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LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES

Luke Potter giving a guest lecture

Weston College is proud to announce a recent visit from Luke Potter, an esteemed musician, songwriter, and producer, renowned for his extensive experience in the music industry with top-flight artists. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing unparalleled educational opportunities for our music learners, Luke Potter generously dedicated his time to share invaluable insights into various facets of the music industry. 

During his visit, Luke Potter imparted his wealth of knowledge and expertise, offering students a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the music business. From songwriting techniques to production secrets, his guidance proved instrumental for budding artists seeking to navigate the competitive landscape of the industry. 

 

Luke Potter delivering guest lecture

 

Recognising the immense value of Luke Potter's mentorship, Weston College is thrilled to announce that he has agreed to return in the upcoming academic year to host an exclusive songwriting workshop. This workshop promises to be an unparalleled opportunity for students to further hone their skills under the guidance of a seasoned professional. 

Luke Potter's commitment to nurturing the next generation of musical talent aligns perfectly with Weston College's mission to empower students with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen field. We eagerly anticipate the upcoming workshop and are grateful to Luke Potter for his ongoing support and dedication to education within the music industry. 

Music lecturer Oz Cahill said: “Luke’s visit is adding great value to our courses, alongside yet another important industry connection.” 

This guest speaker forms part of the Creative Arts Careers Excellence Hub; Weston College is committed to preparing learners for success in a rapidly evolving job market which is reflected in our offer via our bespoke Career Excellence Hubs, which form an integral part of all college programmes. In a world where professional networks and industry-specific skills are integral to landing employment, these hubs provide a unique solution to bridge the gap between education and industry demands. 

A big thanks to Luke for coming in! To find out more about Music at Weston College, 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.

 

Orlan working at the Co-op on the shop floor

Supported internships can be a powerful tool to unlock young people’s potential, and also support employers with attracting a wider talent pool, which can be highly effective.

Supported internships offer a valuable chance for young individuals aged 16-24 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to acquire significant work exposure, all under the guidance of a skilled job coach. The job coach works closely with both the individual and the employer, to find a successful match.

The aim is to support young people into sustainable paid employment, giving them the confidence and skills to work independently.

They are also a fantastic opportunity for employers, not only to gain extra support, but often young people on supported internships will bring fresh ideas and new approaches, which can be highly beneficial. Through supported internships employers can create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

We caught up with a few of our learners, who are on their supported internship, to see how they were getting on:

Prison Event attendees watching presentation

On Thursday 21st March, Weston College and Acorn by Synergie hosted ‘Diversifying the Bristol Workforce – Prison Engagement Special’ at Ashton Gate Stadium.

The event which shed light on the potential of hiring Prison Leavers within the construction sector, was abuzz with enthusiasm from industry leaders, looking to unlock a new talent pool.

With approximately 50 attendees, including representatives from various construction companies, the event provided a platform for meaningful discussions and insightful exchanges.

As part of the discussions, was an informative, inspiring, and insightful panel of prominent figures, including:

  • Paul Kerslake, Managing Director of RTS Group and Chair of the Employment Advisory Board at HMP Leyhill
  • Neil Lavis, Regional Broker for New Futures Network Avon, South Dorset, and Wiltshire
  • Megan Porter, Recruitment Diversity Manager for Kier Group
  • George, a Bristol-based site manager with lived experience shared his personal journey of rehabilitation and successful integration into the construction sector after being offered an opportunity during his time in prison.
  • Alastair Phelpstead, Assistant Principal for Weston College Prison Education Group.

Following the panel discussion, attendees had the opportunity to engage with the panellists, asking questions and seeking further advice.

Louise Greene, Employer Partnership Manager at Weston College and Lawrence Beach, Client Development Director at Acorn by Synergie co-organised the event, Lawrence commented: “It was inspiring to see that many people linked with the construction industry sharing experiences, keen to learn more, with a will to help prison leavers.”  Louise commented: “This event marked a significant step towards fostering inclusive employment practices within the construction industry, emphasizing the transformative impact of providing opportunities for Prison Leavers.

“Working together with companies across the region, we can create brighter futures for all.”

For more information about the work Weston College do to support employers, please click here.

Students at the Glow Festival

The annual Glow Festival transformed Grove Park into a mesmerising spectacle of light, art, and performance, with Weston College students getting involved with an immersive theatre production. 

Organised by Super Culture, the Glow Festival welcomed local talents, creating a vibrant tapestry of creativity. Among them, Weston College's acting students showcased their prowess, delivering an enchanting performance that captivated audiences of all ages. 

