Chichester College is ‘Outstanding’ says OFSTED
Chichester College has been named as one of the most outstanding places of learning in the country following a recent inspection by Ofsted, which gave the College a glowing report.
During 3rd to 7th March, Chichester College was inspected by HMI Lead Inspector Matt Vaughan and a team of 12 other Ofsted inspectors. Chichester College is the only College on the South / South Coast area to be awarded Outstanding across each of the main areas inspected since a notoriously tough new inspection framework was put into place in September 2012.
‘Outstanding’ is currently achieved by only six other further education institutions in the country.
In addition to overall effectiveness, Chichester College was graded Outstanding across the board for all of the key inspection criteria including Outcomes for Learners, the Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and the Effectiveness of Leadership and Management.
The report states that: “learners achieve very high standards and succeed in gaining their qualifications as a result of inspirational teaching and learning. Success rates are outstanding.” Chichester College’s success rates have been the best in Sussex for the past four years and are consistently above the national average.
Inspectors commented on the outstanding knowledge and skills of well-qualified teachers that prepare students very effectively for further study and employment. The College’s highly effective, responsive and wide-ranging curriculum was given a special mention by Ofsted inspectors, as they ‘meet the needs of employers, businesses and communities across the region.’
The outstanding care and support provided to students in order to help them reach their full potential was praised during the inspection, and the areas of Health, Social Care and Early Years, Animal Care and Veterinary Science, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, English, Business, Administration and Law in Apprenticeships were also judged and given the accolade of ‘Outstanding’.
Chichester College staff were praised for their ‘unrelenting determination to ensure learners achieve to their full potential’ and ‘place learners at the heart of all college activity’. The Ofsted report also highlighted Chichester College’s philosophy on equal opportunities for all its students. The report says: “Teachers and support staff ensure all learners, especially those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those from challenging backgrounds, achieve to their full potential.”
Chichester College has 4,000 full-time students and 11,000 part-time students. There are two main sites in the heart of Chichester and Brinsbury, near Pulborough, work-based learning offices in Worthing, functional skills and return to work classes in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, Chichester College has many learners from Sussex areas.
Chichester College Principal Shelagh Legrave said: “I am so proud as Principal of Chichester College to have received such a truly outstanding Ofsted report. In 2014, thirteen Ofsted Inspectors rated the College as Outstanding in all four key grades. It is a true testament to the fantastic staff of the College and a ringing endorsement of their commitment to provide exceptional support to our students. The lead Ofsted Inspector commented that the drive of staff to ensure students achieved their potential was so engrained in our culture, it could almost be touched. Inspectors spoke to many students, employers, staff and other stakeholders during their visit and we would like to thank them for the huge amount of positive feedback they gave during the inspection.”
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Chichester College Crowned Ideal Home Show Young Gardeners of the Year
Chichester College Horticulture students have officially been crowned national ‘treble winners’ after being awarded Gold medal in the ‘Ideal Home Show Young Gardeners of the Year’ competition for the third consecutive year at The Ideal Home Show at Earls Court in London. They were also awarded ‘Best in Show’. They are pictured here accepting the award from TV presenter David Domoney and Judge Diarmid Gavin
The annual competition is run in association with the Prince’s Foundation celebrating young ‘green’ talent in the UK. Six Horticultural Colleges go head-to-head each year to create a show stopping garden for public display seen by a quarter of a million people, based on the organic and sustainable principles that the charity’s President, HRH the Prince of Wales, has championed for so long.
Each College was given a 5.5m x 4m plot to both plan and design a unique and sustainable garden to inspire city dwellers, showing what can be achieved in urban locations. A panel of experts, including Diarmid Gavin, judged the gardens on 14 March and crowned Chichester College with the prestigious accolade against hot competition from five other leading Horticultural Colleges from around the country.
The team of students, led by Landscape Gardening tutor Mark Howard, constructed their show garden over six very long working days. Using recycled pallets as the cornerstone of their design, they created an urban oasis of colour and calm which captivated the judges.
Chichester College’s garden called 'Refreshing the Pallet', was made using 35 reclaimed wooden pallets and uses geometric shapes throughout – pyramids are featured to incorporate height and create focal viewpoints which can be seen from both seating areas due to clever use of reflection. A green roof and living walls also help to absorb noise and pollutants, while offering a habitat to encourage wildlife to flourish.
