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Monthly Staff Briefing September 2012

Hartlepool College of Further Education

Welcome This is the first of a series of monthly briefings which aim to inform staff of planned events and activities taking place in and around the College. Amazing things happen on a daily basis that may surprise staff working in other Schools and areas. This E-flyer is a way for staff across the College to let colleagues know about what’s going on, and we’re always on the lookout for new stories about student and staff activities, initiatives and achievements. We’ve lost count of the times when someone says “Oh, you should have sent a camera along to what we were doing last week” - if you let us know beforehand, we will! If you have an activity or event coming up that you think could feature in this publication, contact Julie Watson on extension 3802 or email HCFE Snapshot | A Level Results Day, August 2012

OfSTED move the goalposts As mentioned in the latest Principal’s Briefing, all schools and colleges enter a new era with regard to OfSTED inspection, with the main changes being two days’ notice and a renewed focus on teaching, learning and assessment practice. Additionally, the embedding and promotion of literacy and numeracy also forms a key plank of the new inspection process. OfSTED’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has featured in various media over the last few weeks and the links below highlight these and his key messages. They are well worth looking at to get an insight to his and OfSTED’s direction of travel. An interview with the Financial Times An interview on the Andrew Marr Show (go to 25 mins and 18 seconds) The_Andrew_Marr_Show_02_09_2012/

New starters... Since the summer, four new colleagues have joined the College’s permanent staff. They are Jason Turner and Gary Riches (Engineering), Clare Sutton (Sixth Form) and Richard Young (Fabrication & Welding). We wish them all a very warm welcome. The College also welcomes those members of staff who have joined us on a temporary basis in The Flagship Restaurant and on the LNG project. LR: Jason Turner Gary Riches Clare Sutton Richard Young

HCFE Snapshot is a part of the Monthly Staff Briefing that captures some of the many great activities happening most of time around the College on camera. If you take an image you think we should feature, email it to Julie Watson with some details (but please make sure you have the permission of those in it), or if you want to arrange photography contact Gary Kester on extension 4020 or email Please give as much notice as possible though, as schedules are often busy.

To save resources we create and distribute this document electronically. Please don’t print it out unless absolutely necessary. For up-to-date information, you can also log into Blackboard and follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

...and pastures new

In a similar vein, since the summer the following staff have left the College for pastures new. They are: Alison Hill (Design, Media and IT), Dominic Vizzard (Marketing and Customer Services), Ashley Peckett (Gym Apprentice), Pam Hall (Sixth Form), Lee Davie (Basketball Coach), Paul Geddes (Engineering) and Brenda Dowson (Facilities Management).

Better Health at Work As you may well be aware, the College obtained the Better Health at Work Bronze Award last year. In October/November 2012, the College will be assessed against the Silver Award criteria and there are various events/ activities related to this in which staff can participate.

Forthcoming Health Events/ Activities Friday 14 September, 09.30 to12.30 Simply Health will be in College to highlight its health related insurance products and services. This drop-in event is open to all staff and will take place in Conference 4. Thursday 27th September, 09.30 to 1230 Mindful Employer will be in the College to discuss work and wellbeing issues. This event targets the College’s managers and will take place in Conference 6. The College has signed up to the Public Health Responsibility deals with a specific pledge of providing healthy food options and information in our eating outlets. Work is underway with regard to a Wellbeing policy and last year’s health checks will also be repeated – more details to follow.


Fitness Suite Ongoing Offers Discount Membership for all Hartlepool College staff - please see the Fitness Suite staff for details. Special Offers, Sept - Dec 2012 For existing members, refer a friend and receive one month’s free membership. Contact the Suite on 01429 857198 for more information or to join.

Fitness Suite Experiences There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Homer walks past a gym, looks at its sign and asks himself “Gime? What’s a gime?” With discounted staff membership, professional equipment, free advice and flexible hours, we’re hoping that you’re more aware of the Luminary Fitness Suite. When it opened last year staff take-up was strong, and we asked for stories about what sort of difference joining the Luminary has made to your lives. These are the two winning entries, chosen by Luminary staff:

Kevin Holroyd

Andrew Walton

“I have always been a lazy trainer, although I have competed and enjoyed rugby and karate in my younger days. On my 45th birthday I was found to have an underactive thyroid, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are now treated with medication. At age 50, I was diagnosed as diabetic and in the five years following this diagnosis treatment has increased as the condition worsens.

