LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES
Last Thursday, we welcomed over 350 enthusiastic Key Stage Four school learners and their guests to our highly anticipated 'What Next?' Careers Showcase!
This dynamic event provided a unique platform for school leavers to explore a multitude of exciting career opportunities, with participation from more than 50 local and national employers including Wessex Water, Ministry of Defence, Ashton Gate Stadium, Boeing, Jet2, and Thatchers Cider!
The 'What Next?' Careers Showcase was a resounding success, empowering young individuals to make informed decisions about their future careers.
Attendees had the opportunity to engage with representatives from a diverse range of industries, gaining valuable insights into the various career paths available to them. This immersive experience allowed students to envision their future possibilities and connect with potential employers who are actively seeking new talent.
James Shakespeare, Founder of EVO Agency commented: “There were so many people the queue went out of the door, and down the road! We’ve been exhibiting at these fairs for years and this was the busiest one we’ve seen. We hope to have inspired young people that a career in tech and digital has so much more to offer than ‘just coding’, and that there are alternative training routes, such as apprenticeships, available with further education providers such as Weston College.”
One of the highlights of the evening was the insightful talks on what Weston College can offer school leavers and the varied study options we offer including the new T Level qualifications, as well as our award-winning apprenticeship offer, having just been named the 2023 best apprenticeship provider in the whole of the South West!
Furthermore, the event facilitated one-on-one interactions between attendees and Weston College staff, enabling school leavers to receive personalised guidance on choosing the right courses that align with their career aspirations.
Our dedicated team of educators and advisors were on hand to provide valuable insights and assistance, ensuring that every student was equipped with the information they needed to embark on their chosen career path.
Ben Knocks, Vice Principal at Weston College, said: “Our ‘What Next?’ event was a resounding success, and it was great to welcome and inspire so many young people from across the region on their next steps.
“The energy in the room was electric, I couldn't be prouder of our college community and the opportunities we provide to inspire, educate, and empower our future leaders.
“At Weston College we are passionate about careers, not courses, and I think this event is the perfect example of putting that into action.
“A big thank you to all of the employers that attended as well, they play a critical role in our Career Excellence Hubs, which are having such a positive impact on our learners.”
Find out more about our Programmes for School Leavers starting next September here.
Come along to our October Open Evening and visit our campuses, see our facilities, meet our amazing staff and learn more more about the courses we have available to start in 2024. Register your place here.
It’s official, University Centre Weston (UCW) is among the best places to study at university level in the UK, according to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) published on September 28th 2023.
The TEF panel considered the overall rating for UCW to be Gold, placing it among the country’s best university and college higher education providers. This recognition by the TEF Panel reflects UCW’s unwavering dedication to providing outstanding education to a diverse student body and places it within the top 20% in the UK and one of only six colleges nationally to achieve the status.
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national scheme run by the Office for Students (OfS) that aims to encourage higher education providers to improve and deliver excellence in the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.
The TEF does this by assessing and rating universities and colleges for excellence above a set of minimum requirements for quality and standards.
Providers that take part in the TEF receive an overall rating as well as two underpinning ratings – one for the student experience and one for student outcomes.
The ratings reflect the extent to which a provider delivers an excellent experience and outcomes for its mix of undergraduate students and across the range of its undergraduate courses and subjects.
Hundreds of higher education institutions in England, Wales and Scotland have had their teaching quality, learning environment, and student outcome data assessed by the TEF Panel and rated as either Gold, Silver, Bronze or Requires Improvement.
The TEF Panel judged that UCW delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students, which is of the highest quality found in Britain.
Jacqui Ford, Interim Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group expressed her delight, saying,
“This achievement represents a significant milestone for our region, confirming the excellence of our institution for higher education. Furthermore, it underscores the Weston College Group’s positive impact on learners both locally and nationally. Attaining Gold status also validates UCW’s approach of seamlessly blending high-quality academic learning with practical, career-oriented education, providing our students and university partners with confidence in our offerings.”
