South Staffordshire College News

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South Staffordshire College is the corporate sponsor of the Staffordshire County Show!

Thu, 23/04/2015 - 14:28

The Countdown to this year’s Staffordshire County Show has begun and South Staffordshire College are proud to be the main sponsors once again. The County Show, which will be taking place at the Staffordshire County Showground on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th May 2015, is one of the largest events in Staffordshire and is a fantastic day out for all the family. It’s also the perfect opportunity for visitors to find out more about the amazing opportunities and facilities available at their local South Staffordshire College campuses. The College will once again be staging what’s proven to be one of the show’s highlights, the ‘Animal Zone Experience’, organised by the Rodbaston Campus Animal Zone Manager, John Buchan. With a number of fascinating hands-on Animal activities to enjoy, plus the opportunity to win a ‘Family Meerkat Experience’ worth £100, this year, the programme is set to be bigger and better than ever! Located in the Country Pursuits area of the showground, the Animal Zone Marquee will give children of all ages the chance to get up close to the range of cuddly (and not-so-cuddly) creatures. Calves, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs will all be roaming within the area, while mice, reptiles and some creepy crawlies will look on from their cages. Visitors to the College’s main stand (F79), which is located opposite the main arena, will also have the opportunity to try their hand at a range of hands-on activities, including plant propagation and milking a cow! Staff from the College will also be on hand to offer advice and guidance about the exciting range of courses and apprenticeships available at their Rodbaston Campus, including Animal Care, Veterinary Care, Agriculture, Floristry and many more. This September, there will be even more choice for aspiring learners, following the launch of a range of new courses including a Foundation Degree in Equine Behaviour, Training and Performance and a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science with Animal Behaviour. If that’s not enough, this year, for the very first time, the College will also be running an exciting range of have-a-go activities from the brand new Leisure and Learning Marquee. Home to a range of family friendly FREE workshops including Spanish, Photography, Sugarcraft and many more, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a taste of some of the hundreds of Part Time Courses on offer at South Staffordshire College. The courses themselves, which are run during the day, evenings and weekends across all campuses and at various outreach centres in the local community, are a fantastic way to find a new hobby, meet new people or even develop new skills to help boost career prospects. Many of the courses are completely free of charge and for those that have a fee, there will be exclusive ‘County Show’ discounts on offer to those who want to sign up! South Staffordshire College’s association with the show reflects its close ties to the rural economy. At its Rodbaston Campus the College offers a unique range of land-based courses, and award-winning developments on the site have added a new dimension to the facilities. Chief Executive Principal of the College, Graham Morley, says involvement with the show is a mark of the importance the College places on its relationship with the Staffordshire rural community. “This event is always one of the highlights of the year for the people of the area and with our strong involvement in the rural enterprise economy of Staffordshire it is quite natural that we should retain our role as main sponsors. We’re thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic event again for 2015.”   The Staffordshire County Showground is situated on the A518 Stafford to Uttoxeter Road, just four miles from Stafford. To find out more about the range of courses on offer at South Staffordshire College visit Applications are still being accepted for this September and you can sign up online in just 25 seconds! Twitter: @southstaffs Facebook: SouthStaffordshireCollege

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New reptile house ‘scales-up’ South Staffordshire College’s facilities

