News from 2013-2014

  • Selby College’s ‘A’ Level Sibling Success!

    The results provided a double celebration for one Selby family as student Calvin Pang achieved an amazing A* in Maths and 3 A grades in Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths, following in the footsteps of his older sister Vicky, who just three years ago gained 2 A* grades, an A and a B grade at Selby College to secure a place at Leeds University to study Accountancy and Finance. Calvin however, has his sights firmly set on a career as a Mechanical Engineer and will be heading down to Bristol University to take up his place on the Engineering Degree course. He said, “I’m so pleased I chose Selby College, I’ve managed to achieve a great set of results and made some great friends here.”

    Calvin Pang celebrates his ‘A’ Level results at Selby College.

    A feeling mirrored by fellow high-achiever Michael Lewis, who gained 2 A* grades in Maths and Physics, an A in AS Level Further Maths and a B in Chemistry and who is also going to study Engineering but at the University of Sheffield.  He said, “I started revising in February and didn’t go out at all, but I still didn’t expect to get an A* in Physics. I’m so pleased that all the hard work paid off.”

    Other students celebrating fantastic results included:-

    Lewis Connell, who achieved 1 A* grade in Maths and 2 A grades in Accounting and Further Maths and is going to study an Apprenticeship in Accounting at Durham University where, at the end of his six year course, he will not only gain a Degree, but will also have an industry recognised qualification and relevant on the job experience. 

    Rob Thacker and Georgia Ashby both gained 1 A* grade and 2 A grades. Although both secured A* grades in Maths and A grades in Further Maths, Rob also gained an A grade in Physics while Georgia’s second A grade was in Biology. Both will now go on to study maths related courses at university, for Rob that will be alongside Economics and Finance at the University of Bristol, while Georgia will head to the London School of Economics to study Maths.

    Megan Kirby, had extra reason to celebrate just 24 hours after passing her driving test she learned she had gained an A* grade in English Language and Literature, an A grade in Psychology and a B grade in History, securing her place at the University of Sheffield where she will study Psychology. She said, “I’m absolutely ecstatic with my results, I don’t quite believe it. I was targeted Cs so I just worked really hard and it’s surreal that it’s actually paid off.” Her mum Claire Kirby thanked Selby College saying, “I’m very happy and incredibly proud of Megan, but she couldn’t have done it without the help and support of all of her tutors.”

    Allan Stewart, OBE, Principal and Chief Executive said, “I am delighted that again Selby College students have met or exceeded their targets, achieving some exceptional results. The fact that so many ‘A’ Level students passed their exams is a tremendous achievement for each student, their parents and our dedicated team of staff who have supported their learning along the way.  I wish all our students every success in future.”

    Thursday 14 Aug 2014

  • Greener Energy Prepares Students for Work

    A Shade Greener Ltd provide free domestic and commercial biomass boilers to properties off the mains gas network and have already installed over 37,000 free domestic solar PV installations since 2010.

    Ian Muir, Deputy Director in chargeof the college’s Powerskills Department said; “We are extremely grateful to A Shade Greener Ltd for generously donating what amounts to tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment to further the learning experience of students at college. Ian added, at college we continually review our teaching to ensure it is relevant, up-to-date and meets existing industry practices. We achieve this by creating partnerships with local, regional and national employers and this is a great example of how the college and employers can work in partnership to benefit young people in learning.”

    A spokesperson for A Shade Greener said, “We are delighted to assist Selby College by donating this equipment for their renewable energy programme. We firmly believe it is important students at college have access to the very latest technologies to ensure they are prepared for the world of work by being equipped with the skills needed by employers, like A Shade Greener Ltd.”

    Friday 11 Jul 2014

  • College Staff Celebrate 30th Anniversary

    Staff Celebrate Selby College's 30th Anniversary

    As Allan Stewart OBE, Principal and Chief Executive said, “ From the beginning, the college was challenged to be at the forefront of education and was created out of the sixth forms of Selby High School and Barlby High. Since then the college has consistently achieved the highest results in the country, always being in the top 10% by performance.” Allan added, “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of the 100,000 students, their parents and guardians, the staff and governors, and the many individuals, groups, employers and partners who have each contributed over the past 30 years to making their local college the success story it is today.”