“I knew that I was unfit and overweight and joining the new gym seemed an ideal opportunity as I would be less inclined to drop out as it was very conveniently here at work, where as if I had joined a gym elsewhere I would have been inclined to take the lazy way out and choose not to go.

1st Prize (1 year membership)

Last August I was persuaded to visit the Luminary suite –the best decision I have made for some time. My blood pressure was taken and still high, with a recommendation that I see my doctor. However, my blood pressure is now within normal parameters directly due to my sessions in the gym. I have also lost over two stone in weight and never felt better. This is a very important part of my life and I attend the gym every weekday for at least one hour, even when on holiday. The staff are friends - they are supportive and helpful and I will continue to use this fantastic facility - but free membership would be a real bonus!”

The Luminary also offers a range of exercise classes to suit all levels and abilities. To find out more visit luminaryfitness

2nd Prize (6 month membership)

At 39 years old I didn’t think much about my fitness or that there could be anything seriously wrong with me. However, the Stroke Association were in that day testing people’s blood pressure. I’d not had this taken for a couple of years, the results were not what I was expecting. My blood pressure was very high but it was the diastolic pressure that concerned the Stroke Association. The best reading they took was 104 and they told me to see my GP as soon as possible. I saw my GP’s Practice Nurse who told me to keep going with exercise at the Gym as it would help bring down my blood pressure. I consulted with gym staff who said to concentrate on cardio-based exercise and not to push myself beyond what I felt comfortable with. My blood pressure started to come down and by December last year my diastolic reading was down to a much more healthy 78. I also managed to lose 1½ stone in weight and nearly six inches from my waistline.”

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Investors In Diversity (IiD) During 2011/12, the College sought to achieve IiD status. Progress towards this is moving apace and there’s a final validation exercise at the end of September when it is expected the College will obtain the IiD standard.

September’s College Events 8th September Adult and HE Open Morning 10.00am-12.00 noon 10th September HE Enrolment 11th-12th September FRESH (Fresher’s Fair) 18th September Face the Public Event (Hartlepool Borough Council – Commercial Booking)

29th September Y11 Mop Up Morning, 10.00-12.00pm 30th September Colin Caygill Antiques Fair (Commercial Booking) For more information on any event or to let us know about anything you think should go in next month’s list, contact Julie Watson on extension 3802 or email

20th September Two Steps Beyond Y10 at East Durham College 9.00am-3.30pm


Luminary Salon Offers Hairdressing Promotion All Perms only £10, from 17th September until 26th October Beauty Promotion Indulgence Pedicure £10, with free Indulgence Manicure from 21st September until 26th October Contact the Salon on 01429 283826 for more information or to book.

HCFE Snapshot | Nigerian contract brings good cheer

HCFE Snapshot | Feathered friends keep seagulls at bay

HCFE Snapshot | New advert shoot runs smoothly

Hartlepool College, in partnership with Roxbury Engineering and LGN (Liquid Nigerian Gas) is training 33 Nigerian students Basic Mechanical Engineering Techniques in our industry-standard Skills Academy. The Nigerian students, who carry with them an infectious good cheer and sense of fun, are on a six month training programme from June to December 2012, and have been greatly impressed by the College’s facilities and the warmth of the welcome they have received. One thing they do sometimes wish was just a bit warmer though is the Hartlepool climate - Nigerian summers are on average 320C - 380C with little rain, whereas Hartlepool’s... well, aren’t.

Eagle-eyed passers-by might have noticed birds of prey patrolling the roof of the College earlier this year. The five falcons, from Ben Potter’s Birds of Prey, are part of an innovative strategy from the College’s Executive to minimise the noise and mess (especially on the main skylight) caused by the many seagulls drawn to the College’s large roof space for nesting. An ecologically friendly and discrete approach to the problem, the falcons chase off (but don’t attack) the seagulls until they begin to remember the College as a place where predators hunt, after which time falcon-shaped kites are placed on the roof to fool the gulls into thinking that the birds of prey are present all the time. With new flocks of seagulls an annual problem, it is highly likely that these five very special visitors will be back in the new year.

