Inspectors praised teachers and managers at the college for the progress made by learners at the college. They commented especially on the way in which learners are prepared for life in modern Britain and supported to achieve their learning goals. They found learners behaviour to be exemplary and while learning they grow in confidence and make good progress.
Ofsted singled out for recognition the contribution the college makes to meeting the education and training needs of Waltham Forest through the provision on its main campuses and its extensive and growing apprenticeship training. Inspectors said “Learners develop particularly good practical skills ….improve their opportunities for progression to further study for employment.
The college’s work with young people was rated good as was its education and training for adults. Ofsted said
“The good range and high quality of adult provision enable learners to improve their life chances.” Adults “develop valuable personal, social and work-related skills.”
Ofsted also rated highly the teachers’ work to develop literacy and numeracy skills and the way in which these are linked to developing skills for employment. “The proportion of learners who successfully complete functional skills qualifications in English and mathematics … is high.”
Apprentices are seen to “make good progress and a high proportion successfully complete their apprenticeship programme”. These learners …. develop their career aspirations further, and increase their opportunities to gain promotion.”
Over the last 3 years the college has expanded the ways in which it supports learners with high needs. In two inspections Ofsted has now judged this provision to be good.
“Learners with high needs develop excellent independent living and work skills”
The Inspectors clearly identified the hard work and commitment of managers and staff to making a difference to the life chances of all those who study and train with “this inclusive college”.
Waltham Forest College students made a collective effort with Lee Valley Regional Park Rangers to do away with litter
A group of 8 students from Waltham Forest College volunteered in a litter pick activity to help clean up the local Waterways at Pymmes Brook.
As part of the Sports Study Programme at the College, the students had to partake in a hand on practical activity that would help raise environmental awareness and involved safety considerations.
The students made a molehill out of a mountain of rubbish & fly-tipping blighting the Pymmes Brook. They diverted 52 bags of plastic rubbish and a huge pile of junk from entering the waterways and the Thames Basin and ultimately the North Sea.
Sports lecturer, Jarl Allard, said: “Very rewarding experience for our sports students. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the students picked up loads of litter.”
The students worked tirelessly to reduce the litter around the area, pulling out an old bed frame, chairs, a bike, a water tank, an oil drum, broken gardening implements, green house glass cladding, plastic hoarding & 52 bags of predominantly single-use food and drinks packaging off the Pymmes Brook bank.
Stonebridge Lock Coalition said: “It was a humbling experience working with such a focused, enthusiastic and motivated group of young people who love being outdoors and who are committed to making their community and wild spaces even better!
“Thank you to Lee Valley Park Rangers for supporting our litter pick and to Thames21 for insurance and lending us willies.
“Many thanks also to Tideway London for the fab donation of reusable coffee cups, and to Haringey Council & Veolia UK disposing of our haul.”
The students’ litter pick joint efforts with Lee Valley Regional Park Rangers amounted to a whopping 220 bags of rubbish, plus an equivalent mountain of large items removed from the banks of the Lea River Diversion, Lee Navigation as well as Pymmes Brook.
Community Waltham Forest teamed up with Waltham Forest College to organise a Volunteering Fair for students and local residents.
The fair took place at the College on 08 February and was well attended with nearly 200 participating. Students and residents had the opportunity to find out about a wealth of opportunities for them to undertake worthwhile volunteering in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Approximately 20 charitable and not-for-profit organisations were present, providing volunteering opportunities for participants to help make a difference and give something back to their community. Organisations included Parkinson's UK, British Red Cross, William Morris Gallery & Vestry House Museum, The Women’s Decision Group CIC, Bikeworks CIC, Forest Recycling Project and the Kreative Culture Klub (KCK).
The event was a great success with almost all who attended signing up for volunteering jobs in one or more of the organisations at the fair.
ESOL student, Katherine Jaguaco said, “There was lots of information to get round with many opportunities available. I personally like working with babies so I decided to sign-up to volunteer in Songs & Smiles.”
Kayann Porter, Independent Living Volunteer Coordinator commented on the lively atmosphere and enthusiastic reception from the volunteers.
She said, “It’s been a really great turnout and we managed to generate lots of interest for our organisation. The atmosphere at the College really did help to set the scene.”
Volunteering Development Officer for Community Waltham Forest, Diana Leary said, “There was a fabulous buzz in the room. It was great to see the interactions taking place between the various charities and students attending.
“Talking to the charities involved, the feedback I received was that they really enjoyed the day and the space offered to recruit volunteers; they also really enjoyed networking with each other.”
The College welcomes organisations offering work-based opportunities for learners and to help up-skill workers within the borough.
Director of Services for Students, Amir Ahmed, said “One of our strategic aims is to meet local skills priorities and we will achieve this by helping students to network and find out more about the volunteering opportunities in Waltham Forest. This will lead to students feeling confident and developing the soft skills needed to be work ready.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has awarded a grant of £200,000, made available by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), to support skills development at Waltham Forest College. This will help fund a £439,000 project to create new hospitality and catering training facilities. These facilities will further boost the increasing numbers and success of students and apprentices at the College.
Penny Wycherley, Principal at Waltham Forest College, said:
“The College’s staff and managers are delighted. The GLA has recognised how important high quality skills are for the Borough’s residents and their contribution to London’s prosperity”.
The initial project is to build a new training kitchen and restaurant in time for the start of the new college year in September 2018. The project will support expanded opportunities for skills development and employment prospects for over 200 local residents over the next 4 years.
Modern technology will be a key feature of the new kitchen. This will include ceiling mounted cameras for students to record and review their skills. Kitchen and restaurant monitors will show demonstrations and customers can see the kitchen at work. The project will support a wide range of students to develop skills for the workplace with the latest equipment including induction hobs. It will also include specialist equipment such as adjustable height workbenches to give full access for students in wheelchairs.
Waltham Forest College has strong links with famous restaurants and hotels including the Waterside Inn, Delaware North, Claridges and the Ritz. Students in Hospitality and Catering enjoy a full range of daytime and evening courses. There is also a wide choice of apprenticeships so they can learn while they earn. The College trains chefs, front of house restaurant staff, butchers, bakers and baristas. A stand out feature of the training is that it reflects the many and diverse cuisines to be found in the Borough.
Beyond the summer, the College is working on plans to complete the modernisation of its main building. It is hoped to integrate the campus with the neighbouring London Borough of Waltham Forest’s site. The College has already been awarded two grants totalling £150,000 from the GLA and Cabinet Office to help progress these plans.
The WFC Book Club had its first session on Thursday 8 Feb 2018, in the LRC Pod! There was a fierce debate regarding if the Harry Potter books or films are better. What do you think? Next session will be discussing the first 6 chapters of The Philosopher's Stone. Those interested are encouraged to read the chapters before coming to the session. All students (and staff) are welcome to attend. Next session will take place on Thursday 22 February, 12.30 - 1.30pm in the LRC.
Email Rochelle.Ryan-White@waltham.ac.uk for more details.