Sid Valley students take top college awards

Exeter College’s Student Awards night reaps rewards for three Sid Valley students

THREE students from the Sid Valley have received top awards at Exeter College’s Student Awards 2010 presentation event.

Guest of honour, Michael Caines MBE, presented 28 awards at the red carpet event last week.

Sarah Watkins from Sidmouth won the Skills for Life and Learning Teacher Education Student of the Year prize.

Lucie Bowles, 18, also from Sidmouth, won the Media and Performing Arts Student of the Year title, while former Sidmouth College pupil Simone Othen, of Sidbury, collected the award for Exeter College Apprentice of the Year 2010.

Praised for her conscientiousness, diligence, enthusiasm and creative approach to lecturing, Sarah works within the college’s Hospitality, Hair and Beauty faculty as a 14-16 programme tutor.

She was a hairdressing student at the college when she was first there as a 16-year-old.

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Sarah said of her award: “When I found out I’d won, I was jumping for joy. I couldn’t believe it and I could not have done it without the help of my tutors Pippa Stone and Denise Mountford.

“Becoming a student again after all these years was quite tough at first and you have to really set your mind to it. Once I did, I found it really motivated me and gave me the enthusiasm which I want to pass on to my own students.”

Lucie’s lecturers described their student as “brilliant, hard-working, talented” and a joy to teach when nominating her for the Media and Performing Arts Student of the Year title.

Described as a truly natural performer, they said her future seemed destined for the spotlight and stage.

A former Sidmouth College student, Lucie has excelled at Exeter College.

Last year she took A levels in English Literature, Drama and Theatre Arts and Textiles, gaining two A*s and an A, as well as distinction in a national award in music performance.

Learning of her award Lucie said: “It was really cool, I felt happy and surprised. I would love to do costume and set design at university and then afterwards I’d like to work in the theatre industry.”

Fellow former Sidmouth College student Simone Othen, 21, from Sidbury, collected the award for Exeter College Apprentice of the Year 2010.

Dividing her time between studying at the College and putting her theory into practice in her workplace at Sidmouth Residential Care Home Radway Lodge, she completed her entire apprenticeship in seven months.

Simone, now working towards her NVQ Level 3 as a Health and Social Care Apprentice, said: “My hope for the future is to become a qualified nurse and work either in the community or in a hospital.

“What I have enjoyed most about doing my training through Exeter College is that I have been able to meet carers who work in different care settings and learn about what their jobs involve.”

Exeter College principal Richard Atkins said: “The college is very proud of its students’ achievements, and these are celebrated in a number of ways individually by faculties throughout the year.

“The annual Student Awards offer us the opportunity to celebrate the success of those who have achieved excellence in their studies, sometimes in difficult circumstances, and who have made a positive contribution to the lives of others either within the college, the community, or both.”