Jack Petchey Foundation award winners 2023

Dated: 27 June 2023

A look at some of the students (and staff) who have won Jack Petchey Foundation awards this year...
Tabatha came to Woodhouse from Friern Barnet School and is studying A level drama, English lit. and economics.
Tabatha was nominated by her peers for being… “outgoing and willing to give her time to help others. She's always so excited and joyful, and this makes lessons more enjoyable because more people are engaged in learning. She's also very kind, stops and talks to students if they’re alone, and this attitude is exactly what I think of when I think of the quintessential Woodhouse student.
She's welcoming of diversity, using my new name and being respectful of my gender - which is often harder for people who knew someone before they changed their name, but she immediately accepted me - and I know she extends this attitude to others, too. Overall, she's a wonderful person and significantly improves my and others experiences here, just by being her kind and accepting self. I can't think of anyone who deserves this award more.”
Tabatha told us…
“When I first got the email saying I was one of the winners I thought they had made a mistake, because nobody told me that they had nominated me. But that’s what makes it lovely, the fact that somebody selflessly chose to nominate me. I think that’s indicative of the generous attitude that Woodhouse students have.
I really like the Woodhouse environment, and that is reflected in the way I behave towards people. Everyone is very friendly and confident, and I think that also shows how welcoming the staff are. I definitely think that Woodhouse is exceptionally welcoming of people’s diversity and that one of the things I love about it.
I also chose to come her because I knew that the college would nurture my ability the best, and it has.
I will be donating the award money to the drama department, to take my class to a show or something.”
After Woodhouse, Tabatha plans to study law and become a commercial solicitor. 
Mila joined us from Fortismere school and is studying A level history, politics and sociology.
Mila’s peers said of her “She has been a leader in our year and classes, constantly putting herself forward to help out around all aspects of college. She is always helpful and shows good leadership skills in her organisation of student run events in the college. She is a member of the student council and works incredibly hard for the student body. She gives her all in everything she does and truly deserves this award.”
Mila told us “I guess I do see myself as something of a leader. My mum always raised me to ‘speak up, speak up, speak up!’ so I think it’s very natural for me to be the bigger voice in the room. Sometimes I speak up a bit too much, I don’t feel shy around people - I don’t think that’s something I’m capable of…
When I heard I’d won the award I was like ‘awww’. It means a lot be appreciated. The fact that people were so kind to say all these things about me I felt quite overwhelmed… with joy!
At student council we are currently being consulted about remodelling the student hub so I would like to put the award money toward something that improves the aesthetic of the student environment.
I love Woodhouse - I’d been wanting to come here for the longest time. I remember passing by on the 134 bus and seeing the college and saying ‘I’m getting in there I have to get in there…’ and now I am here. When I came to taster day, everyone seemed happy - I saw people revising with a smile on their face, which was new for me. Teachers encourage independence and want you to be a real person and not just someone following the rules. I really, really love the individuality here - as someone with a big personality, who speaks a lot, it’s made me feel like I can be at home here, like this is my space.
I have high ambitions and want to go to Cambridge, and I feel Woodhouse is like me, they will push themselves and you to reach your potential. I want to study law and am interested in being a corporate lawyer - all the women in my family have been lawyers - I like talking so it seems like a good fit…”
Mohamed came to woodhouse from E-Act Crest Academy and is studying A level economics, further maths and physics.
Mohamed was nominated by his peers "For providing help to students both in and outside of college. He gave up his time to help a variety of groups with the Queen Mary University Skream project when the teacher was unavailable as well supporting and providing charitable assistance to those in need outside of school."
Kareena came to Woodhouse from St Margaret's School - Bushy, and is studying A level maths, chemistry and economics.
Kareena was nominated by her peers “For creating and leading the science newsletter. Many individuals enjoyed writing articles and exploring science beyond the specification. She is also a very helpful student in maths as she helps students with their work all the time and is a very friendly individual.”
Kareena told us… “I am absolutely delighted to have won the award. When I found out I was a winner, I felt overwhelmed and filled with excitement; it gives me so much joy being able to represent the hard work my team and I put into successfully creating the first Science Newsletter. A few months ago, this was just an idea and so I am thankful to all that contributed - and also those that nominated me and for the platform Woodhouse provides to be recognised in such a rewarding way. The newsletter gave us the opportunity to share and spread new knowledge, from all sciences to the Woodhouse community.
