On Wednesday 29 November (2017), year one and year two music students blew away the audience at the annual RuTC Winter Concert or ‘the Winter Gig’.
Extended diploma students organised the event from scratch as part of two units on event management. They discussed various charities and chose Music in Hospitals and & Care (MIHC), keeping in frequent contact with them. Students liaised with technicians, ran rehearsals with first year performers, delegated technical jobs across both years and programmed the whole event.
MIHC pays for musicians to go into hospitals, care homes and similar venues to bring live music to patients and residents. The charity works with university researchers whose focus is the measurable medical and psychological benefits for patients and residents. Students raised a fantastic £240 for the charity on the night.
Watch the video below to see highlights of the Winter Gig!
Find opportunities to study Music at Richmond upon Thames College.
Throughout the academic year 2017-18, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) is working with Friends of the Earth and the National Union of Students (NUS) offering students the opportunity to study a Level 3 Award in Community Campaigning as an additional qualification. The six students from RuTC who were selected for this course will gain eight additional UCAS points, which will benefit their personal statements for university and provide additional hands-on experience for future careers.
Daniel Sudworth who is studying the Community Campaigning programme alongside his A Levels in Psychology, Government and Politics and History, says; “I joined this group for two reasons; firstly because I think the environment is an important issue and something needs to be done, and it may as well start at a local level. Secondly, it seemed like a fun and different experience.”
During the Autumn term, RuTC students voted on the environmental issue that means the most to them and the Community Campaigning students have taken the winning vote of ‘waste’ as the issue to focus on. Their aim over the coming year will be to try creating a community campaign to reduce waste at RuTC. Inspired by the BBC's Blue Planet 2 and Sky’s Ocean Rescue, the team will put their focus on plastic. They have met with the college’s Catering and Estates departments and aim to take their campaign to the Principal to action their plan across the college.
RuTC is one of four London colleges taking part in the community campaigning project, called ‘My World, My Home’. Students have attended a training session held by Friends of the Earth at the Woodberry Wetlands Centre in Hackney, North London, with 25 other students from the other London colleges.
The training provided the students with the knowledge and skills to plan and implement their own campaign. The session involved role-playing to sharpen negotiating skills and storytelling to help them work towards the Award. Isaac Skrzypczyk who is studying A Levels in Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology says; “We are hoping to highlight the importance of recycling and to reduce the use of single plastic at RuTC.”
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme contributes millions of pounds each year to support almost 2,000 colleges and schools throughout London and Essex with celebrating the achievements of their young people.
“We do it because we want to help young people raise their aspirations, believe in themselves and make a contribution to their society” said Sir Jack Petchey CBE. The local awards took place at Richmond Theatre on the evening of Wednesday 22 November 2017.
This year, eight RuTC students were given awards including Rory William Walsh (pictured below, right) who, on the morning of the Grenfell Tower disaster, worked tirelessly to support those affected. This was before he attended college the same day to sit an A level English exam. After his exam he returned to the site of the disaster and worked in a community centre, assisting those who had been made homeless.
Kieran Peckett (pictured below, left) received an award for his work promoting RuTC's Student Union and the college's Christian Union. He also has been a college guide and has always helped at Open Events and during enrolment.
Six Supported Learning students were given awards. Along with those picture above, Ruben Kapango was also one of our winners.
Read now: 10 Great Things About RuTC
Richmond upon Thames College was proud to be highly commended for the award in Best Professional Practice at the Richmond Business Awards 2017 that took place at the Marriott Hotel in Twickenham on Friday 10 November.
John O’Shea, Deputy Principal at Richmond upon Thames College, said, “I am delighted that Richmond upon Thames College has been highly commended for the Best Professional Practice category at this year’s awards. The college works closely with many local, regional and national employers in providing education and training opportunities and will be strengthening employer links when the new state of the art college campus opens in Twickenham in 2019. To be acknowledged at such a high profile award, demonstrates the effort and commitment from the college’s talented staff. I am also proud to announce that Ofsted inspectors have recently judged Richmond upon Thames College to be good in all areas and praises the college for its effective partnerships with local employers”.