Thu, 23/04/2015 - 12:44

South Staffordshire College is celebrating the opening of its brand new reptile house. The latest residents slithered into their new home at Rodbaston Campus’ Animal Zone on Saturday 18th April and the enclosure is now open to members of the public. The collection was completed with the most recent resident’s arrival, a Caledonian giant gecko. The new reptile facility now houses one of the largest collections of reptiles in an animal welfare college in the UK. The college is now the only one in the UK to home Caiman Lizards and will be entering into a breeding programme with zoos around the country to help protect this endangered species. Contributors to the new facility include the Zoological Society of London, Chester Zoo, Dudley Zoo and Cotswold Wildlife Park, who have donated an exciting range of reptiles that are unavailable through the pet trade, helping to provide additional learning opportunities for Animal Care students and educate both students and visitors about the importance of reptiles in conservation. Animal Care students from the college helped to create the new reptile house, from designing the enclosures and displays to building and painting them and creating all of the signage. Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet the reptile keeper during sessions throughout the day where they can handle the snakes, geckos and skinks. John Buchan, Animal Zone Manager at South Staffordshire College, said: “The new reptile house is a really exciting project for us. As well as providing our visitors with the chance to learn and explore more about reptiles that they would otherwise be unable to see outside of a zoo, it is also a perfect showcase of the hard work of our students, who played a fundamental role in making the reptile house come to life. This is a venture that will really help put us on the map, enabling us to work with zoological collections throughout the UK to make an important contribution to breeding programmes.” Rodbaston’s Animal Zone boasts over 650 different animals from around the world. The Animal Zone is open from 10am until 4pm on weekends and daily throughout school holidays*. Guests do not need to pre-book; just turn up on the day and entry is £5.20 for adults, £4.20 for children, free for under 3s and a family ticket for two adults and two children is just £16. Parking is free. Visitors can also take advantage of a current Groupon offer for 50% off a family ticket, seeing the price reduced to just £8 for a family of four. Adult tickets can also be purchased for £3 each. For further details visit For further information about South Staffordshire College and the Animal Zone, visit or call 0300 456 2424. * Based on Staffordshire term dates. About Us South Staffordshire College occupies five campuses in Cannock, Lichfield, Rodbaston and two in Tamworth. The college attracts over 4,000 students every year. Providing a diversified range of courses to suit every learning style and offering the very best in further education, higher education and apprenticeships, South Staffordshire College offers a range of first-class facilities, including a zoo, motor vehicle workshop and an equine centre that is recognised as being one of the best in the UK. Not only does it provide a popular venue for dressage and show jumping shows and equestrian societies, it also offers a range of training and exams in partnership with the BHS (British Horse Society). With valuable experience in both industry and commerce, the college has strong links with both local and national employers, providing successful work-based learning programmes that meet the needs of both businesses and learners.

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Access a brighter future at South Staffordshire College

Wed, 22/04/2015 - 16:37

Do you have career ambitions but need help achieving your goals? Have you been out of education for a while and want to take steps towards a more rewarding future? South Staffordshire College can help you get on track with their broad range of Access to Higher Education qualifications. Ideal for those who want to study for a Degree but don’t have the required entry requirements, or for those who want to retrain to embark on an exciting new career journey, these courses are the ideal platform to re-introduce yourself to studying. Better still, they can be completed in just one year, so achieving your goals could be easier (and quicker) than you think! Available in a variety of pathways including Health for those who would like a career such as Midwifery, Nursing and Paramedic Science to Business and Management, for those who want to work is Management, Finance or Marketing, South Staffordshire College’s Access Courses are also available at Tamworth, Cannock and Lichfield Campuses. Curriculum Team Leader at South Staffordshire College, Kerry Adam says “In days gone by, many people left school at 16 (or younger) and entered directly into work. Today, we’re seeing an increasingly high number of applications from people who, years down the line, have decided the time is right for them to follow their heart and pursue their dream career. Our Access to HE courses are ideal for these people and it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to help people on their journey.” The success rates of these courses also speak for themselves, with an impressive 85% of learners going on into Higher Education or employment last year. Student satisfaction rates are also high, with current and previous learners having nothing but positive feedback on their Access experience with the College. Annette Price-Porter says “In January 2011 I suffered a great loss in my life, from this loss I was left a small legacy, rather than waste the money I decided I would like to enrich my life by going back into education. As a mature student I found it very daunting, however my fears soon diminished as the tutors and fellow students were very reassuring and easy going. All tutors delivered lectures clear and precise, interacting with every student, supporting and assisting them on any difficulties which arose, I gained so much confidence. The experience was amazing! I learnt so many new skills which gave me the tools to prepare my journey into university. I currently study at the University of Wolverhampton studying a BA Honours Degree in Criminology, the Criminal Justice System and Social Care. I have now applied to become a Magistrate but without furthering my education at South Staffordshire College Cannock Campus and the marvellous work and efforts all tutors put in, I would never have been able to reach my goal. I would highly recommend the Access to HE course whether young or old, you’re never too old to start learning a new skill; I am so pleased I did!” South Staffordshire College Access to HE Courses are offered in the following subject areas: Health, Humanities, Art and Design, ICT, Business and Management and Engineering. Applications are still being taken for this September. To find out more, visit

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SSC Agriculture Students win ‘Great Farm Challenge’ for the second year running

