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. AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and innovative practice among UK 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.