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LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES

alex lipinski and phoebe

One of our talented A-Level students, recently had the incredible opportunity to interview singer/songwriter and musician Alex Lipinski on the Wave Community Radio.  

Phoebe, who studies A-Levels in English Literature/Language, Sociology, and History, has always had a passion for writing and a strong interest in journalism. "I have always wanted to go into journalism. I love to write and so was looking to go into some sort of field to do with this, but I ended up falling into the Broadcasting Journalism sector and am absolutely loving it," she shared. 

Her involvement with Wave Community Radio began when she saw an opportunity to interview key industry figures at the CareersFest at the Winter Gardens. "I saw a message on Teams about Wave Radio offering an opportunity for students to interview key industries at the CareersFest... It felt like something I shouldn’t miss as I wanted to go into Journalism, so I put myself forward," Phoebe explained. Following the success of her initial interviews, she eagerly sought more opportunities with the station and has been hosting her own show since the start of May. 

phoebe

The interview with Alex Lipinski was a highlight for Phoebe, as she has known him both as an artist and a family friend. "The whole interview with Alex was incredible... The highlight would have to be hearing his soon-to-be-released song ‘The Ballad of The Boy,’ which he played for the first time ever exclusively on the show," Phoebe recounted. She was also impressed by Lipinski's cover of The Killers' ‘Read My Mind’ and was intrigued to learn about his musical upbringing. 

Phoebe’s show, part of the Student Takeover on Wave Community Radio, features a music guest every other week for performances and interviews. Her dedication to giving small artists a spotlight and discovering new music is evident in her programming choices. "Being able to give small artists a spotlight is what I am also aiming to keep on my shows, and I love discovering new music," she noted. 

Phoebe’s experience on Wave Community Radio has solidified her desire to pursue a career in broadcasting journalism. "This is what I want to do now, so I am going to continue working hard and hopefully make it into BBC one day," she expressed. 

She also shared some valuable advice for aspiring journalists: "Ask the questions, do some digging, take all the opportunities given to you and communicate effectively. Be brave also... It was extremely out of my comfort zone to do those interviews, but I am so grateful to myself that I did it anyway." 

Listeners can tune in to Phoebe’s show every other Monday from 7-8 PM on Wave Community Radio. Her next show is scheduled for June 10th, where she will continue to feature new and experienced artists, providing them with a platform to share their music and stories. 

You can also listen back to shows on Mixcloud, by searching 'Wave Community Radio' and look for The Student Takeover. 
Phoebe also has an Instagram account, updated with her upcoming shows and her music favourites - @one.phoeberculley

If you are passionate about education and are looking for an opportunity to join the staff team at a leading college, then look at the latest job vacancies available at Weston College here. You can find all the latest job opportunities that Weston College has to offer, with a commitment to providing quality education for learners and a focus on continuous professional development for staff, Weston College is an excellent place to work and grow in your career. 

 

Airport

Two T Level students have recently had the exciting opportunity to complete their placement with Griffiths Farrans JV, as part of their commitment to support the next generation of talent in construction and civil engineering.

The work placement element of T Levels (which equates to 20% of the duration of the course) gives learners the opportunity to put the theory they have learned in the classroom into practice and gain real-life experience in an industry related to their course.

Ned and Kimberly, who study Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, have been working on an exciting public transport project at Bristol Airport since April, which has involved helping in delivering an enlarged public transport interchange with an enhanced internal road system.

The learners are also working on an additional multi-story car park which includes waiting rooms and rest facilities. These projects are part of Bristol Airport’s multi-million-pound transformational development plan which aims to allow 12 million passengers a year to use the Airport.

Kimberly says that the activities she usually carries out day-to-day at her work placement involve taking levels, marking out points for ground works, and creating surveys. The area that she has found the most interesting has been using modern technology to set out different aspects of the construction of the project such as a total station, magnet field controller and GPS to take levels and to set out on site.

When asked if Kimberly would encourage others to apply to T Levels, she said, “I would definitely recommend T Levels to other students. T Levels give you a more practical insight of the career field you want to go into.”

“Going to placement has really helped me think about my future and has provided a clearer vision of what I may want to do for my future. I am confident that this is the career field I am meant to be in, and I really enjoy it.”

Click here to read more about T Levels available at Weston College: https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/t-levels

Leslie on a boat.

