South Staffordshire College News

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FASHION SKILLS CAN GO TO YOUR HEAD

Thu, 18/12/2014 - 16:28

South Staffordshire College Fashion student Megan Brookes age 17 from Tamworth has had her work featured for Tworld photographic studios in Weeford, Lichfield. Megan’s work, a stunning white fascinator, has become the showpiece for the college, and now Tworld Studios has added its professional styling and photography to Megan’s outstanding fashion design and will use the resulting images on its website and other advertising material.  South Staffordshire College will also be highlighting the work with a poster size print prominently displayed at Lichfield Campus.   Hayley Brooks is Course Leader in Fashion & Textiles at the College.  “We’re proud of all the students’ efforts and Megan’s success has capped an enjoyable and fruitful collaboration between our photography and design courses.  It has also enabled us to forge another close relationship with a respected local employer and we look forward to working with Tworld on a regular basis in future.” Following Megan’s successful shoot, a second creative collaboration at the Lichfield Campus of South Staffordshire College saw Fashion and Photography students team up to produce a shoot entitled ‘Winter Wonderland’.  Collaborations between creative industry courses are highly encouraged at the college and the work of students celebrated. For more information about courses within the creative industries, please refer to www.southstaffs.ac.uk.

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Make 2015 your best year yet!

Thu, 18/12/2014 - 15:33

  Why wait until September to start a course? We’ve got a wide range of full time and part time courses starting this January in a variety of subject areas. As well as full and part time courses we offer apprenticeship roles in a variety of industries. You can apply online in 25 seconds, call our enquiries team on 0300 456 2424 or email us at enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk View a list of all our courses here: http://www.southstaffs.ac.uk/courses/

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SHADOW JUSTICE MINISTER AT SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE

Thu, 18/12/2014 - 11:51

South Staffordshire College continues to be the area’s first choice for government and opposition MPs intent on communicating with the FE/HE sector. The latest visitor from Westminster’s ranks was Stephen Twigg MP, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, following an invitation from Trudie McGuinness, Director of Learner Journey at South Staffordshire College. In addition to being a former president of the National Union of Students he has also been Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Mr Twigg was particularly keen to speak to the students and apprentices at the College’s Cannock Campus about the importance of its contribution in helping young people into employment. He received a warm welcome from Graham Morley, Chief Executive Principal at South Staffordshire College and enjoyed a tour of the newly refurbished Campus, which included the 4D immersive learning space, an interactive creative space created through LED lighting, giant projection and surround sound. Mr Twigg was given a presentation by Steve Wileman, E-Learning Manager, on how the College engages learners through the layout of the immersive learning room, Augmented Reality (AR) and tablet devices.  Students also used the opportunity to ask Mr Twigg questions in a Q & A session in the 4D room, which suitably set the scene with images of the House of Lords, on why voting was so important, given the party’s recent commitment to votes at 16 and on how he first become involved in politics. Trudie McGuiness said the visit was a great success. “At South Staffordshire College, we work hard to empower our learners and we see it as one of our duties to engage them in all aspects of citizenship, including politics, society and voting. We are delighted that Stephen Twigg MP was able to come and along and debate with our learners why voting matters. Over half of those aged 16-19 have confirmed that if they were able to vote at 16, they would.”

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SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE AND STOKE-ON-TRENT CITY COUNCIL CONTINUE SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP

Tue, 16/12/2014 - 11:49

South Staffordshire College’s Workforce Development team has celebrated another successful partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, providing 25 of its staff with work-based diplomas in Horticulture.   The employees, who achieved Level Two and Level Three qualifications, are responsible for maintaining and enhancing the city’s public spaces, parks and crematoriums. They will use their newly honed skills to improve the appearance of Stoke-on-Trent, supporting the Mandate for Change by making the city more attractive to visitors, businesses and investors.   A celebratory event took place at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Hall, where Council staff received their NVQ certificates recognising their achievements from the College’s Chief Executive Principal Graham Morley.     South Staffordshire College has worked with Stoke-on-Trent City Council since January 2009 and to date has completed 5 groups of Level 2 and 4 groups of Level 3 Horticulture through Apprenticeships.   John Renshaw, Apprenticeship Manager at South Staffordshire College, said  “The success, dedication and commitment from both the learners and relevant staff over the past 6 years has been fantastic and the staff at the College have thoroughly enjoyed teaching, assessing and up-skilling these learners.”   Michelle Tinsley, Business Operations Manager at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, commented “I would like to thank all the staff at South Staffordshire College for their hard work in delivering the NVQ courses over the years. They have been a great success and our staff have gained so much from them.”

