As Premier Sponsors of The Skills Show, South Staffordshire College students used this opportunity to share their skills and ambitions, receiving advice and guidance about a world of career opportunities The event attracted hundreds of exhibitors and featured many ‘Have-a-Go’ activities to enable visitors to try new skills. Alongside other Premier Colleges, South Staffordshire College showcased a huge range of vocational courses, including Creative Media, where visitors had the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of being a TV Presenter and recreating a live TV production. Visitors were also able to try their hand at practical tasks such as Motor Vehicle Technology and Hair & Beauty. Graham Morley, Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, says: “Now, more than ever, parents and young people have important decisions to make about the future. We provide an essential gateway between the world of education and the skills required by the commercial world” To find out more about opportunities and courses at South Staffordshire College, visit www.southstaffs.ac.uk or email email@example.com
South Staffordshire College’s Higher Education students have graduated in the surroundings of the magnificent Lichfield Cathedral, marking the successful conclusion of their studies. Lichfield’s famous landmark hosted the Graduation ceremony for the seventh year running, providing a fitting backdrop and making the evening a most memorable experience for all. Special guest speaker Michael Fabricant MP, Member of Parliament for Lichfield, gave an inspirational and motivational speech to the audience before joining the College’s Chief Executive Principal, Graham Morley to present each graduating learner with their scroll. To mark the special occasion, Floristry students from the College’s Rodbaston Campus created some impressive floral pieces to decorate the cathedral and received high praise from both dignitaries and graduating students alike. Graham Morley congratulated the students on their achievements. “Graduation is a celebration of the efforts of both our students and the teaching staff. At South Staffordshire College we strive to prepare people for the world of work, to give them the edge when applying for jobs in a competitive employment market and the skills they need to meet the demands of prospective employers.”
A student from South Staffordshire College has received recognition in a national festival to celebrate the next generation of the UK’s creative talent. James Fellows, aged 17, is studying for his Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at South Staffordshire College’s Lichfield Campus. His entry in the Illustration category at the Noise Festival won him recognition as Artist of the Week in June 2014. Noise is a charity that has supported over 18,000 emerging artists and is recognised as a platform to showcase the next generation of creative talent. Following his success, James was invited by renowned cartoonist, illustrator and designer Gerarld Scarfe to join an online webinar and was also handpicked by him as Curator’s Choice. Mr Scarfe also commented on James’ winning pieces of work: “A very good caricaturist. Exceptional work for his age. He is able to handle all media, pen and ink, water colour. I like the way he is really trying to say something about the characters. Not just using a cypher. An obvious use for his work would be magazines and newspapers.” As part of his prize, James went to the House of Commons to meet Gerald Scarfe (CBE) and the winners of the other categories; including fine art, comedy, photography, music, architecture and many more. On his visit, he said: “We spent the afternoon with Gerald Scarfe and he told us all about his experience in the art world, including working for Disney, the Royal Ballet, the BBC, and a vast number of magazines and newspapers. He also gave us valuable advice on establishing ourselves as illustrators and artists.” The South Staffordshire College’s Lichfield Campus where James studies is home to The Wedge Gallery, one of the most influential in the area, which showcases original works by both established and new artists. It also offers students at the College a unique opportunity to gain experience in presenting, organising and managing exhibitions in addition to providing a public forum for their work. John Hayward, Foundation Course Leader at South Staffordshire College is not surprised by James’s success. “It’s a delight to have James on the course because he is so highly motivated and talented. He has maturity above his years and the potential to excel in his chosen field. Winning a national competition in Art is a clear recognition of his talent. The Foundation course is an opportunity for James not only to widen his experience of creative practice across a number of disciplines but also to develop his chosen area of specialism in preparation for higher education.”
