Newbury College is challenging the approach to full-time, further education with a ground-breaking new programme that facilitates a link between school and work by creating an environment for undecided students to discover their potential.
The Achieve Programme is part of the College’s “Careers, not courses” initiative, an evolution of their sixth-form provision that provides young people with a career-focused education. It has been designed and developed in partnership with local employers, and one of the first programmes of its kind to be launched in the country.
Students enrolling on the Achieve Programme are being given the opportunity to combine valuable qualifications with meaningful work placement and the added support of a college job coach to enable them to progress to an apprenticeship or career in their chosen field.
The new programme complements the college’s already comprehensive range of full-time study programmes that cover a variety of technical subjects from carpentry, plumbing, and electrical installation to child care, hairdressing and music technology.
Vice Principal, Lee Hunt MBE, said: “At Newbury College, we have been building some fantastic relationships with local employers to shape our curriculum offer. We are delighted that so many employers are supporting this innovative programme and can see the value that it can bring to their businesses and the young people who have taken this opportunity to improve their employment prospects with us.”
Enrolment for the 2019/2020 academic year has already started, but the College wants young people to know that it is not too late to enrol. Special advice and guidance clinics have been set up at the College’s Monks Lane campus to provide support for anyone who still undecided or unsure about their options.
Lead Careers Adviser, Karen Taylor, said: “Making a decision about what you are going to do in the future can be a daunting experience at any time, least of all when you still studying for your GCSEs. We appreciate that some young people may have been reconsidering their year 12 options over the summer holidays and we want them to know that it is not too late to change their minds. We are happy to meet with any young person to discuss their options and help them to decide on the right path to the career they want.”
There is still time to enrol on a full-time study programme at Newbury College, the innovative new Achieve Programme or enquire about an apprenticeship with one of the College’s many industry partners.
Do you want to know what it's like working at Newbury College?
Newbury College Sports Maker, Louise Neil, was recently interviewed for a feature on the Association of Colleges Jobs website aocjobs.com.
Louise, who has a degree in Sport Development, was asked about her career progression, from working at Aldershot Town FC and NCS to taking on her current role at Newbury College. She also spoke about the personal skills and attributes that someone needs to work in a similar career, including some of the memorable and challenging moments she has sometimes faced delivering such a wide range of enrichment activities at the college.
"The variation in my role, the freedom to engage with everyone and a very friendly college with a great community." were just a few of the many positives that Louise highlighted in her interview, as well as the recent LGBT pride events and educational visits.
What does Louise find most challenging? Read the full interview to find out.
Visitors to the Newbury College Open Evening on Thursday 08 February were surprised to discover the science lab at the Monks Lane campus had become the scene of a mysterious poisoning. Clues had been hidden across the lab for visitors to find and solve the mystery of the fateful incident.
The simulated crime scene was just one of the activities that visitors could interact with as part of a tour of the college facilities, which included construction and motor vehicle workshops; beauty and hairdressing salons; art and media studios; a professional kitchen and restaurant; an animal care unit; a sports hall and a brand new £1m Solutions Lab.
Science is offered to all students as part of the year 10 and 11 programmes in the Academy at Newbury College and provides a more practical approach than traditional GCSEs. Many full-time vocational BTEC subjects offered to students from year 12 and beyond also include science-based units and can be equivalent to several A-Levels.
Deputy Principal and Director of Curriculum, Fadia Clarke, said: “The Academy at Newbury College is just one of the many ways we support young people who are looking for a more practical and skills-based alternative to traditional study. Our curriculum has been designed to engage students in subjects that they are passionate about and provide them with vocational and employability skills as well as essential skills such as maths and English. Many of our students go on to meaningful employment, university or higher education within the college.”
Newbury College is constantly reviewing the curriculum it offers to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the local employment market and provide courses that enable students to experience more and achieve more. A special page on the college’s website at www.newbury-college.ac.uk/vote, allows potential students to vote for courses they believe should be offered by the college in the future.