June 11th saw the return of Brightstar Productions and freerunner Matt Holmes to film a second TV ad, following on from the great success of our inaugural 2011 advert. With the College operating in full, unlike when the previous advert was filmed, opportunities were greater to show more of the facilities and increase the number of people “in frame”. It was a punishing 17 hour day for some staff and students but the end results are spectacular, as you may have seen on ITV, our digital screens or YouTube channel.

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September Gig Guide Friday 7th September Heatseeker (Ac/Dc Tribute) £5adv+BF, £7otd, £5nus

Atrium reaches for the sky The atrium is one of the most impressive spaces in the College, and a new range of activities intends to make the most of its unique atmosphere. The atrium and Coffee Rapport have proven very popular with students, staff and visitors alike, and not just for breaks or as somewhere to wait between classes and appointments. Increasingly, it is being used as a place to conduct meetings, for visitor hospitality and even as a space for events (see the Hornby Live Show below for example).

Saturday 8th September Fad Manners (Bad Manners Tribute) £5adv+BF, £7otd, £5nus Saturday 15th September Mutiny On The Bounty , Shapes + Support - £3adv+BF, £4otd – 16+ Friday 21st September Scholars - £3otd 16+

Work has been ongoing to offer the atrium on a more formal commercial basis to generate revenue, and a new flyer (right) has been introduced to promote this modern, bright, and ambient space. Over coming months a number of music recitals are also taking place, beginning with Pianist Stuart Collingwood (who has played piano on live performances for Tony Christie). His recital is on Friday 19th October and begins at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6, and a preconcert dinner package at The Flagship is also available for £18, beginning at 5.00pm. A bar will also be available in the atrium.

Sunday 23rd September Beth Jeans Houghton (above) + The Hooves of Destiny - £9adv+BF £12otd Friday 28th September Laid Bare, ft Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker - £4otd , a unique evening of song, poetry, art and spoken word

Saxophonist Matthew Rowe has a recital on Friday 30th November. More information on both concerts will feature in the next issue, and promotions will be taking place in the atrium and on the College’s digital signage over the next few weeks.

The Studio will be holding a range of Christmas activities and parties more details in the next issue!

HCFE Snapshot | Planes...

HCFE Snapshot | Trains...

HCFE Snapshot | And Automobiles

As part of the final stage of the new build, the College is installing it’s third ex-RAF Jet Provost T5 aircraft to stand on a plinth close to its Skills Academy (where the first two reside for Aerospace training), positioned on a slight bank as if in flight. The plane, XW405, arrived from storage on the morning of 20th June to be restored to display condition by students and staff. The Jet Provost was a responsive, reliable and inexpensive plane, and was operated by the RAF in a training role from 1955 to 1993. XW405 served with the RAF Nos. 1, 6 and 7 Flight Training Schools from 1971 to 1991, operating mostly from RAF Linton-on-Ouse. While “gate guardians” are a common sight at RAF bases and aircraft museums, they certainly are not at colleges, and XW405 will serve as a further monument to the skills of our students.

Over the weekend of the 7th and 8th July, around 3,000 model train enthusiasts descended on the College as almost the entire ground floor hosted the 2012 Hornby Magazine Live! Event. With over 20 often huge professional layouts and dozens of dealer tables to accommodate, almost every square inch of space we had available was taken up. Exhibitors and visitors alike praised the room and light they had in comparison to previous venues, and also the College staff present on the day who worked hard to get the event set up and (pardon the pun) keep it running smoothly.

The Hornby Show was also the first time the new car park was used. Two months on, with the final landscaping details currently being finalised, the opening of the car park marks the completion of the new build. The new system is a resounding success with staff, with all available spaces taken up - in fact, a bit of creative replanning has to be done to create extra spaces due to demand. Those in zones A and B can now come into work knowing they have a guaranteed and secure parking space at less than half the cost per week of Tower Street’s pay and display parking.

You can view these and a wide variety of College photoshoots by visiting our Flickr galleries at Page 4

HCFE Staff Briefing September 2012  

Monthly staff briefing and newsletter for Hartlepool College Staff