International Team Celebrates British Council Accreditation
The International department have been celebrating recently after it was announced that they have passed a recent inspection, ensuring that accreditation is secured to deliver its English as a Foreign Language courses for another four years.
The British Council, which is the organisation that provides accreditation for all EFL Language schools in the private sector, visited the College back in July and spent an entire week going over the department in what has been described by Simon Dooley, Director of International Operations as an “OFSTED-like inspection”.
Two inspectors, who arrived for a full week inspection on July 21st, carried out a total of 25 lesson observations as part of a wider review which also looked at five distinct areas; Management, Teaching and Learning, Resources and Environment, Welfare and Care of under-18s.
Simon was understandably elated at the news after admitting that the whole process had taken over his life due to a very intensive inspection process. “In addition to looking at our teaching, the inspectors looked at every aspect of our business support and academic management, they spoke to Jamie (Bunce) and Colin (Hunwick) as part of the enrichment team, toured accommodation and visited host families, spoke to Marion (Smith) about every aspect of Health and Safety, to Kev (White) about resources and estates – it was a very comprehensive inspection and they missed nothing”, he said. “In addition to these intensive meetings, inspectors also spoke to all temporary teaching staff; some of whom had only been teaching for three weeks when the inspectors arrived - this is the brilliant thing about it”, Simon added.
Once the inspection was complete the inspectors then met with a group which consisted of the members of the International Team, Principal Shelagh Legrave and Deputy Principal Andy Green to give feedback, which Simon described as, “extremely positive”.
Furthermore, a rather fantastic piece of the report surfaced in which they described talking to a large group of students. “When the inspectors asked the students the key question, “Would you recommend Chichester College to your friends?” the students didn’t just say yes, they cheered”, Simon explained.
For Simon and the team it is now a waiting game to find out the final inspection results but with accreditation assured it was plain to see that Simon was not only relieved but extremely proud of his team who he described as going above and beyond of what was expected of them, “What’s come out of it is that in the end we couldn’t have done anything more – we gave it everything”.
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Fresher's Week Success
That time of the year is finally upon us. After those of us lucky enough to have spent the summer donning our summer hats and eating al fresco (or dodging the rain), our bright-eyed freshers were introduced to the College last week with three days of jam-packed activities to ease them into college life. With hundreds of eagle-eyed students floating around talking to both local and national companies and many staff members doing their best to provide as much information as possible, Coasters was a true hive of activity. For Jamie Bunce, Student Experience Co-Ordinator, the week couldn’t have gone any better, “It was amazing, one of the busiest fresher’s weeks we’ve ever had”.
This remarkably positive story is matched by the enthusiasm in which the students interacted with the businesses, something which Jamie says is down to the positive way in which students have started the year.
“This term has started off very well and lots of students want to get involved. Lots of companies, both local and national were represented and had many excited students signing up for volunteering opportunities, mailing lists and website subscriptions”, he said. Amongst some of the stalls, which included most of our college services including Positive About Futures and XpressYourself – the college’s student enterprise society, were a number companies who reported a large amount of interest in volunteering opportunities amongst the students who attended. One of these, Love Your Hospital, is a charity for St Richards who were set up to help raise money for the Cancer, Neonatal and Children’s ward at the hospital who the College will be supporting this year.
Also in attendance was Africa Adventure, who reported a record number of students who had signed up already to the trip to Kenya in 2015 or at the very least displayed an interest in joining one of their programmes in the future.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue were also at the fayre and had a number of students involved in activities that helped to underline the dangers of drink-driving. One of these was a simulator that enabled students to take the wheels of a car wearing ‘beer goggles’, designed to give students the experience of being drunk at the wheel of a car whilst their perception and judgement were impaired. In addition to the busy Coasters event the students were also met by ‘The Big Welcome’ in the Sports Hall where Principal Shelagh Legrave welcomed new students, encouraging them to believe that they will succeed in their studies here at Chichester College. Shelagh was followed to the rostrum by Andy Green, Lisa Humphries and Georgina Reece-Watters who returns to the college to take up her second year as Student Union President.
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Community Park Project Swings Along Nicely
It’s been a long process, often faced with obstacles, but a community project organised by Hospitality lecturer Lianne Grogan and Xpressyourself, the college enterprise society, is finally starting to flourish. Two new wooden benches, lovingly crafted by the Carpentry department have now been installed which have been added to a swing and wood climbing frame which were installed back in July.
