Northampton College honours top students at annual awards

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A teenager with Asperger syndrome has won a top award having become the first Supported Learning student at Northampton College to progress directly onto a Level 3 course.

Liam Hargreaves-Playford was honoured at the college’s annual awards ceremony – which saw dozens of students celebrated for their academic achievements over the past 12 months.

The 19-year-old from Moulton was frustrated by previous experiences of education when he arrived at Booth Lane but has ‘thrived’ in his new surroundings and is now studying sports development and coaching.

Bev Davies, Assistant Principal for the School of ESOL, Supported and Foundation Learning at Northampton College, said: “Liam quickly worked hard to make new friends and learn more about his diagnosis, as well as developing social skills and starting to enjoy education, perhaps for the first time in his life.

“He became the first student on the Moving On programme to sit a GCSE and was thrilled and proud to achieve a ‘B’ grade.

“As a result, he is the first ever Supported Learning student to progress directly onto a Level 3 course.

The annual awards event was staged at the college’s Booth Lane campus.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “It has been a real privilege to hear so many inspiring stories and to hear about the progress our students have made, both personally and academically.

“The annual awards ceremony showcases a truly exceptional display of talent and determination and our students deserve to be proud.”

Special awards were presented including best overall progress, best apprentice, the best progress in maths, the most public spirited student and the Katy Wright Award - given in memory of former Northampton College tutor Katy, who died five years ago after a long illness.

This year’s award was presented to Anthony Davies, a postman who enrolled onto the Access to Science pathway and quickly became known as the ‘guru of chemistry’.

He achieved distinction grades for every single assignment and is now studying biochemistry at the University of Southampton – and he hopes to become a leading light in the science industry.