    Vernon Wells, Chair of Governors at the college said, the College has a great past, but also a great future ahead. It is a leader in its sector and an important part of Selby and the surrounding area. The aim from the outset was always to make the organisation the finest Further Education College in the area, and our results each year prove we have achieved that goal.” Vernon added, “We are not an organisation that rests on its laurels, we have new challenges ahead, but with the quality of our teaching and support staff, our state-of-the-art facilities and a determination to constantly improve our services, we will continue to be a vanguard in further education.



    Thursday 10 Jul 2014

  • Ginger Hairy Farmers ‘Engineer’ Future Success

    For the group of 14-16 year olds this was the first time the Selby College Young Engineers Club had gone to a race event of this kind, which provides an opportunity for amateur teams to enter and race their handmade carts over the Humber Bridge, whilst having some fun and raising money for worthwhile local charities at the same time.

    As Ian Muir, Powerskills Manager at the top-performing local college said, “The Humber Bridge Soap Box Derby event has been a great experience for the Selby College Young Engineers Club,” which are sponsored by local food manufacturer Greencore and was first formed last year, to help young people still at school who want a career in Engineering, to learn skills needed when they start one of the wide choice of specialist courses provided at the Abbot’s Road- based College.

    Steve Cook, Young Engineers Project Leader added, “We have been amazed just how enthused these young pupils have been; designing and building their gravity racers, using the full range of equipment available to them at college. “ Steve added, they have literally built the vehicles from scratch, working from their own drawings before fabricating and welding the main frame, making use of the college’s high technology CNC and 3D printer equipment to produce parts of the chassis and cab, whilst working at night, at weekends, even taking parts home to finish, so the two vehicles could be assembled in time for the race.”

    The gravity racers were both  named by each group, the ‘Ginger Hairy Farmers’, taking characteristics from the team of 14-16 year olds who built the vehicle, Whilst ‘Jack’s Formula One Flyers’ was named after the pupil leading his gravity racer project. At the Derby, both vehicles gained very respectable places in the Junior Class race, the Ginger Hairy Farmers vehicle finishing 3rd place overall and Jack’s Formula One Flyers gaining 2nd place overall; both vehicles being narrowly beaten by The Tardis, driven by a Cyberman! In consolation, the Ginger Hairy Farmers received an award for the best team.  

    The team of young engineers have vowed to return next year, working on an improved version of their gravity racers. Before then, they will be showing off their designs at other events across the county in the next few months, with the hope they can participate in other similar races held later in the year.

    Thursday 10 Jul 2014

  • Language Skills Prove No Barrier at College

    Language Skills

    With the Tour De France coming to  North Yorkshire  in  just over a week and attracting many  different  nationalities from  Europe, Year 8 pupils from schools across the area found their language skills weren’t a barrier, as they participated in this year’s Eurofest competition  held at Selby College last Thursday.

    The pupils from Brayton High School,  Carlton Holy Family High  School,  Sherburn High School and the Snaith School took part in the simulated trade fair which involved working in teams to design and create different stalls; using their language skills to sell everything from food and drink to t-shirts and cuddly toys, whilst other classmates provided tourist information.

    Staff and students from York University, Selby College and the local schools judged the competing teams according to their ability to communicate in French, German or Spanish. Apart from the chance to speak different languages, the pupils also participated in language workshops, including one in Russian, and had the opportunity to look round the college’s impressive Abbot’s Road campus and its extensive language lab facilities.

    This year’s event was sponsored by Heaven and Home, Flamingo Land, Routes into Languages (The University of Hull), Sainsbury’s, Sanako Language Learning Systems, Lush,  Tesco’s, Taylor’s of Harrogate and Wilkinson’s; with each organisation generously donating prizes for the different awards presented at a special ceremony at the end of the event.

    Carlton Holy Family High School were declared as the 2014 competition’s overall  winners with additional prizes for the Best Use of German going to Sherburn High School and  the Snaith School and Brayton College gaining awards for Best Effort.