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GOLD AWARD FOR SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE

Tue, 02/12/2014 - 12:09

South Staffordshire College has been recognised for its work in training the bookkeepers of the future with a Gold Centre award from the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB). At the “Top Centre Awards” ceremony held at the House of Commons recently South Staffordshire College’s Course Tutor for Business Studies and Accounts, Donna Abrahams and Debbie Ross, Bookkeeping Tutor, received the award from Malcolm Trotter, Chief Executive of the IAB. Donna and Debbie were responsible for overseeing the success of the students and proudly accepted the award, saying “It is a pleasure to receive the award on behalf of the College demonstrating our continued high standards. We appreciate how much hard work the learners have put in to enable us as a College to be recognised in such a manner and are proud to be part of their team spirit of working together”. The College has been an IAB accredited centre for 12 years and was commended for its high performance, based on an overall assessment of pass rates over an extended period of time and across a range of IAB qualifications. Malcolm Trotter acknowledged the winners, saying “As an organisation the IAB are committed to promoting the highest standards of competence and excellence among bookkeepers, a body of professionals who play a key role in the day-to-day management and financial health of businesses of all sizes.  Our accredited centres play a crucial part in our work and those that have received Gold Awards have demonstrated consistently strong results over a long period of time.  I congratulate them all.”

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SPORTS STUDENTS VISIT HOME OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL

Mon, 01/12/2014 - 14:33

A group of Sports students from South Staffordshire College has been treated to a guided tour of Wembley Football stadium as part of the curriculum. The visit was organised by UCFB Wembley – a university campus based at Wembley stadium, and included a tour of the ground, campus and workshops.  The 35 students, accompanied by three members of staff, also enjoyed a Careers in Sport workshop, personal statement writing and had an opportunity to talk to students studying at UCFB. Jamie Chapman, Quality Coordinator for Sport at South Staffordshire College, said  “The trip provided the students with an excellent opportunity to see the splendid University facilities and give them motivational ideas towards future career prospects.” South Staffordshire College’s Tamworth and Cannock Campuses offer Diploma and fast track courses in Fitness Instructing, Personal Trainer, Sports & Exercise Science and Sport, preparing students for a range of jobs in the sports, exercise and fitness industries. Football training sessions are run by FA qualified coaches, with opportunities for students to go on stadium tours and taster days at the UK’s biggest clubs.  The College also runs its own football academy, where students play against other colleges across the country and were runners-up in one of the British Colleges of Sport leagues in 2013. South Staffordshire College’s Sports Lecturer, Helen Condron, accompanied the students to Wembley.  She said it was a very interesting day that was useful for the learners considering University after completing college. Charlotte Penwright, studying Sports and Exercise Science at the College’s Cannock Campus, enjoyed the visit, saying  “It was great meeting the UCFB students and having the opportunity to discuss what the university is like. The facilities were really good and I’m now seriously considering going to the campus next year to study.” Jack Stafford, also studying Sports and Exercise Science, reflected “I really enjoyed the visit to the Wembley Campus, it has given me some ideas of what career options are open to me after finishing college.”

