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studentMET Feburary 2011
Sparkling at awards
Young Professional of the Year, Suzie Branch featured student performances from groups Harmonize and Acoustic Soul. A level student Tom Ashfield was named STAR Learner of the Year 2010. “I was shocked when I was announced as the winner, but it’s a fantastic way to be recognised for all the effort I put in throughout the two years I studied my A Levels,” said Tom who is now studying Mathematics and Statistics at Bath University.
The inspirational achievements of 24 short listed students were recently celebrated at BMET’s annual student STAR awards ceremony. The outstanding students were nominated by staff for achieving success through their hard
work, dedication and determination. Academic excellence, the ability to overcome barriers to learning and working diligently against the odds were also recognised. The Awards ceremony which was hosted by ITV weather girl, Emma Jesson and Birmingham
Labour leader hears MET voice issues including university tuition fees, the education maintenance allowance and Apprenticeships, as well as child benefit, immigration and mortgage rates.
The political voices of students, staff and partners from Birmingham Metropolitan College were heard by Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband MP when he paid a visit to the Matthew Boulton Campus. Mr Miliband and fellow-MPs, Shabana Mahmood MP for Ladywood and Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North participated in round table discussions where opinions were expressed on
Government and Politics student, Rob Davis said, “It was a brilliant experience being able to talk to Ed Miliband. We discussed immigration and its effect on university places and jobs, tuition fees and promoting Apprenticeships from a young age.” Fellow student, Jack Flowers added, “It was a good opportunity for us to meet someone so prestigious. We asked him what his position was on Europe and how his party would support companies with the Apprenticeship programme.”
“I really enjoyed my time at Birmingham Met. I was made to feel welcome from the start and the support I received from my teachers was second to none. I can’t say enough good things about the College.” Tom achieved A*s in Business Studies and Mathematics, and As in Physics and Further Mathematics, as well as a grade A for AS Level Mathematics. His ambition is to become an investment banker in the future. Read about other STAR winners on page 2
MORE SUCCESS FOR THE SPORTS ACADEMIES! Our learners yet again excelled at the Sutton Sports Aw ards 2011 and scooped awards in thr ee categories • Stephen Barnes wa s named Coach of the Year for leading his Midlands title and a Na team to a tional Silver Medal • National five-a-side and Futsal Champions, Birmingha m Football team won the METGirls Senior Team of the Year award. • Birmingham MET wo n the SCSSSA Evans Trophy for Seco ndary School of the Year Award
Message from the Principal Welcome to the latest edition of Student MET. There are lots of successful stories about our students in this issue and some of you have been very busy raising money for charity. The College charity for this year is the Birmingham Children’s Hospital (Intensive care unit), and if you have any further ideas or initiatives planned to raise money for this charity, please let me know, and our events team will support you with your planned initiative.
There has been a tremendous range of student enrichment activities taking place since the beginning of the academic year. I have been greatly impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of you all and many of you have received accolades both inside and out of the College for the professional and enthusiastic way you have represented the College. Our Sports Academies achieved 3 awards this week, which is an outstanding achievement, and is further proof of the excellence of our students. One of our Photography students won the CBD Photography competition for her unique picture.
University offers are currently being made to our Advanced Level students; we already have learners who have offers for Oxford, Cambridge and other leading institutions. I hope you will make the most of this term so that you achieve success in your courses. Enjoy the half term break.
Dr Christine Braddock CBE Principal and Chief Executive
Other student STAR’s were as follows
She is now studying A Levels and her tutors also expect her to perform very well in these subjects. Medical, Health Care and Life Sciences student STAR Wendy Sadler Wendy returned to education on an Access to Health Science/Nursing programme and from day one was a model student who excelled in all aspects of the course. She received seven distinctions and two merit grades and has progressed to university to fulfil her ambition of becoming an operating department practitioner.
Creative, Performing and Visual Arts student STAR Amy Hollis Amy achieved full distinctions for the eight units she studied during the BTEC National Diploma in Acting, excelling both practically and academically. She was very well organised and generous in her support to others, as well as positive, enthusiastic and was open to every challenge.
Languages and Skills for Life student STAR Ashley Mucklow Returning to part-time education after a near fatal road accident was a huge barrier for Ashley to overcome and his determination and enthusiasm to succeed was there for all to see. His ability to be organised and to combine college and home study with socialising with fellow-students and friends resulted in him passing Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy qualifications with many marks to spare.
