LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES
Weston College recently received a visit from a very special guest! Leroy Rosenior, former West Ham, Fulham, QPR and Bristol City football player visited our Year 2 Media Production students to assist with their Broadcast Journalism project.
Leroy started out in football at Fulham where he was awarded Player of the Year in 1987. Early in his career, he also played for West Ham, Queens Park Rangers and Charlton Athletic. In 1992 Leroy moved to Bristol City where he played 62 times and scored 15 goals between, including one hat-trick!
After retiring from playing, he moved into football management. Leroy has managed a huge range of clubs including Gloucester, Merthyr Tydfil and Torquay United. Our students asked him about his world record, when he left Torquay United after just 10 minutes in charge; giving him the record for the shortest managerial reign in football's league history!
Away from football, Leroy does incredibly important work as an anti-racism campaigner, educating schools and colleges about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. He is an ambassador for the Show Racism the Red Card campaign. Leroy’s work to remove discrimination is so strong that it even earned him an MBE in 2019.
Leroy discussed his book ‘It’s Only Banter’ with students. The book covers hard hitting topics such as bullying, homophobia, misogyny as well as racism. Leroy was able to help students understand the detrimental impact that these issues have on society.
This guest speaker forms part of the Creative Arts Careers Excellence Hub. Weston College's Career Excellence Hubs are designed to be the launching pad for our learners' careers. In a world where connections and relevant skills matter more than ever, these hubs offer a holistic approach that prepares learners to thrive in their chosen industries. With the support of these hubs, our learners are well-equipped to make a significant impact in their professional journeys.
The visit had a strong impact on students, who gained a lot from speaking to someone so interesting and knowledgeable.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Leroy for coming in!
Weston College has been shortlisted as a potential national winner for Access to Higher Education Centre of the Year at the AIM Empowering Futures Awards 2023.
The AIM Empowering Futures Awards celebrate the achievements of end-point assessment organisations, AIM-recognised centres and employers in the past year.
These inaugural awards will take place during their Empowering Futures Conference on 9 November at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.
AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevern Kerswell, said:
“We’re delighted that for these inaugural awards, we have received so many entries dedicated to celebrating the achievements of AIM’s centres and partners. All the entries are of a really high standard and demonstrate great commitment to supporting and empowering individuals to go on to do amazing things. Congratulations to all finalists. We look forward to celebrating their success as an industry on the 9th of November.”
Weston College’s Access to Higher Education (HE) courses are designed to give learners the skills and qualifications they need to apply for university. It is a well-established, with consistently high pass rates. Programmes start twice a year in September and January and pathways include Animal Science, Business, Criminology, Medical Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery, Social Sciences and Teaching. You can find out about our courses the financial support available, and a video of student experiences on the Access courses here: Access to Higher Education | Weston College.
A delegation from Shanghai Zhiwai Education Technology who are based in China, comprising of Dr. Peter Chen, Joe Jiao, and Ms. Eve Li, recently visited Weston College to explore a multifaceted collaboration. This visit focused on discussing potential partnership opportunities, including joint-college programs, student initiatives, teacher training, curriculum development, and the establishment of the ISAR-Weston Sino-UK Vocational Education Integration Centre.
The discussions between representatives of both institutions covered a wide spectrum of potential collaboration areas, emphasising the mutual commitment to advancing educational opportunities and fostering cross-cultural exchange.
Principal Jacqui Ford, representing Weston College, and Dr. Peter Chen, on behalf of Shanghai Zhiwai Education Technology, formalised their commitment to these collaborative efforts by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The signing of this MoU symbolises their shared intent to work closely together on these partnership projects, further strengthening the bonds between the institutions.
This promising collaboration signifies a meaningful step towards fostering international cooperation in the field of education, ultimately benefiting students, educators, and the communities they serve.
Both institutions are excited about the potential of this partnership and look forward to realising the numerous opportunities it holds for advancing education and cultural exchange between the United Kingdom and China.
At Weston College, we’re always trying to raise awareness for important causes. That’s why we’re very pleased to announce that our Level 3 Media learners recently teamed up with Meningitis Now, a leading charity in the UK for raising awareness and supporting people with meningitis. They have invested tens of millions of pounds in research surrounding the illness, playing a critical part in life-saving vaccines.
Our students were tasked with creating Instagram Reels and TikTok videos to help Meningitis Now with their annual awareness campaign. To do this, our learners travelled to their headquarters in Stroud. Here they met with survivors of meningitis and carefully interviewed them to record their experience, allowing them to recount their stories.
After this, the students went to Bristol to meet with more people who have suffered as a result of Meningitis, including a mother who sadly lost her child to the illness.
