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LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES

Learners at bottom of escape slide

Recently, 20 learners studying Level 2 and Level 3 Travel and Tourism took a trip to Heathrow Airport near London.  

The trip went to the British Airways training facility at Heathrow Airport, where cabin crew for British Airways flights all over the world are trained. The learners took part in the Safety Equipment and Procedures training day. Spending a lot of time flying requires a strong focus on safety, making this training an excellent first step to take on the journey to becoming a cabin crew member.  

The day consisted of a range of experiences and training including pilot incapacitation, using a slide raft, a cabin evacuation and debrief. On top of this, learners got to experience using a mock decent slide for an Airbus A320! Students also used fire extinguishers to put out flames in a carefully controlled environment.  

The training was completely interactive, giving learners the chance to get real-world hands-on experience, with highly experienced cabin crew trainers. The day was designed to give an insight into what the full five-week British Airways training programme would include.  

The students were given the chance to ask the instructors any questions that they had to get the best insight they could into future careers within the industry. In addition to the Safety Equipment and Procedures, the instructors also gave learners relevant and up-to-date interview and application tips for the tourism industry.  

This training trip forms part of the Business 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. 

Travel and Tourism lecturer Hannah Carstensen said “This has proven to be a fundamental experience for the learners who are interested in a career in cabin crew. We are looking forward to running this trip again for our future learners!” 

To find out more about travel and tourism click here!

Students striking a pose

We are excited to share a fantastic music video produced by our talented Performing Arts students. Shot on location at the Helicopter Museum and our very own Berkoff Theatre, the video showcases the incredible creativity and dedication of 14 students from both Level 3 Year 1 and Year 2 Performing Arts Dance programs. 

This innovative project not only demonstrates the students' exceptional skills in dance but also provides them with invaluable insights into the professional dance industry. By taking full ownership of the production process, including selecting the music, dance style, location, costume, and choreographic elements, the students have gained a deeper understanding of the demands and expectations of modern professional dancers.

"We are immensely proud of our students and their outstanding achievement in producing this captivating music video," said Joe Miller, Performing Arts Lecturer. "This project allowed them to apply the skills and techniques they've learned in class while fostering creativity and professionalism in a real-world setting."

The choice of locations was made by the students themselves, adding a personal touch to the project and further enhancing their sense of ownership and creative control. This hands-on experience not only strengthens their performance skills but also prepares them for future endeavours in higher education or the professional dance industry.

"Dance for camera presents unique challenges that differ from live performances, and this project provided our students with an invaluable opportunity to explore this aspect of the industry," added Joe. "Through meticulous planning and organisation, they have demonstrated exemplary professional etiquettes and honed their skills in a dynamic and exciting environment." 

This experience formed 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. By exposing students to diverse perspectives and immersive experiences, Weston College continues to nurture the next generation of Performing Arts professionals who are equipped to make a positive impact in their future careers and communities.  

For more information on our Performing Arts courses, click here!

Student plays 'password cracker' game.

This week the College collaborated with the British Computing Society (BCS), by hosting an inspiring Safer Internet Day event at the Loxton Campus, bringing together learners, staff, technologists, policymakers, and digital experts to explore responsible digital navigation and harness the full potential of online spaces for learning and growth.

The event, which was held on the national Safer Internet Day, Tuesday, 6th February, at the College’s celebrated Loxton Campus, treated students to a series of compelling talks by renowned experts in the field. The guest speakers shared their expertise in a highly creative space showcasing work from A level Fashion and Art students, to inspire creative thinking on topics such as online trust, safety, cybersecurity, education, and public benefit - encouraging students to think critically about their online presence.

Take a look at the film captured on the day:

The guest speakers included:

Professor Victoria Baines FBCS, Online Trust, Safety, and Cybersecurity Expert Prof. Victoria Baines Julia Adamson MBE, Managing Director Education and Public Benefit at BCS Julia Adamson MBE; Clare Moody, Co-Chief Executive, Equally Ours Clare Moody; Daniel Aldridge, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at BCS Dan Aldridge Daniel Aldridge.

Following the captivating talks, learners were actively involved in a task that encouraged them to identify real-world problems that individuals encounter in digital spaces. This engaging exercise aimed to empower them to think proactively about online challenges and find innovative solutions. The students enthusiastically collaborated, sharing ideas and experiences while actively participating in the discussion.