If you are thinking about your options after year 11, why not attend our Open Event on Tuesday 07 November between 4-8pm? Newbury College is opening its doors and inviting prospective students and their parents to come and explore; speak to staff members, take part in activities, tour the facilities and submit an application for next September. Pick up a copy of our new prospectus.
Current students will be on hand, as will the impartial information, advice and guidance team to offer help to those who are unsure about what to do next.
Test your reaction skills on a Batak, solve a crime in our science lab, see the potter’s wheel in action or have your nails painted and hair put up.
Adults looking for development opportunities can come and discuss the professional and community learning courses available during the year.
Entry could not be easier, simply register your place here.
Introducing the latest faces of Newbury College who are about to hit your online streaming this spring/summer as part of our brand new campaign.
The new campaign features students and apprentices from across Newbury College to showcase the diverse range of subjects and progression opportunities available for young people.
Marketing Manager, Rachel Woodford, said: "Our students are the best advocates for the College and it was a pleasure working with them on this video. Thank you to all those who took part."
The video will officially launch next month and will be shown across a number of online video streaming services.
Master chefs from the Newbury College catering course took part in the recent Country Range Student Chef Challenge, coming third in the regional semi-final heat against other colleges from across the country.
The Newbury College team of Level 2 Professional Cookery students - David Phillips, William Barker and John Rich - saw off competition from some very well-known and well respected colleges, only narrowly missing out on a top spot at the upcoming finals.
Catering student and semi-finalist, John Rich, said “I'm really proud of myself and the others, we all did really well and I enjoyed the experience. I'm glad that I managed to get the dessert out how I wanted and that the judges were pleased with it.”
Course leader, Malcolm Baggott, said “I am tremendously proud of everything these students have achieved in the competition. The dishes they produced showed an exceptional level of skill and creativity.”
Competition judges were equally as complimentary, giving the students plenty of constructive feedback and praise.
The students are now enjoying a well-earned half term break before returning to class next week when they will continue to practice their craft cooking for The Restaurant at Newbury College.
The Restaurant at Newbury College is open to the public for lunches and functions with set price menus from just £7.95. For bookings please visit www.newbury-college.ac.uk/restaurant
Making important decisions about the future can be a daunting task for many of the young people who are currently preparing to sit their GCSE exams and with such a wide choice of A Levels, vocational courses, apprenticeships and training opportunities now available to 16 year olds, who under recent government legislation are required to remain in some form of education until they are 18, parents and guardians often play a critical role in supporting the decisions young people make regarding their studies.
Newbury College recognises the important role that parents and guardians play as young people make the transition from school to college and regularly asks parents and guardians for their feedback on the provision provided to their children.
A survey conducted following the recent Progress Evening in March highlighted that parents and guardians thought highly of the education and skills that Newbury College provided to young people, with 98% agreeing that “the teaching is of a high standard” and 100% agreeing that their “son/daughter is gaining new skills to help them in the future”.
One parent commented “I am pleased that my child is enjoying college, that her confidence and learning is growing and that she is happy”. Another praised the support Newbury College provides by saying “This is the first year [my son’s] course has run and the college have been more than supportive in trying to keep my son’s interest and encourage him to complete it. They have given lots of praise where needed and have offered more than I could ever have expected in terms of encouragement and care”.
Newbury College also provides a range of academic and vocational programmes for 14 and 15 year olds, as well as professional qualifications, business training and higher education courses for adults. An Open Day is being held at the Monks Lane campus on Saturday 14 May from 10am to 1pm where members of the public are invited to come along and discover the wide range of opportunities available. Visitors will be able to talk to subject tutors and take part in a range of interactive activities to get a taste of what Newbury College has to offer.
Parents and guardians of young people looking to take the next step in their education are also encouraged to attend a special Information Evening on Wednesday 15 June which will be hosted by Principal Dr Anne Murdoch and feature talks from existing students on their own positive experiences at Newbury College.