    Heather Lister, Language Lecturer at Selby College said, “Eurofest is a great opportunity for local schools and the college to work together. The event allows young people to practice their language skills in a fun and educationally relevant way whilst also helping each participant to recognise the value of being able to speak a foreign language.”

    Allan Stewart, Principal and Chief Executive at the top-performing college,
    reinforced that message, saying, “Eurofest and other language events like this organised by schools and colleges, provide an opportunity to address the increasingly worrying trend that fewer young people are choosing languages to study when they leave school.“ Allan added, "the statistics show those who have these skills will benefit in the jobs market, as the recent CBI/ Pearson Education and Skills Survey (2013), reports, 70% of businesses value foreign language skills amongst their employees, particularly in helping build relations with clients, customers and suppliers.”

    Thursday 26 Jun 2014

  • College Students Dress for Success!

    Light Movement, Metal Wear, Nature and Revolution were just some of the many fashion designs that took to the catwalk at the Selby College Annual Fashion Show last week.

    With a reputation for nurturing some of the best fashion talent in the Yorkshire and Humber region, the Selby College Fashion Show, held in the splendour of Selby Abbey, allowed both first and second year students and those who have since left college, the opportunity to showcase their work; delighting the audience with a series of thought-provoking, dynamic and inspired collections.

    Year 2 student Nicole Hogan’s collection explored through colour, screen print, design features and style lines, garments inspired by light motion, spiro graphs and the power of circles, whilst Year 1 Extended Diploma in Fashion students were given a starting theme on the subject of nature; producing work inspired by its many facets, ranging from water, animal print, flora, decay and geodes.

    Dress For Success 2

    Over the years, Selby College has seen many of its Fashion students go on to successfully complete university degrees. One of these students, Cassandra Bainbridge who now owns a fledgling business working with the Princes Trust, showed a collection of Ghanaian textiles, fashioned into modern western styles. Students on the Year 1 Fashion and Clothing course explored what can influence a Fashion Designer for their collection; their inspiration ranging from Cubism, Culture, Military, the power of Language to Heritage.

    Proving the Fashion Show isn’t just for those studying the subject, the college’s Art and Design students explored an artistic approach to clothing, exhibiting a collection of T-shirts created in response to the title Perception of Self, whilst sponsor for the evening Forevermore, displayed elegant prom and evening wear and an array of beautiful gowns that would make any bride or bridesmaid feel like a million dollars.

    Dress For Success 3

    An eclectic mix of entertainment was interspersed into the busy programme, starting with college lecturer and talented pianist, Oxy Wilson, playing to guests as they arrived at the Abbey. Following the first series of collections, Selby College Performing Arts Group, Exclamation, helped celebrate the college’s 30th anniversary this year, singing a compilation of pop music from the period. Student Indie band, The City, concluded by performing a number of their own songs to the delight of the onlookers.

    Kiku Jackson, Fashion Lecturer, who organised this year’s successful event said, “The Fashion Show provides an amazing opportunity for students. It’s the culmination of years of hard work but it was all worthwhile with everyone really enjoying themselves on the night. I am so proud of the Fashion students but also those representing the Art and Design, Hairdressing and Beauty, Music and Performing Arts departments who have all worked equally hard to make this Fashion Show, a key part of the college’s 30th anniversary celebrations, such a special event. What’s more through the kind donation of many of the retailers in Selby and guests buying raffle tickets at the Fashion Show, we were also able to raise just under £250.00 for local charity, Martin House Hospice.”

    Dress For Success 4

    Janet Meenaghan, Deputy Principal at the top-performing local college said, “The extensive range of Fashion and Design courses offered have always been a popular choice amongst school leavers. Every year we see more successful students progress to higher level courses including degrees at some of the UK’s most respected universities or go directly into work in the industry.” Janet added, “Estimates show the Fashion industry contributes £26billion to the UK economy, employing nearly 1million people across a wide spectrum of roles, so for many young people, this is the start of a very exciting and equally rewarding career journey.”

