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We’re proud of our leading role in ‘Learning for Life’, a new video produced by ITN Productions which highlights the huge value of Further Education (FE) for society and our economy.

Featuring interviews with Lewisham and Southwark Colleges’ students and staff, the film – which premiered at the Association of Colleges conference – shows how FE colleges like ours equip students for the world of work, helping young people and adults into a fulfilling career.

The film calls for the government to ensure adequate investment in the FE sector, which educates over 60% of people over 16 and more than a million adults in England.

This Autumn, multiple classes of ESOL students took part in a scheme designed to get more local people into the Tower of London to enjoy this amazing attraction.

The Community Access Scheme (CAS) offers free entry and practical advice and support for exploring the Tower to adult community groups and education providers based locally to the Tower of London. So both Lewisham College and Southwark College teachers took part in training at the venue to become ‘Tour Leaders’. They were then able to take groups of students to the Tower, and teach them about the rich history and stories which make the Tower of London so attractive to visitors.

The students loved what they saw and experienced, and used their new English writing skills to pen some pieces to record their feelings and reactions to their visit.

Masooda wrote: “I know that this historical Tower is very important in British history. Our new generation must know about it.

“I am impressed by this building because it was built nearly one thousand years ago, and it hasn’t crumbled. The building skills of those people were incredible, so when I saw this building I was just amazed!”

Shaymaa wrote: “I learnt that the Beefeaters have their own houses and their own GP [at the Tower] and a lot of their needs met on the site. Our teacher told us the story of the Bloody Tower.

“I enjoyed a lot seeing the Crown Jewels and the video of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth which was very interesting to see. “

Now the teachers are trained it is hoped many more groups of students will be able to see the Tower in action.

Julie Hutton, Head of Adult ESOL, said “We just love this project, it gives our students access to an attraction they might not otherwise be able to go to. Their excitement about learning British history in a location like this is touching to see, I’m so proud of the great success of this project.

 

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Lewisham and Southwark Colleges have new Principals at the helm following a double appointment.

As part of the NCG group of colleges, the former Lewisham and Southwark College was split earlier this year in order to provide the best educational offer for the communities they serve.

Peter Lauener, Chair of NCG, said:” The standard of applicants was very high and we were delighted to attract not one but two exceptional candidates.

“Our aim is to offer excellent opportunities for our students and having the right people in key positions is vital to ensure that happens.”

The two new posts have been filled by Asfa Sohail at Lewisham College and Annette Cast at Southwark College.

Asfa will move from Havering College of Further and Higher Education where she was Vice Principal and Annette from the University of East London where she was Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Professional Services and Student Experience.

John Litchfield, Chair of the Lewisham and Southwark College Board, said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Asfa and Annette to bring positive change to the two colleges.

“They have both had very successful careers so far and we’re delighted they have decided to continue them with us.”

“They bring with them fresh perspective, lots of great ideas and imagination – and an infectious can-do attitude.”

The new principals will take up their respective roles in the first quarter of 2019.

 

Photo caption: left to right - Annette Cast and Asfa Sohail

Annette and Asfa

 

When Art, Design, Media, Music and Performance students at Southwark College were invited to a special assembly on Thursday 29 November, little did they know they were about to come face-to-face with their hero.

Introduced as the surprise guest, grime artist and British grime legend Stormzy spent an hour at the College talking to students about integrity and how he has maintained his identity in London’s music scene, before inviting a select group to attend a special Adidas event that evening. He brought along Mo Gilligan, a stand-up comic who found fame working on the TV series Big Narstie who talked to students about his own journey from retail to a career in comedy.

The assembly, which was billed as ‘An exploration into the driving forces behind the London music scene’, saw the unsuspecting students, gathering in the College’s atrium as a teacher introduced the themes for the session.

A few minutes later, Stormzy appeared on stage, much to the amazement of students, and joined the discussion. Sharing his own experiences, he talked about how important it is to maintain your identity and focus on your music if you want to succeed in the current creative landscape, and also spent 20 minutes answering students’ questions.

At the end of the session, Stormzy encouraged students to continue with their hard work and follow their dreams. He then revealed that there was more excitement to come, inviting them to board coaches which took them to a special event being curated by the artist for adidas.

David White, Deputy Principal says: “Having Stormzy visit our College has been an incredible event and one that students won’t forget. He was truly inspirational and really impressed upon them the importance of remaining true to yourself, taking the time to answer their questions about succeeding in the music industry.”

Stormzy (real name Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr.), grew up in south east London has taken the Grime world by storm since first appearing on the UK underground music scene, winning Best Grime Act at the MOBO awards in 2014 and 2015. He was the first Grime act to reach number one in the UK albums chart with Gang Signs & Prayer, and performed his platinum-selling track Shut Up during heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua’s ring-walk for his fight versus Dillian Whyte.

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Last week we took part in the Erasmus+ Homeland project. Erasmus, (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a project designed to create opportunities for students across Europe through immersive learning.

The programme allows students not only gain invaluable memories but it also serves as a character-building opportunity for students to explore new cultures and it’s safe to say they did just that at Southwark.

The 27 international visitors from partner schools in Munich (Germany) and Mestre, (Italy) spent time across the week with our students. The group took part lots of activities including working on a creative project with our media and art students, sharing videos they had all created, which captured the stories of migrants from the three cities that they came from.

They all enjoyed watching ‘Paddington 2’ which showcases a young migrant bear from Peru, attempting to adapt to life in London – which proved fitting for those who took part.

Students also enjoyed a number of cultural trips including the London Eye and Tate Modern, whilst delving into international street food at markets around Waterloo as well as exploring Covent Garden.

One of the highlights was an audience with the Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Bernadette Khan, who welcomed them to the Mayor’s parlour and the Council Chamber and took them on a tour around the historic town hall.

International Manager, Shazi Giner, said: “The visitors were really impressed by our Southwark campus and enjoyed seeing the rich cultural diversity of London and sampling food from all over the world, plus the more traditional fish and chips.

This scheme allows our students to visit European destinations in return for hosting our guests from abroad, and we are very much looking forward to our next overseas visit”.

Both Lewisham and Southwark Colleges offer students the opportunity to visit European partners in a wide range of subjects, which link directly into their studies.

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