South Staffordshire College launch new Part time Guide in run up to Adult Learners’ Week 13 – 20 June 2015

Staff at South Staffordshire College are building up to Adult Learners’ Week in style with the launch of their new Part time Guide. Hot off the press and available to download from the College website at www.southstaffs.ac.uk the guide, which provides a snap shot of the exciting range of part time courses on offer for those aged 19+, has been created to provide potential learners with a glimpse into the extensive range of Adult Education opportunities at South Staffordshire College.

Adult Learners’ Week is the UK’s largest annual festival of learning; inspiring thousands of people each year to discover how learning can change their lives. During the week, which runs from 13th – 20th June 2015, South Staffordshire College will be offering an exciting programme of FREE taster sessions, from Sugarcraft and Creative Writing, to Spanish and Aromatherapy. Held at locations including Tamworth, Lichfield, Burntwood and Cannock, those interested in finding out more or signing up can visit: www.southstaffs.ac.uk/alweek where details of the full range of courses can be found.

To book your place please call the College’s Enrolment Team on 0300 456 2424 or for more details about the Tasters please call the Community Team on 01827 304337.

Nicola Humphries, Adult and Community Learning Manager for the College says “We’re thrilled to be able to launch our new guide in the run up to Adult Learners’ Week. It’s just one of the many ways that we’re working to offer even greater opportunities for adults who want to find a new hobby or learn new skills for their career development. Whatever people’s motivations and interests, we’re delighted to say that it’s ALL at SSC.”

Carol Page, Senior Development worker in the Adult Learning Department at South Staffordshire College adds “At South Staffordshire College, we’re always keen to remind people in the local community that education isn’t just for Children. On the contrary, we’re seeing an increasing number of people joining us to learn new skills, meet new people and do something they enjoy. Adult Learners’ Week is the ideal opportunity to come along and have some fun. We’re really looking forward to welcoming people in to our Taster Sessions.”

In addition to those courses running during Adult Learners’ Week, South Staffordshire College offer a comprehensive programme of Adult Leisure and Learning courses, which run during the day, at evenings and at weekends throughout the year. Available onsite at the College campuses in Tamworth, Lichfield, Cannock and Rodbaston and also at several community venues, adult education has never been so accessible!

To find out more, or download the new part time guide, visit: www.southstaffs.ac.uk

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South Staffordshire College Animal Science students inspired to save the Rhino, following South African Study Tour

Save the Rhino 1Students in their second year of South Staffordshire College’s Foundation Degree in Animal Science with Animal Behaviour, have been inspired to support the conservation of the wild rhino following a recent study tour in South Africa.

The students, who enjoyed an unforgettable 10 day tour, plan to contribute to existing efforts being made by the Mankwe Animal Reserve In South Africa and non-profit organisation Rhino Saving the Survivors, by raising awareness and funds for the anti-poaching equipment and effort, through a series of campaign activities back home at the College’s Rodbaston Campus.  With a schedule of activities that is testament to their commitment to the cause, this will include creating a rhino conservation and awareness project situated on the Rodbaston Animal Zone visitor attraction.

Speaking upon their return, two students, Abbie Mackintosh and Ruth Howson, who are the driving force behind the project said “During our tour, our eyes were opened by the people we met. We experienced the extreme high of seeing the real and wild Africa but also felt an extreme, soul crushing low. We were faced with stories and images we’d never seen before.

Prior to visiting, we all knew the rhino were in trouble, but we never realised quite how close to disaster things really are. The people we spoke to and others like them put their lives on the line every day to conserve and protect their cherished animals. Despite threats to their safety, long gruelling hours and worrying, sleepless nights, they never give up hope that one day the bounties will be removed from above the innocent rhino’s heads. We promised that we would do whatever we could to help, not only the rhino we had been lucky enough to see, but each one still living under threat of this barbaric trade.”

Widely regarded as some of the most recognisable and charismatic creatures on the planet, the Rhino, are suffering and face very real risk of extinction. Their horn, which is wrongly believed to have medicinal properties, despite being an iconic symbol of the rhino is now the greatest threat to their survival.

Information shared with the Animal Science students during their tour suggests that the statistics are indeed alarming. In 2014 alone over 1200 Rhino poachings were fatal, more than ever before and indications suggest that in 2015 this record is likely be broken again.

Save the Rhino 2Andy Wootton, course leader for the Foundation Degree in Animal Science at South Staffordshire College says “It’s a fantastic thing that the students are doing and it’s great to know that a study tour like this can not only enhance their learning experience but also have such a profound impact on them as people and animal scientists. Naturally, we’re delighted to offer our support to the students in their fundraising efforts and wish them every success with their campaign.”

