‘APpy Christmas Day Five

Some of you may be lucky enough to be jetting off on your hols this Christmas and if you are, you may well be served your onboard snacks by one of our alumni…

Day Five – Sian Toulson (words by Elayne Shannon)

Sian started at the Lincoln College Group by enrolling on the BTEC L3 Diploma in Travel & Tourism at Newark. Her ambition was always to have a career in aviation operations.

She took part in all enrichment activities throughout her time at college (she was even spotted at EuroDisney and invited to audition for a Disney Princess role!) but perhaps the most important of those were the sessions at East Midlands Airport. Sian was able to “role play” her dream job of passenger handling agent during these visits in May 2015 & 2016. The hands-on activities covered career talks and how to run an airport and the visits linked into units on Customer Services and Preparation for Employment. Sian was able to experience the airport first hand and to be assessed in a variety of customer service and employment situations.

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Move forward 12 months and Sian (one of last year’s Lincoln College award winners) is doing the “job” for real! She ‘landed’ her dream career and joined Jet2 as cabin crew after six months working as a passenger handling agent.

Sian recently chatted with the current year 1 Travel & Tourism students from Newark College. She looked fantastic in her uniform and was eager to tell the learners all about her exciting new career – directly gained from the enrichment activities. Sian’s line manager said that she had made a fantastic impression on the team and I quote: “if you have any more like her  then please get them to apply as soon as possible – they are a credit to the college”

And in Sian’s own words:

Just thought I’d message and let you know I start flying as cabin crew this Monday; my first flight is to Rhodes! I’m super excited!! I’m working for Jet2 again and had my wings ceremony a couple weeks back after a month training in London! 

Just want to thank both you and Steve because I doubt I would have ever got here without everything you both initially did for me and all the support you both gave! I really appreciate it so thank you!

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‘APpy Christmas Day Four

Here is the latest entry of the second annual ’12 Days of ‘APpy Christmas’. Today’s focus is on the Air & Defence Career College, with a series of success stories from one of the newest areas of the college.

Day Four – Adam Driffill

Adam’s mum can take up the reigns for this story…

My son Adam Driffill was accepted onto the above course back in September 2016. Adam has a medical diagnosis of Asperger’s, which is on the autistic spectrum.
At first, we were all concerned (including Adam himself), as to whether he would be able to cope with the transition from a school setting, with full time one to one support, to having to take the 50 mile round bus trip from Louth to Lincoln independently, let alone attend the college.

We were all pleasantly surprised and relieved when Adam settled in so well. At first, he was socially challenged, but the amazing staff and students all made Adam feel part of the team. The course has given him the confidence and independence to spread his wings, something we never thought was achievable. Adam pushed himself to socialize outside of college and thrived on the RAF visits the course provided.

Adam has a passion for aircraft and the RAF, which of course helped him keep focused and interested. I cannot fault the support he received especially from his tutor Mr Richard Thornhill., who Adam has the greatest respect and admiration for.
Alongside the Air & Defense Course, Adam achieved a Level 2 PEO Engineering, GCSE English, and attended five days a week. The physical components of the course have overwhelming boosted his fitness and wellbeing, to the extent he continues to attends a gym in his spare time.

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I am so proud of how Adam has developed and improved during his time at Lincoln College and as a parent I would highly recommend this course for any student who has an interest in a career in the Royal Air Force or Aeronautical Industry.

It was unfortunate that Adam was not accepted into the RAF due to his condition but I am convinced that the skills, confidence and experience he gained from the course helped him secure his Apprenticeship with Anglia Waters.

BONUS: A few further snapshots of learner success from the Career College:

Kerry Hyde, a L2 Engineering student who passed all aspects of RAF Selection but failed the medical due to hearing issues. She was hugely disappointed but still very determined to secure an Apprenticeship. She returned in Sep 17 on L3 Engineering and secured an Advanced Apprenticeship with Lister Group Mercedes and she is the first Female Diagnostic Technician that they have employed and has just enjoyed her first week at the Mercedes Auto Sports Academy in Milton Keynes.

Abbie Askey, a L2 ICT student who passed all aspects of RAF Selection but failed the medical due to lower limb issues. Abbie was always in the forefront in volunteering to use her ICT skills to help develop teaching resources and engaging with local children during STEM Events. She had a change of career progression from ICT / Engineering and has secured an Apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant in William Alvey Primary School.

