College News

Gwili Jones award for engineering innovation

An agricultural engineering student from Pembroke Dock has won the Gwili Jones Land Based Commercial Development Award for an innovative agricultural engineering design.

Jordan Hill, 26, is a student at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur campus where he designed a vacuum spray system adaptable to weed wipers, which are used in crop management. 

The award aims to encourage learners to explore the potential commercialisation of an engineering concept, which has to have a realistic application as a commercial product. Winners of the annual award have a year to develop the project.  The award is part of two scholarships, which also includes an educational bursary initiated by Mrs Jones and her family in memory of Gwili, her husband and co-founder of the company. 

Jordan developed a design and produced a prototype, which reduces waste and protects the environment. “The system is mounted to the weed wiper and stops any leakage reaching unwanted areas such as waterways and crops,” said Jordan. “Each brush strand acts as a hollow straw, allowing a vacuum to collect run-on which is recirculated.” 

Agricultural engineering lecturer Colin Jones said: “We are very grateful of the continued support given by the Gwili Jones family and the career expanding opportunities they present for our students and the company’s long standing commitment and service to the sector.” 

Sian Jones, from Gwili Jones said: “Congratulations to all the students on their product designs, we were very impressed by their creativity and engineering skills.” 


Coleg Sir Gâr agricultural engineering student Jordan Hill who has won the Gwili Jones Land Based Commercial Development Award. He is pictured with Mrs Gwili Jones and her son Huw Jones 


Sports students recognised for academic abilities

Coleg Sir Gâr has recognised the academic abilities of students on vocational sports programmes with an awards celebration. 

Level two and three BTEC diploma students were shortlisted to receive student of the year awards and acknowledged for their study commitments. 

These full-time programmes offer students the opportunity to study sports and exercise anatomy, physiology, psychology, sports injuries, coaching, biomechanics, sports massage and analysis. 

Final year extended diploma students will be leaving for university, employment or joining the college’s own degree programmes in sport, which boast excellent retention, completion and employment rates. It is supported by a unique work based learning element which offers experience with organisations including Scarlets, Actif Sir Gâr and local primary and secondary schools. 

Christy Anson-Harries, assistant curriculum head at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “We put a great emphasis on students achieving both practical and academic skills in all our sports programmes.

“We encourage full participation in our range of sports academies and offer gold standard equipment in our bespoke performance hub, which this year will be complemented by a brand new sports and performance centre.”

Steps to success: Coleg Sir Gâr sports students who won awards to recognise their academic abilities in sport science, development and performance.


Sports performance skills awarded

Talented students have been celebrated at a presentation event which recognised the achievements of Coleg Sir Gâr’s sports academies and players.

The sports academy at Coleg Sir Gâr recognises and supports all students who take part in competitive sport and where possible, builds sessions into student timetables to encourage fitness or sport development at an elite level.

Support is available from academy staff to improve the performance, fitness and nutritional intake of any student who takes part in competition work. 

The academy also provides vital opportunities for the college’s sports degree students who have this year taken part in mandatory placements as assistant coaches and analysts in netball, football and rugby, which provides a catalyst to the synthesis of theory and practice in a way that adds potential value to a student’s future career.

Christy Anson-Harries, Coleg Sir Gâr assistant curriculum head said: “As well as giving students recognition with awards that acknowledge sports performance, it’s also a proud moment for sports staff from all the academies to come together and witness the success of the teamwork at play which makes the academy the success it is.”

All Award Photos 


Steffan’s international summer coaching placement

A Coleg Sir Gâr sports student from Newcastle Emlyn is travelling to Sweden for an international placement to coach a rugby team as a result of his significant volunteer work at college and with the WRU. 

Carrying a sports injury, Steffan Coleman’s passion of becoming a professional rugby player was cut short, but to stay in the game he enrolled on a level one sports course and progressed to level two where he undertook additional WRU refereeing qualifications with a hope of becoming a development officer or professional referee.  He regularly uses these skills to volunteer in the community and for Welsh Rugby Union as a referee and coach.

