National Express is driving forward its partnership with a Digbeth-based college by donating a coach to enable students to broaden their horizons.
Building on a long-standing partnership between two organisations, the Birmingham-based National Express has donated the vehicle to South and City College Birmingham. The coach will be used by the college to take students on a variety of trips around the UK.
Located in close proximity, both the college and National Express have led the regeneration of the Digbeth area over the past few years, with respective investments in the new coach station and the extensive college campus. Both look to provide education, employment and training opportunities for the community.
The donated coach was previously used daily, serving much of the National Express national network; it has now been rebranded with the college's vibrant pink and purple branding and will carry staff and students around the country. Trips have, and will, include residential stays in Wales, National Trust excursions and visits to London.
The company will continue to support the operation of the coach, as engineers from National Express West Midlands will ensure the vehicle is regularly serviced and maintained.
Transport Manager for the college, Andrew Williams said: “Without National Express donating these vehicles, students could miss out on educational, valuable trips. Hiring coaches is a large expense so to have our own has made things significantly easier.”
Principal of the college, Mike Hopkins said:" I am immensely grateful to National Express for their support in providing this coach, it will be a great asset for our students and support them with educational visits and activities. We have an excellent working relationship with National Express and this shows their commitment to Birmingham and to education.”
South and City College Pastoral Team has been working with the Faith encounters project to take groups of students to various places of worship over the course of the last term
The Faith Encounters project is a multi-faith group working to develop mutual respect and understanding between people of all faiths and none. The project offers opportunities for encounter between members of all faiths in the hope that participants will seek to develop mutual understanding, trust and respect, not hiding difference and recognising the uniqueness and special contribution of each faith to its people and the world.
Groups of students were taken on a guided tour of the various places of worship. Visits included the Shree Ram Mandir Hindu Temple, English Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara and a Jewish Synagogue. The guides provided an insight into the faiths and places of worship.
Students were invited to try the religious dress in the Jewish synagogue and were shown examples of other religious items. The Sikh Gurdwara offered insight and understanding into the religious practice and its history. Students were again shown examples of religious items associated with the faith. To finish the visit, students and staff were offered food and refreshments made by volunteers, illustrating the warmth and hospitality offered to the community on a daily basis.
During all of the visits and after it was apparent the similarities between various faiths and worship. Students openly compared each faith to their own noting similarities.
This project offered a valuable, holistic experience which not only actively promotes fundamental British values and equality but offers an opportunity for personal reflection. Witnessing the similarities between faiths breaks down the barriers, many students commented on how shocked they were on how similar they were to each other
All who took part in the visits felt they had got a richer experience and level of understanding from taking part on the project.
The Pastoral team would like to thank all of the students and staff who took part in this project as they were a credit to the college showing great respect and enthusiasm.
In February the college played host to a special performance from Musical Youth, at our Digbeth campus. This was a great opportunity for our students to get involved in setting up the stage, filming the event and getting involved with interviewing the performers. The performance by Musical Youth, which will be available on our YouTube channel in the next week, was put together for ITV’s ‘Where are they now? The Reunions’ show. Which will be aired on ITV on Sunday 29th May at 7pm.
Ellie Jones, a HND student at Digbeth said ‘Putting on a show in the Digbeth Campus auditorium can be a big job… This space has hosted a range of events such as music concerts, gaming conventions, workshops, boxing matches, theatre productions, debates and much more.’
Ellie started at the college as a BTEC student, three years ago. She enrolled straight from school and has now progressed through to a 2nd year HND popular music course, hoping to complete her degree. A seasoned performer at various gigs, Ellie was interested in finding out a bit more about how things were setup behind the scenes.
Ellie and her fellow students have been part of the beginning of a student crew scheme at the college, which has given students the opportunity to work alongside their tutors and the floor staff at the college, in setting up the auditorium for a variety of events, with ITV’s ‘Where are they now? The Reunions’ being the latest. Ellie explained how much hard work goes into setting up these events and how it can take from 8am on the day of a gig to get things prepared, including sound checks, lighting and any visuals which need prepping for the show.