Luke Ferrier, a L2 Engineering student who was determined from the start to secure an apprenticeship in the Aerospace Engineering Sector and was short listed for AAR Corps but narrowly missed out in the last four. He completed his L2 and secured an Advanced L3 Engineering Design & Manufacturing Apprenticeship with ITP Engineering who develop, design and manufacture precision engine components for BAe Systems & Rolls Royce.

And finally…

Our seven fine young men ( L2 & L3 Engineering ) who have entered Service with the Royal Air Force securing L3 Advanced Apprenticeships in Aerospace Engineering :

Joe Brown – Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic ( Mechanical)
Cameron Maxwell – Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic ( Mechanical)
Edward Campion – General Technician Mechanical
William Wallace – Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic ( Mechanical)
Kieron Davies – Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic ( Mechanical)
Cameron Mawson – General Technician Mechanical
Franklin Smith – Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic (Avionics)

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‘APpy Christmas Day Three

On the third day of Christmas my AP gave to me…a pair of heart-warming stories from the school of Sport:

Day Three – Kevin Toyne and Adie Short

Before choosing to study on the FdSc Sports Therapy, Health and Fitness course at the age of 36, I had worked within the leisure industry, working my way up into various management roles (Duty Manager, Fitness Manager Sales and Retention Manager). As I progressed I found myself moving away from one to one interactions with fitness clients and instead my job became office based, where a combination of long hours and demotivation lead me to pursuing new avenues for retraining in a new skill. Sports therapy has always been an interest of mine but finding the correct course to fit in with my private and professional life was essential. After searching online I found the aforementioned course and decided to attend an open evening. Stewart Kelman showed me the first class facilities on offer and gave really informative information on what the course entailed, making me feel valued and extremely interested in placing my application through UCAS.

My overall goal from completing the course was to obtain a range of skills in sports massage, exercise prescription and sports therapy, to lead to the setting up of my own business on achievement of my degree.

The requirement of completing work placements within the qualification proved to be essential for my future successes. I sourced my own work placement with Sheffield United Football Club initially for 120 hours, working as an assistant soft tissue therapist within the first team medical department. What I observed and practically performed gave me a great insight into the standards required to be successful within the world of professional sport.

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Student finance was excellent throughout the two years of study and the amount of bursary funding I had available to upskill was always clear. I used this to complete qualifications in areas such as first aid, rock taping, purchasing equipment and sports massage. Engaging in these courses enhanced my skills to become a well-rounded sports therapist along with making me appreciate the value of budgeting my education funds to get the most out of the course.

During the two years of study the teaching and mentoring was excellent. Each member of the teaching team contributed to my development and offered clear and concise lectures whilst being easily accessible if further help was required. I would not like to thank a single member of staff but rather say a few words about each individual:

David Horsfield – Always approachable and very knowledgeable, a great guy. He was always ready to help and had the student’s best intentions in mind. An excellent lecturer and personal tutor.

Alex Sheldon – Very knowledgeable and always provided fun lectures. We held a good relationship and he gave me very useful insights in to working in elite sport. A lovely guy who helped me a lot with personal issues.

Stewart Kelman – A constant source of information throughout the course, providing me with life changing opportunities. He made every task interesting and everything was done for a reason. I was thinking about Stew on my lap of the pitch after gaining promotion with Sheffield United. I always want to make him proud for the rest of my career.

Michelle McGill – Always positive with her approach to lectures, giving us clear instructions. Very supportive with my work at Sheffield United and setting up my own business.

Overall I really enjoyed my time on the course and completing my study at Lincoln College. I thank you for giving me a life changing experience.

Kevin Toyne, FdSc Sports Therapy, Health and Fitness

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Adie Short

Before attending Lincoln College I had no clear direction in life, I had two young children and I was working part-time in retail to earn a living. As my children grew older and more independent I started to have more time to look at career options. Through attending an open day at Newark College I found my way into the world of beauty therapy, not the nails and waxing side but massage based. It was something that really interested me. Unfortunately, we did not have enough students for the course to proceed and so I was offered an alternative course at the Lincoln College campus that would not just be massage therapy but also spa therapy; and so my journey began.

