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wn? what next?

Free Wales edition 2009

This mag will not make you rich. It will not make you happy. It will not make you successful. It is a good read though. Go on pick it up! .... .... .... ....

Get your career sorted!! The Rakes - Exclusive Interview Year Abroad? Leigh Halfpenny - Interview


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WN? All materials copyright 2007. Pear Media, What Next? and WN? are a trademark or Pear Media 2003. Reproduction in part or full is strictly prohibited. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any matter in any way arising from the publication of this material. The views expressed by the contributor and writers are not necessarily those of the editor or the publishing company. The publishing company does not hold any responsibility for any of the information or content within the adverts.

the text

Editor : Ed Pereira Assistant Publisher: Gillan Williams Editorial Coordinator: Gavin B Harris Sub Editor : Pia Tandon

Thank you to all CONTRIBUTORS!

the look

Creative Director : Ed Pereira Brand Agency: Autografik

logistics

Magazine distribution : Pear Distribution Distribution Director : Fed Pereira Distribution Manager : Eduardo Stevens Wales’ only specialist magazine distributor www.peardistribution.co.uk

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advertising & partnerships Sales Team : 01446 776950


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Dear Readers, So you’ve finished your exams, whether they are GCSE’s, ALEVEL’s, or a degree and you’re just waiting and waiting for your results to come through. If you are a degree student thoughts of finishing the dissertation and working out what you are going to next is driving you to insomnia and you haven’t been able to afford you daily ritual of a curry and a pint. Perhaps the thought of any more revision for your exams will make you explode and you hope and pray the summer wont end. Whether you are 15 or 21 all of you probably barely have the time to think about what’s going on next week, let alone the next few months, so the idea of job hunting sits slowly warming on the back burner. Whether you are deciding to go to Sixth Form, University or whether to get a job What Next gives you an insight into all of your possibilities. We have incorporated bright and innovative ideas for your next step up the learning curve..

photographer Chief photographer : Diego Vidart if you require a professional photoshoot for your organisation please contact the office on the number supplied in the contact section

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Get On Course With Coleg Ceredigion

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an’t decide on your future career? Looking for new challenges? Then why not see what Coleg Ceredigion has to offer. Excellent study facilities and a friendly and supportive learning environment provide students with the ideal opportunity to further their education. The college offers a wide range of academic and vocational courses including Art and Design, Engineering, Computing, Construction, Performing Arts and Secretarial courses to name but a few. The college is also proud of its successful Faculty of Enterprise which can offer help and guidance with all aspects of setting up your own business as well as offering apprenticeships and work based learning opportunities in various sectors. With campuses located in Aberystwyth and in Cardigan, the possibility of financial assistance from the college’s Financial Contingency Fund, the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 to 18 year olds and a free transport system for all full time students, can you afford to ignore the opportunities being offered right on your doorstep? Open Evenings are held on both the Aberystwyth and Cardigan campuses regularly throughout the year and are an ideal opportunity to come and see for your self what Coleg Ceredigion has to offer. Log on to www. ceredigion.ac.uk for details of our up and coming events or you can telephone either campus on

Cardigan 01239 612032 or Aberystwyth 01970 639700 for further details.

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ethu penderfynu ar y cam nesaf yn eich gyrfa? Chwilio am her newydd? Beth am edrych i weld beth all Coleg Ceredigion ei gynnig i chi. Gyda chyfleusterau astudio ardderchog ac amgylchedd ddysgu gyfeillgar a chefnogol, mae Coleg Ceredigion yn rhoi’r cyfle delfrydol i fyfyrwyr gyrraedd eu potensial. Mae’r coleg yn cynnig ystod eang o gyrsiau mewn meysydd megis Celf a Dylunio, Peirianneg, Cyfrifiaduron, Adeiladwaith, Y Celfyddydau Perfformio a chyrsiau Ysgrifenyddol i enwi ond ychydig. Rydym hefyd yn ymfalchïo yn yr Adran Fenter yn y coleg sy’n gallu cynorthwyo gyda phob agwedd o ddechrau eich busnes eich hunan, yn ogystal â chynnig prentisiaethau a chyfleodd dysgu yn y gweithle. Gyda dau gampws yng Ngheredigion, y naill yn Aberystwyth a’r llall yn Aberteifi yn ne Ceredigion, y posibilrwydd o dderbyn cymorth ariannol gan Gronfa Ariannol wrth gefn y Coleg, y Lwfans Cynhaliaeth Addysg ar gyfer myfyrwyr 16-18 mlwydd oed a’r system drafnidiaeth am ddim ar gyfer holl fyfyrwyr llawn amser y coleg, a allwch chi fforddio i beidio manteisio ar y cyfleoedd sydd ar gael? Mae Nosweithiau Agored yn cael eu cynnal ar y ddau gampws yn rheolaidd drwy gydol y flwyddyn sy’n rhoi’r cyfle delfrydol i chi gael gweld dros eich hunain beth sydd gan Coleg Ceredigion i’w gynnig i chi. Cliciwch ar www.ceredigion.ac.uk am y manylion diweddaraf ynglyn â’r Nosweithiau Agored nesaf, neu ffoniwch

Aberystwyth ar 01970 639700 neu Aberteifi ar 01239 612032.


WN?book is enjoying a year abroad

you’ve been over in Germany working and studying “” So since September 2007?

Yes I came because it’s part of my degree scheme. The way I saw it, the time at work would allow me to not only gain valuable work experience for my CV but also to improve my business language for the future.

WN? View interview with Luke Anderson

Interview by Catherine Graham Send Luke a message Poke Luke

So 10 months on, how have you found it? Has it benefited you as much as you thought it would? Definitely! With the exception of my French roommate at Reutlingen everyone on my floor spoke German only so I was able to get two or three hours of German speaking practise each day, on top of all my German lectures. Did your home University and the foreign university help you a lot with your move abroad? Swansea University really did help a lot, helping me to select the most suitable option. Reutlingen University also by answering any questions quickly and efficiently. ~They also organised weekend trips into the two local cities and gave us a couple of lectures on German culture and University life. Is the language barrier an issue at work? Have you felt you have been treated the same as the locals? It isn’t a barrier; they seem to see it as my personal challenge which they are helping me to overcome. The company are really student orientated and helped me to find a flat for the duration. I am treated exactly the same as everyone else and my colleagues in the office are patient to allow for my language. Did you experience any ‘culture shock’ when you first moved there? How did you deal with any homesickness and how long did it take to get fully settled? I made lots of friends quite quickly at university here since everyone is in the same boat at the end of the day. Facebook, MSN and Skype are great links to friends and family back home so it really didn’t take long for me to settle. What about the food over there? Is it easy to find British food if you want it? Getting our hands on British food only happens when a friend goes home, or else it’s a case of paying a heavy amount in a British shop if you’re lucky enough to find one! Only the larger cities have these. But local food is great anyway; the region and cuisine of my area is ‘Schwäbisch’ which is really hearty food - basic and full of goodness. If you’re used to chips, then you might be disappointed! They tend to eat more salad than vegetables too. So overall, do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad? Would you have done anything differently? Overall I think it’s one of the best years of my life to date; I actually don’t think there is anything I would have changed about my year abroad – the whole experience really has been enjoyable and valuable in every way!


Pictured with John Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Skills, is Dean Jones a Mercedes mechanic from Swansea, who along with two carpenters from Carmarthenshire, have been selected for the UK Skills Squad. The trio may have the opportunity to compete in WorldSkills 2009, held in Calgary, Canada.

Skills competitions will help make Wales world class

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n innovative competition which aims to find Wales’ most talented vocational and trades people, and boost their skills to world class standards, has been launched.

As part of the Welsh Assembly Government-backed, SkillsCompetition Wales, funded by the European Social Fund, colleges, training providers and sector skills councils will be holding competitions in a range of skill categories. The competitions aim to discover Wales’ most capable plumbers, electricians, mechanics, engineers, welders, chefs, waiters, joiners, carpenters, bricklayers, painters, decorators, plasterers, florists and visual merchandisers. Competitors will undertake a series of practical tests based on real-life work to demonstrate their abilities and highlight their outstanding skills in their field. Following regional heats, winners of the Welsh finals in each category may also be invited to compete again at the WorldSkills UK finals for the chance to represent the UK at the world’s largest skills competition. SkillsCompetition Wales is based on similar criteria to WorldSkills, which sets global standards. Held every two years, 51 countries meet and compete in over 40 different vocational skills. The largest skills competition in the world, the four day WorldSkills competition attracts around a thousand competitors and over 200,000 spectators. The Welsh Assembly Government is encouraging businesses and skills providers to join forces in a bid to secure gold at WorldSkills 2009 held in Calgary, Canada, in September, and WorldSkills 2011, which will be held in London. After excelling in SkillsCompetition Wales events last year, three talented Welsh tradesmen have been selected

for this year’s UK skills team, and may have the chance to represent the UK at WorldSkills 2009. Those selected are, Dean Jones, aged 20, from Swansea, a mechanic with Mercedes-Benz; and two self-employed carpenters from Carmarthenshire, 21-year-olds Gareth Evans and Cliff Williams. The trio will find out in June if they will go to Canada. Dean said: “I’m delighted to be shortlisted. It’s been a lot of hard work to get this far but it’s all been worth it. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to further build on my skills and knowledge which will also benefit my employer. “To have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world at the biggest skills competition ever would be amazing. I’d encourage anyone eligible to take part SkillsCompetition Wales to do it, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done,” he added. Deputy Minister for Skills, John Griffiths, said: “Skills Competition Wales is about craftsmanship and being the best of the best in your chosen vocation. It’s an exciting opportunity for those in vocations and trades in Wales to showcase their talents. The competitions provide a platform for the nation’s talents to be recognised and developed.” He added: “During times of economic difficulty, it is more important than ever that our workforce has the very highest skills base and we continue to strive for excellence in skills across all sectors.” For more information contact: Mark Bradley at the Welsh Assembly Government on tel: 01443 663 783 Email: mark.bradley@wales.gsi.gov.uk Website: www.wales.gov.uk/worldskills www.worldskillsuk.org


Yn y llun gyda John Griffiths, Dirprwy Weinidog Sgiliau, gwelir Dean Jones, mecanig Mercedes o Abertawe, a gafodd ei ddewis gyda dau saer coed o Sir Gaerfyrddin ar gyfer sgwad Sgiliau’r Deyrnas Unedig. Gall y tri fod â chyfle i gystadlu yn WorldSkills 2009 a gynhelir yn Calgary, Canada.

