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InBrief Student Newsletter | Issue 1 | Autumn 2016


Page 06 Celebrating Achievements

Page 12 A Sterling Result - Exhibition

Page 15 Need the skills to get a job?

Festival of Learning Awards Winner Sarah Allington Page


Adult Education Wolverhampton | | 01902 558180



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Student Services

Why Choose AEW?

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Issue 1 | Autumn 2016

Contents 01 Welcome 02 Why choose Adult Education Wolverhampton 04 Student Services

Celebrating Achievements

“A Sterling Result� - Exhibition

06 Festival of Learning - Sarah Allington Story (Winner) 10 Festival of Learning Celebration 12 A Sterling Result Exhibition 15 Need the skills to get a job? 16 Celebrating students achievements 18 Ever wanted to work in the classroom? 19 Fast Track your way to university 20 NUS Extra - Have you got yours?

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Celebrating Achievements

Level 3 Courses 01902 558180

Disclaimer The information published in this newsletter was correct at the time of publication. However Adult Education Wolverhampton reserves the right to revise times, dates, fees, locations and qualifications of courses for business reasons. Because courses may be subject to unforeseen change, alteration or cancellation, the information in this newsletter cannot be considered as binding or final.

Connect with us on Social Media Connect with Adult Education Wolverhampton on Facebook and Twitter for all of our latest news, events and pictures.


On course for success at Adult Education Wolverhampton Whether this is the first time you have joined a course with us, or you have returned this year to continue your studies, I would like to thank you for choosing to study at Adult Education Wolverhampton. We want to ensure that you have an enjoyable and successful learning experience with us. We pride ourselves on giving all our students the best support we can to ensure they achieve their learning and personal goals. Our provisional results data for 2015-16 shows that our achievement rate for Adult Skills courses improved for the fourth year running and now stands at an all-time high of 94%. Well done to all the hard working students

and committed, professional tutors who were with us in 2015-16 and who helped us get this great achievement rate. Although we have been rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted we want to keep improving our service by listening to our students’ views. Please take the opportunity to give us feedback on your experience through our surveys and student forums. We get our funding from The Skills Funding Agency and each year they carry out the national on line “FE Choices” survey of student satisfaction. The survey is anonymous. We will be arranging for a sample of students to complete the survey between November and February. Please take


advantage of this opportunity to give us feedback and to rate your experience with us. Best wishes to all our students who are on course for success in 2016-17.

Sue Knottenbelt Head of Service

24 or over? Boost your career for free There is a special deal for students aged 24+ who take an Access to Higher Education Diploma course – the loan for your Access to HE course will be written off provided you go on to complete your higher education course.

Visit for more information


Why choose Adult Education Wolverhampton? 94%

Overall achievement rate


Would recommend AEW to others

High achievement rates Our overall achievement rate for adults now stands at an all-time high of 94%, which is 2.5% higher than 2015 and above the national rate. In 2015 we had the highest overall achievement rate for adults out of all the FE colleges and Adult Education providers in the whole of the West Midlands.

High student satisfaction rates We get lots of great feedback from our students. In the 2016 FE Choices national student satisfaction survey 97% of students said they would recommend Adult Education Wolverhampton to others. They gave us especially high ratings for the quality of teaching and learning, support and feeling respected.


We are outstanding! Ofsted “OUTSTANDING” rating – in our last full inspection in 2014/15, Ofsted officially rated us as OUTSTANDING in all aspects. Only 3 Adult Education providers in the country currently hold this top rating, and we’re one of them! Here are some of the things Ofsted inspectors said:

“learners really enjoy learning ” “consistently good teaching” “exceptional learning support” “tutors provide each learner with very high levels of respect and encouragement” “resources are excellent” “learners’ work is of a very high standard” “learners reach their full potential” “learners develop their personal, social and employability skills” “learners progress well from each level to the next …and into further and higher education and employment”



Need help? don’t worry we’re here to help Simply speak to a friendly member of the Student Services team and we will go out of our way to help where we can. Types of help we can give include: • Careers guidance • Information and advice about the courses we offer • Employment support through our Jobs Workshop • Listening to your feedback • Help with any costs associated with your study

Take Time Out, Take Stock and Get Direction Look no further! Experienced and friendly Careers Guidance Advisers are available to support you. It’s an opportunity to speak to someone on a one-to-one basis, look at any previous experience you may have and find an ideal course to help meet whatever your goals may be. So don’t delay, get in touch, what have you got to lose (it’s impartial and it’s FREE!). Contact Student Services for an appointment.

