1. Aim high with welding

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    Keighley College offers a range of enterprising welding courses, ranging from apprenticeships to diplomas.

    To find out more about the courses, we spoke with course leader Simon Davison.

    What welding opportunities are available at the college?

    We begin the offering at Level 1 which teaches the basics of welding, right up to Level 3. Apprenticeships are also really popular here, which typically involves learning technical processes and developing practical skills.

    What feedback do you get from students?

    They love it. We have outstanding attendance across all our courses; it’s fantastic to see so many students excited about coming into college. We have a really nice mixture of male and female students on the courses. We’ve been so proud to see them go on to some amazing jobs, including working in the oil industry and travelling around the world.

    What are the key benefits students can take away?

    The students can develop their practical skills of using machinery through regular use of our facilities. We are one of few colleges that gives students their own welding bay, which creates a personalised experience, allowing them to master techniques much quicker than if they were sharing.

    Due to us having 15 bays in the workshop, we usually have the same number of students per class. This is a great class size which creates a safe environment and good contact time.

    The knowledge students gain from our staff is brilliant. All together, we have around 150 years’ experience and come from a variety of interesting backgrounds including teachers, facilitators and inspectors for the Welding Institute.

    Why Keighley College?

    Keighley College has an incredibly strong reputation in this field, we have been established as an engineering college for over 100 years and are recognised across the region for our engineering disciplines.

    It’s one of the strongest colleges in the North of England for welding – we have an impressive range of equipment and many qualified staff members. The apprenticeship programmes we deliver are especially high quality due to our staff being qualified welding inspectors; we champion perfected techniques and excellent quality.

    What advice would you give to a student considering studying a welding course at the college?

    I would advise them to come over and meet us, we can give them a tour of the workshop and give some insight into what we do. We’ll let students have a taster and try it for themselves. If it is something they’re interested in, we will give them the best route possible to get on board – whether that is an evening class, full-time course or apprenticeship, we will be able to accommodate them.

    Take a look at Keighley College welding courses here.


  2. Going to great lengths to make a change

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    A champion of adult education, body positivity and mental health, Jane Dyminski leads the way in inspiring others to achieve their dreams and overcome challenging times.

    Currently studying Level 2 Adult Hairdressing at Keighley College, we spoke to her to find out more about her inspirational story of setting up her own wig shop.


    What is your experience of being a mature student?


    It was really hard to come to college because I’m 45 years old. Previously, I was in dentistry for 30 years so making this career change was a big step for me. The main battle I faced was having no hair; I suffer with alopecia and wear wigs most of the time. Both of these factors acted as real tough barriers for me to overcome, but I’m incredibly glad I did. The young people weren’t as intimidating as I initially anticipated, everyone was so friendly and made me feel very welcome.


    What do you enjoy about the course?


    I love learning – I was worried that I may be a slow learner due to being out of education for so long, but the tutors are incredibly thorough and knowledgeable, making it easy to learn.

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed the social aspect. Being a mature student, the young people often approach me with questions and I’m always delighted to be able to help them.


    What inspired you to take this course?


    I got alopecia when I was only 24 years old – all my hair fell out and I discovered how challenging it was to find good quality wigs. It had always been a dream of mine to set up my own wig shop, so I made the leap of faith and opened the doors of Big Wigs!

    After completing a wig-making course, I learnt how to create my own bespoke wigs for my clients. I have always wanted to attend Trevor Sorbie’s wig cutting course, who set up the charity ‘My New Hair’ for his sister who had cancer. To complete the course, you need to be a Level 2 Hairdresser, so this is where my journey at Keighley College began. The course has really shaped my career path – I’ve discovered how much I love hairdressing and my end goal is to be a hairdresser and wig maker.


    Is there support for other people experiencing similar challenges?


    I run a support group once a month called ‘Friends of Hair’ for anyone experiencing hair loss. Regardless of people’s gender, hair loss can be a devastating confidence knock. The group provides a safe and comfortable environment, where people can discuss their experiences and get support.


    How do you promote body positivity?


    I use my social media to champion positive body images. Since I set up an Instagram page, I’ve got over 1,000 followers and I’ve also created a blog and website. Many people have found my story and platforms really inspiring – I’ve had messages from Cornwall to America commenting on how I’ve helped transform people’s confidence.

    Being different is ok and that’s a message I’m truly passionate about. Social media can often make girls feel as if they’re not good enough, so it is incredibly important for me to show them that it’s good to be unique through posting photos without my hair.


    What challenges have you faced?


