from the simple drawing and painting you do at school to things such as lino and mono printing. It’s helped make me strong conceptually and allowed me to push boundaries. It’s made me a lot more confident in my work.

“The staff were really helpful and supportive and have always pushed us to do bigger and better things. I enjoyed the critical discussion sessions we had as a group, which helped me form and shape my own ideas around art. I’m now looking forward to studying Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.”

nc students praised for studying at home during lockdownStudents at Northampton College have been praised for showing “amazing adaptability” by working from home during the enforced COVID-19 lockdown.

Government guidelines put in place because of the coronavirus crisis mean students at Booth Lane, Lower Mounts and Daventry have been continuing their studies remotely for almost a month, with tutors delighted at how easily they have made the switch to a new way of working.

tony thompson with 3d printed face shieldsDemand for protective equipment has seen staff at Northampton College manufacture face shields for key workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19.

With Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in short supply, Electrical Installation and Engineering assessor Tony Thompson has personally produced 50 face shields for Leicester Royal Infirmary, staff at a care home in Corby and a food distributor in Peterborough.

The government has released more information about how your grades will be decided this summer now that exams have been cancelled.

Further information for students and parents on how qualifications will be graded can be found here.

We are committed to ensuring that no existing or future students will be disadvantaged because of these unprecedented circumstances and we are here to support you with any queries you may have. 

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New national league tables have revealed Northampton College is now in the top 10 best-performing colleges in the country.

Data released as part of the latest 2018/19 National Achievement Rates Tables (NART) shows Northampton College is placed 7th out of almost 200 colleges for 16 to 18-year-old education and training, up from 11th in the previous year’s rankings.

The rating cements our position as the leading provider of Further Education in the region, South East and among the very best in the whole country, thanks to a continued and determined focus on ensuring each individual student reaches their full potential.

The data has revealed that 96 per cent of Northampton College students pass their course, coming out as the best college in the South East Midlands region for timely achievement at level 1, 2 and 3. Performance in maths and English is also comfortably above the national average, with the college ranked in 13th position for maths and 18th position for English.

The data has revealed the college is ranked fourth nationally for 16 to 18-year-old ESOL provision and the best in the region for all of its adult provision.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal at Northampton College said: “These ratings reflect the incredible work and dedication of our staff and students. They have put in an unbelievable amount of effort over the past 12 months and I’m delighted that has been recognised. We are the leading college in the region and we are now one of the very best in the country too.

“We are out-performing a number of colleges which have been rated Outstanding by Ofsted. It’s a phenomenal effort and is proof that focusing on each student as an individual and really concentrating on developing their wider skills for employability, innovation, communication and work ethic pays dividends.

“All staff have bought in to this approach and as a result, students are making good progress in developing their confidence, self-esteem and skills for work.”

Northampton College is officially rated by Ofsted as ‘Good with Outstanding features’ – with a £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering centre now open at Booth Lane and plans in the pipeline for a state-of-the-art Digital Academy.

fashion student for website copyA Northampton College fashion student has paid tribute to the heroes of the NHS by designing an outfit based on the history of nursing.

Flo Baverstock, aged 18, has created the piece as part of her Final Major Project (FMP) and is currently putting together the finishing touches at the family home in Wales, where she is also helping to home school her younger brother, aged 10 and her 11-year-old foster cousin, while her parents, who are both nurses, help out in the fight against coronavirus.

The dress explores the concept of ‘layers’ – mirroring the people and the personalities behind the uniform.

She said: “I’ve always been interested in the history of nursing and because of my own experience with the profession I’ve been able to see the different layers nurses have in their personalities. I’m always amazed at how they can just switch it on and instantly go into ‘nurse mode’.

“My project explores this layering and celebrates the work our nurses do every day. It’s never been more apparent than in the current situation and hopefully my design does justice to their incredible dedication.”

The second year Level 3 Art & Design (Fashion) student has designed and made a layered garment featuring a tight-fitting vest designed to look like badging, a pink scrub-like top and small ‘capelet’ based on those worn by the original NHS staff when it was first formed.

She said: “Working remotely has been really interesting and thankfully the teachers at college have been really supportive. They are there whenever you need them, replying to emails within seconds.

“They are giving us tutorials every day on Instagram, setting work on Google Classroom and sending us all messages to keep us motivated which is brilliant. It’s been a weird few weeks for everyone but I’m enjoying the challenge.”

The switch to remote teaching has seen Northampton College staff explore new technologies to ensure students are able to continue their learning, with sessions delivered using YouTube tutorials, Microsoft Teams video conferencing, Instagram Live, Google Classroom and TikTok.

Fashion teacher Rachel Maughan said: “I have set up an Instagram account and I am recording techniques I am demonstrating, both as short films or step-by-step processes for the students to follow. We’re having face-to-face meetings through video calls and asking students to upload their work onto Google Classroom.

“It’s working really well. I am getting enjoyment and satisfaction out of the creative process and the students are learning new techniques.

“Some of our second year students have set up home studio environments, creating garments, printing and embellishing fabrics. They have stuck to their initial FMP plans, and in some cases are a week and a half ahead of schedule because they are able to be so focused on their work.”

website donations to care home

A care home hit by a shortage of vital equipment needed in the fight against coronavirus has hailed the donation of masks, gloves and hand sanitiser by Northampton College – saying it will ‘help keep staff safe’.

Balmoral Place, in Kingsthorpe, hit national headlines at the weekend when it was revealed staff were facing a ‘critical’ shortage of equipment as they continued to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.

After seeing the reports, Northampton College was able to step in – donating its reserves of masks, gloves and hand sanitiser which were going spare.

The goods were delivered by Andy Seymour from the college, who said: “We were only too happy to step in and help. We’re all in this together at the minute and anything we can do to ease the situation for others is obviously a good thing to do. We are very much the college in the community and we will continue to do all we can to offer our support to those who need it the most.”

Balmoral Place is part of the Mears Group of care homes. Based in Kingsthorpe, it is a development of 80 affordable homes offering a positive lifestyle choice for older people in Northampton.

Housing Scheme Manager Jo Robey said: “Thank you very much for the donation, it is much appreciated and will go towards keeping the staff safe.”

The donation is just part of the community work undertaken by the college since the outbreak began. A number of food parcels were handed out to vulnerable families while deliveries of essential supplies have also been made to Northampton General Hospital and The Hope Centre.

A spokesman for The Hope Centre said: “The stock we have received from Northampton College is fantastic. With it, we are feeding 100 or so homeless people a day plus people in the wider community who are in need.”

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student success

Kathryn Holmes

Kathryn Holmes

Kathryn Holmes was part way through a professional chef’s diploma at Northampton College when she realised a career in the kitchen wasn’t for her. Rather than letting her give up, staff...

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