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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