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APPEAL FOR GARDEN VOLUNTEERS TO TEND COUNTRY ESTATE

Mon, 01/12/2014 - 11:36

The Horticulture Department at South Staffordshire College is encouraging anyone interested in gardening, especially retirees or those looking for hands-on work experience, to become a volunteer at the 180 hectare Rodbaston Campus estate grounds. Sarah Davies, Head Gardener, said the team is looking for people with a keen interest to work in the gardens and grounds of a large-scale estate all year round, providing a valuable experience to both enthusiastic amateurs and those wishing to pursue a career in horticulture. Volunteers can expect to work on ground maintenance, pruning, watering, weeding, digging garden beds, planting a variety of flowers and shrubs, potting-on, propagation, seeding, mowing lawns and landscape construction. They will also have an opportunity to work in the formal gardens, the arboretum and walled garden, a variety of vegetable plots, an area of themed landscape sections and large scale glasshouses. Sarah says the volunteers will receive expert advice from the South Staffordshire College Estates team and can go on to acquire accredited NPTC certification if they desire, at a discounted price. “We will provide on-the-job training as part of the volunteer experience, including training on the use of hedge cutters, mowers and strimmers, with certificates available to take away. We would love to see people come along for however long they can spare but ideally we would ask for a minimum of 5 hours a day between 9 am and 4.30 pm. It is open to anyone 18+ – everybody is welcome and encouraged to participate, whatever their level of experience or ability.” The Volunteer programme is ideal for those looking to return to work, offering a gentle path back to employment in beautiful, stress-free surroundings. “We also want to encourage people to come along, as working in green spaces is a proven tonic, together with the camaraderie of working with new friends in an open air environment,” Sarah continued. Kevin Hart is a shining example of what South Staffordshire College’s Volunteer programme did for him. After 32 years Kevin was made redundant and decided on a career change, enrolling in an evening RHS course in Horticulture at Rodbaston Campus before signing up as a volunteer. He said “As a volunteer the hours and days are completely flexible, the gardens staff and other volunteers were really friendly and within 6 months I was offered three opportunities for paid employment.  If I had not been a volunteer I would probably have never known of these opportunities. For anyone looking for employment or a change of career volunteering is definitely a route to consider.” Transport is available to and from the Rodbaston Campus during term time and will be free to volunteers provided there are spaces on the buses. Volunteers will have a 30 minute induction talk covering Health & Safety, manual handling and fire procedures and lunch is provided for all those that work five hours a day. Steel toe cap boots must be worn at all times, together with waterproof, warm clothing for colder spells and a free DBS check is carried out by the College to protect vulnerable learners. South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus specialises in providing further and higher education courses for many land-based activities such as Agriculture and Gardening. For further information please contact Sarah Davies at Rodbaston Campus on 07917 073324.

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“Life’s for Learning” brochure earns South Staffordshire College print publication award

Thu, 27/11/2014 - 11:29

South Staffordshire College has won a Silver award at the annual College Marketing Network FE First Awards, an event showcasing the excellent and imaginative work that is being achieved by Further Education colleges across the UK. The College won the award in the Print Publication category for its excellent ‘Life’s for Learning’ brochure which features courses in Creative, Floristry & Horticulture, Hairdressing & Beauty, Health Fitness & Dance, IT, Languages, Professions and English & Maths, is proving popular and successful in attracting new learners. The College Marketing Network awards are recognised as the most influential in the FE community and took place as the climax of a two-day national conference at the Hilton Hotel, Bracknell earlier this week. Marketing Officer at South Staffordshire College, Katie Hall, says the team is delighted to scoop the Silver Award. “This publication is an outstanding piece of design and includes a huge amount of information for adult and community based learners about the wide range of courses we have to offer. It looks great and most importantly of all, it inspires the community to continue learning and try something new.” The College will be launching the Spring/Summer edition of the Adult and Community prospectus next month which details hundreds of new community courses starting in January 2015. Visit http://www.southstaffs.ac.uk/about-us/prospectusrequest/ to request your very own  copy of the publication!    