The students who took part were Will Williams, Katie Percival, Matt West, Tom Pentecost, Paul Oliver, and Kelsey Orr. Tom and Matt are products of school day release programmes at the College, so to achieve a Gold Medal is a great culmination of their learning journey. It will also greatly assist the careers of all the students to be involved with such a high profile success. Will is going onto the London Garden Design School and Katie will be progressing to University at the end of the course.
The team also included Jackie Lenharth from the Colleges support team who looked after the welfare of the students during their intensive build, and contributed her own planting skills as an ex-garden design student at Chichester College. Colin Lambert helped resource coordination and transport, along with driver and ex-Arboriculture student Darryl Watkins. The Head of Learning for Horticulture Steve Millam also managed to put two shifts in during the build.
Level 3 Horticulture student Katie Percival said: “My experience with the Ideal Home show has been one of the best; I enjoyed every minute of it and I am very thankful for the opportunity. I have gained so much knowledge and worked alongside some of the best lecturers I have been fortunate to meet, Mark Howard and Jackie Lenharth. Without their experience and encouragement we would not have been able to achieve those high standards Chichester College are known for. I will never forget this and it will remain with me throughout my life.”
Organiser of the Young Gardeners of the Year and TV presenter David Domoney comments: “This year’s competition has been great, energetic, and exciting - it's great to see the students showing such passion. It's more than weeding and planting, there's science and further business opportunities amongst other great things. The Ideal Home Show is a great exhibition for championing young talent and fantastic timing as we end the winter season and welcome in the spring."
Mark Howard said: "After winning the last two competitions the pressure was really on this year. The students put blood, sweat and tears into it, and they have been on a journey that has seen them support each other to complete a project to an incredibly high standard."
Dr Stephen Millam, Head of Horticulture at Chichester College, commented: “This team effort, led from the front as always by Mark Howard, has shown again the enormous expertise and talent within Horticulture at the College and will be looking for more success in the future."
Chichester College took home a £1,500 prize as well as the winning trophy.
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STEM Event is a Hit
The College’s Science, Technology and Engineering festival has inspired students and youngsters from a range of schools in the Sussex area to learn about career choices in the ever-growing field of Science and Technology.
The two-day Science, Technology and Engineering event from 21st-22nd March was jam packed with interactive stands from Animal Management showcasing ‘Science behind Vet Nursing’ where interested minds could view a variety of parasites under the microscope, to a Forensic Crime Scene investigative team explaining fascinating facts such as how insect larvae can be used to predict time of death.
An exciting atmosphere reigned in the Conference Hall, with constant visitors from Cross-College and schools such as Midhurst Rother and Bishop Luffa, who took full advantage of the educational, fun and informative career choices the College portrayed.
Awe-struck students also watched performances by TITAN the Robot who has performed alongside Rihanna, Will.i.am and most recently at the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi. TITAN, hitting heights of 8ft and making the audience laugh with his warm humour, took centre stage in Coasters to inspire the next generation of budding scientists and engineers.
Throughout the two-day event there were many fun-filled challenges that visitors could experience and enjoy. The Engineering team surpassed themselves with the provision of Welding & Fabrication, Blacksmithing, 3D Printing, Metalwork and the ‘Wheel Change Challenge’, which saw the quickest time from Curtis Ashill at an amazing 31 seconds.
Alongside the practical workshops, the schools and students were given the opportunity to talk to experts from the field about science, technology and engineering. Maths Lecturer Keith Sutton brainstormed with the youngsters about how Maths is used in everyday life and the innovations it has created. Engineering Lecturer Chris Goy pondered with students about technology moving into the future such as the super strong cement structure that has been used to build the new World Trade Centre in New York.
Bishop Luffa School said: “We didn’t realise how much there was on offer to our students at Chichester College. We have had a great day!”
Lecturers Andy Chater, Elaine Johnston, Mark Voar, Mark Nason, Martin Smailes and Sam Cook once again pulled out all the stops and put on a very impressive show that was educational, interactive and has hopefully inspired the next generation to take up a career in science, technology and engineering!
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College Hosts European Furniture Making Sudents
We had the opportunity to reciprocate Germany’s generosity back in January by welcoming European furniture making students from as far as Iceland, France, Croatia and Estonia. The furniture department ran workshops demonstrating cabinet making techniques from the 17th-21st March.
