On Wednesday 9 October, Early Years Foundation Degree students displayed different educational learning approaches used by early years professionals.
Students studying for the Kingston University Foundation Degree at RuTC are also part of the Early Years workforce, working in a range of settings that include pre-schools, day nurseries, primary schools and children's centres. The exhibition supported their wider knowledge and understanding of different historical and international perspectives and how these teaching and learning approaches have had an impact on the practice within their settings.
Among the exhibition visitors were other early years professionals as well as RuTC Early Years Level 3 students. Different stands showed the work of pioneers who have had a great impact on early years practice. Students highlighted pioneers including Froebel, the Scandinavian Approach and Margaret McMillan through posters, leaflets and interactive displays.
Frankie Piris, Early Years Course Coordinator at RuTC, said, "The students were fully committed to ensure the exhibition captured everyone's senses as soon as you walked through the door, including music, visual displays to explore and tastes from around the world. There was a real buzz of excitement from the degree students who had completed a lot of research and planning to make this event come to life, and they thoroughly enjoyed engaging in discussions about early years education with other professionals and students and discussing how their chosen pioneers influenced pedagogy and learning today."
Following on from the success of last year’s ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) participated in the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) national Colleges Week from 14 to 18 October and highlighted the amazing work colleges do and why long-term term investment is crucial for the future.
RuTC works with local businesses and helps to educate and train many young people and adult learners each year. Despite this, RuTC and other colleges in the country have had to deal with an average of 30% cut to its funding over the last decade.
Leading up to Colleges Week, RuTC hosted an Open Event on Saturday 12 October to show prospective students the amazing things that the college can offer them. In addition, the college is proud to work closely with the AoC in various other area. In October, RuTC student and Students’ Union vice president Hasti Rezvan has been selected as a ‘This Girl Can Ambassador’ by AoC Sport. In this role, she will be planning activities to engage female students in a variety of sports.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the AoC, said, “The £400m funding boost announced in the spending review and the Secretary of State’s speech at the Conservative Party conference showed that the government is committed to investing in further education and skills. However there are many funding and policy challenges to grapple with to ensure colleges can thrive in the long term. Now more than ever we need highly skilled, well-educated workforces to deliver for our economy and country.”
“Colleges Week this year is about celebrating the amazing work colleges do, educating 2.2 million people every year, including more than 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds. Colleges have been neglected in recent years and proper funding for adult education is still urgently needed. This week is about making our voices heard and campaigning with partners to make sure colleges continue to be a serious political, economic and social priority.”
On Monday 7 October, Level 2 and Level 3 Creative Media Production & Technology students visited the Sky Academy Studios in Brentford and produced their own videos using Sky’s professional equipment.
The aim of the trip was to get hands-on industry experience by creating own TV content. Students worked closely together with Sky experts and the latest cutting-edge technology. The students helped produce video trailers, varying from horror to crime and comedy, by carrying out a range of roles including director, camera operator and editor and were involved in every step of the way from initial script writing to the actual video shoot and post-production editing.
Gordon Chin, Media teacher at RuTC, said, “Our visit to Sky Academy was really worthwhile. It was a unique way for students to actually experience the workings of one of the UK’s most influential broadcasters and programme producers. They enjoyed touring the studio campus and now have a real first-hand experience of what it might be like to work in television.”
On Thursday 10 October, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) highlighted the importance of mental health by supporting the worldwide Mental Health Day 2019 with various activities.
In tutorials, students explored a brilliant NHS quiz by answering 5 simple but effective questions, giving them top tips and advice to help increase their mental wellbeing.
RuTC’s Student Services team did random acts of kindness – 40 acts which take 40 seconds. This number refers to statistics which suggest that 1 person dies from suicide every 40 seconds and this year’s Mental Health Day theme is suicide prevention.
During Mental Health Awareness Week in May, RuTC already reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a new national mental health and wellbeing charter - created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.
Sharon Cousins, Assistant Principal – Student Experience at Richmond upon Thames College, said, “Every student and staff member deserves to work, study and train in an environment that supports them to be healthy, happy and secure. We take our commitment seriously and whilst we have a great track record, we are always keen to do more. This charter provides a clear direction of travel that our students and staff can hold us to account as we continue to work together to support their health and wellbeing whilst they are at Richmond upon Thames College.”
Any student who is in need of advice can go to the Welfare Engagement Advisers in room C12 anytime or schedule GP or Counselling appointments.
Over the last two weeks, three construction companies visited our Plumbing students to show them possible career paths and offer advice.
On Tuesday 24 September, Vaughan Wiles, Technical Training Specialist at Resideo, talked to Plumbing Level 2 students. Resideo specialises in central heating controls and components and is part of the Honeywell company. Students participated in a one day training course covering safe isolation, electrical safety, fault diagnosing and much more and were tested on their understanding at the end of the day on a Central Heating System Training Board.
Daniel Richards, Construction teacher, said, “We are looking forward to working closely with Resideo in the future and for our Plumbing students to be involved in further training days with them.”
On Monday 30 September, Austin Sharp, RuTC alumnus and founder of the Richmond based plumbing company WeFix, shared his story with students about his stages from studying at RuTC through to gaining work experience and finally starting his own business. He said, “Richmond upon Thames College gave me the practical work experience as well as knowledge of the industry and regulations. Standing in front of the students now and looking at their faces I feel hopeful that each and every one of them will gain the knowledge and confidence to be successful in their own ways.”
WeFix support RuTC by offering work experience placements and will be sponsoring the college’s "Plumber of the Year" Award at the end of the academic year.
Finally, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) visited our students on Tuesday 1 October. Jerry Whiteley, Technical Manager at CIPHE, spoke about the work and career progression opportunities in the plumbing industry, new government legislations and regulations and the building engineering industry.
In February 2019, RuTC became a CIPHE approved training centre.