Inclusion was a key part of the brief given to learners, as an important part of an awareness campaign is ensuring that the message can be received by as many people as possible. To help with this aim, students used a Makaton interpreter to help subtitle their reels. Makaton is a type of sign language used by over 100,000 children and adults as a communication aid for people who have difficulty communicating and understanding concepts.
This employer project forms part of the Creative Arts 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.
Well done to all of these learners for raising awareness of such an important issue in a creative way. We wish all of these students the best for the rest of their course!
We recently caught up with Maria, a talented second year student currently studying T Level Production Design and Development.
Maria began her journey at Weston college with the T Level Computing and Digital technical progression programme which provided her the opportunity to develop skills such as teamworking, basic python coding and website deigning. Maria stated that the level two technical progression programme helped ‘develop her skills and understanding of programming’ and ‘gave her an insight about the technical and non-technical skills that she needed to develop further’.
Moving onto the T Level Digital Production Design and Development Maria continued her excellence, especially when completing her industry placement. Her determination and passion drove her to be the first student to complete all the industry placement hours working on PHP development systems. Her hard work was reflected with excellent feedback from her industry placement employer.
Maria decided on studying a T Level due to the 315 hours of industry placement offered, which she realised would allow her to gain knowledge and experience to help her continue into either a skilled job, higher apprenticeship or university. Maria found her T Level ‘fun, and not as difficult or stressful as it might seem’, she also thoroughly enjoyed when she got to create her own website from scratch.
The Digital Production Design and Development T Level, is a two year course based at Knightstone campus. The T Level is designed and developed in collaboration with employers, which allows students to have a mixture of classroom learning and work-based experience to help build technical skills to kick start your career into the digital sector. Studying this course means you will be apart of our computing and IT career excellence hub, as well as provided with the opportunity to join our esports academy!
Throughout the T Level Maria has grown in both confidence and knowledge, and her tutor is confident she will continue this trend and become an invaluable member of any team within the industry. After completing her course, Maria hopes to take a gap year to develop her skills further and the progress onto a higher apprenticeship!
We wish you the best of luck Maria!
Here at Weston College, we understand that things can happen to change your work or career path, leaving you at a crossroads, unsure of what your next steps might be.
Skill Up is a course aimed at those who need that extra bit of support with confidence building, to provide valuable skills and rekindle a sense of purpose in individuals who may have been out of the workforce for a while.
This course, aimed to upskill the learners, include confidence building, decision making, effective communication and many other skills that are crucial when re-entering the world of work.
Sharon, a Skill Up learner, who recently completed the course, shared some wonderful feedback:
“The course was wonderful, I really enjoyed it! The tutors were brilliant, especially Paul. They were all really friendly and took the time to help you and were happy to do so.
“It was also really nice for me to get out from my own four walls. It got me back in to a working routine.
“The mock interview was really useful and I got great feedback.
“I’m really pleased I was put forward for the course and I would recommend anyone to go on it if you’re an older person and not worked for a while.
“It gave me confidence and purpose as well as improving my IT skills.”
We are thrilled at the impact this has had on Sharon and the confidence it has given her in many different ways.
Our aim is to upskill as many adults as possible throughout the month of October and beyond. If you would like to upskill yourself or your employees, click here to find out more about our 30 Day Challenge, where we are aiming to help 150 adults upskill in just 30 days!
Last week, learners studying courses as part of our Public Services Career’s Excellence Hub, went on an exciting trip to Weston-super-Mare Fire Station. The initiative aimed to expose learners to the multifaceted world of firefighting and kindle their aspirations of becoming future heroes of the community.
Hosted by the dedicated Blue Watch team at Weston-super-Mare Fire Station, the visit proved to be an unqualified success. Watch Manager Chris Bacon, who was involved with the visit, reported: "The day was a real success, with four of the group expressing an interest in joining our Service at the next recruitment window."
Approximately 20 students from Weston College seized this unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a firefighter. Their day began with a hands-on experience, participating in practical firefighter tests and interacting closely with the seasoned crews. This immersive experience allowed them to gain insights into the life of a firefighter, including the challenges and rewards.
The highlight of the visit was a dynamic question-and-answer session with the fire service's recruitment team. This gave the students an invaluable platform to delve deeper into the intricacies of a firefighter's role and gather information on potential career paths.
Subject Area Manager for Public Services, David Beresford, said: “At Weston College we prepare our learners for a career, rather than just to pass their course. This trip has inspired our students, giving them a real insight into a career as a firefighter. Thank you to Chris and the team for hosting our learners.”
This employer project forms part of the Public Services Careers Excellence Hub. Weston College's Career Excellence Hubs are designed to be the launching pad for our learners' careers. In a world where connections and relevant skills matter more than ever, these hubs offer a holistic approach that prepares learners to thrive in their chosen industries. With the support of these hubs, our learners are well-equipped to make a significant impact in their professional journeys.