Sports, Public Services and Child Care student STAR Jack Craven Jack achieved 18 distinctions in his BTEC National Diploma in Sport, gaining the maximum points available for his course. He also completed Level 1 and 2 football coaching qualifications and was an integral member of the men’s football academy.
Management, Business, Accounts, Law and Information Technology student STAR Khadija Omar On arriving in the UK in December 2008, Khadija began studying GCSE qualifications; impressing tutors with her dedication and enthusiasm for all her subjects. Her excellent results included an A* in Mathematics, as well as two A grades in Business Studies and ICT.
Technology, Digital and Building Services student STAR Jake Hardiman Jake progressed at an outstanding rate while completing his Level 2 qualification. With the College’s help, he secured employment as an apprentice and is now studying a manufacturing engineering course. STAR Apprentice Chris Hinton Chris achieved an overall distinction on his Foundation degree in Electronic and Control Engineering with Data Communication. He has a real passion for engineering and also sits on the education and skills panel for Engineering UK. Over 120 Met students nominated as STAR learners received certificates of nomination and gift tokens. Warmest congratulation to them all.
Officially an Academy
BMET students and pupils from the Harborne Academy made sure that celebrations for
the school’s official launch got off to a fantastic start. The Academy is the only one in the country to specialise in the teaching of health sciences alongside a traditional curriculum.
The launch was celebrated with the creation and unveiling of a commemorative mosaic pieced together on the day by Academy pupils, staff, governors and guests. These included Birmingham City Council Leader, Councillor Mike Whitby, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham and Councillor Len Gregory and Mrs Gillian Gregory. The
stained glass artwork designed by year 9 pupils at the Academy will shortly be transferred to a window in the front of the building. Tours of the Academy were conducted by pupils who took guests around the innovative Health Tec Centre and new science laboratories. Demonstrations from both BMET science students and Academy pupils gave everyone the chance to see how the teaching of health sciences continues to evolve. Performances from both BMET dance students, Year 7 singers and the Year 8 choir also showed how the artistic talents of learners will develop in future. The Academy which is sponsored by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Metropolitan College, delivers education and training to 600 pupils from Years 7 to 11 and from September 2011 will also support 200 post-16 pupils.
Talented dance students recently performed with the Birmingham Opera Company in their production of Stravinsky’s ‘The Wedding’ at the A E Harris Building in Birmingham. The 23 dancers who are on the second year of the BTEC Extended Diploma in Dance, trained for weeks with choreographer, Ron Howell and assistant choreographer, Jen Irons to perfect their dance work for the five performances that took place over a three-day period. Dressed in traditional wedding dresses, the students depicted the ritualized preparations for a wedding in an experimental dance theatre piece which allowed the audience to move around the performance space. Dance Tutor Jayne Smith explained, “The performance area was divided up and the students danced in the different sections. It was rather like an ‘installation’ - the audience stood in different places and enjoyed seeing a number of dances. “The students put on a fantastic performance. It has been a very intense, demanding and invaluable experience for them. It has provided them with a taste of what it is going to be like to work in the real world of dance.”
The biggest day of celebration for BMET’s graduating HE learners was held at Birmingham’s Council House during four special graduation ceremonies. The venue which is renowned as a place for discussion, debate and decision-making welcomed around 200 former students who were able to celebrate their academic success with family, friends, colleagues and lecturers. Each graduate was warmly congratulated by College staff and VIP guests, with everyone encouraged to embrace their success and continue to believe in themselves. At the graduation ceremony for medical, health and life sciences, special awards were presented by Robert Ashford, Birmingham
Chair of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists to podiatry graduates, Lisa McMorran and Matt Raden in recognition of their excellent progress during their BSc Podiatry course. “It was a great ceremony and I enjoyed seeing everyone from my course again,” said Matt who since completing his BSc has secured a graduate podiatric position with Buckinghamshire hospital. “I felt really honoured to receive a special award with Lisa. “Studying a podiatry degree was intensive at times, but I’m now putting into practice everything I’ve learned and it’s very rewarding. The College environment and atmosphere was always superb and made all the study worthwhile.”
Pedal power raises funds for Children in Need Five students from the Level 3 Diploma in Complementary Therapies course gave students a leg massage after each cycling session so that they didn’t end up getting cramp. Dedicated 800-metre runner Elliot Giles who runs for the College and the Birchfield Harriers said, “By the time I had cycled 37 miles, my legs were already aching quite a bit. I was shattered, but I had to go and train during my two-hour break as I was competing in trials that weekend for the Gibson Relays which are held in Jamaica in February.” Public Services students raised over £730 for Children in Need by cycling the distance from Lands End to John O’ Groats over a 26-hour period. The first year Public Services students started the challenge at 9am on the day before Children in Need and cycled throughout the night, completing the full distance at 10am the following morning.
