Waltham Forest College’s new STEM Centre celebrated its official opening by Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor of London, at Tuesday evening’s launch event.
This spectacular event was hosted in the STEM Centre. Local employers, education providers, Governors, stakeholders and local dignitaries joined the celebration.
A £4m development with funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA), the STEM Centre now stands as a unique venue. The GLA contributed £3.5m for this teaching and learning facility for science, technology, engineering and maths. It aims to support skills development in East London for STEM employment such as Nurse training, Motor Vehicle Engineering, and more advanced engineering including, CAD and CNC work.
The futuristic STEM Centre will be used by staff and students at the College to enhance learning skills development. A wide range of courses include Vehicle Technology, Motorcycle Maintenance, Electrical Installation, Engineering Technologies, Nursing Midwifery and Health Studies, Technical Textiles and Railway Engineering.
Students will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and industry standard workshops and resources, designed to inspire them to succeed through its highly-integrated learning systems. It will prepare students to be well placed for the modern-day workplace and also enable employers to grow their businesses.
Guests toured the high tech facility with Nick Cocks, the Manager. Nick showed the guests some of the Centre’s key learning innovations, including Automotive diagnostics and laser wheel alignment, Engineering operations, such as CAD (computer aided design), 3D printing, a CNC (computer numerical control) desktop machines for milling and turning, and a science lab where students study anatomy of the human body.
Students also demonstrated the use of special equipment in the workshops and talked about the skills they had learnt.
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “I’m really encouraged by Waltham Forest College’s ambition and vision to equip more Londoners with the STEM skills this city so desperately needs. The Mayor and I are determined to do all we can to enable all Londoners, whatever their background, to share in the capital’s prosperity and fulfil their potential – and I look forward to continuing to work with the College to help create the workforce of the future.”
College Principal Penny Wycherley said: “Waltham Forest College serves one of the most deprived and diverse communities in the country. The STEM Centre we opened today is a tremendous opportunity for young people in the area to acquire the skills that employers desperately need.
“This investment by the Mayor of London is prime example of well targeted efficient public investment that will benefit millions of people way into the future.”
The College will be hosting its next open event on Saturday 27th January 2018, 10am – 1pm, Those in attendance will be given the opportunity to visit the new STEM Centre. Visit the College website www.waltham.ac.uk to register and for more details.
Waltham Forest College played key role in a beauty therapist’s goal of finding fulfilling work.
Cassandra Hajdar, a young woman based in Havering borough, was a student at the College and is today lecturing there.
Cassandra began working as a Beauty Lecturer at the College in October 2017, teaching Level 2 students under 19-years-old, an adult group and another group of Level 2 students. Thirteen years ago, she was studying her NVQ Level 3 in Beauty at the College.
She said: “I had such a good experience during my studies at Waltham Forest College. I had a fantastic teacher who made me feel relaxed. It left a lasting impression so that thirteen years later I was happy to return and work here.”
Waltham Forest College helped Cassandra progress in an industry that she was interested in since she was a teenager. At school in Chigwell, she helped out her brother who managed a beauty salon. She worked there in the evenings and on Saturdays and the experience gave her an insight into the industry.
After leaving school, she went to a specialist college to study her Level 2 in beauty. She did valuable work experience at a salon in South Woodford but found she did not have a very good college experience. She decided to continue her Level 3 at Waltham Forest College.
Her training and work experience there helped her to become a manager of various beauty salons from her early twenties. She even went to Dubai in the Middle East. She said: “I worked in the centre of Dubai for a skin care company. A lot of people spoke English there. I was there for six months. It was a fantastic experience to work with people with different culture. But I came home because I was home sick.”
My passion led me
Cassandra found her work was gently pushing her into teaching. She said: “For two years, when I mentored other people and explained the trade to them, I was being told that I should be a teacher. I learned a lot and I was at a point that I needed to stimulate my brain. I had knowledge that I could pass on to other people. I realized that my passion led me to teaching even though I enjoyed working as a therapist.”
By 2010, she gained her teaching qualifications. She received her Level 3 Award in Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector and Level 3 Assessing Vocational Achievement. She was thinking about teaching at Waltham Forest and kept an eye out for job adverts. She applied to one in August and after a job interview and doing a presentation, she started working at the College in October.
She said: “I was surprised how much the College had changed. It looked a lot brighter and modern. It felt a bit surreal. I get a lot of satisfaction teaching students. I can’t wait to see my students passing their exams and progressing in their career.”
Beauty Therapy is about treating the whole body, the face, nails, feet, hair and skin, so that there is long-term improvement. Therapists advise their clients about health and skin care. They also can find themselves being an amateur counsellor who listens to their clients’ life problems.
A mature, undergraduate student gained a top exam grade while studying a GCSE course at Waltham Forest College.
Student, Bimmy Rai, 48 from Leyton, achieved the highest grade, in her GCSE English Language exam at Waltham Forest College after it was re-marked by assessors.