I’m Leslie Warren, a qualified Chartered Surveyor and currently an Asset Manager for a c.£4bn (AuM) UK property portfolio.

Last year when I was searching for a job, I attended the Weston College Takeover Day at the Job Centre, as I wanted to refresh my Microsoft Excel skills. Whilst there I found out about the Pre-employment courses on offer at the college and decided to apply.

The course was really beneficial to me, as I increased my skills in Excel, improved my CV, and I also found out about AI, and how this can be utilised to enhance job applications.

I used the AI elements of the course to create a PowerPoint presentation, which I then used in the interview to get the job I have now.

I enjoyed the course, met some lovely people, enjoyed visiting Weston College and benefited from what I learned there.

The teaching was excellent, the tutor able to disseminate information to a wide demographic with skill, patience, care and kindness shown at all times.

I now work nationally, from home most of the time, but with an office in Bristol and London that I visit weekly as well as completing site visits when required.

The type of tasks I complete include Asset-Evaluations, Options Appraisals (which are Board Reports that request a decision on a recommendation that I create), managing budgets, conducting and commissioning financial analysis, portfolio management and Net-Present-Valuations.

The part that I most enjoy about my job is when I identify an underperforming asset and my recommendation to dispose of it is approved by the board, and I then get the chance to financially prove myself by acquiring capital receipt from open market disposals that more than cover the cost of hiring me.

My time at Weston College brought me up to speed with contemporary norms and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have had the chance to learn.

Leslie.

Learner cooking.

Special guests and pupils from the nine schools who are Extend Learning Academies Network (ELAN) trust, gathered for the very first Opening Worlds Curriculum Symposium at Weston College on Tuesday 21st May 2024.

In 2023 ELAN adopted the Opening Worlds curriculum for humanities: geography, history and religious education written and designed by Steve Mastin and Christine Counsell.

To open the evening, thanks to our tech team at Weston College and IT whizz Emma Parkins, Opening World’s writer Steve Mastin beamed in live via video call from Kazakhstan to talk directly with the children.

Following on, children and special guests enjoyed a lovely two-course dinner, catered for by our incredible catering and hospitality learners, providing the learners with an additional opportunity to support their own studies and show off what they can do.

Over dinner, children entertained their table with amazing stories, facts and knowledge about some of their favourite subjects.

The second half of the evening saw an interactive and rather competitive quiz pitting schools and their wisdom against each other – no adult input allowed and absolutely not required.

It was edge-of-the-seat action and very tightly fought with the overall winners Oldmixon Primary School taking the trophy!

Marie Berry, Headteacher at Bourneville Primary School, said: “What an amazing night! To have witnessed the pure joy in the room was an absolute privilege. Definitely a top ELAN moment.

“Thank you to everyone who put so much into making it the great success it was. The children were fantastic, and I think we can certainly say quality teaching is paying off.

“Councillor Gibbons was absolutely blown away by the children’s knowledge and looking around the room I could see similar responses from many of the guests. It’ll be an event I remember always.”

Matthew, a Year 3 student from Locking Primary School, added: “This is the most special evening of my entire life. I liked the quiz. There were so many questions, and we really did try our best! The dessert was delicious too!”

The CEO of ELAN, Adam Matthews, said: “The children’s knowledge, enthusiasm, love of learning and desire to discuss the subjects they had studied (and beyond) made a special evening extraordinary. It will go down as one of my standout moments in education.”

Extend Learning Academies Network is a group of North Somerset primary schools and nurseries situated at Banwell, Bournville, Locking, Oldmixon, Mead Vale, Mendip Green, Milton Park, Walliscote and Windwhistle.

Louise Hill-Davies with her Anthology book

This week, Louise Hill-Davies has achieved a significant milestone by becoming a published author. She has contributed to a collective anthology of poetry and short stories featuring works from authors who have persevered through adversity and injustice to find a route forward against the odds. This remarkable anthology includes contributions from notable figures such as Greg Williams, actress Courteney Cox, actors Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Jay Ellis, YouTuber KSI, rugby union player Maro Itoje, and singer-songwriter Sinead Harnett, among many others. 

The book centres around powerful life lessons, with contributors sharing their experiences navigating difficult personal circumstances. It showcases how, even when weathering the toughest storms, they found the strength to move forward instead of giving up. This anthology is a powerful celebration of human resilience and love, offering a vehicle for hope and encouraging readers to create a better ecosystem for preserving their mental health and wellbeing. 