In November, adult students from Richmond upon Thames College studying on both the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Pre-BA) and Access to HE: Art and Design, visited the Koestler Awards exhibition at the London Southbank Centre and participated in guided tour. The exhibition, curated by renowned artist, Antony Gormley, showcases artwork produced in the UK’s prisons, secure hospitals and immigration removal centres with the aim of breaking down negative stereotypes through highlighting the talent and potential of ex-offenders to the public.
“Extra-curricular trips like this are a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their understanding of art, and take inspiration away with them that they can apply to their own work and studies. The students are particularly moved to hear about the contexts within which the art has been created” commented Caroline King, Art and Design lecturer at Richmond upon Thames College.
In October 2017, a team of Ofsted inspectors visited Richmond upon Thames College, a general further education college based in Twickenham, to carry out a full four day inspection covering all areas of the college provision.
The final report was published in November 2017 and the outcome of the inspection is that the overall effectiveness of Richmond upon Thames College, along with all areas of the college, is rated good. This includes effectives of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, outcomes for learners, 16-19 study programmes, adult learning programmes, apprenticeships and provision for learners with high needs.
Principal, Robin Ghurbhurun, said, “I am delighted that Richmond upon Thames College has been judged good in all areas by Ofsted inspectors. Since I started my tenure as Principal, just over three years ago, the college leadership team and all staff have worked hard to improve the quality of teaching and the outcomes for students and this year we achieved the best set of results for the last 10 years”.
“The college leadership team has put in place a number of strategies to raise the effectiveness of the college and improve all aspects of the student experience and learner journey”.
“We are currently building a new state of the art campus in Twickenham which will open in 2019 and will accommodate our current and future students. We aim to establish Richmond upon Thames College as an outstanding destination for the public, local community and employers while creating a major gateway to employment and higher skills”.
“I would like to thank all my staff for their dedication and commitment to securing such a fantastic Ofsted outcome. Richmond upon Thames College is well and truly on a journey to becoming an outstanding technical and professional hub for London with a reputation for academic excellence”.
Highlights from the Ofsted report include:
Leaders and managers have a clear and ambitious vision for the college to increase the participation of learners by offering a varied curriculum to meet the needs of the local communities. They have successfully reshaped the curriculum offer to increase the number of vocational courses for students.
Leaders and managers work effectively with a wide range of partners, including employers and local universities to develop training initiatives and programmes to support students in progressing into employment and in engaging with their local communities.
Students are well motivated, have high aspirations and are keen to learn. Current students and apprentices make or exceed the progress expected of them.
Students have high levels of respect for one another and behave very well. They enjoy attending college and have high aspirations for what they can achieve.
Staff share a determination to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, which is now good.
Teachers and assessors are well qualified. They are ambitious for their students and use their industry experience well to plan and teach sessions that interest and meet the needs of the vast majority of students.
Students recognise the importance of English, mathematics and IT skills in their future learning and careers. Students have good skills in these areas.
Students feel safe, know how to raise concerns and have a good understand of personal safety, including online safety.
Staff prepare students well for life in modern Britain and teachers promote British values effectively during tutorials and in lessons.
Students’ achievement of their qualifications, including English and mathematics GCSE, is good.
Teachers successfully support students to overcome barriers to employment and learning. As a result, the majority of students progress to higher level learning or employment.
Students with high needs and learning difficulties and/or disabilities make good progress and achieve well. They develop their independence skills effectively to support them to progress to higher levels of study.
Apprentices develop good industry skills and demonstrate the expected behaviours required for their sectors.
Read the full report: www.ofsted.gov.uk
AoC Beacon Award In October 2017, the Supported Learning Department at Richmond upon Thames College was shortlisted for a prestigious AoC Beacon Award for Students with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities. The AoC Beacon Awards capture and celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges.