Germany was the first of seven ‘Teach Me Wood’ European workshops under the Leonardo da Vinci programme to be carried out over a two year period and the College hosted the second trip.
The Leonardo da Vinci programme is an EU funded Lifelong Learning Programme for young people aged 18 or above who want to improve both their working and language skills while experiencing life in another European country. The programme is also an opportunity for the participant and receiving organisation to exchange knowledge and ideas and to gain understanding of others by comparing their different cultures.
A Leonardo mobility project involves a sending and a hosting organisation and one or a group of individuals, selected on a motivation or competence basis.
It includes continuous tutoring, monitoring and a subsequent dissemination of ideas by both the sending and the hosting organisations.
The Teach Me Wood European visitors were met and greeted by Principal Shelagh Legrave, who encouraged them to see the beautiful sights of Chichester which has a wealth of architectural design around its walls. When the students were not in workshops learning how to make ‘presentation boxes’, they visited the Weald and Downland museum, Chichester Cathedral and the prestigious Rolls Royce Motors factory.
Students and staff from the European countries were extremely impressed by our new state-of-the-art Construction centre and were awe-struck when they saw the facilities we have as a College.
Furniture making lecturer Christian Notley said: “I think we can declare it as a huge success for both our visitors and our own students who have the opportunity to exchange ideas and skills from countries across Europe.”
Principal Shelagh Legrave said: “What a fantastic achievement and it just goes to show what passionate and motivated staff can achieve and how brilliant these European partnership projects can be.
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Murray's in a Hurry!
Level 2 Motorcycle student Murray Hambro has just completed his first season of racing in the Triumph Triple Challenge Racing series, riding his Triumph 675 in the British Superbike support race, and finished 28th out of 34 competitors.
For someone who has had no previous racing experience, this is a good result at a National level but for someone who has lost both legs below the knee, this is a remarkable achievement!
Murray is a former Lance Corporal in the Second Royal Tank Regiment, whose tank was hit by a mine whilst serving in Afghanistan resulting in severe injuries and the loss of both legs from below the knee. He does not let his disability get in the way of his College course and expects to do everything that the rest of the group does, although he is the first person who does NOT have to wear safety shoes in the workshop!
He recently took delivery of his 2014 Triumph 675 for the forthcoming season and fellow students helped in preparing his bike, fitting the hand operated rear brake control and thumb gear-change system. An improved way of keeping Murray’s left ‘foot’ on the footrest was also made using a strong magnet and a thin steel plate on his boot sole!
You can follow how Murray is doing at www.trueheroesracing.co.uk
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Design Student has Work Chosen for Brighton Festival
The prestigious Brighton Festival has selected a piece of design work to use for their marketing and promotion of the Brighton Festival Peacock Poetry Prize. The work was designed by Amy Gracie of BTEC Graphic Design & Photography (pictured here with her design).
The design partnership was put together by Douglas West and Bernadette Manning as a live design project in which the students were given the challenge of designing a range of six collectable postcards to promote the festival for 2015. Pippa Smith Head of the Creative Learning at the Brighton Festival has been a valuable contributor, helping to devise the project brief and meeting with the students to discuss the aims and design strategies that the Festival requires. This is “all good hands on experience for young designers.” The project will culminate when the student’s exhibit their work at The Dome in Brighton for a special exhibition to sell the work and give the students experience of a live exhibition.
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National Apprenticeship Week
Report from Jenny Mitchell, Business to Business Marketing Officer
National Apprenticeship Week took place on 3–7 March this year. It’s designed to celebrate Apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Apprenticeships are great for business, personal careers and creating opportunities for both employers and apprentices.
To celebrate, we showcased some of our amazing apprentices who are making a difference to businesses across the South East. Throughout the week different apprentices shared updates about their day through Twitter using #247apprentice #NAW2014 and #madebyapprentices. You can view some of their updates on @chichester_ biz on Twitter. Apprentices included Toby Schofield, who won Regional Apprentice of the Year and runner up in National Apprentice of the Year. Toby showed the projects that he and fellow Apprentice, Will Burch, were working on including pictures of their work in action. We also had updates from Kerri Stakim, apprentice at Facemediagroup, who has progressed in her apprenticeship into a management role. We also had tweets shared from apprentices at Capita, updates about the Horticulture apprentices during their training at Brinsbury, and updates from our own Marketing Apprentice, Rachael Howard.
