Zac wins helen foundation award

Congratulations to Zac Payne, who received the Helen Foundation Award today!

"This year the Helen Foundation Award goes to a student who has consistently demonstrated an exceptional level of artistic skill from Year 7-11, achieving ‘Best In Subject’ every year. He has embraced new knowledge, techniques, materials and concepts with enthusiasm and energy. During his GCSE Fine Art course, he has constantly challenged himself to push the boundaries of artistic practice, blending contemporary media and working on a large scale to create unique and exciting final pieces. The quality of his Fine Art portfolio is far beyond the expectations of a GCSE.

This dedication and progress is all the more impressive given the unprecedented and difficult times we have lived through in the last couple of years. Throughout the lockdowns and periods of home learning he continued to complete every piece of work conscientiously and continued experimenting with new techniques. This typifies this student’s approach to all aspects of College; quietly and without fuss, he will always work to the best of his ability. He is a social student who loves to be part of a group and never tries to claim the limelight but always makes a good contribution.

This willingness to experiment with new ideas outside of his comfort zone is a constant strength. One example is when he rose to the challenge of composing an original piece for his GCSE music with his usual enthusiasm and diligence. Another example is that, already an accomplished piano player, he was inspired by his music teacher to also take up the bass guitar at the beginning of his GCSE music course and continues to practice and develop his skills on both these instruments. As well as extending his performance skills for GCSE Music at College this also provided him with the opportunity to join a successful local band who have won various awards including the Yamaha ‘Band of the Year’ and ‘Best Rock Group’ in the South West of England Music Festival.

This student has undoubtedly excelled at the Fine Art and Music GCSE courses, but has also immersed himself in the wider opportunities that the Creative Arts have offered. He has been in every College production, every KS3 and KS4 Band performance, every Christmas Concert and Summer Session performance in addition to being an active member of the Arts Council.

As Creative Arts Teachers our goal is for every student to enjoy and appreciate all aspects of the Creative Arts not only through courses and exams but for personal enjoyment and cultural understanding and this student exemplifies these qualities. We are delighted that he will be continuing his Creative journey with us in the sixth form at Newton Abbot College.

The Helen Foundation Award this year goes to Zac Payne."