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Coming to Lewisham Southwark College as a Supported Learning student on our Internship course was a real turning point for Santania James.

Graduating from the College last year, Santania won a catering internship with the Camden Society, a social enterprise which supports people with disabilities to achieve equality and find work opportunities. Santania impressed staff with her professionalism and hard working attitude, and is now employed by the Camden Society as a catering assistant.

She recently worked at The Camden Society’s Apprentice Awards ceremony, where she bumped into a couple of familiar faces who were delighted to see her doing so well: Lewisham Southwark College’s Learning Support Manager Fiona Fraser and Lecturer Carole Srih.

Santania says, “I left school feeling very negative about learning, but the College gave me confidence for the first time. The Camden Society is a great place to work. Everyone is very helpful and I’ve learned a lot since being there.”

“Santania has moved from being a rather disaffected young woman to a successful employee,” says Laura Hills, Head of the College’s Supported Learning Department. “The progress she has made is amazing and we are all really proud of what she’s achieved.” 

 

 

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Over the Halloween weekend, some of our Technical Theatre students helped to put on a spooky spectacle at one of the Capital’s world heritage sites, The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

Kayleigh Reason, Ben Batdorff, Georgina Heydon and Prisca Alexander – all students on the College’s Level 3 Technical Theatre diploma – joined professional actors and former tech students to stage a Victorian-themed theatrical performance in the historic venue. Demonstrating their skills in costume, lighting, sound and stage management, the students played a vital role in bringing the ghostly show to life, which was much appreciated by the audience of over 250 people.

Technical theatre tutor Ian Shillito said: “The students excelled across this event, particularly in self direction, event management and collaborating with professional creative practitioners.”

Our Technical Theatre courses train learners in the many different disciplines that come together to support a performance, with plenty of opportunities for students to put their skills to the test at our own Tressilian Theatre and renowned local theatres.

Students get their say in LOOP awards

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Lewisham Southwark College is to host the first ever LOOP Awards – the first Further Education awards based solely on what students think about their colleges – and has been shortlisted in six different awards categories! The event will take place at our new Southwark campus on Thursday 24 November.


The College, which has been a partner of LOOP, the student-led ratings and review website, since it was set up in 2014, has been shortlisted for awards in Practical Learning, Support, Safety, Careers Advice, Teaching Quality and College Life. Colleges are shortlisted based on reviews and ratings, and winners then decided by a student judging panel.

The Awards will see our College welcoming staff and students from FE institutions across the UK. As well as honouring the winners, the event will feature the stories behind partner colleges and their journey to improve services for students.

The LOOP Awards are aimed at celebrating institutions that are raising standards in education through high quality student feedback. Since the launch of LOOP, over 10,000 students have given their views and helped drive forward over 500 educational improvements.

Jayne Morgan, Assistant Principal Quality and Improvement at the College, says: “We’re so proud to be hosting the first ever LOOP Awards! We’ve been involved from the very start of this exciting and innovative project which students and the college have benefited from. LOOP training upskills students, makes them partners in improvement and gives the college valuable insights into their experience.”

Our annual Student Awards saw students, their friends and family, staff and special guests coming together for an exciting evening at our Lewisham Way campus on 10th November.

The Awards recognised the hard work and wonderful achievements of students in categories including ‘most improved student of the year’, ‘best future employee’ and ‘enterprise student of the year’. The 90 students shortlisted for the Awards, who were nominated by their tutors, came from across every department and all campuses – from beauty to business and construction to catering.

The Awards ceremony welcomed special guests including a number of valued sponsors who have supported students through their donations and by providing work placement opportunities. Learners from many departments helped make the evening a success, including our catering students who provided the delicious nibbles and our dance and drama students who entertained guests.

College Principal Carole Kitching says: “We’re very proud of everything our students have achieved – from the high achievers to those stepping out of their comfort zones and overcoming personal difficulties. We know that this is only the beginning of a fulfilling career for our award-winning students, and we look forward to following their success in the future.”

 

The run up to Christmas is a peak period in the floristry industry, and our floristry learners are getting a real taste of what working life is like at this hectic time of year. Students from all levels have been given the chance to work at top London floristry business Hayford and Rhodes over the next six weeks – and have already made a great impression at the company.

This is the first time Hayford and Rhodes has opened its doors to trainees – usually it only employs senior florists – making it a new experience for both our students and the company. Based near the Shard, Hayford and Rhodes is the oldest family florist business in London and has won numerous awards for its stunning floral work.

The first group of students working at the company are focused on producing bespoke Christmas floral decorations, and full of enthusiasm about the experience. “Watching the florists working is very inspiring,” they say. “We have had fun working together, and I think this experience is turning us into a real team.”

Hayford and Rhodes’ Managing Director Joanna Rhodes says, “The students have been amazing this week. My whole team have been seriously impressed, and I would welcome all these girls back any time! They have supported all areas, including events, conditioning flowers and helping with packing designs for delivery. They have also helped at a wedding at Two Temple.”

Course tutor Louise Roffey says, “This is a fantastic experience for our students as they’re really seeing how demanding but exciting it can be to work in floristry at this busy time of year.”

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