Catherine Roberts, Coleg Sir Gâr sports lecturer said: “The course has provided Steffan with the opportunity to deliver coaching sessions in schools and has developed his organisational and planning skills that were put to the test while helping to run physical activity festivals with the local authority.” 

Steffan Crossman added: “At college, I’ve improved my coaching and gained experience and confidence to work with children at festivals and community events which has helped me develop session plans and performance assessment criteria.”


Pic: Steffan Crossman with Coleg Sir Gâr sports lecturer Catherine Roberts.


Praise for business student

A student from Llandeilo has won Coleg Sir Gâr’s top award for business studies.

Lisa Richards, 19, has been named as Student of the Year for her studies on an extended diploma course as well as the prestigious Overall Student of the Year award for business studies.

With a predicted triple star distinction profile for her studies, it’s no surprise that Lisa has excelled in her work.

Coleg Sir Gâr business lecturer Dee Craig said: “Lisa is quiet, polite and committed and has been a pleasure to teach.

“She proactively arranged an unpaid work placement at WRW construction to gain work experience in a business setting and was actively involved with administration, finance and research for new builds and we think she thoroughly deserves these awards.”

Lisa Richards, who is looking for a higher-level apprenticeship in human resources management, added: “I never expected to win an award, especially the overall student award, but it’s nice to know my work has been recognised. 

“I’ve had excellent support as the tutors have done a lot for me and have gone over and above throughout the course.”


Caption: 19 year-old Lisa Richards from Llandeilo is presented with Coleg Sir Gâr’s Overall Business Student of the Year award and the Student of the Year award for extended diploma in business, by Coleg Sir Gâr lecturer Dee Craig and Dr Louise Emmanuel from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)


Helping young people back into education

Nurturing confidence to help young people step back into the educational ladder are at the heart of Coleg Sir Gâr’s foundation and pre-foundation team.

The team specialise in offering a high level of support for those with no qualifications or for those returning to education who need additional support with their personal lives or studies.

The educational and personal milestones of pre-foundation and foundation students were recognised with an awards presentation to celebrate achievement.

Kim Goodwin, assistant curriculum head said: “The aim of the foundation programme is to re-engage students in education and to help them improve their progression options.

“I’m thrilled that all our students are progressing this year, mainly to higher level courses and other individuals are joining apprenticeships, a dance academy, the military and volunteering.”

“With the help of experienced tutors and learning support mentors, this team turns around many lives and really makes a difference.”

All those finishing the foundation programme received a 100 per cent completion this year with a 96% overall attendance.



Above, Seth Macer-Baker receives joint Foundation Student of the Year award from Coleg Sir Gâr principal Barry Liles

Below, James Doward receives joint Foundation Student of the Year award from Coleg Sir Gâr principal Barry Liles, presentation of Prince’s Trust level one certificates 




Lily gets top London spot

A student from Ceredigion is preparing to move to London to study at Central Saint Martins, one of the city’s most prestigious and renowned art colleges.

Lily Tonkin, 19, from St Dogmaels is currently studying a foundation art and design course at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art where she created an impressive portfolio, which won her a place to study a degree honours course in fine art.

The course has changed Lily’s approach to art. “One of the greatest things about the course is that it allows you to combine your academic side as well as your creative side,” she says. “I feel I am now ready for my degree having explored the thinking process behind making and my creativity and intellectual side as well.” 

Stephen Hughes, programme leader for foundation art and design at Carmarthen School of Art said: “Lily’s achievements getting into Central Saint Martins makes us very proud.

“I think that this demonstrates the potential of local students and the quality of provision and creativity at our art school as the college is notoriously difficult to get into and has very limited places.

“Lily is one of two of our students joining the prestigious college this year and it’s exciting that they will be training to work in a sector that currently generates over £84 billion a year for creative industries in the UK.” 

Lily Tonkin added: “I realise now that it’s not just about the aesthetics and what you want people to see visually, but it’s also about what you want people to think about in your art at the same time.”