    Attending college as a mature student with no hair was really intimidating. I made sure to change my wig every week so the students got used to seeing different colours and styles. One student told me how nice my hair was – she was so surprised when I told her it was a wig! It was really nice to break the ice and talk openly about my alopecia.

    I’m a real advocate of mental health and having alopecia can really affect anxiety levels. It’s important to keep positive and work for something you feel passionate about. It’s great to see so much mental health support within the college.


    How does it feel knowing you’ve helped others?


    I really like it. I’m trying to spread the word and I really enjoy helping people feel good about themselves. I felt so rubbish for so long at the early stages of alopecia that I wouldn’t want other people to feel like that and I am doing everything I can to empower people.

    For more information on Keighley College’s hairdressing courses, click here.

  3. Calculated grades for this year’s summer exams

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    The government has made the decision to cancel the 2020 summer examinations. We realise there will be a lot of unanswered questions as the guidance is quite limited at this stage, but we wanted to share with you what we do know or expect to happen.

    This information is applicable to the summer exams for GCSEs, A levels, BTEC and some other equivalent vocational qualifications. Other qualifications’ awarding bodies may require students to sit an exam and/or assessment at a later date.​

    Students will be awarded grades which fairly reflect the work they have put in. Please rest assured we will be doing everything we can to ensure that each student is awarded the grade they deserve in recognition of their hard work. It is clear from the announcement that every effort will be made to make sure that students will not be disadvantaged and will be able to progress as appropriate, to the next stage of their lives. 

    Teachers will be asked to submit judgements about the grades students would have received if exams had gone ahead. This judgement will be informed by a range of evidence and data which could include; 

    • A wide range of assessments completed by students over the course of the year 
    • Mock examination grades 
    • Class work and coursework

    This will then be combined with prior attainment data and expected pathways to produce a calculated grade that is fair and expected. We will work closely with the exam boards to ensure that every one of our students achieves the right outcomes based on what is fair and reflective of their performance. This is important for adult learners or students who have only been studying their subject in this academic year.

    For those who have exams as part of a vocational or technical qualification, some units will have already been assessed and completed. These will be important evidence in informing the final awarded grade. We will follow the guidance and work with the awarding organisations to ensure there is a flexible and pragmatic approach, so these students are not disadvantaged in any way. 

    It is intended that students will be awarded their calculated grades before the end of July. Be reassured that grading and certification will look the same as in previous years.

    Where students feel that their calculated grade does not reflect their performance, the option to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity will be available, or in the summer of 2021.

    Students should continue with their remote learning as planned and supported by their teachers. This will make a difference in readiness for their next steps, and in completion of any assessments that may be used to inform the calculated grades. You should contact your tutor/s if you need any support.

    We would like to offer assurance that although our ‘in college’ normal way of working has been interrupted, you can still apply for your next steps at college. We are doing different types of (safe) interviews and you will hear from us in due course. 

    We look forward to celebrating the achievements of all our current students and meeting those who are yet to join us, as we plan for the new academic year ahead.

  4. New qualification lifts ambition

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    Keighley College is working closely with elevator firm, Keighley Lifts, to offer a new lift engineering qualification.

    Keighley is a nerve-centre for engineering with many pioneering and inspiring businesses. Following a Keighley-Made meeting, industry experts identified a recent skills gap. As a result, more young people are being encouraged to develop the relevant skills to prepare them for employment in this sector.

    Keighley Lifts will be supporting the college in developing modules necessary to obtain a lift qualification. This will include onsite training with college assessors and the enrolment of their own apprentice at the college, who will have recently enrolled on a three year lift and escalator course.

  5. Keighley College reaches new level

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    Keighley College announces plans to launch an A level provision to boost its further education offering.

    The Bradford Road campus provides full-time and part-time courses, apprenticeships and degrees, and welcomes a range of students from 16 to 19 years old and over.

    Launching in September, Keighley College will be offering a two year Business and Law pathway, two year Social Science pathway and a three year pathway option. As the college is recognised locally for its high-quality vocational provision, the pathways will combine traditional A levels with vocational components. These elements incorporate Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE) and Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) accreditations.

    For students who haven’t met the minimum GCSE requirements to study A levels, the college offers Access to Further Education courses.

    Steve Kelly, principal of Keighley College, said: “We’re excited to introduce brand new hybrid A levels. As we’re vocational experts, it’s fantastic to be able to combine practical and theory for the qualifications. We’ll be bringing in dedicated A level staff on board who are committed to creating an empowering and inclusive environment for our students.”

