BTEC Awards 2019 – “A standing ovation, goosebumps and tears of joy”
Thursday 4th July 2019: speeches and fireworks; singing and dancing; celebration and community. For us in London, that meant BTEC Awards Day, our 9th annual ceremony recognising excellence in career-focused education and the future of skills.
For the last nine years, Pearson have been putting on a spectacular, moving, dynamic, warm and personal event to celebrate exceptional BTEC teaching and learning, this year has been the biggest and best yet!
How have we made this global?
In previous years, we only had one category open to the BTEC community outside the UK; for 2019 we opened up all the Awards to everyone, anywhere in the world, studying or teaching any BTEC qualification. We also introduced Silver and Bronze Awards – in addition to the Gold Awards for the winners of each category – to recognise the breadth and depth of outstanding BTEC teaching and learning across the globe.
Last year, we gave out 23 BTEC Awards, 22 of those to winners from the UK.
In 2019, we celebrated the amazing achievements of 341 winners from across the globe, with one Award winner in every 5 coming from outside the UK:
Meet our Students of the Year
Not one, but two Students of the Year 2019
This year, the Judges couldn’t split the final two candidates for Student of the Year, so for the first time ever they awarded two Student of the Year Awards to Christopher Meredith from Leeds College of Building in the UK and Josephine Kiaga from Braeburn International School Arusha in Tanzania.
Josephine Kiaga from Tanzania – not yet 18 years old, has already participated in Model United Nations as a Human Rights Ambassador, started a Girls’ Empowerment workshop – Sisterhood – with her best friend, Nicole, and edited for TEDx when they came to Arusha. To no-one’s surprise, she’s already been offered a job when she leaves school. Marked out as a leader of the future, she puts her success down to “the trust that I got from my teachers.”
Josephine Kiaga, pictured with her teacher Mike Magambo, at the BTEC Awards 2019 where she won BTEC Student of the Year 2019
Christopher Meredith, the second BTEC Student of the Year 2019. Behind his quiet, warm smile and polite manner lies a story of grit and determination to overcome a start in life which, as he put it, “wasn’t the best”. Now studying for a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering at Leeds College of Building, he’s the College’s STEM Ambassador, mentors kids at local schools and supports other apprentices at the College. And he won BTEC Apprentice 19+ of the Year 2019 as well.
Christopher Meredith, double BTEC Award winner in 2019, pictured with Rachna Udasi, BTEC Student of the Year 2018
Our Showstopper Challenge winners brought Plato’s words to life. From Deanery High School’s opener on the theme of “I’m more than a BTEC student …”, to the graceful, lyrical, heartbreaking storytelling of two young dancers from Bury College, and joyously upbeat rendition of “This is me” from D16 Performing Arts College, these young performers moved us to smile, weep and cheer in equal measure.
Our final performer – Shemaiah Layman from the Jackie Palmer Academy – was a returning winner, having also closed the show in 2018. And what a return. As the pyrotechnics fired at the climax of her song, the whole audience spontaneously got to their feet in a standing ovation – our final BTEC Awards first of 2019. It gave us all, as Paul Webster, the Performing Arts Subject Advisor put it, “goosebumps and tears of joy”.
Our Showstopper Challenge 2019 winners bringing the house down
So that’s it for another year. And we’ve already started planning for next year’s 10th Annual BTEC Awards.
Roll on 2020!