Tue, 21/04/2015 - 12:00

Level 3 Agriculture students from South Staffordshire College are basking in the glory of having won the Inter College ‘Great Farm Challenge’ for the second year running. The Challenge, which is run by Severn Trent Water, East Anglian Water, The Environment Agency and Catchment Sensitive Farming provides College students from across the region with the opportunity to produce proposals for how they would improve a farm which they have visited. This year, students visited a dairy farm near Shifnal and given just 2 weeks to work in small teams to complete a review of this farm and another case study farm situated on the river Leam in Warwickshire which they had not visited. Those with the best proposals for both were then invited to present their ideas to a panel of 5 judges and other finalists at an event which took place on 19th March at the Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh Park. South Staffordshire College saw two student groups progress into the finals and having beaten off stiff competition from Walford College, Warwickshire College and Moulton College, one group were crowned champions. The winning team, which was made up of first year students, Sophie McDonald, Ryan Crowther, Emily Towlson and Oliver Pratt, are delighted with their achievement and say “it was so daunting to stand in front of the judges and other finalists to give our presentation; I think we were all shaking! It has made us realise how important it is to correctly manage the environment while going about daily tasks on the farm” South Staffordshire College Agriculture course tutor Sarah Winson is delighted with the outcome and says “All of the students involved in this competition worked extremely hard and should be very proud of their well-deserved victory. They took the competition, which teaches them the importance of water pollution and nutrient conservation on farms, an essential part of modern agriculture very seriously and rehearsed their presentation constantly in the run up to the finals. It’s a great achievement for the students and also for the Agriculture tutors at the college, who work tirelessly to help our students achieve their goals. We’re delighted with the outcome.” Following their success, the students were awarded with £300 in Amazon Vouchers and a trophy. South Staffordshire College offer a range of Agriculture courses, all of which can be applied for online in just 25 seconds.   To find out more about studying Agriculture at South Staffordshire college visit or call 0300 456 2424

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South Staffordshire College Apprentices lay winning foundations for their future

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 15:06

Bricklaying Apprentices from South Staffordshire College are building solid foundations for their future careers after huge success at a prestigious ‘Guild of Bricklayers’ competition. Established in 1932, the Guild of Bricklayers aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of craftsmanship in brickwork. Held in Stoke-on-Trent on 31st March 2015, the competition, which sees aspiring young Bricklayers from throughout the region compete at both junior and senior level, was the perfect opportunity for competitors from South Staffordshire College to show off their skills to a range of industry experts and professionals. South Staffordshire College entrant Oliver Ingram fought off stiff competition to be crowned winner of the ‘Young Achievers Award’ and Senior competitor James Robinson performed exceptionally well, becoming runner up in the Senior category. Doug Benson, Construction Trainer & Assessor at South Staffordshire College says “The standard of work by our two Apprentices in this competition was absolutely fantastic. I would like to congratulate both of them on their success and thank their tutor, Leigh Jakeman for all the hard work and commitment involved in helping Oliver and James earn their well-deserved awards.” Tutor, Leigh Jackman in understandably thrilled with the results. “Both Oliver and James have worked extremely hard to develop their skills during their apprenticeship programme and it’s great to see that hard work being recognised at the Guild of Bricklayers Awards. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work alongside them both and it’s great to see the investment in our students paying off.” Following the recent success at these awards, it seems the Bricklaying apprentices have developed a taste for winning and next on the agenda is the Skill-Build competition. This event, which takes place on 2nd June and is run by CITB with the endorsement of WorldSkills competition managers for the bi-annual WorldSkills competitions, sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the Skill-Build winner in their chosen trade. Having been running for over 45 years, there are awards up for grabs in ten craft occupations including Bricklaying, Carpentry, Plastering and many more. If you want to take the first steps towards a career in the construction industry and would like to know more about the range of courses and Apprenticeships on offer at South Staffordshire College, visit where you can apply online in just 25 seconds! To find out more about the benefits of Apprenticeships visit: or call the Apprenticeships Team on 01785 710529.

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Performing Arts Students receive excellent reviews at Lichfield Garrick Performances

