Raising the Bar

NPTC Group of Colleges’ Music lecturer Carolyn Davies is truly an inspiration and her hard work and dedication have been recognised by one of the top universities in the world.

Carolyn has been awarded University of Oxford Inspirational Teachers Award, following a nomination by former student Abi Owen and will receive it at a special presentation at the prestigious institution in May.

Carolyn, who teaches A Level Music, BTEC Level 3 and HND Music, also runs all of the extra-curricular music provision at Neath College, arranges annual music tours abroad and enters the students for UK-wide competitions. She went above and beyond to help Abi gain a place at Oxford and it’s something that the former student will never forget.

“While teaching her lectures, organising concerts, assessing performances, running extracurricular activities and struggling with her own health, she made sure I always had everything I needed in order to facilitate my own learning and was always at the other end of an email if I had any questions, at all hours.

“I have only ever seen her apply time and dedication to every single pupil that needed it. Alongside assisting me in my journey to Oxford, Carolyn helps to facilitate every music pupil at NPTC Group, from those going to university, to those embarking on a performance-based career.  With hundreds of pupils she has never once discouraged someone or gives them any less that 100 percent positivity and inspiration.”

The Inspirational Teachers Award is designed to recognise the crucial role teachers play in encouraging talented students. First-year students at Oxford (who came from schools or colleges with a limited history or tradition of sending students to the University) were asked to nominate a teacher who had inspired them to apply to Oxford.

In her submission, Abi who achieved top grades in her A Levels which included Drama and Theatre Studies, Music, Maths and English Lit and now studying Music at Jesus College, Oxford said: “ Whenever I thanked her for all her hard work and dedication she would always reply ’thank yourself, I didn’t do anything, it was all you.’ Teachers like Carolyn with their hard work and dedication to pupils, like me, who want to go further, are the very reason students from state schools are in Oxford at all. I have no doubt that without Carolyn I would not be here today.

“Carolyn is a hero and I sincerely hope that this award could attempt to express my gratitude to a teacher who has helped, not just me, but every music student at NPTC Group of Colleges achieve their goals.”

Carolyn said she was humbled: “I still maintain that her success is all down to her commitment and dedication. Abi and many other talented students at the Music Academy, are my inspiration. I am deeply honoured and touched to receive this award and I would like to thank Abi and many of the other talented music students at the Music Academy for their dedication and inspiration. I am blessed to have the support of Vicky Burroughs the Head of School and of course the fantastic team of lecturers and visiting instrumental and vocal tutors who are all absolutely amazing. Everything achieved at the Music Academy is because we are such a great team! Thank you all-students and the Music Academy team.”

Head of School, Vicky Burroughs said she was delighted for Carolyn as her tireless support, encouragement and dedication to her students has been formally recognised.

She said: “Teaching music is Carolyn’s vocation in life and the time and opportunities she provides her students with are first class.  Carolyn sees the potential in all of her students and the University of Oxford Inspirational Teachers Award truly celebrates Carolyn’s outstanding work as a Music Lecturer.”