1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Temporary closure of Keighley College

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    We are taking temporary measures to address concerns about coronavirus. Our priority is our staff and students and we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close Keighley College from 3pm on Friday 20 March.

    We will be facilitating the continuation of all learning electronically using Google Classroom and other digital platforms. Your tutor will have provided all the details you need to continue your learning remotely. If you are having any issues, please contact your tutor. Also, paper resources are available in college until Friday 20 March, including maths and English resources. It is important that you keep practising your skills and revise over this time.

    Please keep checking your emails for updates and announcements.

    Some of our provisions have already started working remotely, so if that includes your course, please continue your studies as instructed.

    If you think you might have coronavirus or if you have been in close contact with someone who has, please follow the government and NHS advice. Further information can be found here.

    We understand that this is an unsettling time for us all. Below are some useful links if you are struggling with your mental health:


    Our safeguarding team are also fully operational and can be contacted by emailing safeguarding@keighleycollege.ac.uk

    There is also support available for anyone living with domestic abuse bradford.gov.uk/your-community/domestic-abuse/help-and-support/

    While our campus is closed, we will still be available to offer advice and guidance to potential and existing students, parents and members of the public. You can contact us by emailing enquiries@keighleycollege.ac.uk

    We look forward to seeing you back at college soon.

    Yours sincerely

    Steve Kelly
    Principal – Keighley College

  6. MP references ‘passionate’ Keighley College in parliament

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    Keighley College was mentioned in parliament on Thursday 6 February, following a recent successful visit from newly elected MP, Robbie Moore.

    He described the college as ‘passionate about ensuring young people have the very best start in life’ and said he was “inspired by their ‘can do’ attitude and willpower to raise aspiration.”

    Robbie visited Keighley College on 31 January and spoke to staff and students about their studies, aspirations and the needs of young people in Keighley.

    Steve Kelly, Principal of Keighley College, said: “I am both proud and humbled to work with such a dedicated staff team and pleased we are being recognised nationally in this way.”

    You can watch the full video at the bottom of this article  https://silsdentoday.co.uk/2020/02/silsdens-new-mp-makes-debut-commons-speech/

    Keighley College is referenced 3 mins 24 seconds in.

  7. Keighley College celebrates Apprenticeship Week

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    National Apprenticeship Week is fast approaching and Keighley College will be joining the celebrations again this year.

    It will have a stand at the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair (LARF) taking place at Leeds Direct Arena on Monday 3 February.

    LARF is the largest apprenticeship exhibition in the north and the college will be among approximately 100 companies recruiting apprentices.

    Keighley College offers a wide range of apprenticeships at every level, from entry to degree. Successful candidates split their time between work and college, combining learning, earning and gaining experience needed to develop throughout their career.

    The college will also be running an apprenticeship roadshow at its campus on 4 February.

    The Apprenticeship team will be available to talk to potential apprentices about the steps involved, as well as information for employers looking to take on an apprentice.

    Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships at Keighley College said: “We’re are excited to be getting involved in the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair that brings together leading companies to offer potential apprentices opportunities to kick-start their careers.

    “Employers are also at the heart of what we do and will gain insight and information on how we can work together to bridge the skills gap in a number of sectors. This includes engineering, health and social care, digital & IT and more.”

    Pryor added: We are committed to bringing employers and young people together to provide real opportunities for them to find out what career path they want to take and to help employers find the right candidates for their organisations.”

    National Apprenticeship Week 2020 is running until 9 February this year. For the first time, the week has been extended to include the weekend, giving the entire apprenticeship community more opportunity to get involved with activities.

    See bus schedule below:

    Tuesday 4 February

    Keighley College

    9am – 2pm

  8. Bright future for Keighley College special needs students

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    A group of Keighley College students are excelling in their supported internships at Acorn Stairlifts.

    In a pioneering partnership, Acorn is providing weekly work placements in its Steeton factory for four students with special needs.

    With help from Acorn employees, learners Tom Waddington, Kassam Khan, Ahdnan Younis and Max Soundy have been building their confidence and self-esteem by carrying out tasks and learning new skills with the team.