If you would like to make a contribution to the student’s appeal, please visit their fundraising page http://www.gofundme.com/uy3ep4

Set on a stunning 180 hectare rural estate in Staffordshire, South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus is home to an ever growing range of Land-Based and Animal Management courses and Apprenticeships. As of September 2015, the College will be launching a new BSc (Hons) in Animal Science and Animal Behaviour, which, along with the existing Foundation Degree, will be run in partnership with Staffordshire University.

Students on these courses enjoy some of the best learning facilities in the Country and with an on-site animal collection that consists of hundreds of species of animals, the opportunity to learn hands-on animal care skills are second to none.

Rodbaston Campus is also home to a working farm and equestrian centre, both of which cater for learners who want to pursue careers in the Agriculture or Equestrian industries.

Applications for courses are still being accepted for this September and those interested can sign up online in just 25 seconds.

To find out more visit: www.southstaffs.ac.uk

Keep up to date with the latest news from South Staffordshire College via social media.

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South Staffordshire College make the virtual world a reality with launch of a new app

The technical wizards at South Staffordshire College have recently completed work on an exciting new Virtual Reality app which is available for free download now on both Google Play and Apple’s app store!

The app, Virtual Reality Clay Pigeon Shoot, which is the brainchild of Senior Web Design Engineer Neil King, has been created for use with the new Google cardboard headsets and provides a glimpse into the future of virtual reality gaming. Playing requires no buttons or screen touching at all, but rather, is controlled through simple head movements!

Commercially available virtual reality equipment became available in the early 1990s from companies like Virtuality but was extremely expensive. Back then the hardware was slow and the lag between the user moving and the display updating, added to the cumbersome headgear required and the enormous price tag meant that it’s gimmicky popularity soon wore off.

Recently there has been a resurgence in virtual reality as hardware and software has evolved in leaps and bounds. With the upcoming launch of Sony’s Project Morpheus, the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and Microsoft’s HoloLens amongst others, virtual reality is becoming hugely popular again.

The most cost effective virtual reality solution available to everybody right now is Google Cardboard. It requires nothing more than your existing smartphone and a cardboard frame with a couple of cheap lenses inside. Google have released the design as open source so you can make your own or buy one online for less than £5. Not only is the hardware cheap for consumers but developing applications which support it is low cost and the results can be amazing.

When asked about the project, Neil, who is also responsible for the launch of numerous other successful apps on the Google Play store, including the recent ‘dinky racing’ says “As well as being a bit of fun, I’m hoping that this new app will open aspiring young developer’s eyes to the exciting opportunities for virtual reality in the IT industry. Imagine being able to look around a full 360 degree real world location across the other side of the globe, on another planet or somewhere too dangerous for humans? I am hoping to see and create a lot more educational apps making use of virtual reality in the very near future.”

This latest journey is just another string to the bow of a College which is recognised as a true technological innovator. As one of the first FE Colleges to embrace Augmented Reality and promote digital engagement in learning, South Staffordshire College are a well-respected beacon of best-practise in the FE sector.

Anyone can download and play the South Staffordshire College Clay Pigeon Shoot now, by visiting the links below:

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=992151076&mt=8

Google Play:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.southstaffs.vrclaypigeonshoot

The Google Cardboard headsets are available online for as little as £3.00

If you want a career in digital development, why not check out the range of IT courses on offer from South Staffordshire College by visiting: www.southstaffs.ac.uk/courses/information-technology/

Applications are still being accepted for this September and you can sign up online in just 25 seconds!

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Sun Cartoonist Visits NSC

The Sun cartoonist, Steve Bright, with NSC student Chelsea James

The Sun cartoonist, Steve Bright, with NSC student Chelsea James

The Interactive Media Department at the Oswestry Campus of North Shropshire College (NSC) was recently visited by The Sun cartoonist, Steve Bright (pen name Brighty), the visit was arranged by Learning Support Assistant, Sam Emms, and Media lecturer, David Watts. The visit coincided with the teaching of Cartoon and Graphic illustration units of the BTEC Interactive Media course.

The finished work

The finished work

During the visit, Steve discussed his varied and highly successful career as a cartoonist, he also discussed his current role working for The Sun newspaper and The Beano comic. Steve gave a demonstration of cartooning, drawing one of the students, Chelsea James, using creative digital applications. Media lecturer, David Watts, commented ‘the session was extremely interesting and useful to both students and tutors alike, who will take ideas and inspiration from the session in forthcoming lessons.’

The finished work

The finished
work

Steve has been a professional freelance cartoonist since 1983 and has worked for numerous publications and clients, before going freelance, Steve worked for a number of years on the editorial staff of The Beano and assisted in the creation of the Nutty comic. While at the Nutty, Steve was responsible for creating and writing ‘Bananaman’. Since going freelance, Steve has produced cartoons for The Beano, The Dandy, The Daily Record and The Sunday Times he is also the editorial cartoonist for The Sun.

For more information about courses in Interactive Media, please contact David Watts on 01691 688104 or email d.j.watts@nsc.ac.uk or visit www.nsc.ac.uk. For more information about Steve Bright, please visit www.brighty-art.co.uk.