The Musical Youth performance was a success, Musical Youth had a great time coming back to their old college; frontman Dennis Seaton who studied at the old South Birmingham College [now South & City College Birmingham] when asked about his return to education said; “I thought, well, there is no point studying rocket science as I don’t love that, I love music, so that’s what I did. And it just so happened that I ended up here at South Birmingham College [South & City College Birmingham]. And for 2 years, I had a great time, I learned so much. Not just about myself, but how to pass on information and encourage others to play music and pass the knowledge on.” With an obvious love for the college and the city, Seaton continued; “The wealth of knowledge in the faculty is second to none to be fair. It is as good as any university out there, because of the experience of the staff and that’s just my honest opinion. It’s been like that since I’ve been coming here and I left here over 7 or 8 years ago now. So for me, I was able to go on and do my third year at university and then go on and do my masters. So it all started here for me. The facilities are just as good as anywhere else. This [college], I tell anybody, has the best sound stage in Birmingham, if not the country.”
If music interests you or the potential to be a part of the student crew, you can view all our music courses here. Alternatively, come along and take a look for yourself at ‘the best sound stage in Birmingham, if not the country’ – we’re opening our doors on 8th June, from 4pm until 7pm. You can register here: www.sccb.ac.uk/open
You can watch Musical Youth’s performance on ITV 1 at 7pm on Sunday 29th May 2016. To find out more about the show, visit the preshow site here: www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week22/where-are-they-now-reunions
An interview with Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant will soon be on our YouTube channel along with a few highlights of the day: www.youtube.com/southcitycollege
We are delighted to announce that PMT have organised two fantastic events with talented musicians at our Digbeth campus.
Both events will give attendees the chance to check out new instruments, experience brilliant performances while getting ‘top tips’ on both drum and keyboard.
Steve White drum clinic tour
We are proud to announce that Steve White, one of the greatest and most influential British drummers of his generation will be coming along to Digbeth campus for a drum clinic.
This is a do-not-miss opportunity for drummers of all ages and abilities where attendees will experience an explosive performance and hear the phenomenal sound of Yamaha drums, described by Steve as “beautifully made and a joy to play”. The session will be fun, informative and most importantly, leave you inspired.
The clinic will take place at 6.30pm on Monday, 6 June and is free for all staff and students and is £10 for the general public. For more information, or to order your ticket visit the following link:
The Nord evening will feature talented keyboard player and musical director Steve Turner. Steve’s career has taken him all around the world he has worked with a variety of artists such as, Sugababes, Kylie Minogue, All Saints, Anastacia and also Jay Z and Beyonce.
Steve will be sharing his experience in the industry as well as performing exclusive demos and giving tutorials which will allow you to get hands on with Nord’s brand new keyboards such as the Nord Piano 3 and also the Stage 3 EX, Electro 5, Lead 4 and Lead A1.
This event will be taking place at our Digbeth campus in the auditorium on Thursday, 9 June from 7pm-10pm. The evening is free to attend, all you need to do is register on the following link:
The world’s largest vocational skills competition starts in Birmingham on 24th & 25th May 2016.
The annual WorldSkills UK competition, which aims to find the best adult health and social care workers in the country, will hold the first two of five Qualifying Heats at South & City College Birmingham.
During the Qualifying Heats, 60 students and trainees from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales will demonstrate their health and social care sector skills in a mix of written tests and live activities. They will be assessed by a panel of expert judges charged with finding the eight competitors for the finals, which are being held during the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham this November. The Skills Show regularly attracts over 70,000 visitors.
The activities, which includes working with older people and people with learning disabilities, were devised by Competition Organising Partner www.Profiles4Care.com to replicate situations which health and social care workers would be expected to face in their everyday roles.
“WorldSkills UK inspires young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. As we regularly see bad press on the industry appearing almost daily, it’s more important than ever that staff who do deliver excellent health care have the opportunity to demonstrate this, inspire others and receive recognition for it through the competition,” said Marc Jones, Managing Director of www.Profiles4Care.com.
The list of colleges and organisations from which the competitors come is available here: http://profiles4care.com/worldskills-2016/
Notes to editors:
- WorldSkills UK champions world-class apprenticeships and technical skills. This is achieved by engaging young people in skills competitions, delivering experiential careers events, role modelling to challenge stereotypes and using research to support the apprenticeship agenda. The organisation’s goals are to support business competitiveness, young people’s employability and excellence in standards. WorldSkills UK brings together:
- WorldSkills UK Competitions, part of WorldSkills UK, inspire apprentices and young people to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills excellence to raise productivity. These competitions equip young people with the skills to help UK business compete. Through working with partners in industry, education and government, WorldSkills UK Competitions help to inform careers advice as well as benchmarking apprenticeship and qualification frameworks in the UK.