Money, money, money…. Every year we have money to help our students to be able to come to class. This may include help with bus tickets, paying for childcare costs or paying for course and exam fees. Whilst we try very hard to help as many students as we can who struggle with some costs, we sometimes need to make difficult decisions to revise our criteria. If you are getting help with certain costs then this will continue for the length of your existing course, however, for any new enrolments it is important you check with Student Services whether you still qualify for help.


Your Viewpoint There is no feedback more valuable than that provided by our students. Your views and experiences are important, because they give us the opportunity to continue to improve the services we provide. Over the next few months you will be asked to complete a survey about your experience with Adult Education Wolverhampton. This will be an online learner satisfaction survey (called FE Choices) which students all over the country will be completing. Your answers will tell us how students rate the organisation. Last year our students rated us 97%, which is fantastic. Students, parents, employers and other organisations have access to this data and can compare different learning providers. This information can help them make informed choices about where to study or train. As an organisation, we also use the data in setting and monitoring progress against strategic goals and targets. We look forward to visiting your classroom over the next few months and getting your views. If you would like any further information, please contact Student Services or you may like to explore the following websites: fe-choices-performance-indicators courses/Pages/default.aspx

Safety First

Self-Study Zone Need to: • Complete that homework? • Practise your skills? • Carry out research? • Search for a job? Look no further – students can use the computers in the Foyer between 8:30-19:00, alternatively if you would like somewhere quieter to study, simply wander over to the Self-Study Zone (room 4) which is open during the following times: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 9:00-16:30 Wednesday 12:30-16:30 Friday 9:00-16:00

If you are concerned about the welfare of yourself or someone else please contact: Suzie Lowe, Student Services Manager 01902 551545 Kate Emmerson, Senior Manager (Business Services) 01902 558175 Email: Everyone is responsible for the welfare of our staff, visitors and students to protect them from harm, radicalisation or abuse, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact Student Services We’re based in the Foyer, so just ask at reception Email: Phone: 01902 551658

19-23? Boost your career for free No Level 3 qualifications? Don’t delay. You can study to A’ level standard and go to university or simply enhance your career prospects.

Visit our website for more information


Adult Education Wolverhampton (AEW) nominated 5 Students and a member of support staff for the Festival of Learning awards. Students included:

Emma Hunt Life Skills Cookery

James Millard Life Skills Cookery

Lisa Dawes

Level 3 Teaching Assistant (STL Specialist Diploma)

Mandy Thomas Bookkeeping & Administration

Sarah Allington Silver Jewellery Making

Christina Smith

Adult Support Worker for AEW All extremely worthy nominees and winners in their own right.

Find out more about the Festival of Learning:

These awards, sponsored by NOCN, celebrate the achievements of adults who have learnt through an Apprenticeship or Traineeship, secured employment or a promotion at work, embarked on a new career, or started their own business. Adult Education Wolverhampton would like to congratulate all nominees on their achievements and exceptional learning journeys.


Sarah Allington Winner Adult Education Wolverhampton is exceptionally proud to announce that Sarah Allington has won a regional award for her inspirational learning journey and wins the Learning for Work prize. Sarah Allington, age 26, from Kingswinford has won the Central England Learning for Work award as part of the Festival of Learning, led by Learning & Work Institute, for her outstanding achievement in adult learning. The Festival of Learning Awards showcase and celebrate the wonderful things that learning can achieve for individuals, families, communities and employers. In 2011 as a result of an industrial accident, Sarah suffered a life-changing injury that caused mobility issues including partial paralysis in her left leg and weakness and sensation issues in her left arm and hand. The accident left her in constant pain and unable to stay in her job. Looking for something creative to help with her recovery, Sarah attended a silver jewellery making

class at Adult Education Wolverhampton. Since then, Sarah has developed the skills and confidence to start up her own successful creative business, producing handmade silver jewellery and greetings cards, called Sarah Ellen Designs. Festival of Learning is back for its 25th year to celebrate lifelong learning and the benefits it has on people, society and the economy. Inspirational individuals, tutors, projects and employers across the UK are being presented with awards as part of the Festival - showcasing the impact of learning on their lives and the lives of others.


“Without the support of Adult Education Wolverhampton, it’s unlikely I would be where I am or who I am today.” The Festival of Learning is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) which focuses on improving employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help to people who need to fulfil their potential. Sarah joins 28 inspirational Regional and National winners that have been selected for a range of awards across the four categories - including awards for individual learners, employers, innovative projects and inspirational tutors.

