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Sixth Formers Offered Coveted Places at Oxbridge Universities

Students at the City and Islington College sixth form in Angel have been offered a haul of places at Oxford and Cambridge. Having received the results of their university applications this February, four students will now be working towards their A Level qualifications with the most prestigious of opportunities in sight. 

Jessica Tunks, Muhammad Mahmoud, Lily Burge-Thomas and Eliza Harrison are all in their second year at the college and will be looking to progress to university in the autumn. Jessica is poised to study Psychology at Oxford University, while Muhammad, Lily and Eliza are looking to study Geography, Architecture and English respectively at Cambridge. 

Jessica said: 

“I applied to study Psychology at Magdalene College [Oxford] and I luckily got an offer. I was very excited about it.  

“I have really benefitted from studying at City and Islington College. Every week or so you get an email with all the new opportunities going on. I managed to find three different work experience places. One was more creative, one was to do with advertising, and one was with the charity, the Jo Cox Foundation.  

“While at the college, I was also able to do a writing course with Sussex University, which turned into an entry for the Orwell Youth Prize, which I entered and was a winner of.” 

Jessica’s award-winning article on knife crime in north London received glowing reviews last September and saw her interviewed by Voice Magazine an online publication for young creatives. 

Muhammad Mahmoud also made headlines while with the college for his charity efforts, cycling 150 miles to raise money for those affected by an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, last year. 

The teenager, who is set to study at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, said: 

“I studied Geography, Politics and Economics at A Level but also had access to the Careers department and made the most out of that. We had a member of the civil service coming in once a week last year to talk about future careers, how to write a good CV and a good cover letter, and essentially preparing us for future work. 

“I’m indebted to the Capital City College Group and to City and Islington College. I would not have been able to apply to Oxbridge without the opportunities I have had access to through the college. 

Head of Careers Joanne Bishop added:  

“We’re thrilled that Jess, Muhammad, Lily and Eliza can look forward to studying at one of the world’s top universities when they leave us in the summer. 

“As well as working very hard at their A Level studies, they have all thrown themselves into our extra-curricular activities – getting themselves involved in workshops, volunteering for placements, working with mentors and, above all, engaging with the Careers Team and soaking up all the information and advice that we’ve given them. 

“They are a credit to the college and to themselves, and everyone at the sixth form college wishes them all the best of luck at university!” 

Find out about our scholars programme designed to help students progress to Russell Group universities.

Blog: an Evening with Employment Law Expert John Hendy QC

On 9 February, Lord John Hendy QC, a barrister who has spent his career working in industrial relations and employment law, spoke to students on CONEL’s TUC Contemporary Trade Unionism course.

A champion of the trade union movement and acknowledged as one of the country’s leading experts in UK labour law, Lord Hendy is counsel to a number of trade unions and has been involved in countless high-profile cases, from the Leveson inquiry and the Ladbroke Grove Train Crash inquiry of 1999, to the Grenfell Tower inquiry. He was made a peer in 2019.

Barry James, a student on the course, has written this interesting blog about Lord Hendy’s career and his talk to the students.

An evening with John Hendy QC

My name is Barry James and I am studying TUC Contemporary Trade Unionism at CONEL.

I worked on London Underground for just under 14 years as a frontline worker and was an industrial relations rep for the Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) throughout most of that time. From the very start the addictive nature of trade unionism soon led me down many different avenues within the movement and ultimately I left the underground in 2019 to work with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, then for Jeremy Corbyn when he was Labour leader, and finally my current role as a Constituency Support Officer for the former GMB official and current Luton North MP, Sarah Owen. It has also inspired me to stand for TSSA President in which I am currently in the middle of campaigning for.

This course has focussed my attention and has given me knowledge of the incredible and mostly unheard history of trade unionism in this country. The sort of things school history books don’t tell you about but should. This, along with the modern interpretation and philosophical debate included in the course has given me a real grounding and understanding of the movement I currently work in and love. It certainly helps that it is presented by an erudite tutor and attended by passionate students from a variety of industries.

I was lucky enough to have come across Lord John Hendy QC during my time with the Leader of the Opposition’s office while Labour were formulating their policy around workers’ rights. John is Chair of the Institute of Employment Rights. He is a barrister in Old Square Chambers, London and is standing counsel to eight unions: ASLEF, CWU, NUJ, NUM, POA, RMT, UCU, and UNITE. He is also President of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) and a Vice-President of the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom. He is an honorary professor at University College, London.

n 2019 he was made a peer by then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He has previously represented groups and individuals from the miners and the NUM during the strikes of the 1980s, the NUJ and victims of phone hacking at the Leveson enquiry, and currently the former residents of Grenfell Tower, amongst many other groups.

