Mahdi Radmehr, a Maths teacher at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, beat stiff competition to win the prestigious ‘Maths Teacher of the Year’ award at the National Skills Conference earlier in March.
The awards are a celebration of outstanding English and Maths delivery, and reward the quality and diversity of educational delivery and achievement. Mahdi was recognised for his innovative, creative and effective teaching strategies and his support for learners.
Mahdi said: “This is excellent news and I’m speechless. I am very honoured and proud that all of my hard work and dedication has paid off. Teaching is my passion and I love what I do. Through this passion my students can see how beautiful Maths is.”
Mahdi joined CONEL in 2010 teaching Functional Skills and managed to get an impressive 100% achievement rate. He went on to lead GCSE Maths and recent results for adult learners were the best national achievement rates for those with no previous qualifications. His students have started at Functional skills Entry Level and progressed to Level 1, then GCSE and even Level 3 Core Maths.
Iranian-born Mahdi discovered his talent for teaching after being asked to privately tutor his friend’s daughters. “I found it so rewarding to see what a difference I could make in a single session,” he said. “I then found a part-time job teaching maths in a secondary school during the final year of my Engineering degree. This changed the course of my career forever. I found teaching fun and rewarding. Teaching is a platform to change people’s lives for the better.”
A student of Mahdi’s was ready to quit education after failing his A Levels. With Mahdi’s support and guidance, he continued studying and went on to achieve a Master’s in Civil Education. He is now a Minister of Transport in the Middle East. “This is just one example of why I take such pride in being a teacher,” said Mahdi.
Mahdi is also currently delivering Core Maths at CONEL and has worked above and beyond to support learners to get into the financial sector in the City. He recently worked with a 16 year old GCSE student who had only been in the country for 4 years. Mahdi committed many hours, including the weekends, to working through exam questions with him and the student went on to achieve an astonishing Grade 9.
Director of Curriculum, Sheila Rai, said: “Mahdi is a teacher that every learner dreams of. He loves his time in the classroom, where. he is at his best – teaching, discussing, coaching and solving everything from long multiplication to simultaneous equations. He makes the hardest of questions look simple and has turned many nervous Maths students into confident learners.
“It’s absolutely exhilarating to have one of our team win the Skills Award. Mahdi deserves it more than anyone as he lives and breathes Maths. His recent initiative is to open a breakfast club offering orange juice and a croissant while chewing over those algebra formulas that always pop up in exams. He has developed a subject which is a golden nest for learners to huddle into.”
Updated: 28 July 2020
We are looking forward to our new and returning students joining us in September 2020. We are currently processing applications and welcoming new ones, so if you are looking to study with us, please browse our website and apply online today. We also have a range of free short courses that you can take part in online, over the summer.
Our Plans for September
The majority of our courses will be delivered from September 2020 in a mixed format – blending online lessons with face-to-face teaching.
We are taking every precaution possible to provide a safe learning environment for you in September 2020 throughout our college buildings, including installing hand sanitisation stations throughout the buildings, one-way systems, alternate timetables and 2 metre social distancing.
Enrolment will begin online from 13 August 2020 – please check back in a few weeks for more information on how to enrol at CONEL. If you haven’t already applied to study with us, you can apply online today – it makes enrolling with us even quicker!
Results for Current Students
Most of our current students will receive their results by email this year, with certificates being issued in the autumn.
Results will have equal status at universities, colleges and employers and will be treated the same as in any other year.
If you’re looking for careers advice and guidance, or help with what to do next, use our live chat service to talk to one of our advisers.
Thank you for your continued support and keep safe.
Capital City College Group, Chief Executive
Over the past year, our employability team has run over 300 employability programmes, helping thousands of local people thrive as part of a greater initiative to support the local economy. Here are just a few highlights of our employability work over the past year.
BAME Into Employment
In September, the team ran a ‘BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) into Employment’ course for two weeks. It saw participants improve their employability skills, including communication, collaboration and organisational skills.
