Manuel wins Fujifilm Student Photographer of the Year!

Fujifilm Student Photographer of the Year, Manuel Fernandez (18).

Fujifilm Student Photographer of the Year, Manuel Fernandez (18).

A Burton and South Derbyshire College photography student has been announced as the winner of the ‘Fujifilm Student Photographer of the Year’.

Manuel Fernandez (18) impressed judges in the national competition with his double exposure image of a building, using an innovative ‘ghosting’ technique.

As overall winner of the competition, Manuel has won a prize package courtesy of sponsors Metroprint, the online arm of Metro, the long-standing London pro-lab and Focal Press.

Manuel will be presented with £200 worth of film from Fujifilm, a professionally produced folio of prints, a one-to-one printing/consultancy session with one of Metroprint’s top printers and £100 worth of books from Focal Press.

Manuel said: “I am honoured to be the winner of the Fujifilm Student Awards and to be named the ‘Fujifilm Student Photographer of the year’. This was unexpected and such an achievement for me and my college.”

This year’s awards had an open brief, with students from across the country being tasked to let their imaginations run away with them and get their creative juices flowing.

Burton and South Derbyshire College was the source of the most entries in the awards, with 208 submissions. The College’s photography department will be presented with £200 worth of Fujifilm Professional film and can select books worth £500 for the College library.

Gabriel Da Costa from Fujifilm Professional commented: “The awards attract a variety of talent, which makes judging a very difficult task. Manuel’s image fits the brief and I am sure winning the awards will be the start of a fantastic career in photography for him.”

2014 marked the 29th year of these prestigious awards, making it the longest running student photography awards in the UK. To see the winning image go to

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Moreton Morrell College agriculture students to feature in NFU Mutual Farm Safety campaign

Agriculture students at Moreton Morrell College experienced a farm safety training day with a difference this week with support from Stratford-based NFU Mutual’s Farm Safety Foundation.

The course, the first of its kind, is designed to show real life accidents and help the students see the impact of having an accident on the farm can have. The day consisted of four different scenarios: falls from height, slurry gas inhalation, quad bike riding and moving machinery, all based on the top accidents as shown by the HSE. With help from college staff and NFU Mutual’s teams, four groups of students were guided through what might happen on the farm and how accidents can be prevented.

The day was rounded off with a first aid demonstration and a talk from local farmer and ex-Moreton Morrell student James Chapman MBE, who lost an arm in a farm accident several years ago.

Rob Jones, Trustee for NFU Mutual’s Farm Safety Foundation said,
“We really want to help those coming into the farm industry to understand the importance of being safe. By creating an interactive day for the students it should ensure they remember practical ways how to avoid accidents, and near misses, more effectively than watching their usual health and safety video.”

Students Charlotte Gardner, 18 and Rosie Timms, 16, are both in the first year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture.

Charlotte said, “Today has been really good. We learn a lot about health and safety in all our lessons, but we just didn’t know what to expect this morning when we went out on the farm. We’ve both done first aid in the past so it was good to try and apply what we’d learned to the different scenarios we came across.

“It does make you think – even simple things like letting people know when you go out on a quad bike, it’s so important.”

Rosie said, “The course is such a good idea – it makes everything real. To hear James’ story was really powerful – you think ‘Actually it could happen to me’.  It will play on our minds when we’re out on the farm so it’s definitely been worthwhile.”
The activity is part of the Yellow Wellies campaign, which asks the farming community “Who would fill your boots?” in the event of an accident or death – delivering the message that it’s worth taking the time to farm safely, not only for farmers but their family and friends’ sake too.

The initiative was made possible by the newly formed Farm Safety Foundation – a charity with the mission to create a culture of safe farming. The NFU Mutual board has committed to provide financial support for the foundation, including a £250,000 donation for its first year.

The Farm Safety Experience day is a pilot to see just how effective interactive activity is.  The Foundation plans to roll out the concept to other agriculture colleges in 2015. For more information on the Yellow Wellies campaign, please visit

Students on agriculture courses at Moreton Morrell College experience life on the 345 hectare commercial farm – a real agricultural business – which gives them a genuine and authentic context of working in farming. The farm has a dairy unit, commercial sheep flock, pedigree beef herd, forage and arable cropping and students are fully immersed in operations, dealing with suppliers and customers and developing the skills to make them work-ready, sought-after employees.

The students also get the opportunity to work with a wide range of manual and mechanical tools to broaden their learning experience, including working with machinery that covers aspects of work in the field – ploughing, cultivation work, muck-spreading and mowing.

Moreton Morrell College offers a range of agriculture and countryside courses. For more information go to or call 0300 456 0049.

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Art students visit the National Portrait Gallery

Andy Nash and students outside the National GalleryArt & 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.”

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Daniel defies odds to scoop top award

Pictured with his medal and certificate is student Daniel Eden (left) alongside the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Dr Tim Watts and the Mayor of Walsall, Cllr Pete Smith.

Pictured with his medal and certificate is student Daniel Eden (left) alongside the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Dr Tim Watts and the Mayor of Walsall, Cllr Pete Smith.