Cystadlaethau sgiliau yn helpu i hybu sgiliau Cymru

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ansiwyd cystadleuaeth flaengar sy’n anelu i ganfod gweithwyr galwedigaethol a chrefftwyr mwyaf talentog Cymru a hybu eu sgiliau i safonau byd-eang.

Fel rhan o Gystadleuaeth Sgiliau Cymru, a gefnogir gan Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru ac a ariannwyd gan y Gronfa Gymdeithasol Ewropeaidd, bydd colegau, darparwyr hyfforddiant a chynghorau sgiliau sector yn cynnal cystadlaethau mewn amrywiaeth o gategorïau sgiliau. Nod y cystadlaethau yw darganfod plymwyr, trydanwyr, peiriannwyr, weldwyr, chefs, mecaneg, gweinwyr, asiedyddion, seiri coed, bricwyr, peintwyr, addurnwyr, plastrwyr, gwerthwyr blodau a gwerthwyr gweledol mwyaf galluog Cymru. Bydd cystadleuwyr yn dilyn cyfres o brofion ymarferol yn seiliedig ar waith bywyd go iawn i arddangos eu galluoedd a thynnu sylw at eu sgiliau eithriadol yn eu maes. Yn dilyn rowndiau rhanbarthol, gall enillwyr pob categori yn rowndiau terfynol Cymru gael eu gwahodd i gystadlu eto yn rowndiau terfynol SgiliauByd y Deyrnas Unedig ar gyfer y cyfle i gynrychioli’r DU yng nghystadleuaeth sgiliau fwyaf y byd. Mae CystadleuaethSgiliau Cymru yn seiliedig ar feini prawf tebyg i SgiliauByd sy’n gosod safonau byd-eang. Cynhelir SgiliauByd bob dwy flynedd, gyda 51 o wledydd yn cwrdd a chystadlu mewn dros 40 o wahanol sgiliau galwedigaethol. Y gystadleuaeth sgiliau fwyaf yn y byd, mae’r gystadleuaeth yn parhau am bedwar diwrnod ac yn denu tua mil o gystadleuwyr a thros 200,000 o gynulleidfa. Mae Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru yn annog busnesau a darparwyr sgiliau i ymuno mewn ymgais i sicrhau aur yn SgiliauByd 2009 a gynhelir yn Calgary, Canada, ym mis Mehefin, a SgiliauByd 2011, a gynhelir yn Llundain. Ar ôl rhagori yn nigwyddiadau CystadleuaethSgiliau Cymru y llynedd, dewiswyd tri chrefftwr talentog o Gymru

ar gyfer tîm sgiliau y Deyrnas Unedig sgiliau, a gallant fod â chyfle i gynrychioli’r DU yn SgiliauByd 2009. Y rhai a ddewiswyd yw Dean Jones, 20 oed o Abertawe, sy’n fecanig gyda Mercedes Benz; a dau saer coed hunangyflogedig o Sir Gaerfyrddin, Gareth Evans a Cliff Williams sydd ill dau yn 21 oed. Bydd y tri yn clywed ym mis Mehefin os byddant yn mynd i Ganada. Dywedodd Dean: “Rwyf wrth fy modd i fod ar y rhestr fer. Bu’n llawer o waith caled i gyrraedd cyn belled â hyn ond bu’r cyfan ei werth e. Mae’n gyfle gwych i mi adeiladu ymhellach ar fy sgiliau a gwybodaeth a bydd hynny o fudd i fy nghyflogydd hefyd. “Byddai’n wych cael cyfle i gystadlu ymysg goreuon y byd yn y gystadleuaeth sgiliau fwyaf erioed. Byddwn yn annog unrhyw un sy’n gymwys i gymryd rhan yng NghystadleuaethSgiliau Cymru i wneud hynny, mae’n un o’r pethau gorau a wnes i erioed,” ychwanegodd. Dywedodd John Griffiths, y Dirprwy Weinidog Sgiliau: “Mae CystadleuaethSgiliau Cymru yn ymwneud â saernïo sgiliau a bod y gorau yn eich galwedigaeth. Mae’n gyfle gwych i weithwyr galwedigaethol a chrefftwyr Cymru i arddangos eu talentau. Mae’r cystadlaethau’n rhoi llwyfan ar gyfer cydnabod a datblygu talentau’r genedl.” Ychwanegodd: “Yn ystod cyfnod o anhawster economaidd, mae’n bwysicach nag erioed fod gan ein gweithlu’r sylfaen sgiliau uchaf oll ac rydym yn parhau i anelu am ragoriaeth mewn sgiliau ar draws pob sector.” I gael mwy o wybodaeth am y cystadlaethau, cysylltwch â Mark Bradley: Ffôn: 01443 663 783 E-bost: mark.bradley@wales.gsi.gov.uk Gwefan: www.wales.gov.uk/worldskills www.worldskillsuk.org


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Estyn 2010

The Future of Inspection


Feature

Tell us what you think! ESTYN, THE EDUCATION AND TRAINING INSPECTORATE FOR WALES, IS SEEKING VIEWS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE WAY EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROVIDERS IN WALES ARE INSPECTED.

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eedback from the public consultation will be used to design new inspection arrangements which will be implemented in 2010.

The aim of the new arrangements is to develop a shorter, clearer and more streamlined approach to inspection, which will allow resources to be used more efficiently, and target support where it is most needed. Learners in Wales are at the heart of the new proposed arrangements, which will be designed to meet their needs as well as the needs of teachers, parents and other stakeholders. Estyn has already carried out the first phase of an informal consultation. Findings indicate that most members of the general public and many professionals working within education and training would favour shorter, sharper inspections with more support and monitoring focused on weaker providers. This second phase of the consultation process will provide further feedback on these proposals.

Estyn’s consultation is being carried out while the Welsh Assembly Government is consulting on a broader policy statement on Inspection, Audit, and Regulation in Wales. Estyn’s new inspection arrangements are designed to fit coherently with this wider policy, thereby helping to deliver a more joined-up approach across the different sectors of Welsh public services. Pilot inspections will be held throughout 2009, and the new proposed inspection arrangements will be in place by September 2010. Estyn is encouraging the general public and anyone involved in the Welsh education and training system to take part. The proposals and the questionnaire can be found on the Estyn website www.estyn.gov.uk or, alternatively, hard-copies are available from CRG Research Ltd consult@crgresearch.co.uk 029 2034 3218.

Responses can be made anonymously and will be treated as confidential. The consultation closes on 7th April 2009


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A Bright Future For School Leavers At Coleg Gwent

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ou’ve got your GCSEs, said goodbye to your teachers and thrown out your uniform – so what’s next now that you’ve left school?

The range of options for school leavers is huge and bewildering, so it’s no wonder that so many 16-yearolds contact Coleg Gwent for advice on the next step for them. Fortunately here at Coleg Gwent we have hundreds of learning opportunities at six campuses, so whatever your goals and abilities, we’re bound to have a course of study that suits you. We’re Wales’s largest further education college and have 35,000 students enrolled on courses in subjects as varied as Motor Vehicle Repair, Horticulture, Theatrical Make-Up, Childcare and much more. There are six Coleg Gwent campuses in Newport, Crosskeys, Pontypool, Usk, Abergavenny and Ebbw Vale, so there’s always one near to you. If university is your aim, we can offer A-levels, either on their own or combined with a vocational course or the new Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, a courseworkbased option being piloted at Coleg Gwent. Perhaps you know exactly what you want to do, but you don’t need to go to university to get there – so instead of A-levels, you can choose from a range of vocational qualifications at Coleg Gwent such as NVQs.

And if you’re really not sure where you’ll be in a few years time, it’s not a problem – we can even offer vocational courses that still have enough of an academic element to keep the door open for you to go to university, so that your options are endless when you finish studying with us. It’s not all study, either. We have modern facilities at all of our campuses and outstanding opportunities for you to take part in sport, travel, social events and work experience. There are no uniforms and no bells, so we’re not going to treat you like a child – but we do care about your future, so we will be there when you need guidance and advice on anything, whether it’s help mapping out your future career or a personal problem you need to chat about. With so much on offer at Coleg Gwent, we hope you’ll be excited about leaving school and taking the next step. If you still need convincing, get in touch and find out what we can do for you. You can ring us on 01495 333333 or email us at info@coleggwent.ac.uk. You can even text GWENT to 88020 or log onto our website at

www.coleggwent.ac.uk

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Ruby Thorne HAVING MOVED FROM WALES TO LONDON, WHAT NEXT CATCHES UP WITH RUBY THORNE TO FIND OUT WHERE SHE’S GOING IN FASHION.

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uby Thorne AKA Ruby Lips is a fashion graduate from West Wales School of the arts, Coleg Sir Gar. Graduating with a 2:1 in BA Hons Fashion Design and receiving an award for student of the year, she is currently fulfilling her dreams by living in London and doing a placement with Betty Jackson.