Crafted around the theme of nature and play, the college's immersive piece of theatre wove through the park's pathways, inviting festivalgoers to immerse themselves in the magic of storytelling. What truly set the night ablaze was the students' ability to engage the audience. 

Under the luminous canopy of disco lights on the bandstand, the synergy between performers and audience reached its peak, with a collective celebration of artistic expression. 

For our learners, the Glow Festival isn't just an event; it's a platform for professional growth. By participating in site-specific performances, they gain invaluable industry experience, paving the way for their future endeavours in the arts. 

This project etc 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.

The Glow Festival not only illuminates the night sky, but also fosters community spirit and nurtures emerging talent, making it a highlight of Weston's cultural calendar. 

To find out more about performing arts at Weston College, click here: https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/performing-and-production-arts 

 

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.

 

Aleatory exhibition

The Island Gallery in Bristol was home to a fantastic week of artistic innovation and exploration as Art Foundation and Extended Diploma students unveiled their creations in the Aleatory24 exhibition. Showcasing an array of diverse and dynamic art, this event marked the culmination of two weeks of intensive artistic endeavour, serving as a catalyst for the students' Final Major Study. 

Challenged to channel their creativity within the confines of a 1ft cube, the students embraced this limitation with fervour, pushing the boundaries of their imagination to new heights. Despite the constraint, the students used ingenuity as they employed a variety of mediums to bring their visions to life. 

From captivating 2D compositions to intricate 3D sculptures, from digital marvels to analogue wonders, the exhibition was a testament to the students' versatility and resourcefulness. Visitors were treated to a sensory feast, with some students using both visual and auditory elements making for interactive and thought-provoking displays. 

Aleatory24 not only showcased the students' artistic talents but also underscored the importance of creative freedom and experimentation in the artistic process. As these young artists continue their journey towards the Summer Show at Loxton Campus in June, their experience at The Island gallery serves as a springboard for further exploration and innovation. 

A big congratulations to all of the students who took part in the exhibition. Find out more about Art, Design, Graphics and Fashion at Weston College by clicking here.

Weston College staff accepting an apprenticeship award

Weston College proudly announces its outstanding performance in the recently released national apprenticeship success rates, positioning itself as a leading provider in the education sector. According to the latest data, Weston College has achieved a remarkable success rate of 68.1%, marking a significant increase of 3.5% compared to the previous year.

Barney Willis, Assistant Principal - Apprenticeship and Traineeship Operations, expressed his delight, stating, "The national success rates for apprenticeships were released yesterday, and Weston College performed excellently again this year compared to other apprenticeship providers. Our apprenticeship success this year has risen by 3.5% to 68.1%. National benchmarks are at 54.3%. We are now officially the best College in the south-west and the only one that has met the government’s minimum target of 67%!"

This achievement reaffirms Weston College's commitment to delivering high-quality apprenticeship programs that not only meet but exceed national standards. The College has garnered attention on multiple fronts:

  • Weston College ranks in the top 5 nationally when excluding smaller further education (FE) colleges with relatively low numbers of apprentices.
  • In a comparison against all provider types, including colleges and other institutions, Weston College secures a spot in the top 10 nationally. Notably, among colleges of similar or larger size, Weston College is unmatched in its success rate.
  • Within the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) area, Weston College stands out with a success rate of more than 10% higher than its closest competitors.

Weston College's consistent excellence in apprenticeship provision highlights its position as a beacon of educational excellence, supporting employers and empowering learners to thrive in their chosen fields and contributing to the region's economic growth.

Students holding certificates

Every year, University Centre Weston holds a photography competition, open to entries both in an international ‘open call’ and to entries from Weston College students. This year’s theme for photos to follow was around ‘Embrace’. This photography award is produced and organised by the BA Hons Photography & Visual Cultures students from UCW, with support from Royal Photographic Society. The awards were presented alongside the Dirigo International Student Film Festival at the Cube Microplex.  

Our student winner for this year was the very talented Lucy Kenchington, who is currently studying the UAL Level 3 Photography course. You can see her impressive work below. 

 

Boxer being punched

 

The runners up for the students category are below: 

Runner up - Tanya Fairall 

Runner up - Viktorija Chvirago 

 

We caught up with Lucy to get her reaction to her impressive win. Lucy said: "I was a little surprised when I discovered I had won the Embrace competition, especially when I found out how many other photographers had entered.  