The cross-college initiative, utilising a number of departments, aims to offer students the opportunity to take park in a community-based project to develop their employability and enterprise skills whilst giving them a much-needed work experience opportunity.
The project, planned over the summer of 2013, aimed to design a new play area on the Parklands estate, located close to Bishop Luffa School by working closely with the Community Wardens, Hyde Martlet Housing Association and both Bishop Luffa and Parklands Resident Associations.
For Lianne, who has spent many extra hours on the park project, it is all starting to take shape; “Along with the play equipment, Steve Millam and his students are filling the three planters next week and Andy Davies’ students are working on the design of the wall so we can get it painted. In addition to this, Mark Voar and his students are also busy making the final sponsorship name plaques.” Moreover, it is the sense of cooperation which Lianne believes has highlighted the importance of the project, “We have tried to use as much of what the college can offer and we are delighted to have received the news that Roger Curwin and his Foundation students have generously offered to paint the benches”, Lianne added.
However, none of this could have been completed without the help from a number of local businesses who, in addition to various grants and a busy fundraising drive by Lianne and her team, have helped sponsor the park to cover the cost of the play equipment and other items such as fencing. Altogether, eighteen local companies sponsored the park which has helped to ensure that, for the local residents at least, many years of enjoyment will hopefully be gained from its existence.
A few weeks ago a competition was organised amongst local residents to come up with a potential name for the park and after careful deliberation “Sunshine Corner” was chosen as the most appropriate name. Let’s just hope that it brings some sunshine our way too!
For Lianne and the enterprise team - comprising a number of students in many different departments, this has been a true labour of love but with an opening date coming up and the final touches being implemented by the different teams, the end is in sight for this most inspirational of projects.
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College Gains International Association of Bookkeepers Gold Award
Chichester College is delighted to announce that it is to be awarded an IAB Gold Centre award at a specially arranged reception and presentation at The House of Commons.
The IAB (International Association of Bookkeepers) Gold Award is in recognition of qualification achievements, high standards and a longstanding commitment to course provision in line with IAB standards.
Speaking of the award Hilary Hele, Head of Learning for Business and Management said, “I was absolutely thrilled to learn we had won a Gold award for our delivery of IAB courses, it recognises the hard work and commitment by the teaching team; Anne Quieti and her daughter Trizi Quieti.”
It is the second time the department has been presented by an award from the IAB after receiving the Silver award this time last year.
After impressive course results and consistently high numbers the IAB Gold Award is testament to the hard work that the course team have put into ensuring that students not only gain the very best from their qualification but that they offer a course that fits the provision of what the IAB deem to be Gold standard.
Anne Quieti, who teaches on the IAB Level 1 and 2 Computerised Bookkeeping course and will be representing the College at the prestigious awards ceremony, was understandably elated at the decision but firmly stressed the importance of the entire team in the decision. She said, “The achievement has been a complete team effort - students with their hard work, tutors (Anne, Trizi, Oyin and Nikki) putting in a great deal of time and effort, Hilary, Pam and Gemma supporting and helping where necessary. Without Reprographics doing the printing, sometimes at short notice, we would have been at a loss - we do not use text books - all our own workbooks etc. so, as I say, it has been a complete team effort.”
The prestigious event which will be held at the Terrace Pavilion in the salubrious surroundings of the House of Commons, will be taking place on Thursday 14th November. It will be hosted by Fabian Hamilton MP, who is the IAB Honorary President.
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Chichester College's Sport Maker Reports a Great Start to the Year
It has been a fantastic start to the new academic year with over 10 volunteer students already in place to help promote the ChiXtra GetActive programme. Unlike last year, these students have come from all areas of the College and what has been most satisfying is that four out of the ten students are female. This will be key to help promote mixed and female only sports across the College.
Further to all of this, I will be interviewing a further four students from Chichester University who would like to work at the College promoting the successful enrichment programme. Last year it was I who had to contact them. However, due to a successful placement program students from Chichester University have been contacting me prior to the start of their courses. Last year saw two of the placement students receiving jobs within their desired areas after finishing their sports development degrees, I would like to think that having direct work experience as well as strong references from the College had a big part to play in this.
On Tuesday it was the enrichment sign up day in Coasters. Last year saw a massive 480 students sign up to the various sports on offer, but this year we superseded this with over 683 students signing up to take part in sports and a further 121 students signing up to non-sporting activities that were on offer.
Report by Colin Hunwick, Chichester College Sports Maker.
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