Why Fashion? Why not fashion! It excites me! The ability to take inspiration and develop it into a new funky style, that’s my passion. Growing up I always tried to develop an individual style which continues today, whilst doing my A-Level in Art Design, I began to discover the enjoyment of expressing my creativity and applying my art form onto the body so I decided to do a degree in Fashion Design as I wanted to further my skills and learn how to make clothes. I knew I had to be in the heart of the fashion industry which meant moving to London. So far I’m loving every second, I’ve been really fortunate with the experience I’ve had, working with Charles of London, now doing a 3 month placement with the fabulous Betty Jackson then doing a weeks placement with Zandra Rhodes, and then I have interviews lined up with Giles Deacon and then who knows? Within this industry you need to have at least five or the big boy’s names’ on your CV in order to hopefully secure a fantastic job. The experience I’m getting is amazing... with Charles of London I went to Athens xclusive designer’s week, where I created one off pieces for their show and also helped with the running order of their collection. Right now, I am helping Betty Jackson out in the lead 18 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

up to her show in London Fashion Week, I’m doing everything from keeping the team well fed and watered to actually being given the responsibility of amending and tracing out patterns for her mainline collection. It’s all very exciting to be working along side her in her studio and everyone is so friendly there, I work in a small studio where I can see and hear everything that’s going on, from discussing design to making the garment, or just general gossip from the industry, everyday is very exciting and I love being there! When choosing placements, it’s very important to realise that you are the one working for them, getting paid hardly anything for doing something you love, but money can’t buy the experience! So when choosing placements it’s always a good thing to research the designer you may potentially be working with. For example, I have enjoyed the creative side from working with Charles of London, I have been inspired by the quality of design by Betty Jackson, and I have always loved print design, and seen as I’m all about the colour, I have a feeling I’m going to absolutely adore working along side Zandra Rhodes. At the moment I am still discovering my niche in the fashion industry, I am discovering new things I enjoy every day, whether focusing on design or pattern cutting or any other aspect of fashion. I have also been developing my portfolio and website www.rubylips.co.uk so I can showcase my work which will hopefully lead to an amazing job! It’s all about the networking and making contacts... it all stems down to not only what you know, but who you know. Being in the right place at the right time, and having a positive outlook on who you are and what you’re all about. Let confidence shine through and you’ll go far!


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“Theres just something about laugharne that allowes you to discover all of the undiscovered creativity that exists within you”

“It’s all about the networking and making contacts... it all stems down to not only what you know, but who you know” Buttons by Quicksilver, Laugharne, 01994 427700

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Wales Rugby Stars Team Together to

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nternational Wales rugby stars are throwing their weight behind a new campaign aimed at encouraging more Welsh boys to read.

Team captain Ryan Jones, wing player Lee Halfpenny and fly-half James Hook are endorsing the ‘Read a Million Words Together in Wales’ campaign which has been developed by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Basic Skills Cymru team with the aim of ensuring that more boys in Wales achieve the levels of literacy necessary to succeed. Building on the success of last year’s campaign, this year’s activity focuses on making reading more accessible to boys, extending the range of reading materials in the curriculum to include more non-fiction titles, short stories and books

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which appeal to boys’ tastes. The players are acting as role models for the campaign and Ryan Jones, Stephen Jones and Shane Williams are taking part in a national poster campaign which features sports and media stars from across the country, helping to reinforce the message that ‘Real Men Read’!

Ryan said: “I love reading, it is a great way to relax. As the Wales captain it’s important for me to read up on all our match reports and the latest developments in the world of rugby. “Reading your favourite magazine or newspaper is great fun, and doesn’t have


Support Boys’ Reading Campaign

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to be difficult. If you have difficulties with some words ask someone older to read with you, they can help you with harder words. Reading aloud is also a great way to ensure you improve your reading skills. “Get involved in the challenge and see if you can read a million words, in a group, with a friend, or alone. After all, real men read!” Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths said: “We know that some boys struggle with their reading which can have an impact on their overall levels of literacy and attainment. A lack of positive role models and the assumption that reading isn’t ‘cool’ can have a damaging effect on boys’ willingness to pick up a book.

“I want to make sure that boys across Wales know that men read, and through this campaign supported by stars such as Welsh international rugby players Shane Williams, James Hook and Wales’ captain Ryan Jones I want to see boys pick up books, comics, sports programmes and much else, embracing all forms of reading. “And family is key. An essential part of the campaign is ensuring that male family members read with their sons, nephews, brothers and cousins”. Teaching resources and a specially designed comic, ‘Time Troop’ have been distributed to schools across Wales to kick start the reading challenge for every pupil in Wales to read a million words, alone, in groups or with a reading partner. WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 23


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Top 5 interview tips

First impressions - first impressions are essential, dress to impress! Body language - without realising it, you say a lot of things just through your body language. Be attentive, sit up straight, listen and pay attention. Maintain strong eye contact with the person you are speaking to. Try not to fidget, even though you might be really nervous.

Do your homework - research the company you are applying for, find out what they do and the big contracts they have won. Use this research in your interview, this shows that you have thought ahead. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions too. Be positive - turn one negative trait into a positive. This is a regular question that can trip people up, if

they have not prepared for it. Use statements like “i’m a work-a-holic” or a “i’m a perfectionist to detail” this upon reflection shows that these are valuable commodities to bring to their company.

Have a great cv - cv’s are really important, make sure yours is up to date without any spelling mistakes. Look at our guide to writing a cv. WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 27


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The Rakes Exclusive Interview

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s I struggle to get to grips with my new and not so overly complicated dictaphone The Rakes are only too happy to help me work out how to use it. “We use a similar one to record music when we’re on the bus. We get some strange looks for that, as you can imagine. Sometimes we’ll just get an idea for lyrics or a tune and this does the job in catching the moment.” OK. Thanks for the technical support - you learn something new everyday. Now more about you guys. You’re here in Cardiff today to play a gig, have you ever played here before? Yeah, quite a few times actually. We’ve played here several times some years ago at Cardiff University which is really good and we’ve also played at the Cardiff International Arena with Franz Ferdinand. The first gig we came to do was in Bar Fly and it’s always good to come back here and have a walk around and visit some of the old haunts plus pop in to one of the pubs opposite the castle for a couple of pints. We’ve also got some mates down here. You played at a few festivals last summer, are you booked in to play any this year? At the moment we’ve only just sent out or new album to gig bookers, magazines, reviewing journals and newspapers, so we haven’t confirmed where we’re going to be playing yet. Hopefully it will be Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury, and maybe we’ll do some other ones, but we’ll definitely be playing at some festivals. The festival organisers tend to book the headline acts first, so we’re waiting to see what happens. We’ve just kind of started playing again because we’ve been away for a while recording a record so we’re now kick starting everything again. You’ve been in Berlin recording your new album Klang haven’t you? 28 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

We recorded there towards the end of last year and we’ve been back and for just writing and recording. Why Berlin? It’s a great place that has that kind of edge that London used to have for us. It’s a bit underground, it’s got some cool bars and it’s a really cool place. We live in London now and it’s become like home and a little bit of a mundane routine for us. We wanted to get out of London because we recorded our first album in the countryside in two two weeks and we stayed there. For the second album we did half in a similar way and the other half in London so it was almost like we were commuting which is not really the way to do a record. Even though we wrote a song called 22 Grand Job but we still want to live a life like we’re actually a band rather than go the studio at 9am, have a lunch break then leave the studio at 5pm. When you go to a studio in your home town you’re a bit more familiar with the process itself, that’s why we chose Berlin because it’s an exciting city. Plus when you’re in London you live on your own and record together whereas in Berlin we all lived together and went into the study in a bit of a gang together, so going top Berlin to record was a great way of getting the energy back. Did you feel completely refreshed after you finished it? Not so much afterwards but while we did it yeah, it felt great. We all just pretended we were mates for two weeks. Are you looking forward to your tour in April? Absolutely, that should be wicked. We’re going to Europe after that and we’ll also be in the US as well. When you tour together what are the best and the


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worst bits? Are you good mates? Yeah, we’ll have a good laugh together and we’ve known each other for years now. As with any other friendship there are ups and downs and we can be honest and tell each other to fuck off and stuff like that. We’re not dancing around in a circle everyday - only every other day! If you guys could go and see any band playing a gig today who would it be? There’s a good band called The Official Secrets Act supporting us today. They’re quite an escapist type of band, exciting, very energetic on stage and they play catchy tunes. What can fans expect from your new album? A raw, energetic short burst of angular songs. It’s a very direct record and we feel it probably got some of the strongest songs we’ve ever written, with the idea of transferring some of the energy we create as a band, particularly when we perform live, into the songs you play at home. It’s an upbeat album, especially compared to the second one which was a bit more introverted and down-beat. Expect something you can put on before you go out. If you’re not already out that is, or if you’re not broke. If you are broke you could put it on and pretend you’re out. How do you expect it to go down with the fans? We did a few dates last weekend and it was really good to play live. We hadn’t played a gig in the UK before that for about two years so it’s a little bit odd coming back to the territory but it was wicked and we had a great crowd who really enjoyed the new songs we played. We ended up with a fucking stage invasion in Darlington so it’s fair to say the reception so far has been amazing. How does that make you feel? Ecstatic, erratic. You have to establish the criteria for the record yourself. You can’t really say ‘oh, we’re going to make a record that appeals to this or that demographic’, you just have to go with it and get fully involved in it and take it to the limit of what you want to do. After that it’s a bit out of your control. What you can control is your performances, and it does take a bit of warming up, that’s why we’re getting out there to play

as much as we can. That’s how we started as a band, driving round in a van playing pubs and club nights at places like Bar Fly. It’s a funny thing. Not so much nervouseness but we finished the record last October and it came out six months later in March so you’re kind of living with this record for so long it’s just good to get feedback. When you play the big hits your well known for do you ever got bored of them? Not if you’ve got a good audience. Our hits aren’t that long anyway, you can’t get that bored of them, but a good tune is all about the audience’s reaction. Like if you play the first drum roll of 22 Grand Job and the audience gets excited you would have to be pretty detached from the whole process not to get excited yourself and get into it. It’s all about that connection with the audience. What’s the best gig you’ve ever played? We’ve yet to play it! Darlington was great. You play one gig and you forget about a million others. We did a gig once in Macedonia which isn’t exactly the usual place on the circuit where you go to promote a record because nobody is going to go out and buy your recored. But the gig was in an old municipal building with about 2000 people in the crowd. It seemed like everyone in the town who was into alternative music turned up. We were really hyped about it and excited to be playing and it was a fantastic gig. It was like being The Beatles - everyone was going mad! We’ve always been good when we’ve been pushed a bit and this gig was in the middle of the floor in this old building, no stage, and there was blaring electro music going on and then all of a sudden it stopped and the lights were turned on with just the four of us playing. It was unbelievable. With gigs like that where the crowd is close and literally pushing up against you sometimes you feel that some of the crowd are against you sometimes and it forces you to really put the songs out. If you just get into a routine and don’t put the effort in the audience picks up on it. Standing in a rehersal room playing can be the most boring thing in the world but as soon as youi’re out there with the audience it transforms the music. www.therakes.co.uk WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 29