Graham Morley, Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, is encouraging parents of all teenagers in the area to visit the UK’s largest skills and careers event later this week. The College is a member of Premier Colleges, Premier Sponsors of The Skills Show, the nation’s largest free-to-attend skills and careers event taking place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) from 13-15 November 2014. “I would strongly recommend this event to parents and young people considering their future career options”, he said. “Not only does it provide a unique opportunity for young people to get advice and information on that vital next step but it’s also a massive showcase for students, including our own from South Staffordshire College, to demonstrate the skills, enthusiasm and motivation that appeal to employers and fire the ambition of budding young entrepreneurs.” The event attracts hundreds of exhibitors and features many ‘Have-a-Go’ activities to enable visitors to try new skills. Alongside other Premier Colleges, South Staffordshire College will be showcasing its range of vocational courses, for example giving visitors the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the practical skills required as a TV Presenter. Visitors will be able to undertake a series of practical tasks in order to recreate a live TV news production. In addition to the activities on the South Staffordshire College stand, the Skills Show has a comprehensive ‘Have a Go’ programme and the College is also taking part in collaborative sessions to encourage people to try their hand at practical tasks such as Motor Vehicle Technology and Hair & Beauty. Graham Morley continues, “Now, more than ever, parents and young people have important decisions to make about the future. We, and others like us, bridge the worlds of education and work. With the Skills Show right on our doorstep at the NEC, this is too good an opportunity to miss.” Come to the Show, come and see us in Hall 1. You can register on line at www.theskillsshow.com or just turn up on the day.
South Staffordshire College – the most successful college in the area – is launching its latest Course Guide at a series of Open Evenings across its campuses in Tamworth, Lichfield, Rodbaston, Cannock, later this month (November). Entitled ‘The Book’, the guide offers students advice on how they can ‘Live It’ by fulfilling their ambitions in a wide choice of career paths. South Staffordshire College provides the inspiration behind life-changing academic and career choices with the means to make those ambitions real. The Open Evening at the Torc Professional and Technical Centre, Tamworth is on Monday, 24th November 2014, from 6pm to 8pm, and offers students and parents an opportunity to find out more about the Electrical Engineering, Brickwork, Carpentry, Health & Social Care and Hair & Beauty courses. It will be a fun affair, with ‘Have a Go’ activities on offer for everyone to enjoy. These include nail techniques for budding Beauty Therapists, connecting and fitting a 3-pin plug top for Electricians and demonstrations on using tenon saws and battery operated screwdrivers for those interested in Construction & Carpentry. Health & Social Care students will take part in discussions on the importance of healthy meals and make plates to represent the nutritional content while Fashion students enjoy a fashion illustration and discover more about course content. Information will also be available on under 25s Apprenticeships. The Torc Professional and Technical Centre forms part of South Staffordshire College’s manufacturing and engineering skills hub which also includes an automotive centre at the College’s Tamworth Campus. The Centre has undergone a full refurbishment thanks to a £1million investment by the County Council and £1million from the local enterprise partnership and will now provide a steady stream of work-ready candidates for employment. It’s not too late to sign up for a wide variety of academic and industry-recognised courses, both full and part-time, and with Government figures confirming a success rate of 89% among 16 – 18 year olds at South Staffordshire College, you can make the smart choice and be a part of that success…and you can sign up on-line in just 25 seconds! With a wide range of industry related courses on offer and Apprenticeships for those who want to learn whilst in employment, there is something for everyone at South Staffordshire College. Open Days offer a relaxed and friendly environment in which to find out more.
