Student radio show broadcast to thousands at shopping centre

Media and Music students Taylor Haynes, 20, Lewis Morris, 17, Krishna Chauhan, 18, Adam Parsons, 19, Mohamed Alam, 18, Sophie Jacobs, 18, Connie Baker, 17, and Antoine Farrell, 17, at the Saddlers Shopping Centre for the radio broadcast

Media and Music students Taylor Haynes, 20, Lewis Morris, 17, Krishna Chauhan, 18, Adam Parsons, 19, Mohamed Alam, 18, Sophie Jacobs, 18, Connie Baker, 17, and Antoine Farrell, 17, at the Saddlers Shopping Centre for the radio broadcast

Walsall College’s in-house student radio station, Loud Online, has broadcast to thousands of shoppers at one of the town’s largest shopping centres for the very first time.

Eight students behind the College’s Loud Online radio station broadcast a two-hour show from the busy Saddlers Shopping Centre on Thursday 9th October as part of ongoing project work between the two businesses.

The Saddlers Shopping Centre, situated in the heart of Walsall town centre, welcomes up to 250,000 visitors every week and the radio show helped entertain customers with a variety of great music and lively discussions as well as the Centre’s tenant offers.

The show, which was broadcast from outside the large Argos store, was well received by shoppers and the students will be back on site again in early November. Media and Music students were involved in the transmission.

Level 3 Creative Media Production student Adam Parsons, 19, said: “We hosted the event to get people more involved in their community and ultimately our aim was to give shoppers a really fun time whilst giving us some valuable experience. It went really well and we’re looking forward to doing some more shows at the shopping centre very soon.”

Centre Manager, Angela Henderson, said: “It is fantastic to see the students at work – there is some great talent out there. This also gives them the opportunity to interact with the public and all age groups in the ‘real’ world and allows them to put their training into action.

“We hope to make this a regular occurrence at the Centre so we can showcase the talented students and the great work that goes on at Walsall College.”

Jane De Weijer, the College’s Community Development Officer, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for our students to really put the skills that they are learning into real action. The partnership with The Saddlers Shopping Centre, and their great support in letting us showcase what we can do, is fantastic.

“We have some very talented and motivated students who are keen to get out there and make a difference. Loud Online is a social enterprise and the community roadshow branch of the in-house radio station. We are keen to get out to schools, into the wider community and to support a variety of events.”

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Hair raising acts of charity!

Hairdressing student, Beth Rowbottom (16) having her head cut and shaved by Burton and South Derbyshire College Lecturer, Jo Chamberlain

Hairdressing student, Beth Rowbottom (16) having her head cut and shaved by Burton and South Derbyshire College Lecturer, Jo Chamberlain

A hairdressing student at Burton and South Derbyshire College had her head shaved for charity in the College’s Innovations hair and beauty salon on Tuesday 21st October.

Beth Rowbottom (16) who is currently studying a Level 2 Hairdressing course had her long hair cut and shaved off in order to donate it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity who provide real hair wigs for children suffering hair loss.

Hairdressing student, Beth Rowbottom (16) after she has had her head shaved for charity.

Hairdressing student, Beth Rowbottom (16) after she has had her head shaved for charity.

Beth was inspired by her friend who had her hair shaved off after losing somebody close to her from cancer. She commented: “I’m passionate about raising money and donating to charities and am always looking for a charity event to get involved in. As well as shaving my hair off, I’ve also been wearing pink each day in October to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Hairdressing student, Beth Rowbottom (16) with her classmates after she had her head shaved for charity.

Hairdressing student, Beth Rowbottom (16) with her classmates after she had her head shaved for charity.

“I don’t mind having my hair shaved off as it means a lot to me to be able to donate it to the Little Princess Trust and for it to be used to create a real wig for a child who is suffering from hair loss.

“I’m quite adventurous with my hair, so I’m looking forward to growing it back and trying out some new styles!”

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Open the door to your future, step inside and ‘have a go’!

Glitter tattoos were a massive hit last year and are back again for 2014!

Glitter tattoos were a massive hit last year and are back again for 2014!

The nation’s largest free to attend skills and careers event, The Skills Show 2014, will once again be held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC). For the second year running, Premier Colleges, a working group of Further and Higher Education Colleges from across England, will be showcasing the extensive range of career options on offer for young people who choose to learn ‘hands-on’ vocational skills at College as an alternative to purely academic routes such as A Levels.

From 13th to 15th November 2014, the show will welcome tens of thousands of visitors and will host over 60 competitions including the WorldSkills UK national finals. The show’s patron, Theo Paphitis, is a firm believer that bringing young people to participate in the event will inspire and inform them as they consider their futures. Theo said of last year’s event “From my experiences, I know how energising it can be to discover something that you are really good at and would recommend the event to anyone who is considering what their next step might be – it’s a fun day out as well!”

