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STEM 2Young people from schools around west London found out more about routes into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers after GCSEs at an Uxbridge College taster day.

During the event on 27 May, run in partnership with the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), around 30 Year 9 and 10 students took part in a range of events including a gaming session and an electronics master class. The day also gave the students an opportunity to compare both university and apprenticeship pathways into STEM careers, and look at options including high level vocational study at college.

The provision of specialist technical education is due to expand at Uxbridge College from 2020 when it opens a national Institute of Technology (IoT) centre under the umbrella of the merged college group HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College). HCUC, which has also been selected to provide T Level qualifications - the technical equivalent to A Levels - from next year, was one of 12 education and training providers nationally to be selected by the Government earlier this year to go through IoT pre-award stage.

Uxbridge College will be providing a further opportunity for young people to see college facilities and find out more about future study and careers options at its Open Day on Wednesday 12 June, and will be running enrolment sessions during July and August.

Kiran Rami, Head of Guidance & Student Support at Uxbridge College, said: “There is now a great choice of routes into careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) depending on whether you prefer a more practical or academic approach to learning. It was great to work with EDT to provide young people with a taste of how interesting and diverse STEM subjects can be, along with information about options around following a path to university, learning on the job as an apprentice, or choosing from a wide range of relevant courses at college.”

The taster day was part of a three-day programme for the students from the area, with the second day held at University of Westminster, and the third with global engineering, construction, and project management company Bechtel.

EDT’s programme enables participants to spend three days during their half term holidays at a college, a university and an employer. The charitable trust delivers over 40,000 STEM experiences nationally each year for young people aged 9 to 21 years, to support them in enhancing their technical, personal and employability skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialised taster courses. EDT also works with Industrial Cadets, an industry-led accreditation scheme under which employers run accredited experiences for young people aged 9-21, helping them to develop skills and gain an insight into industry.

More information about the 12 June Open Day at: https://www.uxbridge.ac.uk/college-information/open-days.html

For information about enrolment days: https://www.uxbridge.ac.uk/college-information/enrolment.html

Raees MalikUxbridge College students were among learners from Hillingdon who joined forces in a campaign to help combat hate crime and extremism.

The Level 2 Creative Media and Art & Design students created posters and video infomercials for the Hillingdon Voices United project - facilitated by the Stronger Communities team at the London Borough of Hillingdon - which were shared at a showcase evening at Brunel University London. Level 3 Journalism and Creative Writing students from the college also took part, producing poems challenging hate, and presentations on keeping safe on social media. Learners from Creative Writing and Music at Brunel University London, and Hillingdon Adult and Community Learning, were also involved.

Participants, friends and family, and partner organisations came along to the event to celebrate the successful project and see the final collection of work, which also includes lesson plans which can be used by other learners, as well as documentary films. The work will form part of a community learning resource to be utilised by other schools and local community organisations.

Dr Darrell DeSouza, Vice Principal of HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College, the merged college group for the two organisations), who attended the event, said: “It was great to see the fabulous, real-project work that was carried out with learners from Uxbridge College and local schools through the Stronger Communities partnership’s Hillingdon Voices United Project. All the work was of a really high standard and for a really good local and national cause. Congratulations to all the staff, students and partners involved in making this project such a success.”

The Uxbridge College students worked in small teams on their assignment for seven weeks to create the resources to help raise awareness of hate crimes and how to report them. Whilst working on the project, students investigated a wide range of hate crimes, including knife crime, islamophobia and homophobia.

Lyn Stevenson, Media Lecturer at Uxbridge College, said: “Whilst working through the project our students bonded as a group and applied the respect and tolerance they were learning to their own personal development. The students applied a high level of technical and creative skills for their stage of learning, and matured during the project into respectful, kind-natured young adults. I am extremely proud of the work they produced and of the increasingly thoughtful and respectful people they are developing into.”

The project aimed to strengthen community cohesion, build resilience and improve community relations, enabling the local community to work together to raise awareness of the issues around hate crime and extremism and how to tackle them. The work also encouraged participants to feel confident in challenging hate and discrimination and to promote greater understanding, respect and unity.

Hillingdon Voices United was also supported by the Stronger Communities Partnership, a group of representatives from local community partners such as the police, learning providers, charities and other local community organisations, and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

Art for Life Copy of IMG 8555Uxbridge College students were inspired to express themselves in art as part of a mental health and well-being programme provided by Arts for Life Project and NHS Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group.

Arts for Life staff worked with around 80 A Level, GCSE and Vocational Science students from Uxbridge College’s Sixth Form Centre, using paint and mixed media to help them create their own pieces based on themes including nature and animals. The final pieces were auctioned off at college, raising a total of £300 which will go towards running another art session for students.

A total of 30 college staff also received a two-day emotional well-being training delivered by Arts for Life, teaching them to better recognise and address the signs of stress and emotional challenges in themselves and their students, and further training is due to take place in the autumn. The Association of Colleges’ Week of Action - 13-17 May - also sees the launch of its Mental Health & Well-being Charter which Uxbridge College has signed up to. The charter backs work by colleges across the UK to provide the best possible support for good mental health for staff and students.

Kiran Rami, Head of Guidance & Student Support, who led on the project at Uxbridge College, said: “It was great for students, particularly those who might not have had much experience with creative projects, to feel the positive benefits of taking part in this kind of activity, and it was really useful for staff to learn more about understanding and managing mental health. Uxbridge College really appreciates having had the chance to work with the NHS and the Arts for Life Project on this.”

John Beckles, Children and Young Peoples Emotional Well-being/Mental Health Commissioner from NHS Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group, which provided funding for the training and arts workshops at Uxbridge College, said: “This programme has successfully developed a whole college approach to emotional well-being and mental health which will provide early identification, intervention and support for students with emotional well-being and mental health issues. This will help to develop an understanding of how staff and students at the college can work together to effectively manage emotional well-being and mental health issues”.

Jacqui Dennaford, Director, Arts For Life Project, said: "We were delighted to be asked to participate in this valuable and much-needed pilot programme. The outcomes have far exceeded our expectations and the feedback and follow through from both staff and students has begun to filter through the college. The charity was welcomed and supported by all partners in the programme and looks forward to developing the programme for further reach in the months ahead."

NHS Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for buying and arranging health services in Hillingdon including community health and hospital services.

Arts for Life Project is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which runs workshops and support programmes through schools and college to support young people’s mental and emotional well-being. It runs group arts sessions, mental health training and one-to-one support for young people, their families, and teachers, tutors and lecturers.

As part of Uxbridge College, the Uxbridge College Sixth Form Centre provides a range of A Level, GCSE and Vocational Science programmes. Sixth Form Centre students progress on to a range of future study programmes and career paths, including going on to Higher Education courses including to University.

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