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Four Beauty students from South Staffordshire College are set to represent their sector at The WorldSkills UK National Finals 2014. The College is a member of Premier Colleges, a Premier sponsor of The Skills Show, which plays host to the WorldSkills UK finals between 13 – 15th November at the NEC Birmingham. The Skills Show is the UK’s biggest skills and careers event, providing a unique opportunity for young people to become inspired and learn more about education, skills and apprenticeship opportunities. The students, from the College’s Cannock and Tamworth campuses, achieved outstanding results in the regional WorldSkills UK competition at Newcastle-under-Lyme in May, competing against hundreds of other talented learners. Stevie Sherlock from Tamworth, Emily Slater from Cannock, Nicole Newman from Lichfield and Jade Aspley from Rugeley took the top three places at Intermediate Level in Nail Enhancements, Nail Art and Beauty and second place in Nail Enhancements respectively and are all looking forward to competing in Birmingham. They hope to win places to represent Team UK in the International WorldSkills final at Sao Paulo in 2015. South Staffordshire College is no stranger to success in WorldSkills competitions with many of its learners having won medals in regional and national events and ex-student Charlotte Burford getting bronze in the World Final in Calgary. Visitors to the South Staffordshire College stand will also be able to speak to expert tutors and students to get up to the minute careers advice for help in discovering their true potential. Tickets for the show are FREE. For more information about The Skills Show, and to register visit: www.theskillsshow.com or call 0845 475 1500
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The timeless elegance of South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Hall will host a thoroughly modern event on Thursday 13th November when the JISC West Midlands Moodle Users Forum is held there. Moodle, the transformational online Virtual Learning Environment for learning and teaching, has been championed by South Staffordshire College. The College has developed an advanced model – named Newton – after the renowned scientist and innovator. Newton uses an enhanced platform based on the latest version of Moodle (2.7) that enables the College to deliver more course content and assessments digitally and also accommodates plug-ins for Social Media usage. South Staffordshire College is also one of the pioneer organisations in adopting a safe social networking platform which provides staff and students with a dedicated service developed exclusively for the education sector. Steve Wileman, Chief Learning Technologist, comments “Holding the event at Rodbaston will enable us to demonstrate the benefits of Newton and share best practice with other colleges. We have seen a significant improvement in staff and student engagement even in the short time we’ve been using Newton. They’re sharing Wikis, quizzes and forums but also assignment uploading which can now be done in a PDF format. This avoids repetition and replications of file uploads and downloads – it also enables on-screen marking using a consistent template. Staff and students are saving time, achieving course objectives quicker and working together in a very positive way.” The Moodle event at Rodbaston Hall is organised by the Regional Support Centre of JISC (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) and is a user-led meeting suitable for Moodle administrators, e-learning and innovation managers and leaders, learning resources and support staff, IT technicians and SMT members.
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South Staffordshire College – the most successful college in the area – is launching its latest Course Guide at a series of Open Evenings across its campuses in Tamworth, Lichfield, Rodbaston, Cannock, later this month (November). Entitled ‘The Book’, the guide offers students advice on how they can ‘Live It’ by fulfilling their ambitions in a wide choice of career paths. South Staffordshire College provides the inspiration behind life-changing academic and career choices with the means to make those ambitions real. The Open Evening at Cannock Campus is on Tuesday 18th November 2014, from 6 pm to 8 pm, and will be a fun affair, with lots of ‘Have a Go’ activities on offer for everyone to enjoy. The event offers students and parents an opportunity to find out more about the wide selection of courses available covering Art & Design, Beauty Therapy, Catering & Hospitality, Childcare, Construction, Hairdressing, Health & Social Care, IT, Media, Motor Sport, Motor Vehicle, Public Services, Sport & Leisure and Supported Learning. Visitors will be able to try their hand at some of the Have-a-Go activities including applying nail tips and bridal hairstyles for budding Beauty Therapy students, designing a web page for IT enthusiasts and removing spark plugs for those interested in a career in Motor Vehicle Technology. Information will also be available on under 25’s Apprenticeships and Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships in Information Technology. The Cannock Campus, which has undergone a £6million refurbishment, is designed to facilitate 21st century learning where students use technology and digital media to communicate, working collaboratively with digital tools to locate, evaluate and use information to further their learning. Students take advantage of dedicated areas around the campus, including My Space, a community space/café where they can use iPhone, iPads and tablets to surf the net, work or just chill out. Touch screen tablets are installed in the Atrium open access points and learners can browse the Internet for course specific resources and utilise installed apps. It’s not too late to sign up for a wide variety of academic and industry-recognised courses, both full and part-time, and with Government figures confirming a success rate of 89% among 16 – 18 year olds at South Staffordshire College, you can make the smart choice and be a part of that success, and you can sign up online in just 25 seconds! With a wide range of industry related courses on offer and Apprenticeships for those who want to learn whilst in employment, there is something for everyone at South Staffordshire College. Open Days offer a relaxed and friendly environment in which to find out more.
