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Perry Beeches Infant School & South & City CollegeThe morning of Tuesday 21st of June saw the official opening of work completed by college students and staff, together with pupils, their parents and teachers of Perry Beeches Infant School, Great Barr Birmingham. The school already had classes named after various jungle animals, so when it was time to create a wonderful new play area for the children, the jungle theme was an easy choice to make.

The project started earlier in the year, when Perry Beeches decided that they needed to make more of the sheltered area within the playground for their young pupils. Our college students quoted for the project, and once it was won, proceeded to make and paint all of the wooden animal chairs, tree tables, a safari jeep and camouflage seating and storage areas, complete with lovely decoration touches, that really brought the area to life.

Head Teacher, Vicky Colley waxed lyrical about the whole project, just before the opening ceremony. She told FYi “Everybody has commented, without question, on the professionalism of the students and the vision of the end product. It really has surpassed all our expectations. John Ward [South & City College carpentry lecturer] has been brilliant to work with. John wanted to make a connection with schools and give his students real world experience, instead of say making bird boxes. It is absolutely phenomenal. Other head teachers have seen the work and have said how amazing it is. We will be advertising who completed the work at the front of the school, so I expect your students to be very busy over the coming years.”

John Ward agreed “This is been such a fantastic project to work on. The school has been amazing and the students have been so professional, together with the standard of work being second to none.”

At 9:30, the new Lord Mayor, Carl Rice, arrived to start the opening ceremony saying “I became Mayor to celebrate the very best of Birmingham and when I saw the invitation to attend today, of course I said yes. This is a wonderful project, worked on by parents, teachers, pupils and South & City College students and staff. It shows what can be done with true partnership.”

The young pupils have watched the project come together over the past few weeks and of course were not allowed to touch or get too close. So when they were allowed to go in and play, they were very happy and excited. When asked what their favourite bit was, the boys loved the jeep, but everyone loved the cute chimp in the corner, sporting a pair of binoculars. They also loved the painted bus at the back. Every reception pupil had painted a self-portrait so that they were truly part of the project themselves.

Angela Williams, one of our Painting & Decorating students, responsible for some of the painting said “It was actually quite challenging, because I am not used to working in such a confined space, but I got used to it quickly and enjoyed it so much. It will be a great project to have on my CV and I learned a great deal.”

Three of our Carpentry students also came along to see the project being opened: Arron Jones; Ben Parsons and Charlie Gaston are all studying at level 3. They commented about working on the project “It was good fun and a pleasure. It was hard to visualise the end result, when seeing all of the various bits and pieces at college, but it is great to see everything in place and all the kids happy and excited to be able to play with it.”

Bob Howlett, Faculty Head also said “I have spent the last few weeks in college workshops, meeting all the jungle animals and jeep. It is great to see everything in place.” With a big smile he added “We await lots of orders from other schools.”

This is not the end of the project either, phase II is to replace an aging climbing frame in the playground, with a wooden pod for the pupils to play in. Watch this space for updates.

Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:42

'In Focus', a SCCB photo exhibition

South and City College Birmingham media and photography students recently took to Green Street Arts to showcase their portfolios and work during a photography exhibition.

The ‘In Focus’ exhibition featured the interesting collection of images from a variety of up and coming studio and landscape photographers and attracted staff, students, family, friends and the public from across Birmingham. The work that went into the portfolios and exhibition have proved to be very beneficial to all students including level 3 year 2’s Jesse Machin and Paige Goodman who have both been accepted the UK's number one arts university - Falmouth with only 60 in 300 people securing places. Paige said: “a lot of hard work and commitment has gone into our portfolios, many people think photography is easy but you need many lots of resources and creativity.”

Level 3 year 2 student, Francesca Alonzo Beckett said: “the creativity of the projects has really helped me in stepping outside of the box. The work I have done during the course has assisted me in being accepted for a two month photography internship in Italy to kick start my career and passion for traveling.”

