Sussex Coast College students said that they were “over the moon”, and “couldn’t be happier” after collecting their A-Level results yesterday morning.
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Mia Kaukolahti, was so happy after finding out she gained the grades she needed to get into Kings College London. Mia achieved a double distinction star in BTEC Level 3 Applied Science and a B in A-Level Anthropology, meaning that she got into her first choice university to study Adult Nursing.
“I was nervous and a bit shaky this morning, but confident as well because I wanted to be positive and hope for the best” said Mia.
Mia continued: “But when I opened them, I was so happy I cried, because I had got the marks I needed to get into Kings. It’s been an incredible journey. The teaching here has been amazing and they connect with you on a professional level as well as being so friendly. I think that’s what really drove me to do well; having these teachers that are your friends and support you all the way it really shows in your results. If it was different I don’t think I would have got such good results. All my teachers were really happy for me and it felt amazing to do them proud as well, not just for my own benefit but for them too because they deserve to get these results too – I think that’s really important.”
David Phillips was also extremely happy after opening his results to see an A* in World Development and two Bs in Government and Politics and English Literature.
“I’m really happy! I got into the uni I wanted, so I’ll be off to University of Kent in September to do European Legal Studies” said David.
“I was quite nervous this morning though, checking my emails every half an hour to see if I had been accepted. But then I checked UCAS Track and found out I got in before I came to college, so I was so happy on my way in, I was then really excited to see what grades I got.”
Aisha El-Ayat, who was A-level student of the year, was very pleased with her A* in Business and Bs in Economics and History, meaning that she can study Business Management at the University of York. Annabel Sarling will be heading to her first choice university by getting an A in Politics, and two Bs in History and Classics. Annabel will be studying Politics and International Relations at Bristol University with 1 of her 4 years studying abroad at a partner university.
Other delighted students included Charlotte Manning who got straight Bs in English Language, History and Politics, meaning that she got into UEA in Norwich. Another student got into her first choice university in Bournemouth after collecting 3 Cs, she will now head down to the South Coast to study Law, and Isabella Francis gained Bs in Graphics and Art, meaning she’ll be moving to Holland next week to study Fine Art.
10 A-Level subject areas increased the number of A*-B grades this year, with particular improvement in Physics, History and Art. Biology, Further Mathematics and Psychology also performed well this year, improving their pass rate to 100% from last year.
Rob Hill, Head of Sixth Form, said: “I’d like to congratulate our students on their hard work and commitment throughout the year. The A-Levels have changed significantly this year, with students now following a two year programme. We are excited to see how much further our first year students will develop over the coming year and to welcome our new group of first year students.”
The Sixth Form at the college continues to perform at a consistently high level, and figures for the past three years show that, every 1 in 3 grades achieved at A-Level is either an A*, an A or a B grade.
Sussex Coast College Hastings offers a wide range of A-Level courses and applications have never been higher. There is still time to apply, with enrolment starting on 25th August. Please visit the website www.sussexcoast.ac.uk or call 01424 442222 for more details about courses and how to apply.
A group of Italian students visited Hastings last month to take part in a 3 week study programme at Sussex Coast College Hastings.
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48 students from secondary schools across northern Italy travelled to the South East of England as part of an educational trip organised by Associazione GEST.
Associazione GEST is an Italian education company who specialise in putting together learning holidays for Italian students. They have been running educational trips for over 30 years and have been bringing students to Hastings to learn English for over two decades.
The company worked in partnership with the college to create a 3 week study programme where the students could learn English and experience a new culture.
The students stayed with host families while in Hastings and attended college for 16 hours a week. Outside of the classroom, the team leaders arranged sight-seeing tours around London, guided walks along the South Downs, a day trip to Rye, and activities around Hastings, including getting involved with Pirate Day.
The visit finished with dinner and a certificate presentation in Coast Restaurant at the college, before a 24 hour coach journey back to Italy the next day.
Nadia Vigolo, team leader at GEST, said: “We had a fantastic time in Hastings. The students made so many new friends and were made to feel really welcome by their host families.”
“Hastings is a great town with lots of culture and interesting things to see. We would often head down to the beach on a sunny afternoon, play some crazy golf and then wander around the old town looking for somewhere to have dinner. The students loved the charm and character of the buildings and seafront.”
“It was really great for the students to experience a different culture and practice a different language. They have all improved their English enormously and came home much more open minded.”