Mon, 30/03/2015 - 10:23

Performing Arts Students from South Staffordshire College have stars in their eyes following their recent performances of “See How they Run” and “Tick, Tick, Boom!” at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre. The performances, which took place on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th March are the result of months of hard work by the students and staff alike, and have received much acclaim, having been attended by critics from both “Love Midlands Theatre” and “Remotegoat”. “Sitting, watching the BTEC Performing Arts students was rewarding” say ‘Love Midlands Theatre’. “It was as if I’d had the opportunity to look through a window into the future and watch the emerging talent in the Midlands.” See How They Run: Remotegoat gave ‘Tick, Tick, Boom” an impressive 4 star review and said “South Staffordshire College Performing Arts Department has a well deserved reputation for producing high quality productions, and their latest production did nothing to harm this. Laurie Asher’s assured directing and choreography, and Mark Bayliss’s musical direction gave this performance a slick production value, whilst also using the main characters and the general ensemble to their best advantage.” Tick Tick Boom: Feedback from other audience members and via social media has also been extremely positive. “Fantastic night watching Tick Tick Boom” says one spectator. “Such talented student s – first class performance from all. Loved the dialogue and the songs sung wonderfully. Full of warmth and humour! Magical!” Naturally, the students and staff are delighted that their performances have been so well received and Performing Arts Course Leader Laurie Asher says “I’m extremely proud of the students. They have worked very hard to deliver two fantastic shows and I’d like to thank them all for their commitment and enthusiasm. We’re delighted that the shows have been so well received. I’d also like to extend huge thanks to those who support our department by buying tickets for our shows. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to continue to produce such high quality productions. All of the profits generated are reinvested back into our department, so that we can continue to provide our learners with such fantastic performance opportunities.” The Performing Arts Department at South Staffordshire College continues to go from strength to strength and in the past year, has seen student numbers double. This success, coupled with an increasing demand in the local community, has led to the launch of a new Foundation Degree in Musical Theatre. This course, along with the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre), gives those who dream of treading the boards in the West End, or being a star on the big screen the perfect grounding for a career in this highly competitive industry. If you’d like to see the students in action, the next production by South Staffordshire College BTEC Level 3 Students is “Merrily We Roll Along” which runs on 23rd and 24th June at the Lichfield Garrick. Written by Stephen Sondheim, who also wrote ‘Into the woods’ and ‘Sweeny Todd’, and with rehearsals now well underway, this performance is shaping up to be another roaring success. If you can’t wait that long, Greasepaint Productions – South Staffordshire College’s in-house production company for the Foundation Degree in Musical Theatre, will also be staging ” Hot Mikado” the hit jazz / swing musical adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta ‘The Mikado’. Also taking place at the Lichfield Garrick, this show will run from Wednesday 27th – Saturday 30th May 2015. Tickets for both of these shows are available now from the Lichfield Garrick Box Office. Call 01543 412121 or visit to get yours now! If you want to find out more about studying Performing Arts at South Staffordshire College, visit where you can apply online in just 25 seconds.

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SSC Employer Engagement Team Deliver Tailor Made Training to Staffordshire Police

Thu, 26/03/2015 - 13:02

The Employer Engagement team at South Staffordshire College are working with the Staffordshire Police Force by providing tailor made practical training packages to help them develop the necessary skills to handle cattle, sheep, pigs and reptiles. The workshops, which were delivered last week by expert staff from the College’s Rodbaston Campus were designed to help equip participants with the knowledge and expertise needed to deliver a part of their job that they have previously not received formal training in. John Renshaw, Manager of the Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement Team at South Staffordshire College says “When people think about the responsibilities of the Police Force, they seldom think about the need for them to effectively and safely handle animals, yet when serving rural communities, this is a very real part of their job. We’re thrilled to be working alongside the Staffordshire Force to help provide expert, bespoke training that specifically responds to their needs.” The training has been extremely well received by those who have taken part, with 100% of participants who provided feedback saying the session was useful and informative. Other comments include: “The most useful course I have attended in 27 years!” “Absolutely fantastic day. Extremely useful and thoroughly enjoyable. I’m looking forward to coming back!” In addition to the Police Force, the Team at South Staffordshire College work alongside over 500 businesses per year providing bespoke training packages designed to upskill staff, boost productivity and increase profits. All training is delivered by Industry experts and offered with flexible delivery methods that meet the needs of the individual business. Serving a range of industry sectors from Veterinary and Animal Care to Agriculture and Horticulture, if you would like to find out more about how your business could benefit visit or call 01785 710529

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Little Learners Nursery Receives a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted

Mon, 23/03/2015 - 12:27

The staff and children at South Staffordshire College’s Little Learners Nursery are celebrating the success of a recent Ofsted inspection giving them a ‘Good’ rating. The Nursery, based on the College’s Cannock Campus, received impressive grades and confirmed how well the Early Years provision is meeting the needs of the range of children who attend. The Inspectors reported that “Staff skilfully support children’s learning and provide good quality teaching and experiences based around children’s interests. This results in children actively learning through their play and gaining the skills required in preparation for school.” The report also shows that staff and children enjoy relationships that are warm, close and supportive and that the individual needs of each child are met. Staff are commended for their relationships with parents and carers to ensure that children are kept safe and enjoy a personalised learning experience. Following the inspection, staff are understandably proud, with Little Learners Nursery Manager Kelly O’Grady saying “We are thrilled with the inspection outcome which clearly shows that the staff are experienced and work well together to ensure high quality care for all our children.” In addition to providing a vital childcare resource for both students and staff with children and the wider public, Little Learners Nursery also provides a perfect learning environment for those students who are studying for qualifications in Childcare. Looking for childcare? The Nursery, which caters for children from Birth to School age and offers Free Nursery Education Funding for 2 , 3 and 4 year olds, currently has spaces available at both the Cannock and Tamworth campuses. To find out more call 01543 438 737 (Cannock) or 01827 304 342 (Tamworth) or visit Want to study childcare? South Staffordshire College offer a range of exciting courses at both FE and HE level. Find out more, or apply online in just 25 seconds by visiting  

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New Equine Foundation Degree

Mon, 23/03/2015 - 12:24

According to Lantra, Britain’s equine industry has a combined economic impact of £7 billion and demand for highly qualified and skilled workers continues to increase. In response to this demand, South Staffordshire College have recently bolstered their Higher Education provision by launching a new Foundation Degree in Equine Behaviour, Training and Performance in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton. A key growth area within the equestrian industry, the course embraces the knowledge required for a career in the equitation science industry. Students will study a wide range of modules including Advances in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation, Equitation Science performance, Animal welfare and ethics and many more. Delivered at South Staffordshire College’s 180 hectare rural estate, students will be taught by equine industry professionals and have access to some of the finest learning facilities at the onsite Rodbaston Equestrian centre, which is recognised as one of the best and most well-resourced specialist equine centres in the UK. What’s more, with options to study either full or part time, learners can tailor their education to fit in with other commitments. Sharon Bedlow, Higher Education Manager at South Staffordshire College says: “We’re delighted to be offering this exciting new course in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton. The demand for skilled workers in the equestrian industry, combined with our outstanding facilities, and highly experienced staff, means we’re the ideal place to study.” For those with an interest in pursuing a career in related fields such as Animal Care, South Staffordshire College also offer related Higher Education courses including a Foundation Degree in Animal Science and Behaviour, and a brand new BSc (Hons) in Animal Science with Animal Behaviour, which is launching this September. Run in conjunction with Staffordshire University, these courses are ideal for those who want to pursue a career in the £1 billion UK Animal Care Industry, The success rates of South Staffordshire College’s Animal Care courses are impressive and previous learners have progressed to work for a number of prestigious businesses, including West Midlands Safari Park, Drayton Manor Park, the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust. To find out more about these courses, including information on how to apply, visit where you can download the latest Higher Education prospectus.

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Art and Media students enjoy a breathtaking Parisian experience

Mon, 23/03/2015 - 12:03

Art and Media students from South Staffordshire College have their creative juices flowing, having recently returned from a 4 day cultural trip to Paris. The Trip, which took place from 10th – 13th March, provided Learners studying courses including Creative Media, Film, TV and journalism and Art and Design pathways including photography, graphics and fashion, with the opportunity to experience, first hand, a range of cultural excursions. Highlights included a city river cruise and trips to the Louvre and Pompidou Art Galleries, where they enjoyed a mix of classical and contemporary art work. Some students even had the opportunity to meet Parisian artists in residence in their working studios at a central art house. For those interested in fast-paced action, the trip also included the chance to explore the Studios at the Disney Parks and enjoy a range of behind the scenes tours. Learners also visited the ‘Moteurs Stunt Show’ where they learned about the ‘tricks of the trade’ when filming awe inspiring action sequences, including nail biting stunts, car chases and pyrotechnics. Of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower! Chris Hopkins, Head of Curriculum at South Staffordshire College says “The trip to Paris was an exciting experience that provided our learners with some truly breathtaking memories as well as an insight into various creative careers. That they have come home so excited is fantastic. I’m sure the trip will provide them with inspiration for their studies for a long time to come.” South Staffordshire College offer a range of courses in creative subjects including Film and TV, Art and Design and many more. To find out more, or apply online in just 25 seconds, visit: or call 0300 456 2424

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Digital Entrepreneur is proving independent app development is anything but ‘dinky’