Robert’s successful career switch An out-of-work young tree surgeon now has a new career within the digital industry after completing a pre-employment training programme with the College. Robert Thomas who had been unemployed for six months has started work as a digital apprentice at Birmingham Specialised Services Ltd.
However, they didn’t encounter any traffic or hazardous road conditions as the 874 mile trip was undertaken in the reception area of the James Watt campus on three exercise bikes.
A series of other fundraising events took place across campuses including students dressing up in pyjamas and Spiderman outfits while collecting money.
Prior to the event the students spent six gruelling weeks participating in army-style training to get them in peak physical fitness. During the non-stop cycling challenge each student clocked up between 60 and 70 miles in total, over a number of 40-minute sessions.
Public Services students and staff presented two cheques live on BBC television at the Coventry Skydome for the Children in Need appeal. So far, they have raised over £1,400 for the appeal.
His role will enable him to develop the skills and knowledge required for the installation of domestic and commercial digital television aerials and systems. “I couldn’t wait to take up the Digital Apprenticeship,” said Robert. “I had worked in warehousing and in horticulture before now, but wasn’t able to progress in either of these roles. Digital products are all around us so when I heard about the two-week training programme for the unemployed, I knew it would be worthwhile signing up for it. “Becoming a qualified digital technician will mean I can settle into a long-term career. It will also open up more avenues for me in the future.”
Fighting fit Public Services students were given a taste of army life during a one-day visit to Beacon Barracks in Stafford which is the home of the 22 Signal Regiment. The 2nd year students were put through their paces during rock climbing, football, netball, paintball and assault course activities. “I really enjoyed the day as it was a lot of fun – even though it was cold and wet. It also helped with our team working skills,” commented Gorbin Raj. “The corporals were strict with us. If you put you hands in your pocket, you had to do 10 press-ups. They caught quite a few people doing that!” Danni Lancaster added, “There are only four girls in the class and we were all put into the same team with three of the lads. We won everything, even the football!”
Results from the student induction survey The findings, which are available on MyMet indicate high levels of satisfaction regarding the attitude and quality of service of staff, induction materials and information given to you. The results of this survey are fed into review committees and the academic board so that the College can continue to make improvements in the things we do. • 92% of you completed an induction. • 94% of you found staff helpful in settling you into College. • 92% of you said that you enjoyed your first six weeks at College. • 88% of you found the College and course information given to you helpful. MyMet is seen as a good source of information throughout your time at College. • 80% of you have already voted for a course team rep. Reps meet with the course team and with the managers in your curriculum area once a term. Remember to get feedback from your reps on items raised at the meetings.
Pre-foundation students put on their walking boots to help support adventurer, Amy Leigh who walked more than 6,800 miles round the UK coastline in aid of Kidney Research UK in tribute to her late brother Dean, who died after a long battle with kidney disease.
In step with Amy
The students with learning difficulties and disabilities trained in Sutton Park before joining Amy to walk the coastal route from Hythe to Lymington. “This is the first of a series of walks that students and staff are hoping to complete over the course of the year as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award,” tutor, Pam Robinson explained. “We are working with Birmingham City Council’s Youth Service who kindly enabled us to take part in this challenge by providing funding for accommodation, food
In February you will have the opportunity to take part in the National Learner Views Survey. This is a survey offered to students in colleges all over the country to the body that funds your learning. Please take part! Your views will be used to generate a rating of the performance of Birmingham Metropolitan College in comparison to other colleges and education providers in England. This rating will help us to know how well we are doing compared with others and enable us to respond to feedback. The survey will be available on MyMet from February 2011.
Amy plans to write a book about her 240-day journey and is set to start organising further events to raise further money for kidney research. Our students are hoping to join her once again in her fund raising activities.
New developments in E-Safety communicate electronically every day, and the digital global village is no different to any other kind of society with rules, laws and good and bad behaviour. BMET has a new E-Safeguarding Policy that provides a framework for how to stay safe in a digital world. To complement this policy and embed e-safety, we have also developed a new online module in Digital Citizenship.