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For the third year running, South Staffordshire College is leading the way in skills development by supporting the UK’s biggest skills and careers show. The College is a Premier Sponsor of The Skills Show, taking place from 13 – 15 November 2014 at the NEC Birmingham. The Skills Show provides a unique opportunity for young people to be inspired by and learn more about vocational courses and apprenticeships, giving them a chance to meet employers, talk about job options and ‘have a go’ at bite-size tasters of a new skill, trade or occupation. Alongside other Premier Colleges, South Staffordshire College will be showcasing its range of vocational courses, giving visitors the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the practical skills required as a TV Presenter. Visitors will be able to undertake a series of practical tasks in order to recreate a live TV news production. In addition to the activities on the South Staffordshire College stand, the Skills Show has a comprehensive ‘Have a Go’ programme and the College is also taking part in the collaborative ‘Have a Go’ sessions to encourage people to try their hand at practical tasks to give them an insight into a variety of careers, including Motor Vehicle Technology and Hair & Beauty. Visitors will also be able to talk to the College about the courses on offer across its campuses at Tamworth, Lichfield, Rodbaston and Cannock and gain a wealth of information and advice. Before, during and after the show, Construction and Sports Science students from South Staffordshire College will have the chance to work within a team, to see a national event built, delivered and broken down. They will learn new skills, have an opportunity to meet with local employers and seek advice and guidance from experts. Theo Paphitis, patron of The Skills Show, believes the event can help young people find their vocation. “As a parent myself, I know how hard it can be to provide the right advice and guidance for children as they reach the point of choosing their careers.” Graham Morley, Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, commented: “As a Premier sponsor of the Skills Show, South Staffordshire College is delighted to see the UK’s biggest careers event returning to the Midlands. Helping students to become work-ready is at the heart of everything we do and we are proud to be part of an event that will help thousands of young people to make informed decisions about their careers.” Tickets for the show are FREE. For more information about The Skills Show, and to register visit: www.theskillsshow.com.
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Visitors to The Rural Enterprise Academy’s Open Evening on 24th November will receive a unique welcome when they arrive at the 180-hectare site shared with South Staffordshire College. PC Peter Clarke, Wildlife Crime and Rural Officer with the South Staffordshire Local Policing Team, will be on hand with Trev the Tractor to help highlight the issues of rural crime and its impact on residents and businesses. Trev the Tractor, kindly donated to Staffordshire Police by Hall Mark Tractors, was named by local children and will be the centre of attention for parents and their children during their tour of the Academy. Visitors will have the opportunity to find out more about life at the Academy, meet teachers and listen to presentations from Academy Principal Lorraine Makin and Head of Sixth Form Emily Willmore. They’ll be able to take tours conducted by the students to see the facilities and there will also be a range of classroom activities where subject leaders will talk about the curriculum. PC Clarke is looking forward to meeting parents and children and said “Trevor has proved to be a huge success in generating links between Police and local rural communities who can see that Staffordshire Police are committed to dealing with and investigating rural and wildlife crime.” The Rural Enterprise Academy combines academic study at GCSE and A Level with a strong emphasis on Business Enterprise as well as land-based, environmental and rural sustainability themes. Students can also take advantage of the extra-curricula activities on offer, with choices including horse riding, horse care, Zoo Club, game bird management, farm duties and a range of countryside and conservation pastimes. The Academy received a ‘Good’ rating from its Ofsted report in the Overall Effectiveness summary and also in every major category from Achievement of Pupils and Quality of Teaching to Behaviour and Safety of Pupils and Leadership and Management. Potential students and parents can find out more at www.ruralenterpriseacademy.com or by calling 01785 333360.
Students from The Rural Enterprise Academy have enjoyed a visit to the UK headquarters of a leading global environmental company. Veolia, a leader in environmental solutions and one of the three partners that created the UK’s first dedicated rural academy, played host to the Academy students as part of their studies. In a series of three visits, the students enjoyed tours of the Materials Recovery and Energy Recovery facilities and heard how Veolia help cities and industries to manage, optimize and make the most of their resources. The company provides an array of solutions related to water, energy and materials. During the visit the students were asked how they felt about caring for the environment. “It was really interesting to see what happens to the rubbish from when it leaves my house” said Rebecca Cunningham (aged 14 from Burntwood). Academy tutor Sophie McVicar accompanied the groups to the Veolia site. “The students have learned some of the ways they can protect the environment and in particular optimise waste recovery. Veolia has been a perfect host and they can rest assured that the students will take this knowledge with them through their adult lives”, she commented.