Tue, 17/03/2015 - 11:15

One of South Staffordshire College’s digital entrepreneurs and resident ‘creative wizard’ has single-handedly launched an exciting new game on the Google Play Store. Entitled ‘Dinky Racing’, the game is a simple to play retro style racing game, inspired by classic games like Super Sprint and Micro Machines. Launched only a few days ago, the game, which is available as both a free download (lite version) and full 24 track version, is already proving to be a big hit with a 5 star rating! The brains behind the game, Senior Web Design Engineer Neil King, says “Back in the 80′s there were lots of ‘bedroom coders’ making money from writing computer games, then it became big business and the little guys didn’t get a look in. Now independent developers are making big money again with apps that have very low development costs so can be sold at such low prices that the big companies would lose money if they tried to compete. I like that. It opens up a whole host of new opportunities for aspiring IT entrepreneurs.” Jamie Smith, Director of Strategy and Infrastructure at South Staffordshire College agrees. “Software development has gone full circle in a truly fantastic way. I view it as a bit of a Renaissance of the industry. In recent times, some of the biggest success stories come not from huge corporations but by smaller groups of coders who work together collaboratively to produce some simply stunning results. Take Minecraft as an example. A game developed by just a few independent developers has fast become a multi-billion pound success story.” Neil’s enthusiasm is clear and when asked about the reasons for his success and what advice he’d give to other aspiring young developers, Neil says: “A successful career in IT or games development doesn’t have to mean big corporate offices in the US. There is no reason why someone sitting in their bedroom in Cannock can’t achieve just as positive a result. All you need is a blend of creative, unique ideas and the technical capabilities to actually bring them to life. I have always had a huge interest in digital development, and began my career by studying IT at the Cannock Campus of what is now South Staffordshire College. My qualification was the first real step into the career of my dreams, and I’m still just as passionate now as I was then.” If you want to follow in Neil’s footsteps, why not check out the range of IT courses on offer from South Staffordshire College by visiting: Applications are still being accepted for this September and you can apply online in just 25 seconds!   Play ‘Dinky Racing’ for yourself… The Full version is available to purchase here: The FREE version with 6 tracks to try is available here:

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Horticulturalists win opportunity to showcase their skills at BBC Gardeners World 2015

Tue, 17/03/2015 - 10:40

Following a successful submission, the Horticulture Department at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus are celebrating after being invited to take part in the ‘Beautiful Borders’ Exhibit at the BBC’s Gardener’s World Live from 11th – 14th June 2015. The event, which features the Royal Horticultural Society’s flower show, will be held at the Birmingham NEC and is a fantastic opportunity for Students and Staff at South Staffordshire College to demonstrate their creativity and talent to a range of high profile industry experts and the wider visiting public. To secure their position at the event, South Staffordshire College learners were asked to submit their design ideas, perspective drawings and an exhibit description for an inspiring border that reflects the theme of ‘Industrial Heritage of the West Midlands’. Having impressed the Gardener’s World Team, the result of their hard work has paid off. Sarah Davies, Head Gardener at South Staffordshire College says: “The staff and students are absolutely delighted to have this opportunity. Needless to say, it’s a great chance for them to showcase their work at one of the most prestigious events in the horticultural calendar. We don’t want to give away the details of our design too soon, but needless to say, after all of the planning and hard work that the students have put in, we’re confident it’s going to be a real showstopper. The design, which is inspired by the melting pot that was once Birmingham’s brass industry, will hopefully set visitors imaginations alight.” Second Year, Level 3 Horticulture Student Amy Harper has been a key driving force behind the project. Her demonstrable commitment follows on from the success of an exhibition for which she was responsible last year at Tatton Park Flower Show, for which she was awarded a Royal Horticultural Society Commendation. To find out more about the show, or to find information about booking tickets, visit To find out more about studying Horticulture at South Staffordshire college visit or call 0300 456 2424

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Business Students Raise Money for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 10:58

Level 2 Business Students and overseas learners from South Staffordshire College have raised an impressive £365.55 for Charity ‘Newlife’ following a jewellery sale. Newlife, foundation for disabled children, were thrilled with the donation and have contacted the students in question to tell them how their gift has helped improve the life of a disabled child by providing him with a specialist buggy. The charity said “Every day, we are receiving applications from families who are struggling to get the equipment they need. Without your help, and the help of our supporters, more children would suffer. Supporting Newlife really does change lives, so thank you again…” South Staffordshire College Business Tutor Kim Langdell said “This is the second year that our students have raised money for Newlife. We’re delighted to have been able to help make a difference to the lives of children with a disability and their families. As well as being a fantastic way to help a worthwhile charity, the jewellery sale was also a great opportunity for our business learners to have a ‘real world’ chance to enhance their learning and contribute to their visual merchandising and project management units.” In addition to Charity fundraisers, Business learners at South Staffordshire College, take part in a huge range of activities throughout the year that contribute to their studies, including conducting research projects for National Businesses and attending workshops with guest speakers from businesses such as Alton Towers. To find out more about studying business at South Staffordshire college visit: or call 0300 456 2424