• 19% of you did not obtain a course handbook. If you have not received a course handbook, please ask your tutor for a copy. • 50% of you did not realise that a copy of the College handbook can be found on MyMet. So if you have lost yours or need some specific information about the College, please look under ‘Information’ on the homepage of the portal.
and travel costs. Most of the students had never seen the southern coastline before and really enjoyed the trip.”
The internet, mobile devices and emerging technologies have changed the way in which we communicate to each other and this has presented new opportunities for learning. Electronic media can enhance the learning environment and bring a range of benefits to support transformational learning, access to learning resources, services, advice and guidance. Birmingham Metropolitan College is committed to exploiting the opportunities provided by all electronic media, whether it’s the internet or mobile technology, or wider emerging new technologies in all aspects of College life. However, rapidly developing new technologies have also created their own range of risks such as privacy invasion, cyber-bullying, misuse of systems and cyber-crime amongst others. We are committed to helping our students thrive in the 21st century and a key aspect of this is the development of key knowledge and behaviour to keep safe and happy in an online world. Billions of people use the internet and
The approach to digital citizenship at the College is to place an emphasis on both safety and ethical behaviour online and to promote awareness of our responsibilities in an online world. The Digital Citizenship module provides the opportunity to explore a range of issues and approaches to being a good ‘digital citizen’ and will help you to stay safe online by exploring issues relating to good and bad behaviour online, raising awareness of legal issues in an online world and stimulating interest in what it means to be a good digital citizen. The new E-Safeguarding Policy and Digital Citizenship module are just some of the ways in which Birmingham Metropolitan College is delivering on its commitment to doing everything that it can to provide a safe, stimulating and inspiring learning environment for all of its learning community. To complete the Digital Citizenship module, visit the Enrichment page on MyMet (under the heading Student Support), click on the Digital Citizenship graphic and then log in with your student username.
Choose a course and enter the details in Track. UCAS will then send your application to the university or college.
If you are flexible and you have reasonable exam results, there is still a good chance you will find another course through Clearing.
We hope you all got your applications completed and sent by the 15 January deadline. For some Art and Design courses you have until 24th March, but don’t forget you need to get your tutor to check your application and add a reference, so don’t leave it until the last minute! Your tutor and Careers team are here to help you.
Choosing a course Research the courses before deciding which to apply for. If you applied for high-demand courses originally and were unsuccessful, you could consider related or alternative subjects. Your teachers or careers advisers, or the universities and colleges themselves can provide useful guidance.
You can take part in Clearing if you have already applied through UCAS and you are in one of the following categories.
Good luck with your applications - we hope you get the offers you are hoping for.
What happens next? If you are offered a place, you can choose whether or not to accept it. If you accept an offer, you are committed to it, which means that you cannot apply anywhere else. You will need to reply to your offer by the date shown in Track.
Useful information regarding your UCAS application The Extra UCAS Service If you have made five UCAS choices and received no offers or declined all the offers you received, you can apply through Extra for another course with vacancies. Extra is open between the end of February and the end of June. In Extra, you apply for one course at a time using Track. If you are eligible for Extra, a button will appear on your Track screen which you can use to apply for a course in Extra. Course Search will tell you which courses have vacancies - an ‘x’ will be displayed next to any available courses. Before you apply, try to contact the university or college to make sure that they can consider you. Check Course Search to see if there is an Entry Profile for the course because some will tell you what the university or college looks for in their students and might also have case studies from students who have taken the course.
If you decline an offer, or the university or college turns you down, you can apply for a different choice through Extra (time permitting). Your Extra button in Track will be reactivated. You can also apply for a different choice if you haven’t received a decision from your Extra choice within 21 days of applying to them. If you don’t get an offer in Extra, don’t worry! You can apply through the UCAS Clearing process, which gives you another opportunity to apply for vacancies. The Clearing Service Clearing is a service available between July and September, but for most people it is used after the exam results are published in August. It can help people without a university or college place to find suitable vacancies on higher education courses.
• You have not received any offers. • You have declined all your offers or not responded by the due date. • Your offers have not been confirmed because you have not met the conditions (eg you have not achieved the required grades). • You have declined a changed course, a changed date of entry and/or changed point of entry offer. • You applied for one course which has been declined/ unsuccessful and you have paid the full application fee (£21 for 2011). • We receive your application after 30 June. If we receive your application after this date, we will not send it to any universities and colleges. If you only made a single choice on your original application, you can pay a further £10 and apply to other universities and colleges through Clearing. You can still complete a UCAS appplication until 20 September 2011. If you apply after 30 June you will automatically be entered into Clearing so you should not fill in any choices on your application. Course vacancies in Clearing are published on ucas.com from mid-August until lateSeptember.
