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Literary talent at Open Academy festival

Some of the county’s best and most diverse literary talent will visit Open Academy, Norwich, during the sixth Literary Festival running from July 3 to 7.

Events begin with a From the Horses’ Mouth workshop run by The Norwich Writers’ Centre, which will involve students investigating the life of Anna Sewell. On July 4, former scriptwriter of EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City and novelist, Lilie Ferrari, will be taking students through the difficult process of creating an effective book cover.

On July 5, increasingly popular writer Heidi Jo Swain, whose work has just been published in Germany as well as England, will be introducing students to the concept of using their favourite books as a platform for writing and July 6 will see UEA’s Dr Epstein discussing the comic genre with some enthusiastic students.

In addition, members of The Garage in Norwich will be putting a cast of Oompah Loompahs through their paces for their supporting performance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which will be performed later in the month.

Not to be limited to purely literary scripts, singer and songwriter Tom Ryder will be performing and discussing the art of songwriting.

Students will also be doing literary battle when they showcase their talents in a Literary Death Match, a Director’s Challenge and a Slam Poetry Competition to be held in school during the week.

“The aim of the week is to help students develop their own literary skills,” said Angela Taylor, Head of EPAC Faculty at Open Academy.

Public consultation over Paston merger

Paston Sixth Form College in North Walsham is launching a public consultation to seek views from members of the community on plans for a proposed merger with City College Norwich.

The two colleges have been in talks to work together since the start of the year, as part of the Area Review of Post-16 Education in Norfolk and Suffolk led by the FE Commissioner, Richard Atkins.  Due to the success of these discussions, and following a recommendation from the Area Review, there is now a proposal that the colleges merge by December 2017 and a formal consultation about that  plan is being announced today.

The consultation invites students, parents, staff, local employers and the wider community to express their views on the proposals which aim to expand the choice of post-16 education options in North East Norfolk.

Overall, the plans will result in the creation of a “resilient and financially sustainable organisation that will widen the educational offer for existing and prospective students, employers and the community in North East Norfolk”. The merger will also “ensure a skilled future workforce for the local area”.

The final decision  will rest with the governing  bodies of each college.

Kevin Grieve, principal of Paston Sixth Form College, said: “This is all about growth. By becoming one institution, we want to work together to become an even stronger educational force than we currently are. We have a proud history and we are determined to build on this history by joining with City College Norwich.”

Corrienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich said: “We are very excited about the proposal and are looking forward to hearing what members of the local community think of our plans. Both institutions have a strong history and it is our aim to maintain, develop and celebrate their individual strengths and specialisms following the merger.”

A document setting out the full proposal and the consultation arrangements (with details of how to make your views known) is available at: www.pastonccn.co.uk or on request via email (pastonccn@gmail.com). It can also be obtained from FOUR Agency, Hill House, 20 Hill House Road, Norwich NR1 4BE.

The principals from both institutions will be available at Paston Sixth Form College to discuss the merger with members of the public 1-6pm on Thursday, June 22, Friday, June 23 and Monday, June 26.   Please report to the college’s reception at the Griffons site in North Walsham.

Replies to the consultation need to be received by midnight on Saturday, July 22. Both colleges will consider all responses received by that date and will publish a summary of the consultation and its outcomes by September 23 (to be available at www.pastonccn.co.uk).

Kevin Grieve and Corrienne Peasgood.
PICTURE: CCN

Paston and City College merger plans

Paston Sixth Forma and Norwich City College are in discussions on closer working to widen choice of courses available in North Norfolk.

The proposal for a merger between the two colleges is a recommendation arising from the Area Review of Post-16 Education and Training in Norfolk and Suffolk, which has been led by the FE commissioner, Richard Atkins.

The aim is to provide young people in North Norfolk with a greater choice of courses at 16, with less distance to travel to access these opportunities.

The colleges, both of which have recent ‘Good’ ratings from Ofsted, will begin a public consultation in June working towards a merger. The final decisiowill rest with the governing bodies of each college. If given the go ahead, a new partnership between the two colleges could be in place by December 2017.

A joint statement from Paston Sixth Form College and City College Norwich, said: “We are exploring opportunities for a potential merger, in order to increase and enhance the choice and breadth of A-level, further education, apprenticeships and degree level courses.

Our objective is to better serve the needs and aspirations of young people and ensure a skilled, local workforce for both emerging and established industries and in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership priority sectors. Our approach has been to look at where we can complement existing strengths, and enhance provision, particularly where there are identified gaps.

“Students, parents and staff in both institutions can rest assured that each college remains committed to maintaining and developing our recognised strengths and distinct specialisms.”

Aylsham High students take to catwalk

Year 11 students from Aylsham High hit the catwalk on Friday to raise money for their summer prom.

The students modelled prom dresses and suits from The Wardrobe in Horsford, then showed more casual wear from Blossom and Green in Aylsham and Roys of Wroxham to raise £1,800.

Organiser Diane Wade, from the school, said: “It was just so lovely to see the Year 11s relaxing as they prepare for the busiest period of their school career.”

She added: “It was fabulous to work with alumni as our sound and lighting guys, all of whom are now going off to study film/theatre production at uni or in the case of James Hubbard, to a full-time apprentice cameraman at Epic Studios.”

The funds were raised for the Class of 2017 Prom, on July 1 at Mannington Hall, and also a donation is made to Water Aid.

The next event on the prom fundraising calendar is An Auction of Very Real Things at the school on Thursday, May 4. Browsing will be from 7pm and the first lot goes under the hammer at 7.30pm.

For more information emal shebditch@aylshamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk#

Pictures: CALLUM WELLS

 

 

Chance to join North Walsham mentor scheme

Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.

North Walsham High School will launch the fourth year of its acclaimed Mentoring Scheme in February – an initiative which has been emulated by high schools as far away as Truro.

Mentors take on between two and five Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two and a half year period, as well as being available via email and telephone, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.

Currently more than 280 students at the school are benefitting from having a mentor, with around 70 mentors taking part.

Students who have taken part in the scheme have spoken about how the experience helped build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as guiding them in their choices for the future.  Mentors have also reported that taking part has been a rewarding experience, helping their own personal development, as well as ensuring that tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed to be useful employees.

“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Paul Leaver, who is leading the initiative.  “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief.

“We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects, because the latest research shows that this has huge benefits for both students and employers in the medium and long term.  Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”

“We believe that all of our students benefit from mentoring, and it should be an entitlement for all.  Limited aspirations, low confidence, a weak sense of personal urgency and a limited understanding of career opportunities are shared across all ability levels.”

Employers and business people who are interested in taking part in the NWHS Mentoring Scheme are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more.  The event takes place on 24th January from 7am-8.30am.  Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Lawn Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on lawnk@nwhs.uk.

The 2017 scheme will be launched at a ‘Speed Networking’ event at the school on February 8.  Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.

Case Study

Mentor Carla Daniels has been mentoring three current Year 11 students for two years, and meets with them regularly.  The accountant with local firm Lovewell Blake says that the experience has been positive for both her mentees and herself.

“I have enjoyed being a mentor a great deal,” she says.  “As business people we have a responsibility if we want young people to become well-rounded individuals who are ready for work.

“I have enjoyed every session I have had with my mentees, and I will definitely be re-joining the scheme with a fresh set of Year 9 students.

“ I have a daughter myself who had nothing like this at school – as an employer I can really see the value of the scheme, and I have also learnt a lot myself from taking part.”

Mentor Carla Daniels from Lovewell Blake (left) with NWHS student mentees (from left) Carly Meizner, Harleigh Byers and Marcia Pegg (Picture: Andy Newman)

Students take over Hellesdon hotel

Hospitality students gained some real hands-on experience in February when they “took over” Holiday Inn Norwich-North for two days. The 80 City College Norwich students were involved in all aspects of running the hotel, from the reception, housekeeping and kitchens, to two students who took on the general manager position. Continue reading