Excellence in Exeter tie pin

Exeter's young people celebrated in annual award ceremony

This week’s Excellence in Exeter awards evening encourages the achievements of pupils from all Exeter schools and colleges, be it academic or sporting glory, artistic endeavour or service in the community. The 'Excellence in Exeter' awards ceremony on Thursday 15 November in the University of Exeter’s Great Hall heralds the success of our young people in front of an audience of parents, staff and fellow students.

The celebrations are organised by the University of Exeter, in an awards evening designed to help forge closer links between the University of Exeter and local schools and colleges as a way of encouraging young people to engage with higher education. Over 180 young people have been nominated from all five Exeter secondary schools, special schools and Exeter College. Pupils in years 7, 10, 12 and 13 have been nominated by their schools, tying in with each key stage. A community award is also being presented for wider school based projects that have a direct benefit to the local community.

The guest speaker is beach volley ball athlete, Lucy Boulton, who has toured all over the world representing her sport and England, and is involved in the Sporting Champions scheme, an initiative that brings world class athletes face-to-face with young people to inspire and motivate them. She is a University of Exeter graduate who is committed to her sport and achieving her goals, and although she had a huge set back in the summer not being selected for the Olympic Games she has kept a positive frame of mind and is determined to continue playing beach volley ball at the highest level. 

Lucy said:“You can waste a lot of time comparing yourself to others but ultimately the only person you have control over is yourself and your actions. If you work hard, are disciplined and give it your all every time then, in my eyes, you are a success. It all comes down to goal-setting when looking at ways to improve yourself. You can never stay stationary in sport, you're either getting better or worse so it’s all about staying focused and in the moment, pushing yourself every day to be your best.”

Michael Keeling, from the West of England School and College, is a determined young man whose deteriorating medical conditions and eyesight didn’t change his positive disposition and willingness to tackle and solve problems. He was nominated by his College for his involvement on the Student Council as a spokesman for less able students and constantly striving to ensure that ability, not disability, is recognised. Michael’s goal is to become a lawyer, and he recently visited the University of Exeter’s Law School, and sat in on a debate. Michael said:“I am a very proud person, so when I set myself a goal I try my utmost to reach it, I don’t like to let thoughts get in my way and stop me from achieving. Every year I would ask what I can do this year which will help me eventually become a lawyer.”

Pupils from Exeter College who have been nominated include Jess Dillon and Laura Tutchings for their commitment to improving their Beauty Therapy skills. Jess said ”We learn about anatomy and physiology of the body so that you understand the parts of the body you are working on, there’s a lot of science in it.” The students are also expected to have a rounded understanding of insurance, legislation, retail and business. Dennis Cawrse, also a student at Exeter College, is considered a model student, overcoming learning difficulties to achieve success in professional cookery. His commitment to study meant that he is one of the first students to ever complete Level 1-3 and working part-time in catering to enhance and develop his skills further, as he wishes to become a chef on a cruise ship.

Ian Blenkharn, Head of Admissions for the University of Exeter, said: ‘It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the success of learners at Exeter College and the city’s secondary and special schools. The University, as part of its long-standing commitment to the local community, is delighted to be hosting the awards ceremony once again. This is an opportunity for the city to come together and celebrate educational excellence across a wide range of fields - from outstanding academic achievement to triumphs in sport, art, music and community action.’

The 'Excellence in Exeter' awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 15 November in the Great Hall, at the University of Exeter from 6:45pm to 8:45pm.

The schools involved are:

  • Southbrook College – A specialist centre for cognition & learning
  • West Exe Technology College, St Thomas
  • St Luke’s Science and Sports College
  • Isca College of Media Arts, Topsham Road
  • St Peter’s Church of England Aided School
  • St James School, Beacon Heath
  • Exeter College
  • The West of England School and College for young people with little or no sight


Date: 14 November 2012