The feedback session that followed showcased student creativity and problem-solving skills, as they presented their identified issues and proposed practical solutions. The interactive nature of the task not only made the learning experience enjoyable but also provided a platform for students to express their thoughts and insights on safer internet practices. In doing so, the panel is now able to take the voices of our students directly to the heart of Westminster, providing further insight into the big tech companies at the same time.   

Students listening to a presentation

Daniel Aldridge, a former Weston College A Level student and current Head of Policy and Public Affairs at BCS who made such a fantastic day possible said: “Safer Internet Day is a day across the UK to champion people and organisations that are making the internet safer.”

“Every year we come together to talk about how we can make the internet safer so everyone can thrive not just survive online. This year we chose to host our national focus event at Weston College”.

After the student interaction opportunity, an engaging community networking session followed, where our staff, together with the panel, had the chance to connect with industry professionals and local businesses to explore what a digital future might look like for Weston-super-Mare, and the West of England as a whole, in terms of ‘Place.’

"I don't think that the general public, civil societies, and politicians have quite grasped the need for a change in digital skills and IT literacy. It's about having the base level of digital skills – because without it we are not going to be able to survive in our digital environment.”

“That’s why Further Education Colleges like Weston College play a fundamental role in cascading knowledge and expertise across our communities.”

Professor Victoria Baines FBCS explained to us the vital role that young people play in modern technology. “Who are the people that know most that technology has changed? It’s the young members of society particularly learners that are engaging with digital media.

“They're the people we need. They are the people that can tell us what we need to be worried about, how we can protect them and their communities”. She added.

Jacqui Ford Interim Principal at the College added “Our students have really enjoyed the chance to get their voices heard with such an influential panel, delivering the event’s theme of ‘local action, inspiring global change’. A huge thank you goes to BCS and Dan, and all the incredible guests who gave us such a fantastic, insightful Safer Internet Day! 

Weston College T Levels Learner

We are proud to announce that one of our outstanding T Level students, Katy Bateman, has been selected to participate in a national campaign organised by the Department for Education. Katy, currently in her second year of the T Level program, has been chosen to represent the Education pathway. 

The filming team visited Katy at the College in December and filmed a captivating "day in the life" piece for Snapchat, that will prominently feature on Snapchat's Explore page as part of a paid-for national campaign to showcase real young people navigating their technical education pathways. This campaign, set to go live today, aims to inspire and inform millions of young individuals across England, with an expected audience reach of 5.8 million people aged 14-19. 

Katy shared her excitement about being part of this initiative, stating, "The filming experience was really interesting and something I've never done before. I found it quite fun!" Katy is currently undertaking her T Level Education placement at Grove Junior School, where she is immersed in the vibrant environment of Year 3 education.  

Looking ahead, Katy has ambitious plans for her future. After completing her T Level, she intends to take a gap year to explore different facets of education, including volunteering at a local forest school. Subsequently, she aims to pursue further studies at University Centre Weston (UCW), focusing on education, society, and childhood. 

Well done Katy for flying the flag for T Levels and Weston College – we are so proud of all you have achieved so far and the exciting future that awaits you, take a look at the ad here: 

 

 

For more information about Weston College and our T Level programs, please visit T Levels | Weston College 

LGBTQ+ Freshers Stand

 

Weston College and University Centre Weston (UCW) proudly announces its participation in LGBT History Month this February, with a series of engaging events and initiatives designed to foster inclusivity and celebrate diversity within our campus communities. 

The College invites staff and learners to partake in a range of activities aimed at promoting understanding, dialogue, and solidarity. 

 

LGBTea & Talk: 

Providing an open platform for staff and learners to engage in meaningful conversations with members of the LGBTQ+ community at Weston College. Participants will have the opportunity to join general discussions, share experiences, seek information, and participate in fun Q&A sessions. The sessions will be held at: 

  • Knightstone Campus: Monday 26th and Wednesday 28th February 12:15-13:15 – near reception 
  • Loxton Campus: Tuesday, February 27th, 12:30-13:30 – in the Bistro (near the windows)  

 

LGBT Cinema Screenings: 

Adding cinematic flair to the festivities, Loxton Campus will host screenings of iconic LGBTQ+ films, including "Pride" (2014) and "Love, Simon" (2018), in Room A108 - the TV Studio. These screenings offer an opportunity for the College community to enjoy compelling narratives that celebrate the LGBTQ+ experience. 

