On Thursday 17th May 2018, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) Carpentry and Bench Joinery student Will Whitmore received the Committee of South London Principals Best Learner Award at the House of Lords.
Will started on the Bench Joinery Level 2 diploma in September 2016 and has since become a true ambassador for the college and student body, participating in both the Students’ Union and serving as a student governor on the college’s board of governors. After obtaining a Merit grade on his Level 2 course, Will has progressed on to Level 3 and has now started his Level 3 Bench Joinery apprenticeship with a leading UK joinery employer.
Outside of college, Will found part-time employment with a joinery company, which helped him to gain valuable work experience. In 2017, Will also entered the Carpenters Craft Competition, run by the Guild of Master Craftsmen, where he came 2nd place in the regional finals.
Will’s parents accompanied Will at the awards, along with his teacher Alan Rowley and Deputy Principal, Curriculum and Student Services at RuTC, John O’Shea.
John said, "It is an absolute pleasure to be able to give this award to Will, a student who has given so much to the college and its students - thoroughly deserved. We look forward to seeing what Will achieves in the future.”
Will commented, “I wasn’t expecting to win the Best Learner Award, so it was a nice surprise. I took my parents with me to the House of Lords and was also joined by my teacher Alan Rowley and Deputy Principal John O’Shea. They were all very proud of my achievements.”
After completing his apprenticeship, Will plans to stay on with his current employer before moving on to specialise in making bespoke staircases.
As part of the National Union of Students' Fair Vote campaign supporting a change to the voting age in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to 16 (as it is in Scotland), Richmond upon Thames College organised an event which took place on Friday 27 April 2017. To a room full of students, vice president of the college's students’ union, Rufus Irvine, spoke first about voting, democracy and what the vote would mean for young people.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats and serving MP for Twickenham, Sir Vince Cable, then came and delivered a highly engaging talk about the current state of UK politics and government. Topics included ‘Brexit’, housing prices, tuition fees, centralist government and the affect which lobbying and media ownership have on democracy in the UK.
The audience listened very intently as Sir Vince also spoke about his career and the history of UK politics. Students were able to ask a variety of questions. At the end of the session, Sir Vince, along with four RuTC students, spoke to our camera to give their views on voting age reform. You can view these videos on our YouTube channel below.
On 11 May 2018, the second reading of the Young People’s Enfranchisement Bill 2017-19 will be presented to Parliament.
Rosie McKeown, a former student of Richmond upon Thames College, was one of the champions from St John’s College, Cambridge, on this weeks’ University Challenge 2018 final aired on BBC2 23 April. Rosie, who lives in Kingston upon Thames, studied A Levels at Richmond upon Thames College in Twickenham before studying at St Johns College, Cambridge where she reads French and German. She has been widely praised for an outstanding performance throughout the competition.
Whilst at Richmond upon Thames College, Rosie achieved an A grade in English Literature A Level and an A*s in both Spanish and French A Level. She was also the winner of the College’s Creative Writing 2016 competition for her poem, ‘On a Fallen Soldier’ and won a prestigious student award for languages at the college’s annual awards ceremony in 2016.
Rosie attracted much of the attention on the show and was hailed as the star performer throughout the competition where the St John’s College, Cambridge team beat Merton College, Oxford by 145-100.
Rosie said, “I’ve been watching University Challenge religiously since I was 11 and it was always my goal to get on a team when I got to university – although I wasn’t expecting it to be in my first year.”