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.
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 email@example.com
Fircroft College will be delivering the NEW Talk English Programme in Birmingham. Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Talk English is a volunteer led project, that offers a fantastic opportunity to develop English language skills for people with low levels of English within the local area.
The project will run a number of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses across community venues. It will be taught by volunteer ‘Talk English Tutors’ and supported by volunteer ‘Talk English Friends’.
Sound interesting? Read more below….
Make a difference.. become a Talk English Volunteer!
‘Talk English Tutors’ will receive
- Free training courses
- Gain teaching experience
- Develop new skills
‘Talk English Friends’ will have the exciting opportunity to facilitate a range of fun learning activities for people learning English and/or can support learners one to one , or in a small group within a classroom setting.
We are now recruiting for volunteer Talk English Tutors, Talk English friends and partners, If interested in volunteering for the project please register your interest HERE
To find out more please get in touch with Neena Chauhan, Talk English Project Coordinator on 0121 472 2016 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Talk English visit www.talk-english.co.uk/birmingham