I hope that you are well and starting to look forward to the summer. The restrictions that we have all been living with in our lives, although recently eased, have not made it the easiest time at our college. The uncertainties of the past year have placed real pressure on students and staff alike. Nevertheless, I have come to understand that students and staff have tremendous resilience and capacity during these times. I would personally like to thank all College staff particularly, on behalf of the Board, for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to their students across the last year. Whilst you can never fully anticipate what might lie ahead, I do feel that the worst has now passed, and that we can look forward confidently to a new academic year in September. On behalf of the Governing body, I congratulate all of our students for their hard work and their achievements this year and I thank everyone involved with this amazing College for their support and commitment.
I would also like to take this opportunity to update you about some recent developments at the College, including our proposed merger with Harrow College and Uxbridge College (HCUC), student achievements and the range of college events which are planned or have taken place.
Delay to completion of merger between HCUC (Harrow College & Uxbridge College) with Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC)
Last week, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) took the decision to delay the completion of the merger between HCUC (Harrow College & Uxbridge College) and RuTC.
As you may be aware from previous newsletters, the original merger date had been planned for 30 July 2021 and both colleges had been eagerly working together towards this date with excellent progress made to this point. However, late last month Local Authority planning issues arose that have an impact on the College and merger in a number of ways, including the second phase of our development project – the STEM Centre. They present an unresolved financial risk, at this time, to both HCUC and RuTC and both Colleges believe it unlikely that a resolution would be reached by the merger date.
We are committed to working closely with all parties involved to resolve the planning issues as quickly as possible. RuTC and HCUC remain committed to the merger and it is the intention that merger will go ahead with only a relatively brief delay until the issues are resolved. We believe that we remain ‘Better together- Stronger together’ – a partnership recognised for providing inclusive education and training of the highest quality for our students and local communities. Whilst I regret this recent delay, I am confident that we will be able to swiftly work through the issues towards a new merger date.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our students on some amazing achievements that they have made during this difficult year.
Jack Petchey Awards
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme recognises the positive contributions, efforts and endeavors of young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. These achievements include being a great role model, volunteering, overcoming personal challenges and supporting others over and above expectations.
So well done to Aryan Dugar, Georgia Lewitt, Sadiqah Tarafdar and David Edmunds, who won Jack Petchey Awards. Aryan was recognised for his hard work and commitment on his Level 2 Networking and Cybersecurity course. Georgia for her contributions and commitment to her Dance course. In the Level 3 Childcare and Education group, Sadiqah won her award in recognition of her contributions to the course.
Finally, David was chosen as the winner for his contributions to the Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science class.
Former RuTC Student Wins BAFTA TV Award
We were delighted to hear that Malachi Kirby, a former Performing Arts student of RuTC, won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Small Axe shown on BBC1 and Amazon Prime at the end of 2020. Malachi played the role of Darcus Howe in Mangrove, the first installment of films from the Small Axe series. Mangrove is based on the true story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of black activists who had clashed with police during a protest march in Notting Hill in 1970.
RuTC Student Achieves Distinction in Accounting Diploma
Congratulations to Carly Baker who recently received a distinction grade for the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting Level 4 exam. The AAT Accounting Professional Diploma Level 4 is the advanced level of the AAT accounting qualifications and – nationally - only approximately 2% of students receive a distinction. What is even more impressive is that with the COVID restrictions most of Carly’s studying had to be done from home, along with balancing work and family life. To be awarded a distinction is an amazing accomplishment.
Catering Salon Culinaire Competition
At this year’s prestigious Salon Culinaire competition RuTC patisserie student, Laura Dicken, produced a chocolate treat in the Birthday Cake category and won a Silver Award. Well done Laura for such a wonderful internationally recognised achievement.
Salon Culinaire, renamed to Salon Virtual for this year, is an internationally renowned catering competition, with chefs, professionals, and students from all over the world.
Employability and Life Skills Week
A successful week-long Employability and Life Skills event took place in June, with several informative talks and workshops being held for students.
The purpose of the event was to give students an opportunity to explore the wider context of employability and to gain some insight or skills that will support them when they leave us and progress in their careers. Due to COVID-19 restrictions that were in place, the event was held remotely, and each session had from 90 to 170 students attending.
Throughout the week, students benefited from workshops to help them find employment, personal development, CV Writing and Interview preparation. There were also several events for personal wellbeing which included workshops on motivation, self-esteem, resilience, managing stress and pressure, and practising mindfulness.
ISG Host Work Experience Week
An informative Work Experience Week, hosted by ISG, was held in June for 50 Construction and the Built Environment and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering students The week involved talks, group discussions, activities, and Q&A sessions. ISG's Operations Director, Wayne Burfield, Education Engagement Manager, Karen Vigar, Senior Project Manager, Richard Slade, Senior Social Value Manager, Tania (TJ) Jacobs and Early Careers Talent Partner, Claire Davis, were in attendance to provide valuable information for the students. In addition, students were given the opportunity to use VR technology and see our STEM building plans.