    Fashion Show sponsor Lynda Hatton, from local retailer Forevermore, said, we are delighted to work with the Selby College Fashion Department and sponsor this amazing show. The students displaying their work here today have worked extremely hard to produce portfolios that are some of the best I’ve ever seen and are a credit to themselves, their parents and the staff at the college.”


    Friday 20 Jun 2014

  • Yorkshire Recipe Book Raises £15,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research

    Selby College staff and students in the Hospitality and Catering department have managed to reach their ambitious target by raising £15,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research through their very own Yorkshire recipe book ‘All the Best from Yorkshire’. The book was created in memory of student Scott Robinson who sadly lost his battle with testicular cancer aged just 18 in 2010. The second in a series of recipe books, ‘All the Best from Yorkshire’ is full of delicious Yorkshire recipes along with beautiful images from God’s own county and some favourite Yorkshire dialect. Well known Yorkshire names including Stephanie Moon, Michelin star chef James McKenzie and Ben Cox, along with Yorkshire celebrity Chefs Rosemary Shrager and Brian Turner have given their support and helped to make the book a huge success. All the best from Yorkshire contains over 50 recipes from across Yorkshire which were donated by Yorkshire Chefs, restaurants and food producers.

    The 84 page, full colour book has become a favourite of people who hold a little bit of Yorkshire in their hearts. Orders for the books have come from across Yorkshire as you might expect but even more extraordinary is they have become a best seller for family and friends who have left God’s own county and moved further afield. London, Wales, USA, Canada and Australia are key points on the map where people are enjoying remembering their roots and their amazing county of Yorkshire through the book.

    Angie Hobden, a Guidance and Support Tutor at Selby College, said: “To raise £15,000 through the book has given staff and students a huge sense of achievement. It has been a privilege to work with Yorkshire Cancer Research and support the amazing work they do in the fight against Cancer. ‘All the Best from Yorkshire’ is our second book created at Selby College to pay tribute to Scott. He was an extremely enthusiastic and talented young man, with an amazing level of imagination which helped fuel his passion to be a Chef. The books have been a perfect way to honour his passing, as catering is something he enjoyed doing the most.”
    Scott’s parents have been closely involved with both books and said “Scott loved his time at Selby College. We are so touched that nearly four years on we are still a part of Selby College and Scott has not been forgotten”.
    Charles Rowett, CEO of Yorkshire Cancer Research has quoted “Working with Selby College has been one of the highlights of the last year. It is an extra-ordinary place, full of hope and enthusiasm. The hard work and commitment behind producing and selling the ‘All The Best From Yorkshire’ recipe book has been quite remarkable. We all know that it is not easy to raise £15,000 and everyone involved should be very proud of what has been achieved.

    There is no doubt that some excellent progress has been made in the fight against cancer in recent years but as we all live longer the incidence rates will continue to increase. Recent forecast are that by 2030, 4m people in the UK will be living with a cancer diagnosis. In Yorkshire that could mean 1000 new cases every week. So independent regional charities like Yorkshire Cancer Research must find new ways of working within the local community and the relationship with Selby College has become a fine example of what is possible. We very much hope that other organisations will follow their lead.

    But, we must remember that this project was never just about money. It was about Scott Robinson and his family and friends and everyone at Selby College who wanted to do something positive. Hopefully this book will have gone some way to raising the awareness about cancer. If it encourages just one person to see their doctor at the first sign of any symptoms then it might just help to save someone’s life.

    A big thank you must go to the college, to Allan Stewart, Janet Meenaghan, Angie Hobden and to all the staff for supporting this project and to all the students for their amazing efforts. It is a superb recipe book with a very important message. It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved and I hope that there will be many opportunities for us to work together in the future”.

    A few copies of the book are still available by emailing Angie on or via the website Books will also be on sale at Selby College Fashion Show to be held on 19th June at Selby Abbey at 7.00pm- 9.30pm.


    Tuesday 10 Jun 2014

  • College Catering Department Scoops Prestigious National Teaching Award

    The Selby College Hospitality and Catering Team were celebrating on Friday as news reached the top-performing organisation that they had been awarded the much acclaimed Pearson Silver Teaching Award category: FE Team of the Year.