- The Skills Show, part of WorldSkills UK, is the nation’s largest skills and careers event and helps to shape the future of a new generation. Attracting nearly 80,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore careers and motivates them to find out more about the world of work.
WorldSkills UK Champions, part of WorldSkills UK, is a growing network of inspiring young professionals, who have competed in a WorldSkills UK national final, many of whom have gone on to represent the UK internationally as part of Squad and Team UK. Skills Champions are now out working in industry and act as inspirational role models for future generations of apprentices and young people.
For further information, visit worldskillsuk.org
We are proud to announce that April Brooks, a student from the theatrical media makeup course, won an award at The Media Makeup & Theatre Event hosted by the Professional Makeup Academy.
On Saturday March 12, April represented how the world has changed and the elements which affect our forever changing planet through her costume and makeup; April designed her costume to represent a burning forest, with her outfit being made from recycled carrier bags in the colour of flames. For all her hard work, she was awarded the Most Outstanding Makeup and Costume of the day. This was April's first ever competition and to receive such recognition is great achievement.
As an outcome of the recent area review it has been recommended that South & City College Birmingham and Bournville College merge to form a single college. Both brands will be retained as will provision on the Longbridge site.
As one college our focus will be on excellence, working with students, employers and our communities to improve the skills and life chances of the people of Birmingham.
You can download the merger consultantion document below; this is an opportunity for you to have your say by completing our consultation; your views are important to us.
On January 26, a team of 16 Hospitality & Catering learners competed in various competitions at the Warwickshire & Hinckley Salon Culinaire held in Nuneaton. The annual event saw Hospitality & Catering learners from six different colleges competing in live cooking, restaurant service and static competitions. All the live competitions were against the clock and really did test the practical skill base of the learners. The static competition saw learners entering pre-made novelty cakes, bread goods, Victoria sandwiches and cupcakes for tasting/judging by an expert panel. Team SCCB entered 16 learners and came away with the following results:
Novelty Cake - static
Gold Medal and Best in Class for Julianna Czinke (pictured)
Napkin Folding - live
Gold Medal for Peter Guiden
Bronze Medal for Sana Fofana
Vegetable Preparation – live
Gold Medal for Danny Astley – Currall
Merit Award for Shiplu Miah
Chicken Preparation – live
Bronze Medal for Leon Johnson
Chicken Cookery – Live
Silver Medal and Best in Class for Mohsen Khosravian
Fish Preparation – live
Bronze Medal for Dan Tompkins
Fish Cookery – live
Gold Medal and Best in Class to Lucy Cartwright
Bread & Rolls – static
Merit Award for Fahima Khimoun
Merit Award for Yasmin Hewitt
Victoria Sponge – static
Silver Medal for Kelly McMahon
Bronze Medal for Kelly Graham
Cup Cakes - static
Bronze Medal for Juliet Ebodor
Merit Award for Ina Rosca
Merit Award for Dinah Hadish
Julianna Czinke (pictured) won gold and best in class for her stunning cake decoration of the characters from the film Madagascar. When entering into the competition, she had no idea what she wanted to do. Julianna knew that she didn’t want to do anything that was too easy; she wanted a challenge.
After a conversation with her husband, it was suggested that a theme based on their 10 month old daughter’s favourite film Madagascar would be a good choice.
When it came to the day of the competition, Julianna couldn’t attend as she couldn’t find a babysitter. She was still very nervous on the day. Julianna received several texts during the day, keeping her up-to-date with what was going on. When finding out she had won, she said “I was over the moon and my husband is so proud”.
Wayne Scarce, her tutor said “that entry would win a gold medal at any competition, anywhere in the world!”
A week after winning her class, Julianna now believes in herself a lot more and is pleased the college enters students for competitions; “You get pushed just that little bit further so you can achieve more”.
Meanwhile, fellow student Lucy Cartwright filleted her way to first place in the fish cooking class.
