Pupils get taste of success with online college tasters

More than 1200 year 11 pupils across Stoke on Trent have been given access to a range of online learning activities at Stoke on Trent College, in order to help them plan their futures after lockdown.

The pupils, from 34 schools across the city, have been provided with access to online taster activities and quizzes in subjects ranging from health and social care, to hairdressing, construction, art and design, public services and more. In addition, they can access a range of videos, resources, wellbeing activities, enrichment, and introductions to key staff at the college.
Stoke on Trent College has introduced the online sessions for pupils who have applied for courses after the success of its virtual open events – where 150 people signed up for live webinars with lecturers who teach a wide range of subjects.

Soon, those who have applied to join the college in September will attend virtual ‘find your feet’ events – designed to help them get to know their fellow students and lecturers and key support staff at the college.

The online activities have been organised by Stoke on Trent College’s Schools Liaison and Events team leader, Suzy Ball. She explains:

“Obviously year 11 pupils have had a difficult few months, finishing high school in a way they hadn’t intended, having their social lives curtailed, missing proms and facing uncertainty about their GCSE results due to not being able to study for and sit their exams.

We work closely with careers advisors from local schools and they told us that year 11 pupils are in need of more content and more help to decide on their study choices for September. We are obviously already producing a lot of learning content for our existing students. We thought it would be good to make some of this available to year 11 pupils who want to stay motivated or use the time to find out more about the subjects they were thinking of studying at college.

For example, for health and social care, there is an assignment to research into the new Nightingale Hospitals and answer questions. Those interested in public services can learn about how to answer and deal with emergency calls as a 999 operator, and hairdressing students can find out about the range of products on the market for men’s grooming in preparation for our new barbering course.

She adds: “We have also made it easier for students to apply without the help of a teacher or careers advisor – we now have a very short online application form and then we can contact them and take them through the application. We provide careers advice and make sure they are applying for a course at the right level in a subject that appeals to their interests and talents.

Because we have done that initial work with each student when they apply, we don’t need to put them through a telephone interview, we are able to offer them a place and give them that reassurance that whether their GCSE results are better or not as good as they hoped, there will be a route for them to take with us.”

She concludes; “Pupils have needed that reassurance and parents, carers, teachers and our colleagues in careers advice have found it helpful. They have given feedback that they have enjoyed the sessions, commending staff for being friendly and approachable, making sure they had all the information they needed and answered questions to help us them make the right choice.”

New virtual open event sessions are being held during the week commencing 22nd June – register here.

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