UCB English lecturer wins Teacher of Year at national awards

March 2018

A UCB lecturer won Teacher of the Year at a set of UK awards celebrating outstanding, pioneering and innovative work in the development of English.

Dr Gavin Cole was recognised at The Skills Awards from online key skills training provider bksb for his “inspirational teaching” of GCSE and Functional Skills English.

He received his award in front of 300 practitioners from educational institutions and training providers from across the country at The Skills Awards, rewarding the quality and diversity of educational delivery and achievement, teachers and learners.

Gavin said: “This award reflects the fantastic opportunities I have been given at UCB to develop as a teacher. I have had tireless support from senior leaders and benefited from the professional development opportunities arising from the Directorate of Teaching and Learning. I am also privileged to have been able to work collaboratively with outstanding professional colleagues in the English and Maths team and across UCB and learn from their expertise.  

“Most importantly, it is my students who challenge me and inspire me to reflect upon my teaching.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented young professionals and I respect all their hard work and efforts.” 

Gavin’s success stories include UCB student Caitlin Painter, who failed her GCSE English at school. Arriving at UCB to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional baker, Gavin was instrumental in supporting her to gain a grade C, after which she completed her Bakery Level 3 and received UCB’s Outstanding English Student Award. 

Director of Learning Services at UCB Jody Seaton, who nominated Gavin – UCB’s Assistant Director for English - for the award, said in the four years he had worked at UCB, Gavin had been instrumental in the success of students undertaking key skills. 

“Since Gavin arrived, we have achieved well above national benchmark for high grades in GCSE and Functional Skills English,” he said. “This has either been directly down to Gavin’s teaching or through working closely with the team he now manages to ensure that the teaching and learning does not become a mundane task, but one that engages the student, ensures progress and, most importantly, ensures that students develop a resilience to learning that keeps them coming back, regardless of the outcome.

“Known affectionately by students and staff as ‘Dr Gav’, he constantly strives to ensure that his teaching is of the highest standard and that he not only develops his students’ literacy skills, but also makes links as to how these can be used in the world of work, something our students greatly value.” 

He said through Gavin’s inspirational teaching, students were queuing up outside the class in no time at all. “This is, in part, due to Gavin’s fun style of delivery, but in the main, this is down to Gavin’s ability to develop our students so they believe they can progress and are willing to take risks to get there,” he said. 

Gavin, who has worked in several roles since he joined UCB and has had a positive impact as lecturer, Senior Curriculum Leader and Assistant Director for English beat off strong completion from other training providers.

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