Another Friday, another Blog update for you and we have some great news for you this week.
First this week, Stow College has been honoured, for the second time, for their commitment to mental health and has received a Commendation Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing from The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives. This honour makes Stow College the first further education establishment in Scotland to retain both a Commendation Award and a Healthy Working Lives Gold Award.
The driving force behind a range of successful initiatives is the College’s Healthy Working Lives committee – a group of staff members working together to make sure everyone is happy and healthy. Projects have included Health MOT days, corrective breathing courses and advice sessions with health and fitness experts. Congratulations to everyone involved in securing this commendation award!! If you would like to read more on this story then our News and Events page on the website.
Next up some information on Core Skills Profiling from Margaret Cooke in the Hub. We are now in our third full year of using the Tribal software package to profile the core skills of our FE learners. Core Skills Profiling will once again be carried out by Hub staff prior to the start of term. Every learner who has been accepted for an FE course (NC, NQ, Pathways, Access, etc.) will be profiled. The learners will complete 2 profiles, which will review their numeracy and communications skills. The results are given using SCQF credit ratings.
Last session we managed to profile in excess of 650 learners before the beginning of term. Hopefully we will be able to accomplish a similar feat this session, as data shows that more learners were identified or approached the Hub for support at an earlier stage than in any other academic year. This meant that learners accessed appropriate support at a time when it is most beneficial to students, helping in the improvement in retention. A further benefit for the students and indeed staff, is that the profiles will provide a basis for a learning plan and will also highlight ESOL issues.
When the learners have completed their profile they will be directed to appropriate top-up materials. It is vital that all tutors encourage and support students in the completion of the top up activities. Tutors can have access to the results and suggested resources for their learners, just pop into the Hub if you do not have a username and password for the package. Tutors and support for learning staff can also check learner progress and review how often a learner uses the system. All top up materials can also be used in a classroom environment and in group work.
To date feedback from learners and staff has been extremely positive, all are impressed by the ease of use of the package and also with the resources which are available to enhance and improve learning. The support materials which are signposted for all learners, also give them the opportunity to take control of their own learning. If you would like to try the profiling software, please contact Margaret Cooke in the Hub, Ext 611, firstname.lastname@example.org for a demonstration and trial. Go on, have a go and try to beat the scores of your students!
We have some exciting news for you now, Stow College will be running a one year BTEC Diploma course in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship through the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA). This scheme has been running since 2009 and there are over 30 PJEA centres south of the border, however Stow will be the first academy in Scotland. The course will start on the 25th of September and will have places for 20 students at our Stow West building.
The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Stow has been set-up by Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones CBE and offers further education courses in enterprise and entrepreneurship. Students are required to set up and run their own businesses as part of the learning process so gain hands on experience as well as classroom learning. The students will also take part in masterclasses, which will be run by various businesses. This will be a fantastic opportunity for all the students involved.
Finally for this week Chris Greenshields from Learner Services has requested that that students refer to Learner Services for the most up to date Funding information to avoid any confusion on what is and is not covered by your grant/bursary/EMA. This includes the completion of Council Tax forms. So if in doubt contact Chris and his team.
Well that’s us again for this week, hope to see you back again next Friday.