An inspirational Walsall College student has landed a prestigious regional award for making an outstanding contribution to the community and getting more youngsters involved in sport.

Sport student Daniel Eden, who is studying a Level 2 Certificate in Activity Leadership, was put forward for a High Sherriff’s Medal of Excellence award after nominations were entered by the Lord Mayors and Mayors from the seven mayoral regions within the West Midlands.

The 25-year-old was unable to attend a garden party thrown by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Dr Tim Watts, in July. But he has now been presented with his medal, a framed certificate, and a cheque for £250 after being invited to a ceremony at Walsall Council House where the Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, members of college staff and Daniel’s father celebrated his achievements.

Daniel was nominated for the award after overcoming significant challenges due to physical impairments, including paralysis in one side of his body, in conjunction with an illness as a child which affected his physical and cognitive ability. The Streetly student has become a popular and inspirational character around college and he now plays a key role in the College’s Team 19 football programme which is working alongside the Birmingham County Football Association (FA) to deliver free sessions to 14-16-year-olds. This volunteer work is helping to energise the community in sport and encourage more youngsters in local schools to get involved with football at all age groups and abilities.

Mark Howard, Sports Development Co-ordinator, said: “Daniel is a credit to Walsall College and the wider Black Country community and is proof that struggles and perceived weaknesses can actually be transformed into strengths. His character is infectious and his desire to overcome adversity means he is unstoppable in reaching his goals.

“His mere presence encourages other students, as well as youngsters in the community, to get involved in sport and push themselves to their limits. He acts as a true inspiration to his peers when they see that he gives his all when taking part in any activity.”

Councillor Smith added that Daniel had fully immersed himself in team games and was held in high regard by his fellow students.

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Stoke on Trent College learner named Student Hairdresser of the Year

Marlena 1 - Student Hairdresser of the YearStoke on Trent College hairdressing student Marlena Luczak has scooped first place to be named Student of the Year at the prestigious British Hairdressing Awards.

Organised by the Hairdressing Council and L’Oreal, Marlena’s “red carpet” hair style wowed judges at the event, which attracts some of the world’s leading industry names and is the “oscars” of the hairdressing sector.

Marlena, a Level 2 student at Stoke-on-Trent College, was selected for the final after impressing judges with an up-do earlier this year, beating off hundreds of hopefuls.
“I was so excited to hear I’d been chosen, I really was not expecting it so it was a bit of a shock at first,” said the 28-year-old, from Stafford.

“Everyone has been so supportive and people I don’t even know have been coming up to me around college to congratulate me.”

Since her win Marlena has been inundated with offers of work, as well as reputable industry brands, who were at the event, wishing to forge links with the College.
Eight students from across the UK had just 50 minutes to recreate the styles that won them a place in the final.

Marlena added: “The style I chose was classic, but with a modern twist. My model has long blonde hair, which is great as you can see every detail.

Marlena with her model after being announced Student Hairdresser of the Year. (2) Her model, Vernoika, showcases Marlena’s design for the judges on the red carpet at London’s prestigious British Hairdressing Awards

Marlena with her model after being announced Student Hairdresser of the Year. (2) Her model, Vernoika, showcases Marlena’s design for the judges on the red carpet at London’s prestigious British Hairdressing Awards

“I created a sort of basket that makes it look really contemporary, and finished it off with diamond decorations.

“I don’t like styles that are too ‘over-done’. I like them to look relaxed yet elegant, as if they could suit any occasion.”

Marlena says it’s not necessarily about coming first, though.

“I love doing hair,” she says. “If I’m not doing hair I’m thinking about styles or inventing new ones.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love all aspects of hairdressing, but special occasion hair is my favourite.”

Marlena’s lecturer, Jason Davies, said: “Marlena is amazingly talented and making it to the final was an achievement in itself.

“To go on to win is the icing on the cake. It is a first for the college, and we are all so very proud.”

Marlena received a prestigious trophy, hairdressing goods and has been offered the chance to spend a day at the L’Oreal Academy.

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South Staffordshire College offers new fast track course for Teaching Assistants

Teacher helping young boy with writing lessonSouth 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.

For more information please email or call 01543301105 ext 2025

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Students offer arts and crafts sessions at family fun day

Making Hallowe’en masks from paper plates and painting pictures of pumpkins are some of the activities on offer to young visitors to a free family fun day at the RAF Museum Cosford next week – thanks to students at City of Wolverhampton College.

Ten students – who are all studying for a Level 3 BTEC national diploma in children’s care, learning and development at the college’s Wellington Road campus in Bilston – have organised the educational arts and crafts sessions for under-fives at the event on Wednesday 22 October.

Youngsters will also be able to join in interactive games with a giant parachute and get their hands into gooey plastic – with all activities promoting the benefit of play on learning and development to parents, as well as testing the planning, organisational and team work skills the students are learning on their course.

The fun day will run from 12.30pm-2.30pm and all parents or carers with children under the age of five are welcome to attend. Visitors should make their way to the museum’s visitors’ centre to gain access to the event and pick up a car parking pass.

The family fun day has been organised by Shropshire Sure Start Children’s Centres.

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