Double award success for computer science team at Mansfield college

Staff and students in the computer science department at West Nottinghamshire College are celebrating a double award success in this year’s ‘Oscars’ of the teaching profession.

By Shelley Marriott
Monday, 13th June 2022, 11:01 am

The department has been named as a bronze winner in the Further Education (FE) Team of the Year category in the 2022 Pearson National Education Awards, one of just five colleges in the country to receive the accolade, while digital teacher Tommy Mannix was highly commended in the Award for Digital Innovator of the Year category.

The team was recognised for the way it successfully adapted to online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic, when it continued to provide students with a full and enriching learning experience through the creative use of technology.

When students returned to on-campus learning, the team created an entirely new, bespoke curriculum, offering learners an individualised course based on their own subject preferences and career aspirations.

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Principal Andrew Cropley (centre) presents the computer science team with their bronze winner certificate at a celebration event attended by students and staff.

The bronze award is a new award category introduced by Pearson last year to recognise the significant achievements of the teachers, schools and colleges entered into the awards.

Programme area leader for computing, Scott Marshall, said: “We’ve tried to innovate as much as we possibly could and worked hard to ensure our curriculum remains current, reflects the needs of industry and meets the skills requirements of the local area.

"It allows students to decide what they want to do in the future, in terms of their careers and industry specialisms. Students were at the heart of our decision to re-shape the curriculum.

“The difficult times of Covid taught us some amazing lessons about how to creatively use the technology at our disposal, how to get the most out of each other as individuals, and how to share best practice across the department.

Digital teacher Tommy Mannix (left) receives his highly commended certificate from principal Andrew Cropley.

“This award recognises we’ve done something special. I’m very proud of the team.”

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Tommy was nominated by his colleagues for his “passion and expertise for technology” and his “desire to see it deployed to positively impact the lives of those he interacts with.”

Tommy said: “I’m very happy to receive this award. I’m a fairly new teacher so the fact I’ve been commended for my ability to implement my ideas in the classroom is fantastic.

“My students love the way I have implemented the use of Microsoft Teams into their learning and it’s always nice when colleagues come to me for advice and support.

“Incorporating Microsoft Teams alongside face-to-face teaching has really paid off. This gives me the incentive to take it forward and try new teaching techniques.”

The computer science team and Tommy were presented with their Pearson National Teaching Awards certificates by principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley at a celebration event attended by students and staff.

Mr Cropley said: “I’m thrilled for the computer science team and for Tommy. This is a fabulous achievement and recognises the brilliant work they did in moving to online delivery during the pandemic, their highly innovative curriculum design which enables students to personalise their learning and develop highly-valued, employment-focused skills, and their collaborative teaching model.

“The way they have supported their colleagues, the creativity they’ve shown in developing their curriculum, and the innovative way they are teaching their courses makes this extremely well deserved.”