A BASINGSTOKE lecturer who teaches English to refugees and asylum seekers has been honoured with a national award.

Maria Thorne has been named a Silver Award recipient at the Pearson National Teaching Awards in the Further Education (FE) Lecturer of the Year category.

Ms Thorne, a lecturer at the Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT), was recognised for her impact in empowering her pupils.

The award recognises her commitment to her students and the transformative role of education.

Her nomination stood out among thousands, and she will now be shortlisted for the gold award, to be announced in November.

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Maria Thorne with Anthony Bravo, principal of BCoTMaria Thorne with Anthony Bravo, principal of BCoT (Image: BCoT)

Anthony Bravo, principal of Basingstoke College of Technology, said: "Maria's connection with her students is extraordinary.

"She genuinely cares about each one, getting to know them and their backgrounds to support them comprehensively.

“We are really proud of Maria’s achievements and I would like to congratulate her on being such an outstanding lecturer."

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual event which celebrates the outstanding achievements of educators across the UK.

It highlights the significant roles of teachers, support staff, colleges, schools, and early years educators in shaping the lives of their students.

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Besides teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) with a 94 per cent pass rate, Ms Thorne also delivers Functional Skills courses at BCoT.

According to the college, her teaching methods go beyond imparting vocabulary and grammar; she fosters a sense of belonging and unwavering support among her students.

Ms Thorne customises her curriculum to cater to each student's unique needs and aspirations.

When her pupils, many of whom are asylum seekers, faced displacement, Ms Thorne adjusted exams and she also organised clothing drives and provided water bottles to ensure her students had their basic needs met.

BCoT, where Ms Thorne teaches, offers advanced technical and vocational qualifications.

The college offers full and part-time professional and leisure courses, enabling students to move on to university, employment, or apprenticeships.

This success story amplifies BCoT’s commitment to integrated and quality education.