Members of South Staffordshire College’s Senior Leadership team, headed by Chief Executive Principal Graham Morley, were joined recently by Councillor Ben Adams and David Frost, former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, now Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, to celebrate the formal opening of the Torc Professional and Technical Centre at Glascote Heath in Tamworth. Following opening remarks from Graham Morley and Councillor Adams, David Frost performed the official opening by the cutting of a ribbon and then the group was given a tour of the facility led by Head of Centre Karen Burley. A £2million funding boost has enabled a complete transformation of the Torc Professional and Technical Centre and the Tamworth Automotive and Engineering hubs will now provide a steady stream of work-ready candidates for employment. The project is a landmark co-operation between the College, the local authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership which will complement Staffordshire’s automotive and manufacturing centre. Closing the formal proceedings South Staffordshire College Deputy Principal Rob Boucherat said “This co-operation means that the future of the Torc Professional and Technical Centre is assured and it will provide a fine resource for the county’s learners and for its industry.”
South Staffordshire College has launched its Adult and Community Christmas workshops to meet local demand for short, part-time courses to accommodate people working during the week but wanting to enjoy recreational hobbies at their leisure. The workshops, open to adults 19+, are being run by the College’s Community Department and cover all things festive, from Christmas cake decorating, pickled delights, family Christmas crafts, festive cooking made easy, Christmas flower-making and wreath making to Fun floristry. The Cannock Campus will run six workshops, including Christmas Pickled Delights, Family Christmas Crafts, Christmas Cake Decoration, Festive Cooking Made Easy, Christmas Cup Cakes and Christmas Flowers. Starting from 8th November they run through until 11th December and full details can be found on the College website. Christmas Flower and Christmas Wreath workshops will also run at the College’s Rodbaston Campus and activities include constructing table arrangements, a contemporary topiary tree to making a lovely door wreath in traditional Christmas colours using a range of dried plant materials and sundries. Flowers are included in the fee. For those that enjoy floristry with a difference, Lichfield Campus is hosting a Fun Floristry workshop running on 12th November and 17th December, flowers included in the fee. And for the Tamworth community, there is a choice of five workshops, with a Winter Watercolours workshop at Tamworth Library on 29th October, Sugarcraft for Beginners at Wilnecote High School from 10th November, Christmas Stocking workshop on 10th Nov and Festive Cup Cakes workshop on 12th November at a community venue in Tamworth as well as a Christmas Wreath workshop at the Torc Professional and Technical Centre from 1st December. The Community workshops have proved to be extremely popular and participants enjoy learning in a fun environment at a time to suit their work and home commitments. Make your family Christmas extra special this year with special recipes, hand-made decorations and homemade cakes. For full details and to reserve a place on one of the workshops, contact South Staffordshire College’s Community Team on 01827 304337 or visit www.southstaffs.ac.uk/adult-community-christmas-courses.
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South Staffordshire College’s first participation in the UCAS ‘Compose Your Future’ event in Manchester proved to be an outstanding success, with the spotlight firmly trained on its new Foundation degree course in Musical Theatre. Laurie Asher, Award Leader – FdA Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) and Terry Foster, Award Leader – FSc & FdSc (Film and Television) were joined on the South Staffordshire College stand by Year One students Jamie Jones and Rachel Newton to deal with a constant stream of enquiries. Most focused on the new course which is aimed at school and college leavers and delivers an intense 2-year training in the ‘triple-threat’ skills of acting, dancing and signing which together make up the essence of musical theatre. Laurie Asher is the course designer. Working with validating organisation Staffordshire University he has created a combined theory and practical Foundation degree to set budding performers on their way. British musical theatre has a long and proud tradition with high standards so designing the course has been an exacting labour of love. “My aim was to help learners develop their talents but also to make sure that the students go into the theatrical world street-wise”, he says. “Year 1 is all about the practicalities of life in the theatre, including how to qualify for Equity, how to deal with your tax affairs and agents, also how to market yourself in a very competitive environment. It also covers practical training in acting, singing and dance. Year 2 provides experience working with the London Theatre Workshop in and around the capital’s fringe, alongside professional actors and directors.” South Staffordshire College’s Performing Arts students are based at the Lichfield Campus, which means in addition to the excitement and diversity of their courses, they get to work in and with the town’s famous Garrick Theatre. Some fifty students asked for details of the new course at the UCAS event and both Jamie and Rachel found it a day to remember. Jamie Jones commented after the event, “The Compose Your Future convention at Manchester was such a great opportunity to meet like-minded students who are also interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts. It was great being there representing and promoting our new Foundation Degree and offering friendly advise to other students.” Rachel Newton added, “The UCAS Compose Your Future event in Manchester was unique, where people can decide on what they want to do for the rest of their lives, in a fun, happy space with a relaxed atmosphere. I felt honoured to be promoting the Foundation Degree in Musical Theatre at such an event. It was nice to be able to talk to and advise prospective, like-minded students with similar interests to myself. All in all, a fabulous, informative, and unique way to help students get started on the path to their future!”