On 9th February, he kindly came and spoke during our lecture about the current state of the trade unions, employment rights, and his life experiences as a barrister of over 40 years. He spoke about:

  • The methods used by unscrupulous employers within the gig economy;
  • Attacks on trade unions such as the 2016 Trade Union Act;
  • Issues such as blacklisting and institutional racism;
  • The deliberate and damaging underfunding of trade union education and its generational effect on the future of trade unions;
  • The future of trade unions including a lot of praise for the new grassroots unions such as United Voices of the World (UVW) and the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB);
  • His experience of Parliament and the lack of trade unionists within it and the difficulties he had faced from MPs and peers who did not share the same values and ideals as him.

Rachel, a fellow student, Tesco worker and USDAW rep, had this to say:

“Thanks for arranging with your colleagues for us to hear John, if labour law interested me before this course, it fascinates me now. How all this fits into the day job and the wider context of social, economic and political spheres. Feel like I am at the start of a journey which I wish I had started about 30 years ago!”

I would like to thank John for coming and it was a real privilege to hear such a giant of the social justice movement speak and I left the lecture invigorated and inspired. Thank you also to Dave Smith and the other tutors who brought him in. Courses such as mine are essential in providing inspiration for future trade unionists.

Barry James

Voices in Lockdown: Our Students Share their Experiences

Last term, Debbie Bogard, one of our History and Politics teachers, encouraged her students to produce a series of lockdown podcasts.

Three discussions, which have since featured in Tes, the leading education magazine, gave students and alumni of the college the opportunity to share their experiences and lessons of the lockdown.

Lost in Lockdown (Part 1 of 3): The Jam

Debbie, who is also a learner enhancement coach at the college, said:

“The overall vision is to encourage students to think beyond the limitations of the curriculum, to find value and meaning in what they’re studying, and to make connections between and across their A-levels and the contemporary world.“

Voices Lost in Lockdown (Part 2 of 3): The Jam

With each episode giving a voice to a different year group, the series was a resounding success with staff and students, and you can listen to all three episodes on YouTube.

Voices Lost in Lockdown (Part 3 of 3): The Jam

Learn more about the student experience at City and Islington College at a remote open day. Register here to receive the link to the open day.

Leading Chef John Williams MBE talks Apprenticeships and the Hospitality Industry

A group of apprentice chefs, who are studying at home with Westminster Kingsway College during the COVID pandemic, had an online coaching session with a difference, when John Williams MBE, Executive Chef at the legendary Ritz hotel in London and a former student of the college himself, spoke to them as part of the college’s National Apprenticeship Week activities.

John started his illustrious career as an apprentice – in a small country house hotel in Northumberland called The Percy Arms Hotel – and he is both a great friend of the college and a firm believer in the power of apprenticeships, having hired and coached apprentices in his kitchens for the last 30 years.

In an hour-long session with the college’s apprentice chefs, John spoke about his journey from one of six children born into a fishing family on Tyneside, to travelling the world and creating dishes for the rich and famous.

John grew up in South Shields in the north east and trained at his local college before moving to London. In a glittering and highly successful career spanning more than four decades, John has cooked for countless famous people and heads of state including The Queen and Mrs Thatcher.

He’s worked at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, The Berkeley, Claridge’s and now The Ritz.

John’s Executive Chef role means he is responsible for all aspects of the Ritz’s dining experience, including the Michelin-starred restaurant, The Palm Court (where the world-famous afternoon teas are served) and the Rivoli Bar, as well as room service for the hotel’s guests and the Ritz’s six private dining rooms.

The Ritz currently employs two apprentices who, like all apprentices, have a paid job and study at a college or other training provider for one fifth of their year (usually one day of study each week). John feels very strongly about the value that apprentices bring to his kitchen.

“I take on an apprentice to train and coach them, so eventually they can become a head chef. Apprentices are probably the most important aspect of my kitchen. The two main people who run my kitchen were both apprentices when they started and now they are two of the best young chefs in Britain.”

John is also clear about the value to the employer too: “An apprentice comes to a kitchen with almost no skills at all, so in a way they are perfect in that they will soak up all the support and training that they get. And that one day a week at college that a culinary apprentice also has as part of their apprenticeship, gives them the underpinning knowledge that they need and which they won’t always get working in a kitchen.