The exhibition brought together all levels of photography students and the work they have done is so much more than achieving grades, it has given them valuable experience and allowed them to create superb portfolios. Richard Hamilton, media lecturer said: “well done to all students, I am very proud of them all and proud to present their work to people.”

Do find out more information on our media and photography courses, click here.

On the 7 June, we were delighted to host the Midlands regional heat for SkillBuild 2016, for the 10th successive year at Bordesley Green campus.

SkillBuild is the UK’s biggest and longest running skills competition for apprentices and trainees, showcasing the best talent in construction based disciplines. The event is run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and covers construction occupations: bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, dry walling, electrical; joinery, painting & decorating, plastering, plumbing, roofing, stonemasonry and wall & floor tiling.

The competition comprises of regional heats from April to June each year, with a national final held in the autumn at The Skills Show.

This year, in the Midlands heat, there were to be over 100 competitors from 14 local colleges and close to 30 employers are due to attend. Unfortunately due to accidents on both the M6 and M42, together with a clash of dates for an exam, the competition had fewer competitors this time round, though this did not hinder the students.

Effy Harle, a South & City College Carpentry & Joinery competitor said before the competition “I have been preparing for this competition since January, completing tasks from previous years against the clock to gain speed. I am really looking forward to it, but I haven’t competed before, though I am quietly confident and excited to be the only woman competing in Carpentry.”

Conna O’Toole, another of our Carpentry & Joinery students said “I didn’t sleep well last night, but I’m still confident”. Conna has an apprenticeship with Kendrick Homes.

100 school children from Broadway Academy, St Georges Hub and Handsworth Wood Girls Academy also came along that day and took part in the ‘have-a-go’ areas. The students could have-a-go at various activities such as putting pipes together, or the ever popular buzz-wire game and also go home with a few goodies, kindly supplied by ScrewFix.

 

Friday, 10 June 2016 11:47

A Handsworth Graduation

A Handsworth Graduation 2016 - South & City College BirminghamCongratulations to our supported learner students at Handsworth campus who successfully graduated on 26 May.

The ceremony kicked off with a fantastic performance of David Guetta’s Titanium by student Charity Dyson who said: “I am very proud to be graduating the college having got myself a job. I had a good time here and made lots of friends.”

The graduation was filled with smiles and proud parents, carers and tutors as students walked the ‘red carpet’ to retrieve their certificates. Shanaz Gaibee, supported learning lecturer initiated the event for the students before Ramadan started.

Caroline Gray, assistant faculty head said: “we would like to congratulate all of our graduating students and our sponsor ‘My Party Package’ who’s support helped the graduation become a success.”

If you would like to book a party with My Party Package, take a look at their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/eventhirearena/

Monday, 06 June 2016 09:55

Birmingham Pride 2016

On Saturday, 28 May, South and City College Birmingham took part in Birmingham’s most successful pride ever with over 75,000 people coming along to support the parade as it made its way through the city centre.

The college joined in the 20th annual pride celebrations with both staff and students from different courses and campuses taking part in the parade along with the brightly, rainbow decorated college bus. 

Commencing at Victoria Square, organisations and participants gathered in their hundreds creating a fantastic atmosphere for all while waiting for the parade kick off at 12noon, where we went on to make our way to Hurst Street. 

Alison Harrison, assistant director of student engagement said: “thank you to all who participated for supporting the college at the pride parade. It was a great day and it’s really good that the college was represented so well.”

You can find pictures of the pride celebrations on our Facebook page: https://goo.gl/c0ZtgH

National Express donate coach to South & City CollegeNational 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.

 

Musical Youth at South and City College BirminghamIn 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

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 09:32

PMT are coming to South & City

PMT at South & City College 2016We 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:

www.pmtonline.co.uk/blog/2016/03/23/steve-white-drum-clinic-pmt/ 

Nord evening 

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:

www.pmtonline.co.uk/blog/2016/05/16/nord-keyboards-evening-in-birmingham-featuring-steve-turner/

 

World Skills UKThe 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:

If you wish to attend the heats, please contact: Mark Poland; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WorldSkills UK

  • 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

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