 

Louise Hill-Davies

 

Louise’s story, based on true events, centres on Lauren, a mother who faced systemic racism through the healthcare she received during the birth of her daughter. This powerful narrative shines a critical but necessary light on the challenges black women encounter in maternal care. Louise’s work not only resonates deeply on a personal level but also addresses broader societal issues, a message she passionately shares with our health learners. 

We are incredibly proud of Louise for her amazing contribution to this anthology. Her story is not only a testament to her strength and resilience but also an important reminder of the work still needed to address systemic racism in healthcare. Louise’s voice adds a crucial perspective to this collection, and her dedication to raising awareness is truly commendable. 

Louise’s involvement in this anthology underscores her commitment to advocacy and education, highlighting the importance of addressing and overcoming systemic injustices. Her story is a profound addition to the anthology, offering readers an insightful and impactful narrative that challenges and inspires. 

“I Wanted to Quit Too” is available now on amazon.

If you are passionate about education and are looking for an opportunity to join the staff team at a leading college, then look at the latest job vacancies available at Weston College here. You can find all the latest job opportunities that Weston College has to offer, with a commitment to providing quality education for learners and a focus on continuous professional development for staff, Weston College is an excellent place to work and grow in your career. 

students visiting ATS Euromaster

In the last two weeks, the Motor Vehicle department at Weston College has been working closely with Dominic Pinfield, Centre Operations Manager at ATS Euromaster in Weston-Super-Mare, to provide valuable opportunities for our students. ATS Euromaster offered two paid 6-month internships, one based in Weston and one in Taunton, to our learners. 

ATS Euromaster invited a group of our Level 2 and Level 3 Motor Vehicle learners to a site tour of their Weston-Super-Mare branch. This visit allowed students to experience firsthand the working environment, gain insight into the type of work they would be performing, and meet the rest of the team, which includes three former Weston College students who have successfully built careers in the industry after their education here. 

Image of the ATS Euromaster garage

Following the site visit, interested learners submitted their CVs and participated in formal interviews held at the South West Skills Campus. As a result, two candidates were selected and offered the paid internships. 

This partnership forms part of the Automotive Careers Excellence Hub. The College has fourteen sector-specific Career Excellence Hubs, which evidence our dedication to supporting both employers and learners in achieving their future goals. By creating a seamless connection between industry and education, we enable learners to acquire not only the essential skills and knowledge but also the professional networks necessary to excel in their chosen fields.   

To see more about our Automotive courses, click here

If you are passionate about education and are looking for an opportunity to join the staff team at a leading college, then look at the latest job vacancies available at Weston College here. You can find all the latest job opportunities that Weston College has to offer, with a commitment to providing quality education for learners and a focus on continuous professional development for staff, Weston College is an excellent place to work and grow in your career. 

"our hair and beauty apprentice, ellie, styling hair at the competition"

We are very proud to announce that one of our exceptional hairdressing apprentices has demonstrated extraordinary talent and skill by winning first place at the Blackpool AHT (Association of Hairdressers and Therapists) national Bridal Hair Styling finals. Competing against 24 other talented candidates, our apprentice's impeccable skills and creativity stood out, earning them the top spot in this prestigious competition. 

The victory at the Blackpool AHT competition highlights the high level of expertise and dedication within our hair and beauty apprenticeship programme. The winning apprentice impressed the judges with a stunning and intricate bridal hair design that exemplified elegance and sophistication, qualities essential for bridal styling. 

"We are incredibly proud of Ellie for this outstanding achievement," said Jenna Ratcliffe, Divisional Lead of Service Sector Industries at Weston College. "Securing first place in a national competition is a testament to Ellie’s hard work, creativity, and the high-quality training she has received at her salon, SmartEst73 and at Weston College. This collaboration is a testament to how important it is to collaborate with local employers to train the next generation of hairdressers." 

our hair and beauty apprentice, ellie, styling hair at the competition

The Blackpool AHT competition is renowned for its high standards and the exceptional level of skill exhibited by participants. Winning first place against such a competitive field is a significant honour and underscores the dedication and passion of our apprentice. 