Launch Night of Oxy[re]generation Art & Design Exhibition
Access to Higher Education Art and Design RuTC students launched their Oxy(re)generation exhibition and this will run until 25th July at The Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham.
The exhibition features the work of 13 artists from the course and invites audiences to learn more about the climate crisis, biodiversity and how we can fix our relationship with nature.
Art Exhibition and Prize Ceremony
On the 30th June, second year Level 3 year Art students will be hosting their end of year exhibition at The Richmond building exhibition area on the fourth floor.
A prize giving ceremony will take place for the first year Level 3 Art students who have competed in the following competitions:
- The Turner House Art competition – prizes to be presented by members of the Turner House.
- The Supported Learning Garden design competition
- The View Restaurant Logo design competition
Many of the art students are progressing to prestigious Art Schools, and this exhibition presents an excellent opportunity to celebrate their work and to see our artists of the future.
Virtual Open Events
As part of ensuring that prospective students are not disadvantaged and have the opportunity of asking questions or Curriculum staff, there have been seven successful virtual open events which have taken place from 5pm -7pm in the evening and from 11am -1pm on two Saturdays during 2020/21.
Curriculum teams presented virtually to prospective students and parents/carers and were available to answer any questions. Feedback from attendees has indicated that they enjoy the virtual events and were able to access relevant information about Richmond upon Thames College and the courses it offers and are looking forward to coming to the college in September 2021.
The last few months have been an extraordinary time for everyone. Although perhaps many people will not be having the summer break, they might have hoped for on account of continued restrictions I would nevertheless like to wish you all a happy and healthy summer and I look forward to the beginning of the new academic year in September.
Delay to completion of merger between HCUC (Harrow College & Uxbridge College) with Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC)Tuesday 29 June 2021
Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) has announced a delay to the completion of the merger between HCUC (Harrow College & Uxbridge College) and RuTC.
The original merger date had been planned for 30 July 2021 and both colleges have been working together towards this date with excellent progress made.
However, a challenge has recently arisen which has led to the decision to delay the date of merger completion. The issues relate to planning in respect of the second phase of the RuTC capital development project – the STEM Centre. At this point in time, these challenges present unresolved financial issues for both HCUC and RuTC.
RuTC will work closely with all parties involved to resolve the planning issues as quickly as possible. RuTC and HCUC remain committed to the merger, and it is the intention that merger will go ahead with only a relatively brief delay.
Ian Valvona, Chair of Governors at RuTC, said, “RuTC and HCUC are committed to merger. We believe that we are ‘Better together – Stronger together’ - a partnership recognised for providing inclusive education and training of the highest quality for our students and local communities.
I regret this recent delay, but I am confident that we will be able to swiftly work through the issues towards a new merger date”.
Nick Davies, Chair of Governors at HCUC added, “RuTC and HCUC are still engaged and committed to merger. The partnership remains strong and the opportunities to deliver better educational outcomes for our communities remains our priority. We believe we can develop a far stronger educational offer by working together.”
The RuTC Wellbeing Week will take place from 5th to the 9th July for RuTC staff. Each day has a different theme and are filled with several helpful and educational activities that staff can benefit from.
The theme of Monday is ‘Give’ and includes a quiz walk, fitness challenge, various talks on mental health and a Pilates class.
Tuesday’s theme is ‘Be Active’ and involves fitness challenges, sports activities, quizzes and an Indian massage workshop.
Wednesday’s theme is ‘Connect’, in which a joint RUTC/HCUC staff virtual event will take place discussing values and culture. There will also be live music held for staff followed by the staff awards.
The theme for Thursday is ’Take Notice’ and features several advantageous workshops, including; mindfulness, bakery and movement and relaxation.
Finally, on Friday the theme is ’Keep Learning’, and some events on the final day include a mindfulness workshop, pottery class, an art therapy session and a Local Government Pension Scheme webinar.
RuTC Assistant Principal, Alison de Lord, spoke of the purpose of the Wellbeing week; “We have all had a really challenging year, one way or another, particularly navigating ourselves, our students and our family and friends through a global pandemic.”
She then went on to say; “I hope that all staff find some time during our Wellbeing Week to take a breath, talk to colleagues and take part in some of the fantastic activities that our wellbeing team have arranged for the week. Whether that’s giving, being active, connecting, taking notice or keeping learning”.
Congratulations to Richmond upon Thames student Carly Baker who recently received a distinction grade in her AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting Level 4 exams.
The AAT Accounting Professional Diploma Level 4 is the advanced level of the AAT accounting qualifications and nationally, only approximately 2% of students receive a distinction. Additionally, due to COVID restrictions – most of Carly’s studying had to be done from home, along with balancing work and family life, so to be awarded a distinction is an amazing accomplishment.