    Renowned as being the Oscars for the Education sector, the Pearson Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching. Founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

    Selected from over 20,000 nominations received by Pearson Teaching Awards in 2014, Selby College Hospitality and Catering Team will be one of just 55 schools and colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, winning a Silver Teaching Award announced on Friday which was also ‘Thank a Teacher Day.’

    The core team comprise 8 exceptional professionals led by Catering Manager Adrian Dawes who has a simple vision: to make his department the best in the country, educating students to the highest of standards so that they would be able to secure exceptional job opportunities at the most prestigious restaurants in the world.

    In the three years Adrian has managed the department, it has been transformed and students are now the highest performing in the college and in the top 1% nationally. Enrolments have grown substantially. Student satisfaction rates are now exceptionally high and students say this because ‘staff believe in us and what we can achieve’ and they are ‘inspired’ by the teachers.

    Equipped with  fully-functioning kitchens, restaurant and bar, the North Yorkshire college has built a considerable reputation over the past few years, not only for the quality of its locally-sourced food and drink but also from amongst some of the top restaurants and hotels in the region for producing some very serious catering talent.

     Using food as a metaphor for change, the college inspires young trainee Chefs to start their journey of discovery, looking for exciting new ingredients and recipes they can tempt guests with. Trained to work in a variety of roles, whether cooking on a street side stall dishing out mouth-watering sandwiches, baking teatime cakes and biscuits for a theatre reception or serving five course meals to hundreds of ravenous diners in a Michelin Star Restaurant, the college Catering and Hospitality Team has purposely designed the much renowned ‘Chef School’ courses to allow students the freedom to develop their skills.

    Each student is expected to display more than just their culinary ingenuity and talent they also need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the business side of their trade, learning every aspect of the industry, both in the kitchen and front of house theatre. They greet and seat customers, take their orders and serve meals prepared by other students in the kitchen. The college makes a particular point of teaching the young Chefs to source their ingredients locally ensuring that it is both fresh and provides a basis for the unique menus offered.

    Allan Stewart OBE, Principal at the college said, “I am delighted and congratulate the Hospitality and Catering team achieving the nationally acclaimed Pearson Award.’ This esteemed award is the Education sectors’ highest honour and exemplifies excellence in all aspects of teaching. Selby College is renowned in the sector for providing a first class education to students and this award demonstrates to future students, parents and employers that you can get the best start in life here at college.”

    Tutors Liz Brighton and Sam Grimmer from the Award-winning Department said, “We’re all honoured and humbled but extremely delighted to have been nominated for such a prestigious award. We thoroughly enjoy the role we play in helping students to gain the skills leading to them finding exciting and rewarding careers at some of the best restaurants and eateries locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

    Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams said, “It is delightful to see Selby College, rated as one of England’s top–performing colleges, win such a prestigious national award. I have visited the college on several occasions and you cannot fail to be impressed by the energy and enthusiasm shown by staff and students.  The students gain a wide and varied experience of the kinds of skills they will need to have for the career they want and the college inspires them to reach and achieve their goals, exactly the kind of thing the Government wants to encourage.”

    Rod Bristow, President of Core Markets at Pearson UK said, “Everyone can remember a teacher who inspired and challenged them so it’s important to say thank you. It is great teaching that makes the biggest difference to learning and that’s why great teachers must be recognised.”

     The Team from Selby College will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK finals of the Teaching Awards at London’s Guildhall on 26 October, where 10 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Award. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC. Before then the team have been invited to a House of Commons Reception in June sponsored by Pearson UK.

    Monday 19 May 2014

  • College Celebrates Talent at Sports Awards!

    The Parsonage Hotel in Escrick was buzzing with excitement as the first Selby College Sports Awards Evening was held.

    Staff, Students and VIP’s dressed in their best and walked the red carpet for a spectacular night of sporting accolades and triumphs. Prestigious awards for ‘Players’ Player’, ‘Coaches Player’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution’ were granted for each sporting team, including male and female Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Netball and the Football Development Centre.

