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Darlington College Issue 5 January 2010

Electronics student’s dreams come true!

Electronics student Jamie Ferguson found himself plugged into world motorcycling action at a global event packed with celebrities. The 19 year old, of Hartburn, was invited to join the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, helping the team mechanics keep riders Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen on two wheels. He was able to use the skills he has learnt at Darlington College, where he is studying HNC Electronic Engineering, to keep the riders at the head of the pack. “Race bikes are governed by their electronics nowadays and I was able

Diary dates… Half Term Holiday Monday 15th February 2010 until Friday 19th February 2010 Spring Break Friday 2nd April 2010 until Friday 16th April 2010 May Day Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May 2010 Spring Bank Holiday Monday 31st May 2010 until Friday 4th June 2010


to draw on the data-logging experience of the course to help the mechanics,” he said. “I loved every minute of it and would love to do it as a career one day.” The opportunity arose when Jamie was mechanicing for Keen Racing, a team which was supporting the MotoGP race at Donnington Park. When he was in the paddock he was introduced to the Suzuki team manager Paul Denning who made the offer to accompany them to Portugal. “It was great to see all aspects of their work and fantastic to see how our course can be applied in the real world to things such as engine mapping,”

said Jamie, who works for the Fin Machine Company at Seaham. “They said they were impressed with my work and attitude so hopefully one day I might be able to secure a job doing this.” Darlington College tutor Neville Winter said: “To gain this level of work experience at such a young age shows superb initiative and drive on behalf of Jamie. “MotoGP really is the pinnacle of motor sport and it has shown Jamie just how the things he learns at Darlington College are used for real which has brought his course alive.”

The Learner Panel The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have commissioned an independent research agency to set up an online panel representing students in Further Education. The panel will provide a way for students to tell education providers and policy makers their opinions on education, thereby helping to shape future government initiatives. We need you to join! As a reward, in addition to being sent interesting and relevant questionnaires, you’ll also earn high street shopping vouchers for every survey you complete, normally £1 or £2 per survey.

Students at the college are also asked to take part in a National Learner Views survey between 11th-22nd January. This will be completed online in class. To join or to find out more about The Learner Panel visit

Darlington College


Issue 5 January 2010

Welcome from the new Principal Students, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year and I hope that 2010 brings you good health, happiness and success. Your success, both in your studies and in your life as a whole is very important to us. Let’s work together to make 2010 a fantastic year! 2010 is also going to be an exciting year for me personally as I become the new Principal of this fantastic college. It is a privilege to be part of a college whose staff and students have achieved ‘outstanding’ success and I am keen

that we build on this in the future. I am very much looking forward to getting to know you in the months ahead. One exciting new addition to the college is the social space which provides you with a comfortable environment where you can relax and socialise in between your studies. I am sure that you will find these new facilities beneficial. Once again I wish you all the best for the year ahead. Tim Grant Principal and Chief Executive.

New student social space is revealed! It was decided in a Learner Voice Group (which voices student opinion to the Principal and the Executive Team) that there was a need for more seating in an informal setting for students to enjoy their breaks. As a result the new striking orange and green student social space was revealed to staff and students when Andrew Seymour (Chairman of the Student Council) cut the ribbon. Students have been involved throughout the whole design and building process

and named the centre which is now officially known as ‘The Gateway’. The Gateway is where students can chill-out and use their laptops with the benefit of receiving free wireless internet connections. A plasma television screen broadcasts all of the latest news and a comfortable seating area is perfect for lunchtime. We hope that all students will benefit from and enjoy using The Gateway throughout their time at college.

Darlington College Issue 5 January 2010

Student health top of college agenda The ‘Play Safe’ Sexual Health Clinic continues to be the flag ship of sexual health services in the college. The number of students accessing this service has increased dramatically since it opened in September 2007. The clinic is open every Friday morning from 9 am to 12 noon with a specialist GP, nurse and is supported by Sexual Health Outreach Workers. The clinic team offers sexual health and contraceptive advice and treatment in a friendly, confidential setting. The clinic has achieved the gold award in the Chlamydia Screening programme for both male and female students. Students can go along, no appointment necessary, to AF43 every Friday morning in term time. HPV vaccinations continue to be high on the national agenda and the clinic team are providing separate Tuesday morning clinics to administer vaccinations to all girls aged 14 – 18. Students can make appointments with Diane Evans in the LRC or report to the desk in Central Point every Tuesday morning.