Post A levels I am going to embark on a chemistry degree. I enjoy learning about why certain phenomena occur, on a molecular level, as well as the daily applications chemistry offers to explain the natural world around us - of course, the experiments are a lot of fun too!
I enjoy helping others in any way I can, and I felt very touched when I saw that it was one of the reasons for winning the award.
Woodhouse has a very nurturing, inclusive environment that offers a wide range of opportunities to bring the best out of all students. The support available is fantastic - from the career advice to the support from teachers. From my personal experience, the teaching has been really engaging as I feel I have gained a solid grounding for next year. I have met many talented students that have helped me grow and mature as an individual. Overall, the supportive community has encouraged me to thrive and make the most out of my college experience so far!”
Albion came to Woodhouse from Hendon School and is studying A level economics, maths and physics.
Albion was nominated by his peers for... "Co-organising the Woodhouse Charity World Cup as part of our culture week celebrations. This attracted more than 100+ students which made it one of the biggest student led events of the academic year. It was a great mix of culture and diversity as well as sporting competitiveness.
Rosina came to Woodhouse from Highlands School and is studying A level computer science, maths and further maths. 
Rosina was nominated by her peers as she… “deserves the award due to her efforts to help other students, the college and community. Rosina consistently does everything she can to help Woodhouse students: if she sees an event or opportunity to do with a subject that someone she knows may be interested in, she never fails to let them know just in case they didn't see it. She always does her absolute best to lift anyone's spirits if they're feeling down after a test or a grade and she'll always go the extra mile to help someone if there's anything she can do.”
Rosina told us…
“I did a double take when I received the email telling me I’d received the award; I was completely surprised because I was unaware that my friend had nominated me.
I genuinely love it here at Woodhouse. I think the environment created by the students is the best part: there’s a hardworking, focused attitude which makes the school an excellent learning environment, while also being a very calm and friendly space. Wanting to go to school every day makes the whole difference in your education, so I’m incredibly grateful that the Woodhouse environment makes it so easy to be optimistic to learn. Not only that, but the people here, students and staff included, are so friendly, it’s been really easy to feel fully welcomed.
Naturally, I feel very honoured to have been chosen as someone fit to represent our community. I was especially touched that my nominator picked out that I’ll ‘go the extra mile to help someone if there’s anything she [I] can do’. Being able to give back to the school, a community that has allowed me to excel in more than my studies, is deeply humbling, and something I take great pride in doing.
In terms of future steps, during my time here, I have found a passion for maths, so post Woodhouse, I’m looking to study a degree in maths and statistics at Oxford University.”
David Makepeace - Head of Physics
It's not only students who are awarded a Jack Petchey Foundation Award, each year we nominate a teacher too. 
David Makepeace is our Head of Physics at Woodhouse (for many years) and this is what his students had to say about him…
“Mr Makepeace is patient, enthusiastic and a great physics teacher who explains topics well, allowing us all to share in his passion for physics. We have excelled in recent assessments, even though A level physics is much more difficult than GCSE, as he really helps to motivate us.
He is always happy to help and support us and keeps in contact with ex-students who really inspire us when they visit the college to tell us about universities or their careers.
We are also really grateful for the Woodhouse Plus Mr Makepeace organises on Wednesday afternoons as this enables us to develop our interests in the subject. He has organised a huge range of extra and super-curricular activities for us, including running an annual trip to Switzerland to visit the Large Hadron Collider.”
David told us…
“I’m very pleased and flattered with the award, it’s good to know that after 30 years of teaching I can still hold my own in the classroom. Obviously, teaching at Woodhouse makes it easy as well. The students who come here are motivated, interested, and ambitious. They want to go on to university to study physics and engineering - so we’re able to go beyond the syllabus and talk about other aspects which pique their curiosity.
With the award money we plan to get a computerised telescope which connects to the internet to help find constellations, planets and nebulae that are hard to see in light-polluted London. It will also enhance and inspire our teaching of astrophysics.
The Woodhouse community is great, we’re able to teach properly here and that’s what I came in to teaching to do, really. My colleagues are very interested and invested in their subjects and we spend a lot of time in great discussions.
And it’s great to see our alumni come back and tell us how well they are doing - and how they are much better at physics than I am now…”

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