If you have not already applied for EMA, you have missed the deadline as no new applications will now be processed by the YPLA Learner Support Service.
Students currently receiving EMA will continue to receive it for the rest of this academic year, if they fulfil the terms of their EMA Agreement. Mentoring is about empowering you, the learner, to achieve your potential. Everyone ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ – but it is much better to deal with problems as early as possible to maximise the chances of success. So here are fifteen ‘ifs’ that could mean you should come and see a Mentor. • If you are falling behind with your work. • If you are not getting on with any member of staff. • If you are facing problems with the College disciplinary procedure. • If there is another student you have fallen out with. • If you are suffering with exam stress. • If you want to further improve your grades.
• • • • • • • • •
If you are having problems at home. If you are thinking of dropping out of College. If you think you are going to fail your course. If you are not sure about what you want to do in the future. If you are having financial problems. If you need someone to talk to. If you need someone to mediate. If you are lacking motivation. If there is something troubling you, but you are not sure what it is.
Are there any ‘ifs’ that apply to you? If so, no ‘buts’ - make an appointment with the Mentors at your campus or contact us on email@example.com
Please note - To help keep the queues down and to be able to deal with queries quickly and save you all time, please remember to check your college emails, keep a check on your bank account and come and see Student Services as soon as you know you haven’t been paid for the previous week. This way you won’t have to queue too long and we will be able to deal with you quickly, which will ensure you get a regular payment. If you leave it five or six weeks before you come to see us, it can take longer to investigate and resolve any queries you may have.
Mentoring Awareness Quiz
James Watt Campus Winners James Eaton Counsellor Mensah Runners Up Matthew Thomas Chloe Drieling Kavita Banger Matthew Boulton Campus Winners Hayley Edwards Segan Kifle Runners Up Sarah Walton Habib Saleen Raziq Mohammed Sutton Coldfield Campus Winners Jamie Tait Lauren Breslin
They’re aware! Mentor Awareness days held at the three main campuses encouraged students to find out about the support service BMET provides. They were also invited to complete a quiz on the topic with campus winners and runners-up being selected and receiving gift vouchers:
Runners Up Kyle Pinkney Tahnee Samuels William Rogers
Student Finance Week
7– 11 February 2011 The Careers team have invited Coventry, De Montfort and Birmingham City Universities to run sessions on student finance for those BMET students starting university in September 2011. Look out for further details. Please note from 14 February all students for academic year 2011/2012 applying for fulltime courses in higher education can apply for student finance online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
Brave students spent a night at the Sutton Coldfield campus in sub zero temperatures to raise money for charity. 15 students and five members of staff slept in cardboard boxes from 7pm on a Friday night to 7am the following morning in the car park adjacent to the new sports hall in aid of homeless support charity, St Basils. The event ran in conjunction with the St Basils
annual Big SleepOut in Digbeth which raises money for young people between the age of 16-25 who find themselves homeless. The group raised in excess of £500 for this worthwhile cause after braving the freezing snow to experience what it actually feels like to spend a night sleeping rough. Congratulations to everyone involved in the event.
Discretionary Learner Support Funds Travel vouchers for those eligible are now available from Student Services. •We can also assist with the following: Essential trips, kit and textbooks – see your tutor •UCAS registration and university interviews – enquire at Student Services •Laptop loans – enquire at Student Services If you are not sure if we can help, please ask! Please note: funds are subject to availability
Zambian friendly A couple of outstanding interceptions by the Chengelo goalkeeper allowed her team to go ahead by two goals at half-time.
A reward from PUMA
As both teams were making regular substitutions to allow everyone to participate, it did sometimes affect the flow of the game, but this made it more exciting as the players had to keep adapting to their new team mates.
The Met Sport Netball Academy played host to a visiting team from Chengolo School, Zambia. The girls aged between 13 and 18 proved to be more than adequate opposition for the Met players. The four quarters of the match were closely contested throughout with both teams scoring at every opportunity.
The Met managed to draw level in the last quarter with some accurate passing down the court and finally came out winners 22-19. The players thoroughly enjoyed this fixture with match organiser, Steve Banister stating, “The welcome and friendly manner of your colleagues and players was much appreciated by the Chengolo group. Of the 17 games the girls have played, this one against the College has been the most enjoyable and we hope we can request another fixture if we come to England again.”