Throughout the week, apprenticeship advisors were available in Coasters for students and visitors, where they could pick up information, speak to an advisor or find out about the latest vacancies, as well as view the live Twitter feed of apprentices. Employers were also encouraged to pledge their vacancies on the National Apprenticeship Service website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
It was a successful National Apprenticeship Week and amazing to see all of the College’s apprentices working hard and enjoying their job roles.
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Charity Everest Ascent Success
We have climbed Everest! Local Climbers have worked hard over the last week to reach their combined target of 8,848 metres - the height of Mount Everest to raise cash for College rock climber Gavin, who has a brain tumour. To put this in perspective, our College climbing wall is just 8 metres tall.
The challenge was set up in order to raise money for local climber Gavin Hunnikin who has battled cancer for ten years and has a brain tumour. He believes a clinic in Houston, USA, offers his best hope but the treatment will cost £75,000. Gavin needs it as soon as possible. The father-of-two from Barnham, said: “I very much just want to stay alive to see my children grow up and be with my girlfriend for as long as possible.”
The College Rock Climbing team decided to help their friend and fellow rock-climber by raising as much cash as possible to help Gavin afford the treatment over seas. Four public rock climbing sessions were set up with a donation of £5 and the challenge was to climb the height of Mount Everest.
Members of the public took to the climbing wall to reach the high target. There needed to be 1106 ascents in four sessions with only 3 hours in a slot. With determination, enthusiasm and a passion to succeed, the target was reached and a whopping £870.67 was raised for Gavin!
A special mention goes towards Chris Cook who managed a staggering 1,050 metres alone! Prizes kindly donated by climbing manufacturer DMM and local business ensured even more money was raised from a raffle. The College rock climbing team want to say a massive thank you to everyone that climbed and/or donated money.
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Where Are They Now?
With less than six months until the College turns 50, we take a look back at some of our successful past students, what they are up to now and what they thought of their time at Chichester College:
Meet Danny Mac
Danny always knew from a young age that acting was his dream career. At the age of 10 he starred in Les Miserables as Gavroche in the West End. Originally from Bognor Regis, Danny’s love for drama and acting grew and he decided to study at Chichester College. Attending Chichester College gave Danny the independance and confidence boost he needed to take that next step in his acting career. He studied a 2 year BTEC course in acting and gained a distinction - the highest qualification possible. Attending Chichester College meant Danny could stay in the local area and still see all his friends and play football.
Danny applied for three drama schools during his last term at Chichester College, and chose to attend Arts Ed in Chiswick, after being accepted at all three schools. The Hollyoaks star was lucky enough to be offered funding for the school, as tuition fees were in excess of £10,000 per year. The course lasted three years and commitment and dedication were essential in order to achieve great results.
Danny loved attending Chichester College because he was surrounded by students who were all focused and had goals - just like he did. The staff played an essential part in his success due to their honesty and dedication. Danny remembers a teacher once telling the class “If you don’t want to be here, then walk out now” - no one did, we saw the commitment from the lecturers straight away. At the age of 25, Danny still remembers that first lesson well and the inspiration it gave him to continue.
His fondest memory of Chichester College is that he always remembers smiling and laughing, whether it was in class exercises or just hanging out with his course mates. Danny’s dream job is to become the next Bond as he believes every man wants to be surrounded by fast cars, women and cool gadgets. But in order for this fantasy to become reality, a lot more hard work and learning needs to be done.
Danny continues to offer fans of Hollyoaks his cheeky chappy character ‘Dodger’ after passing his BTEC with flying colours at Chichester College.
Meet Olly Field
Olly Field always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in farming. Loving animals, nature and the outdoors, Olly decided to study a National Diploma in Agriculture at Brinsbury to further his education and understanding on Farming.
Within his first week of being at Brinsbury, Olly learnt how to milk a cow, drive a tractor and shear sheep. This was Olly’s favourite part about the course, the fact he was thrown in the deep end and had to learn hands on about raw farming. Not only was Olly given the tools and skills to learn farming techniques, but he had to do a minimum of two weeks of milking duty in the dairy where getting up at four in the morning was just part of the job.
Olly found it very easy to make friends, and despite now being in his thirties, he still keeps in contact with many of them. Staff were very approachable and supportive to Olly when he was experiencing problems in his home life. In Olly’s opinion, the lecturers and staff played a key part in his memorable experience of Brinsbury believing they were excellent at their jobs and easy to talk to.