Ford extended her gratitude to the dedicated staff at UCW, Weston College, and partner universities, recognising their instrumental role in achieving this remarkable status. She noted:
"Our journey to this point would not have been possible without the invaluable support of my predecessor Sir Paul Phillips who led the Weston College Group since 2001 until his retirement in August 2023, our partner universities, the University of the West of England, Bath Spa University, and Hartpury University, as well as UCW’s Vice Principal for Higher Education, Sadie Skellon. The dedication of our staff, and governors, and the collaborative efforts with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and North Somerset Council have also been essential in reaching this remarkable achievement.”
UCW’s Vice Principal for Higher Education, Sadie Skellon added:
“The TEF Panel has recognised the efforts of the talented and dedicated students and staff that we have at UCW and across the Weston College Group, and the value of the outstanding support we provide.
“UCW is committed to being an inclusive institution, promoting participation from students from all backgrounds and supporting students to ensuring positive outcomes for all. We have strategic aims to articulate this and are pleased the OfS has acknowledged that UCW ‘tailors provision and succeeds in its aim of supporting underrepresented groups of students from its region to achieve in their studies’.
In addition to praise for the student experience, UCW was praised for its supportive learning environment, offering students access to a wide range of high-quality academic support tailored to their needs. The institution has also demonstrated a commitment to embedding employability and entrepreneurship into its course content, preparing students for successful futures.
UCW’s dedication to research, innovation, scholarship, professional practice, and employer engagement further enhances the academic experience, contributing to the institution’s outstanding standing in the TEF.
This Gold rating in the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework solidifies UCW’s status as a leading institution committed to excellence in higher education.
At Weston College, we celebrate Black History year-round, and in October, we amplify voices in celebration of Black History Month (BHM). This year, the official theme is “Saluting Our Sisters”.
Throughout October, we invite our students and staff to join us for enlightening events and talks featuring influential speakers, educators and artists as we pay tribute to women of colour who paved the way for progress and explore how their legacy shapes our future. All events will be held at the Health and Active Living Skills Centre, Loxton Road, and all staff and students are encouraged to attend any of the below events, please book your place here.
Korede Adedoyin – Founder & Operations Director at the Vemoye Foundation | Raising Africa’s Future Workforce
October 6th, 11am – 108
Korede discusses the Black British experience, linking it to education in Africa, sharing her story, and offering insights on the diaspora’s future in health and education.
Adaku Onuegbu BSc – Psychology graduate who completed her Level 3 in Health & Social Care with Weston College
October 6th, 11am – Communal Space
Adaku offers a personal narrative, guiding us through her journey as a learner at Weston College. She illuminates fresh avenues to realise your aspirations within the field of health & social care.
Louise Hill-Davis Ma, Ba, BSc – Lecturer and Assessor in Health and Social Care – Independent Creative Facilitator – Performance Artist
October 11th, 11am – 206
Louise dives into the compelling topic of maternal mortality rates in the UK. She'll weave her personal experience into the narrative. Join us for a session that explores disparities and factors and calls for policy reform.
Yemmy’s Kitchen - a caterer who specialises in baking. You are invited to come and taste some traditional West African dishes with a twist
October 6th, 12-1pm – 119
Nigerian Jollof Rice (vegan), Chicken Gizzards (Halal) and puff puff for dessert. Served as a West African canape.
Sheriden Akintayo BSc – Social Worker for South Gloucestershire Council and Psychology graduate
October 6th, 11am – 117
Sheriden shares her personal journey and opens a conversation on the future of social care, delving into the Care Act and Intersectionality. Join her as she navigates the present landscape and charts our course toward a more inclusive future in health and social care.
Bongai Mutema LLB, MA – Solicitor in Local Government. Local Authority Solicitor, Court of Protection and Adult Social Care Law
October 10th, 11am- 119
Introducing Bongai Mutema, a local government Solicitor with a unique background in Health & Social Care. She’ll discuss the legal framework for adult health and social cate, drawing from her personal experiences and insights.
Weston College's "Saluting Our Sisters" theme not only celebrates the achievements of black women now and throughout history but also underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in education. By highlighting the stories of these incredible women, the College aims to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all students, regardless of their background. By honouring the past, our aim is to help shape a more inclusive and equitable future.
We look forward to seeing you there!