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South Staffordshire College switch on for Newlife

Wed, 26/11/2014 - 10:31

Students at South Staffordshire College have been busy raising money for a much-loved local charity. The College has a strong reputation for organising events to benefit the community, raising monies for various local charities throughout the year. In its latest fundraiser five students from Rodbaston Campus sold jewellery, crafts and knitwear on the Newlife Foundation stall at the Cannock Christmas Lights switch-on event. The Supported Learners with Disabilities students are on a Socialisation and Communications course and working towards independent living. Newlife Events Manager Phillipa Gregory said, “We are very grateful to these volunteers for helping us raise vital funds to provide specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children. Newlife supports hundreds of families each year through a range of equipment provision services and our volunteers are key to our success in transforming lives around the UK.” South Staffordshire College Lecturer of Art & Vocational Studies, Georgena D’Onofrio, co-ordinated the event and was delighted to announce that £291.02 had been raised by the students. “I am absolutely over the moon with how well they have done. Three years ago, these vulnerable learners wouldn’t have had the motor skills or confidence to talk to another student in their group, let alone mainstream students at the college. Today they approached a member of the public, handed them a Newlife leaflet and explained what the leaflet said with great poise. This was definitely the highlight of my career to date.”

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You don’t have to go to university to gain a degree

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 09:47

On average graduates earn a substantial amount more over their working lives than non-graduates but as South Staffordshire College’s new HE Prospectus says “You Don’t Have To Go To University To Gain a Degree”. South Staffordshire College HE students enjoy a wide choice of part-time and full-time courses to help them reach their full potential, from Business Studies to Science & Construction.  With Campuses at Tamworth, Lichfield, Rodbaston and Cannock, students can live at home, saving on travel and living costs and easing financial pressures whilst staying in touch with family and friends. The new HE Prospectus signposts routes to successful, well-paid careers, highlighting an exciting range of courses available in September 2015.  These include Foundation degrees in Music & Production Technology, Photography & Event Management and Equine Behaviour, Training & Performance, and a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science with Animal Behaviour.  Adding to a portfolio which already includes Foundation degrees in Early Childhood Studies and a BSc (Hons) in Film & Television Production, this makes South Staffordshire College, recently confirmed for the third year running as the County’s most successful college, an enticing prospect for local learners. With tuition fees at South Staffordshire College up to £2000 lower than most universities, studying locally is the more affordable option, and with a variety of flexible study options including part-time courses, students can fit their studies around existing work and family commitments. For those that want to study at HE level, but without the required qualifications, there is a range of Access to HE courses which can be completed in just one year, offering routes into degree courses.   Subjects include Health, for those interested in careers in Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Science; Social Science & Humanities leading to a career in Social Work, Teaching and Law, and ITC for students seeking employment in Web Development, Systems Development and Technical Support and many more. South Staffordshire College’s HE achievement rates stand at 96%, with students going on to successful careers in major organisations such as the BBC, ITV and the RSPCA. Learners such as Luke Fitzgerald from Hereford typify just how successful South Staffordshire College HE students are. Luke achieved a Foundation Degree and BSc (Hons) Film & Television Production at the College’s Lichfield Campus before gaining an internship at the National Design Academy.  Luke has since taken up a permanent position as head of their Film Production Unit.             He commented, “The practical experience gained during my award proved to be very attractive to future employers. The course benefits from having its very own commercial production company ‘Armoris Media’, which enhanced my learning experience as I was able to work on and deliver media productions for real business clients.” The UCAS deadline for full time applications is 15th January 2015 so it’s a great time to apply – request your copy here!

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South Staffordshire College success at the UK’s largest skills and career event at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).

Thu, 20/11/2014 - 11:58

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 enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk

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CATHEDRAL HOSTS GRADUATION CEREMONY IN STYLE

Thu, 20/11/2014 - 10:51

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.”    

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ART STUDENT MAKES SOME NOISE

Fri, 14/11/2014 - 09:33

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.”

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SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE CHIEF EXECUTIVE PRINCIPAL ENCOURAGES VISITORS TO THE SKILLS SHOW

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:18

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.

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YOUR CHANCE TO ‘LIVE IT’ AT SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 09:44

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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South Staffordshire College students qualify for National Finals

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:59

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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SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE TO HOST MOODLE USERS FORUM ON BEHALF OF JISC

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:52

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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YOUR CHANCE TO ‘LIVE IT’ AT SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE

Thu, 06/11/2014 - 11:35

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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PREMIER SPONSOR SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE COLLEGE LEADS THE WAY IN SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Wed, 05/11/2014 - 08:48

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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OPEN EVENING KEEPS STUDENTS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Tue, 04/11/2014 - 09:30

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.

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