He is passionate about the vital role that apprentices can play across the culinary industry as it looks to recover from the effects of the COVID pandemic. “I’ve had apprentices in my brigades for over 30 years, but now, as we’ll be trying to get back on our feet after the pandemic, I think they will be more important than ever.”

To back up his words, John, is working with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (he is their Chairman) to encourage more hospitality businesses to take on apprentices.

John has a plea for the industry, to rethink everything they thought they knew about apprentices. “Especially in this time, with funding for apprenticeships available [though the apprenticeship levy, which all large employers pay into], the profession should be able to do more.

It’s worth the investment of time and effort to bring an apprentice on and trained in your way of thinking. An apprentice needs time to develop their skills, but if their employer commits to it, then everyone gains.”

John’s top tips for apprentices

It takes time. John is a firm believer in the time it takes to truly master the fundamentals of cooking. “It takes around 15 years for someone to master their skills.

Work hard. “That’s what this job is. The harder you work, the easier it is to get promotion and get to where you want to be. By then, working hard is second nature.

Tough it out. “It’s very hard starting out in your first kitchen when you’re so young. I was homesick for a year when I came to London, but I stuck with it and stayed.

Listen. “It’s so important to listen. Sometimes you won’t want to hear it, but listen, decipher what you’ve been told and use it to educate yourself, so you can improve and move forward and educate yourself.”

Love what you do. You must enjoy – really enjoy – making people happy. Bringing pleasure to people through food that they put in their mouths is what this profession is all about.

Be good, honest and honourable: “Be a good human being, and be honest with yourself and reflect on how things have gone – good or bad”. And be honest with your chef too. As John puts it: “If you tell me fibs, I can’t solve it.”

…and for employers

Hire an apprentice. John passionately believes in the importance of apprentices to the profession. “I’ve had apprentices every year for 30 years and bringing an apprentice in really is the most rewarding thing any chef can do.

Create a good environment. “If you want to make it work, you need to invest time and effort in creating an environment for an apprentice to thrive in, where they are stretched and can develop their skills. You also need to educate your kitchen, for example so they understand that they apprentice won’t be there five days a week.

Nick Gunyon is Curriculum Manager for Hospitality apprenticeships and adults at Westminster Kingsway College. He teaches the culinary apprentices on their college day and invited John as guest speaker to inspire them. “It was great to have John with us today”, Nick said. “The students really got a lot from hearing someone which so much knowledge and experience and we are very grateful to John for taking time out from his busy day to speak to us.”

Find out more about Westminster Kingsway’s culinary and hospitality apprenticeships here

NHS Apprentice has ‘learnt so much’ during COVID pandemic

A healthcare apprentice has given a fascinating and moving insight into her experience of training with the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Samantha Lia, 46, is completing a Senior Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship with Capital City College Training (CCCT) at North Middlesex University Hospital.

She works in the radiography department where she looks after inpatients and those coming in for appointments including taking their blood pressure, temperature and pulse.

Samantha said: “I’ve been helping the doctors when they’re doing procedures, been there for patients when they may be feeling anxious or nervous, talking to them and making them feel at ease. Small things like that make a big difference.

“We see a lot of COVID patients because they might need to have an ultrasound to make sure their organs are aren’t deteriorating. It’s obviously a daunting time for the patient and a shock to them seeing everyone wearing PPE, so I try to make them feel comfortable.”

Samantha admitted COVID has forced her to pick things up more quickly during her apprenticeship and that she occasionally feels anxious about the virus.

She said: “Sometimes inpatients who have COVID don’t show up for their appointment. You wonder why, and when you look on the computer to find out what ward they’re in and see they’re deceased it hits you.”

Samantha has strived to remain positive despite the huge impact of the pandemic on NHS staff and patients and says she has been inspired by those working around her.

“I try to stay optimistic and look on the bright side,” she said. “I like to feel I’ve made a difference to someone’s day, even if it’s just in a small way. It’s a nice feeling.”

She recalled on one occasion how she helped support a man with learning disabilities who was worried about undergoing an ultrasound scan.

“It was only a minor procedure and he had a carer with him, but he was in a strange place, surrounded by strange people and for him it was scary,” she said.

“He wouldn’t let anyone near him and was pushing everyone away, so I just started talking to him. I said, ‘I will show you what we are going to do and that there is nothing to worry about’. After that he calmed down, had his procedure and everything was fine.”

Samantha, from Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, previously worked for Morrisons for more than 15 years and decided to change career after a relative who is a retired nurse suggested she consider working in healthcare.

