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Jack Petchey awards 2017

Dated: 24 May 2017

 
Principal John Rubinstein with Angela, Ronnie and Sam 
 
Principal John Rubinstein handed out another clutch of Jack Petchey Foundation awards this term, to six more very deserving Woodhouse students.
 
Woodhouse are proud to be holders of the Jack Petchey Gold programme which permits us to give nine students this prestigious award during the academic year. Nominations are invited from staff and peers across the College. The winners get £250 to spend on an item of their choosing which benefits the college students and/or community, and attend a gala medal ceremony with other schools during the summer holidays.
 
 
Fisayo Eniolorunda
 
Fisayo was nominated for a Jack Petchey Foundation award by Becky Sharp, our Director of Student services… “Fisayo is a role model and an example to us all. She’s done a huge amount of work to update the Quiet Room and has worked together with other users to make it accessible for everyone. She worked through the night to collate all of the materials for the Quiet Room notice board so she could still keep to her academic deadlines, has also overcome personal obstacles, and is always smiling and always helpful. She has given a lot to the College as a member of the Christian Society and as one of our very best mentors, and she is always generous in sharing her work and time with other students.”
 
Fisayo said “I’m happy and surprised to get the award. It’s true I like to help other students, I make my all my English revision notes online so I can share them with my fellow students. I enjoy mentoring in Chemistry because it helps me to help myself by revisiting the topics and also… I understand how hard it is at the beginning of the course. The student I mentor comes with questions that she finds difficult and we go over them together. She is definitely improving. I’m always happy to help any AS students because I’ve been there myself, it can be tough. I’m also part of the Christian Society at Woodhouse. We get together one lunchtime a week, around 20 or 30 of us, to discuss aspects of Christianity and various topics that affect us, like exam stress or anxiety.”
 
Fisayo also helps people outside of college by volunteering at a food bank in Enfield (when she’s not revising…). She came to Woodhouse in 2015 from Highlands School and is studying history, English literature and chemistry.
 
“I really like it at Woodhouse and the longer I’ve been here the more I’ve come to love it. I feel like I’m a lot more free here and the teachers really care about your education, you get a lot of support. I’m not sure of my plan for after Woodhouse yet, I’m considering taking a gap year to get some work experience. I am also working on a writing project - a book. It’s a story about an albino boy growing up during the Biafran War of the late 1960’s. I’m very interested in Nigeria’s history and my friends at college seem to know little about it. Africa doesn’t come up much in our history syllabus. I may go on to university to study something in Politics and International relations, we’ll see.
 
The £250 award from Jack Petchey? I may put some of it towards books for our society and the rest for some comfy bean bags for the quiet room that everyone can use.”
 
 
Sam Pocock
 
Sam was appointed as the mixed martial arts (MMA) student ambassador this academic year and has made a fantastic contribution to the set-up and success of an after college club. The club is an accessible on-site opportunity for college students to take part in an affordable physical activity that contributes massively to the physical and mental wellbeing of those who attend.
 
Sam has shown great enthusiasm for MMA and has helped coordinate sessions and assist the external coach during delivery. He acts as a contact point for students and has helped increase participation numbers and retain club members by promoting the benefits of taking part in a physical activity like MMA.
 
Woodhouse College Sport Maker Francine Zimbalist, who nominated Sam for the award, said “He is responsible, approachable, a pleasure to work with and hugely deserving of praise”.
 
Sam said “I feel really honoured to get the award. I helped out with MMA because I’m really interested in it, but it’s great to know that - when you put effort into something - others acknowledge and reward that effort. I got interested in self defence a few years ago when I did some boxing, and when I heard I could do MMA at Woodhouse as part of my Enrichment activities I thought ‘that sounds fun’ and it is. The arts we train in are a mix of Jujitsu and Muay Thai - so grappling and kick boxing essentially - but MMA really gets you thinking about technique and finesse -it’s not just about brute strength. When the college asked for students to help out with the running of classes and organisation, I jumped at the chance. I’ve attended nearly every week for two years and through running promotional events in our social area and talking to friends the classes have grown. I also attend a satellite club on a Friday after college and the group are now running a girls self defence class too. I’ll probably donate the award money towards some better quality training mats so we don’t get grazed throwing each other about.”
 
Sam is also a brilliant academic mentor in Chemistry and Physics. “I’ve always thought it’s good to help others and having someone to help and revise with is useful. I prepare before mentoring so I know what I’m talking about, which helps me to process and embed the things I’ve already learned. The student I mentored said they enjoyed the sessions, which I guess is a good sign.”
 
Sam came to Woodhouse from from Highlands School. “I heard about Woodhouse from friends who said it was good here, but I missed the open day. My first impression was when I was interviewed and I thought ‘wow’ this is the place for me. I like Woodhouse for it’s community and the really good working atmosphere. I’m not sure if I would have progressed as far elsewhere but the teaching here is excellent and it’s definitely been worth the two years I’ve spent here - I’m going on to study physics at uni next year and I’ve already got offers from Imperial and UCL.”
 
 
Ronnie Ah-Chuen
 
Ronnie garnered a triple nomination for an award from the Principal, teacher Chris Mann and fellow student India DeBono who said “Ronnie deserves to be nominated for this award, they're always kind and caring despite all the hardships they've had to endure recently and they deserve so much recognition for all they've done and contributed to the college as well as their friends. Ronnie was responsible for setting up and running the Musical Theatre enrichment and was always very responsible and communicative when planning it – a great opportunity enjoyed by the students”
 
Ronnie said “I’m so pleased for the recognition and the award - I really enjoyed organising the Musical Theatre Society but it was a lot of hard work. I had some great help, but I took responsibility for most of the choreography and sorting all the singing harmonies, and distributing parts fairly so that everyone got a chance to shine, which was the most important. We ran the society for ten weeks with 12 students and each week we worked on numbers from different musicals. Towards the end of the term we put together a showcase with songs (mostly) from Hamilton, but also Rent, In The Heights and The Little Mermaid. We then performed the showcase to lots of friends, family and teachers at a one off special concert, and it went down really well, we all enjoyed it.
 
