I hope you all had a good Spring break notwithstanding the restrictions we all find ourselves in and I can’t believe we have started the Summer term. This one will, I’m sure, be one that will belong in world, as well as College, history. We continue to get some great stories from teams across the College and I think it is very uplifting to share these with you, to show what a great team you all are! Thank you so much. We need these positive stories because, as we all know, we see the daily tragedy of Covid19 unfold with every news flash and Government briefing. On Thursdays I know we all get a chance to show our appreciation for the many care workers who risk their own lives to save others, some of whom are also members of our own Team Wirral Met.
As an employer, we have agreed to support an International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday 29th April 2020. Our recognised Trades Union Unison is asking everyone to observe a minute’s silence at 11am on that day to remember all the health, care and other key workers who have lost their lives to Covid19. It is a sad reality that we will continue to witness more of the tragic consequences of this pandemic and whilst I think it is important to celebrate and share any good news stories that are also unfolding, my thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering through illness and loss. The strapline, stay home, support the NHS and stay safe, says it all, out of respect for those battling on the front line and in the hope that this is our way back to a more normal life.
Thank you for your resilience, talent in supporting learning and for your continued support; please keep sending Sally your stories because we must share these little glimmers of light in these dark days.
Curriculum Team Updates
The Animal Management team has been working hard with Kevin C to develop resources to support new ways of learning and this week our students enjoyed an interview with Vicky Henshaw (Registered Veterinary Nurse) to develop their understanding of the principles of animal nursing.
They have also been working closely with colleagues in maths and English and in their last Zoom meeting, tutor Shelley lifted spirits by appearing in fancy dress as Carole Baskin from the documentary Tiger King, a topic of excellent discussion in an animal management department!
Art, Design & Creative Media
Covid19 and social distancing may have changed life as we knew it but… the show must go on! So whilst our usual BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree show would normally be on display at the Williamson Art Gallery, tutor Vincent and India from Marketing have developed the 25th BA (Hons) Fine Art exhibition online. The ‘Diverse Directions’ exhibition, has been adapted into a digital display and presents the students’ fantastic work. Please do view the exhibition online. We have also provided a link should you wish to donate to the College’s nominated charity, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, to show your appreciation of the artwork showcased in the exhibition.
Congratulations are also in order for our BA (Hons) Fine Art students and alumni, whose artwork is being displayed as part of the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum's annual Open Art & Photography exhibition, online. Preview the exhibition and vote for your favourite piece on the Williamson’s website.
We were also delighted to get a good news story from alumnus student Christopher P who completed the BTEC Creative Media Production Extended Diploma in 2016, progressed to Bournemouth University where he studied BA (Hons) Media Production and is now studying MA Directing at Met Film School at the famous Ealing Studios in London.
Science students have continued to produce work of an exemplary standard during these difficult times. Biomedical Science Access student Beth completed a distinction level assignment on the ‘Exchange and Transport of Gases’.
Level 3 BTEC second year student Zoe used the existing pandemic to inform her assignment for the ‘Diseases and Infections’ unit, looking at the effect that a range of different diseases have on the individual and also on local and wider communities.
The Science team is especially proud of student Zoe who has been working in a care home for the past year and, over the past few weeks, has been working long hours to help to care for the residents, as well as completing her College work. Good work Zoe. We all clap for you on Thursday!
Construction & the Built Environment
Our brickwork tutor, Peter, is particularly proud of one of our students who has shown outstanding commitment and effort throughout his studies as he is undergoing kidney dialysis, whilst waiting for a suitable kidney for transplant. Ensuring that our student can continue with his study, occasionally having to miss some days due to infection, is now being reinforced as we support remote learning through Covid19 shielding. In spite of his health condition, he has produced work to the highest quality, in relation to all theory and knowledge tasks which will ensure he is ready to progress in due course. An inspiration to us all.
Tutor Tony C set up a fun quiz for his first and second year Electrical students over the Easter holiday which was set up to get people talking and encourage families to do an activity together. The picture quiz was also designed to reduce the opportunity for people to cheat using Google. Tony’s wife kindly donated a £10 Love to Shop voucher for the winner and this great story illustrates the importance of keeping in touch and just talking, at this difficult time.
Engineering & Motor Vehicle
We are working with many awarding bodies to ensure that the assessment and award of qualifications are robust and that we do not allow the impact of Covid19 to prevent progress. Our Motor Vehicle team carried out a remote ‘visit and verification’ with an External Verifier who confirmed that they are very happy with the work of our students and the level of invigilation and rigour we are providing.
