‘APpy Christmas Day Twelve

Our final entry is a bit different from all the others, a collection of the festive events that have been taking place across the campus these past two weeks. The common denominator is that these are learner activities, most of them planned and delivered by learners and often designed in order to make a contribution to the wider community.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this series as much as we have relished putting it together. So much awesome stuff goes on around our campuses on a daily basis and these entries have been just a snapshot. Have a lovely Christmas, a restful break and here’s to more successes in the New Year! – The AP Team

Day Twelve – Merry Christmas!

Lincoln Christmas Market

Performing Arts students performing in the cathedral:


Lincoln Art students running a very successful pop-up shop:



Newark Christmas Market

Newark Art learners selling their wares to raise money for the Children’s Bereavement Centre:



Business students also had a stall, raising money for a masquerade ball in honour of Lewis Harrison Hopewell:



Fiddle Race

Where 6 teams of students compete to build a working violin in just three days. This year’s theme is “Arts Movements”:



Christmas Jumper Day

Our very own personalised video in celebration of our fundraising efforts for Christmas Jumper Day:


Newark College Musical Performance


And Finally…

The Lincoln Foundations Skills for Working in Creative Arts students filmed this for us just before going on stage to perform their Christmas panto.


‘APpy Christmas Day Eleven

We are nearing the end of our festive fiesta of celebration, and our penultimate entry presents a recap on the highlights from the day that inspired this series – #feelgoodfriday. We hope you have enjoyed this series and look forward to one final post on Monday.

Day Eleven – Feel Good Friday

fgf logo

There’s nothing quite like a Friday as I’m sure we all agree. The perfect day to celebrate the successes of the week, reflect on our practice and look ahead to the next week with a spring in our step. If you love Fridays and love learning, please consider whether or not you are a member of our Learning Community.

If so, you will already know about #feelgoodfriday.

If not, you can remedy this immediately by clicking on the following link and pressing the ‘Join’ button:


Here is a recap on some of the many highlights shared by our community of 88 (and growing all the time). A reminder for those of you who have read and contributed all year and a record of what you may have been missing out on!


Credit for the first ever entry must go to Hannah Dytam, whose post inspired first Gemma Whitelock and then Sally Reeve to firmly establish Fridays as our day for celebration:

I wanted to share a very proud moment with you. I’ve struggled with one of my FS maths groups at Newark because 90% of them were very naughty and called themselves the “Retard Group”. The class consists of the E3 construction; sport; hair and electrical students. I took over the group from another tutor in late November and they all had very negative attitudes and were convinced they would never pass (E3 – L2) so weren’t even going to attend the exam nor try in the lesson. Well they sat their retake exam on Wednesday and I don’t have the results yet but they all stayed in the exam for at least an hour, having previously only stayed for 15mins. One student even travelled from Newcastle that morning. In fact, he got the 6am train, (having never got a train before) changed at York (on his own) and then on to Newark in time for his revision session and the exam. I’m hopeful they will pass but at this moment I have never been prouder of them. Paul Staples has played a big part in helping to build their confidence and attitudes and has recently supported them on a one to one basis. I’m obviously very grateful for his recent help with them. Just wanted to share.


The next week was our first official #feelgoodfriday and some fantastic stories were shared by Jacqueline Burr, Gav Knox and Chris Newboult-Robinson who said:

I have a student at Gainsborough who was very challenging when I took the group over. He would refuse to do any work and was frequently difficult in class. We did a refresher session this morning and then moved on to some practical Carpentry and Joinery. This learner was telling the whole group all the names of the tools we would use and then did some peer training with another learner. Massive progress and a very proud moment!


Sporting Success

Michelle McGill and Gav Knox’s proud moments in a sporting context:






Sally Reeve from June:

On Wednesday a learner brought me a slice of cake. This may not seem significant to some but it is to this Entry to Education and Employment learner who a few months ago wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this and certainly wouldn’t have looked me in the eyes and told me it was his birthday.

I then went into his class and was blown away by the group who told me all about the Queens speech that was happening that day and other major current affairs.

I came away feeling inspired and proud of what happens in classrooms/learning areas here at Lincoln College. Thank you teacher – you know who you are.


Jeff Masterton from October:

I’m not a Teacher per se but support students as best I can. I have one student that has had a particularly difficult life and who recently experienced a very traumatic event that they are still suffering significantly from. As part of supporting this student I looked at the course they were enrolled on and identified an alternative I believed they would gain more from as well as giving them enjoyment. I went with the student when they met with the LSL who offered them a place on the course. As I walked with them afterwards the student couldn’t stop smiling and made the comment to me: “This is the start of my life”. I know people think I’m a big tough retired Detective but it made my heart melt and I felt very humble to have made a change in their life.