In a world where the demand for skilled healthcare and social care professionals continues to grow, fostering strong partnerships between educational institutions and employers is not just beneficial but essential. Weston College recently showcased this by celebrating the connections already in place with employers, and looking at how they can be developed, plus looking at how new connections can be made. The College hosted a Health & Social Care Employer Forum with a gathering of employer partners, including Sirona Care & Health, University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Trust, Worcester Lodge, and Access your Care, all coming together to explore opportunities for collaboration and engagement.
The day began with a tour of the state-of-the-art Health and Active Living Skills Centre. Employers were given the opportunity to explore the cutting-edge facilities, equipped with the latest technology and resources designed to simulate real-world healthcare scenarios. This immersive experience allowed employers to gain insight into the quality of education and training students receive at Weston College.
The event also featured engaging talks by the college's staff, alongside focus group discussions to discuss the various educational pathways for learners to access careers in the sector and how the College can support employers to access funding to train their workforce. Discussions centred around apprenticeships, T Levels, and other ways employers could actively participate in shaping the future workforce of the sector.
The day concluded with certificates of appreciation being awarded to the attending employers, recognising their support of learners who attended an industry work placement alongside their course in the previous academic year.
The Health & Social Care forum at Weston College was undoubtedly a resounding success. It not only provided a platform for employers to understand the college's commitment to producing highly skilled professionals but also encouraged them to actively engage in the learner journey.
Catrin Evans, Head of Class-based Learning for Health & Sport said “This event served as a catalyst for developing employer partnerships that have impact, which is an essential part of our Health & Social Care Careers Excellence Hub. Our aim is to create ‘real world ready’ learners, providing opportunities to engage with employers during their course, and understanding of the breadth of careers available in the sector, and giving learners opportunities to progress to these careers. We really enjoyed the conversations with employers as their input to curriculum design and content is key to the College providing future professionals for the sector.”
Dave Crew, Head of Business Growth & Employer Partnerships said “In addition to discussing opportunities for employers to engage with college learners, the forum provided an opportunity for employers to shape the training offered by the College for their workforce. We see our Health & Active Living Skills Centre as being a key hub for employer training, and look forward to working with the sector offer high-quality training delivered by our staff who are professionals from industry.”
The Health & Social Care forum at Weston College was a resounding success that showcased the college's commitment to bridging the gap between education and industry. By inviting employers to explore their cutting-edge facilities, engage in insightful discussions, and recognize their contributions, Weston College has set the stage for meaningful collaborations that will benefit students and the healthcare and social care sectors for years to come.
To attend future forums and discover the opportunities available to access funding to train your workforce, email email@example.com.
Last week twelve first year T Level learners, studying Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, went on a site visit to the Ashcombe Primary School Construction project, which is being built by John Perkins Construction Limited.
Before entering the site, learners were issued with all the correct Personal Protective Equipment and given a Health and Safety Site Induction by Richard Mann, the Site Manager for John Perkins Construction.
Once ready to enter the site, learners were then treated to a comprehensive site tour from Richard, which included visiting the new classrooms, reception area, school hall and other back-up facilities.
Throughout the tour Richard explained what materials were used and methods of construction. It was a fantastic interactive session, where learners asked multiple questions, allowing them to delve deeper into the techniques used, in more detail.
At the end of the tour, Richard kindly offered to host the T Level learners on site again in Spring next year, to see the progress on the build and experience the internal fit-out works of the project.
Daniel Comerford, Lecturer in Construction Professions at Weston College, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that made our recent possible – our learners found the site visit extremely beneficial.
“On the back of the visit, learners are writing up a technical report, which includes items such as health and safety, timber frames and foundation details.
“We look forward to working closely with John Perkins Construction Limited over the coming academic year.”
This employer project forms part of the subject 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.
In a thrilling event that combined innovation, education, and hands-on learning, ESOL learners at Weston College had the unique opportunity to welcome representatives from Dyson for an enriching guest lecture. The event, which took place recently, provided ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners with insights into Dyson's cutting-edge inventions, their competitive edge in the market, and the intricate journey of developing and testing new products. Furthermore, Dyson introduced their exciting degree apprenticeship opportunity, emphasizing its value to the ESOL learners, who found the entire experience both enlightening and inspiring.
Dyson's reputation for innovation precedes itself, and this lecture provided an invaluable opportunity for students to witness firsthand the mind behind some of the world's most groundbreaking inventions.