Samantha said: “When the apprenticeship role came up I thought I didn’t have a chance because I’m slightly older than most people who apply. I got a call to say I’d got the job the same day I had an interview. I couldn’t believe it, I was overjoyed.”

Samantha started on a Level 2 apprenticeship in May 2018 and has since progressed to Level 3, the equivalent of studying at A Level.

“I don’t even know where to start. I’ve had so much support from my coach at CCCT and learnt so much,” she said. “I can’t think of a better way to learn. I’ve definitely found the right role for me, I just wish that I’d done it sooner.”

CCCT is part of Capital City College Group (CCCG) and is London’s largest provider of further education and apprenticeships, including healthcare and business roles in the NHS.

Take a look at our Health and Social Care Apprenticeship offer.

Culinary Arts Lecturer Runs Remote Chef Sessions to Improve Student Wellbeing

Although students everywhere may feel that the last twelve months have thrown them out of the frying pan and into the fire, the trainee chefs at Westminster Kingsway College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in London are being treated to twice-weekly cookery masterclasses streamed live into their kitchens – courtesy of Chef Lecturer Miranda Godfrey.

“Of course, it’s challenging,” the Chef Lecturer of 19 years tells us after an online lesson. “I wanted to ignite a little passion in cooking again, and thought that our students may want to get more hands on.”

Westminster Kingsway College has adapted to online learning for its highly-regarded Hospitality and Culinary courses, with students and staff meeting online to continue with their courses as planned. One silver lining that Miranda has already picked out is the opportunity for students to continue to interact and share notes:

“Some classes are combined, so I have given the more experienced students the responsibility of leading group discussions and setting projects. Some students can’t always obtain all the ingredients, that they need, but at least online they can watch and absorb and see their classmates … and talk to each other without face masks!”

The effect of lockdown on student wellbeing and mental health has been a frequently reported area of discussion since last summer, often linked to a lack of regular communication. To address this, Thursday 14 January saw the pilot of another weekly class aimed at providing healthy meals for the whole family. The idea, says Miranda, is to “involve the whole year group in a social meetup cook-along” to start and finish within an hour.

“Many students are suffering from mental health issues. The meetup hopefully gives them something to look forward to and create a positive, fun environment in which we can chat together, learn something and have a rewarding outcome.”

Reaching audiences beyond the college, a revelation of the move online has been the ability to stream classes on social media. For the first time, Ms Godfrey has been also sharing her class cook-alongs on Instagram to an international audience.

“I had alumni from the UK and overseas watching and messaging me the loveliest comments of how much they miss the college and my teaching. I have now contacted many alumni and asked for them to join the class as guests and demonstrators.”

In her class on 8 January, Miranda hosted the food historian, author and broadcaster Dr Annie Gray. Miranda and Annie are friends and have collaborated on television programmes and the book How to Cook the Victorian Way with Mrs Crocombe, available online.

Though firmly aware of the challenges of adapting the classroom for an online audience, Miranda’s unwavering optimism is encouraging. Looking towards the future, she has enrolled on a Culinary Health and Nutrition Degree at the college, taught by Dr Rachel Edwards. And at the beginning of February, she appeared on Heart FM to talk about the role of cooking and learning in staying busy through the lockdown. It is reassuring to see examples of remote learning creating new opportunities for staff and students alike to learn. As those involved get used to their new surroundings, it’s hard not to think the same thing: 2021 will be better.

You can catch Chef Miranda cooking sessions on her Instagram account

‘I got a promotion in HR after completing a CIPD Course’

Four human resources professionals have told how studying a Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) course led to promotions or advanced their career.

Tashan Maxwell, Liz Collins, Anita Odulaja, and Adele Novo all studied for Level 3 and Level 5 CIPD accredited courses at Westminster Kingsway College, which will be running new courses this April.

The number of people working in HR in the UK grew 17 per cent between 2009 and 2019. The People Profession Survey revealed 80 per cent felt they were in a meaningful career and more than two thirds said their career had exceeded or met their expectations.

WestKing is one of the highest performing CIPD study centres in the UK with a 95 per cent pass rate and the number of students enrolling has nearly doubled over the past four years.

A well-rounded course

Tashan, 28, from Waltham Forest, was working in finance before landing a role in HR with the food poverty charity FareShare and applying to study on a Level 5 CIPD diploma.

She said: “It was a well-rounded course that gave me the tools to know the detail of human resources management. I really enjoyed the interactive sessions, where we were able to bounce ideas and our experiences off each other.