Sarah says learning is at the heart of her achievements. “Without the support of Adult Education Wolverhampton, it’s unlikely I would be where I am or who I am today.” Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning & Work Institute, which leads the Festival of Learning Awards said: “Every year we receive hundreds of inspirational stories about adults who have achieved incredible things as a result of them returning to learning.

Find out more about a silver jewellery course on our website:

“Sarah’s story encompasses what the Festival of Learning is all about - people achieving their learning and career ambitions through determination, passion and hard work and then using this to inspire others”.


Skills dinner spotlight for Sarah In October 2016, Sarah Allington and Head of Service Sue Knottenbelt, represented AEW at Wolverhampton’s first ever Skills Dinner. The event was hosted by City of Wolverhampton College at the Metro Centre as part of Business Week. There was an impressive line-up of high profile guests, including some of Wolverhampton’s key business leaders, Sir Geoff Layer (Pro Vice Chancellor of Wolverhampton University) and Managing Director, Keith Ireland to mention a few.

During the evening, three students from different organisations were invited to give accounts of their remarkable learning journeys. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the whole evening. Sarah (Festival of Learning Regional winner) spoke eloquently and movingly, about how learning with Adult Education had helped her recover from a life changing industrial accident 5 years ago. She said the creative skills she gained with us, had set her on a path to successful self-

employment, making bespoke silver jewellery. The other student speakers also had powerful stories to tell, about the transformative effect of education and training on turning their lives round and securing better futures. All the students, including Sarah received standing ovations from those present.

Job Workshops Support with: • Job search

• Planning your future

• Identifying your job skills

• Support, advice and guidance

• CV writing

• Future courses

• Completing application forms

• Individual advice and guidance appointments can be booked

• Preparing for interviews





Festival of Learning Celebration

In early November The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Barry Findlay, joined Adult Education for our Festival of Learning celebration. Five of our students and a member of staff were nominated for the 2016 Festival of Learning Awards.

Nominees included: Emma Hunt - Life Skills Cookery James Millard - Life Skills Cookery Lisa Dawes - Level 3 Teaching Assistant (STL) Mandy Thomas - Bookkeeping & Administration Sarah Allington - Silver Jewellery Making Christina Smith - Adult Support Worker for AEW All extremely worthy nominees and winners in their own right.


All nominees attended along with their guests. At the celebration, those present heard why each person had been nominated for an award and learned about the challenges they had faced in their lives and in their learning. Every student’s story was moving and truly inspirational.

We also heard about the positive approach and special qualities that Christina Smith has brought to her role as Support Worker for the past 9 years.

The Festival of Learning organisers have made a short film of all National and Regional award winners. Use the following link to see a snippet about Sarah’s story.

The Mayor presented all nominees with certificates. He also presented Sarah Allington, winner of a Regional award in the Learning at Work category, with her official plaque and a letter from HRH Princess Anne.


A Sterling Result Exhibition

Each year Adult Education Wolverhampton (AEW) celebrates the achievement and progression of its students. A ‘Sterling Result’ showcases the work of Michelle Bishton, a student at AEW who has developed her skills and is now employed in her specialist subject area.

Enjoy Michelle’s collection and be inspired, a little learning really can go a very long way!

Exhibition open until 16th December Venue: Old Hall Street, Wolverhampton


Artist profile: Michelle Bishton “My interest in making jewellery and metal work started when I was eleven years old, when I made my first piece, a copper brooch. This grew into a wider interest and upon leaving school I started an Art & Design course at college to study the subject further. When I was nineteen I was offered a place at University on an Art and Design course, however I was unable to complete this after the birth of my first child. I had been out of both education and work for about ten years, whilst I stayed at home to raise my four children. Before my youngest child was born my life changed completely. I suddenly had the freedom to attend some classes with Adult Education which helped re-build my

confidence, something at the time I had very little of. I met new people, which I found a little scary at first after years of feeling isolated. While attending classes at Adult Education, I started to think of the possibility of going back and completing my degree course. The only thing that was stopping me was my complete lack of confidence. I spoke to one of my tutors, who suggested doing an Access to Higher Education Art and Design course. This would help prepare me for university, and to build a portfolio of artwork, and also prepare me for more intensive study. The following year, as my youngest child started nursery, I enrolled onto the Access to Higher Education course with Adult Education. I did this full

time for a year, during which time I applied for a place on a degree course at the University of Wolverhampton. It was amazing to be studying alongside other creative people, one of the greatest experiences of my life. Three years later I graduated from university with a 2.1 honours degree in Applied Arts. Going back into education was the best decision I could have made. Following my graduation, I was accepted onto a programme which helps graduates set up their own business and with their help and support I was able to take the huge leap into selfemployment as a designer maker.


