Students have received recognition for their excellent academic progress and positive contribution at their club by making the shortlist for LFE’s Learner of the Term for January to April 2021.
Here are the runners-up for the main prize, who have all been awarded a £40 Amazon voucher:
Ashley Wilkinson (Accrington Stanley Community Trust)
Head of Education Mark Whalley told LFE: “Ashley joined our programme in September and is studying on our Level 2 programme. He has additional educational needs but has adapted very well to further education study. Ashley’s attendance and punctuality is exemplary and his commitment to the course is second to none.
“Ashley suffered from a serious knee injury before Christmas which has hampered his ability to train and play football, one of the main reasons he joined the course. Having said that, Ashley has shown great resilience to continue the course as normal – attending lessons while on crutches being one example.
“In addition, Ashley has now turned his attention to coaching. Since returning from online learning, he is completing weekly work placement hours within various projects in the Trust. During Easter holidays he has managed to complete 68 hours of voluntary work on the half-term soccer camps, making a 15-mile round trip each day to attend.
“The work placement undertaken has seen a marked improvement in Ashley’s independence, communication and confidence, and in turn, he has received fantastic feedback from the full-time staff that he has been assisting.”
Mitchel Wilkinson (Bradford City Community Foundation)
Ben Pedley, Head of Education, told LFE: “Since starting with us, Mitchel has faced a number of issues, ranging from problems at home to an ACL rupture suffered within the first couple of weeks of joining us.
“With these obstacles, it would have been very easy for Mitchel to turn inwards and self-deprecate, but she showed great resilience and determination to stay motivated and complete work to a good standard. As expected, she has fallen behind, but with the help of BCAFC staff she has been able to prioritise and organise her work to a Distinction level.
“Although it was tough, she managed to stay motivated and complete lessons and work throughout lockdown, as well as push herself to complete extended work. She has been open and frank with her feelings and understanding of the work, which has enabled her to push way beyond her expected levels. I now feel confident that she will continue to do well during and after her ACL reconstruction.”
Charlotte Gardiner (Carlisle United Community Sports Trust)
“Charlotte is a very hardworking and driven learner,” Liam Jackson, Sports Education Tutor, told LFE. “She is a highly motivated student who sets her own standards very high. Prior to the January lockdown, Charlotte underwent a knee operation, meaning she was unable to train and play matches. At first, Charlotte struggled with the realisation that she won’t be able to play football or exercise for around a year.
“Throughout home learning, Charlotte was unable to exercise and struggled with having to be indoors. However, she channelled this frustration extremely well and was determined to not let this setback affect her work and grades. Charlotte also suffers from slow processing disorder, meaning she requires a lot more time to understand the work and needs that classroom interaction with the Tutors to reassure her that she is on track and making progress.
“Along with the recent knee operation, it would have been very easy for Charlotte to suffer a drop in standards whilst being at home. Charlotte has always been a high performing student and continued this throughout lockdown and the home learning period. Charlotte can often put a lot of pressure on herself to perform highly but she coped very well, achieving the Distinction grade in all four of her assignments that she completed while at home.
“It was understandably a difficult time for all learners, however, the setback Charlotte suffered prior to Christmas could have had a negative impact and caused standards to drop. This was not the case at all. Charlotte stayed positive, attended all online lessons and worked extremely hard to maintain the level of consistency she has worked tirelessly to achieve.
“Since coming back into the classroom, Charlotte has managed to stay positive and is now observing the coaches at training due to her being unable to take part. Although this is difficult for her as she just wants to join in, it is putting her in a great position for the coaching unit (C1) that we are moving onto after the Easter break.
“Charlotte has ensured she is using all opportunities to develop her knowledge and understanding with the hope of going to university at the end of our two-year course.”
David Hudson (Fleetwood Town Community Trust)
Senior Lecturer Laura Went told LFE: “David has shown throughout his time with us that he is an exceptional student, but more so during the last term. David has ADHD and at times has found remote learning difficult, however, he has shown great resilience and continued to produce distinction work in his assignments, fully engage in every online lesson and been a role model to those around him. David had 100% attendance during the term, as well as having 100% attendance since starting with us in September 2019.
“David has a great eye for detail, which has been evident in his assignment work where he has shown a real skill analysing his own work. Not only this, but he takes a key interest in analysis of football and has volunteered his time throughout the term, and his time on the course, with Fleetwood Town FC Academy.
“He most recently assisted the team analysing the FA Youth Cup games at Highbury by filming, coding and analysing set pieces. Head of Analysis for the club, Ryan Shorrock, gave David exceptionally good feedback on his attitude and aptitude for the job, even spotting a defensive error in a set-piece that they had missed.