Carly spoke of the support she received while studying at RuTC - “My level 4 tutor, Ros Jenkins, offered an exceptional level of support. Just two weeks after I started my Level 4 course, the country went into a national lockdown and I went from classroom learning to online learning. Throughout the year, I spent the majority of my study time learning at home and online, however Ros adjusted so well to online teaching and was always available to assist or answer any questions. She went above and beyond what I expected in her level of support”.
Rosalind Jenkins, Carly’s tutor expressed her happiness on her accomplishment saying “This is an outstanding achievement. Carly showed determination and commitment throughout the course, and her result is well deserved. This qualification will help Carly further her career in finance and we wish her every success for the future.”
For more information on our AAT Level 4 Course please click here
This week, Access to Higher Education Art and Design RuTC students launched their Oxy(re)generation exhibition which runs up until 25th July and is held in Orleans House Gallery. The launch night on 22nd June saw nearly 100 people attend.
The exhibition features the work of 13 artists from the course and invites audiences to learn more about the climate crisis, biodiversity and how we can fix our relationship with nature.
Through fine art, graphics, sculpture, and architecture, Oxy[re]generation presents the artistic and scientific research and ideas of the students with brand new pieces of work. Playful, imaginative, and future focused, this is an exciting opportunity to see the debut of a fresh cohort of West London artists before they begin to pursue their artistic careers.
Art and Design teacher Jo Terrell expressed her delight with how the launch night went, saying “Last night was an amazing achievement for the Access to HE, Art & Design students, they worked tirelessly to put on this show and with the support of Richmond Arts Service and Orleans House Gallery, led by Jocelyn Cheek, pulled together their first ever show.
"Students were excited running up to the event and engaged with visitors who turned up, talking animatedly about their work. Visitors were encouraged to engage in one of the students pieces by writing their hopes on a card and hanging it on one of the 7 branches arranged on the wall.
"It was a real success and has done wonders for the student’s confidence and belief in their own abilities. I am so proud of what they have all achieved.“
Take a look at some photos from the exhibition below.
An informative Work Experience Week, hosted by ISG, took place during June for Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) students involving talks, group discussions, activities, and Q&A sessions. It was attended by 50 Construction and the Built Environment and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering students.
The event was hosted by ISG, the company responsible for building the colleges new main building and are currently constructing the new Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) building on the Twickenham site.
ISG's Operations Director, Wayne Burfield, Education Engagement Manager, Karen Vigar, Senior Project Manager, Richard Slade, Senior Social Value Manager, Tania (TJ) Jacobs and Early Careers Talent Partner, Claire Davis, were in attendance to provide valuable information for the students.
The students got the chance to hear from ISG’s senior social value manager, Tania Jacobs, about her career journey from being a student at RuTC to an ISG employee. Tania spoke about how RuTC gave her the platform for the career she has today, and she also highlighted ISG’s social value commitments such as training, employment and work experience.
Graduate trainee, James McCulloch, who spent a year on placement on the College’s Richmond Building project spoke about his placement year and how it supported his final year of study to complete his degree. James has now re-joined ISG through their graduate programme.
Day one of the Work Experience Week took place on campus and involved an Introduction to ISG as a company, followed by an overview of the new STEM facility, which gave students the chance to use VR headsets for a virtual tour of the new building, a talk on the typical day of an ISG employee, and a group discussion on Building, Information, Modelling (BIM) technology using smart devices.
On Day two, students learned about how to research an organisation in preparation for an interview, how to prepare their application, how to find jobs and what makes a great CV, ending the day with a Q&A session.
Day three began with a recap on employability and personal branding, then onto a talk on the different learning pathways and qualifications, a career journey panel with ISG graduates, apprentices, and industrial placement students discussed their different routes of entry into the company. Finally, the day ended with a Q&A session and summary of the week’s events.
Sheila Fraser Whyte, executive director for business development and innovation at RuTC, said: “This event with ISG was the first of many. Students and key stakeholders were given a great opportunity to have a look behind the scenes of their new STEM Centre, seeing every step from the start of the construction project to the finished building.
For information on Construction and Engineering courses, please click here.
For more information on apprenticeships at RuTC please click here
Congratulations to Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) student Aryan Dugar who won the Jack Petchey Achievement Award, having been recognised for his hard work and commitment to the RuTC’s Level 2 Networking and Cybersecurity course.
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme recognises the positive contributions, efforts and endeavours of young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. These achievements include being a great role model, volunteering, overcoming personal challenges and supporting others over and above expectations. For the Award, the winner will receive a £250 grant, which can be used for anything that will benefit their class.
