Second year A level Biology students at Richmond upon Thames College went on a field trip in September to complete their required Ecology Practical Assessment. The trip took place at the FSC Field Work Centre Juniper Hall, which is a superb country house located in the scenic, unspoiled area of the chalk North Downs and at the edge of Box Hill in Surrey. It is an Area of Outstanding Beauty and has many habitats of scientific importance for our students to learn from. A trip to Juniper Hall allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural world, taking in its sights, sounds and smells.
This outing was a fantastic opportunity for our students to explore the local environment and bring the curriculum they have been learning to life. The excursion involved a woodland walk and grassland study, where tutors asked their students to study the ecology of a habitat. This location is particularly interesting as it allowed the students a range of habitats to choose from for their study. The students were lucky enough to also have the resource of an excellent ecologist from the centre, who had fantastic knowledge of the area to help them with their studies.
Lecturer, Annette Prestidge who organized the trip said, “Our eager Biology students were able to carry out an investigation comparing the effect of human management on the biotic and abiotic components of two different woodlands and the effect of human trampling on the chalk grassland. We were lucky with the weather on this day and were able to enjoy our lunch outdoors looking over the valley and the lovely scenery of Box Hill. The students thoroughly enjoyed their experience.”
Find out more about our A Level courses and how to apply for 2024 here.
In early October, Richmond upon Thames College’s 1st year A Level Politics students took an important and insightful trip to the Houses of Parliament to help aid their studies and witness parliamentary debates. The trip was recounted by student, Sofia Seymour:
“The Houses of Parliament are home to various sights and sectors that serve as tourist attractions, a place of educational opportunity and where laws and legislation are created and debated across the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Our trip to Parliament began with locking away our phones and cameras before being taken on a tour. The tour began with viewing historical paintings, which detailed how the Houses of Parliament came to be, statues of various past political figures that the Suffragettes bound themselves to and intricate designs within the buildings, from mosaic depicting patron saints - to floor tiles showing national flowers.
This choice of intricate interior design was not continued into the House of Commons, which is mainly finished with green leather and dark wood. As guests at the House of Commons, we, alongside other members of the public, were situated behind a glass window and able to watch debates between members of Parliament. The topic on this day was Housing, which saw deputy Labour leader, Angela Rayner debate with Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Conservative party member, Michael Gove. Subjects such as non-existent meat taxes, cancelled transport links and the current housing crisis were discussed and disputed. Minutes after we left, the Prime Minister delivered a statement covering the conflict in Israel and Palestine.
Moving onto the House of Lords, we observed its ornate designs and decorations; including a golden centre piece, a red motif and in contrast to the House of Commons, no window separating the public from government officials. The discussions that we witnessed were centred around water and sewage regulations. We watched politicians converse for a few minutes and were then taken to a workshop which focused on pressure groups and think tanks. During this workshop, we learned about various groups, both inside and outside government and their differing processes. We had also planned to meet MP for Twickenham, Munira Wilson, but were unable to on this occasion due to the Prime Minister's involvement in the House of Commons at the time.”
Tutor Kasim Agpak commented on the outing, “It was a great experience for our students to visit and observe both houses at the heart of British democracy. They have also learnt about different ways of participating in politics, which is significant considering the increase in political apathy in recent years.”
Browse our courses and find out how to apply for 2024 here.
Last week, Level 3 Early Years and Childcare student, Ruby Beck, received the Jack Petchey award to celebrate her hard work and dedication studying at Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC).
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.
Each term exceptional students are nominated by their classmates to win a Jack Petchey award. The winner receives a £300 grant, which can be used for anything that will benefit the class.
Ruby won the award this term for being a motivated learner who always gives 100% in her work and attitude to learning. She has also recently gained employment at her placement in prestigious local nursery, Windsor Kindergarten, receiving excellent feedback from her employers and parents.
On top of this, Ruby plays an active part in the running of the Early Years department TikTok account. Showcasing some of the highlights of the course content and advertising the facilities and benefits of studying at RuTC.
Ruby’s tutor, Frankie Holliday comments, “Ruby is always polite and professional. She has helped others settle into their college experience this September, making them feel included and welcome in class and around college.”
Learn more about studying Early Years and Childcare at RuTC here.
Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) Travel & Tourism and Business students have benefitted from some fabulous visitor talks over the last couple of weeks. This is part of our observance of Colleges Week and celebrating the brilliant opportunities we can provide for our students.
RuTC has developed a longstanding relationship with Hilton Hotel at Syon Park, Brentford in recent years and this month Hilton Group is celebrating Careers at Hilton Live. As part of the celebration, RuTC welcomed Hilton Group representatives to the college on 11 October to inform the relevant students on work experience opportunities available as well as part-time and seasonal jobs.
Last year some of our Catering students completed their work experience at the Hilton and a couple have been offered jobs and this year Hilton has agreed to consider Business, Travel & Tourism, and Plumbing students for work experience as well.
The event was attended by General Manager, Greg Crawford, Director of Operations, Cameron Townend, HR Manager, Sanchitha Uduwavidana and Erja Gunn from the Marketing team. They spoke about their career pathways and delivered a presentation on Hilton Hotel and the various opportunities available. The engaging presentation by the Hilton professionals evinced a lot of interest among the students and they expressed their excitement to try Hilton Hotel at Syon Park for their work experience later in the year.