This enrichment class was particularly valuable for me because some of the troupe had never performed before and were rather shy at the start, but by the end showcase they had become really outgoing, confident and happy to really sing out and shine. That alone made the whole experience worth while for me.
 
I’ll be spending the award money on taking the whole group out to see a West End musical because some of them have literally never been to see a live show before. It’ll be a great evening for sure.”
 
  
 Beth Asante
 
 
Beth was nominated by Samantha Evans (our Student Progress Manager) for “…the incredible amount of work she does outside of college, supporting young people with mental health, and also for making such a positive contribution as a tutor rep.”
 
Beth explains… “Over the past few years I have been a member of the NSPCCyouth board (a role that I adore!). I got involved in year 10 when I was looking for volunteering roles and I came across an advert for the youth board and just applied. I am on a collaborative team that meets a couple of times a year and has regular monthly online meetings. We work together with NSPCC London & South Eastleaders to develop policy on such things as court procedures for children, online campaigns about safeguarding and we’ve even helped design an app for Childline. I’ve been with the NSPCC for about four years now. It is work, but its fun as well, they do a lot for us too and we get days out and stuff (they even took us to the opera!).
 
And alongside it all I’ve been fighting a long war against mental health not just personally, but for all those around me, for those with no one to turn to or to trust and also to educate those who simply just don’t understand that a person’s mental health is just as important as their physical health.”
 
In February, Beth got involved with a related project at the BBC called My Mind and Me...
 
“Four of us were invited to the BBC, along with representatives from MIND and some other charities, to share information about the problems young people face and the things that need to be changed, not just in schools but online too, and we talked about ways to help. We then collaboratively planned a long TV report that went out live on the BBC. We had to source guests like doctors that work in child mental health and students with a story to tell. When the show went live we were in the audience and it was just amazing. The point is to get people talking about mental health and get rid of the stigmas.
 
I’m so grateful for this award, it’s so nice to be appreciated and I do feel proud of myself. I also really want to thank all the people who shared important information with me about the stigmas experience and barriers they’ve come up against, and what they want to change in schools. It’s all incredibly useful information and will be put to good use. I’m hoping to put the Jack Petchey money to good use at Woodhouse too. It’ll go towards some sort of wellbeing project or maybe even just something that uplifts students when they see it or experience it, I’m still thinking it over.”
 
Beth came to Woodhouse after studying at both Latimer and St Michaels schools. “I wanted to come to Woodhouse because I heard it was a supportive college, more than most, and it definitely has been for me. I am hoping to go into medicine after Woodhouse as I really want to continue to help people”.  
 
 
Angela Torres 
 
Angela was appointed as Girls Self Defence student ambassador this academic year and has helped with the promotion and coordination of college enrichment sessions for both year groups. She acts as a ‘body’ for our instructor to demonstrate many lethal practices on which has enabled more girls to become self-defence savvy. She has also acted as a bridge for communication between students and instructor, helping to shape sessions, based on student feedback.
 
Woodhouse College Sport Maker Francine Zimbalist said “Angela is an administrative whizz who puts 100% into everything that has been asked of her and her enthusiasm and energy excels most.”
 
Angela said “When I was called to the principal’s office I didn’t know what for and thought I might be in trouble for doing poorly in my mock exam or something, but when I saw the other students there I thought ‘oh hang on, this can’t be bad’ and was relieved and very pleasantly surprised to get a Jack Petchey award.
 
I got involved with the self defence classes last year and I really like it. It was difficult to organise and get everybody to work together, and some of the girls were quite shy at first - that’s why I put myself forward as the demo ‘body’ - but we all really enjoy the classes. I think it’s important for everyone to learn self defence, but girls, particularly teenage girls, are at high risk of being assaulted and I don’t intend to be a victim, I want to know how to fight back. I think everyone in college should try it out because it’s fun, and the experience you gain is worth the effort in the end.”
 
Angela is also a key member of our Prom Committee, helping to organise this years’ end-of-college bash. “Six of us are in charge of planning and promoting as well as fundraising. We aim to make it the best prom ever and have already booked our decorators, DJ’s and fireworks. We are selling lots of tickets and still planning to book even more great entertainment - and that is what I will be donating my £250 Jack Petchey award money to, hopefully it’ll add a little extra something to the prom for everyone to enjoy.”
 
Angela came to Woodhouse from the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College and hopes to study physics or maths at university “But not until I’ve taken a gap year… I want to do some volunteering and get a part-time job, hopefully at an observatory. I’m not exactly sure what degree I want to do yet but it’ll definitely be maths related, because I love maths…
 
I don’t know if you give out Jack Petchey awards to teachers but my maths teacher Mx Anna Finn should definitely get one for being such an amazing teacher and a really inspirational person. I might even become a maths teacher myself one day.”
 
 
Also receiving an award this term was Stephanie Wilson who was nominated for being such a dedicated and active member of the college council, who was often left alone to organise college wide events such as Flag Day during Black History Month and the annual Easter Egg hunt. Not only that, her teachers described her as kind, hard working and selfless. 
 
All six award winners will join our Autumn term winners - Nagina Mushtaq, Channelle Cover and Latasha Jackson - at the ceremony in the summer and we congratulate all of them on their fantastic contribution to Woodhouse life.


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