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Building a career with a little help from a master Throughout the twentieth century and beyond apprenticeships have been a time honoured and steady way for young people to learn a trade and build a life long career path - in other words a guaranteed job for life! In this article we take a look at what an apprenticeship actually is, followed by a real life example of someone who has undertaken an apprenticeship in the construction industry. The system of apprenticeship first developed in the middle ages, whereby a master craftsman was entitled to employ young people as an inexpensive form of labour in exchange for providing formal training in the craft. At present in the UK people taking apprenticeships are employed by firms, which receive funding from the government to provide training. Similar to apprenticeships are the professional development arrangements for new graduates in the professions of accountancy and law. The learning curve in modern professional service firms, such as law firms or accountancies, generally resembles the traditional master-apprentice model: the newcomer to the firm is assigned to one or several more experienced colleagues (ideally partners in the firm) and learns his skills on the job. The construction industry is viewed by many as the ‘engine room’ of the UK’s economy, and 8500 constructionrelated apprenticeships were commenced here in 2007. In a modern economy such as ours housing prices and the demand for new houses are so important for a healthy economy that generally speaking if the industry is doing well, then so is the rest of the economy, and vice versa. If the construction industry is in trouble the chances are that so is the rest of the economy. Even though we are in a recession at the moment jobs are being lost, not created - and the construction industry has felt the effects, there is still room for optimism. At the beginning of 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated that he wants one in five young people to be on apprenticeships within 10 years. The government think that in order for this country to compete on a global stage and to keep creating more jobs upgrading the population’s skills is vital, with the theory being that our workforce should be able to compete with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Because of this construction is one area that should see the creation of more apprenticeships in the future as the government attempts to meet 32 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

its target of training 400,000 apprentices per year. A prime example of a ‘boy done good’ who successfully passed through an apprenticeship is Phillip Walker from Swansea. Unsure of a career path after leaving school five and a half years ago, Phillip was offered a position as a labourer with a leading South West Wales electrical contractor, RDM Electrical Services Limited, with whom Phillip’s father was employed as an electrician. After excelling in the position Phillip was offered the chance of becoming an electrical apprentice with the company. Even though it meant a substantial wage cut initially, he decided to take the chance and is now a fully qualified electrician. During his apprenticeship Phillip achieved a number of awards including the highest City & Guilds Electrical Exam results at Stage 1 in South West Wales during 2004. Phillip is now employed as a trainee engineer with RDM Electrical Services Limited and they continue to support him as he studies part-time at college to gain a HNC qualification in Building Services Engineering in order to take the next step up the ladder.

Job Description Also known in the industry as electrical engineers, electricians design, install and maintain electrical systems and/or components to high specifications, focusing on economy, safety, and reliability. They are involved in projects from the design concept through to implementation, acceptance testing and handover. Within these projects, most electricians work as part of multidisciplinary teams, not only with engineers from other specialisations, but also with architects, marketing and sales staff, technicians and customer service personnel. The nature of the role will vary according to industry or sector. The range of activities common to many posts is likely to include: identifying customer requirements; researching suitable solutions and estimating costs and timescales; liaising with clients and contractors; and preparing product documentation, writing reports and giving presentations.


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Skills & Personality

Earnings and Prospects

According to the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) – the UK’s largest trade association representing the electrical and building services sector – electricians need technical knowledge plus the ability to multi-task and project manage. Additional skills, such as the ability to work in a supervisory capacity, are usually required as careers in this role progress.

Candidates can expect a starting salary of around £4.14/ hour for a first year apprentice, while an experienced electrician’s salary can range from around £24,000/annum upwards, plus overtime and bonus payments.

Electricians need to be responsible and methodical with a good eye for detail. They also need be able to work in a wide range of environments with a variety of people so good communication and interpersonal skills combined with a strong team ethic are vital.

Training & Entry Requirements To become a qualified electrician, candidates must take a course recognised in the industry, usually an NVQ at level 3, which is a nationally recognised qualification for a skilled tradesperson. To complete an NVQ all candidates must gain practical as well as theoretical experience as they are assessed for competence by becoming employed as an apprentice with a company and working on site. Most apprentices are taken on by employers who work with a training manager such as JTL, the leading training provider to the electrical and building services engineering sector. A training provider acts as a broker between apprentice, employer and college to ensure that the apprentice and the employer get the best out of the apprenticeship. Young people between the ages of 16 to 19 should consider an Advanced Apprenticeship (AA), the most comprehensive available in the industry and an ideal way for a young person to get a foot on to the career ladder. Providing both a salary and college training, the AA delivered by JTL involves studying for an NVQ Level 3, including the Technical Certificate and relevant Key Skills, which provides industry recognition as an electrician.

According to the Welsh Assembly the opportunities for those who want to train as electricians in Wales are immense as their services are vital for providing 21st century housing, schools, and hospitals, as well as meeting the need of a booming wave of private sector developments such as SA1 in Swansea. As well as ensuring a stable and well paid career, apprentices can look forward to a number of opportunities after they qualify including design, supervisory and management roles, becoming a chartered engineer, technician or estimator and, in some cases, even owning their own company.

MAIN SATISFACTION / MOAN “After starting out earning a reasonable wage as a labourer, taking a pay-cut to start an apprenticeship didn’t seem like a great idea at first but, this proved to be a wise decision in the long run and I would without doubt recommend an apprenticeship to anybody in the same indecisive situation I was in nearly five year ago.”

MORE INFORMATION The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) is the UK’s largest trade association representing the electrical and building services industry: www.eca.co.uk. SummitSkills: www.summitskills.org.uk or call 08000 688 336. JTL: www.jtltraining.com, or call: 0800 085 2308 For general information on apprenticeships go to : www.apprenticeships.org.uk WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 33


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Sticky rice and flipflops FOR THOSE WHO ARE SEEKING A LITTLE EXCITEMENT AND ADVENTURE, THEN EMBARKING ON A GAP YEAR COULD BE THE BEST THING YOU EVER DO. IT NOT ONLY ALLOWS YOU TO VISIT SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, INTERESTING AND CULTURALLY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD, BUT IT HELPS YOU WITH YOUR SOCIAL SKILLS, MATURITY AND INDEPENDENCE.

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ou’re young, looking for adventure, trying to avoid the rat race and passionate to explore the world. You could be travelling to exotic places like India, Thailand and Asia. You’ll come home with memories of living in flipflops and eating fish and sticky rice everyday or swimming with the locals. Working abroad has so much going for it. It’s not always easy to save enough money to go away for a whole year, but it doesn’t stop you for going away for a few months. It’s a good way to experience a different culture and it could give you valuable experience to put on your CV. The world really is your oyster. If you are a UK citizen or you hold an EU (European Union) passport, you can work in any other EU member country without a visa 34 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

or work permit. There are countless jobs available to people who speak the right language. Even if you’ve little work experience and don’t speak the languages you’d be surprised what skills you do have if you think about it. There are lots of different jobs you can get abroad. You could au pair in North America, go fruit picking in Australia, or you could enroll in global education programs that combine language study, home stays, cultural immersion, community service and independent study. These experimental opportunities exist in countries including India, China, Morocco and Brazil to name just a few. There are however risks that you should be aware of, especially if you are a first time lone traveller, don’t worry but remember to be prepared. To help you “gappies” or “travel bums” prepare for a trip of a lifetime, What Next? have come up with a few tips to point you in the right direction.

Research There really is no excuses for not researching your country and anyway it will get you excited about where


Wn? / whatnextmag.com Places to go: Cambodia China Hong Kong India Indonesia Japan Malaysia Nepal Philippines Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Thailand Vietnam Botswana Egypt Ethiopia Gambia Kenya Morocco South Africa Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe Barbados Canada Cuba Honduras Mexico USA Brazil Chile Peru Uruguay Fiji New Zealand Samoa Tonga you are going. There are so many sites on the web for you to choose from, there are tailor made sites including www.gapyear.com and www.lonelyplanet.com. By reading up on the country this will give you a greater understanding of where you are going and give you the confidence for when you arrive. Jabs Ok the thought of having injections might put you off, but popular destinations including Africa and Indonesia require certain vaccinations these might include Hepatitis, Malaria and Rabies. Some of these injections need to be administered weeks before you go so make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. Insurance Insurance is so important when you go away, you might need special insurance if you are doing any extreme sports or potentially hazardous activities. Just incase the worst happens make a note of the Emergency Assistance telephone number and your policy number

and carry it with you wherever you go. Budget There’s nothing worse than being skint, especially when your in a foreign country and no one to help bail you out. Running out of money is a common problem gap year students face. Try and have a daily budget and stick to it, a good tip is to have a contingency fund just incase. Keep in touch Use msn, facebook or skype to keep in touch with friends and family, this not only gives you the opportunity to boast about where you are, but it’s a security measure. If something bad did happen then your friends and family would know where you were planning to go, they can raise the alarm and inform the local authorities. Let the adventure begin and enjoy an experience of a lifetime.

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Llandrindod School Targets Boys’ Reading Skills

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secondary school in Llandrindod Wells is running a range of activities as part of a national campaign to encourage boys to embrace the joy of reading.

“We have recently introduced spelling bees, much in the style of the popular American school spelling competitions. A Year 7 team is currently taking part in the National Spelling Bee run by the Times and we incorporated a Live Spelling Bee into our Eisteddfod.

The campaign, Read a Million Words Together in Wales, has been developed by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Basic Skills Cymru team with the aim of ensuring that more boys in Wales achieve the levels of literacy necessary to succeed.

“The pupils have been extremely enthusiastic about these new methods and I have noticed a marked improvement in the standards of reading.”

Building on the success of last year’s Read a Million Words Together in Wales campaign, this year’s activity focuses on making reading more accessible to boys, extending the range of reading materials in the curriculum to include more non-fiction titles, short stories and books which appeal to boys’ tastes.