    Keighley College Job Coach, Shameem Koser, said: “Watching their faces on their first day was a picture and you could see their sense of achievement, as they’ve never travelled out of Keighley on their own before.

    “It’s been fantastic working with Acorn. Staff have made the students feel part of the workforce and ensured adjustments were in place to meet their needs. The college is proud to be working with local companies to offer students real industry experience to hone their skills and prepare for the working world.”

    The interns have been carrying out sub-assembly work which is then fed to production lines. They have also been making up joint boxes which are used to connect stair lift rails.

    Acorn’s Manufacturing Manager, Andrew Longthorne, said: “The interns have been great. They’ve had a positive effect on the production team, surpassing daily targets and looking to get involved in more complex work. Having them here has been well received within the factory.”

    Supported placements are for college students aged 18 to 24 who might otherwise struggle to cope in a workplace setting. Working with Keighley College, Acorn is paving the way for the industrial sector in this area.

  9. Keighley College’s mock election reveals young people’s views

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    Keighley College held a mock election for students in the run up to the general election. Among the students who took part, over 70% voted for Labour.

    This result among the college’s 16-18 year olds, is in contrast to Keighley & Ilkley constituency’s Conservative majority.

    The aim of the mock election was to promote democracy, British values and educate young people on the importance of having a collective voice in the community.

    Health & Social Care student, Safoora-Amaani Uddin, had the opportunity to be part of Keighley & Ilkley’s election count on Thursday night, following an interview with ITV Calendar.

    The 18 year old said: “I was involved in college debates with regional broadcast media about the issues that are important to young people. I was then invited by ITN to be part of the counting process at Keighley Leisure Centre.

    “It was a great opportunity to be part of such a significant event, along with 100 other counters. Seeing the live feed throughout the night ramped up the tense atmosphere. Before this experience, I had a good knowledge of politics but my interest wasn’t that big. This has changed my view and I feel far more engaged in the democratic process.”

    Safoora is hoping to go to university in Rottherdam, with the aim of working in the social care sector. Following the announcement of the election results, she is now concerned about her future.

    “The results of the election will inevitably affect my plans of studying abroad and the industry that I’m hoping to find a career in. It’s now a waiting game to see what happens next.”

  10. Keighley College students organise eco fashion show with renowned designer

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    Keighley College’s Foundation Studies provision will host a fashion show as part of a wider community initiative that seeks to promote sustainable fashion and entrepreneurial skills.

    Organised by 16 students, in partnership with local underwear designer Sam Tretton, the catwalk show, titled Eco-Glam, will take place on 22 November 2019 and will feature collections of some of the college’s upcoming designers.

    Carly Newsholme, Foundation Learning Course Leader said: “Students are learning about enterprise and running a business. They have led the project from initial ideas, to press, advertising, sales, modelling and food & drink.

    “Students have also learnt about sustainable fashion and looking after the environment, as well as what it’s like to work as a designer in the fashion industry. On top of this, they’ve developed team-building and communication skills.”

    Meanwhile, the event will also include a number of stalls, and boutique owner Sam Tretton will be showcasing beautiful handmade vintage clothes and accessories that guests can purchase on the night.

    Sam will also host a workshop on the importance of eco-fashion. Late last month, the Keighley-born designer visited the college to talk to students about her career with Tommy Hilfiger as an underwear designer and the reasons she moved on to set up her own business. Sam helped students understand why eco fashion is important (and on trend) across the globe.

    With consumers’ increasing awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, it has amplified a fast-growing market for sustainable fashion around the world. This year alone, a number of top brands have created sustainable collections. While there has only been a 2% growth in the industry, there are ongoing talks at various levels about creating more sustainable clothing by 2025.

    Tickets are on sale for £5 and are being sold exclusively on Eventbrite. This will include an arrival drink and canapés. There will also be various performances from students, including singing, dancing and beatboxing.

    The event will run from 6pm in the Keighley College atrium.

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Keighley College

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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