“He continues to give up his weekends to assist the department with the academy games and helps film training three times in a week. This dedication is extremely valued by the academy and they can always count on him to turn up on time.
“David is a well thought of student from staff and his peers and does not allow his difficulties to overcome him, something that he has developed over his time with us. His excellent attitude to learning, passion on the pitch and dedication within his work experience is truly exceptional. We are very proud of his achievements and we hope he continues this journey when he starts his university degree in September.”
Bradley Giles (Mansfield Town Football in the Community)
“Brad is a very eager and intuitive learner both inside and out of the classroom,” Education Officer Ben Cocker told LFE. “Upon our return to face-to-face delivery at the club, Brad showed high levels of engagement and excitement to continue developing within the BTEC course and within his footballing skills.
“Unfortunately for Brad, after only one week back, he had to spend a significant amount of time away from the classroom and return to online learning after being forced to self-isolate due to positive Covid results within his family household.
“Despite this, Brad continued to show high levels of commitment and he ensured that he was in regular contact with myself while I delivered to the rest of the group in the classroom. He was able to work to a high standard despite not having that face-to-face contact from myself and he has been able to submit some excellent pieces of work, both for his coursework in Diploma and Extended Diploma units. He has since returned to the classroom and has upheld these high standards and continues to impress.”
Corey Lawlor (Rochdale AFC Community Sports Trust)
Tutor Shireen Bisping told LFE: “Corey has displayed an excellent attitude and work ethic, regardless of the difficulties surrounding remote learning. He has attended every single virtual lesson, has continued to complete all his work online and submitted all his assignments on time.
“Corey has been carrying out remote learning since the country’s national lockdown, but he has managed to keep a positive attitude throughout and has also encouraged his peers to remain positive. Corey is an excellent young man, with masses of potential.”
Rion Arbouin (Sheffield United Community Foundation)
James Sellars, Education Tutor, told LFE: “Rion has adapted superbly from school to the football and education academy. He is incredibly well-mannered and his punctuality is fantastic. Rion gets along with all staff and students with his lively personality and determined attitude.
“He is currently excelling in his studies and continues to push his academic capabilities daily. Away from his studies, Rion has undertaken regular work experience as a football coach at a local development centre. His willingness to secure this opportunity for himself shows his dedication and drive to pursue a career within the industry.
“Rion is a valued member of our group and we look forward to seeing his developments continue over the next 18 months.”
Jordan Williams (Southend United Community & Educational Trust)
Education Tutor Andy Edmunds told LFE: “Jordan has been with Southend United Community and Education Trust since September 2020 and like majority of our students, has a passion for sport and leisure, especially football, and his ambition is to play professional football. He is currently representing Southend United and a semi-professional club within Essex, alongside his studies.
“This term especially, Jordan has focused on what he wants to achieve and he has developed his behaviour and mindset, on and off the field. Jordan has applied himself extremely well this term and has shown development, both academically and personally.
“Jordan has been the standout performer within the football side of the programme. He never misses training, always works hard and is a real leader between the posts, showing excellent leadership skills and qualities to progress further in the game. His enthusiasm and motivation allow his teammates to express themselves and be confident on and off the ball. Jordan is a pleasure to teach and have around the football club. He adds humour and energy to the classroom and training and is well respected by all members of the Education team.
“He has shown excellent communication and leadership skills on the field of play and during lessons, where he has completed presentations, consultations and taken the lead in group discussions to a good standard. His attitude towards work has improved dramatically and even though he is only pushing for the Pass criteria on his assignments, he is fully up to date with his work and achieving the Pass grade on his first attempt.
“Jordan is also a positive role model to the other students as through his hard work and determination, he has represented both Southend United Under-18 and Under-23 squads, which is a fantastic achievement for such a young learner.
“By studying the BTEC Level 3 qualification, Jordan has developed by learning different aspects of the programme, which has put him in an excellent position for representing Southend United Football Club. Without his progression through the Southend United Study Programme, Jordan would not have had the opportunity to achieve this, which will put him in an excellent position for the future.”
Head of Coaching & Recruitment Ross Johnson added: “I am extremely proud of the hard work and commitment Jordan has shown at training, in matches and in the classroom. Jordan is well respected by his teammates and always puts 110% into every training session. Through hard work and having a positive attitude, he has been giving a fantastic opportunity to show his true potential within the professional football club.”
“In terms of his personal development, Jordan is more confident, a leader in the classroom and is maturing into a well-respected young man. He is well educated and offers his support to other learners across the college, which is pleasing to see.”
Read about this term’s winning candidate here.