Ms Mackenzie said she was inspired by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Read a Million Words Together in Wales conference earlier this year which focused on closing the literacy gap in Wales through a combination of expert lectures and workshops from literacy specialists. At the conference Dr David Booth, an expert in boys’ literacy, shared his vast experience of engaging boys in reading.

Melanie Mackenzie, literacy coordinator at Llandrindod High School said: “We run competitions regularly where students can suggest captions for cartoons or images, change the lyrics to popular songs, or send in photos of themselves reading with members of the family. We like to involve parents as much as possible and pass on information from Basic Skills Cymru via our Newsletter to show how students can improve their reading at home. “Students have the opportunity to create their own graphic novels, as well as ‘blog-a-book’, which will involve children adding their own entries on a blog to create stories or share opinions on books they have read. We are part of the national Reading Champions programme with an increasing number of boys achieving Bronze and Silver Awards for Reading. “We have also invested in a wide range of books for our Library which boys will find of interest. We plan to introduce hand-held electronic reading devices which will bring reading firmly into the 21st Century. We celebrate World Book Day and events such as The Big Read and regularly have writer’s coming into school to work with our students. 36 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

Ryan Jones, international rugby star and Wales captain, who is acting as a role model for the Read a Million Words Together in Wales campaign, said: “I love reading, it is a great way to relax and keep up to date with the latest goings on in the world of rugby.” Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths said; “We know that some boys struggle with their reading which can have an impact on their overall levels of literacy and attainment. A lack of positive role models and the assumption that reading isn’t ‘cool’ can have a damaging effect on boys’ willingness to pick up a book. “I want to make sure that boys across Wales know that men read, and through this campaign supported by stars such as Wales rugby stars James Hook, Lee Halfpenny and Ryan Jones, I want to see boys pick up books, comics, sports programmes and much else, embracing all forms of reading.” “And family is key. An essential part of the campaign is ensuring that male family members read with their sons, nephews, brothers and cousins”.


Cynlluniwch Ar Gyfer Eich Dyfodol Plan For Your Future Now Mae Coleg Llysfasi yn darparu nifer o gyrsiau llawn amser, rhan amser ac o fewn y gweithle yn y pynciau canlynol:

Llysfasi College provides a range of full time, part time and work based courses in the following subjects:

Amaethyddiaeth Peirianneg Gofal a Gofal Plant Technoleg Gwybodaeth Busnes a Rheolaeth Ieithoedd Coedwigaeth a Chadwraeth Gofal Anifeiliaid Bach Trin Gwallt, Harddwch a Therapi Cyfannol

Agriculture Engineering Care & Child Care Information Technology Business Management Languages Forestry & Conservation Small Animal Care Hair, Beauty and Holistic Therapy

Mi rydym hefyd yn darparu ystod eang o gyrsiau byr.

We also provide an extensive range of short courses.

Diwrnod Agored 2009

2009 Open Day

Coleg Llysfasi — 28ain o Fawrth 10yb — 3yh

Llysfasi College — 28th March 10am — 3pm

Hyfforddiant Wrecsam — 21ain o Fawrth 10yb — 3yh

Wrexham Training — 21st March 10am — 3pm

Am fwy o wybodaeth cysylltwch â / For further information contact: Llysfasi (01978) 790263 — admin@llysfasi.ac.uk — www.llysfasi.ac.uk


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Useful Links www.studentbeans.com One of the best websites we’ve found to help you save money. Register for free at www. studentbeans.com and get access to thousands of exclusive student discounts and offers on everything from travel and eating out to electrical goods and clothes. The list of deals is endless and, as long as you have a student card, you can print off vouchers and ease the strain on your student loan!

www.push.co.uk Having trouble deciding where to study? Go to www.push.co.uk for the honest guide to UK colleges and universities. It has profiles of each institution, including star ratings for housing, sports and living costs, a jargon buster, useful top tens and a uni chooser to help you to create a shortlist of the best places for you. User-friendly and informative, this is a great website if you want the inside info on your college or university of choice.

www.moneysavingexpert.com This is a really useful site for HE students. Martin Lewis, a top finance expert, gives advice about dealing with your money and tips to save as much as possible on petrol, food shopping, phone bills, travel and much, much more. There are also vouchers for all kinds of services, such as restaurants and train travel, which are updated on a daily basis. Great if you’re at uni or in the process of paying back your student loan.

www.thesite.org When you need information about health, drugs, relationships or jobs, it’s hard to know where to turn to. www.thesite.org is a ‘one-stop shop’ for advice on topical issues that may be affecting you. With news on everything from your legal rights to tips on how to help out in your community, this site is definitely your guide to the real world.

www.thestudentroom.co.uk The Student Room is a forum for students who need advice on issues like careers and relationships. It is the UK’s largest online student community and is designed to allow you to talk to other students and share ideas with them. If you need help writing your personal statement or revising, visit this site, talk to other users and browse examples of their revision notes and essays. This is a fantastic way for you to get chatting to people your age about the things that matter to you. Check it out!

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How to...write an essay Writing an essay can be a stressful and frustrating process, but it doesn’t have to be. What Next? has provided you with a ten-step guide to make essaywriting fun and easy. Here goes...

1.

It’s all in the title

Underline key words in the title, especially question words like ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘what’, and decide how you’re going to answer them in your essay. For example, the question ‘How and why does Othello kill Desdemona in Shakespeare’s play, Othello?’ can be answered by writing about Desdemona’s death scene and finding examples in the play of her disobeying Othello in order to explain why he killed her.

2.

Do your research

Once you’ve cracked the code of the question, get started on your research. Re-read your notes, note down any useful quotes, go to the library or browse the internet for extra information. Focus on what the question is asking and learn as much about the topic as you can.

3.

Think

Work through what you’ve learned and decide your viewpoint. Often, you’ll be given a statement and asked if you agree with it or not. You need to have as much information as possible to back up your argument, but it’s equally important to give opposing points of view and say why you disagree with them.

4.

Sort it out

Keep re-reading the question and sort out your research so that you can provide a strong argument. Pick quotes which demonstrate exactly the points you want to make. Get rid of research and quotes which aren’t relevant or will take a full page of writing to explain!

5.

Plan

the body and the conclusion of the essay. Stick it up by your desk so you can keep referring to it whilst you’re writing.

6.

Introduction

Now write the essay. Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention, set up the issue that you will be talking about and lead into your essay’s argument. This is the most important part of your essay (apart from the title) so get straight to the point.

7.

P-Q-R

Each paragraph within the body of the essay should explain a different idea and start with a topic sentence that refers back to the question. For example, ‘Another reason why Othello wants to kill Desdemona is her bad behaviour in Act 2, Scene 1’. Use the P-Q-R rule. Make your point, give the quote that demonstrates your point and then respond by explaining how the quote supports your point.

8.

Conclusion

Wrap up your essay by giving a brief summary of your argument and leave the reader with a memorable thought or question to keep them thinking about what they have just read.

9.

Check it

Read through your essay, check that the tone is correct (i.e. not too chatty, not too formal) and that you haven’t gone over the word limit. Finally, don’t forget to spellcheck it!

10. The end result Once completed, keep your work in a folder. However amazing your essay, you could lose marks for presenting it on a crumpled piece of paper or in scruffy handwriting. Be proud of it!

Decide how you’re going to tackle the question. Write a plan of what you’re going to put in the introduction, WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 39


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The World Needs YOU!

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hen Barack Obama fought the recent US presidential election he echoed the great rhetoric of former US president John F Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The US may be quite some way away, but What Next? feels that newly elected President Obama’s challenge to US citizens certainly hits home here as well. All too often young people (and for that matter adults too) can be guilty of complaining that; ‘there’s nothing to do’, ‘we’re bored’, and ‘this or that is so stupid, they should do this instead’. Next time you feel like expressing these sentiments why don’t you stop and ask: ‘what can I do about it?’, ‘how can I change the situation?’, ‘how can I make a difference?’ There is already a small army of young people in this country who go out and help to change their communities through doing voluntary work, so to get you in the mood to take some action we are going to look at some of these hardy individuals and the difference they make to the world around you.

Discover a way to help

Way back in 1966 when the miniskirt was all the rage and the first US spacecraft orbited the moon, a group of Swansea students set out to change the world. The result was the Swansea Volunteer Service, which has since changed its name to Student Community Action and now Discovery Student Volunteering Swansea (Discovery SVS). But one thing has remained constant during its four decades - the help being handed out to the people of Swansea. Based at Swansea University, Discovery SVS is a student-centric registered charity that undertakes a range of of community projects to enrich the lives of disadvantaged people, challenge discrimination, and support people with learning disabilities. Every year, over 1000 members of the community directly benefit from Discovery’s services, with an estimated 5000 being indirectly assisted by a 200-strong army of volunteers. Volunteers can work on a wide-range of activities from the following projects: Linx (projects with vulnerable adults); Matrix (publicity, fundraising, networking); Connexions (projects with disabled people); Excite (projects with children); Expressions (creating a better environment); Interaxions (full-time volunteering); or even become a project manager.

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Name: Natalie Mills Age: 20 From: Shropshire Year started volunteering: 2007 Hi I’m Natalie. In October 2007 I started working as a volunteer in the local psychiatric hospital, helping to run activities for patients in order to keep them active and make them feel like they are engaged in the community at large, regardless of their situation. I think the work really helps to cheer up a lot of the patients that other volunteers and I see regularly. I decided to get involved in volunteering for several reasons. Firstly, I just wanted to help people in any way I can. Personally I think volunteering isn’t about saying ‘what’s in it for me?’, but rather seeing the small but significant changes you are making to other people’s lives. I’m studying a psychology degree, so this work is massively important experience for my career. The other reason I started this voluntary work is because I have a close friend who has suffered from mental illness, and I wanted to improve my understanding of what that person has gone through in order to be as good a friend as I possibly can. In terms of how I’ve benefited I fell that I am now a more confident person and because I’ve had to manage a team of volunteers I am much better at organising and planning activities and my time management skills are also a lot stronger. Hopefully these skills will stand me in good stead when it comes to finding a job in the future. Name: Mandi Rayworth-Kiernan Age: 22 From: Pembrokeshire Year started volunteering: 2007 My name’s Mandi and I love volunteering. Before I started volunteering I was very sceptical about working and not getting paid for it. However, my view of volunteering has totally changed because I now know exactly what I get out of it. I feel great after I do the job, and I’ve put a lot in and got a lot out for myself. A good example of the real difference I make to people’s lives is the voluntary english tuition which I do with an asylum seeker. Each week I can see him learning more and more english, picking things up and knowing what they are called, and building conversations. I have the joy of knowing that he’s on his way to learning english and that is a skill which he can benefit from for the rest of his life. That feeling is unbeatable and certainly something that money can’t buy. After I graduate form university I intend to work for a charity in a similar position to my current role at Discovery SVS. As much as my voluntary work should hopefully look


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Make a Difference

good on my CV and help me to stand out from other job candidates, I think the greatest asset I can take from my volunteer experiences is knowing that helping others is something I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s a real personal long-term commitment which I hope employers such as charities will recognise and value in the future.