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Apprentice Wins Recognition Award in run up to National Apprenticeships Week 2015

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 10:19

South Staffordshire College Apprentice Megan Boards will be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2015 in style having won an award at the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Apprenticeship Recognition Awards 2015. Megan, who is an apprentice at Lichfield District Council and whose training is provided by the team at South Staffordshire College, fought off stiff competition to become 1 of just 12 winning Apprentices, thanks to her outstanding positive approach, flexibility and ability. According to her employers, Megan’s nomination was earned due to her “exceptional attitude to her work. She has become a confident problem solver with strong interpersonal skills and is considered a ‘go-to’ person of choice by customers, colleagues and other employees”. To celebrate her success, Megan was invited to a presentation event on Thursday 5th March at the Kingston Centre, Stafford, where she was presented with her award by Ken Stepney, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, Enterprise and Skills Group. John Renshaw, Manager of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at South Staffordshire College said “We’re delighted for Megan, it’s great to see the hard work of our Apprentices paying off. It’s a credit, not only to Megan, but also to the hardworking training staff here at the College who are so committed to helping young people take the first steps into employment.” Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for people to gain valuable work experience alongside a salary and recognised qualifications. To find out more about the range of Apprenticeships opportunities at South Staffordshire college visit: or call the Apprenticeships Team on 01785 710529.

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South Staffordshire College Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Wed, 04/03/2015 - 13:35

South Staffordshire College will be hosting a series of events to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week next week. Current students at the College will be invited to information events to find out how they can progress on to an Apprenticeship and gain professional skills early on in their career. An Apprenticeship information event will also be held in Stafford town centre on Tuesday 10th March, from 10am – 4pm. Staff at the event will be on hand to provide information about the range of current Apprenticeship vacancies on offer, as well as information on how to apply. Current Apprenticeship vacancies include opportunities in Business, Health and Social Care, ICT, Horticulture and many more. Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement Manager, John Renshaw, says: ‘We’re looking forward to getting involved in National Apprenticeship Week this year. We are attending local schools and visiting town centres with a team of experts on hand to answer any questions about Apprenticeships.’ ‘At our events during the week, current Apprentices will also be available to talk to young people about their experiences and provide information about how Apprenticeships can advance careers.’ The college will also be meeting with employers across the region during the week to provide information about the benefits of hiring an Apprentice. Peter Davis, Director at Stafford Tiles and Flooring, praises the College’s Apprenticeship programme: ‘We are delighted with our Apprentice’s successes this year. The transformation he has undergone this past year is amazing and he is an integral part of our team. It proves that the national apprenticeship scheme can be a fantastic success for both company and apprentice.’ To find out more about the range of Apprenticeships opportunities at South Staffordshire college visit or call the Apprenticeships Team on 01785 710529.

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National Apprenticeship Week – 9th to 13th March!

Wed, 25/02/2015 - 13:34

Top reasons to start an Apprenticeship: Your training is paid for by the Government and your employer – meaning zero cost to you! You will receive at least 20 days holiday a year, plus 8 bank holidays. Just like any other student, you will be entitled to hundreds of discounts with an NUS -Extra Card! Discounts include: Topshop, Spotify, Amazon, New Look, Jack Wills and many more. You don’t need to wait until September to get started – we take on Apprentices all year round! With an increasing number of employers welcoming apprentices, there are more opportunities than ever to get inside some of the most exciting and innovative companies in the country! Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study, it’s a great way to earn while you learn. As an apprentice you’ll: Work alongside experienced staff Gain job-specific skills Earn a wage and get holiday pay Study towards a related qualification   An apprenticeship has an equivalent education level and can be: Intermediate – equivalent to 5 GCSE passes Advanced – equivalent to 2 A level passes Higher – can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree Did you know… Did you know that an apprentice earns, on average, over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees? Did you know since 2010, there have been over 2 million apprenticeship starts in England? Did you know over 90% of our apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship? Did you know in 2014 the most popular apprenticeship was health and social care? We currently offer apprenticeships in: Accountancy* Agriculture Animal care Business Administration Bricklaying Carpentry Customer Service Engineering Equine Health and Social Care Hairdressing Horticulture IT professionals Logistics and Warehousing Management Multi-Occupations Construction Painting and Decorating Plumbing Team Leading Veterinary Nursing Trees and timber Wall and Floor Tiling *You must have held a position in Accountancy for a minimum of 12 months to qualify.