This success forms part of the Hair and Beauty Careers Excellence Hub. The College has fourteen sector-specific Career Excellence Hubs, which evidence our dedication to supporting both employers and learners in achieving their future goals. By creating a seamless connection between industry and education, we enable learners to acquire not only the essential skills and knowledge but also the professional networks necessary to excel in their chosen fields.    

To see more about our Hair and Beauty courses, click here

If you are passionate about education and are looking for an opportunity to join the staff team at a leading college, then look at the latest job vacancies available at Weston College here. You can find all the latest job opportunities that Weston College has to offer, with a commitment to providing quality education for learners and a focus on continuous professional development for staff, Weston College is an excellent place to work and grow in your career. 

Student in classroom

This National Numeracy Day at Weston College we are continuing our commitment to empowering adult learners and employers across the UK with essential numeracy skills!

National Numeracy Day serves as a reminder of the importance of numerical proficiency in everyday life and career progression. Multiply courses, funded by the government and delivered by local communities, offer a unique learning opportunity for adults aged 19 or over to build their numeracy skills. 

From basic maths taught through fun classes like cooking, gardening and woodwork to more advanced classes, the courses are designed to meet diverse needs and empower learners to navigate numerical challenges confidently. For employers, investing in the numeracy skills of their workforce is key to driving business growth and enhancing productivity. 

From basic numeracy training to advanced financial literacy, the courses are designed to align with business objectives and foster a culture of continuous learning. On National Numeracy Day, adults across the UK are encouraged to invest in their numeracy skills, while employers are urged to prioritise the development of their workforce’s maths competencies. 

By getting involved in the Multiply programme, individuals and businesses alike can unlock new potential and confidence!
 

“Being dyslexic, I always struggled with numbers. Luckily, the Multiply course allowed me to learn essential maths skills through fun classes. For instance I enrolled on a Multiply cooking course where I created new recipes and using maths to weigh out the correct ingredient measurements. Similarly, the joinery course taught me practical maths skills too, and I'm finding that my dyslexic challenges around numbers aren't as daunting anymore. I'm now adding numbers quicker and feeling more confident.”

Find out more about the Multiply Courses we have on offer below:

Cost Of Living And IT Skills

If the Cost-of-Living crisis in the UK is encouraging you to upskill, this course will give you skills in maths and IT required for all types of real-life scenarios. Find out more here - Cost of Living and IT Skills - Multiply 

Multiply ESOL

If you are currently learning English as a second or other language, this course will help you to further build your knowledge by improving your maths skills. Find out more here - ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) - Multiply.

 

Person using laptop with graphic AI on top of it.

Artificial intelligence has many weird and wonderful functions within our society and in workforces, making many jobs easier and revolutionising the way we work.

With the continual growth of AI, many professions hinge on uniquely human traits such as creativity, empathy, ethical judgment, and complex problem-solving.

We thought we would delve deeper into the careers which won’t be replaced by AI, and how you can start your journey into these careers with Weston College.

Creative arts:

While AI can generate music, write articles, and create visual art, it lacks the human touch that infuses these creations with genuine emotion and originality.

Human artists draw upon personal experiences, cultural contexts, and emotional depths that AI simply cannot replicate.

Creative works are often valued not just for their technical quality but for their ability to stir up emotions and provoke thought – something that requires a deeply human perspective.

We offer many courses which can get either get you started in the industry, or allow you to progress your career with new skills, whether that be through our courses for16–19-year-olds, or for adults.

Some of the available courses that we offer, include: Art, Design, Graphics and Fashion | Weston College | Creative and Digital Media | Weston College and Performing and Production Arts | Weston College. 

Education:

Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge but also about inspiring, mentoring, and engaging students.

While AI can offer personalised learning experiences, the role of a teacher as a motivator and guide remains crucial.

Educators adapt to the diverse needs of their students, foster critical thinking, and create a supportive learning environment—elements that go beyond AI’s capabilities.

At Weston College, we can support you in starting a career in education through our Early Years Course: Education and Early Years | Weston College.

Social workers:

Social workers play a vital role in supporting individuals and communities through challenging circumstances.

Their work involves advocacy, crisis intervention, and providing emotional support, all of which require a high degree of empathy, ethical judgment, and interpersonal skills.

While AI can assist with data management and administrative tasks, the core of social work relies on human connection and compassion.