Train and for funds to go back into local youth clubs. By having an activity for young people to engage in, they stay off the streets and out of trouble. By raising money, they have an opportunity to both improve their local area youth clubs and help a charity that gives young children a smile. Tara has already created her first printed T-shirt, researched T-shirt and printing costs, and recruited friends to start designing.

To find out more about Discovery SVS and how you can get involved call 01792 295743, or visit: www.swan.ac.uk/study/current/Discovery/Home.

It’s Your World. Want to CHANGEit?

CHANGEit encourages young people to speak up and take action in society - because you are the leaders of the future. CHANGEit is an award scheme run by Common Purpose and sponsored by Deutsche Bank. It has been designed to recognise, support and reward young campaigners between the ages of 11-18 who are already making or want to make a positive change throughout the UK. Awards are offered in three categories: Innovation – for young people who have a campaign idea but need help with funds or know-how to make it happen Performance – for young people who have already run a successful campaign that is making a difference Photo contest – for all young people who have captured images of “campaigning in action” or “change in process” that has been helped or started by other young people CHANGEit winners 2007/08

Smile with Style

Tara / aged 14 / Southeast London Smile with Style is a campaign which aims to get kids helping kids. Tara’s idea is to have youths from her school and other schools and youth clubs in Southeast London design T-shirts to sell for the charity Smile

We Want to Work

Lewis, Jamie and Emma / aged 14 / Edinburgh, Scotland We Want to Work is a campaign for exactly what it says. This group wants to create work experience for individuals under 16 that can provide practical training and skills and give them exposure to a variety of jobs they might want to pursue in the future. They feel job experience is very important, but there aren’t many options for under 16’s to try things out. The group has already begun researching local opportunities and plans to start the campaign within their school.

Get Ca$h, Keep Ca$h

Henry, Alex, Luke and Vignesh / aged 13-14 / Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Get Ca$h, Keep Ca$h is a campaign to inform young people about responsible finances via a website. The group feels too many young people just ask their parents for money without realising how they spend it or where it comes from. The aim is to inform young people about good finances early so as they leave for university and beyond, they’re prepared personally and informed about future finance issues like student loans and mortgages. The group is currently seeking sponsorship and already has the first version of their Get Ca$h Keep Ca$h website up.

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hat does a career as a home carer involve? A home carer offers help and support to those who need it in the comfort of their own home. They provide an array of services from administering personal care to light housework and companionship. In addition to this, all carers have to be trained in administering proper care, which includes hoisting, first aid and family liaison. However, being a carer isn’t all about getting people in and out of bed and dressing them - a lot of time is spent just being a companion for the client. A carer will often be found listening to stories, having a cuppa and even a bit of a chat! The day-to-day job is varied. One day you could be helping with housework and getting a client ready for the day ahead and the next you could be helping out with the shopping. You might also be asked to come and sit with someone in order to offer a family member, who is the principal carer, to have some respite. It is important for a family member to have this time out, safe in the knowledge their loved one is not on their own. Being a home carer offers great flexibility. It is great if you have other commitments that you need to work around. For example, if you have a family or care for someone at home then you can often organise your visits around these commitments. What skills do you need? It is essential to be good with people. A lot of the people just want to have some companionship, so being a good listener is important.

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It is also really critical to be discrete and patient. Some clients will have lost the ability to do things that come naturally, and can often be embarrassed and un-cooperative when you are trying to help. It is important that you can put them at ease and give them confidence in you as a person as well as a carer. What training do you need? As well as having a caring nature, there are certain courses and training programs you have to complete. It is mandatory for all home carers to complete NVQ level 2 in social care which Angels Care Services will put you through if not already completed. There are also other compulsory courses which are needed in order to perform the role, such as manual handling, protection of vulnerable adults and first aid. The courses are designed to offer the client specific care practices that result in greater comfort for them. What opportunities are there? As is the case with most careers, the potential for progression is there if that is what you want. Generally you start your career as a home carer and then progress to become a team leader. Team leaders still get involved with caring, but their main priority is to look after a team of about four to ten carers, plan rotas, attend client reviews and risk assessments. Beyond this, there is the potential to move into managerial roles if supported by the necessary qualifications. What is the salary? The salary depends on whether you are full or part time. A full time carer usually starts on about ÂŁ13,000 per year with team leaders earning up to ÂŁ18,000 per year. Further Information. Angels Care Services www.angelscareservices.co.uk


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Leigh Halfpenny / Exclusive

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uccess seems to come to some people very quickly. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to become a celebrity almost overnight? After an amazing 12 months, 20-year-old rising Wales and Cardiff Blues rugby star Leigh Halfpenny is now getting used to being recognised doing the most mundane things.

brought me out of my self and given me more self confidence, so I think gaining that confidence makes me believe that I can lead people.

He’s now at the stage where he can’t even go shopping anymore without being noticed. “I was in Specsavers the other day when the phone on their reception desk rang, and to my amazement they said that it was for me! ‘It can’t be’, I said, but it was. In fact it was the manager of Specsavers offering to sponsor me. It’s strange really, the more money you earn the more people seem to want to give you stuff for free!”, he mused.

The coaches bring a lot of vision and discipline, and their coaching has helped to bring on my rugby development massively. It’s great knowing that when I get up in the morning at Wales I’m able to work with some of the best coaches in the world and that back to my region.

Free contact lenses, and for that matter, bags of money, are all well and good, but what we at What Next? really wanted to know was how the whole experience of playing rugby had benefited Leigh as an individual. Anyone who sticks on BBC1 when Wales are playing a match can watch his growing rugby skills, but how else can a young person like him benefit from working, learning and growing in an elite professional environment? In terms of your own personal development as a young person, what would you say you have gained most from playing professional rugby and representing your country? It’s definitely brought me out of myself and helped with my communication skills. I’m a lot more open with people because I used to be quieter but I’m more communicative now. Playing against the top players in the world gives you a massive boost and because you are competing with them you get massive belief.

How valuable is working in a professional environment with renowned top people-managers like Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards?

Have you always wanted to play professional rugby and represent your country? Absolutely. From a young age and all the way throughout my childhood I really wanted to play rugby professionally and to represent Wales. How have you approached achieving that goal? It has taken a lot of dedication and commitment to training. As a young person sometimes it’s tough because my mates might be going out to town but I know that I can’t if I’ve got training the next day and I have to look after myself. I haven’t really ever drunk alcohol either although now I’m old enough I will have a drink now and again because it’s important to have some time to let my hair down, relax and switch-off, especially after a tough week it’s good to have some time to recharge the batteries

What I have basically played rugby to do is enjoy it and meet new people all the time and I’m continually meeting people from different cultures and different backgrounds, which is what rugby is all about. I’ve got so many good relationships with people all over Wales and in other countries as well.

The main thing for me has been my parents. They are the most important part of my life, and throughout my rugby career they have been brilliant and have supported me massively. They’ve always got me to training and got me there on time, and they’ve had to make sacrifices like leaving work early to give me the opportunities I’ve had, especially my mum who has had to do wash a lot of my training kit.

Do you feel that you have developed your own ability to lead other people in any kind of situation through your experiences in rugby?

In an elite professional environment, how important do you think it is to have fun while learning and working?

Yeah definitely, as I mentioned earlier the rugby has

The fun environment is very important to keeping us

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motivated and happy as players, and it just makes the training easier. Having fun and enjoyment really helps us to build togetherness as a team.

have worked out then don’t be afraid to say so and then change your direction in life. Thankfully everything I’ve done through rugby, including training very hard, I’ve always enjoyed which really helps.

If you weren’t playing rugby what would you be doing?

You’ve got to be dedicated, act very professionally, and be prepared to make lots of sacrifices. Whatever your dream is try your best to achieve it.

When I was younger I always liked the idea of training to become a dentist and then setting up my own practice. It seems like a really good job and it’s very well paid. Once my professional rugby career started taking-off I looked into the possibility of combining both, but I think that doing an intense dentistry course and playing full-time rugby wouldn’t really be that compatible. However, I’m thinking about going into pharmacy as I feel that the sciences are my strongest academical area, and if it’s right then I would like to look at the possibility of training to become a pharmacist and then opening my own pharmacy. The idea of running my own business really appeals to me. What advice can you give to other young people on how to achieve their dreams? You have got to enjoy what you are doing and if you aren’t enjoying it then maybe it’s time to ask if it’s the right thing for you. Just because you have headed in one direction and you aren’t happy with how things

Vox Pop What is your favourite food? Ham, eggs, beans and chips What music are you listening to on your iPod? Kings of Leon What was your favourite toy when you were a kid? Scalextric Marmite. Love it or hate it? Hate it Do you have a hero? Lance Armstrong A perfect day for you is.... Playing rugby for Wales

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fessiewatch All the festival news, gossip, interviews and pics

http://fessiewatch.blogspot.com


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How to study Here are our top tips to help you learn faster and get your homework done in double-quick time!

Listen in class When you hear your teacher droning on and on about French verbs or algebra, it’s so easy to drift off into a daydream about winning the World Cup or performing on the X Factor. The trick is to try and focus on what your teacher is saying, no matter how boring it is. Don’t stop listening just because you find the topic difficult and don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s anything you don’t understand. The more you listen, the more you’ll learn and the easier your work will be.