Aryan was described by his peers as being “friendly, kind and helpful to others, demonstrating a positive attitude with good organisational and timekeeping skills”. His peers have shown their appreciation for Aryan’s participation within the group by nominating him for the Jack Petchey Achievement Award.
One of Aryans peers says that he was “always attentive and hardworking”, while another said how he was “nice and friendly to others and always helped with anything other students didn’t know and that he supported them in everything they did”. Congratulations to Aryan on his award.
For information on our Networking and Cybersecurity course please click here
Last week marked a successful Employability and Life Skills week at RuTC, with several informative talks and workshops being held for students at the College.
The aim of the event was to give students an opportunity to explore the wider context of employability and to gain some insight or skills that will support them after they have left college. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place, the event was held remotely, and each session was attended by large numbers, ranging from 90 and 170 students.
Throughout the week students benefited from workshops to help them find employment, along with workshops on personal development. Some of the events held included a CV Writing and Interview preparation workshop, hosted by Olivia Wait & Francis Kennedy from the RuTC Careers Team. Emma and Kasia, NHS Education Wellbeing Practitioners, and Sally Teasdale, Mental Health Practitioner for RuTC, hosted several events for personal wellbeing that included workshops on motivation, self-esteem and dealing with rejection, resilience, managing stress and pressure, and practicing mindfulness.
Other highlights of the week included:
• Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Workshops involving gender, race and ethnic identity and autism and sexual orientation/gender identity.
• Guest speaker and alumni, TJ Jacobs spoke about what led her to her job as Senior Social Action Manager for ISG, the construction company that’s building RuTC’s new campus.
• A talk from Lily Satterwaite and her team from Microsoft talking about the different routes into the company.
• Lucy Williams (The Little HR Department) and Tracey Corney (Astrea HR) both have their own independent HR companies but co-host the “My Mate in HR” podcast, discussed how to deal with discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
• Pınar Akkaya who has worked with many high-profile companies and is now supporting RuTC as an Enterprise Adviser for the RuTC careers service, talked about using your digital profile to get noticed for all the right reasons.
• Unsal Kaynak from National Citizen Service spoke about being an active citizen and how it can be good for society and make you stand out from the crowd.
• A talk on Finances from Jay Patel, Head of Finance, and the Finance Team at RuTC.
•Digital Safety/Citizenship talk with James McRae, Head of Learning Resources.
Rachel Scarborough, Head of Student Experience at RuTC spoke of the benefits that the Employability and Life Skills week had for students. She said, “The sessions looked at what may not have been covered throughout their careers journey until now, and the sessions gave them the opportunity to investigate discussion points further, and to know that there is support and opportunities out there for them. Due to the success of the event we will be looking to run similar sessions during induction and throughout the year to support our student’s wider career provision.”
For information on applying to Richmond upon Thames College, please click here
We are delighted to announce that Malachi Kirby, a former Performing Arts student of RuTC, won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Small Axe.
Malachi played the role of Darcus Howe in Mangrove, the first installment of films from the Small Axe series. Mangrove is based on the true story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black Activists who had clashed with police during a protest march in Notting Hill in 1970.
Malachi was nominated among elite actors such as Kunal Nayyar, Criminal: UK (Netflix) Michael Sheen, Quiz (ITV) Micheal Ward, Small Axe (BBC One) Rupert Everett, Adult Material (Channel 4)Tobias Menzies, The Crown (Netflix), but he himself took the BAFTA award.
Previous to this, he has had appearances in Eastenders , Roots Doctor Who and Black Mirror.
Richmond-upon-Thames College is extremely proud of the achievement of our former student and Malachi’s personal tutor Jane Swift at the college spoke of her delight on his win - “I’m ecstatic because of how hard he worked, to be able to get work acting consistently and always looking to build on his career.”
Jane said she was “really proud to see him getting the recognition that he deserved.”
She remembers him being a “shy, quiet student but never missed a day. He carried on grafting every day, learning a wide range of acting techniques and styles of performance because he all he wanted to do was be an actor.”
For information on our Acting course at Richmond-upon-Thames College click here
This week, Richmond upon Thames student Georgia Lewitt won the Jack Petchey award for Dance.
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme recognises the positive contributions, efforts and endeavors of young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. These achievements include being a great role model, volunteering, overcoming personal challenges and supporting others over and above expectations. For the Award, the winner will receive a £250 grant, which can be used for anything that will benefit their class.
Each term, outstanding RuTC students are nominated by their classmates for a Jack Petchey Award and this week Georgia received the award for her contributions and commitment to her course.
Georgia’s tutor Hannah Fryer said "Georgia has been unwavering in her commitment to her dance studies this year. She has worked hard to overcome her own challenges, always ready to receive feedback from both her peers and tutors alike. She is always incredibly kind and helpful to her fellow dancers and is an incredibly worthy winner."
Find out more about Dance courses by clicking here.