“The lecturers have been nothing but supportive, giving up extra time to ensure the class understood the content and boosting us with confidence in areas we were feeling unsure.

“I’ve now been put forward for my second promotion in under two years.”

Structured and insightful

Liz Collins, 34, from Bexley, has climbed the HR ladder since undertaking Level 3 and Level 5 CIPD courses at WestKing and currently works for KH Engineering Services.

She said: “The course was well structured and very insightful and has furnished me with more knowledge and understanding for my continuous professional development. My tutor’s enthusiasm and learning methods kept me engaged throughout the course and motivated me to want to be the best student.”

Knowledge to do your job

Adele, 52, also from Bexley, turned to a career in HR in December 2019 after being made redundant from Barclays Bank where she had worked for 29 years.

“My boss encouraged me to apply for a CIPD course and continue my professional development,” said Adele, who was promoted to the role of HR Advisor with building contractor Prater after completing a Level 3 qualification and is now studying at Level 5.

“I love that at my age I have changed career and started to learn again. I left school in 1985 and it has been hard getting back used to writing assessments, but the rewards are amazing and it gives you so much knowledge to do your job. Both my tutors have been really inspiring and helped at every step of the way, I cannot fault them.”

Practical with real-life discussions

Anita, 22, from Barking, took a Level 3 CIPD course while on an HR administration apprenticeship with construction firm Bouygues UK, and is now studying for a Level 5.

She said: “The real-life examples discussed with my classmates gave an insight into how HR professionals in different industries operate and deal with HR matters,” she said.

“The practical elements of the course were useful. Having the opportunity to practise performance management reviews put me in a more comfortable position to conduct one and make informed conclusions. And, as my lessons progressed, I was gradually given more responsibilities as well as a promotion at work.”

WestKing offers the CIPD’s new People Practice Level 3 Certificate and a People Management Level 5 Diploma, which cover all aspects of HR practice including business culture and change, analytics, professional behaviours, employment relationships, people management, workplace training, employment law, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and wellbeing at work.

The CIPD has reduced the number of its courses from 17 to five and WestKing has been approved to become one of the first centres in the UK offer these qualifications.

These CIPD qualifications can also be studied on an apprenticeship with Capital City College Training (CCCT), which along with Westminster Kingsway College, is part of Capital City College Group – one of London’s leading further education groups.

Tony Kerley, the college’s CIPD Programme Leader, said: “HR is a great profession where you can make a real impact and benefit from great earnings potential and clear career progression. You could become a specialist in diversity and inclusion or be an expert in nurturing talent to help employees to flourish and an organisation to thrive.

“WestKing offers the most supportive, hands on tutorship to help students qualify in HR. All our tutors are first class HR practitioners first and tutors second, meaning they have the credibility, experience and knowledge to deliver stimulating, memorable and valuable courses that are second to none.”

Click here to apply for CIPD accredited courses.

We Respond to the Government’s Consultation on the Future of BTECs

The Government, through its recent further education white paper has put colleges on the map and is embarking on a series of measures to change the face of education for over 16s in this country. One of these is some significant changes it is proposing to vocational (non-academic) qualifications at level 3 (A Level equivalent). These changes, if carried out would see almost all current vocational qualifications, including BTECs, cease to exist and replaced by the new T Levels – leaving most 16 and 17-year-olds with a choice between only taking T Levels or A Levels.

Many of our students take BTECs and they are well-regarded and popular qualifications. For a lot of young people, having a BTEC under their belt has been their route into a job, a quality apprenticeship or a degree course at university. Because of this, we feel that BTECs are valuable in their own right, and also give students another option to gain a useful qualification at a key moment in their lives, when perhaps an A or T Level may not be the right choice for them. And we think that getting rid of them would be a mistake.

The Government’s proposed changes are in a consultation paper, published towards the end of October 2020.  As one of the country’s largest providers of further education, we have – along with other leading educational organisations including the exam body Pearson, the Association of Colleges and the Sixth Form Colleges Association – responded to the consultation.

Rail Apprenticeship Helped me Overcome Dyspraxia

An aspiring rail engineer has told how his apprenticeship has helped him manage his dyspraxia.

Chris Redshaw is undertaking an apprenticeship with engineering giant Bombardier at the London Rail Academy based at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

The 19-year-old, from Sittingbourne, Kent, was diagnosed with dyspraxia, a neurological condition that affects physical co-ordination and social skills, when he was at secondary school.

“My training has actually helped me to overcome and manage it,” said Chris, when asked about how dyspraxia had impacted on his apprenticeship.