Write it down All of us at some point have been awake the night before a test or exam trying desperately to make sense of our notes or hunting under the bed for that missing exercise book. The best way to avoid all that unnecessary stress is to make sure you write clear notes in class and keep all your books in order. If you highlight and underline key points in your notes as you’re writing them, it’ll save you a massive amount of time when it comes to revising.

Get into a routine Homework and revision shouldn’t be left until the last minute. If you want to get it finished quickly, set aside a couple of hours every night to sit down and get everything done. If you do a lot of extra-curricular activities like sport or if you want meet up with your friends, you’ll have to be clever and fit your homework around them. Get into a routine, stick to it and you can go out and have fun too!

Set realistic goals There’s no point in convincing yourself you can write three essays in an hour or learn 50 new Spanish words a day. It’s just not possible! Work out what you have to get done, how much time you will need for each task and think positive. Once you start a piece of work, make it your goal to finish it. If you have a habit of 50 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

putting work off, reward yourself for getting it done.

Create your environment The ideal place to study is somewhere free from interruptions and distractions. It’s a good idea to have a decent sized desk so you can spread out and a comfortable chair to support your back while you work. Make sure the room is well-lit, airy and that all the things you will need are within reach.

Ask for help It’s easy to avoid learning a topic or skill because you don’t understand it or you find it too difficult. The reality is that you need to get easy tasks out of the way first and then focus on getting to grips with harder tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers, family and friends to help you out. The more people you ask, the more likely you are to get your head around the task at hand. Use the internet – there are thousands of online study guides to help you with that dreaded piece of homework.

All together now! Why not combine studying with meeting up with your friends? Set up a study group! This way, you can share revision ideas and brainstorm homework tasks. Meet up once a week or whenever you have a difficult piece of work to do and work together to complete it.

Practice makes perfect It’s been said so many times but it’s true: the more you practice something, the better you’ll be at it. If you know you have a timed essay in class next week, set yourself a question and time yourself to answer it. If you have spellings to learn, read through them the night before and write down as much as you can remember as soon as you wake up. Keep practicing and your homework will be a breeze! For more tips and information, go to www.how-to-study.com


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eenage chef Sam Stern is used to doing things in his own time. His first cook book, ‘Cooking up a Storm’, was published when Sam was just fourteen years old, and he’s fast becoming a bit of a cook book master, with his fourth book ‘Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook: Survive in Style on a Budget’, out now.

new to a professional kitchen environment I’m doing a bit of everything at the moment - basically, whatever they tell me to do. It’s very hard work in the kitchen; as well as being fairly physically demanding you have to concentrate hard, learn quickly and get on with the whole team in order to get things right. It’s very hard work but lots of fun.

Leaving home is a key moment when it comes to eating, and students and good food don’t usually go together but Sam wants to change all that. So here are some of Sam’s ideas about how fun cooking can be and why it matters for young people to cook good healthy food, followed by some recipes for simple to cook and scrumptious tasting food.

Would you like to go on and work in a kitchen for someone like Gordon Ramsey? Possibly. I think that working in a kitchen under a top chef like Gordon Ramsey would be fantastic, but I’m still not sure exactly how I want my future career to shape up because I still have great choices in front of me. I’m applying to go to university as well as working in a professional kitchen, so I’m definitely keeping my options open. It’s great to have the choice and I feel it’s a good position to be in.

Sam, what interested you to start cooking so young? My mum helped me to catch the bug from a young age. I have a large family (three sisters and two brothers) so as you can imagine our house used to revolve around food and every meal seemed like a big occasion. I was always in the kitchen with my mum and I just got interested by being involved at meal times. My mother has taught me pretty much everything I know about cooking and helped me to develop my passion for good food, and once she got me started I just headed in my own direction doing something that I really enjoy. What are you doing at the moment? Right now I’m working on my fifth book and I’m also working as a professional chef. It’ great because even though I’m well into my food and I write cookery books I certainly don’t know it all, and the experience I am gaining at the the moment is teaching me a lot and hopefully making me a better chef. Because I am 52 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

Why are you so passionate about helping young people to cook? Firstly, it’s a great way of having a laugh. Some young people may see it as ‘sad’ or whatever, but the truth is that cooking with your friends is really enjoyable and good fun. My mates and I like football and to me cooking something with a group of mates can be just as enjoyable as a kick-about down the park. Even better - you get to eat the produce of your labour afterwards, nice! Also, it’s OK to have a treat like oven pizza now and again but everyone needs to eat healthy food as part of a balanced diet. Whether you want to do well in sports or exams, good home-cooked food fills you with energy, makes you look fit and feel fit, and gives you a real boost. So if young people cooking more helps to get them further in life then I’m all for it. Some people see themselves firmly as the ‘can’t


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Teen-chef Sam Stern Gives His Advice For Students Cooking On A Budget cook, won’t cook’ type. How can anyone get these people into the kitchen? I think that it’s all about confidence. It’s a good idea for these people to get into a kitchen with someone who can cook in order to help teach them new skills and to buildup their own culinary confidence. The most important thing is to give it a go and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Not everything I cook turns out as planned but I always try and have the confidence to give it a go and not worry too much if it doesn’t turn out OK. You never know, you might really enjoy it and find a new passion in life. Cooking has become cooler in the 21st century than it’s been for some time. As a young celebrity chef do you think you are part of the push to make cooking cooler? What I’m trying to do is just give the face of cooking a little bit more youth. I think that’s one good way to making cooking appear ‘cooler’ and to really try to get more young people cooking. Through TV programmes people like Gordon Ramsey have also made cooking appear more masculine, which is in fact a true reflection of what the industry is like. They also show the ‘edge’ of a professional kitchen, which is by nature fast, furious and exciting to watch. What advice can you give readers on cooking for large groups of people? Get everyone to chip-in some money and time. They will want to enjoy eating it so therefore, they can enjoy creating it as well. That way it takes the burden off just one person having to cook, and I think that most people actually enjoy cooking once they get started. Things like massive pasta dishes are good for large groups, as is vegetarian food, which is surprisingly tasty if you use good ingredients. During these challenging economic

times you’d be surprised by how cheap it is and how much money it can save you as compared to going out to eat somewhere. How have you benefited from the experience of writing your cookery books and appearing on TV? One big benefit for me has been the increased confidence I now have in myself. At first I was very nervous about appearing on TV and I felt a bit intimidated, as you can imagine, but after doing it a few times I know have the confidence and self-belief to know that I can do it. Sam, you are well on the way to achieving your dreams, what advice can you give to other young people on how to be successful? Persevere, and whatever you want to do go for it. Get as much experience as you can, even if it’s it’s work experience and not paid work, all your hard work will eventually pay off. Don’t be afraid to have a dream and to follow it because who knows what can happen?

WIN a copy of ‘Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook: Survive in Style on a Budget’ We have a copy of Sam’s new book to give away so in order to be in with a chance of winning simply answering this question: How old was Sam Stern when his first book was published? Please email your answer to gavin@pearpublishing.com, include your name and address in the email and mark the subject of the email as ‘Sam Stern Book Competition’. Good luck and get cooking!

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The Higher Education Section WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 57


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Scholarships & Bursaries At Bangor BANGOR UNIVERSITY OFFERS YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME PART OF A VIBRANT STUDENT COMMUNITY AT A WELL-ESTABLISHED UNIVERSITY WITH AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION FOR BOTH TEACHING AND RESEARCH. Bangor’s attractive location on the North Wales coast near the mountains of Snowdonia is a major draw for many students. Another advantage is that Bangor is an economical place to be a student and ranked the 2nd cheapest place to study in the UK, according to a recent report in The Independent As you would expect from a university that places great emphasis on student support, Bangor is keen to offer extra help to new students and offers around £2.5M in Scholarships and Bursary awards. Among the student awards available are new £5,000 Excellence Scholarships offered across a range of subject areas to the students entering with the highest academic achievement. The University offers additional support for those from lower income families through the Bangor Bursary scheme, which means you could receive up to £1,000 a year in extra financial help from the University. Bangor bursaries are available on top of any state-funded maintenance grants and loans, as well as any other University bursaries you may be eligible for.

“I was always going to steer away from big cities and I found the course and the lifestyle that suited me at Bangor. I was interested in Bangor initially because of the outdoor pursuits and the attractions of Snowdonia. It also helped that I found the right course for me here!

OTHER BURSARIES offered at Bangor include: SUBJECT-SPECIFIC BURSARY AWARDS As part of the University’s drive to support and develop a number of subject areas of regional or national importance, Bangor offers Subject-Specific Awards of at least £500 a year for those studying courses within the following academic Schools for 2009 entry: Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Law and Modern Languages. START-UP BURSARIES Start-up bursaries of £1,000 are available for those entering the university from care, to cover course related costs such as books, equipment, travel and study aids. WELSH-MEDIUM STUDY BURSARIES As part of the national drive to increase the number of students studying through the medium of Welsh, Bangor offers bursaries of up to £500 to support those who choose to study all or part of their course through the medium of Welsh. 58 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

I found the student clubs and societies a great way to get to know people. I made the most of every possible opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities and you could say I really threw myself into life at Bangor.....There’s a friendly face wherever you go – I’d say that Bangor hasn’t got the negative things you’d associate with a big city but it’s still got plenty to do and enough going on in terms of nightlife and plenty of pubs. I’m really happy that I made the choice I did in deciding to come and study here.” TOM HECHT, Computer Systems with Business student from Nottingham


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Amongst the other good reasons for considering Bangor are: It’s a friendly & student-centred city with over 10,000 students, and is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for student experience It’s a scenic & ‘sporty’ location with opportunities for all sorts of sport, especially those involving the great outdoors such as climbing, sailing, surfing, mountain biking and walking. Other sports are also well-catered for through the Athletic Union’s many clubs and the University’s Sports Centre. Guaranteed accommodation for all first year students – with more en-suite rooms currently being built. The wide range of courses and excellent reputation for teaching. Strengths include Biological, Ocean and Environmental Sciences (we’re ideally situated for the study of all things environmental); Psychology (Bangor has one of the UK’s top Psychology Schools); Sport Sciences (sporty students are attracted to Bangor by our location and the chance to study within a highly-rated Sport Science department). New courses include: Cancer Biology, Electronics for Business, English with Songwriting, Film Studies, Marketing, Zoology with Animal Behaviour.