A new further education Sport’s Co-ordinator has been appointed to encourage students to get more active. Daniel Pugh who has a BA (Hons) degree in Sports Development and Coaching brings with him lots of new ideas on how to get fit, especially in the New Year. Punchaerobics, Pilates and skateboarding are just some of the new sports on the agenda. To register your interest in taking part, please visit Dan in the LRC or email

Get qualified in Driving Science Why not be one of the first people in the North East to complete the world’s first BTEC qualification in Driving Science? If you are about to start learning to drive we have obtained funding to support students through this training, which is the equivalent to one GCSE.

Through an e-learning platform you will address the importance of integrating the right attitude with car control skills.

You will also cover night time and motorway driving, risk management and decision making skills.

Over 5 modules you will learn about:

Please note that you will still be responsible for the cost of your driving lessons via one of thirteen advanced driving instructors from the Darlington Driving Instructors Federation.To see the full list and register for this qualification, please see Diane Evans in the LRC or call 01325 503152.

• Driving skills and risk • Safe interaction with other road users • Environmental driving • Driving responsibilities and self-evaluation • Safe driving behaviour

Community Sports Leaders Award The Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership is an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in sport and physical activity and looking to deliver sessions to the community in clubs at schools etc. It will also look great on your C.V. On the course you will learn: • The structure of sport (local, regional, national) • The principles and practices of leading safe sporting activities • How to organise and deliver sporting activities


• How to adapt sporting sessions This is a 5 day programme running during the Easter holiday period (8th-14th April 2010) from 10.00am until 4.30pm.

Do you want go get some fresh air and exercise on your break?

There is a cost of £30 which needs to be paid by the 26th February at Central Point, or by cheque made payable to Darlington College. This fee will be refunded upon successful completion of the course and a volunteering period.

Why not join our newly launched lunchtime walking group! For more information on times and locations call Diane Evans on

For more information, or to book a place contact Dan Pugh or Diane Evans at the LRC on 01325 503152.

01325 503152.

Our students are named the ‘Smiliest’ Staff and students are beaming with pride after helping win a national accolade for Darlington College. The National Skills Academy for Hospitality and Catering has awarded the title “Smiliest College” to students in a nationwide hunt for learner cheer. Catering tutor Louise Temple also picked up a national award for Smiliest Lecturer in a competition designed to promote the work of the National Skills Academy (NSA). Darlington College is one of just nine nationally to have been awarded the coveted status of being an NSA for

Fundraising update

hospitality and catering. The aim is to have centres of excellence to train staff for a sector of industry that is worth millions of pounds to the national economy. Tutor Geoff Lawrence, one of the first in the country to be officially trained to carry out the new role, said he had submitted a variety of smiley pictures to the NSA website and was delighted the college had been chosen twice. The college receives prize money and a celebrity master class for students. He said: “It’s meant to be a bit of fun but the fact we have won does give Darlington College national exposure. It also truly reflects that the college is a happy place to learn and work.”

Staff and students have been busy raising money for a number of different charities over recent months. This has seen those involved dressing up, collecting gifts, dancing, singing, abseiling and cycling to raise over £4700 for Breast Cancer Awareness, Children in Need, Daisy Chain, Samaritans Purse and The Great North Air Ambulance. Congratulations to everybody who has been involved with fundraising, I think we have all had a lot of fun doing it! Let’s see how much we can collect for charity by the end of the academic year.

The Corporation Board has welcomed two new student members. Nick Bland and Andrew Seymour will have a big role to play in voicing student opinions and ideas on changes and improvements that can be made to the college. Good luck to both of you – we are sure that you will do a great job!

All smiles: Catering staff and students at Darlington College who achieved the national accolade

Five new Student Liaison Officers have joined the Learner Involvement Team. Nick Bland, Jason Molyneux, Amy Petty, Joshua Pyrke and Lee Whatmore will be responsible for organising fundraising and social events, encouraging participation in sports and communicating volunteering opportunities across college to enhance the student experience for everyone!


Student Newsletter  
Student Newsletter  

A welcome from the new Principal and a look at our new social space!