Premier Colleges will be hosting 10 unique ‘have a go’ sessions within their ‘Further Education’ area of the exhibition space. Their collaborative approach will mean that any friendly rivalry between Colleges will be set aside as they pull together and share the workload, in order to treat visitors to an enjoyable experience across a full range of vocational sector areas. Mark Knight, Chair of  Premier Colleges said “We are very excited about our activities this year and we are all committed to raising awareness of what College has to offer. There are so many jobs and spin-off careers that can be inspired by vocational courses, not to mention the option to progress to University. With the requirement to stay in education and training after completing GCSEs, a visit to our stand is a must for all young people and their parents or carers.”

Budding mechanic learns ‘pit stop’ tips and techniques at the 2013 event

Budding mechanic learns ‘pit stop’ tips and techniques at the 2013 event

The Premier Colleges programme of activity has a good selection of very different skills on display. The exhibition space has been planned to enable visitors to take a journey through the Further Education area, trying out these skills and activities:

  1. Motor Vehicle Technology – pit stop wheel changing, brake alignment and much more
  2. Photography – mess around with the latest technology and have some fun with graphics
  3. Fashion and Retail – fashion workshops, catwalk shows and stencil designing
  4. Aerospace Engineering – complete a series of tasks to ‘earn your wings’ and fly a simulator
  5. Civil Engineering –build a bridge with sweets and straws, plus step across our main feature bridge
  6. Healthy Living – includes dental care, heart rate monitoring and blood pressure checks
  7. Public Services and Forensics – a crime scene investigation (CSI) area with hidden contraband
  8. Catering and Bakery – try your hand at bakery craft including icing decorations and piping
  9. Beauty and Barbering – glitter tattoos back by popular demand, plus the latest styling techniques
  10. Building Services – create then test a plumbing system and learn the tips of the trade

Staff from all of the participating Colleges will be on hand to provide additional information about the career opportunities provided Further and Higher Education, including Apprenticeships. Visitors can also find out about any of the courses on offer across all of the 16 Colleges that make up the Premier Colleges group.

Supporters and stakeholders with College connections will also be available, including some of the employer partners. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn about Apprenticeships, Traineeships and other skills-based course from people with a passion for skills and education.

The Skills Show is free to attend and there are limited travel bursaries available for some group bookings. Bookings can be made online by visiting The show is part of Find a Future, an organisation which brings together the nation’s flagship skills and careers experiences. A roadshow tour of eight cities starts on 21st October through to 8th November on the run up to the Birmingham event.

Further details of the Premier Colleges activities can be found online by visiting the website and accessing Twitter @premiercolleges.

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Worcester Sixth Form College puts £900k investment to use

Worcester Sixth Form College has opened a science centre after securing almost £1m in bank funding.

The financial package enabled the building of a new science unit on the college’s main campus on Spetchley Road, which includes four “ultra-modern” laboratories, replacing the previous facilities which had been in place since the 1960s.

It has helped the college to increase its capacity, with about 50 more students joining this year compared with 2013’s intake.

The £900,000 investment is the latest by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s dedicated education team, which runs a specialist service for schools, colleges and universities.

College principal Michael Kitcatt said: “We’re committed to providing quality study facilities for the benefit of our students, and this investment from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, alongside grants from the Education Funding Agency and Worcester City Council, has allowed us to realise our ambitions for a new, built-for-purpose science unit that’s fit for modern learning.”

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Students celebrate national digital day with local experts

Som Ying Collins & Edward Lambert with Gareth Hale  2Games design and interactive media students at Kidderminster Academy teamed up with a local digital agency as part of a national event dedicated to digital excellence and innovation.  Over 30 students worked with creative and digital experts from the Hartlebury-based drp as part of BIMA’s (British Interactive Media Association) Digital Day (D-Day).

As well as hearing from drp about different roles and training routes into the industry, groups of Academy students were also assigned a BIMA Challenge that tested their skills in digital design, mobile, social media and coding.  The work produced was then submitted to BIMA as entries in a competition.

Kirk D’Cruze, Senior Digital Media Production Manager at drp presented on the day and commented on its success.  “The purpose of D-Day is to showcase the wide range of digital media careers open to young people.”

He added: “It’s vital that aspiring professionals are aware of the skills and experience they need in order to represent this industry, so that we don’t experience a skills shortage in the future.  At drp we’re always looking at how we can help in promoting the industry we work in, and these types of day help to see the new generation of promising workers who are the future of the digital industry.

“The BIMA Challenges were an excellent opportunity for the students to think about the ‘bigger picture’.   They were encouraged to brainstorm, be confident about expressing their opinions and share feedback with others and we were blown away by the ideas they came up with.”  Som Ying Collins & Edward Lambert with Gareth Hale

Over 4,000 pupils from schools and colleges UK-wide took part in D-Day alongside digital professionals working in agencies, technology companies, established businesses and within the public sector.