Lucy completed level 1 & 2 Professional Cookery and is now on level 3. Her ambition after finishing this year, is to work in a fine dining restaurant, within a chain of hotels and then run her own restaurant after gaining lots of experience. Lucy is already working as a trainee chef alongside her studies at a restaurant in Brindley Place. She said “this course has helped me so much in the workplace.”
As one of the many students that entered the recent competition held at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Lucy received a Best in Class and Gold medal in the Fish Cooking class. Although another student filleted the mackerel, Lucy had just 15 minutes to cook and prepare 4 plates of mackerel with sweet potato, suitably decorated and presented.
Although nervous before this competition, Lucy is an old hand at competing for South and City College’s Hospitality and Catering team. She entered 3 competitions in her second year. The first was at the NEC for top chefs and she was the only student; however still won a bronze. The second competition saw her do better and attain a silver. The last competition of that year, saw Lucy compete as part of a team of 3 and get placed second. The team had to cook and serve a starter of shellfish chowder, a main of rack of lamb with a moussaka stack and an orange ice cream and lemon tart for dessert.
When asked how she feels about competitions, Lucy said “competitions get you ready for the real world, as timing is so important for both. Competitions are fun; they are like rollercoasters - you’re nervous before you get on, but once it’s finished, it’s like wow, let’s do this again!”
The BAPA hosted 2015's Conference on October 21 - October 23 2015 and South and City College Media students captured the whole event. This included key note speeches from the Home Secretary Teresa May, Franstine Jones, president of the NBPA, West Midlands Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson, Simon Israel from Channel 4 News and Tariq Jahan, who gave a community perspective and Police delegates from the United States were also in attendance.
Students filmed and documented the peace march through the Lozells district marking the 30-year anniversary of the riots indicating solidarity between police officers and the communities they serve. Alongside the peace march a tree was planted and plaque put up to mark the event.
South and City College have been praised for their professionalism and dedication throughout the event, BAPA also attended the Digbeth campus to thank students personally and give awards.
South and City College Birmingham has been working closely with Microsoft to launch a brand new Showcase Classroom, based at the college’s Digbeth Campus.
Opened on February 3rd by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Ray Hassall, the classroom is designed to be a technologically innovative learning space to deliver a more personalised, hands-on, learning environment for students. The classroom will also be accessible to staff, corporate clients and the wider community, utilising mobile and cloud technology to better prepare stakeholders for success in the workplace.
The classroom is one of 12 in the country, placing South and City College at the forefront of innovation and forward learning within the FE sector. As a Microsoft Academy member, South and City College will work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education and communicate a vision for education in Birmingham and the wider country, enabled by technology through transformational, educational practices and innovative teachers.
Mike Morris, UK Manager for Further Education and Skills at Microsoft said “South and City’s Showcase classroom is beautiful. It is a transformed environment ready for 21st century learning. We will be working with the college closely, helping link between the college and Microsoft users and employers within the region.
“Microsoft has 30,000 technical partners in the United Kingdom, all of whom are short of IT Academy engineers. Beyond that, we have a large quantity of customers, all of whom need digital literacy skills for their own businesses and career development. I believe that the college can be a leader of digital literacy.
“We are delighted to work with South and City to deliver transformed, skill-based learning. Digital literacy is at the forefront of the agenda of sector leaders and South and City College have embraced this. They want to ensure their students’ digital literacy, enabling them to contribute to local enterprise”.
The Lord Mayor said “It is a great pleasure to be here for this launch. The skill gap in the West Midlands is large - one of the biggest in the country. Businesses that link with colleges like South and City see the benefits long term. They train their students to help to fill these skill gaps.
Principal of South and City College, Mike Hopkins, added “This is a fantastic addition to our facilities at the college and a real attributes for our students. It shows what the college can offer its students, staff, corporate clients and the wider community. We understand the requirements for a modern, responsive, contemporary workforce that has the best training, with access to the latest technology to develop the relevant skill sets required in the 21st century and beyond”
Attended by students, staff, local business clients and media, the launch was a chance to display the classrooms’ capabilities and equipment. Demonstrations included a tour of the smart-board software, an example of the college’s 3D printer and a chance to try out the Oculus Rift system – a virtual reality experience that saw The Lord Mayor transported underwater.
Public Services students at South and City College Birmingham have been kitted out with new safety equipment, courtesy of international company Safeguard Armour.