Emma, the owner of Unique hair salon in Weston-super-Mare, has been a Career Excellence Hub Endorser for our Hair and Barbering Department for over a year now. As a solo artist in the world of hairdressing, Emma does it all. She not only styles and transforms hair but also manages the intricate details of her salon's operation.
Emma recently led a masterclass with hairdressing learners here at the College, in which she taught and demonstrated using effective and safe working methods when perming and neutralising hair, as well as the necessary preparation and aftercare.
We were lucky enough to catch up with her and reflect on her experience with the college so far.
Working with the college is an opportunity to share her love for hairdressing and ignite the same passion in the next generation of hairstylists. Over the past year, Emma has had the pleasure of hosting numerous students from Weston College for work experience in her salon. These students are often a mixture of excited but nervous, but are gaining the hands-on experience in the industry that will be a huge help in their future careers.
Emma shares that having these students at her salon has been an opportunity to witness the remarkable transformation of their confidence. Their evolution is something Emma is proud to show her clients, who can see first-hand the impact of her mentorship.
The highlight for Emma is watching the incredible growth in these students. Many arrive uncertain, but by the end of their work experience, they have blossomed into more confident individuals. Emma's guidance and expertise create an environment where these training stylists can put into practice what they’re learning at college, and excel in the world of hairdressing.
Emma's excitement for the future knows no bounds. She eagerly anticipates working even more closely with Weston College, nurturing fresh talent, and helping them find their unique style in the world of hairdressing. With her continued support and the college's education, we can expect to see even more incredible hairstylists emerging from Weston College.
Unique Hair Salon forms part of the Hair & Barbering Careers Excellence Hub. At Weston College our approach goes beyond the traditional classroom setting. Through industry speakers, workshops, employer projects, and more, we equip our learners with the real-world experiences and insights that set them apart in the competitive job market. It's not just about getting a job; it's about standing out from the crowd when they embark on their job searches.
Weston College Welcomes its New Student Union President & Vice-President.
It’s time to offer a big congratulations to the newly elected president of our Student Union (SU)!
Aleks is an A Level student, currently studying law, sociology, and history. After a strong performance at the Student Union presidential election, he is keen to get started. We spoke to Aleks and got his thoughts on his brand-new role.
What made you want to run for Student Union president?
“What made me run for SU president was the desire and ambition for change. I want to be the voice for anyone in the college, for whatever reason big or small, and to highlight the important yet forgotten issues.”
What do you hope to achieve as Student Union president generally?
“As SU president I plan on achieving a more well-rounded and open college, where issues such as mental health or exam stress are discussed openly and freely. They are discussed now but I want to make the college environment 110% open and relaxed.”
What is one area of the Student Union that you particularly want to focus on?
“One area of the student union that I want to focus on is its role. I want to raise its profile and have more students recognise the importance of having their issues or grievances voiced in an effective and diplomatic manner.”
How do you think your time as Student Union President will help you in later life?
“In later life I believe that my role as the SU president will help me develop my leadership skills as well as time management and most importantly problem-solving skills. It’s one thing to identify an issue but another to find an effective and appropriate solution that everyone will agree to.”
How do you think your time as Student Union President will help you on your course?
“I think my role will help my course by assisting my personal development, but at the end of the day I don’t want my presidency to be beneficial to me I want it to be beneficial to everyone in the college.”
Supporting Aleks is the new vice-president of the SU Ceilidh. She is in her second year of the level 3 Musical Theatre course. We caught up with Ceilidh to find out everything about her Student Union journey.
What made you interested in joining the Student Union?
“I wanted to join the student union this year as I had been student secretary last year and really enjoyed working with the team. I'd also love to be able to assist those who maybe struggle to find their voice or don't know how to go about making the change they want to see.”
What is one thing you would like to see the Student Union achieve this year?
“I would like to see some more opportunities for the Student Union to interact with students across the campuses.”
What are you most excited for as vice-president?
“As vice-president I'm very excited to be able to be a little more active with the events we hold and take part in a little more of the decision making. I hope that my time as student president allows me the opportunity to work with a range of students with varying interests.”
How do you think your time as Student Union vice-president will help you in later life?
“I plan to go into teaching, and I think working with people who are outside of those I would normally talk to will prepare me for future work with people who have a different outlook on life to myself.”
It’s clear to see that Aleks and Ceilidh are ready to get stuck in and deliver for the Student Union and the students at Weston College. We wish them both the very best of luck as the new president and vice-president!
If you are interested in learning more about the Student Union, click here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.