John O’Shea, Deputy Principal at Richmond upon Thames College, commented, “To be shortlisted for this highly respected award was such an honour for the Richmond upon Thames College and acknowledges the incredibly talented members of staff who work in the college’s Supported Learning Department. I am proud to work with such highly experienced and enthusiastic teachers who support, motivate and teach students with complex needs and in 2017 the college has produced its best results in all areas for over a decade. This was also recently recognised by Ofsted inspectors who judged Richmond upon Thames College to be good in all areas, including the college’s provision for learners with high needs.
On Monday 13 November 2017, As part of National Inter Faith Week (12-19 November), the Richmond Inter Faith Forum held a special event at York House with London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Mayor, Councillor Lisa Blakemore. The Forum meet regularly to discuss issues of mutual interest with the aim of making recommendations based on equality and inclusion, values which are core to the ethos of Richmond upon Thames College.
For this special meeting, the Forum reached out to local education establishments and invited representatives from the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE), Richmond and Kingston Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB), Chaplaincy staff from St Mary's University and RuTC safeguarding and equalities officer, Cait Orton.
Attendees discussed a range of topics around working together as a community. The wide range of perspectives, based on different faiths and beliefs made for uniquely interesting discussions with good outcomes. The key outcome was that all groups call for unity and togetherness to benefit the community and local educational standards in a time of austerity and social tensions around issues such as Brexit.
On Friday 3 November, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) hosted a goalball session for players from the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. Sponsored by AIG, the official insurance partner of New Zealand Rugby, the session was organised to bring together AIG’s charity partnerships with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Endeavour Fund to create a unique experience with the All Blacks while celebrating the power of sport.
Goalball is a team sport for athletes with visual impairments, originally devised in 1946 as a means of assisting the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. It is played by two teams of three using a ball with bells inside. The object of the game is to throw the ball into the opposing team's net while defenders attempt to block it with their bodies.
After being introduced to the sport and learning the basics while blindfolded, the five All Blacks players: Damian McKenzie, Waisake Naholo, Ardie Savea, Lima Sopoaga and Codie Taylor teamed up with AIG, Endeavour Fund and RNIB players and went head to head in a series of matches.
RuTC Supported Learning students Georgia Herdman, Paige Ikin, Melisa Showsmith and Yan Rudnicki had the opportunity to meet players from the New Zealand All Blacks. The event took place the day before the All Black defeated the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium.
Mark Brough, Sports Development and Facilities Manager at RuTC commented, “It was a pleasure to once again host an AIG sport event at the college. The students and members of the sports team attending enjoyed finding out more about the sport and afterwards expressed an interest in introducing the sport at the college. Students and staff were grateful for the opportunity to attend and have the opportunity to meet some of the players.“
Sarah Davies, Corporate Citizenship and Events Manager at AIG further commented, “We were thrilled to work with RuTC. You provided a fantastic location for the session and it was great to be immersed in the Richmond upon Thames community once again. The players thoroughly enjoyed meeting the students and wish them all the best with their future careers.”
Learn about Sports and Exercise courses at RuTC
During October, students across Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) celebrated the 30th anniversary of Black History Month. Students learned about the importance of celebrating black history in tutorial sessions that explored black history, culture and heritage.
“It is really important for us to mark Black History Month every year. It is a time where we can emphasise the importance of black participation and experience throughout history to our students,” said Cait Orton, Safeguarding and Equalities Officer.
A number of smaller events also took place in the college organised by RuTC’s Students’ Union. Students attended an open screening of the film 12 Years a Slave and created an exhibition showcasing influential and prominent black figures in the reception area of the college.
The Students’ Union continue to celebrate Black History Month in the lead up to Remembrance Day in November with a poster campaign raising awareness of unsung heroes of ethnic minority during British wars.
“I’m impressed with how engaged students are when it comes to celebrating difference. It’s great to see that our students recognise the knowledge, skills and experience that can come from learning about different backgrounds and how important it is to celebrate that,” commented Andy Jones, Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare Advisor.