Health & Social Care
We are delighted to congratulate all of our Pathway to Nursing students who have just passed their external assessment and are now set to progress to university. This programme was designed in partnership with our local NHS Trusts and a partner university, to create a pathway to nursing which, at this time, has never been more precious. We are now working with our students to help prepare them for their next big step.
Reminded of the great work Further Education does to support adult learning, our Health and Social Care student Levi B, is currently working to support Covid19 patients and we could not be more proud of her.
Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy & Wellbeing
Every morning, before 9am, NVQ Beauty Therapy Diploma students receive a daily target from tutor Jaki who is very proud of the progress they are making. Mindful of the impact lockdown is having on everyone, the team continues to post relevant and inspirational posts on Instagram which also showcases student work as well as supporting learning.
The Hair and Beauty tutors are also continuing to engage with parents and one parent got in touch recently to express their appreciation for our support and how much these efforts had kept her engaged in learning.
Sports, Fitness & Outdoor Education
We also had some news from alumnus student and AoC Public Services Student of the Year, Mattie Harding, who has decided to compete in the Paralympics in weightlifting rather than swimming.
Mattie has raised £1,290 for NHS Charities Together by completing 5,000 body weight reps with 60Kg on the bench press within 24 hours. What a great achievement – we wish Mattie every success in the future.
Public & Uniformed Services
More praise from parents, for our Public Services team in supporting their sons and daughters and keeping them occupied through learning.
Travel & Tourism
We are particularly proud of Aviation level 3 student Sam, who is working 30 hours per week as a key worker, as well as continuing her studies. Sam managed to submit her latest assignment on time and is on track to gain a distinction. Well done Sam!
Our students understand the importance of English and maths which is part of their study programme and they have been working particularly hard on the maths elements of their study, with Nicholas working hard with his revision work for Functional Skills, and Elizabeth, Cameron and Callum who have completed their GCSE Maths mock exams early.
Skills for Life & Work
Independent Living is an integral part of our Prep 4 Life programme and last week students continued with their environmental awareness project as they celebrated Earth Day.
It is interesting to see the extent to which, whilst Covid19 causes havoc throughout the world, the impact of lockdown has reduced pollution and is transforming the quality of air and rivers.
Student, Calvin, planted a sunflower in his garden to help keep the balance of nature – well done Calvin!
British Sign Language (BSL)
BSL students have been working online with materials on our virtual Campus, telling us they like the pace and the ability it provides to practise sign from different angles, to help understanding. Like us all, whilst they are pleased to be able to carry on with learning they miss the class group and we all look forward to the day we can return to class learning together!
We are also aware of the impact Covid19 is having on us all and one of our students was particularly appreciative of support from our Pastoral Team, as she struggled with concern and worry about her mum who, as a nurse, had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
We’ve also had lovely feedback from parents, relating to the support we are providing for our students. Here’s an extract from a parent’s email:
“Thank you so much for the lovely email I really appreciate you getting back to me so quick.”
“You all do a fantastic job and that is one of the reasons why (daughter) has achieved what she has so far… I was absolutely amazed at how well she is doing and the fact that she had been attending her English lessons, that in itself to me was a massive achievement and for her”.
Business Support Team Updates
International Workers’ Memorial Day
Tuesday the 28th of April is International Workers’ Memorial Day, when we remember all those who have died because of their work. In the year of coronavirus, this day of commemoration has never been more important. We ask that you all observe a minute’s silence, to remember all the health, care and other key workers who have already lost their lives to COVID-19 at 11am on 28/04/2020.
Positive Mental Health and Well-being
One way to support positive mental health and well-being activities to help you and your students to overcome anxiety, stress and depression whilst staying home self-distancing can include creating a daily drawing.
Entitled ‘With this pen 🖊 I can...’ you can select a different word each day, and share this with students and your own children. The drawing can be as big or small as you like, pen drawing, collage, phone app, you decide.
Calling all of our tutors! When we return to ‘normal’, we must remember that Further Education is a pathway to a career and the National Careers Week team has set up National Skills Days on Wednesday 20th May 2020 which aims to be great fun, whilst building confidence and an important connection for everyone at this time.
It’s a great chance for everyone to show off their skills from wherever they are. Please can you let your students know so that we can all get involved.