Match reports Match reports from Met Sport Reporter, James Westley Mens’ Hockey Birmingham Met 7 South Nottingham College 0 Birmingham Met started the game very well playing a 4-4-2 formation, but what they weren’t doing was getting the ball out wide which is one of the main reasons to play this formation. Once they spread the ball out to the wings, the game opened up more so there was more space in the middle of the pitch for them to create chances and score. By the end of the first half, Birmingham Met scored two great goals to go into half time leading South Nottingham College 2-0. South Nottingham College started the second half the better team as they were passing the ball well for a while before Birmingham Met started to get back into the game to create some more chances. Once Birmingham Met started to get their rhythm back they dominated the game again. Met Sport hockey coach, Terry Lavery said after the game,“In the first half, we had lots of possession but few chances because of the lack of width we played with. In the second half, we played better. I would say Jack Knight was definitely man of the match with an outstanding performance.” Overall, once Birmingham Met got into their stride, South Nottingham College didn’t have an answer to the way their opponents were playing which is a credit to them.
Mens’ Volleyball Birmingham Met vs Sandwell College This was a best of five sets match which started off quite shakily for Birmingham Met as they seemed nervous in the beginning of the first set. This set was very close with both teams winning points off each others errors, so that neither really put much momentum together. It was finally won by Birmingham Met with a much-deserved score of 25 to 20. Birmingham Met were dominant throughout the second set as there was some excellent serving by a couple of players which was too powerful for Sandwell College. This set was won by 10 points with a score of 25 to 15 for Birmingham Met. The third set was like the first set, as there were fewer errors being made in this than in any other set for Birmingham Met. Sandwell College continued to get points on the board and brought the set very close but it still ended with Birmingham Met winning with a score of 25 to 21. Volleyball coach, Bob Fordy had an important part in this victory because he identified before the game Sandwell College’s weaknesses and when there was a short break in between sets, he told Birmingham Met what to improve on, so that helped them. Birmingham Met goes through to the next round of this competition with hopes of progressing further.
Two talented student footballers have been presented with a PUMA Award for their outstanding contributions to the Met Sport Academy. Team three football player Elliot Giles and women’s football player Shannie Jennings were both awarded vouchers by PUMA representative, Andy Taylor for the first halfterm period. The voucher entitles the students to £100 worth of student lifestyle or sportswear from the PUMA catalogue. In addition, Elliot and Shannie will be the guests of PUMA for a Newcastle United match, alongside future half-term PUMA Award winners. This exciting new initiative will recognise students who show true passion, commitment and diligence in their efforts within their chosen sports academy. Each half-term PUMA will name two winners who will be put forward for the PUMA Student of the Year Award presented at the annual Sports Academy Awards Evening in June 2011. Shannie said, “It’s nice to be nominated and recognised for all my hard work. I can’t wait to go to the Newcastle football match – it should be a great experience.” “Initially I was shocked to learn that I was receiving this award, said Elliot. “The voucher will come in very useful and I’m really looking forward to sitting in the corporate box and meeting one of the Newcastle players.” Andy Taylor from PUMA added, “The reason we are working with the College is to look at the different routes for balancing academic studies with sport, whilst at the same time exceeding expectations in both. We are also looking at attendance in the classroom, as well as in sport. “We want staff to nominate students whose sports performance, conduct, attitude or behaviour has gone above and beyond expectations.”
Tutor, Lee Chapman who organised the day trip explained, “The aim of the event was to develop the group dynamics of the students and help them bond with one another. All the first year students were mixed-up so that they were working with other students from different tutor groups. The activities were designed to get people working in teams and building bonds, as well as developing trust in others – all the qualities they will need to succeed on their course.”
The business of leisure
The activities allowed the students to overcome some of their fears and were great confidence builders. Level three sports students had an amazing day on a visit to an outdoor activity centre on the edge of the Wyre Forest. The Sport Performance/Sport & Exercise Science students who travelled to the Pioneer Centre in Shropshire participated in a range of fun activities including the high ropes, trapeze, rock climbing, archery, fencing, abseiling and caving.
“I did rock climbing and abseiling,” said student, Alison Wright. “They were a challenge, but all different and really good fun.” Rizwan Shah’s favourite activity was the assault course. “Everyone was really competitive,” he said. “There were three teams of nine people and we all had to complete four tasks. The team with the highest point score won overall. It was thoroughly enjoyable.”
sketches for their current 3D environment project work. The assignment, where they must recreate a real-world location to be used in a video game focuses on the village where cult 1960’s series, The Prisoner was filmed. “Students who find themselves working in the games industry will often have to research existing intellectual properties like TV shows and books, and turn them into a successful game,” said Course Leader Dean Reilly.
