From education to employment

Excellence in Education Celebrated at Bradford College STAR Awards

A group photo of the Bradford College STAR Award student winners on stage at the 2024 ceremony.

Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford was filled with excitement and anticipation for the first-ever Bradford College STAR Awards ceremony.

The prestigious event celebrated outstanding achievements and excellence in education, honouring College students and employers for their remarkable contributions over the past academic year. 

The new Awards recognise those who have gone above and beyond in their educational pursuits and support roles. Proceedings kicked off with a welcome address from Bradford College CEO & Principal, Chris Webb, who emphasised the importance of hard work and perseverance in education. 

Chris said: “Tonight we celebrate the stars of Bradford College, whose dedication and passion for learning inspires us all. These awards are not just about individual achievement but also about the collective spirit of our community.”  

One of the evening’s highlights was the ‘Principal’s Student of the Year’ award, which went to Olivia Sparkes – an Early Years student who has been exceptional throughout the last two years of her course. Her nomination said:

“Olivia has been a key project leader as part of the Ambition [HUB] programme, showing outstanding leadership and collaboration. She has consistently attended classes, despite her own personal challenges.

“Olivia has always shown a collaborative spirit and willingness to share her expertise. Her ability to balance collaboration and leadership, with patience and perseverance, has set a remarkable example for her peers and made her a truly invaluable student. She has now received an offer from University of Huddersfield to study Paediatric Nursing.”


Other STAR Award Winners 2024

The Interdepartmental Student of the Year went to Max Whitehead who studies Sports. Max’s nomination said:

“Max goes above and beyond to gain the best grade possible in his assessments. He is always a considerate and respectful young man, has been a role model to his fellow classmates and is always willing to help people out. Max has now been successful in his application to an Applied Sports Studies in Football course at Leeds Beckett University.”

The Ambition Hub Student of the Year went to Danish Zubair in Computing. His nomination read:

An exceptional student and project leader for our Ambition [HUB] group this year, Danish has shown outstanding leadership and dedication. […] Beyond his primary responsibilities, he extended his support to other groups, demonstrating his collaborative spirit and willingness to share his expertise.”

Ellie Searby won the T Level Student of the Year award. 

Ellie is known as a dedicated and diligent student. She consistently demonstrates excellent attendance, a strong work ethic, and high academic standards. Her commitment to learning has not only impressed her teachers but also led to multiple summer work experience offers from various companies.

Apprentice of the Year went to James Bland, specialising in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. His tutors said:

“James has consistently demonstrated outstanding practical and theoretical skills, marking him as an exemplary apprentice in our programme. His exceptional talent and dedication have earned him a place in the prestigious WorldSkills competition, where the most skilled apprentices in their fields compete nationally. 

“We are proud to recognise him for his outstanding achievements and contributions. His hard work, dedication, and exceptional skills make him a truly deserving recipient of this award.”

The Adult Student of the Year award was given to Hedian Al Babesi who has transformed from a shy, nervous student to a confident young woman able to perform Shakespeare in front of hundreds of people. Her nomination said:

“Hedian knows that education is her key to a better future, so she not only focuses in every lesson but takes her work home and completes extra tasks. She supports her family, has a constant smile on her face and her positive attitude means she sees obstacles as opportunities to grow.”  

Science student Mohammad Ehsan won the Student Ambassador Award. His nomination said:

“Mohammed’s helpful nature has created a positive and inclusive learning environment in our class, where everyone feels valued and supported. His kindness and empathy have made a significant impact on the wellbeing of his classmates […] He has become an invaluable member of our community and we are proud to have him as a part of our team!” 

Employer Partner of the Year went to Kids Planet. Cherelle Webster accepted the award on behalf of the organisation after being nominated by the College Early Years and Health & Social Care team.

Over the past two years, Kids Planet has accommodated 24 students for work experience. The organisation has built a strong partnership with Bradford College, taking on more students than planned and has now agreed to become our industry partner for the next cohort of Early Years T Level students. 

Cross College Student of the Year went to Jeson Isolano who is enrolled on a Progression to Learning to Work course.

Jeson came to the College from overseas, facing challenges in meeting higher-level course requirements. Yet, his dedication has been truly remarkable. His work ethic and perseverance are truly inspiring as are his manners. 

Jeson is a model student who has completed over 20 hours of work experience, a staggering 80 hours of enrichment activities, and over 20 hours of social action giving back to the community. Jeson will now be making a deserved move up to a Level 1 course.

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