RuTC, Work Experience Coordinator, Tirthankar Bandyopadhyay who organized the event commented:
“Employer engagement is a great opportunity to bring the employers at the doorstep of the students. It helps in expanding their imagination, enhancing their aspiration and adds to their knowledge base and experience. Hilton has always been supportive towards our students. The collaboration adds to the skills-set of our students and increases their chances of gaining meaningful work experience, which can also lead to employment. The hotel also benefits from an inflow of fresh faces and a steady stream of enthusiastic workforce.”
During w/c 16 October, our Travel & Tourism and Business students were visited by four RuTC alumni, Andrew Mitich-Holmes, Zahra Virmani, Amelia Poniewierska and Simran Kaur, who presented what they went on to do post college.
Three of the students went on to study relevant business degrees at prestigious universities, including London South Bank. Simran is currently in her third year of university and is completing a work internship at renowned professional services company, Ernst & Young. Andrew and Zahra have both now finished their studies and Andrew is working full-time as a Digital Marketing Officer at Royal Star & Garter. Amelia went straight into employment after college and works as a Travel Consultant for a successful Travel Management company, Blue Cube. A role she acquired through employer connections at RuTC.
This was a fantastic opportunity for our current students to gain knowledge and support for their futures and ask questions to recent student alumni, who had been sitting in the student's exact shoes only a couple of years ago.
It was inspiring to hear these stories and the different journeys taken to reach individual goals. Travel & Tourism Lecturer Hannah Talabany, who arranged the speakers, expressed how “proud” she was to see her past students succeeding and speaking so confidently about their chosen career paths.
On the 10th of October 2023, Richmond upon Thames College marked and celebrated World Mental Health Day. A day dedicated to raising awareness and talking about mental health. The awareness day is run by The Mental Health Foundation and is given a different theme each year. The theme for this year is 'Mental Health is a Universal Human Right' - which is dedicated to addressing the inequalities in mental health and working towards good mental health for all, not just some.
RuTC were lucky to partner with some local wellbeing services, including A Dose of Nature and Mind Richmond, to help get our students and staff thinking about mental health and open up conversations around this subject. Our students also engaged in activities organised by our Student Services team, which involved arts and crafts and sharing their reflective thoughts, which were displayed in our ground floor Atrium.
To continue the focus of this important initiative, our students will be discussing topics around mental health in their tutorials throughout this week. They will be looking at the importance of self-care, as well as where they can find support within the college. We are very lucky to have a wonderful Student Services team and onsite Counsellors available to support our students and their needs during their time at RuTC.
Find out more about World Mental Health Day and how you can get involved here.
In addition, over the next couple of weeks we will be supporting Colleges Week, engaging with local stakeholders and running engaging events and activities for our students and staff. #LoveOurColleges
Richmond upon Thames College and the Richmond upon Thames School (RTS) have announced a groundbreaking proposal to establish an innovative, new Sixth Form Plus.
The partnership will enhance the local educational landscape by offering an unrivalled sixth form experience and support students' prospects.
The new Sixth Form Plus creates a co-delivered, hybrid teaching model, overseen by a senior post Head of Sixth Form. Staff from the Richmond upon Thames School will have the opportunity to teach A-level courses, enriching their career development while assuring parents of the quality of education provided.
The new Sixth Form Plus will provide students with a unique curriculum encompassing 21 different A-level options, including subjects such as Architecture, Fine Art, Psychology, Music Technology, and Economics. Additionally, state-of-the-art facilities will offer a comprehensive range of vocational courses from Accountancy to Travel and Tourism, comprising 27 distinct vocational routes, including BTEC Level 1, 2 & 3.
The partnership enables a clear sixth-form progression, and will operate under a formal partnership of co-ownership, supported by an Executive Management Board. This board will be co-chaired by the Richmond upon Thames School Headteacher Kelly Dooley and Richmond College Principal Gavin Hughes. This will ensure effective governance and reporting to the respective governing bodies.
The partnership was launched at an event at the college attended by representatives for the Department for Education, and the Association of Colleges.
Gavin said, “Students will get an amazing offer. They will be both part of the school and part of the college and will get the best that both can offer. Students will access both buildings and benefit from double the pastoral and academic support, and twice the range of enrichment and work experience. This ambitious initiative underscores our commitment to providing local students with world-class education – it also exemplifies our shared values and high expectations, which will be delivered with an emphasis on wellbeing, nurturing and top-tier teaching facilities.”
Kelly said, “At the Richmond upon Thames School (RTS), we have always prided ourselves on taking an innovative approach to education, serving our local community, and doing the ordinary differently. We are thrilled about what we know will be a transformational partnership between ourselves, Richmond upon Thames College, and the wider HRUC group of colleges. With the introduction of RTS Sixth Form Plus, we will offer our students a seamless transition to post-16 education. Starting from September 2024, our post-16 (Key Stage 5) students will have the opportunity to benefit from a diverse post-16 curriculum and exceptional teaching within a familiar setting. Together, we look forward to setting a new standard for post-16 education, both locally and beyond.”