JC’s farewell at Newark College:



Glenn Cowlan with Quizziz:



Paul Staples and Kahoot:



Andy McGill using chalk pens:



Festive Fun

Donna Bright’s Christmas celebrations at Newark with her Skills for Independence learners:



And that’s just some of the posts! What a 6 months we’ve had! Thanks for reading, contributing and celebrating in our Learning Community, here’s to many more #feelgoodfridays in 2018!

‘APpy Christmas Day Ten

A short but sweet entry from Level 3 Creative Media Production at Newark College as we head towards the conclusion of our festive bonanza…

Day Ten – Joe Draghi

Joe joined the college back in 2012 and spent his first year being expertly guided through his Entry Level 3 and Level 1 qualification in Skills for Progression by Donna Bright and Penny Taylor. Sue Fairfax and Lynn Baker supported him with his Functional Skills and Julie Hallam with 1:1 sessions to aid his progress. They remember him as:

“Initially a very scared young man who needed to be met by Julie in order for him to even make it into the classroom. He was a lovely young man with excellent manners and a keen interest in comic books and Art”.

A chance meeting with Justin Day saw a discussion around his potential progression onto the Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design. Joe ended up spending two years developing his drawing and animation skills and his determination and sheer work ethic were a joy to behold. His final project was a short animated monster film that became the first ever Level 2 entry in the end of year Media Production showcase. The work in this instance is shown at the Odeon cinema and Joe’s ‘Crasber Brasber Ghost’ was too good to ignore and it did not look out of place when screened alongside the Level 3 Year Two submissions. You can see Part One (!) here:

Crasber Brasber Ghost

Joe wrote, performed, drew and animated every element of the short film and he continued his fascination with animation into his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production. He completed the course with a Distinction grade and after a bit of cajoling his media tutors were able to get him on an open day at Confetti Studios in Nottingham. His journey from Entry Level 3 to a Distinction grade Level 3 student was finally marked by his acceptance of a place to study a Visual Effects degree at Confetti, a subsidiary of Nottingham Trent University.

It was a pleasure to see Joe rewarded for his awesome work ethic and personal progression at the recent Lincoln College Awards ceremony and Joe commented on the night that “university is hard but good fun and I wouldn’t have managed to get there without the help from my college tutors. I’ve never won a trophy before and now I have two, I will definitely be taking them to show my new classmates on Monday!”

Joe 1

Certainly a popular award winner and his development and progression is a credit to himself and all those that have helped him along the way. His final project for us (‘Old Timer Bruce’) can be found here and is a real festive feelgood film. We look forward to great things from Joe in the future!

Old Timer Bruce

‘APpy Christmas Day Nine

Our ninth entry comes from ‘A’ Levels. Enjoy…

Day Nine – Emily O’Leary

Emily O’Leary

I first joined Lincoln College in 2014 after leaving school to study the BTEC Level 3 Sport Science course alongside AS Maths and Psychology. I chose this course because it gave me the option to study A Levels as well as Sport, however I realised after a few weeks that this wasn’t the course for me. The college were fantastic at sorting out my alternate options and Steve Horsfield, my tutor at the time, arranged that day for me to see a Sociology tutor and after taking the time to listen to my reasons, I was enrolled on to the AS Sociology course instead of Sport by the end of that same day.

My first year of A Levels at Lincoln was fantastic, I had brilliant tutors and lessons and made friends that I still talk to now. The tutors throughout my two years of A Level study, as well as the consistency of expectations and course/lesson structures, contributed significantly to my academic achievement at AS and my predicted A2 grades (A,B,C). Unfortunately, during my second year I became ill and for reasons beyond my control I was unable to complete my exams. I couldn’t have asked any more of the college in terms of how they dealt with this and the support they provided. Although the college has clear expectations regarding attendance, my A2 tutor Adam Jones was exceptionally understanding of any appointments or absences that occurred during my timetable, and asked simply that he and the college be kept informed of my situation. When it came to my absence during my exams due to my health deteriorating further, tutors such as Adam and Emma Innesbeer were quick to contact me to assess the situation and see what the best course of action was for me to take. This was without any negativity whatsoever. Emma Innesbeer especially provided me with all my options from resitting my exams at a later date, applying to university through clearing or doing an access course.

 I decided to take a year out of education to focus on my health, however throughout this time I was able to keep in contact with the college and Emma, who gave me guidance on what to do in my time off and how to enrol onto the Access course in terms of loans and applications, with no bias in the decision that I was to make. The decision to come back to Lincoln College to study Access to Higher Education (Social Sciences) was a very easy one and almost without question.