A group of future games designers visited the filming location of an iconic British TV show as part of their coursework project. The 27 BTEC National Diploma Games Development students travelled from the James Watt campus to Portmeirion in North Wales to gather reference imagery, photographs and
A great example Two groups of students ventured into the past during a recent educational visit. The students studying Business and Finance courses travelled to the RAF Museum in Cosford to attend a ‘Lessons from History’ seminar. Organised by the RAF, the seminar discussed the ‘Great Escape’ - a fascinating event which was made into a classic feature film - as it was seen as an excellent example of project management. The daring escape by the allied
“The visit meant students could follow the same production process a real games design team would and is another example of how we’re giving the people that study with us an authentic experience that will prepare them for working in an actual games design studio.” Games Development tutor and trip organiser, Patrick Caulwell added, “I was incredibly pleased with the professional and mature approach the students took throughout and look forward to seeing the work produced as a direct result of the visit.”
prisoners from a German camp was an inspirational and innovative project in terms of team working, leadership, individual job roles, planning, timescales and risk analysis. Programme Manager, Susan Williams explained, “The aim of the event was to develop the student’s awareness of history and how it relates to the modern day in terms of organisational structure and management techniques, in particular the management of risk, which is a unit on the Financial Studies qualification.”
The Business and Administration vocational groups attended an exciting Business of Leisure event at the Alton Towers Resort which included a series of engaging 45-minute talks in the Cloud Cuckoo Land Theatre. The interactive presentations complemented BTEC Business Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2 programmes and NVQ, ILEX and Diploma in Business Administration Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 programmes. Students gained an insight into customer services (both internal and external customers) at Alton Towers, which included an insider’s view on everything Alton Towers do to keep their customers extremely happy, including the professional training they offer to their staff. Students studying on the Diploma Level 3 in Business Administration gained knowledge on event organising and planning, which included looking at the preparations that went into organising a concert by artist, Pink last June. The trip allowed students to gain real vocational experience relating to Business, Administration and Retail sectors. Students had the opportunity to work with professionals from Alton Towers and take away valuable knowledge and understanding related directly to the student’s assignments and various units across their curriculum. In addition, the students also spent time in the theme park enjoying exciting new rides so it was a great way to mix business with pleasure! During the day the students also had the opportunity to talk with war veterans who had served in WWII about how history has helped shape the world we live in today, as well as viewing artefacts from the period, and touring the award-winning National Cold War Exhibition.
Focus on fashion It’s every budding fashion photographer’s dream to see their photographs in a glossy magazine and this dream has come true for a talented photography student. Jacob Powell who is on the second year of a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Photography course grabbed the attention of Style Birmingham’s editor with his stunning catwalk photographs which are featured in the current edition of the Style Birmingham magazine. “I’m really proud my photos have appeared in a magazine with such a large circulation, especially as this is the first fashion show I have ever photographed,” he commented. “I really enjoyed the whole experience, especially jostling with the other photographers. Trying to get the perfect shot wasn’t easy as the professional photographers had massive lenses and flash guns, but you only get one chance to snap that perfect image. “One thing’s for sure the whole experience has confirmed my desire to work in photo journalism.” Jacob’s love of photography originally started
out as a hobby. “I first began shooting landscapes whilst on trips abroad with my family, but I find fashion is a lot more interesting. I also enjoy taking portraits, but at the moment I’m trying to build up a wide range of photography to see what suits me.”
Yellow Scene As part of the Met’s Yellow Week of activities, creative, performing and visual arts students teamed up with forensic science students to produce a live broadcast in the style of BBC’s Crimewatch.
Tilley Associates, a London based creative agency, have also been really impressed with Jacob’s work after he spent time with them as part of his ‘A day in the life’ assignment. They have snapped up his images so that they can use them on their new website. Jacob is well aware that a portfolio and contacts are really important for those trying to break into this highly competitive industry, but with his recent exposure it looks like Jacob is well on his way to pursuing a career as a hugely successful freelance photographer.
Maths challenge success Maths students also demonstrated their abilities independently in an individual maths challenge. This consisted of 25 very challenging multiple choice questions where students were discouraged from guessing the answers as marks were deducted for incorrect answers.
