Evening celebrates students’ hard work

Some of the students who attended the celebrations
Some of the students who attended the celebrations

SCHOOL students who study for part of their week at Sussex Downs College have been praised for their achievements.

A special celebration evening was held to recognise the achievement of the Year 11 students, who are 14-16 year olds and study at the college campuses.

It is the ninth year that younger students have been welcomed at the college and in the last year 327 students have studied a range of qualifications across 26 subjects.

Eighty per cent of the students continue in further education with the majority of them continuing with Sussex Downs College.

Esther Blaney, the 14-16 programmes co-ordinator, said, “The event celebrates student success for those who have completed their two-year course.

“They have all shown how imaginative, creative, inventive and inspirational they are and we want to celebrate this with their parents and carers.

“Schools often report to us the positive overall impact on behaviour and achievement they notice in their students when they return to their school base after starting their studies with us.

“The event is also an ideal opportunity to thank the many employers who have helped support the students with their work placements.”

Melanie Hunt, principal and chief executive of Sussex Downs College, said, “We must say thank you to our partner schools who make adjustments to the timetable and provide transport to get the students to college, and our thanks to the teachers and classroom assistants who often accompany them.

“I am always impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of our staff but would say to the young people that only they can make the difference, success is in their own hands, if they work hard, choose to listen and put in the effort then they will be successful in life.”

Jane McCluskey, deputy principal from Eastbourne Academy, said, “The 14-16 programme gives pupils choice and experience in the real world providing real vocational qualifications with real opportunities. It provides students with an insight into a subject that they may want to develop into a career.

“The feedback I get is that the students really enjoy and are very positive about the experience of coming into college for one or two days a week.

“For some it is a lifeline if traditional lessons have failed to inspire them. It gives these young people a fantastic experience and for many a thirst to carry on with their learning.”

The celebration was part of Sussex Downs College’s commitment to recognising vocational achievement and is part of the national VQ celebrations.