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Para Olympian Lee Pearson at Rodbaston Equine Centre

Wed, 25/02/2015 - 10:53

Para Olympian Dressage rider Lee Pearson, holder of 34 medal’s from the European, Olympic and World Para Games, was at the Rodbaston Equestrian Centre to hold training sessions for riders on Thursday 19th February. Lee also trains Emily Murdoch, a student at South Staffordshire College on the NCFE employability course and the level 3 Extended diploma in Equine. Emily also keeps her horses here at Rodbaston’s DIY as the facilities ensure she can train all year round. Emily is a Grade 3 Para rider and has recently been selected to go for FEI grading in Deville in April. Lee has such a strong belief in Emily that he is supporting her and financing the trip to the grading himself. The grading will enable Emily to compete internationally, and highlights her as a 2016 hopeful for the Para Equestrian Olympics in Rio. Emily is also the 2014 summer Grade 3 restricted champion, has qualified for the winter championships and also competes her horse successfully in able bodied dressage competitions at medium level. Lee will be returning to hold another clinic in April and also in the meantime Emily will continue to train with him on a regular basis. We wish her very good luck. For more information on Equine courses at South Staffordshire College, visit: Or to visit our Rodbaston Equestrian Centre website, visit:

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New Building Opening at South Staffordshire College

Mon, 16/02/2015 - 12:25

New Building Opening at South Staffordshire College South Staffordshire College will be opening a dedicated building to provide specialist education, care and employment services to young people with disabilities or learning difficulties in Staffordshire. Students who attend the campus will have access to personalised study programmes in the safe and secure setting of the Rodbaston Campus. The new development will include facilities for students with complex needs, including classrooms, a skills kitchen, chill-out zone, ICT room and drama area. Courses at the campus will cover a range of content including mobility, communications, speech and language therapy, as well as personal, social and health education. Students will get work experience and qualifications in academic and vocational subjects including: Animal and Equine Care, Business Administration, Catering & Hospitality, Construction, Customer Service, Horticulture, Maths, English and ICT. Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, Graham Morley, says: ‘The new building will be an important and welcome addition to the South Staffordshire College family. It will allow us to widen our provision for people needing to access suitable education and training in Staffordshire.’ For more information about the development and courses at South Staffordshire College, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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Lambing Weekend at Staffordshire Animal Zone

Thu, 12/02/2015 - 16:42

The Animal Zone, based on the Rodbaston Campus at South Staffordshire College, will be providing the public with the opportunity to meet the new spring lambs next month. The Meet the Spring Lambs events will take place for two consecutive weekends, starting 21st and 22nd March. The event is always popular so early booking is recommended. Visitors to the event will be able to hold and bottle feed the new arrivals, as well as see the rest of the animals on site. The Animal Zone is home to around 750 types of animals, including meerkats, monkeys, reptiles, companion animals and exotics. Supervisor of the Animal Zone and Visitor Centre, Julie Burdett says: ‘We all look forward to the lambing weekends! It’s very rewarding to see how much excitement children and adults alike get through the close interaction with the farm animals.’ For more information visit or call 01785 710560 to book.

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Students Raise Money for Caudwell Children’s Charity

Mon, 09/02/2015 - 11:59

Childcare students from South Staffordshire College, Cannock Campus, organised and ran fundraising events to raise money for Caudwell Children’s Charity. A representative from the Caudwell Children’s Charity recently visited the college to speak to students about the charity and the impact they make on the local area. The presentation inspired students to raise money for the cause. Harriet Shaw, a Childcare student from Featherstone, was so impressed by the work of the charity; she now volunteers there and offers practical help. £154.07 was raised for the charity that supports children who have a disability, as well as their families across the UK. The money was raised within the college, through cake sales, a sponsored silence and other games and prizes. Sharon Penzer, Childcare Lecturer, says “I’m so proud of my learners and their passion for supporting children with disabilities.” To find out more about the College’s Open Events and courses, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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