Called Crime Scene, the programme reconstructed four crime scenes and inserted them into a studio-based programme that went out live on the internet. Scenes featuring mock-crimes including a mugging, a murder and a robbery gave the students scope to use their imagination in making a programme that was realistic and fun to produce. A lot of make-up skills were involved in making the injuries look believable, with forensic science students providing the criminal know-how that made the programme convincing. The show went out live at 2pm and was well received at all Campuses. Tutor, Peter Stack commented, “Working in a live environment is stressful, but the students rose to the challenge magnificently.”
Of the 30 students that completed the challenge, 12 obtained certificates and these were:
A team maths challenge organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust took place at the University of Birmingham recently. This was the third year of the competition which was open to teams of four students; two from year 12 and two from year 13. Of the 22 teams that took part, many of whom were grammar schools, BMET Maths students achieved an impressive fifth place. The team consisted of AS Level students, Hai Ngo and Ahmed Ali and A Level students, Asim Ashfaq and Hanvit Jang.
Bronze Nisha Thomas, Matthew Smith, Ketan Gupta, Michael Phillips, Ahmed Ali, Alex Hawkesford, Thinh Pham, Mahmood Talhah Silver Billie Moreton-Devine, Jang Hanvit, Hai Ngo Gold Asim Ashfaq Asim Ashfaq also achieved the certificate for ‘Best in the College’ and qualified for the next round, (The British Mathematical Olymipad) which is a first for the College. The results will be announced shortly.
Level 3 Diploma student, Tom Nicholls said, “I loved being in a professional studio and working to industry standards. It felt more like being in a job, rather than at college.” In addition to this activity, students were also engaged in making radio podcasts and music videos.
Santa run for Diabetes UK A group of students came together on a snowy Sunday morning to take part in a 5K Santa Dash to raise money for Diabetes UK. The event which took place in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield saw the first year BTEC Diploma
Calling all creative writers
Public Services students and their lecturers getting into the festive spirit by donning red Santa suits and long white beards. Glyn Price, Public Services Lecturer explains, “Over 50 Public Services students turned up on the day which was very good considering the weather! “Our students are hoping to raise around £30 each in sponsorship, whilst at the same time increasing awareness of diabetes within the community, giving them a ‘feel good factor’ from supporting a good cause. So far we have raised £575 from student entry donations and further sponsorship money is still arriving.”
The Matthew Boulton campus creative writing group, with the pen-name BMET Writers, brings together the combined writing talents of the College’s very own English students. If you would like to be part of our creative writing community then you are more than welcome to join us, whatever campus you are studying at. The group is currently active at Matthew Boulton campus, however membership and submissions are welcome from any students currently studying at the College. BMET Writers are in the process of developing a creative writing magazine to represent the College’s best writing talent, which will be published and circulated around the Campuses. In the meantime, a sample of creative writing will appear in Student MET. All work must be submitted to the editors for careful selection and proof-reading before publication. Each submission should have a 700 word limit for short stories and a 500 word limit for other pieces such as non-fiction articles or poetry. Illustrations will also be considered. Please contact us if you would like to become part of our creative writing community, capture the essence of writing creatively and get your work published. To join or put forward submissions, you can either contact the programme manager for English, Chris Hutchins, in room 711 at Matthew Boulton Campus (email Chris. Hutchins@bmetc.ac.uk), the group’s liaison officers, Jenny Long and Rupsana Khanom, or one of the two editors, Claire Simcox or Charlotte McDermott via their college email addresses. Yours most sincerely Claire and Charlie (Editors)
Media and Music students demonstrated their talents at one of Birmingham’s biggest concerts of the year - the BRMB Live event at the LG Arena. Music students performed in front of large crowds, whilst Media students provided an impressively mixed live video feed onto a large screen. Five camera crews covered the event, with other production teams capturing audio to be used in radio packages and as a record of the day. The lively crowd estimated to be over 6,000 who were at the event to see performers including The Wanted, Mark Ronson and The Script, stopped to take in the student performances on their way into the event, and were met by a team of students who were on hand to give out information about the College and our courses. Banners and leaflets had been specially produced and over 2,000 were distributed to a genuinely interested audience.
OFSTED WANT TO HEAR YOUR OPINIONS s w e i v r u o y d e e n e w Learners, g n ti c e p s in e b l il w d Ofste e g e ll o C n ta li o p o tr e M Birmingham
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Please support the OFSTED inspectors by using the links above to share your views about your learning experience Dr Christine Braddock CBE Principal and Chief Executive 12