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South Staffordshire College has welcomed its first intake of Equine Apprentices. The students are undertaking their Level 2 Horse Care and Riding apprenticeships at the College’s Equestrian Centre, on its Rodbaston Campus. They will spend one day a week at College and the rest of their working week at their placements. They will also receive a monthly workplace visit and be assessed on practical elements of the modules they are studying. The Equine Centre has a fine reputation for hosting events and the students will enjoy the atmosphere and surroundings of a high calibre equestrian environment. They will learn how to take care of horses, from feeding and grooming, mucking out and exercising through to general husbandry. They will also get some hands-on experience, with the Centre’s busy events programme, including Dressage, Show jumping, BHS Stage 1 training and exams with established trainers. Once the students complete their Level 2 apprenticeship the levels of responsibility in their employment will increase and they can progress onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Equine, or undertake an Extended Diploma in Horse Management. Asked about their ambitions when they finished their apprenticeships, most students agreed they would like to take instruction or coaching roles via BHS (British Horse Society) Stages or UKCC training schemes. Apprentice Gabby Madders, who is employed by South Staffordshire College, said “The course is good as I am learning, working and getting a great qualification, so glad Rodbaston is now running this course, it is perfect for me.” “The College side is great, and I am finding I can apply what I have learned at work”, added student Emily Hunt. Refurbishment plans, to include a new indoor arena surface and show jumps, will enhance the excellent facilities, which include a generous 60m x 30m indoor arena flanked by a 60m x 20m covered outdoor arena and a 40m x 20m uncovered outdoor arena. Centre Manager Sally Johnson said “The new surface we are laying down, together with the new show jumps, will give our facilities a further upgrade and provide event organisers and competitors with one of the finest venues in the UK.” John Renshaw, Apprenticeship Manager, Workforce Development at South Staffordshire College, added, “This is a great opportunity and has been met by local employers with great enthusiasm as a local college helping to meet their business needs.”
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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 Tamworth Campus, received impressive grades and confirmed how well the Early Years provision is meeting the needs of the range of children who attend. The Ofsted Inspector reported that “Children thrive in this well-organised and stimulating nursery. Staff are well qualified, have a good knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage and understand how children learn.” The report showed that staff and children shared good relationships, resulting in the children being happy, confident, safe and secure. It commended the effective information sharing with parents, which supported children’s care and learning. It also highlighted the excellent facilities available for young babies and acknowledged the high level of care for children with identified special educational needs and/or disabilities. The Little Learners Nursery provides a perfect learning environment for Child Care students and also offers a vital resource for students at the College with children and the general public. 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.” Nursery Officer Michelle Wootton added “We are delighted with our Ofsted inspection, which acknowledges the good teaching of our highly skilled and knowledgeable staff. They work hard as a team to ensure children make good progress in a safe stimulating environment.”
