Birmingham Conversations: Faith in the Public Sphere

The third ‘Birmingham Conversations’ took place recently on the theme of ‘Faith in the Public Sphere’ and explored the issue of how faith communities engage in all areas of public life.

The Conversations were attended by Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Humanists, Muslims and Sikhs as well as people involved in local politics, business and education.

The group met once a month for six months which enabled friendships to grow and for trust to be built up so that difficult or controversial topics could be considered.

Under the heading of ‘Faith in the Public Sphere’ they discussed what it would mean for faith communities, and by extension all communities, to flourish in the public sphere. Can everyone flourish or does the flourishing of one community necessitate the diminishing or restricting of another?

They then went on to consider how what this flourishing might look like at work, in places of education, in political life, in the media and in the street during festivals or demonstrations.

A Policy Report of the findings was written by Dr Andrew Davies from the University of Birmingham which includes specific recommendations and can be downloaded here faith-in-the-public-sphere-policy-recommendations

A Summary of the conversations was produced which includes questions for discussion and is written with members of the public in mind to enable different groups to join in the conversation. A copy of the summary can be downloaded here. map-of-birmingham-conversationland

They invited two local artists, Jake Lever and Mandy Ross, to be artists in residence and reflect on what they heard during the conversations. As well as creatively facilitating conversations they produced artworks at the end as a response to the conversations.

Eid Mubarak!

Join us at Fircroft College to celebrate the diversity in our community on Monday 3rd July. With a number of workshops and exhibitions as well as deliciously authentic food,  it promises to be an event not to be missed.

Break bread with us as we get to know each other and find ways to better understand the differences and similarities in our cultures.

 

Black Feminist Protest – Mary Prince’s Slave Narrative by Ifemu Omari-Webber

Mary Prince’s autobiography – The History of Mary Prince (1831), was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published.

On Thursday 22nd June at the John Lewis Community Hub, Ifemu aims to share some of these stories in her seminar, and argues that Mary Prince is indeed one of the first black feminists to actively resist the dehumanisation process of West Indian slavery, ensuring that her life experiences continues to be passed on almost two centuries later.

We hope you can join us for this interesting and informative event.

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!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… by Chantelle Maguraushe

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, you can visibly see the thirst for a reprieve on many a student’s face. For some, life at college has been a breeze, but for others, a struggle. As mature students, the return to education has taken some adjustment. The work has undeniably reached a new level of difficulty with the progression from ungraded to graded units. We are being tested, yet prepared for university study.

Since my last post, we have cultivated our intellectual minds, broadened our knowledge and received our grades for several assignments as well as feedback for improvement in future projects. Socially, we went to the Glee Club and had a Christmas party. The opportunity to relax and unwind was greatly appreciated by all the students and attending staff.

Living away from home, meeting new people, or learning something new does not come easy for all and unfortunately, some students have succumbed to these struggles of college life and have left us for other projects. Change is indeed an acquired taste and sometimes the unsuccessful outcome of a task or goal can leave us disheartened and despondent. Even so, there is hope. If we only stop stumbling in the dark and turn on the light, we may just find that path that leads us to our goal. So to those students, I/we wish you good luck and great success in the future.

Aspirations are not always easy to attain and if we keep this in mind, then the struggle will be worth it. With that in mind, I leave you with the following quote:

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” (Napoleon Hill)

To all, warm greetings. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Make 2017 your year of personal and professional fulfilment

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As 2016 draws to a close, the dark Winter nights provide the ideal opportunity to plan your personal and professional goals for 2017.

For many people, choosing goals that will enhance both their professional and personal lives is high on their agenda.

Leadership and management are two of the most sought-after skills in employment across the private, public and third sectors.

As well as equipping you with valuable skills for the workplace, a qualification in leadership and management can help increase confidence and assertiveness outside of work.

At Fircroft College in Birmingham, we offer the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management qualification which provides the skills and knowledge to lead, organise and motivate teams.

The ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management is ideal if you have management responsibilities but no formal training and want to develop your abilities further, or if you aspire to work in management and are preparing to make the step up. It has a particularly successful track record in training public sector and third sector employees.

Getting the right mix of inspirational leadership and effective management skills and practices can have a significant impact on organisational performance in terms of profit, sales, growth and survival. 93% of employers see tangible increase in their managers’ capability after an ILM qualification.

This nationally recognised qualification consists of two taught day-long sessions delivered on 16th January and 13th February 2017 at Fircroft College, together with online resource learning.

Benefits to the learner:

  • Gain a range of key management skills
  • Put new skills into practice in your own role
  • Build your leadership capabilities
  • Motivate and engage teams, manage relationships confidently
  • Develop your leadership skills using your own knowledge, values and motivations.

Benefits to the employer:

  • Effective and confident first-line managers
  • Better relationships and communication in teams
  • Measurable results: workplace-based assessment ensures new skills are effectively transferred to your organisation
  • A broad range of optional units – qualification can be tailored to your organisation’s learning and development needs

 

Matt Lloyd a former student of the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management gives his feedback on the course:

“My time at Fircroft College on the ILM course was invaluable to my professional development and helped enhance my management skills. Having recently been promoted to a more senior managerial position, I enrolled at Fircroft in order to learn new exciting leadership techniques and theories to assist me my new role. The tutors were incredibly engaging and were always prepared to go the extra mile. I have benefitted so much from achieving my ILM Award courtesy of Fircroft”. 

To learn more about the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management at Fircroft College, course cost and the entry requirements, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s it like being a residential student on the Access to Higher Education Diploma at Fircroft?

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Chantelle Maguraushe shares her experiences of studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma at Fircroft College.

Fircroft student Chantelle Maguraushe offers a fascinating insight into what it’s like to be a resident student on the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Sciences and Humanities.

“There’s a time in your life where you’re not quite sure where you are. You think everything’s perfect, but it’s not perfect… Then one day you wake up and you can’t quite picture yourself in the situation you’re in. But the secret is, if you can picture yourself doing it, you can do it.” (Tom DeLonge)

If you’re looking to study the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Sciences and Humanities at Fircroft College, then I hope this blog post goes some way in helping you make that decision.

Like anything, the Access Diploma is not without its difficulties, but thankfully there is a great team of staff on hand to help. With our first few assignments due this coming week, it can feel daunting given that we started only three weeks ago. But on a great note, the modules are very interesting.

So far we have been exposed to literature on Feudalism, Socialisation and other sociological theories, as well as literary pieces such as Billy Bragg’s ‘It Says Here’ and Nick Hornby’s ‘Nipple Jesus’ – all fascinating reads. With a class of less than thirty students, we have become quite a close-knit group – a family away from home if you like.

As for college life, there are some residential students as well as non-residential students living off campus. I can mostly speak for the residential students and what I have to say is – it is awesome! Now, I am not just saying this. Class is a mere minute away from the living quarters, there is free WIFI, three meals are provided daily and the living quarters aren’t too shabby. They are spacious with an en-suite bath and toilet. I mean, what more can you ask for?

The grounds are beautifully maintained and there is plenty of benches to sit and just chill, maybe whilst enjoying the view.

I won’t blather on… I will finish by saying, if you’re looking for a unique learning experience unlike that of much larger colleges, then Fircroft College is the place for you.