It’s not too late to apply for a course at Carmarthen School of Art for 2018 entry – 01554 748201.


Travel and tourism students flying high

Coleg Sir Gâr’s travel and tourism team held their last annual student awards at the college’s Graig campus as they prepare for a move to Carmarthen.

Students were awarded for academic achievement, improvement of performance and attendance.

The move to the college’s Pibwrlwyd campus will be effective from this September, which will offer opportunities for those living further west to study travel and tourism from level one, two or three. 

It also means that students will have access to hospitality facilities at the campus’s Merlin’s Restaurant. 

Travel and tourism course leader Gareth Harvey said: “This is an exciting time for our students and staff and we are relishing the opportunities that being based in Carmarthen will give us. 

“Not only will we be able to retain all our existing strong links with industry but now develop new ones further west such as in the west of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. 

“Through a new academy set-up, we are seeking to offer multiple pathways for all our learners, be it progression to university or work based learning.”

Course tutor Mags Walters (pictured above) added: “We are particularly keen to sustain and nurture our partnerships with our industry colleagues as well as developing new ones to enrich our course programme.”


Award photos



Ciaran fashions his lifelong ambition


A Kidwelly student has achieved his childhood dream of studying at Central Saint Martins, a highly recognised London art college notorious for its high-end fashion training. 

19-year-old Ciaran Griffiths is completing his foundation art and design studies at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art following an A-level programme, which he also completed at the college. 

Ciaran strived for one of 20 places from as many as 4,000 applications to study the university’s degree honours fashion design (womenswear) course, 10 of which are reserved for international students. “I studied the foundation course as I didn’t feel ready for university,” said Ciaran. “In my mind the foundation course in Carmarthen is one of the best and it’s given me the skills and confidence to prepare me for university and has extended my knowledge and making skills to more than I thought was possible. I’ve got a much better understanding of myself and what is important to me which now comes across in my design work.”  

Stephen Hughes, programme leader for foundation art and design at Carmarthen School of Art said: “Ciaran’s achievements getting into Central Saint Martins makes us very proud and demonstrates the potential of local students and the quality of provision and creativity at our art school.

“Ciaran is one of two of our students joining the prestigious college this year and it’s exciting that they will be training to work in a sector that currently generates over £84 billion a year for creative industries in the UK.” 

Ciaran Griffiths added: “I have wanted to study fashion at Central Saint Martins since I was 11 and I am indebted to tutors in Carmarthen who have invested in me this year.”


PIC A future in fashion: Carmarthen School of Art foundation art and design student Ciaran Griffiths, 19, from Kidwelly, who has been accepted to study womenswear at Central Saint Martins in London, fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

There are still places left at Carmarthen School of Art for 2018 entry. Contact 01554 748201.


Forward march for public services students

Public services students at Coleg Sir Gâr stood to attention in a passing out parade in an event that recognised their study achievements. 

Students received awards for academic achievement, attendance, improved performance and every year group, from level one to three, received certificates of completion. 

Families attended to be part of their children’s success and the event welcomed Cairn Newton-Evans, chief officer of Dyfed Powys Police’s Special Constabulary.

Amanda Morgan, public services lecturer said: “The annual awards recognise all our students’ achievements and those who have performed outstandingly during their studies.

“I’d like to thank families for attending and also recognise the contribution of the armed forces and public services as without their support we wouldn’t be able to offer students such an enriched, practical study programme.” 


Pictures, from left 1. Patryk Ganclerz receives the Most Improved Student award for level 3 from assistant principal Dr Andrew Cornish. Patryk completes his course with a triple merit grade, 2. Cayden Freeman received three awards for academic achievement, 100% attendance for two years and level three Student of the Year. She is pictured with faculty and campus director Nikki Neale 3. The Academic Achievement Award is presented to Travis Thomas, Emyr Harries, Callum Samuel and Cayden Freeman for triple distinction grades, by Dr Andrew Cornish, assistant principal.

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