The Hospitality and Catering Team at Eastleigh College has been announced as a Silver Teaching Award Winner in the category ‘The Award for FE Team of the Year’ in the Pearson Teaching Awards 2016!
Selected from thousands of nominations received by the Pearson Teaching Awards in 2016, the team’s is one of just 55 celebrations which will be taking place in schools and colleges across England, Ireland and Wales on Thank a Teacher Day, 17 June 2016, when prestigious Silver Pearson Teaching Awards are be presented to outstanding local heroes of education.
Eastleigh MP Mims Davies joined the team, along with a selection of students, for a celebratory breakfast at the College’s newly refurbished East Avenue restaurant. Speaking to the team, Mims said, “Congratulations to the Hospitality and Catering team for winning this award. I’ve seen the Catering department on several occasions in the past year, and every time I have been impressed with their excellent service and all the amazing things they’ve been doing here. It is wonderful for us in Eastleigh to have such a wonderful College that we can be very proud of. I look forward to meeting the team earlier in the day when they attend their celebratory tea at the House of Commons organised by Pearson.”
The team, consisting of five professional lecturers, has worked incredibly hard over the past academic year to ensure their students receive the best experience possible, and have an abundance of successes under their belt.
Hospitality and Catering lecturer, Sue Lyons, was delighted to have received the award, “It’s such an achievement for the team. All the hard work we’ve put in this year keeps our jobs interested and relevant with industry, and makes sure the students get the best out of studying here.”
“Our modern, new restaurant has enabled us to get our students involved in some great events such as cocktail nights and our charity gala dinner, where head chefs from establishments such as Chewton Glen, Lainston House and The Ritz cooked a five-course meal alongside our students. It’s been a fabulous year, and both the team and the students have been amazing.”
Cooking alongside Michelin-Star chefs is just the beginning of what the team have achieved for their students this year, with other successes including:
- 5 Level 3 students attended the Associated of Colleges (AoC) annual conference, to cook a dinner for over 1,000 people
- Level 3 student Ashesh Purja got through to the final stage of the WorldSkills competitions
- Level 2 and 3 students took over the Holiday Inn Hotel in Eastleigh for the second year running
- Students brought back Gold, Silvers and Bronze awards at competitions at Hotel Olympia and the Wessex Salon Culinaire
- Students completed work experience at various hotels across the country, including Limewood Hotel in the New Forest
- The department launched their ‘Junior Chefs Programme’ for years 9, 10 and 11 pupils to learn the basics of cookery.
Level 3 Hospitality and Catering student, Donovan Malone, is pleased that his lecturers won the award, “My lecturers have taught me so much, and pushed me to enter competitions which resulted in me winning two golds. It’s my last ever shift in the restaurant today, and I’m so happy to be leaving knowing that I’ve been taught by the best. It’s a massive achievement and I’m so happy for them.”
The Hospitality and Catering Team will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards to be held at a glittering celebration at London’s Guildhall on 23rd October, where 10 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Plato Award. Award presenters in 2015 included Prime Minister David Cameron, Bake-Off Champion Nadiya Hussain, War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and actor Sheila Hancock. The 2016 ceremony, titled “Britain’s Classroom Heroes”, will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.
Watch the team's reaction as Eastleigh MP Mim's Davies presents them with their award: