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A word from the Principal

College News p3


New Engineering Centre Launch

Curriculum News Alumni and Marketing Materials

September 2018

Welcome to the college magazine

A word from


Mike Hopkins 3 5 8 9 10

College News Years of Service Doing Our Bit Curriculum News Alumni


he 2018-19 Academic year is already well underway as we publish the first FYi of the year. The year has started really well. We have a lot of exciting things happening within the College this year and these will be reported in the FYis. In this edition, you will see the opening of our new state of the art engineering centre at the Bournville Campus which was opened by Richard Burden our local MP at the end of August. This has proved popular with young people locally and has already recruited two full teaching groups. It will also become a key part of our school academy from September next year. This year we combined our higher education awards ceremony and held it at Digbeth. It was a very prestigious and well attended event which had to be held in two parts due to the volume of students. We now have our own college specific awards gowns for staff and this has added an additional element to the proceedings. This and our other awards events are great to bring home to us what we are really here for. Seeing the pride and satisfaction of successful students and their families is always a heartwarming experience! Finally, the picture of Richard Burden MP on the front cover of the FYi illustrates what I keep saying about smiling – he did it unprompted and it made you feel good! Mike Hopkins




College news

Traditional Engineering Returns to Longbridge

Traditional engineering returns to Longbridge

Longbridge is now firmly back on the map as the home of engineering, with the opening of the new engineering centre at our Bournville campus at the end of August. Richard Burden, MP for Northfield, cut the ribbon and said “Engineers are more important than ever. It’s great to see engineering coming back to the area once synonymous with this sector.” The £545k state-of-the-art engineering centre has already recruited 40 students on mechanical engineering courses, with plans for additional courses for 14-16 year olds and university level students to start in 2019. Steve Grice, Head of School for Engineering and Electrical, said: “The new facility will take over a large area of the college and is a significant development for the regeneration of Longbridge. We hope that this investment will continue the tradition of automotive and mechanical engineering in the area – a history that is the lifeblood of the local community. The college offers electronic engineering courses already but the new centre will allow us to expand into mechanical engineering, providing more students with an opportunity to pursue a career in this field.” Joanna Duraj, who is 20 from Redditch, studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Bournville campus and after gaining a triple distinction star, is now working towards a degree apprenticeship with Bentley Motors. She said, “My experience at Bournville College provided me with an excellent grounding in the subject and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of pursuing a career in the industry. My tutors were a huge support throughout and the course was the perfect foundation for progressing onto an apprenticeship or degree course.” FYi SEPTEMBER 2018


News Higher Education awards

Digbeth Campus was the venue for this year’s Higher Education Awards for both South and City and Bournville College. The ceremony, held over two sessions on Thursday 20 September, both during the afternoon and the evening, celebrated the academic achievements of our higher education students.



Sardul Dhesi, Deputy Principal, opened both ceremonies. Mike Hopkins, Principal, welcomed students, family and staff to the event. Graduands were welcomed onto the stage to receive their certificates and family and guests cheered to celebrate their success. Guest speaker for both ceremonies was Gianluca Lauri. Having studied an Access to Business and Law

and a HND in Business with the college, Gianluca has gone on to be very successful and works for a prestigious company in London. The traditional hurling of the hats into the air brought both ceremonies to a close! Graduates and their families stayed to enjoy their last moments at the college before embarking on future studies and careers. We wish them well.

Curriculum News South & City College demonstrates fantastic commitment to digital learning We have been using a groundbreaking artificial intelligence learning platform CENTURY Tech this autumn, as a teaching and revision tool for maths and English courses. CENTURY Tech is an educational platform combining artificial intelligence, pedagogical insights, and cognitive neuroscience research, to create truly personalised learning. The platform’s artificially intelligent technology learns how each student learns and tailors content to their specific learning behaviours and study goals. The platform automatically records feedback and instantly sends it to students and teachers - allowing students to be optimally targeted in their learning. South & City College and CENTURY have been working closely for the

last few months to ensure an effective introduction of the new programme. We are thrilled to report that students have answered over 100,000 questions on the platform since the start of term.

This is a wonderful achievement for students and the faculty, who are demonstrating an inspiring level of dedication to their education and reaching new highs of digital learning.

40 years and counting IAG Advisor, Arnella Richards has joined Site Services Operative, John Mann, as a member of staff that has completed 40 years’ service with the college. Arnella started working for the college at Handsworth on the 17th July 1978. Since that time, she has seen seven principals and many changes. Arnella said, “I work with lots of adult and young learners, guiding them into education and training. I offer impartial information, advice and guidance to my students. Equality of opportunity is part of how I work.” This select group will grow by another two in the coming months, with Centre Support Manager, Ahsan Haq completing 40 years next month and English Language Assessor, Sandra Blake joining them in March next year.



News Congratulations Matthew!

Graham Burton

Matthew Richards has completed his IT apprenticeship at the college and is now working as a full time IT technician with us. Matthew’s photo has also been used to promote our work placement workshop as part of an employer services campaign. (See page 7)

Congratulations also, to Graham Burton who has successfully completed his ‘First class’ BA (Hons) in Management and Leadership. As part of the Degree programme, Graham also gained a level 5 diploma in Chartered Management institute CMI.

Women in construction Bordesley Green campus recently hosted the first week of a training scheme that aims to recruit more women into the construction industry. ‘Women into Civil Engineering’ sees the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) join forces with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Women into Construction, to launch a threeweek training programme. Just 14 per cent of the workforce in the construction sector are women and this course aims to break down the perceived stereotypes and barriers, tackling the industry’s skills shortage and gender equality. From HS2 to the Commonwealth Games Village, construction projects in and around our city are on the increase. Technology and



innovation have changed the face of industry. Construction is no longer about manual labour, and the idea that women are not physically strong enough to work in it is no longer relevant. The college recognises the need for greater representation for the challenging professional roles in this industry and we have started our journey in supporting a diverse workforce that will reflect the communities we operate in. Strategic Partnership Adviser of CITB Patricia Hick said, “CITB are really excited to be part of this programme. There is still a perception that construction is an industry only suitable for men. This programme aims to dispel this myth. With infrastructure accounting for 9.3 per cent of growth across the West Midlands over the next five years, we need to ensure

we have a diverse pool of talent to help deliver the pipeline of projects planned.” Those taking part will receive training to obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card and a two-week work placement at a local West Midlands construction project.

Regulars Sports academy The Sports Academy Programme provides our players with a sporting and academic blueprint of how we wish to develop young people for sports and further education. Our cricket teams train at the state-of-the-art indoor centre at Edgbaston – home of the Birmingham Bears and Warwickshire County Cricket Club; with Rawait Khan (former Derbyshire CCC, Warwickshire CCC and Pakistan A), an experienced coach with links to numerous local clubs. Times start at 1-3:30pm on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The college football and cricket teams are very keen to recruit players for this season. If any Schools have players, aged 1619yrs who wish to represent the college in the West Midlands AoC leagues, please contact Danny. or tel #2908. Football training takes place on the astro-turf at the BG campus on

Tuesday afternoons between 1-4pm. Please encourage any prospective players to arrive early and wear appropriate footwear. Matches take place on Wednesday afternoons. The time of departure is dependent on the fixture, however generally, we leave the Bordesley Green campus at 12-12:30pm. Players can be collected en route if necessary.

FREE transport is provided for all participants to and from training and competitive fixtures. League competitions are restricted to participants aged 16-19yrs, however training is open to any individuals who wish to take part in sport, and whose timetable allows them to participate on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.

work placements will be able to put their learning into practice and have an increased awareness of the importance of their studies. Our event will celebrate the introduction of this scheme, with students having the opportunity to

meet the employers who will be offering work placements. Students will gain a better understanding of the fantastic opportunities work placements offer, such as becoming the employers’ next Apprentice or employee.

Work place event We are holding a “Meet the Students, Meet the Employers” event, taking place on Tuesday 9th October 2018 at our Digbeth Campus. We are taking part in a pilot scheme that will deliver valuable networking and learning opportunities for our students. Students will be able to engage with employers from their chosen industry, learn more about the value of ‘Industry Work Placements’ and help set the foundation to launch their career. Extended work placements will help students make the most of their learning experience. Students will gain real-world industry experience, increase their commercial awareness and develop key skills that will be valuable throughout their course. Students that undertake



Doing Our Bit South & City and Bournville are going green

Supported learning students visit the ‘Alex’

Our catering department is investigating ways it can decrease its carbon footprint in the environment. Over the last 6 months, we have looked at ways to swap plastic where we can.

As part of the Employability course, Supported Learning students have recently received a tour of the Art Deco Alexandra Theatre. The theatre has presented a wide range of shows including drama, musicals and opera. In 1952, the original production of The Mousetrap opened there, prior to its 61-year London run. The tour included a talk about the job roles within the company, to show the students the variety available. At the end of the tour, the students were invited back to have a go at the real jobs available, including lighting and sound. Some of them asked if they could have a go behind the bar and within the marketing department. Our final visit will be behind the scenes to look at the production side of the theatre. Michelle Medler, Lecturer: Supported Learning, said, “I’m looking forward to it already. It was a great tour and really worth it”. Submitted by Michelle Medler Lecturer: Supported Learning

l You

will notice the following changes: Removal of plastic straws l Replacement of plastic spoons in the coffee shops with wooden stirrers l Phasing out plastic food bags l Moving away from polystyrene food containers to recyclable and biodegradable street food packaging We are also looking at replacing the plastic food cutlery to a biodegradable cutlery made from sugar cane equivalent. Since introducing new food concepts across our Food Estate, we now use gluten free flour for the majority of our home baked/cooked items. Submitted by Jules Tye Head of Catering, Events & Hospitality.

National Express Academy launch The 11 October will see Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor open the National Express Academy at our Bordesley Green campus. The new centre, designed in partnership with National Express, will offer training for the company’s new and existing staff, as well as opportunities to other employers in the sector to upskill their workforce.



Curriculum Regulars News Bournville science students sent to Coventry to extract their DNA Students on the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Applied Science at Bournville had an opportunity to extract their own DNA and carry out electrophoresis and PCR techniques at the new Superlabs at Coventry University School of Life Sciences. There was a competition to obtain the most DNA from their saliva using the state of the art facilities. It consolidated their theory and students loved carrying out the practical work, which counted towards their coursework. Students were inspired to pursue biomedical science and forensics science as career choices. They also had a tour of the department including the Forensic House, paramedic science and sports science department which students thoroughly enjoyed. This followed on from visits over the past two years. ‘Academics in the Life Sciences’ formed on the back of the STEM Insight programme where tutors spent a week at the university. Tutor Naaila said, “It was lovely to see students enjoying themselves, focussed and acquiring laboratory skills giving them the edge when applying for university. We hope to go again this year”.

Japanese students experience traditional afternoon tea For three weeks in August and early September, students from universities and colleges in Japan enjoyed a stay in Birmingham as part of their English language skills programme. They stayed with local families and as well as attending Digbeth to practice their language skills, they spent two weeks over at Bournville campus with Hospitality & Catering, learning how to host a traditional English afternoon tea! They had big laughs in the kitchen with tutors Alan and Dave, as they made their own cakes ready for their afternoon tea party the following day. FYi SEPTEMBER 2018


Regulars News James Taylor’s future looks bright James studied a BTEC National Diploma Level 3 in Construction at South & City College Birmingham. Now an Electrical Engineer for PM Group, he shared his experiences with our Alumni Team. “I never really knew I was going to become an Electrical Engineer until I became one,” said James. “I did, however, spend a few years knowing that I would be in the building services industry. I used the opportunity that my college course gave me to experience different areas of construction and learn which fields of expertise interested me the most (or the least). “The independence I gained from attending college certainly set me up for further study at university and employment. You have to be able to think for yourself and be your own person.” James also told us more about his current role as an Electrical Engineer. “At an Irish company, my career highlight has been to be given the opportunity to work alongside my Irish colleagues in the head office, in Dublin, on a complex pharmaceutical project. My current responsibilities cover aspects of low voltage (LV) power distribution and lighting for clients in the food and pharmaceutical industries,” he explained. “I have been responsible for the selection of lighting and emergency light fixtures and applying them to a building’s lighting design in accordance with all relevant British Standards. I have also been responsible for the sizing of LV switch boards, motor control centres (MCCs),

Alumni cables and circuit protective devices to ensure that they are able to effectively and safely allow the operation of process equipment.” Of course, a career in Electrical Engineering does come with its challenges. “My greatest challenge was leading a project for the first time,” said James. “This required plenty of communication between myself and senior members of the electrical team and concentration to ensure I was doing the right thing at the right time. My advice to others hoping to work in my industry is that you should always admit if you don’t know the answer to something, you’ll get found out!” Finally, James told our Alumni Team about his plans for the next stages of his career. “I would like to become a Chartered Electrical Engineer,” he said. In five years’ time I see myself preparing an application with the Engineering Council for chartered engineer status (CEng).” Thanks James, we wish you the best of luck!

Bookings are now being taken for

Wellbeing – stress and anxiety:


HEALTHY MINDS We have a new exciting partnership with Birmingham Healthy Minds. Subject areas which will be covered this academic year are; wellbeing – stress and anxiety, Sleep, Food and Mood and Exam Stress.

Wednesday 17th October 9:30am–11:00am Sleep Workshops – November / December Food & Mood – January to February Exam Stress – February to April These sessions last an hour and are facilitated in the classroom. Birmingham Healthy Minds provide excellent workshops to students on signs of stress, stress levels, looking after your mental health etc. Many students last academic year benefited from this service and Student Engagement received positive feedback from tutors at Digbeth and Fusion on the workshops presented by Birmingham Healthy Minds.

If you would like to book your group in for this workshop please email or pop into Student Engagement at Digbeth Campus.



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To save resources and paper, this magazine will be sent electronically to every member of staff and will be available on Elvis to download. A small number will be available at centre receptions.

Although we will try our best, we can’t promise that everything will go in. Your feedback and comments on FYI are welcome. Email

/southandcitycollege @southandcitycol

/bournvillecollege @Bournville

FYi September 2018 - Schools Edition  
FYi September 2018 - Schools Edition