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South Staffordshire College and Staffordshire University played host to a conference at the Lichfield Campus recently, aimed at attracting more women into male dominated industries. Organised in partnership with the Soroptimists, Fitzgerald Civil Engineering, Staffordshire University, South Staffordshire College and Entrust STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) the Skirting Science and Technology conference welcomed Year 9 girls from five local schools to listen to talks from industry professionals about careers in Science and Technology. The Conference was aimed at inspiring young girls to explore and pursue careers in these sectors, with speakers focusing on forensic science, computer game design and electronic engineering. In an increasingly complex world connected by the internet and social media, there are more jobs created and available every day in science and technology based industries than in any other and STEM graduates are amongst the most likely to find work in their chosen industry. STEM director, Malcolm Eyre pointed out that there are fifteen times the amount of vacancies in the construction industry than that of hair and beauty, despite construction giving “bigger money, bigger career prospects”. The students were split into five groups and took part in five activities; JCB Teamwork workshop; Perkins Engines Electronic workshop; Smallpiece Trust ‘Stop the Clock – K’Nex Challenge’; Staffordshire University Forensic Department Crime Scene workshop; Staffordshire University Games Design workshop. The aim of these workshops was to indicate the careers available to the girls, and giving them the opportunity to meet some successful female role models within the industry. Cal Downs from JCB said “The workshops will not change minds, but open eyes.” Student Isabel Thompson from Nether Stowe High School said, “I already wanted to be a forensic scientist or astrophysicist, but this makes me want it even more.” It is hoped that the Skirting Science and Technology conference will encourage more girls to choose STEM subjects at GCSE and will change their attitudes towards science and engineering as career choices.
South Staffordshire College is introducing a new Fast Track course aimed at people seeking a Teaching assistant position in school. The Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Certificate Level 2 QCF (Fast Track) will run at the College’s Tamworth Campus, starting on 8th January 2015 for 21 weeks on a part-time basis. It will cover units in children and young people’s development, the requirements of safeguarding and the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion, health and safety and much more. Students must be at least 16 years old and already have a school placement with pupils from school year 1 up to school year 13, working with primary, junior or secondary pupils for a minimum of 9 hours per week over the school year. They will also need a clean enhanced CRB/DBS check. The qualification will enable learners to develop the knowledge and skills needed when supporting teaching and learning in schools. It is suitable for learners working in roles that support pupils’ learning including teaching assistants, learning support assistants and special needs assistants. As an introduction to the information and knowledge needed to work in a school environment, it can apply to the many varied roles that full and part time support staff may fulfil. These can include administrative roles, site support roles, technical roles and volunteers, as well as working directly with children and young people in the school environment. The course is aimed at learners not yet employed in a school, in addition to providing initial training and induction for those new in post in primary, secondary or special schools. An Information event offering full details and an opportunity to address questions is being held at South Staffordshire College’s Lichfield Campus at 1.00 pm on Wednesday 5th November 2014, with interviews for places at 1.15 pm on Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at the Lichfield Campus.
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Art & Design students from South Staffordshire College’s Lichfield Campus have taken part in a study visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London. As part of their course work, the trip has become an annual event to coincide with the Gallery’s 2014 BP award and gives access to the large permanent collection, spanning over six centuries of international portraiture. The award is open to all South Staffordshire College’s Year 2 Art & Design students, and the visit forms a valuable opportunity to produce pure research and to question conventional approaches to traditional portrait painting. Student Eleanor Buxton said, “The trip was an eye-opening experience which allowed me to look at a live exhibition of international importance and to gather primary research information for my studies. It was a fantastic exhibition, one that I have never experienced before.” South Staffordshire College Lecturer Andy Nash, who organised the visit, said, “It is only when our students view and interpret live art in this way that they gain a much greater appreciation of the work of others, enabling them to produce primary research for several units and giving our learners the confidence to form and voice their own opinions that inform their own practice in new an exciting ways.”
The Animal Zone, at South Staffordshire College, is hosting a Halloween spectacular at its Animal Zone on Rodbaston Campus on Friday, 31st October 2014. Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in ‘Face Your Fears’, where the Animal Zone will dare them to get ‘up close and personal’ with all things that “crawl, slither and make them shiver” and will receive Certificates of Bravery after their experience. The spooky encounters will try to take the creepy away from crawly and explore the stories behind the scares. The ‘Face Your Fears’ challenge takes place during South Staffordshire College’s half term programme, running from Saturday 25th October through to Sunday 2nd November inclusive. There’s something for all the family, with Comfort Corner for when it’s all a bit too scary, a trick or treat hunt around the Animal Zone and a chance to drop in on Creature Features and feeding sessions through the day. There’s also a tea room, shop and play area. The week-long programme provides children and their families with a chance to meet a selection of animals from among the 750 varieties housed at the Animal Zone, including rabbits, raccoon dogs, meerkats and monkeys and get up close to some of the spookier creatures too! For further details on ticket prices please contact the College on 01785 712560 or visit the website at www.southstaffs.ac.uk/animalzone.
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