Two youngsters who held a charity ‘fun-and-games-athon’ have jointly won the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award.
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Finlay Cuff (pictured left) and Owen Philcox (pictured right), who are both 11, held the 18 hour event to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice.
The boys invited friends and family to join in with a range of fun games and activities between 6am and midnight, managing to raise more than £1,500 through generous donations. Activities included football, air hockey and drawing, as well as computer games.
For friends and family who wanted to see what was going on, but couldn’t attend the open house session, a live webcam was set up. The boys said they were quite tired by the end of the day but were pleased with the amount they raised.
The Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award is sponsored by Sussex Coast College Hastings and the Hastings Observer Series.
The monthly award is normally presented to one person aged 18 and under who has excelled in some way. This could be in sport, their academic studies, or if they have performed an important role on a voluntary basis in their own home or the wider community.
Ashley Chapman, Marketing and Communications Executive at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “I’m so impressed with the initiative the boys used to come up with the ‘fun-and-games-athon’. While it’s a fun thing to do, it’s also quite tiring for youngsters to stay alert for 18 hours but I know they feel it was worth it as they raised to so much money for charity.”
As part of their award, Owen and Finlay will each receive a complimentary meal for two and a £100 donation will be made to St Michael’s Hospice.
25 welding students competed in the first ever welding competition at Sussex Coast College Hastings last month.
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The event, which took place in the welding workshop at Ore Valley on Saturday 23rd July, invited a host of students from the part-time welding course to take part in a skills challenge to encourage them to show off their talents and network with local businesses from the industry.
The competitors, who varied in age as well as welding experience, competed in two categories, Level 1 and Level 2. The Level 1 had to demonstrate their ability to produce a knocking block using MAG (Metal Active Gas), MMA (Manual Metal Arc) and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding processes. Level 2 had to create an angle bracket using MAG and MMA processes. Both groups had to produce an item with no sign of fault and to the specification of the brief.
Welding inspector and owner of Pole NDT, Paul Ottley, was invited to judge the competition and decide on the winners.
Buck & Hickman and RTech, who support the college with various equipment, generously provided prizes for the first three places in each category.
Ricky Lavender was awarded the first place in category one and Chris Gisby walked away with first place in category two – both receiving gift vouchers from RTech to spend on welding equipment.
Mark Pankhurst, Welding Lecturer and Coordinator at Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “I though the day was a huge success. It was a nice and fun way to say a big thank you to all the students who have supported the course this year.”
“All the students showed a fantastic level of skill. We were really impressed with how they met the marking criteria. It was difficult to pick the six winners as there was very little to choose between them all – they should be immensely proud of their efforts.”
“I’m delighted that everyone came along and had a great day, and very grateful to Tonk, Buck & Hickman, and RTech who supported the event.”
“We’ve started to plan next year’s event, and already have a few businesses signed up. We’re hoping that even more students will take part as we’re about to increase the size of the workshop, meaning that the welding course can run for 6 days a week, including Saturday.”
The college offers Level 1 and Level 2 welding qualifications awarded by City and Guilds. You can find out more about the part-time course in one of the part-time course guides available to pick up at the college and in Priory Meadow shopping centre.
A recent report has suggested that young people in East Sussex don’t see apprenticeships as a viable career option and would favour University to further their careers.
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When asked, only 7% of 18-24 year olds thought apprenticeships were the best way forward and less than a third (28%) of people aged 55+ agreed.
However, Sussex Coast College Hastings would suggest that apprenticeships don’t have an image problem; in fact, there has never been a more popular time to start an apprenticeship at the college.
This year, the college helped start over 2,000 apprenticeships in the local area, 10% more than the year before. Over 1,500 of these were taken up by people who were aged 19 and above.
Samantha McIver, 19, is currently studying for her second apprenticeship. She successfully completed a Level 2 at a local law firm and is now studying a Level 3 and working at Sussex Coast College.
Sam said: “I started my first apprenticeship when I left school and joined a local law firm. I gained a Business Administration NVQ level 2 and had 3 great years there.”
“I went from receptionist to legal secretary in the space of a year and progressed really quickly. Lots of opportunities were available to me; opportunities that I don’t think I would have had if I hadn’t started the apprenticeship.”
