May 18, 2012, by bbasb

Gemma Robertson wins the Outstanding Contribution to the Community Prize supported by Teach First

Final Year English student, Gemma Robertson, has successfully completed the Nottingham Advantage Award and is the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Community Prize supported by Teach First. Teach First were looking for a candidate that had demonstrated outstanding contribution made by a student to their community throughout the award.

The prize from Teach First was a summer placement, which includes the opportunity to get involved in a range of events, research and projects. At the Event Gemma was presented her certificate by Sarah Speight, Deputy Head of School of Education, on behalf of Teach First.

As part of the award Gemma undertook the following modules: NUSA Volunteers, Save the Children Enterprise Scheme and Literacy Volunteers

What Gemma had to say about winning the prize:

“I applied because I intend to enter the teaching profession in September. I have been accepted to undertake a PGCE at the University of Sheffield, so I thought working with Teach First would be a great opportunity to expand my CV. I found that I was eligible for the separate modules on the Award that I have done for the prize so I thought it was worthwhile applying. I’ve done the NUSA Advantage Award module which was a research module based on going into the academy as an independent researcher. My partnership decided to investigate ‘the attributes of a successful classroom leader’ which was worthwhile researching as I intend to become a teacher and we conducted a vast survey for both students and teachers to complete and we presented our findings back to the academy and the Vice Principal who was keen to discuss our findings. I am doing the Literacy Volunteers module this year and also the Save the Children module so two very different modules, as I’m working in NUSA again doing presentation projects and for Save the Children I’m coming up with practical and effective methods of fundraising for the charity.

I was really pleased because it is quite an achievement to have won the prize. Just to be considered for the prize is quite an achievement anyway, Teach First is a big organisation and the fact they might even know my name might be useful in the future.

This prize would be useful as I want to go into teaching anything to do with teaching is great for my CV and I feel that any more experience I can get in organisation, project planning and management will be incredibly useful for future career prospects. As I have previously done so much work inside schools and working with the students this would be another great opportunity to work in the admin side of the educational system.

I got involved with the award as in my first year we were asked if we would like to volunteer at Nottingham University Samworth Academy, which I felt was a great opportunity to get experience working with young people. When I found out that volunteering could be accredited by the Award I thought it was a great opportunity to gain official accreditation for the volunteering whilst being given practical advice about the transferable skills the modules provided. It has been very useful in securing my place in a PGCE program as the award is specific to Nottingham students and gave me the opportunity to stand out in the interview and I could talk specifically about the work I have done with the award. Also it has been a chance to gain 30 extra credits on my degree transcript. Secondly I thought it would be a good way to meet new people on different courses, being in English, you’re a big part of the University but then you don’t always get to meet anyone else on other courses. So the Award gives you a chance to meet other people and do different things rather than just doing University course specific work all the time. I have found it enjoyable, especially the Save the Children module where we worked in teams for a fundraising event and managed to make a substantial donation to the charity. Working with young people as part of the Award is great, I was involved in presentation projects the other day and the student I worked with asked me if I enjoyed it, so when I replied I asked if they enjoyed me coming into the academy to work with them and she said she had really enjoyed the project. Knowing she enjoys it does make me feel good and I have enjoyed working with her and other people as well so it has been very rewarding.”

Posted in Special Achievement Awards