Games Design student, Edward Lambert was pleased to take part in the event.  “Being part of this event has been good for us.  It’s made us look at aspects of the digital industry that we weren’t familiar with.

“The team from drp were really engaging,” added the 21-year-old.  “They helped me see interactive media in a new light and in a way that I can incorporate back into my work.”

Som-Ying Collins, an interactive media student also benefited from working with drp.  The 18-year-old said: “Working on the social media challenge as part of D-Day was great as it gave me the chance to take a basic idea and look at all the possibilities, before coming up with something really amazing.

“Listening to the team talk about their jobs also reinforced that if you are willing to work hard, you can get into your dream career, which for me is in animation.”

Kidderminster Academy is hosting an Open Event on Saturday 8 November between 10am and 1pm.  For further details visit

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Stratford-upon-Avon College students experience Royal Marine Commando training

Stratford-upon-Avon College students being put through their paces at Royal Marine Commando Training Centre, Lympstone

Stratford-upon-Avon College students being put through their paces at Royal Marine Commando Training Centre, Lympstone

10 Uniformed Public Services Students from Stratford-upon-Avon College attended the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre, Lympstone from 6th to 10th October.

The gruelling course is designed to give students a sense of what life is like as a Royal Marine recruit over three days. The students completed a variety of physically and mentally testing activities including the British Military fitness tests, a weapons and tactics lecture and a lesson in escape and evasion sniper tactics.Stratford-upon-Avon College students experience Royal Marine Commando training 2

Every one of the students gave their all over the highly challenging week. BTEC Level 2 student Clarence Monk achieved an outstanding A grade, proving that he is an ideal candidate to become a Royal Marines Commando. Reflecting on the course, Clarence said, “It was quite tough. I had a good idea of what it was going to be like but it was very demanding. At the start we had to do an endurance course where we had to crawl through tunnels, wade through rivers and do mud runs. But it was a good experience for me and it made me want to be in the military.” The course Sergeant has urged Clarence to pursue this career further. Special mention needs to go to Level 3 student Jack Daley who gave every ounce of effort in each session he took part in and was a worthy winner of the Commando Spirit award.

Stratford-upon-Avon College students experience Royal Marine Commando training 3Programme Leader for Uniformed Public Services Richard Pepperell spoke about the students’ efforts. “Each student was asked to look deep within themselves to find reserves of physical and mental strength that I imagine they did not know they even had.”

For more information on the Uniformed Public Services or any other of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245. Alternatively, you can attend the College’s upcoming Open Events on Friday 7th November 5.30pm – 8pm and Saturday 8th November 10am – 12noon.

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A-level Students win Nuffield Foundation Gold CREST Award for Research

Newcastle-under-Lyme College A-level students, Jathusan Naguleswaran and Jamie Harland have won Nuffield Foundation Gold CREST Awards for their research at Staffordshire and Keele Universities.

Jathusan and Jamie completed four week placements at the local universities during the summer. Jathusan centred his research on Electrostatic Precipitation (ESP) while Jamie researched Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

The Nuffield Foundation gives Bronze, Silver and Gold awards to participating students based on the standard of their work. This means that Jathusan and Jamie produced work and research of the highest standard.

Each week they were faced with a different aspect of research. For example, Jathusan’s first week entailed computer research into the basics of ESP, its current problems and its effects on the planet through pollution. However, it wasn’t long before he was using experiments to discover how other factors like air velocity effect their efficiency. He concluded his research with a 16 page report on his findings which earned him this prestigious award.

The Nuffield Foundation organises placements where students can immerse themselves into the world of science in the workplace. Jathusan, an aspiring aeronautical engineer said: “It helped me to see what research is really about. It isn’t just the practical side of science as you have to be able to work independently.

“At first, I looked at it and thought, I won’t be able to do this but I quickly got used to it. It was a good opportunity that gave me brilliant research experience and it has helped me to further develop skills like independent working.”

For Jamie, an aspiring researcher, this was a chance for an insight into a career in chemistry. He said: “I experienced what I could be doing in the future. I found that the work that I took on was interesting as I was contributing to a topic as big as how we generate power.”

Not only do these placements offer work experience but they also offer university-life experience as Jamie and Jathusan were in regular contact with the students that were studying and living there.

Jamie explained:” I learnt a lot about university life after speaking to students working and living there. It also helped me to develop skills such as planning, independent work, general laboratory skills and confidence in myself and my work.”

The CREST Awards were presented by renowned physicist Farzana Aslam at a celebration evening held at Coventry University.

NULC offers A-levels in 36 subjects as well as a wide range of vocational qualifications. Students are supported to gain work experience, career insights or mentoring. To find out more, attend an open event by registering here:

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