As part of the programme, the students participated in industry-relevant work experience with a number of employers, including Bombardier, Cubic and Lanes Rail.
Student Tairat Shote said, “It was an overwhelmingly positive programme. The employers were informative, accommodating and forthcoming with how they operate, and what they have on offer. Cubic, who I did my placement with, tailored the programme so that there was a lot for me to engage with. I had a very positive experience. At the end of the programme, I was really pleased with how easy the company made getting access to an interview, which I hope will result in a job.
“Finally, Julie my tutor has been extremely helpful and resourceful.”
Women in Construction
For the last two years, CONEL has run a number of initiatives to help women access construction roles. Through our employability team, we ran a range of workshops to give women the knowledge and skills they needed for a successful career in this traditionally male-dominated industry.
Back in January 2018, CONEL and Transport for London (TfL) launched an employment programme to inspire women into construction and engineering careers. The college and TfL worked with not-for-profit organisation Women into Construction to run a pre-employment training programme with the aim of recruiting women into these industries. It was a great success and inspired the employability team to run more sessions, such as the recent Women into Construction programme, which has worked with three groups of students so far.
Also in partnership with Transport for London (and in support of the international ‘Women Into STEM’ movement), CONEL has run a Women into Transportation and Engineering Pre-Employment Programme (WiTnE), which had 22 participants. All learners who attended their work placements as part of the programme were guaranteed interviews with their employers if they wanted full-time work at a later date. The event was a success for students and employers alike, and four learners: Chelsea, Fiona, Catherine and Vanesha, were even fast-tracked to the second round of interviews in their applications with Arriva Rail.
Sophia Nicola from Transport for London (TfL) congratulated CONEL and partners for the successful delivery of the WiTnE pre-employment programme, saying that “The candidates completed the programme with a greater appreciation of the transportation and engineering sectors, and the opportunities that are available, regardless of gender.”
As well as these partnership initiatives, CONEL also runs FREE short courses specifically for women aiming to get into construction.
Get into Transportation
The ‘Get into Transportation’ programme started in October 2019 and was designed by CONEL, Transport for London, HS2, Heathrow and NSAR (The National Skills Academy for Rail) to help unemployed Londoners kick-start their careers in transportation. This sector-wide programme offers two weeks of pre-employment training, which focuses on getting candidates ready for work, followed by a two-week work placement at one of a number of different organisations supplying these key transport sector clients.
Placements are available for both site and office-based roles and are matched as closely as possible to the needs and wants of the individual students. Upon successful completion of the programme, students are guaranteed an interview or assessment for vacancies that the participating employers have.
CONEL also ran ‘Go Ahead London’ last year, a programme with Transport for London (TfL) designed to help people get into careers with TfL. 18 CONEL learners were on the programme, of whom 16 were fast-tracked into assessment, getting them closer to that all-important job.
London Ambulance Service
CONEL ran a Maths and English course for 28 London Ambulance Service technicians who needed Functional Skills qualifications to become paramedics. The course was delivered by CONEL at Unison’s offices in Central London and all 28 learners achieved their qualification.
Head of Employability at CONEL, Shiv Emmimath, said, “Mark from London Ambulance Service (LAS) approached us to see if we can help some of his colleagues with Functional Skills. These learners work for the London Ambulance Service and not having a Functional Skills certificate would disadvantage them from progressing within the service to become paramedics.
“Mark worked tirelessly behind the scenes, organising open days and marketing this great opportunity to his colleagues. He organised a fantastic group of learners who were determined to do their course with us. These learners – who have very busy work schedules and long hours at LAS – made a commitment to the college that they would attend and complete the course. Mark played a huge part in coordinating things, arranging rooms in central London and constantly keeping track of his colleagues attending their course. We’re delighted that all the students on the course fully achieved both Maths and English.”