Innovations Beyond the Competition
During the visit, the representatives delved into the ways Dyson stays ahead of its competitors. They highlighted the company's relentless pursuit of innovation and the importance of thinking differently. Dyson products are known for pushing the boundaries of technology, from bladeless fans to cordless vacuum cleaners, and the development of efficient and hygienic hand dryers.
The Development Stages of Creating and Testing New Products
Dyson offered a behind-the-scenes look at the development stages of their products. From initial concept to rigorous testing, Dyson engineers follow a meticulous process that ensures quality and reliability. Students gained valuable insights into the importance of problem-solving and attention to detail when it comes to product development. It was a lesson in perseverance and the drive to make things better.
The Value of Dyson's Degree Apprenticeship Opportunity
One of the highlights of the lecture was Dyson's introduction to their degree apprenticeship program. This program offers students the chance to earn while they learn, gaining hands-on experience and a university degree simultaneously. The guest lecturers emphasized how this unique opportunity could be especially valuable for ESOL learners, who bring diverse perspectives and a wealth of talent to the table.
Hands-On Experience with Dyson Robots
The lecture wasn't just about theory; it was about practical learning too. After the informative session, students were given the chance to interact with Dyson robots. They had the opportunity to control and code the robots to follow routes on a map. This hands-on experience allowed students to apply what they had learned, further cementing their understanding of technology and innovation.
Inspiring Progression Opportunities
The entire experience was invaluable for the ESOL learners at Weston College. It not only exposed them to the world of innovation but also showed them potential progression opportunities after they finish their studies. Many students were inspired to consider a career in technology and engineering, seeing a clear path through Dyson's apprenticeship program.
Moreover, the event served as an excellent team-building exercise for the class. Working together to code and control the robots fostered collaboration and problem-solving skills, while also making learning fun and engaging.
In conclusion, Dyson's visit to Weston College's ESOL learners was a remarkable occasion that left a lasting impact. It opened doors to a world of innovation, encouraged students to think creatively, and provided them with a tangible path towards a promising career. It was a lesson in seizing opportunities, embracing diversity, and striving for excellence—an experience that will undoubtedly shape the future endeavours of these aspiring learners.
Our Faculty of Inclusive Practice has unveiled an exciting new initiative in collaboration with North Somerset Council—the Supported Internship Project.
This project is aimed at employers interested in providing supported work experience for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Supported internships cater to individuals aged 16 to 24 who possess an education, health, and care plan and aspire to transition into the workforce but require additional assistance to do so. Employers can play a pivotal role in improving the life chances of these young people and offering them opportunities to realise their ambitions. This approach goes beyond traditional recruitment, promoting inclusivity and enabling young individuals facing barriers to secure meaningful employment.
If you’re willing to support a young person between the ages of 16 and 24 who could benefit from extra assistance in their journey toward employment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated team for more information.
We are actively seeking employers to collaborate in establishing pathways to paid employment, supported internships, and placements that mutually benefit both employers and learners. Rest assured that full support is provided to the learners, and Weston College will guide you every step of the way.
Your participation can make a significant difference in the lives of young people with SEND, helping them build a brighter future and fostering a more inclusive and diverse workforce.
We’re very excited to announce that we have signed up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Accord!
Doing this will help us focus our sustainability efforts and create a broad range of environmental, economic, and social efforts.
First put forward in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals are a UN initiative which aim to holistically solve seventeen key issues affecting our society today. They aim to provide proactive solutions to issues such as poverty, human rights, and of course climate change.
Here’s a taste of how Weston College is implementing the SDGs into our own initiatives.
- Weston College offers bursaries to students who are in need.
- We offer free school meals to eligible learners.
- We reduce unemployment in Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding area through upskilling and training.
- Weston College holds a breakfast club for those who need it.
- Food bank donation points are available across Weston College campuses.
Good Health and Well-being
- Gym access is offered for Weston College staff & learners.
- Mental health is a strong focus for our learners, with many of our staff trained in mental health first aid.
- Wellbeing walks.
- Excellent curriculum design, as rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
- Wider skills development is offered for learners, beyond what they might learn elsewhere.
- We have strong links with employers to ensure an education which prepares learners for industry.
- Weston College ensure that it celebrates the successful stories from learners of all genders.
- Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion training for all staff.
- Celebration of LGBTQIA+ groups and Pride Month.
Clean Water and Sanitation
- Water dispensers are available throughout all Weston College campuses.
- We work closely with Wessex Water for apprenticeships.
- Some Weston College campuses employ rainwater harvesting and composting facilities.
Affordable and Clean Energy
- We offer electric car charging at our South West Skills Campus.
- We use solar panels to create renewable energy.
- We have a dedicated building, known as the Eco House which is used to practically demonstrate sustainable construction to learners.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Weston College supports learners to get into employment via our dedicated Careers team.
- Weston College is the second biggest employer in Weston.
- Weston College run regular Sector Based Work Academy Programmes, for local unemployed people to gain the qualifications and experience needed for employment.
- A key part of the college’s offering is upskilling workers, to boost their employability and promotion potential.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- We’re investing in brand new infrastructure such as the Health and Active Living Skills Centre at our Loxton Campus. This building is designed with sustainability in mind.
- We’re educating our South West Skills Campus and Construction Training Centre learners in how to build the future of infrastructure.
- Weston College has introduced a revolutionary ‘Digital Classroom’ for learners at our South West Skills Centre.
- Weston College reaches out to disadvantaged learners to ensure that they are given all the tools they need to thrive in life.
- Representation at college for all students.
- Policies and procedures for staff and students, designed to actively reduce inequality.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Weston College encourages learners and staff to use green transport to travel to college.
- Working with key employer partners to increase sustainability.
Responsible Consumption and Production
- Weston College is going digital – and removing printing wherever possible.
- Automatic lights used at every campus.
- Recycling across Weston College.
- Weston College has introduced more flexible working to reduce commuting.
- Bicycle storage is available for any staff member or student who wants to cycle to college.
- The college has strong bus connections to destinations, and between its campuses reducing the need for driving.
Life Below Water
- Weston College is actively reducing its plastic waste, such as cups and straws.
- We’re partnering with the Grand Pier to do a beach clean, reducing the amount of plastic and other waste which could end up in the ocean.
Life on Land
- Our catering partner Aspens, has introduced an increased range of vegan meals for students and staff to enjoy.
- As part of ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ in 2022, learners and staff planted trees around Weston and the surrounding area, including at our campuses.
- Weston College encourages lift sharing for staff and learners.
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
- Weston College has a strong emphasis on teaching learners about British values and respecting UK institutions such as the court system.
- Staff are encouraged to use positive reinforcement with learners, instead of punishment.
- Weston College has strong security and works closely with PSCOs on community work.
Partnerships for the Goals
- Weston College works closely with employers and the local government, building sustainable partnerships for the future.
- Students have the opportunity to hear guest speakers discuss sustainability.
All staff will be implementing the SDGs into their job roles, with faculty staff integrating the SDGs into their curriculum and support staff utilising the SDGs in their roles. This will help learners to understand how they can add sustainability to their work, no matter what industry they go into, meaning that the next generation of sustainability leaders will be developed!
We’re looking forward to a new era of sustainability focus and sustainable development at Weston College, and there is no better way to achieve this than by joining the Sustainable Development Goal framework.
Great Big Green Week at Weston College is back, taking place between 25th September - 29th September.
We have developed a range of events and activities for all members of our Weston College Community, not only to raise awareness and promote our Sustainability and Social Action Agenda, but also to ensure we are ALL contributing to aiding the environmental challenges that lie ahead.
We will be starting the week on the Monday with the release some of employer blogs which are available to staff and students through SharePoint.
On Tuesday, we will be hosting an Engineering and Automotive Sustainability Learner Conference, with guest speaker from industry. Learners attending will then complete a ‘real-world’ challenge with judges from our key employers.
On Wednesday, we will be holding a Beach Clean in partnership with Weston Pier. If you would like to be involved in Beach Clean then please contact Jo Martin.
On Thursday, we will be challenging everyone to ‘Green Your Campus’, as we seek to achieve Net Zero. People taking part will have the opportunity to win awards in the following categories:
Zero Waste Sustainability Awareness Carbon Footprint Digital Innovation Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Best Campus Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability.
On Friday, we are asking everyone to 'Wear Green' and encouraging staff and students to travel Green to College.
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.