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.
On Wednesday 21st October South and City College hosted the Higher Education students' graduation ceremony. The evening celebrated the graduation of 230 SCCB students who have studied on higher national and honours degree programmes and also included a celebration of college staff who have successfully achieved their Certificate in Education and Training.
This graduation, for the first time in the college's history, saw students graduating with honours degrees. The honours degrees in Popular Music and Business and Management are taught at the college and awarded by Birmingham City University and Newman University Birmingham.
The ceremony, held in the auditorium at the Digbeth campus, started with a staff procession which was led by Sardul Dhesi, Deputy Principal, carrying the college mace. After the procession guests were welcomed and graduands presented. Gradaunds were congratulated on stage by Principal Mike Hopkins and Chair of Governors Clive Henderson, before walking across the stage to applause from friends and families, honoured guests and staff.
During the ceremony there was a short interval in the presentation of graduands for an excellent performance by Doveheart, a band featuring students from the HND Popular Music course.
Clive Henderson provided the closing remarks from the College and the end of the ceremony saw Hannah O'Connell from the B.A. (Hons) Popular Music course speaking to thank families and staff for their support for graduates to achieve their qualifications.
South and City College have built many great relationships through the InBusiness Network across our region. We have particularly robust associations with the local media too, including BPM Media; an umbrella group of The Birmingham Post & Mail / Trinity Mirror.
As members of the InBusiness Network, BPM Media continue to keep the College 'up to speed' with the various events they arrange to support local business.
The Birmingham Post Business Awards was scheduled for the ICC in November to celebrate those businesses that are particularly successful across our region.
Trinity Mirror's Regional Event Organiser Kirsti Tomkinson offered to provide some of our students with the chance to help with the setup of this prestigious Awards Evening, gaining real experience of high profile event planning and execution – AND they all stayed for the event including helping to hand out the Awards, finishing with a meal too.
Not only that, South and City College were allocated a table of ten - to entertain business partners from within our InBusiness Network.
Our students Arman Hussain, Mosheer Ayeda & Abdoul Ayeda all had a fascinating day, and gained real life experience of a major event.
Head of Events at Trinity Mirror Kirsti Tomkinson said "It was great to see how the South and City College students reacted to the pressure of deadlines and I know that their confidence improved as the day went on – they seemed to really enjoy the experience and the venue".
After building a relationship through the college's InBusiness Network over the last two years, it was agreed earlier this year to site a 'real working' Subway Unit within the Bordesley Campus – the unit opened for Business in November .
The Unit is being run through a mixture of Subway workers and College Students. A traineeship 'pod' of around 20 college students were chosen some weeks ago and have been brought down into a real working team of around 10 students, who will rotate responsibility for managing and serving as 'sandwich artists' at the unit.
This subway unit is a real working example of a business model being run as a commercial operation within campus, selling to students – with all produce set at a 20% discount on normal 'High Street' Subway units around Birmingham.
The great news is that 3 of our South and City College Students who are still studying through their courses - Catering & Hospitality and Motor Vehicle - have been offered full time positions within Subway. Monika Celmer, Yiftusira Woldemicheal and Bilal Aziz have been through the Subway training process with Subway Franchisee Aksar Khan, and have all really impressed.
Aksar Khan said "This whole process was initiated through the college's InBusiness Network and through building relationships with SCCB we have delivered real jobs for their young people".
Business and Community Manager at SCCB, Steve Dourass commented "The process of building meaningful, long term relationships with local business really does create opportunities for everyone. It is so inspiring to see our young people develop their careers through the ideas we share within our Networks"
Renowned heavy metal guitarist Ola Englund, founding member of Feared and lead guitarist with The Haunted and Six Feet, is coming to South and City College to host a guitar clinic on December 9th.
Following the popularity of his YouTube videos and guitar clinics, Ola has been touring the world teaching people the art of riffing. His teaching style is very helpful to beginners, though more advanced players can also benefit from his tutorials as well.
After stopping in Chile, Brazil, Germany then France, he'll finally hit British shores in December, taking over South and City College's Digbeth auditorium.
The event takes place on Wednesday 9th December from 7pm. Entry is £5, but totally FREE for college students. It's your chance to learn some great tips from a true master of Heavy Metal!
For more information and tickets, please visit: www.pmtonline.co.uk/ola-englund-guitar-clinic-9th-december-7pm
Our very own Honorary President of the South and City College InBusiness Network, Sir Doug Ellis OBE, was presented with a 'Lifetime Achievement' award at the very first Birmingham Awards Dinner at Edgbaston Stadium in November.
Sir Doug, who is 92 in January, seemed overwhelmed to receive this very special recognition from "fellow brummies".
College Principal Mike Hopkins read out a brief summary of Sir Doug's life and it was a very proud moment for South and City College Birmingham when he took the stage to say a few words to say how special that moment was.
Business and Community Manager Steve Dourass said "Sir Doug is an incredible role model for our students and business associates and for him to receive this accolade reflects on his incredible life of achievement AND his ongoing support for South and City College".
Sir Doug has supported the College in a very generous way over the past few years and we now look forward to the SCCB Sir Doug Ellis 'Apprenticeship Awards' evening taking place at The Macdonald Burlington Hotel in March 2016.
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