Olly attended many extra curricular activities such as visiting Sweden and France to study the way they farm their lands, and representing Brinsbury Campus in rugby. His fondest memory of College was that he always remembers having fun, whether that was in practical classes, with friends or looking after the animals.
Upon completion of his Diploma at Brinsbury, Olly went on to the Royal Agricultural College to further his education in Farming, where he learnt about business and finances within the agricultural industry. Olly would not have got into this prestigious university if it was not for studying at Brinsbury as he learnt all the basics – some people on the same course at university had never driven a tractor before!
Now, Olly has his own farming business, which he specialises in big bales of hay and straw. He even distributes his straw to Brinsbury Campus for the animals on site. With only one other employee, Olly works long hard hours to look after over 600 sheep, 400 cattle and all his acres of land. However, Olly wouldn’t change his career for the world and believes he is very privileged to have found joy and passion from his career choice.
Olly concludes by insisting that the Agriculture course at Brinsbury is priceless and teaches both practical and theory skills to a high standard.
Meet Becci Diffey
Having completed her A levels in Drama, English and Film Studies, Becci decided to pursue a career that suited her personality. Organisation, hard work and seeing an excellent outcome are what drive Becci to be successful. With this in mind, she decided that a Foundation Degree in Events and Hospitality Management at Chichester College would suit her perfectly.
With a son to nurture and raise, Becci could not commit to university so a foundation degree guaranteed an education that suited her lifestyle and responsibilities. The College was very understanding of Becci’s home life, offering her additional support and treating her as an individual.
Becci was the Student Executive for her area and won the ‘Student Union award’ at the Star Awards in 2012 for her excellent effort in trying to make Chichester College the best place to study. Becci’s academic efforts were also recognised winning ‘Best Student’ award for her course at her graduation after gaining a Merit in her Foundation Degree.
Becci is now a Project Manager for Green Power and believes she has a career in her dream job. If it wasn’t for the practical experience and volunteering she did at Chichester College, Becci would not have learnt the skills needed. For Becci’s final project she had to run an event within the College. She ran a car show, which was only expecting thirty cars to be on display. Instead, 125 cars showed up and over 500 people attended the event.
Becci says it was really easy to make friends at Chichester College: “The staff and students are fantastic at the College. The extra curricular activities such as the Student Union and volunteering that are available made my time at College amazing.”
Becci has already returned to Chichester College on a number of occasions to talk to current students and encourage them to work hard and believe in themselves.
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Blacksmithing students forge their passion by making sculpture for Brinsbury
These amazing pieces of work have been designed and created by our Level 2 Artistic Blacksmithing students.
They have been commissioned to produce a sculpture to promote an Animal Collection and each piece forms part of the sculpture. This type of work is known as ‘Repoussé’ and is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief.
Claire Smith, Animal Care Resources Co-Ordinator, has commissioned the work for the Copse Animal Care building, and the students have worked to her very precise client brief. The sculpture consists of the word ‘animal centre’ and will show animals of the water, earth and air, some of which are the ‘Repoussé’ work in the pictures. There is also a tree as part of the design, which will go on the outside of the Copse building.
Students and staff at Brinsbury plan to have the exciting project finished ready for the Brinsbury show on 18 May. What an excellent example of innovation, originality and creativity!
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Plumbing student in the running to be crowned ‘National Apprentice Plumber of the Year’
Josh Scott won the regional heat of the HIP competition at Barking & Dagenham College in Essex last month beating eleven other Colleges to be crowned number one in the South East region.
The competition was held on 11 February and HIP who run the event publish a magazine for apprentice plumbers regularly. As well as Josh being crowned the best in the region, he was given some tools to help him further his plumbing skills and received a Certificate of Achievement for competing, which will look great on his CV.
Josh was given a drawing with dimensions and the aim of the game was to connect a boiler jig. He was marked on a point system by the judges and Plumbing Lecturer Nigel King described his performance as ‘first class’.
The final is at Adey training centre in Cheltenham in April, where Josh will have the opportunity to become the ‘UK Copper Board National Apprentice Plumber of the Year 2014’. This is a fantastic opportunity for our College to show off its best plumbing student to the nation! Congratulations Josh, we wish you the best of luck in April for the final.
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