She was already a student at the University of East London (UEL), and she now wants to do further study to become an English Language and Literature teacher.
A delighted Bimmy commented: “It was an extremely challenging year for me on all fronts. But I relished the opportunity to do the best I could as I love the English Language and I’m passionate about teaching.
“I decided to take the calculated risk of getting my papers remarked and I have received some wonderful news. I was awarded a grade 9.
“The teaching team, were fantastic and so supportive and I want them to be officially thanked.”
Bimmy had already done her GCSEs in the 1980s but decided to take English again after she discovered that her original certificates had been lost in a fire at her school in Derbyshire.
She enrolled on adult evening courses in English and maths classes last year at the College. In August, she was awarded a grade 8 in her English and applied to have her result re-examined by assessors.
She was already in her second year as a Business Administration degree student at the University of East London. She worked in the past as a project manager and is currently doing freelance work. She is also tutoring young people on Saturdays.
College Principal, Penny Wycherley told Bimmy:
“When I had heard about your result, it was the icing on the cake for us this year as the College students have done so well.
“Thank you so much for this it is always wonderful to have appreciation for our staff."
A mother in her late 30s has found her true vocation in life after completing a course at Waltham Forest College.
Sarah Channell, 38, from Edmonton in Enfield, with four children, started a new career last August at Trinity London Care Leyton.
Two years ago, she decided that she needed to change her life and applied online for an apprenticeship course at the College. Her application was accepted and she has not looked back since.
Sarah completed a two-year, Health and Social Care Level 2 course with one day a week at the College and four days working at Trinity London Care. She worked as a support worker helping adults with autism and complex learning difficulties. After completing her studies, she continued at the day care centre where she is one of 25 staff looking after 17 service users.
She said: “I love what I am doing and wish I had done it years ago. The work is challenging but I love it. What I really like is when I help someone with learning difficulties make a sandwich, for example, and when it’s finished you see the happiness on their face. It’s amazing! The simplest thing we do can be a thousand times harder for adults with learning difficulties.
“Before the course, I was a full-time mum for 18 years and then decided to take a job at a supermarket. I did online ordering and customer service. It just wasn’t me. Although I worked in retail for years, I felt the job was mundane and exhausting. There was no job satisfaction. I thought, well, you are never too old and took the step to go back to college. Thank God, Waltham Forest College took me.”
I realized I could do it!
She said: “The tutors were fantastic. They helped me pass my maths. I’m dyslexic, which has always held me back. I didn’t go for anything before because I thought I’d fail. But thanks to the support and encouragement at Waltham Forest College, I realized I could do it! In fact, the whole atmosphere at the College made me feel alive again.”
Her new found love of education has encouraged her 18-year-old son. He has passed his Accounting and Finance Level 2 course and now wants to go to Waltham Forest College in January 2018 to complete his Level 3.
Sarah said: “My education has encouraged my children to do more. My son thinks if I can do it, so can he.”
The course at Waltham Forest has no formal entry requirements but good written and spoken English is needed. A successful enhanced criminal records check is also needed. The course includes: communication, personal development, equality and inclusion, duty of care, the role of the health and social care worker, safeguarding and protection, health and safety and handling information. Learner’s performance is assessed at the workplace.
Joy Kettyle is to be Waltham Forest College’s new principal.
She pledges to continue on the college’s journey to outstanding.
She was selected following a 4 month national search and starts in Waltham Forest College on 12 March 2018.
The final stage with candidates including experienced Principals took 2 days. The activities included staff and students in panels and meetings simulating working at the College.
A networking session gave significant local organisations and individuals including Cllr Clare Coghill, Cllr Simon Miller, Michael Polledri and Dr. Andy Stone the opportunity to meet candidates and express their views.
The final panel of Governors supported by an experienced external Principal was unanimous in selecting Joy Kettyle
Joy Kettyle commented: “I want to continue the journey of providing benefits for staff, students and community. I empathise with the college’s journey because I’ve been on a similar one myself.
“We will build on the college’s collaborative culture and its focus on the community.
My time meeting with people at the college has shown me that the staff, teachers and support, have the energy and commitment to continue the improvement of the last 3 years.”
Joy has been an Ofsted Inspector and led quality in colleges which Ofsted has judged to be good.
Successes that the Joy wants to build on include
- Students with pass rates of over 90% achieve at a much higher rate than the national average
- over 90% of students pass GCSEs in English and maths, many with high grades,
- one of England’s highest apprenticeship success rates,
- students’ functional maths and English skills at 14% above the national average, and
- serving its local community and even more students from Waltham Forest
Paul Butler, chair of the college governors, said: "We selected Joy because of her experience in the further education sector.
“She brings with her a strong commitment to continuous improvement in quality, serving learners and ensuring they achieve their potential.
“We are extremely pleased that she has chosen to join us and look forward to working with her.”