“I wanted to gain a Level 3 and experience a different sector so moved to the college. I have found that apprenticeships give you so many more opportunities to get into a job that you want to do. Some people go to university and study for 3 years, and when they graduate they find it so difficult to get the job they want. The beauty of an apprenticeship is that you gain industry experience, which is what a lot of employers are looking for, as well as earning money simultaneously.”
Last year the CIPD released a report in which they found that more than half (58.8%) of graduates are in non-graduate jobs.
Sam continued: “I certainly disagree that apprenticeships have a bad image. I knew an apprenticeship was what I wanted to do when I left school. I didn’t want to have a student loan, or face fierce competition for one job.”
“In my opinion, apprenticeships have changed a lot in recent times. It isn’t just about learning to be a carpenter or plumber anymore. There are lots of different options you can choose. Plus, some employers really value the contribution of an apprentice and pay them more than the standard apprentice minimum wage; so it isn’t just cheap labour.”
In response to the NCFE call to action for better careers advice, Sussex Coast College Hastings has been championing apprenticeships for some time. In 2014, the college was instrumental in helping 1,066 young people become more employable through work experience and apprenticeships. In March this year, they were fully behind National Apprenticeship Week to help raise its profile, and throughout the year have regularly held assemblies at the college and local secondary schools to help give career advice to students and parents.
James Martin, 21, studied at Sussex Coast College Hastings 4 years ago before returning to study an Electrical Installations apprenticeship in 2014. He has just completed the course and gained full-time employment, as an electrician, with the college.
James said: “I wouldn’t consider apprenticeships to have a bad image at all. I’m so glad I did the apprenticeship as it’s got me to where I am today.”
“I’m working full-time in a job I love doing and I’ve got a great qualification behind me.”
“I knew an apprenticeship was the best way to take my career forward because I could learn everything I needed to know while doing the job. I was able to learn so much from the team I was working with, which really added to the academic side of the course.”
“From here, I can go on to study a Higher Apprenticeship and further my qualifications if I wanted to, which is basically degree level. The apprenticeship has really opened up some many options for me and helped me start my career.”
Susie Faulkner, 25, studied a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship at Sussex Coast College while working within the marketing department in 2011.
Susie has since gone on to study at University, will be graduating with a first class degree this summer, and is the Welfare Officer at Windermere Boarding School in the Lake District.
Susie said: “I left St Leonards academy not 100% sure what I wanted to do after school. Back then, I didn’t have to go to college or sixth form and could have chosen to find a job, but once I saw the position of Marketing Apprentice advertised at Sussex Coast College Hastings, I was really excited by the opportunity to work and study at the same time.”
“It was such a valuable experience as I was involved in lots of different projects, including the move to the new college site. You receive so much one-to-one support which develops you as a person and moves away from a ‘production line’ education. When I started my apprenticeship I was so shy. I only communicated through email, but by the end of the course I was giving presentations to hundreds of people. Apprenticeships allow individualised learning which is so relevant to the real world.”
“If I hadn't have done the apprenticeship, I probably wouldn’t have gone to university. I had never considered uni as an option, but getting a Level 3 qualification meant that I could.”
“Doing an apprenticeship at the college has turned my life around. The job market is so competitive, so by doing an apprenticeship I feel I have an extra edge over other graduates because I’m leaving university with lots of work experience and a first class degree.”
Another group of young people from across Hastings and Rother successfully graduated from the Prince’s Trust Team programme at Sussex Coast College last week.
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The programme, which is in its seventh term, wished the youngsters a fond farewell after three months of team-building, personal discovery, and making new friends.
The group came together for one final project as they told friends and family about the life-changing journey they’d been on for the past 14 weeks. The Mayor and Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex were on hand to congratulate the students on their achievements and present them with their certificates of Employment, Teamwork and Community skills.
During the programme the group travelled to Ashdown Forest to spend the week living independently, as well as try their hand at rock climbing and canoeing. The group then completed a two week work-experience placement, before returning to college to update their CVs, develop interview techniques and identify their next steps after the programme.
The group also completed a community outreach project where they renovated Hastings Adventure Playground in Hastings. Stamco kindly donated all of the materials for Team to spruce up an old shed into a new playhouse for the children.
Helen Bowler, Team Leader Prince’s Trust said: “The Prince’s Trust TEAM programme continues to be an outstanding way to discover hidden talents of young people in the area. It’s so inspirational to hear the stories of how far some of these young people have come in the short time they’re here. Many of them just need that little push to help them come out of their shells, but once they’re out, they can achieve anything.”