Here are some opinions of my fellow students on the Access course:

  • Whilst at larger colleges you can get lost in the crowd, here at Fircroft it’s not really a worry and it’s not difficult to get work done. Plus, you can’t be a resident at most colleges! (Alex French)
  • It’s more accommodating at Fircroft and offers more support due to its smaller size. (Clarista Bird)
  • There’s a cosy atmosphere and you’re not likely to slip under the net whilst here. You feel like a part of history. You are not treated differently whether you are a resident or non-resident. (Chantelle Golden)
  • It’s very inclusive, with smaller classes and structured in such a way as to get the best out of its students. (Karen Mowbray)
  • I think Fircroft, due its ethos and smaller size is a much more supportive college. I get a sense of the ‘Fircroft family’ here. (Naomi Ball)
  • Fircroft offers a supportive learning environment. (Nathan Chin)
  • It is warm and welcoming with small study groups/classes that mean staff can really help students with their personal study goals. (Melanie Starkey)

For more information on the Access to Higher Education Diploma at Fircroft please take a look at  www.fircroft.ac.uk/access-to-he

10 ways the ILM Level 5 Award can improve your leadership and management skills

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Leadership and management skills are the lifeblood of maintaining a happy and productive workforce.

Studying a qualification offered by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), is an ideal way to develop your knowledge and skills in this area, whether you’re starting out or in a senior management role.

At Fircroft College of Adult Education, we offer the ILM Level 5 Award in Leadership & Management.

ILM is the UK’s leading provider of leadership, coaching and management qualifications, training over 90,000 managers each year.

The ILM Level 5 Award in Leadership & Management is designed for new and aspiring middle managers – such as heads of department, regional team leaders and operations managers. It helps you consolidate your experience, while developing new skills to take on greater management responsibility.

By studying the ILM Level 5 Award you’ll learn how to:

1) Identify the need for innovation and change management
2) Choose between incremental and step change
3) Propose innovative solutions to improve organisational performance
4) Implement techniques for analysis
5) Identify strategy options and assess viability
6) Lead and manage change
7) Create a change management plan to meet stakeholder expectations
8) Implement plans and monitor progress against targets
9) Assess your own performance as a manager and improve it
10) Improve your inter-personal skills by focusing on relationship management

We also offer the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management – aimed at people who have management responsibilities but no formal training, and are serious about developing their abilities.

It’s particularly suited to practising team leaders seeking to move up to the next level of management, and managers who need to lead people through organisational change, budget cuts or other pressures.

For more information, or to apply to study the ILM Level 3 or 5 Award in Leadership & Management please contact one of our applications team on 0121 472 0116 or email shortcourses@fircroft.ac.uk. Alternatively visit our website.

10 Reasons to choose Fircroft College for the Access to Higher Education Diploma

access -to-higher-education-in-humanities-and-social-sciences

August is the ideal month to take stock of your current situation and plan how to improve your learning and career prospects.

There are thousands of courses out there designed to move you a step nearer to your personal and professional goals.

For some people, this goal is gaining entry to one of the UK’s many prestigious universities.

However, these same people may feel excluded from the system if they were unable to gain GCSEs or A-Levels whilst at school or college.

If you are one of these people then the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Sciences and Humanities can help you gain university entrance – even if you don’t have the conventional GCSE or A-Level requirements*.

Here’s 10 reasons to consider Fircroft College to study the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Sciences and Humanities:

1) High success rates – year-on-year at least 10% above the national average 

2) Fircroft is small, friendly and very supportive with a close community of like-minded people – read about our learner experience

3) Regular access to a progress coach to guide you through the course and your time at the college

4) Residential option to immerse yourself in your studies and make life-long friends (plus free meals and accommodation)!

5) Modern teaching, ICT and classroom facilities with free WIFI 

6) 24-hour comprehensive library with access to library facilities at nearby University of Birmingham

7) Vibrant social science with trips, activities and events organised throughout the year

8) All learners receive help with living costs

9) The college is set in six acres of beautiful gardens of a former Cadbury home

10) We are just 15 minutes away from the attractions of central Birmingham

*The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a Level 3 qualification and therefore we require applicants to be able to work at Level 2 in English and Level 1 in Maths.

For more reasons to study the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Sciences & Humanities at Fircroft College, please go here or call one of our friendly team on 0121 472 0116.

 

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