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HoW College students showcase creative talents for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Birmingham Children’s Hospital 1Hair, Beauty and Make-up students from the Heart of Worcestershire College are set to unleash their talents and create a world of mystical fantasy to help raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital 2The event which is due to take place on Friday 12th June, from 2:30pm until 5pm, in the College’s new state-of-the-art St Dunstan’s building will see students fundraising for the local charity by showcasing just some of the industry skills they learn throughout their course as they offer members of the public a selection of hair, make-up and beauty treatments.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital 3Throughout the day the student’s work will be brought to life with full and half body painting being showcased, before being judged at a closed competition on the evening. There will also be a number of fundraising activities taking place including a raffle, games and stalls manned by external exhibitors.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital 4Speaking about the event Sarah Bennett, Make-Up Technician at the College, said:

“The fundraiser is set to be a great event to not only showcase the fantastic level of work our students produce but to also raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.”

For more information about our Hair, Beauty and Make-up courses please visit www.howcollege.ac.uk

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College signs up to Warwickshire Employability Charter

Stratford-upon-Avon College Principal Nicola Mannock receives a copy of the Warwickshire Employability Charter from Councillor Brian Moss

Stratford-upon-Avon College Principal Nicola Mannock receives a copy of the Warwickshire Employability Charter from Councillor Brian Moss

Warwickshire County Council has launched a new initiative to bring together local employers and schools, to help prepare the county’s young people for the world of employment.

On Tuesday 19th May, the Council launched its Employability Charter which will facilitate close cooperation between businesses and education providers with the aim of improving pupils’ employability skills, and Stratford-upon-Avon College was one of the very first organisations to sign up to it at the launch event.

The Employability Charter will enable businesses and schools to identify and develop suitable partnerships.  It provides for employers having input into school and college curricula, visiting schools to give talks and committing to offer work experience placements.  It will also establish a system of short-term work exchanges between business employees and school and college teaching staff, to ensure even greater collaboration between those providing our young people with education, training and employment.

Councillor Colin Hayfield, Portfolio Holder for education and learning, said: “I’m delighted to sign these first charters. The council is investing £2.4 million over the next three years in its new Skills for Employment programme to enable business and education to work more closely together. The charter is a key part of that programme.”

Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor June Tandy, said:  “It is a priority of the council to develop the work opportunities for our young people to make sure they are well-placed to enter the workplace.  This charter will join businesses and education together to make that happen.”

Stratford-upon-Avon College principal Nicola Mannock believes signing up to the charter makes perfect sense.  She sees it as an extension of the College’s long-standing commitment to forging links with businesses and increasing its students’ employment prospects.  After receiving a copy of the charter from Cllr Brian Moss, she said: “Stratford-upon-Avon College wholeheartedly supports any initiative which strengthens the ties between education and employment.   We pride ourselves on a long-standing and highly successful apprenticeship programme, and, as principal, I am proud that we have committed to Warwickshire County Council’s Employability Charter on the very day of its launch and delighted to accept it on the College’s behalf.”

To strengthen its links with employers and fully support the aims of the charter, the College is holding a breakfast meeting on Friday 5th June, when care providers from the local area can talk to the College’s Care Team about their training needs and find out about the benefits of apprenticeships and distance learning.  So if you like the idea of chatting with a Skills for Care representative about the latest developments in social care training and recruitment over a plate of bacon and eggs, pay a visit to the College’s Brazz Restaurant between 8am and 9.30am.

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit www.stratford.ac.uk or call the College on 01789 266245.

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NSC Spring Art Competition Winner

Theo-Armani Foster Brooks with his winning artwork and the art supplies for his school

Theo-Armani Foster Brooks with his winning artwork and the art supplies for his school

Secondary schools across Shropshire were invited to enter their year 9 and 10 pupils into an exciting Spring Art Competition being held by North Shropshire College (NSC). The College received over 80 entries from schools across the county and the quality of the work was extremely high, so judging was difficult.

Students at the schools were invited to create a piece of artwork entitled ‘Spring,’ the competition presented the perfect opportunity for students to work on a project over the Easter holidays individually or as part of a class project.

The winner of the first prize was Theo-Armani Foster Brooks from Ercall Wood Technology College, with a beautiful Spring scene in wax crayon. Theo won a £25 gift voucher and £50 worth of Arts Supplies for the school.

NSC’s Art Department hopes to inspire young people into picking up a paintbrush or a camera and to do something creative. NSC offers a range of Art and Design Courses: A Levels in Fine Art, Textiles, Graphics, Photography, Diplomas in Art and Design and a new Diploma in Fashion and Clothing.

For more information please call NSC’s Schools Liaison Officer, Pippa Evans, on 01691 688087 or email pippa.evans@nsc.ac.uk. For more information on courses available at NSC, please visit www.nsc.ac.uk.

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