South and City College Birmingham have been awarded with a High Commendation in the Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion category at the West Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards 2014.
The College has invested over £3 million in the campus, including the Grade II listed building – which had previously not seen any renovations for over 20 years following a merger in August 2012.
The front of the building has been renovated; whilst inside there has been a new reception with Costa Coffee bar, new student library, fully fitted gym and sports hall, new classrooms, plumbing workshop for construction students, media suite and recording studio and more.
Paul Morris, assistant principal of the college said: “It’s always great to be recognised for the work we do here at the college. The renovations have transformed Handsworth Campus improving the learning environments for our students to study in whilst also making the overall feel of the college more vibrant and friendly.”
Mangum Samateh is a 17 year old student who studies painting and decorating at the College and had the opportunity to work on the project. He said: “We started refurbishing the Handsworth Campus where I was given the role of Assistant Health and Safety Manager so I had to make sure that the site was safe.
“We were not only painting and decorating but there are many other skills involved in this project such as carpentry. It is a fantastic opportunity as we get to practise our painting and decorating skills on a real project as well as working to get tools for ourselves.”
The Duke of Cambridge made an official visit to the refurbished campus in November 2013.
Four NVQ Diploma Nail enhancement level 2 students from the college have placed in regional heats of the WorldSkills competition across two areas. The regional final took place on Eastleigh College on 24 and 25 June with students entering the nail enhancements and intermediate nail art categories.
On Tuesday Le thi Puen from Handsworth Campus, won third place for her set of intermediate nail enhancements. The following day was even more successful for the college with students winning all three places in intermediate nail art.
Hena Mohammed from Hall Green Campus, won first place whilst Rosie Smith and Zara Hejabri from Handsworth Campus secured second and third place respectively.
The theme for the nail art was 'Once Upon A Time' with our students taking influence from Alice In Wonderland, Frozen, A Fairy's Tale and Romeo and Juliet. The theme for the national finals will be 'Enchanted'. Our students are now motivated and raring to go as they prepare for the finals and work on their new ideas.
Jacqui Jefford who has written four books on nail art and is on the board of City and Guilds adjudicated the finals. Jacqui is a real icon in the industry and was amazed at the quality of the student's nail art. She gave mentoring to one of the students and suggested they should go on to work on celebrity nails due the unique designs.
Judges of the event even suggested a possible place at the finals was on the cards. The top ten highest scoring winners from all the regional heats will be selected for the national finals.
Sukaina Walji, assistant director of beauty and retail said: "We are really proud of all the learners for their exceptional work and outstanding achievements in the WorldSkills competition. Lyndsey Tidmarsh their tutor has done an amazing job in teaching and coaching them to success."
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A 125 year city tradition was continued yesterday [Wednesday 25 June] as a portrait of the Chairman of the Birmingham and Solihull Bench was unveiled at Victoria Law Courts after a South and City College student won a photography competition.
Chairman Richard Trengrouse has been a magistrate for over 16 years and decided to run a competition for the first time in the tradition's history to select a portrait. Richard came up with the idea after wanting to introduce more young people to the justice system.
The Chairman of the Bench is the elected head of the magistracy in the Birmingham and Solihull area. The portrait of each chairman has been displayed in the law library corridor at Victoria Law Courts since the 1880s.
Each portrait has a story to tell and magistrates are currently researching the lives of each chairman. Many of the great families of the city are represented in the hall including the Chamberlains, Jaffrays, Martineaus and Colmores.
The chairman is responsible for over 450 magistrates and ensures the effective delivery of summary justice in the two boroughs. Situated on Corporation Street, there are between 20 to 30 courts running at a time making it one of the busiest in Europe.
Outside of the courts, Richard is a director at the college and opened up the competition to South and City College students with over 20 entering before selecting photography level 3 student, Siobhan Nash, as the winner.
The portrait photograph was officially unveiled at the Victoria Law Courts by Principal Mike Hopkins. Other attendees included winning photographer Siobhan Nash, Siobhan's family and staff members from the courthouse.
Richard Trengrouse spoke of why he chose Siobhan's picture to be the winner: "I thought it portrayed me well, both the formal and my slightly unkempt nature – I just thought that's me."
He added: "It's absolutely thrilling to have my portrait in the Victoria Law Courts, being Chairman of the Bench is probably the best role I have ever had.
"Working with over 450 committed magistrates who give up their time voluntarily to deliver an excellent standard of justice for the people of Birmingham and Solihull is truly inspiring."
Siobhan Nash said: "I still can't believe I won – it's great to finally on the wall in its frame. My name is printed on the bottom so it's unbelievable to think people will see it still in another 125 years time."
Mike Hopkins said: "I'm really proud of Richard's achievement and the college is grateful to him for giving our students the opportunity to be part of what is a fantastic local traditional at the courthouse.
"Siobhan has really captured Richard and now has a great item for her photography CV as well as being etched into Birmingham's fruitful judicial history."
After the event Richard gave guests a tour of courts discussing the history of the architecture, surrounding areas of the city and his predecessors.
Music and media students offered the public a unique opportunity to have a closer look at the exciting world of live music TV through their end of year Creative Student Showcase event which was held in the college's Digbeth Auditorium [Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 June].
BTEC level 2 and 3 and HND first and second year students put on an hour-long show modelled on 'Later... with Jools Holland' which saw five acts perform for a live music broadcast. The show was performed three times over two days with attendees including college staff, students and members of the public.