A Public Services course develops basic skills and knowledge desired by employers in the public services sector. It is a very career-focused course, often providing students with an excellent starting point to progress into careers such as police officers, paramedics and the armed forces. There is particular emphasis on teamwork, leadership skills and communication, with students working on fitness, adventurous activities and to develop an understanding of the qualities and attitudes needed for employment in this sector.
The vests were donated by Safeguard Armour to support students studying Public Services courses, with the company keen to help educate learners about safety wear and protection
Chris Taylor, Communications Director at Safeguard Armour said ''We are pleased to be working closely with South & City College Birmingham as part of our commitment to improving personal safety and spreading information regarding body armour. As part of this work we have happily donated several bullet proof vests which we hope will prove to be very useful for a number of educational purposes.''
To find out more about our Public Services courses, please www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/sports-public-services
In the last week before Christmas, the team of staff at Fusion 2 rallied all their learners and put on a whole range of fundraising activities in aid of one of their own students who really needs a motorised wheelchair.
ESOL Entry Level 1 student Hamayan Hakimi currently has been struggling to make the journey to and from college, although his attendance is excellent, because his manual wheelchair isn't compatible with his disabilities. Seeing his daily difficulties, Hamayan's tutor Nicky Mcpake, staff and students decided to raise the funds to buy him a motorised chair that he will be able to use much more easily.
With full support from Fusion 2's students, money-making activities included:
A food and fruit stall, a smoothie making stall, bring & buy, tombola and raffle, name-the-teddies competition, a quiz room, handmade flowers for sale, henna demonstrations, hair braiding by hair and beauty students, headscarves: buy and tie, a disco, a car wash and a Christmas themed photo booth.
Teachers also performed as buskers and sang some festive carols.
All items that were donated for sale were brought in by students and staff, with the centre's young learners then working to package and price the items.
Through the generosity and enthusiasm of students and staff, over £1000 was raised and Hamayan and Nicky are currently in the process of arranging for his new 'wheels' to be purchased.
Speaking about the event, tutor Harinder Chane said "The event took a great deal of planning and organising as students and tutors came up with so many fantastic ideas but everyone at Fusion 2 pulled together on the day and made this such a successful and enjoyable event. We've been surprised by the overwhelming generoristy of our students and their dedication to help one of their own. It was a great way to end the year and we are all looking forward to presenting Hamayan with his wheelchair in the very near future".
A huge well done to all at Fusion 2 for such an amazing show of support!
As one of the first colleges in the country to be inspected under the new Ofsted inspection arrangements, South and City College Birmingham, which has campuses across the city, is reveling in having achieved amongst the highest grades awarded to further education colleges to date.
This result follows on from the college's teaching nursery being rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2014.
The outcome of the inspection is particularly significant in light of the fact that the college is one of the largest in the country, with results being consistently strong across all areas of the inspection; a testament to the staff and the standards achieved by students.
Ofsted made particular reference to the teaching, learning and assessment areas within the college, all of which consistently enable students to develop employability and personal skills.
The report also noted that South and City staff and teachers showed particularly strong commitment to students and their futures, ensuring students are equipped to make well informed choices about their education and career ambitions.
Also praised were the college's collaborations and industry links with employers and businesses across Birmingham. The college's apprenticeship programme was cited to "meet local and regional needs well" and that "the college makes an exceptionally strong contribution to city regeneration projects and to meeting the needs of employers and local communities".
Principal Mike Hopkins said "The results of the Ofsted inspection confirm just how well the college does for its students and the quality and commitment of our staff. "We are extremely proud at the recognition from Ofsted. Anyone who is thinking about coming to study at the college will now see how well they can do studying with us; we are a big college with a small college approach!"
Along with being an excellent place to learn and develop, the college was also cited as successful in protecting the welfare and safety of its students and its tutorial programmes and the regular 'staying safe week' are focused on this.
You can download the full report here: South and City College Birmingham Ofsted Report, November 2015
We have a number of courses starting this January – from accounting; hairdressing; photography; cake decorating; personal training courses and more, there are a host of opportunities for you to consider.
We are enrolling across the month of January, just visit www.sccb.ac.uk/january to start your application process.
Alternatively, if you would like to meet with our tutors and find out more about the courses on offer, we are holding an information day across all of our campuses on 13th January 2016 between 3pm - 6pm.
Study online with South and City College Birmingham and E-careers.
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