 

LGBT Logo Competition: 

We’re inviting students from UCW and Weston College to design an LGBT-themed logo for us to use. The winning design, chosen by a panel of judges, will not only earn the designer a voucher but also have the honour of being adopted as the official logo for the College Group. 

 

Raffle & LGBT Cake Auction: 

To further support LGBTQ+ causes and raise awareness, we will host a raffle and LGBT cake auction during the week commencing February 26th, with the draw taking place on February 29th. Proceeds from these fundraising efforts will be donated to Young Minds, an organisation dedicated to supporting the mental health of young people, while also contributing to initiatives that promote understanding and acceptance within the LGBTQ+ community. 

 

 Speaking about the month-long celebration, Interim Principal Jacqui Ford expressed her enthusiasm, stating, "LGBT History Month is a time to celebrate the richness and diversity of our community while recognising the challenges that many individuals still face. Through our diverse range of events and initiatives, we aim to create an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and supported." 

With a commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming campus environment, Weston College Group continues to champion diversity and equality, ensuring that every member of its community feels empowered to thrive. 

For more information on Weston College Group's LGBT History Month celebrations, please email LGBT@weston.ac.uk

Careers advisor speaking to student

The Weston College Group hosted its annual Apprenticeship Fair on Tuesday 6th February, attracting a record-breaking attendance of over 230 individuals. The event, held in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week, received overwhelming support, and comments were received from parents and carers who valued the opportunity to experience education and industry in a single room.  

Attendees were able to ask questions of the College Team regarding how an apprenticeship works and the support they can receive with application and whilst on the programme, and they also spoke to employers with vacancies and took up the opportunity to book 121 sessions for interviews and application support. 

Representatives from over 30 esteemed employers, including the NHS, Boeing, Thatcher’s Cider, and Airbus, among others, showcased opportunities across various sectors, including Health, Digital, Engineering and Manufacturing, Construction, Service Sectors, Professional Services, Motor Vehicle, and Hospitality. The diversity of sectors represented the broad spectrum of career pathways available through apprenticeships. 

Feedback flooded through social media channels, with employers expressing their satisfaction with the event's organisation and the quality of prospective apprentices. This year's record attendance not only highlights the success of the event but also underscores its role in fostering local and regional economic growth by connecting talented individuals with meaningful career opportunities. 

The College Group currently has 2,000 apprentices on programme from Levels 2 – 3 and Levels 4-6 offered by its Higher Education provision University Centre Weston (UCW). 

If you missed this event and would like to find out more about becoming an apprentice or viewing current vacancies please visit APPRENTICESHIPS | Weston College and if you are an employer who would like some advice on taking on an apprentice please visit WORKING WITH AN APPRENTICE | Weston College

Christiana

As the nation celebrates National T Level Day, Christiana, a former student of Weston College, shares her success story, highlighting the transformative impact of T Level qualifications on her career trajectory.

Christiana, who studied a T Level in Health at Weston College, embarked on a journey that has led her to a fulfilling career as a Nursing Assistant at Weston Hospital. Reflecting on her experience, Christiana expresses gratitude for the invaluable opportunities provided by her    T Level placement.

"My placement during my T Level was at Weston Hospital - that experience was so incredible, and I now have a job on the ward where I did my placement," says Christiana. "I've been using the skills that I picked up from my Weston College T Level, I've made incredible connections through University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Hospitals (UHBW), and all of these things are what have enabled me to gain my job now."

Christiana emphasises the practical nature of T Level qualification, highlighting its effectiveness in preparing students for real-world scenarios. "I love learning hands-on, and the T Level is an incredible way to put what you have learned into practice," she adds.

Encouraging others to consider pursuing a T Level, Christiana shares her enthusiasm, stating, "What I would say to someone who is considering doing a T Level is go for it, it's the best decision I have made. I absolutely loved the Health T Level at Weston College; it's put me where I am right now, in a job that I love."

To find out more about health T Levels, click here!