Nigel Darvill, course leader for the extended diploma in music, took on the role of Jools Holland and hosted the performance and played piano for two solo singers.
All five musical acts were college students and they were supported by their fellow students operating all the technical aspects of lighting, sound, cameras and live editing.
Pensacola, Doveheart, Sam Gasior, Maria Myella, The Melon Trio and Lisa Grummitt performed a variety of cover songs and original material throughout the hour.
The planning for the event took over a month and rigging in the auditorium started as early as Friday. Three stages on the auditorium floor were set out for the musical acts and a technical control area was laid out for lighting, sound and cameras.
The audience were on raked seating on the auditorium stage overlooking the performance and technical areas with monitors set up so audience members could see the final show edit in real time.
The college have been supported with the event through their links with local employers including Urban Audio Productions and Pacific Sound & Lighting. It has allowed students working on the project to work directly with professionals and establish contacts in the industry.
Hannah O'Connell, a HND popular music practice second year student who was also assessed as part of her course during the event, said: "I've been looking after the sound engineering side of things so my responsibilities have included rigging up, cabling, sound checking and monitor set up. The fact that the show has had three stages and two desks means we've really been pushed."
Creative live sound lecturer, Nils Edstrom added: "This showcase is a great way of tying music and media together and we try to provide the closest possible industry relevant experience for our students. The challenging production environment we put them into means they are stretched and can make errors within a supportive framework allowing them to learn and experience professional expectations."
Creative studies' deputy director Maighread Hegarty described the event as "an outstanding example of the professional industry skills of our students in action."
Creative students will have also have the opportunity to build on their experience by being involved with production rehearsals for Simmerdown Festival in Handsworth in July.
South and City College Birmingham can today announce the official sponsors of each stage for the Coast2Coast cycle challenge which will raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust in association with The Stephen Staunton Foundation [Wednesday 28 May].
Local businesses from around the West Midlands have pledged to help the charity bike ride get well on its way to reaching the £50,000 target which has been set by Principal Mike Hopkins.
Mike will also be leading the challenge, which will see a group of cyclists pedal around 800 miles over nine days, travelling from coast to coast across the UK and Ireland this summer (July 19 to July 27).
The cycle route and sponsors are as follows:
Day one sponsored by Wassifa Showcase will start from the college's Digbeth Campus to Cleethorpes after first visiting the Teenage Cancer Trust Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Day two will start from Cleethorpes to Congleton and is sponsored by East End Foods.
Day three is sponsored by Subway franchisee Aksar Khan which will start from Congleton and head over to Betws-y-Coed in Wales before resting up for the night.
Communications and design firm, DesignBP will be the sponsors for the ride from Betws-y-Coed to Dublin after a taking the team take a ferry over the North Sea from Holyhead.
Day five is sponsored by Phoenix Green & Alvesta Energy and will see the riders travel all the way down the east coast of Ireland from Dublin/Bray to Rosslare then travelling on another ferry back across to Fishguard in Wales.
Day six will see the team bike from Fishguard to Barry Island and is sponsored by AB Waste.
Birmingham based publisher, Packt are sponsoring day seven which will see the riders start from Barry Island back into England, heading for the coast at Weymouth.
Day eight is sponsored by Aston Manor Brewery and will start from Weymouth travelling to Burford in Oxfordshire.
Day nine is the final leg of the ride and is being sponsored graphics and signage company, Hollywood Monster.
Travelling up from Burford, the team will make a pit stop at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry where they will be joined by students, staff and the general public to take part in a final celebration ride back into Birmingham to the college's Digbeth Campus for a celebration event.
Principal Mike Hopkins said: "I'm really proud of the local businesses who have come onboard with such great support for the challenge. It really goes to show what a close community we are in Birmingham.
"By working with well known organisations in the region we hope it will have a greater impact in raising awareness of what we're trying to achieve for the two charities as well as the good work they do for young people.
Media students from the college will be involved in supporting the project by filming and editing videos to capture the ride in detail.
For more information on the Coast2Coast challenge please visit: www.challengesccb.co.uk
The National Express Foundation has granted South and City College Birmingham £20,000 of bursaries over two year to help young people stay in education.
The National Express Foundation was set up to help disadvantaged young people across the region. It was announced today [31 August] that a selection of community groups and colleges will receive funding, with South and City College Birmingham being one of the lucky few.
South and City College Birmingham are offering a range of higher education courses at affordable prices for those would like to further their education but do not want to go to university.
The newly merged college, which is now one of the largest and most successful colleges in the region, offers a variety of high quality higher education level courses including HNC, HNDs, Foundation Degrees and top up courses in a wide range of subject areas.
The truth behind The Only Way is Birmingham, which has had the people of Birmingham talking, has been revealed. Sadly for some, and to the relief of others, there is no reality TV programme called The Only Way is Birmingham coming to the nation's TV screens.
South and City College Birmingham has today opened its doors, becoming one of the largest further education colleges in Birmingham.
Created through a merger between South Birmingham College and City College Birmingham, the new college offers more choice for the people in Birmingham who want to stay in, or return to, education.
Following a meeting of the Governing Body on Thursday 19th July 2012, we are pleased to announce that City College Birmingham formally agreed to dissolve and transfer its assets and liabilities to South Birmingham College.
The merger will officially take place on 1st August 2012, and the name of the merged college will be South and City College Birmingham.