The London Ambulance Service won a CONEL Employer Excellence Award this year as a result of this project.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation
Over the last year, CONEL has been working closely with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which has a commitment to supporting their local community. CONEL is currently working with the Foundation on three projects:
- Functional Skills and Customer Service courses for the local community, with job opportunities at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium
- Build Enfield Project – CONEL and the Foundation are delivering this fantastic community-based project in the heart of Enfield to deliver jobs, work placements and apprenticeships
- Spectator Safety Training for Stadium Stewards – CONEL will be delivering the Spectator Safety training for match day staff employed by the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation was also an award winner at the CONEL 2019 Excellence Awards.
CONEL’s employability team are halfway through their first cohort of delivering a Spectator Safety Level 2 to a group of Premium Stewards at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This is an exciting project that further enhances the college’s excellent partnership with Tottenham Hotspur FC.
We have also started delivery of our Enfield Council European Social Fund project to help Enfield residents into local jobs. The £500,000 project has been designed to get unemployed people in Enfield into construction to meet the demand of the local workforce. If you want to get involved in this programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On 15 January 2020, the Royal Navy Engagement Team visited a group of 30 Public Services students at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Tottenham Centre, to deliver workshops designed to improve students’ soft skills. Soft skills are usually defined as the attributes that people need to be able to work in a team and get on with others, and include things like communication skills, team-working and leadership.
This visit was arranged in collaboration with the Royal Navy to allow Public Service students to practice specific unit content relating to Teamwork, Leadership, Self-Discipline, Command and Control. The aim of the event was to develop collaboration and teamwork between students – essential skills for the modern workplace.
Split into three groups, the students completed four tasks revolving around building, shooting, cooking and teamwork.
The groups were tasked with building a two metre tall ‘satellite’ from the building blocks provided. This structure then needed to be adapted to withstand the ‘wind test’ by Lt Commander Sim Low, one of the attendees from the Royal Navy Engagement Team.
Students then moved on to a shooting range simulator, where their hand-eye coordination skills were put to the test on the laser simulator before going head-to-head in a number of challenges.
Teams also got a chance to try some of the foods in a standard ration pack that the Royal Navy uses in their operations. The final challenge saw students work together to manoeuvre from one side of a spider web structure to the other without touching the web.
Our Public Services Level 3 Extended Diploma students said: “The building task was the hardest because the pieces were hard to put together and we had to change it when the ‘wind’ was added to test the strength of the structure.
“We learned a lot during the cooking task. We found out all about the ration packs that are used in the Navy. It was cool seeing things you can’t get in a normal shop.
“The final team building exercise was the Spider challenge. This was where, as a team, you had to move from one side to the other of a spider web-like structure without touching the rope. It was difficult, but we worked together and we completed it. It was fun working as a team.”
Lt Commander Sim Low said: “It is important for students to be exposed to days like this and learn new skills.
“The Navy engagement project goes to schools, colleges and youth centres up and down the country. We deliver these soft skills workshops to encourage teamwork and communication among young people in England.
“We also raise awareness for the jobs the Royal Navy do worldwide, including providing aid to third world countries and protecting ships against piracy. People’s perception of the armed forces can sometimes be negative, but we want to help show the high level of teamwork and communication skills that we need, to carry out the good work we do around the world.
“During these events we are happy to share our experiences and help educate people about the role. It isn’t our main goal, but we are always happy to help those who want to, to find out more about joining the Royal Navy.”
Curriculum Manager for Sport, Public Services and Key Stage 4, Brendan Berry, said: “It was a highly productive day that enabled our Public Services students to engage with the Royal Navy SET Team. The broad range of activities provided by the Navy gave the students the opportunity to display the skills they have gained during their time with us over the past two years. The day’s activities enabled students to consolidate things they are learning on their course, including Teamwork, Leadership, Self-Discipline, Command and Control.
“I cannot thank the Royal Navy enough for working with our students and creating an engaging day that brought practical enrichment and a greater understanding of the role and purpose of the Royal Navy. The team upheld the ethos and finest traditions of service from the Royal Navy, and we look forward to them returning this spring to work with our Sports Students at our Enfield Centre.”