    Keighley College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has also recently launched a higher education centre to meet increased demand for degree level courses in the area. The centre includes new learning and research facilities to complement the theoretical work of degree level apprenticeships and those studying for higher national qualifications.

  6. Student steams ahead with STEM

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    A Keighley College student is having her work published in an official booklet promoting women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

    Masie Eccles from East Morton recently visited the Hitachi Rail site as part of International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The County Durham plant welcomed females from schools across the north to learn about roles including engineering and marketing. The students heard from workers who spoke about routes into careers and job responsibilities.

    The visit was organised through Bradford Council’s Careers Technical Education (CTE) partnership and Industrial Centre of Excellence (ICE) scheme, who worked with Community Rail Lancashire and Bishop Line Community Rail as part of their ‘Women in STEM’ project. The initiative aims to educate young women about typically male-dominated career opportunities related to STEM.

    Following the event, Masie submitted inspiring poem ‘You’ll see’ which celebrates powerful women. Her poem has been selected to feature in the ‘Women in STEM booklet 2020’ published by Community Rail Lancashire, engaging young women from diverse backgrounds to produce inspiring writing to express their views.

    The booklet was launched at the ‘Women in STEM Celebration’ event hosted by Community Rail Lancashire at the Railway Museum in York. The event raised awareness of STEM career pathways for women and highlighted how the rail and community rail industries are working passionately towards creating a more inclusive place to work.

    Masie’s tutor, Lizzie Sagar at Keighley College, said: “We were over the moon to hear that Masie’s poem had been selected for this extraordinary booklet. Her writing underpins women’s determination to achieve their full potential. At Keighley College, we’re dedicated to providing our students with the skills and experience needed to establish careers in STEM.”

  7. Coronavirus Contingency Planning

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    In light of recent developments and advice from the Government, I wanted to let you know how we are preparing for every eventuality to ensure that students’ safety and learning are our priority.

    If the situation changes, we will communicate to students via text and email and clear information will be available on our website.  Also we will post advice on our social media channels Facebook and twitter (@KeighleyCollege). We are monitoring our staffing levels as well as following the advice of Public Health England and the Department for Education.  I am sure you understand that much of this is outside of our control.

    We are protecting students and staff through:

    • Enhancing cleaning and encouraging handwashing, including additional cleaning of rails and door handles throughout the day
    • Ensuring that toilets are checked regularly and that there is adequate soap available
    • Giving students advice, support and guidance based on the NHS information
    • The postponement of some student events such as open evenings

    We have been planning for the possible disruptions COVID 19 could bring and there are a number of possibilities, including partial closure of some of programme areas to the full closure of all college. We will keep our website updated as regularly as we are able and will work with as many students as possible to ensure they are able to continue their learning on a range of online platforms. As yet, we have no further guidance regarding summer exams and the advice from OFQUAL is to prepare as usual.

    We also have been distributing work to students so they can work from home, including schemes of work – what to study and when, resources, work books and online learning. It’s important that we all reinforce the message that learning should continue and students complete the work that is asked of them.

    We appreciate that this is a difficult and worrying time for our students, their families and communities and we thank you for your support in this matter.

    Thank you,

    Steve Kelly – Principal Keighley College


  8. Neurodiversity Week

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    At Keighley College, we recognise that each student has different educational needs and we’re keen to celebrate these differences during Neurodiversity Week on 16-20 March.

    Neurodiversity Week encourages schools to make a positive change in acknowledging learning differences and appreciating the strengths of neurodiverse students, such as creativity and problem solving skills.

    We have a fantastic group of young people who process information in different ways. Neurodiverse people are an asset in the workforce and we’re passionate about raising awareness of their talents to give them a fair chance of employment and life fulfilment.

    Students will be taking part in projects during the week, including researching what the word means and why we should celebrate neurodiverse people, as well as looking at famous people with learning differences and their achievements.

    World Down Syndrome Day also takes place during this week, so we will also be hosting a bake sale on 16 March to raise money. From tray bakes to biscuits, there’ll be plenty of sweet treats on offer. We’ll also be welcoming a Down Syndrome dance company for a spectacular lunch time performance at 12 noon.

    To hear more about upcoming events, make sure you follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

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Keighley College

Bradford Road, Keighley
West Yorkshire BD21 4HQ United Kingdom

Tel: 01535 685000
Student Absence Line: 01535 685109 / attendance@keighleycollege.ac.uk
Email: enquiries@keighleycollege.ac.uk

Exams Email: exams-KLY@leedscitycollege.ac.uk