I completed my year long course and came across many obstacles with getting into the Spa industry as I was male and had tattoos, this really frustrated me as I was very confident in my therapy skills and knew I had so much to offer. On discussion with the knowledgeable staff within student services I was shown the FdSc in Sports Therapy, Health and Fitness course which really excited me and I could see my progression into the sports therapy field rather than just massage and spa therapy.

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The two years spent on the course developed my knowledge and skills in psychology, physiology and research skills, but most importantly I enhanced my vocational skills through attending events such as the Lincoln 10K and Half marathon. These skills have allowed me to get myself out there and start working within the sports therapy and sport industry. During the course the bursary allowed me to complete two external sports therapy qualifications and two first aid courses, and I have personally purchased equipment that I am using to start my own sports therapy business.

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Since graduating I am continuing my studies on the BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy degree. I have started my own business which is in its infancy but is starting to show signs of picking up due to my commitment to achieve. My future goals are to work in teaching and I have just started working for FE Resources at Lincoln College. My new challenge is only possible due to the help, guidance and support I have received from my tutors; namely David Horsfield, Michelle McGill, Alex Sheldon and Stewart Kelman and obviously the hard work and determination on my part.

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I am excited for my future.

Adrian Short

‘APpy Christmas Day One

Welcome to day one of the second annual ’12 Days of ‘APpy Christmas’. This year the focus is firmly on our VIPs and the reason we are all here: our learners.

The AP team has worked with a cross-section of staff to gather a series of  success stories and for each of the next 12 days we will share these with you. Christmas is the time of happiness and celebration and these next 12 posts confirm what we already know – that we encourage, train and inspire exceptional extraordinary learners who go on to great things after leaving us.

Enjoy the blogs, share your thoughts with us as ever and have a fantastic Christmas from all of the AP team.

Day One – Jerome Fountain & Penny Taylor

Our first entry is a follow up to one of the most ‘liked’ and discussed posts we’ve ever had on Workplace, Penny Taylor’s #feelgoodfriday from 03/11/17:

https://lcgroup.facebook.com/groups/1783037095307813/permalink/1996475473963973/

A lot of you have asked for an update on this story so here it is:

On the first day of Christmas my student said to me I’ve been on a shopping spree…

I recently wrote about a student whom college had helped to buy some clothes to go on his NCS trip. The student really enjoyed the experience, having never been away from home before. He arrived organised and prepared, but went away with trepidation. Feedback from the NCS trip was good  and the student felt he has gained confidence to try new things and has developed his teamwork skills. It has been noticeable in the classroom that he is visibly more confident and this has allowed him to more readily ask questions and speak to others.

Penny
Jerome Fountain

The work experience gave him an insight into what he would like to do when he finishes college and we have set targets accordingly. I called in to see the manager of Sports Direct and gave verbal and written feedback about the young lady so I am hoping this has been recognised in store and through the letter to head office.

While there have been many comments about this, I actually think this is what we do on a daily basis across the college; pastoral care takes up a huge amount of time outside the classroom to enable learning to take place in the classroom.

Merry Christmas from Penny, Jerome and all the Foundations team and learners at Newark College.

See you on Monday for Day 2!

 

 

Social Media Learning

 Did you know that social media is being used to great effect in our learning spaces? The virtual learning environment can be just as important as our traditional classrooms and over the last month we have profiled some excellent practice. Have a read and then have a go yourself! First up is the following case study from Tanya Hurst in Hair & Beauty:

Within the Hair and Beauty department we realised that we needed to move with the times in relation to the technology that our students and staff were using.

We have listened to what our industries are currently using and have brought in the use of Facebook and Instagram which has helped us to focus on our customer service and to also enable us to be much quicker at responding to client queries.   It is also a great way to encourage and receive client feedback on our services.

We have set up pages for both Instagram and Facebook which have enabled us to reach out to more people in relation to advertising our services and products.

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We have also got our staff and students to take pictures and upload to our pages. This gives the client more confidence in our capabilities by seeing what we do and the results we can achieve. This is helping us to build a stronger relationship with clients and local employers.

We use our social media accounts to promote monthly special offers.  Our Facebook page is linked to our personal accounts which allow us to promote on all the local Facebook selling pages reaching a greater audience in our area and at no cost to our department.