For more information visit the Bangor website at www.bangor.ac.uk, e-mail: marketing@bangor.ac.uk or call 01248 382005. WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 59


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Advice on how to use Apply, the UCAS online application system

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t’s that time of year when you college and sixth form students are making the big decisions about what university courses you’ll take and where to study. Apart from actually bagging the required A Level grades to get onto the course you want, there is another perceived stumbling block which every prospective university student most overcome - the sometimes daunting task of completing a UCAS application form! Way back in the dark ages when the author of this article was taking his A Levels all UCAS application forms were paper versions only, meaning that one spelling mistake or slip with a pen and it was back to square one and a fresh paper form. Thanks to the transformation of modern technology you lucky blighters can now do away with the cumbersome and time consuming paper form and do everything (including spell checking!) with a PC or Mac by using Apply, the UCAS online application system. At What Next? we like to help in every way we can, so we contacted UCAS and below is their guide on how to complete your online application form. So it’s good news - you now have one less headache to deal with and can save more of your precious little brain cells for the marathon that is A Level exams. We hope these tips make everything a lot clearer for you, and good luck with completing your form and earning the grades you need to get where you want to go. Happy form filling!

A UCAS overview of Apply, the UCAS online application system Welcome to the UCAS guide to Apply. Apply is an application system that allows you to apply online for full-time undergraduate courses at universities and 60 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com

colleges in the UK. You will be asked to complete the following sections. Registration You need to register to use Apply. In this section we need to know certain personal details, such as your name, address and date of birth. We also ask you to read and accept the terms and conditions for using Apply. The registration process generates your username and you create your own password, which you use to log in to Apply. Personal details Some of this section will be filled in automatically with the details you entered during registration. You should check that the information is correct, such your name, address, date of birth and contact details. We also ask for further information that universities and colleges require, such as your nationality, residential status and an outline of any disabilities you may have. Additional information If you live in the United Kingdom, we ask for additional details about any non-examination-based activities you have undertaken in preparation for higher education, together with other information designed to help us and the universities and colleges to monitor applications and in terms of equal opportunities, such as your national identity and ethnic origin. Choices In this section you enter the courses and universities and colleges to which you are applying. You can enter your choices in any order because there is no preference order - Apply will store your choices in alphabetical order. For each choice, we ask to you indicate whether you will be living at home or in student


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accommodation, and if you are applying for deferred entry, ie starting the course in 2010. It is important that you check the information carefully before marking the section as complete.

write the reference and give it to you, so that you can complete the section.

Education

Once each section has been marked as complete, you will be asked to agree to the declaration. Please read the information carefully and, once you have agreed to its terms, you can then move on to the payment section.

We need to know where you have studied and which qualifications you are taking/have taken. First you need to enter your schools’ and colleges’ details, then list your qualifications. Please make sure that you have included all relevant qualifications, including all those that you have completed and any that you are currently studying. The universities and colleges may make you an offer based upon the information you give so it is vital that it is correct. Employment In this section, you fill in the details of your work history and employers. If you have not had any jobs, you can leave this section blank, but you will still need to mark it as complete in order to continue with your application. Personal statement We ask you to complete a personal statement, which tells your universities and colleges why you are applying for the course(s) you have chosen and why they should want you as a student. This statement helps universities and colleges to know more about you as a person. Reference

Declaration

Pay and send You will not see this screen if you are applying through a school or college that has an alternative payment arrangement with UCAS. Otherwise, you pay the application fee online using a credit or debit card. After this section is complete, your application is sent to us or, if you are applying through a school or college, to your referee. Once we receive your application, either from you or your referee, we will process it, send a copy to each of your chosen universities and colleges and send you a welcome letter. You can only send us one application in each year’s application cycle. If you send a second application, it will be cancelled and you will not receive a refund. For more information visit: http://www.ucas.ac.uk/ students/startapplication/apply09/overview Alternatively you can watch practical advice on completing an application form online at the UCAS TV website: www.ucas.tv

Your application requires a reference from a tutor, careers adviser or other professional who knows you well enough to write about you and your suitability for the course. If you are applying through a school or college, this section will be completed by your referee. If you are applying independently, your referee should WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 61


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The What Nex t? University Awards We know that you’re not just interested in the degree you’ll be doing, but where you’ll be doing it. Here’s the What Next? list of top universities for the stuff they don’t tell you about in those boring league tables.

Best nightlife .Newcastle University

Geordieland is renowned for having the best nightlife in the UK outside London. Newcastle University is located slap bang in the middle of the buzzing city centre, within easy walking distance of loads of fantastic bars and nightclubs geared towards the student crowd. An awesome night out!

Top location .Brighton University

Do you prefer chilling out on the beach or having fun in the city? Being a student at Brighton University lets you have the best of both worlds. The city is situated right by the sea and is only an hour by train from bustling London. What more could you need?

Best place for surfing .Swansea University

Swansea University is a surfing haven for students. With several beautiful beaches to choose from, the Gower peninsula provides the perfect conditions for surf lovers to catch some waves.

Best uni for making friends. University of Manchester

Did you know that Manchester has the largest student campus in Europe? There are over a quarter of a million students studying in this 25-hour party city and the university has the biggest student’s union in the UK. With all those societies, clubs and activities available, there’s no excuse not to be sociable!

C heapest prices .University of Leeds

It’s something that a lot of young people want to do, but going to university can be a very expensive business. In a survey of UK universities, Leeds ranks the best for cheap cost of living. So if you’re strapped for cash, going to Leeds will give you value for money on housing, student facilities and going out. Bargain! 64 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com


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Swansea University voted the best uni for surfing

Best place for sports. Loughborough University

Get involved in sport at Loughborough. With excellent facilities, it is without doubt the best university for sports degrees and for taking part in sport for fun; either at a professional, amateur or recreational level.

Most culturaluni. University of St. Andrews

As well as studying and partying, it’s nice to soak up a little culture once in a while. Founded in 1413, St. Andrews is the third oldest university in the English speaking world. The city is steeped in history and is a sparkling gem on the rugged Scottish coastline. The perfect place to relax and feel at home.

First class facilities. University of Hertfordshire

If it’s top-class student facilities and services you’re after, head to the University of Hertfordshire. With state-of-the-art technology, including high-tech IT labs, a flight simulator, astronomical observatories and a simulated intensive care unit for medical students, the university has spent almost as much as Oxford and Cambridge to make it an outstanding place to live and work.

Best place for drinking. Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth boasts the highest ratio of bars, pubs and clubs to people in the UK. The centre has over 60 places to drink and party and is a hub for the 8,000 students who love this friendly town and revel in its superb nightlife.

C heapest housing. University of Teesside

We all know how hard it can be to find student housing without being ripped off. Teesside ranks top for good-quality housing at rock-bottom prices so you’ll be less likely to spend hours trawling the streets to find a good deal. WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com | 65


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How to manage your time Being a student can sometimes feel like a juggling act. Parties, classes, part-time work, sport, coursework, travelling...so much to do and so little time! Follow the What Next? tips below and you’ll be able to do everything you want and still have time to spare!

Be realistic If you have a list of 20 things to do, don’t try to get them all done in one day. Write down everything you need to do, decide a plan of action for each one and how long you think you can realistically get each task done (e.g. ‘Apply for bar job’ à’Print off CV and write cover letter’à1 hour).

Prioritise What needs to be done urgently and what can be left until a later date? Sort out the list you’ve just written by putting the more urgent matters at the top. You’ll avoid a lot of stress if you start from the top of your list and work your way down.

Plan ahead Do some tasks need to be completed on certain dates? Invest in a diary or wall planner and keep track of what needs to be done when. For example, if you know when the deadline for a job application is, also write down when you should start writing your cover letter

and the day you need to post it so that it gets there in time.

Motivate yourself If you know you have a difficult task ahead, stay positive and reward yourself once the job at hand is complete. Set yourself deadlines. You might have a horrible essay to write but knowing that you can go out with your friends once it’s done will keep you going and gives you something to aim for.

Be Flexible You may have planned to do something one day but circumstances might mean that you can’t finish it right away. Don’t dwell on it. Get on with something else and come back to it later. If you sit around and wait, you’ll be wasting time when you could be doing other things.

Get the balance right Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get a million and one things done in a day. Have a break. Go out and have fun. If you work out a balance between work and play, you’ll find that you can be productive and enjoy yourself at the same time!

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Lampeter University

U

pon arriving at Lampeter University, my heart swelled with excitement. This would be a new step, both in terms of education and in life. Was I afraid? Very, but at the same time I knew instantly that my time here would be an extremely happy one. Blessed by rural landscapes, set in the heart of the Welsh countryside and yet filled with people from all over the world, Lampeter is definitely a place of mixed cultures, ranging from the devout Welsh countrymen to the multi-lingual. Attracted not only by the high standards that the course I chose set, but also by the friendliness of the staff and students, I chose Lampeter because of their small, yet extremely lively and helpful community. Having lived in Wales all my life I knew what to expect when I came to Lampeter, but for the people who are interested in coming here from cities such as Manchester and London, I say give

it a chance: it might be a culture shock, but once you stay here, even for one term, you will never want to leave. What else can I say about Lampeter? The town is small, easily accessible and friendly; the lecturers are here for you, you are not treated as cattle, herded and then sold off with little or no attention to your needs, but are really listened to and taken care of. The accommodation is within easy reach of the Union, a high paced bar and club, run by professionals who ensure that every week there is something for everyone to go to. Finally, Lampeter University is a place for everyone; young, old, or somewhere in between, citizens of England, Wales or the world. You will find your calling here. Henry Pass Year 1, Religious Studies


Illustration by Rob Smale

70 | WN? Mag | whatnextmag.com


What Next? Magazine  

What Next? is aimed at encouraging 15-21 year olds, GCSE and A-level students to consider their life, career and further education options....

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