News and events

We aim to keep you up-to-date with the very latest Weston College news and events. Take a look below at what's going on at the College!

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Latest events at Weston College

Latest news and developments at Weston College

There is always so much going on across our various campuses and courses. Stay up to date on our latest news
WorldSkills competition centre

Last week, three of our wonderful Digital learners competed in the National WorldSkills Finals in computing, hosted in Middlesborough.

We were able to sit down with two of the competitors, Fin and Skylar, who told us all about their journey, training and success in WorldSkills; Skylar achieved Silver in the competition!

Both learners expressed an interest in WorldSkills after seeing the success of the previous cohort of Weston College learners who competed, including Jack Kimmins who won gold! They also each explained that it was a great way to work on their own skills to apply to their degree courses.

The whole competition spanned over a long period of time, with the qualifiers being in July. The qualifying round was a day with an issued web development task, with a time limit to complete it. Once the learners had confirmation they had passed this round, they began to revise until the finals, which took place this month (November).

Skylar explained the competition days: “The competition was very challenging. It was a set of five modules spread over three days, based up at Middlesbrough College in their new MC Digital building. The five modules included everything website development, from design work to client side scripting to server side scripting. As well as a speed round where time was of the essence. I felt very prepared due to the wealth of knowledge of previous competitors as well as the practise resource is we were given to help train us for the real briefs.”

While Skylar said that the JavaScript and PHP aspects were the best part of her day, Finley highlighted the speed module on the final day as his best part: “The smaller tasks within the short timeframe was quite fun and was a challenge to think of solutions without spending too much time on a single section given the time restraints.”

However, the competition days were not without their difficulties. Both learners touched on the aspect they found the most challenging; for Finley it was PHP module where he felt he could have benefit from more revision in that area, and Skylar found the design round the trickiest.

Despite the difficulties, all the participants did incredibly well, with Skylar achieving Silver overall! This is such a wonderful achievement, and she was absolutely thrilled, saying “It felt absolutely amazing to achieve silver in the website development competition. Knowing that I am the second-best student website developer in the UK feels absolutely amazing.

I found out the results through a virtual medal ceremony, live streamed by Steph McGovern from her studio where they announced all the winners of the competitions. I just couldn’t believe it when my name was called out!”

Both Skylar and Finley were very enthusiastic about the prospect of competing again next year, Finley commenting, “I am already looking forwards to the sign-ups. I entered this year, unsure if it was the correct choice, but after attending and reaching the finals, its been an amazing experience. I am excited to attend again!”

If you are considering following in their footsteps and entering WorldSkills, here is the first-hand advice from those who just competed: “Just go for it – you won’t know how far you can go or the extent of your knowledge unless you try, and it’s such a great learning experience. Even if you don’t get through to the finals, it’ll still look great on your CV!”

Both learners expressed huge gratitude to their teachers and tutors at University Centre Weston, Jason Hill, Jack Kimmins and Jack Cole, who have been so supportive throughout the whole process, including numerous training sessions.

Many congratulations to everyone involved!

Sport Learners Deliver Festivals of Sport and Fitness

Why choose to study Sport

At Weston College, we believe there is so much more to sport than just what happens on the pitch. While, yes, developing physical ability and skill in a game is essential, there are so many more areas of daily life that sport can impact. Careers in sport also go far beyond being a professional player.  

We encourage our learners to consider the social and cultural influence sport can have within the community; how it can be used to bring people together and encourage healthy and active living.  

Understanding the importance of inclusivity is also a major factor in teaching sport. 

Whilst honing these skills and learning about the role of sport and fitness within the wider community, our students have been taking part in delivering practical sessions to learners from our very own Faculty of Inclusive Practice (FIP), as well as preparing for some upcoming sessions with local primary schools. 

The first session was a festival of sport, taking place on Friday 11th November. It was a huge success, with both Sport and FIP learners enjoying the collaborative and engaging event. 

Jack, Sports Academy and Enrichment Manager, told us: 

“The festival was a really good opportunity for the learners to see how sport is inclusive for all, and it gives them a good chance to demonstrate what they’ve learnt in a real-life situation.” 

The sport learners have also recently organised and delivered a dodgeball festival in partnership with Dodgeball UK for local primary schools. 

This was another enormous success! Jack said: 

"We’re really excited to be growing and building local links with local stakeholders. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to provide sport and enrichment to the community. It’s also a great opportunity for the learners to work on the employability skills that are going to be crucial for them to develop alongside their knowledge in order to become employable.” 

This is just the very beginning of the multitude of sports festivals and events our learners will be delivering. 

Upcoming events will include: 

  • A sport festival for local Extended Learning Academy Network (ELAN) primary schools  

  • Festival of football - with Weston College FIP learners competing with Westhaven School 

Amazing work to the brilliant learners taking part, we can’t wait to see more of the community impact you’re making! 

To find out more about career opportunities in Sport, visit our Sports and Fitness Careers Excellence Hub.  

To learn more about our Sport courses, click here. 

Andrew Leighton Price, Jaya Chakrabarti MBE, Claire Arbery and Sir Paul Phillips cutting the ribbon to the Bristol Training Institute

Last week the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) officially opened the doors of the brand-new Bristol Training Institute.

Based in central Bristol (12 Colston Avenue, BS1 4ST), the Bristol Training Institute offers courses tailored to the specific needs of employers in the city region – focussing on digital qualifications and management training to support with driving digital change.

The grand opening was marked by an event held at the Bristol Training Institute, where key industry and community figures were invited to hear about the WEIoT, the Bristol Training Institute and the emphasis on inclusion and technical skills/careers.

The audience heard from Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, Sir Paul Phillips, the Director of the WEIoT, Claire Arbery and President of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Jaya Chakrabarti MBE.

The guests were also treated to a tour of the facility, witnessing the state-of-the-art digital training hub across two floors, which includes two conference training rooms and a boardroom, all including smartboard facilities and laptop stations.

Sir Paul Phillips, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, said: “Bristol is one of the largest hubs for digital and professional services industries outside of London, so the Bristol Training Institute marks another exciting development for the West of England Institute of Technology which is supporting a drive to increase the number of people engaged in higher level technical skills training, supporting learners in the region to secure and progress in high-quality jobs.

“Bristol has a strong demand for digital skills training, and we have worked with employers, key stakeholders and communities in the region to truly understand how the WEIoT can offer a training solution that complements existing provision in the city.”

Jaya Chakrabarti MBE, President of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, commented: “I am really excited about what is going to happen at the Bristol Training Institute.

“We have a skills shortage locally, but the Bristol Training Institute will help to empower local people with the skills they need to engage with the digital sector and bring prosperity to the region.”

Claire Arbery, Director of the WEIoT, added: “Accessibility is a focus of the WEIoT, which brings education providers together to deliver the skills required by employers.

“The courses offered are based on what the economy and local communities need and our mission is that our students on completion of their programmes will have the best possible career prospects, whilst employers can benefit from a new talent pool, plus use the Institute as a way to develop and upskill their existing workforce.”

You can view the January offer at the Bristol Training Institute, by clicking here.

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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.