From my experience of excellent teaching from Psychology tutors such as Pete Goddard and Sociology tutor Jemma Horsfield, as well as the support they provided both academically and personally throughout the my second year, I knew that this college’s environment is the one in which I am most likely to achieve my full potential. It’s for these reasons I’m also considering applying for the Social Sciences undergraduate degree at the college, a decision of which is largely influenced by Jemma Horsfield who made Sociology a fantastic subject to be a part of and inspired me to study it further.

Being back in college after my time off was initially a hard thing to do due to associating it with my ill health, however the college is just as supportive as it was before with great lessons, tutors and students, and my former tutors such as Rachel Tottenham, Pete and Jemma ensuring I feel welcomed and am getting on okay.


‘APpy Christmas Day Eight

Day Eight – Andrew Naylor

Another of our alumni doing well for themselves after graduation!

My name is Andrew Naylor and before I started to attend Lincoln College in 2011 I worked as an industrial cleaner for five years at the University of Lincoln. I applied to Lincoln College due to being unsatisfied with the job that I had and I wanted to re-educate myself so that I could have better job prospects and a better standard of life. I chose Lincoln College after seeing advertisements on the side of a bus which mentioned a range of courses that the College offer, along with it receiving an outstanding grade in its Ofsted report.

On the BTEC Level Three Sports Performance (Coaching and Fitness) and the FdSc Sports Therapy, Health and Fitness courses I experienced a number of different things that have made me the person that I am today. The overall support, guidance and feedback given from all of the lecturers throughout my time was excellent, which provided me with the platform to learn and gain experience within the health and fitness industry.

DH 2

On my BTEC there was one moment that has always stayed with me, as in the second year I was on the verge of quitting the course due to home circumstances. However my personal tutor, Jacqueline Browne, went out of her way to work individually with me which enabled me to continue with my studies. Throughout the FdSc course I involved myself in as many CPD opportunities as possible to up-skill in areas such as mobilisation and manipulations, rock taping, first aid, sports massage and personal training qualifications. Engaging in these additional offerings alongside gaining academic qualifications supported with developing my experiences, confidence and knowledge. I used this to set up my own business in occupational therapy and sports rehabilitation which is the proudest moment of my life to date. The business is doing exceptionally well and I am aiming to open up another clinic in Sheffield in the near future.

Throughout my time at Lincoln College I received so much help and support from the staff, with an important message that I was reminded of was to believe in my own potential and that nothing is impossible. This was constantly reiterated to me by David Horsfield, and this reassurance increased my confidence and self-belief to make me realise that I could achieve my expectations through dedication and hard work. I would also like to personally thank Stewart Kelman who was so supportive throughout the FdSc course and would go out of his way to assist me with developing my knowledge and understanding of sports therapy.

DH 1

I have a huge amount of respect for every individual within the sports department as they have helped me to change and improve my life on a personal and professional level. They have shown me that if you work hard you can achieve anything; all you have to do is believe in your potential. If it wasn’t for the support and flexibility that I was provided with I am certain that I would not have progressed and be where I am today, and for that I am forever grateful.

DH 3

‘APpy Christmas Day Six

We reach the halfway point of our series with an entry from Performing Arts and a celebration of the fantastic success of another of our alumni. 

Day Six – Michael Dyer

After completing his course in 2016, Michael was one of only 10 people in the UK to be awarded the Andrew Lloyd Webber scholarship to study his craft in London.

Michael Dyer

He auditioned at Laine’s Theatre Arts and his song and dance performance saw the school’s principal, Betty Laine OBE, award him a Dance and Drama Award (DaDA) – a means tested scholarship for those who show talent and are likely to be successful in the industry.

Based on his show-stopping performance, Michael was also nominated by a casting director for the Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship – awarded to only ten people each year – which will pay for all of his course fees for the duration of the full three years of his studies, saving him around £14,000 per year.

Michael continues to go from strength to strength at Laine’s and he got back in touch with the college recently via his tutor Jenni Bagnall to say:

Lincoln College… what can I say, I honestly had the best time of my life there! I miss seeing my college family everyday and love coming back to Lincoln to see them all. College gave me that perfect step I needed to go to Performing Arts School, be it for my confidence or the chance to sing every day, even getting more performing experience!

Yes sometimes we mucked about and had a laugh, definitely having our fair share of telling’s off, but we always turned it around and put on one hell of a show! I just wish I could go back and do it all again…