Tag Archives: Fircroft

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

I Was My Own Worst Enemy

I was just like you. I was filled with self-doubt. I was a glass half-empty rather than a glass half-full kind of person. And yet deep down I knew I was capable of so much more than I dared to let myself believe.
I enjoyed school. I did quite well, I worked relatively hard and always thought I’d go to university someday. But then life happened, as it does. It cast my plans aside and led me down a path I had never imagined I would end up on.

I’m sure you know how the story goes; wrong crowd, led astray, missed opportunities, the usual stuff. I was unemployed for a few years, trying out jobs and never really liking them, trying to go to college but never actually completing the course and just generally banging my head against a brick wall. I didn’t know how I was going to turn my life around, or how I was going to get things back on track. Then I found Fircroft.

I applied and was accepted for the Access to Higher Education Diploma. For the first time in years I felt like I had a plan, a goal, something to strive towards. The college was just what I’d been waiting for all these years. It was hope.

Fircroft is a place that changes lives. It builds you up when life has ground you down and sends you back out into the world a stronger, more confident, more knowledgeable person. Before long I started to feel like me again. But not the old me, a brand new me, me 2.0. I was confident, I had self-belief and I was raring to go. Excited to see where this new road would lead me.

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. We can talk ourselves out of doing things which we know may be challenging. We start to think about everything that could go wrong, we focus on the negatives and fail to see the wealth of possibilities that are on the horizon. Fircroft helps you to rise above, to look at yourself from a different perspective and to begin to believe in your own capabilities.

Fast forward 10 years and I’m back at Fircroft, this time as a member of staff. Working to make sure that people like me, people like us, are aware of the fantastic opportunities that the college offers.

This is my journey. It may be similar to yours, it may be completely different, but one thing that we have in common is the desire to transform our lives. I did it and you can too, start your journey today, apply for the Access to Higher Education Diploma at Fircroft College – dare to believe.

For more information on the Access to HE Diploma at Fircroft College please visit our website.

Or apply now.

 

 

Fircroft Garden Party & Awards 2017

It’s been just 5 days since this years Garden Party and Awards Ceremony and we still can’t quite get over what a great day it was. Not only did everyone have a wonderful time, the rain stayed away until the event had reached an end – shocking I know!

We celebrated the achievements and successes of our 2016-17 students in style. There was a huge marquee erected in the gardens, purple and green balloons blew gently in the wind, whilst the sound of Indian Dhol Drummers lifted the atmosphere and got everyone in a celebratory mood.

       Dhol Drummers getting the party started.

There was a fantastic spread of canapes and cakes provided by our dedicated kitchen staff, a performance by Mitch Mitchell (former The Voice contestant and West End musical extraordinaire) and a beautifully written piece by Fircroft student Raymond Howell.

The event also saw the launch of our brand new Friends of Fircroft Ambassadors scheme.  Our distinguished presenters on the day and valued Friends of Fircroft – Roger Cadbury (Fircroft College Patron), Scott Lucas,  Charmaine Burton, John Holford and Catina Barrett – have been invited to become the first wave of Friends of Fircroft Ambassadors. Awards were also presented by Cheryl Turner (Chair of Fircroft Governing Body) and senior members of the Fircroft staff.

    Scott Lucas presenting award to Melanie Starkey

The award winners were overjoyed. There were a few tears, lots of smiles and laughter filled the air as one after another the winners were gifted their prizes and certificates. Click the picture below to view the full list of awards, winners and presenters.

We have received some amazing feedback from attendees and we are happy that the event was genuinely enjoyed by our guests.

“It was brill, I was so happy that Roger Cadbury presented my award,I can’t stop smiling”.

Roger Cadbury Fircroft College Patron & Kim Cartwright

“The event maintained elements of the old e.g. Student recognition and a relaxed tone. Listening to the creative writing piece was great and the drummers created a fantastic mood to the event.”

               Guests enjoying the day.

“I felt the community atmosphere it generated was really enjoyable.” Can’t wait ’til next year’s!”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended, from the students to the partners, from the governors to the ambassadors, we appreciate you and your continued support of the college.

If you would like to have your say about the Garden Party, please complete our survey and let us know your thoughts.

 

 

 

Student Contributors Needed!

Are you a writer at heart who would like to see their work featured on the Fircroft blog and social media accounts?

Or maybe you’re a photographer/artist who would like the opportunity to have their work displayed on our digital platforms as well as around the college?

Or perhaps you’re a budding musician who would relish the chance to perform at one of the college’s many events?

Whatever your talent, we would love to work with you. Get in touch with naomi.minto@fircroft.ac.uk for more information.

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!