“It was a very nice shock. I hope to have a career in photography one day and this feels like a positive first step. Not only did I gain some valuable work experience during the actual shoot, but I am also lucky enough that my photo has been published and displayed in galleries in Bristol and Weston which is great for publicity.”  

 

The award was also open to an international open call for submissions. The winner in this category was Farid Barari from Tehran, Iran for the incredible piece; Shoemaker!  

 

The runners up for the open category are as follows:  

Runner up - Amir Farhoud, Modernity Against Modernism, London, UK  

Runner up - Elaine Cristina Melo, The Miracle of innocence, Sao Paulo, Brazil 

Commended - Tony Jordan, Stroud, UK 

 

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.

 

Fiona smiling at the camera on stage whilst holding her award

We proudly celebrate Fiona's remarkable tenure of over 31 years of continuous full-time service. Fiona, currently serving as College Registrar and Lead Safeguarding Officer, embarked on her journey with the College in a different role, starting as an Information Officer during a pivotal transition period.

Reflecting on her enduring commitment, Fiona expressed, "Quite simply, I feel that my job is not yet finished. The education sector is like sand dunes, constantly shifting with the winds of government initiatives and funding. Despite the challenges, I've never found the grass to be greener elsewhere."

Throughout her tenure, Fiona has been instrumental in numerous initiatives and achievements. Notably, she was elected to represent the further education sector on the original Metropolitan Police National Counter Terrorism Advisory Board, conducting research on radicalisation in coastal communities. Additionally, Fiona's unwavering dedication to supporting learners through safeguarding disclosures has been pivotal in guiding them toward brighter futures. 

When asked about the culture and atmosphere at Weston College, Fiona emphasized the institution's steadfast focus on learners and their individual journeys.

Fiona's dedication to students has been the foundation of her experience at Weston College. "Without learners, the College has no heartbeat," she noted, highlighting the pride she feels in seeing alumni succeed in various fields.

Regarding staff support and development, Fiona believes Weston College stands apart due to its culture of opportunity, optimism, and genuine encouragement. As a staff member, she emphasized the importance of seizing every opportunity and embracing discomfort as avenues for personal and professional growth.

In offering advice to new staff members, Fiona imparted three key principles: cherish time, embrace growth opportunities, and foster camaraderie with colleagues, who become like a second family. 

As Fiona's journey continues, we extend our deepest gratitude for her unwavering dedication and profound impact on the College and its community.

 

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.

 

a female and male student posing in front of the back to the future musical poster in London

Our Performing Arts learners recently embarked on an unforgettable journey to the heart of London, immersing themselves in the vibrant world of professional theatre. The trip proved to be an invaluable experience, encouraging independence, confidence, and a deeper understanding of the theatrical craft among the students. 

Performing arts students posing in London

 

Students from both Level 2 and Level 3 Performing Arts programs, spanning pathways of Musical Theatre, Dance, and Acting, were treated to a mesmerizing performance of the renowned musical Back to The Future at the prestigious Adelphi Theatre in London's West End. Witnessing the magic of live theatre first-hand, the learners were inspired by the production's excellence, igniting a passion to excel further in their training. 

 

The empty performance stage of Back to the Future in London

 

"This new and exciting musical gave our learners the opportunity to experience a professional production and inspire them to continue working hard in their training" remarked Joe Miller, Lecturer in Performing Arts at Weston College. "This also gave students the opportunity to further their skills in professional etiquette and witness professionals at their best. " 

Following the show, the learners spent a night in London, preparing for an equally thrilling day ahead. The itinerary included a spine-chilling visit to the London Dungeons, offering both entertainment and educational value. Here, students had the unique opportunity to observe live actors up close, acquiring their improvisation skills and learning from seasoned professionals in an immersive environment. 

 

Performing arts student posing in front of the Thames with the Big Ben in the background

 

The adventure continued with a ride on the iconic London Eye, providing breath-taking views of the city skyline. Additionally, students were granted free time to explore London independently, to take in all the sights and see iconic landmarks. 

"Overall, the trip was a huge success and allowed all our learners to build on their skills, build their confidence and experience professionals working in the theatre industry”, Joe added. 

The London theatrical adventure not only enriched the students' academic pursuits but also served as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. As they return to Weston College, these budding performers carry with them memories and lessons that will undoubtedly shape their future endeavours in the performing arts. 

 

""Joe Miller - our performing arts lecturer - posing with performing art students at night in London

 

This journey to London 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. 

To find out more about our Creative Arts courses, please 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 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.