All posts by Andria Birch

Health and Wellbeing; make up your own mind at Fircroft

By Michael Conway-Jones

In July a number of students tried out a new questionnaire before and after their short course at Fircroft. This uses the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) to measure changes in 14 different areas.

One person’s score went down slightly and we know that returning to learning can be very challenging. All the others went up. From an average score of 36 out of 70 at the beginning, to 47 at the end, which is just under the national average.

We’re used to students feeling more confident when they leave Fircroft and more supported by each other. This is reflected in the WEMWBS scores. The biggest improvement was in response to the statement  “I’ve been able to make up my own mind about things”. Some people jumped 2 points up the 5 point scale.

This fits with some academic reading we’ve been doing which says that learning changes our “frames of reference”. This year we’ll be carrying out our own action research into the transformations which happen at Fircroft. As well as progress in their subjects, we’ll be seeing if students are more aware of their assumptions, more open to other perspectives and take the risk of changing their mind.

 Meanwhile on Friday we’re bringing together representatives from every local authority in the West Midlands to use WEMWBS or a similar “social metric” with 1500 learners, supported by the Learning & Work Institute.    We look forward to developing this further and better documenting the difference we make to learners’ health and wellbeing this academic year.

 

 

Partnership Opportunities with Fircroft

 

Fircroft College is looking for partners to support in delivery of education, training and employment outcomes for learners across the West Midlands.  

Providers must have a proven track record of successful support and progression opportunities for disadvantaged learners/beneficiaries. Minimum requirements for insurance levels and financial health plus suitable references will be required as part of the due diligence process. If you would like to find out more or complete an expression of interest please email andria.birch@fircroft.ac.uk

Fircroft Great Get Together

Fircroft will be hosting a Great Get Together Lunch on Friday 16th June.  This will be one of over 100,000 community events to take place as part of The Great Get Together in commemoration of the murder of Jo Cox on 16th June 2016.

Placards show Jo Cox’s picture during a commemorative event in Trafalgar Square

Placards show Jo Cox’s picture during a commemorative event in Trafalgar Square, London, last year. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

More than 100,000 events are expected to be held across the UK as part of The Great Get Together, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation. Organisers hope it will be the biggest number of community events since the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

The weekend of events will take place between 16 and 18 June, with picnics, street parties and iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan.

Open Day 9th May

Whether you’re interested in our programme of short courses, or our Access to Higher Education Diploma, coming to an Open Day is a great way to get a feel for what it’s like to study at Fircroft College.

You will have the opportunity to speak to our friendly and helpful tutors, get advice and guidance, have a tour of the college and apply for courses on the day.

For more information please call 0121 472 0116 or email us at opendays@fircroft.ac.uk

Address
Fircroft College of Adult Education, 1018 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6LH

Open Day Dates
We ask that all Open Day visitors arrive at the College between 1pm and 1.15pm ready for a 1.30pm start. The events then run until approximately 4pm. Free refreshments are provided.

Tuesday 9 May 2017
Tuesday 13 June 2017
Tuesday 18 July 2017
Tuesday 15 August 2017

We look forward to meeting you soon!