College News and Events

September Jack Petchey Winners

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September Jack Petchey Winners
by Mitus Castillo - Friday, 16 October 2015, 10:30 AM

September Jack Petchey Winners


Well done to all the September winners of the Jack Petchey Awards: Donatas Valaitis, Leah Gordon, Shannon Thomas and Jennie Reed. Below you can find some excerpts from each winner’s nomination form.


Donatas Valaitis
Level 3 Extended Diploma Business Year 2
Nominated by Shabnam Shaheen; Cornelius Ademule, Angela Milligan and Franklin Arthur

       Donatas came to the UK from Lithuania in 2013 to join his parents. He decided to enrol onto a BTEC Level 2 Business course.

       He found college very challenging as English is not his first language. He was very shy and nervous and didn’t want to embarrass himself by pronouncing words incorrectly in front of other students.

       However, he completed the Level 2 Business course with a merit grade despite being in the country for less than a year.  He then later on progressed onto the Level 3 90 Credit course, also achieving merits and a distinction grade in his Year 1.

       Alongside the 90 credit he also studied GCSE maths, where he achieved a grade C. His confidence is growing and he is determined to do well in this course and achieve a C grade in GCSE English.

       Donatas also undertakes part-time employment so he can financially support himself and get to college. This has not had a negative performance on his college attendance or coursework.

       We have seen determination from Donatas to achieve to his full potential. Donatas is a very kind and generous individual who has never raised his voice with anyone.

       He is well respected by his peers, a very pleasant student and is well worthy of a Jack Petchey award.


Leah Gordon
NVQ level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery
Nominated by Anthony Boorman

       Leah has completed her Level 1 and Level 2 Cookery qualifications at Redbridge College and is currently enrolled on the NVQ level 3 Professional Cookery. During these years, she has overcome personal issues which affected her confidence.

       She has really worked hard on developing her confidence as a chef, building on her knowledge and skills as well as developing ways of dealing with situations appropriately.

       Leah is Student Ambassador which means she is voluntarily giving up her time representing the college and helping out in events such as open days, student awards, etc.

       She is also part of the Academy programme which involves developing and running a range of cookery classes aimed at teaching non catering students cooking skills which they can use at home.

       In addition, Leah attends college outside her timetabled hours to help support Level 1 students in the production kitchen, off site functions & cross college events.


Shannon Thomas 
Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport
Nominated by Amy O’Grady

       Since returning in September, Shannon has made an extremely positive contribution to the Sports department. She has been made captain of the girls’ basketball team and led them to victory through her leadership skills.

       Last year, Shannon found the BTEC 90 Credit Diploma challenging which was evident in the quality of her work and her attendance. She had a lot of personal difficulties to contend with alongside her studies.

       This year, she has vowed to not let anything get in the way of being successful. She has now made an extremely positive start and is like a different student this year. She had made a huge improvement in her attendance, being punctual to all sessions and attending all pre-season training events. 

       We are extremely proud of the turn-around Shannon has made and hope that by the end of this year she will have achieved the success she deserves.


Jennie Reed 
Level 1 CG Diploma in Introduction to Professional Cookery
Nominated by Andrew Shepherd & Eliza Luxton

       Jennie was a home schooled student who came to us in April 2015 as a Year 10 student. Her previous experiences of education had not been positive.

       Despite starting so late in the academic year and being the 'new girl', Jennie settled in quickly and it soon became apparent that she had the potential to excel in the Hospitality & Catering area.

       Jennie managed to gain her Level 1 BTEC Award in Vocational Studies, Functional Skills Maths Entry 3 and Functional Skills English Level 2.

       She has been a positive role model for several other Key Stage 4 students that have started recently. Jennie has helped with their transition from School to College.

       Jennie has again committed herself fully to the Level 1 CG Diploma in Introduction to Professional Cookery and attends college on her days off to undertake work experience in Rouge Restaurant.

       Considering Jennie's past experiences of education she has made remarkable leaps forwards in a very short period of time.