Our students also use this as a tool to show their work and the high standards they are achieving. This gives them a sense of pride and a buzz knowing other people are seeing their work and perhaps liking or sharing it to other on social media.

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Through the powers of social media we have increased our revenue and our client base by a substantial amount, which then gives our students a more realistic industry experience.

It is helping us to get our brand out there and gets people talking about what we do which in turn is raising our profile within the industry.  We feel that we are starting to become a more respected salon within our local area.

We have asked all our students to have Instagram accounts to use as a portfolio to showcase all their work. This is a good way to show potential employers what they are capable of and is something visual that they can take to interviews etc. This is also a great platform to promote themselves to potential clients.

You might also be interested in this video that showcases the use of Facebook, Yammer and QR codes across a range of our provision:

Do we maximise our learning environments??

 

Now I must admit from the outset of this post that this is a topic that I feel quite strongly about and as someone who ‘teaches the teachers’, I spend a considerable amount of time debating and discussing in class.

When was the last time you took some time to reflect on your classroom layout and ask questions such as:

  • What does the classroom layout look like from a student perspective?
  • Do you regularly check if everyone can see and hear properly?
  • Do you change your layout according to different activities or at different times of the year?
  • Can you justify your choice of classroom seating arrangement on the basis of your student’s needs for that lesson?

As teachers, I am sure that we are all aware of the impact that the room layout can have on learning. However, for those of us that did our teacher training many moons ago, here is a quick recap of some associated theory you may have forgotten:

What the research suggests…

A study involving a class of fourth graders in Germany (Marx, Fuhrer & Hartig, 1999) looked at whether different seating arrangements led to students asking more questions. The researchers observed 53 German and maths lessons over eight weeks and in all cases, the teacher was at the front – either sitting at the desk or standing.

They then tested two seating arrangements – traditional rows/columns and a semicircle. ‘Our results showed that question-asking was more frequent when the children were seated in the semicircular arrangement than in the row-and-column arrangement,’ the researchers reported. Additionally, Fernandes, Huang & Rinaldo (2011) suggest that participation and engagement is beneficial for student learning and that: ‘Classroom participation is associated with the generation and promotion of higher order thinking skills, and this cognitive stimulation provides students with a different environment which promotes positive and effective learning experiences …’. Therefore, getting the seating arrangements correct is important for the success of your lesson.

But I don’t have time I hear you cry!!!!

Admittedly we are not a school environment where a single teacher can take total ownership over a classroom and create an array of various learning zones within their given space. However, we are teachers who for a block of time are provided with a space that comprises of tangible things, some that move (tables, chairs, etc.) and others that do not (whiteboards, computers, etc.), to carry out the task of learning. We design activities that we feel will best engage our learners to help them understand and make sense of the content we are delivering and yet rarely on my learning walks do I see teachers taking ownership of these spaces, setting up their room in such a way that it is in harmony with the tasks they have prepared.

Often, the ‘no time to move the room around’ comment is heard, my riposte is that YOU probably don’t, however, you have x amount of students that are all ready to engage in learning and as soon as you enter the room, ask them to help set the room up, make them feel empowered to contribute, if you’re feeling really brave, give them some details as to what they are doing today (i.e. lots of small group tasks) and let them decide on the best room layout. I have often followed a teacher into a room and my students are already in there but the room is not right for the activities that I have planned. Therefore, the first job is to get the students up and re-arranging the room. Don’t be afraid to do this, your lesson and their learning will be improved by taking this seemingly insignificant step. The message is clear, please feel empowered for that block of time to rearrange YOUR learning environment to the layout you desire to maximise the learning that can take place within it. The quote below is from US environmental psychologist Professor Robert Sommer…

‘The teacher’s educational philosophy will be reflected in the layout of the classroom. The teacher should be able to justify the arrangement of desks and chairs on the basis of certain educational goals. There is no ideal classroom layout for all activities.’

The bit I really like about this quote is that you should be able to JUSTIFY your classroom layout based upon the goals you want to achieve. If someone asked you why you had chosen this particular layout for today’s lesson, could you link the needs of your learners to the lesson activities/content, or would you respond with ‘errrr…because this is how the room was when I walked in’??