30 April 2020, Newbury, Berkshire ' As people across West Berkshire, and the world, enter the second month of lockdown, Community Learning tutors at Newbury College are taking to YouTube and using their creativity to deliver micro-lessons online.
The exciting new series of online tutorials, dubbed Newbury College at Home', explores a range of interesting leisure topics that include drawing with pastels, seasonal flower arranging and basic Spanish. Community Art Tutor, Jeanette Cole, has even produced a special tutorial on creating commemorative bunting for the upcoming VE Day anniversary.
The majority of Newbury College's full-time, professional and apprenticeship programmes made the move to online delivery in March to support students in achieving the qualifications they need for their future careers, with special on-site provision being provided for vulnerable students. The popular Community Learning courses presented more of a challenge, with many being temporarily postponed until September.
Community Learning Manager, Sarah Hemmings, said: We are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with our community and during this difficult time we understand that many people will be feeling isolated or in need of some mental stimulation. Our fantastic tutors wanted to reach out and share some of their knowledge and creativity so that their students and others in our community can continue to learn new skills.
Newbury College offers a wide range of Community Learning courses including arts and crafts; flower arranging; dressmaking; ballroom dancing; Microsoft Office; social media; modern languages; photography; and many more. Courses for the new September 2020 term are on the College's website now and are already accepting applications.
Engineering Apprentices, studying for their degree apprenticeship at Newbury College, in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University, have successfully achieved their apprenticeship, despite the difficulties surrounding lockdown.
The final element of an apprenticeship is an End-Point Assessment (EPA), in which the apprentice presents an overview of their knowledge, the practical capabilities of the role they are in and evidences that they are qualified to do the job they have been training for. Due to the current lockdown, there was a considerable concern that EPAs would have to be cancelled. However, the Apprenticeship Team at Newbury College worked incredibly hard with the exam body EAL to ensure that the apprentices would not miss out and managed to create a remote EPA.
The apprentices have complimented the support they received from College staff, and the outstanding achievement is a excellent reflection of the hard work and dedication of both the apprentices and the College team.
Tim Coole, Course Leader, commented "This year has shown the second cohort of students who have achieved outstanding results in their degree at Newbury College. It shows the quality and the range of projects completed by the students throughout the year and excellent dedication they have to their studies" he continued It is encouraging for the development of University Centre Newbury (UCN). This year has seen a significant increase in the student numbers in the final year of the Engineering degree programme and adds to the success of this programme moving forward."
Jo Houghton, Director of Business and Partnerships, added We are delighted with the standard of work reflected in these excellent results for the degree apprentices, especially facing the barriers in place during the lockdown. As UCN progresses, we are confident that this standard will continue to provide the community with highly skilled, highly qualified professionals.
The University Centre Newbury will provide degrees and higher-level qualifications in the key sectors of digital technology, business & finance, engineering, health & social care and construction.
The first students of the University Centre will begin their studies in dedicated facilities within the College building, before moving into the state-of-the-art building, once it is completed.
Former Newbury College Foundation Degree students have contacted the College to pass on their gratitude to their former tutor who has continued to provide support and guidance within their final year of studies at University.
The students had all studied the Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning, which is a two-year course enabling students to develop their skills to progress a career working with children, alongside their current role in the sector. The course is delivered at Newbury College in partnership with Reading University.
Eve Burke, who contacted the College on behalf of the group said, Tracey has kept in touch as we moved from College to the BA studies at Reading as well as providing our references for the UCAS application. We have been touched that she has gone above and beyond to provide on-going support and interest in our progression, especially taking the time to contact us to see how we are managing in these unprecedented times.
Tracey Birchall, Newbury College Course Leader, Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning commented, I have very fond memories of school and the teachers, I believe this shaped my interested in pursuing a teaching career. It is lovely to hear that I am equally impacting the lives of the students I teach. She continued, The Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning is an excellent course for anyone wishing to inspire a new generation as a teacher, The Child in Society module is a particular favourite of mine as we explore how childhoods have been lived over the centuries.
From the new academic year, The Foundation Degree will be delivered as part of the University Centre Newbury (UCN) as the higher education provision expands for the area.
To find out more about the Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning course or studying for a career in child care or education and teacher training click here