    Particular accolades were given for students continuing their sporting careers following their time at Selby College, including Luke Sellers, who will be travelling to the USA on a football scholarship, and Henry Wetherall, who has been selected for trials in the Team GB Sailing team.

     Following the team captains’ speeches and cheers for the Football Development Centre and Netball teams holding top spots in their respective league tables, all eyes were on the big awards of the night; Sports Personality of the Year and Team of the Year.

    Heather Kennedy, from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, a sponsor of the evening, had the pleasure of presenting Sports Personality of the Year award to Chloe Parkin who said, “I’m really surprised to have won the award, I wasn’t even expecting to be nominated! It’s been such a great event and I want to thank the tutors for all their help and support whilst I’ve been at Selby College. The course has set me up for the future and now I can look forward to studying Physical Education at Leeds Metropolitan University in September!”

    Councillor Graham Gatman, Mayor of Selby Town Council, was also thrilled to be able to present the Team of the Year award to the Volleyball team, saying “It’s been a fantastic night and plenty of fun. It’s great to see the students enjoying themselves and celebrating each other’s’ achievements. Selby College always hosts very well organised events to support their staff and students’ hard work, which has once again been recognised by their position in the top 10% of Further Education Colleges in England and the highest performing college in the Yorkshire and Humber Region.”

    After the glittering trophies had all been handed out, which were kindly sponsored by Doncaster Rovers Football Club, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Beverley Town Football Club and C. Garnet Transport, a raffle prize draw concluded the evening on a high.

    As Alex Holliday, Selby College Sports Course Tutor and Awards Event Organiser said, “This special celebration could not have been possible without the support of the students, parents, employer sponsors and staff. The employer sponsors made the event all the more special by providing prizes for the winning students.”

    Janet Meenaghan, Deputy Principal at Selby College said, “I am really proud to participate in an event of this nature that celebrates our students’ success. The College strives to ensure students have the opportunity to study a wide range of Sports courses across different levels of ability. With our fantastic state-of-the-art Sports Hall, Gym and world-class playing fields, the college recognises the benefits our Sport courses provide; teaching valuable skills both on and off the field and the chance to engage with the local community.”

    With the sports teams improving year on year and students going from strength to strength, there will no doubt be even more to celebrate at next year’s Sports Awards.


    Tuesday 6 May 2014

  • Catering Students go Plant-To-Pot on Harrogate Flower Show Stage!

    Talented young Selby College student Chefs Danny Lytham, Sean Howarth and Patrick McNeill were joined on stage by critically acclaimed Yorkshire Chef Stephanie Moon, at the Harrogate Flower Show ‘Plant-to-Pot’ Cookery Theatre on Sunday.

     To celebrate the start of the season for home grown produce, the chefs were to present an array of delicious spring time dishes to the eager crowd looking for inspiration to take back to their own kitchen. Not at all fazed by the large captivated audience, Danny, Sean and Patrick were delighted to cook up a storm with their spring inspired dish of Petal Pasta, rose-flavoured floating islands on a vanilla sauce & brandy snap basket and verbena cream with elderflower coulis.

     As if the cookery skills weren’t enough to whet the appetites of the enraptured crowd, the team also promoted their charity recipe book All the Best from Yorkshire, created by staff and students at top-performing Selby College in memory of former Hospitality and Catering student who lost his battle with testicular cancer in 2010. They managed to raise an extra £150 for Yorkshire Cancer research from book sales at the event, meaning they are one step closer to selling their few remaining copies and reaching their £15,000 target.

     Top Chef, Stephanie Moon was thoroughly impressed with the standard of cooking from the Selby College Chefs, saying, “All the team at Selby College did an amazing job, both the Tutor, Liz Brighton, and the students gave it their all. The food looked stunning and the brief of flower inspired dishes was met 100%. All of the effort and hard work of the team paid off with rave reviews.”

     If you’d like to reserve one of the few remaining copies of the charity recipe book All the Best from Yorkshire, for just £5.00 each, before they are all gone, email or telephone Angie Hobden on 01757 211164.

    Wednesday 30 Apr 2014

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