We offer several routes into this profession, some of our courses which are currently available include: Health and Social Care | Weston College, Adult Care Worker, Apprenticeship | Weston College Healthcare Support Worker, Senior Healthcare Support Worker, Apprenticeship | Weston College, or NHS Health & Care Somerset SWAP | Weston College. 

Mental health professionals:

The field of mental health requires a profound understanding of human emotions, behaviour, and relationships.

AI can provide tools for therapy, such as chatbots for basic mental health support, but it cannot replicate the deep empathy and human connection provided by psychologists and counsellors.

The therapeutic relationship, built on trust and understanding, is fundamental to effective mental health care and cannot be fully replaced by machines.

To kickstart a career in mental health, Weston College offer level 3 Counselling | Weston College and level 1 Introduction to Counselling | Weston College.

Environment, agriculture, and conservation:

While AI can greatly enhance efficiency and provide valuable data-driven insights in the fields of environment, agriculture, and conservation, it cannot replace the essential human elements required in these careers.

The complex problem-solving, ethical judgment, interpersonal skills, hands-on experience, creativity, and long-term vision that humans bring to these roles are irreplaceable.

Start your career with our Animal Management | Weston College course, or apply to our UCW Animal Conservation, Behaviour and Welfare, BSc (Hons) - University Centre Weston (ucw.ac.uk), and Animal, Environment and Biological Studies - University Centre Weston (ucw.ac.uk) courses.

Marketing and Communications

The marketing department is responsible for promoting Weston College to the public, by promoting the Colleges courses, achievements and events.

Our aims are to attract learners to study within the Weston College Group, build and grow the College’s brand and highlight its reputation, and promote the College Group’s success, student progression and outstanding support for our learners.

The marketing department manages the College’s websites and official social media accounts, runs advertising campaigns, creates press releases, and manages many of the College Group’s events, such as Graduation, the Celebration of Success and the Business Awards.

We produce a wide range of publications including our full-time, Higher Education and part-time prospectuses, course leaflets and posters, and other documents such as the College’s annual report, magazines and newsletters, course brochures and the student handbook.

Weston College is committed to providing accurate and timely information for local, regional and national media, and the general public.

The marketing team is available between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays. You can get in touch with us by emailing marketing@weston.ac.uk.

All of our press releases are uploaded to the news section of our websites. News from the academies we sponsor, including the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College, can be found on the news section of the Inspirational Futures Trust’s website. News pertaining to our Higher Education Provision can be found on www.ucw.ac.uk.

The marketing department produces most imagery and film in house, and keeps an extensive archive of the photographs it takes. If you would like a copy of an image featuring you or a member of your family, please contact us at photography@weston.ac.uk.

Our photos of graduation and many other events can be found on the College’s Facebook page. High quality images can be found on the College’s Flickr account.

Weston College is able to accommodate many requests to provide locations for film and photography. The College has a range of attractive, modern and adaptable facilities which can be viewed on our youtube channel.

We also are able to provide heritage facilities such as the Victorian Hans Price designed Conference Centre and, from September 2017, the 1927 Winter Gardens Pavilion.

For booking details, contact marketing@weston.ac.uk.

For enquiries about sponsoring key events such as Celebration of Success, Business Breakfast, Business Awards and Graduation, please contact the marketing team by email at marketing@weston.ac.uk.

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One Message, Different Voices

Take a look at this powerful film made by the staff of Weston College to show how important it is for everyone from different backgrounds to be included. The film shares heartfelt stories and interviews with a diverse group of staff, showing how accepting different identities and backgrounds can make a big difference. Its purpose is to encourage viewers to think about their own biases and work towards making our community more welcoming to all. We invite everyone, regardless of their background, to join us and be a part of our journey toward a more inclusive future.

Halo workplace logo

Our workplace champions the right of staff to embrace all Afro-hairstyles. We acknowledge that Afro-textured hair is an important part of our Black employees’ racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities, and requires specific styling for hair health and maintenance. We celebrate Afro-textured hair worn in all styles including, but not limited to, afros, locs, twists, braids, cornrows, fades, hair straightened through the application of heat or chemicals, weaves, wigs, headscarves, and wraps. In this workplace, we recognise and celebrate our colleagues’ identities. We are a community built on an ethos of equality and respect where hair texture and style have no bearing on an employee's ability to succeed.