 

Riley working

Engineering apprentice Riley has been impressing his employer, Rotamec, throughout his studies.

Rotamec shared a lovely article, talking about his growth throughout his apprenticeship. You can read the article, below:

As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we are thrilled to spotlight an individual in our team - Riley Burton.

The Rise of a Passionate Engineer

Riley Burton's journey at Rotamec is a testament to the power of apprenticeships. As a 2nd-year college apprentice studying at Weston College, Riley's exceptional dedication and passion for engineering have not only advanced his professional skills but also enriched his personal development. His active engagement in exploration and innovation in engineering exemplifies his profound love for the profession.

A Leader and Mentor

Riley has become a guiding light for new apprentices, providing support both in their workplace endeavours and academic pursuits. His recent nomination as the Southwestern Apprenticeship Ambassador in engineering by Weston College underscores his commitment to uplifting the engineering trade in the educational sector.

Blending Theory and Practice

Riley's academic journey is a perfect blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application. Recognised for his reliability and attentiveness, he stands as a benchmark in engineering apprenticeships. His proactive problem-solving mindset and commitment to knowledge expansion mean he doesn't just handle routine activities efficiently; he approaches challenges with innovative solutions.

A Beacon for Industry and Education

Riley's efforts in forging partnerships to enhance apprenticeship opportunities have been pivotal. Supporting Paul Korb at Weston College career fairs amplifies Rotamec's apprenticeship program, attracting potential talent and clientele. Riley was recently a finalist in the prestigious Rising Star category at the Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades (AEMT) Awards 2023. This notable recognition serves as a testament to his hard work, exceptional skill, and the promising future he holds in the industry.

Setting New Benchmarks

Riley's ability to foster essential relationships and guide new apprentices has positioned him as a champion of excellence. His aspirations to climb the ranks in the engineering industry are well recognised by us at Rotamec. We see him not just as a part of our team but as a key player in our future leadership.

Investing in the Future

Rotamec is committed to investing in Riley's growth, recognising his tremendous talent and dedication. We envision a bright future for him, earmarking him for managerial roles and planning further training and development opportunities to prepare him for senior leadership positions.

An Exemplary Journey

Riley Burton's story at Rotamec is a shining example of how an apprenticeship can provide "Skills for Life." His journey illustrates the endless possibilities when passion, dedication, and the right opportunities come together. As we celebrate NAW 2024, we're proud to showcase Riley's achievements and are excited to support his continuous growth in the engineering field.

At Rotamec, stories like Riley's remind us of the power of apprenticeships in not just shaping careers but in crafting skilled, well-rounded individuals ready to take on the engineering world.

If you would like to follow in Riley’s footsteps with an engineering apprenticeship, click here

Health and Social Care Learners on a Trip in London in Front of a Parliament

Last week our Level 2,3 and T Level Health learners embarked on an enriching journey to London! Over the course of three exciting days, the learners immersed themselves in multiple aspects of healthcare evolution and human anatomy, enhancing their knowledge and eagerness for the field. 

The students’ highlight of their trip was a visit to the Florence Nightingale Museum, where they explored the rich history of healthcare and gained insights into its evolution through the years. This experience was unforgettable for our students, they carefully connected their classroom-based learning to real world applications by delving into the pioneering practices of Florence Nightingale to modern-day innovations.  

Moreover, the learners had the unique opportunity to engage in interactive activities while touring the Science Museum, discovering the intricate workings of the human body! By having the chance to have hands-on experience and view exhibits, the students enhanced their knowledge of anatomy and physiology, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the complexities of healthcare in the gripping museum. 

 

Health and Social Care Students in London in Front of a Statue

 

Additionally, the learners ventured into the thrilling London Dungeons, a fascinating experience that provided valuable insights into public health practices throughout history. This journey not only sparked curiosity and critical thinking but developed their understanding of healthcare. 

This trip stepped the learners outside of their comfort zone, building relationships and allowing personal development. Through engaging with diverse experiences, students sharpened essential skills such as teamwork, communication and adaptability. 

What an incredible once-in-a lifetime experience for the nineteen Level 2,3 and T Level Health learners! 

This exhilarating trip forms part of the Health and Social Care 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.   

For further information on our fantastic Health and Social Care 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.