The following year I applied for a part time teaching position at Adult Education Wolverhampton and in November 2013 I started teaching Life Skills and an evening class in Jewellery Making. I was very excited at the thought of teaching my subject to a group of people who had chosen to be there and wanted to learn about Jewellery Making. I have had

fantastic students’ whom I have helped to learn and progress. Whilst teaching for Adult Education I have also continued with my studies and have completed and passed the Introduction to Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector and am nearing completion of a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training.

The past 11 years have been a roller coaster journey but I have achieved so much more than I thought possible. From those first steps into learning new skills, to achieving selfemployment and a new career, I would like to thank my family for their support and encouragement and Adult Education for giving me the opportunity to grow and to learn.�

Find out more about creative courses on our website:

Need the skills to get a job?


Study a range of skills relevant to today’s job market and selfemployment whilst you gain the skills to progress onto further learning. Take the first steps on your way to a career in a variety of job roles whilst you: • Increase your confidence and social skills

• Visit different work places

• Improve your English and Maths skills whilst on your course

• Receive careers advice and guidance

• Experience working as a team The Steps to pre-vocational range of Entry Level 3 programmes run for seven weeks at a time throughout the year and attendance is required for two to three days each week. These programmes will provide you with the opportunity to continue developing your English and Maths skills whilst studying subjects such as Childcare, Health & Social Care and Office Skills. You may then like to move onto a Level 1 qualification or gain employment. All of the options will help you to find out what working in these types of jobs is all about, gain English and Maths qualifications and study life and living units which will prepare you for employment.

• Steps to Employment • Steps to Sewing • Steps to Floristry • Steps to Office Skills • Steps to a Caring Career • Steps to Childcare and Working in a School


Celebrating Student Achievements In mid-November Adult Education celebrated the achievements of 28 students who between them have successfully completed qualifications in the following subjects: Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (STL L3) Level 3 Diploma for Early Years Educators Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 2 Award in Youth Practice

The evening was hosted be the Education Studies department and presentations were made by Sue Knottenbelt Head of Service. Adult Education would like to congratulate all of the students who have completed and achieved and would like to wish them all the very best for the future.

“I have completed and achieved the Level 3 Diploma and can honestly say that the support from my tutor, reader and the college has aided in my success, the support was excellent.” Lisa Dawes

Level 1 Award in Mentoring

“My tutor was excellent, she made lessons a joy to attend and was very supportive. Completing the STL L3 course has enabled me to find employment in a primary school” Hannah Grimsley



Ever wanted to work in the classroom?

Adult Education Wolverhampton is offering two options for students who may want to work in education: Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning (STL) in Schools Level 3 for students who are interested in supporting children in mainstream schools, with children of primary or secondary age.

The benefits of studying a course at “Outstanding” Adult Education Wolverhampton: • Excellent track record of supporting students into employment or further study • 94% achievement rates for 15/16

Award in Education and Training Level 3 is for students who are interested in training to teach adults (post 16).

Level 3 courses starting early in the new year (2017)

Fast track your way to university


The benefits of studying on an Access to Higher Education Diploma here at “Outstanding” Adult Education Wolverhampton • Excellent track record • Excellent preparation for university & employment

• 100% of Access to HE students who completed their course progressed to university 2015-16

19-23 years There’s never been a better time to get a Level 3 qualification! If you are between 19-23 years old and have NOT already achieved at least a Level 3 qualification the course may be FREE. If you are between 19-23 years old and HAVE already achieved at least a Level 3 qualification, or you are 24 years old or older, chat to Student Services about your options. One option is to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

There is a special deal for students who take an Access to Higher Education Diploma course - any Advanced Learner Loan will be written off provided you complete your higher education course.

Find out more:


Have you got yours, yet?


Benefits 10% Off New Look - party outfit sorted! 10% off Co-op food - get that turkey early! Up to 40% off Pizza Express - late snacks covered! 25% off National Express - travel to a mate’s house cheaper Many more discounts....home and abroad. Support campaigns and enter competitions.

How do I get one? You must be 16 or over and studying part-time or full time. Apply online at Enter your email address, place of study, upload a photo, and pay £12 for 12 months and then your card will be delivered to Adult Education for collection in 3-5 working days. Do it now to get access to 200 discounts!

£12 for 12 months



www. a es. w ol v e r ha m p t o n. g o v . uk

Adult Education Wolverhampton - InBrief [Student Newsletter]  
Adult Education Wolverhampton - InBrief [Student Newsletter]