“When I first started my apprenticeship, I would take longer than others to do things and perform certain tasks. I had trouble keeping up and would often fall behind. At CONEL and at Bombardier I have always felt supported and my timekeeping and organisation has improved significantly.”

Chris’s enthusiasm for trains and railways goes back to when he was a young boy, and in his early teens he began volunteering on the East Kent Railway Trust heritage railway.

He said: “I have always I wanted to pursue a career in rail. Railways are very complex and it has always fascinated me at how it all works together. My voluntary work on the East Kent Railway also inspired me. I got to see first-hand what it takes to keep trains running.”

Chris completed a Rail Engineering Level 2 Apprenticeship with Bombardier and now works for the company as Maintenance Assistant while undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship.

He was named the National Training Academy for Rail’s Apprentice of the Year in 2018 and has been an ambassador for Young Rail Professionals for the past three and a half years.

Chris said: “I have learnt so much at Bombardier – how trains, depots and railways operate, how to perform safety work, plan maintenance, carry out inspections, find faults and exchange components.

“CONEL has all the tools, equipment and materials you need. They have parts and components from real trains like bogies and engines to take apart and reassemble, and the tutors are always there if any help is needed.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has not derailed Chris’s appetite for learning and a career in rail engineering.

He said: “Learning in lockdown has been challenging. I would much rather be in college, but learning through classes on Microsoft Teams has been good and not too different.”

Chris is a huge advocate for apprenticeships as a way into work and the benefit of being employed by a company and earning money while gaining skills.

“Rail is a great industry to work in. Trains will always need to be maintained and kept running so the industry will always need new talent,” he said.

“Even if you have no previous engineering experience, you can learn the required skills on an apprenticeship. Unlike university you are being paid to learn, not paying to learn.

“I applied for my apprenticeship as soon as I left school and it was the best decision I ever made.” Click here for more information on Rail Engineering apprenticeships.

Click here for more information on Rail Engineering apprenticeships.

Former Student’s Short Film is Highly Commended in UK Competition

A short film written and directed by a former Westminster Kingsway College film studies student has been named among the best in a national competition.

Paranoia is a dark thriller created by Joshua Galea, 20 and was among 10 films that were highly commended in the Eduqas Moving Image Awards 2020.

Joshua, who studied A Level Film Studies, Media Studies and Philosophy at the college from 2017-20, was thrilled the film had been chosen after being submitted by his tutor.

He said: “I was surprised that the film did so well in the competition. I’m sure there were many other great entries, and I’m very thankful to my tutor for putting me forward.

“The concept of the film was based on my own experiences with anxiety and paranoia, though heavily emphasised for film of course, that feeling of something or someone watching over you, a looming threat.

“It was mostly filmed around Caledonian Road in the Holloway area of north London and took a little under a week to get the footage and the editing took two days to complete.”

The film is set in London at night where a young woman uncovers a sinister letter in a pile of papers in which the writer tells her she will not be safe after a set date.

It contains no dialogue but features a dark soundtrack and background noise and low lighting to create a tense and unsettling atmosphere, which combined with its editing, offers up several scares as it builds to its climax.

Parental Advisory: Contains mild threat and violence.

Joshua, who now lives in Portsmouth, Hampshire, also appeared in the film with his sister and got his brother to help film scenes where he was in shot.

He cites Maya Deren’s avant-garde film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) and Brian Percival’s Bafta award-winning short About a Girl (2001) as among his inspirations for the film.

Joshua said: “Despite already knowing a lot in terms of video editing, my film class at WestKing taught me about a plethora of great films, shot types and terminology required to become a great filmmaker.

“I’m currently working as a freelance video editor though I’d love to move on to bigger things in the future. Editing videos for a company, adverts or a TV show are all something I’d consider.” The Eduqas Moving Image Awards were designed in partnership with the British Film Institute to recognise the UK’s most talented young filmmakers and screenwriters.

Joe Barry, Lecturer in A Level Film Studies and English at WestKing, entered Joshua’s film into the competition, which was produced as part of his A Level coursework.

He said: “Joshua is an exceptionally creative and talented filmmaker. When I first saw Paranoia, I was so impressed with how professional and well-crafted it was, I entered it into the competition.

“The film shows great use of film language and techniques. To be cited as highly commended from hundreds of entries is a real achievement. I’m very proud of him and the film’s success.”

Click here to apply for A Levels.

Click here to apply for Digital Media and Creative Computing courses.

Queen's Award for Enterprise