At the age of 16 Kirsty came to Rotherham College to study Beauty Therapy Level 2. After being offered an opportunity she couldn’t refuse in the retail sector she decided that education wasn’t right for her.

After having her son, Kirsty returned to College to study Media Make-up Level 3 ten years after she originally left.

Kirsty said: “The media make-up programme is broken up into bite size chunks so it wasn’t hard to get back into education and be able to manage. As a mature student, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. If you’re unsure, go for it. Do it before it’s too late, otherwise you’ll regret it.”

Kirsty is now in the second year of her Certificate in Education at Rotherham College. She is learning the practical skills she needs to become a teacher in the subject that she feels the most passion for: body art. She is currently teaching students who are doing their Media Make-up Level 2 qualification. She also had involvement with the initial links between the College and the NHS to do with a brand new course that the department are offering to medical technicians to help them be able to recreate serious traumas, illnesses and injuries on training manikins for other medical professions to be able to learn how to diagnose and treat all conditions. This has now been handed over to the Media Make-up Level 4 students.

Kirsty said: “Not in a million years did I think I’d teach here. The help from the College has been above and beyond. I’ve had a huge push from Kelly, Anne and Katie and they’ve shown me the possibilities and given me the opportunity. I feel very lucky. There is no difference between me and the other lecturers. I feel 100% part of the team.”

Once Kirsty has completed her Certificate in Education in 2015, she hopes that there will be enough teaching hours available at the College for her to stay on as a full-time member of staff.

Kirsty said: “It’s great to be teaching. I’ve been given the opportunity to give skills back to students that I was taught. I look forward to an opportunity to teach at the College. Developing and progressing my skills. I’d love to have a full time contract and take a break from studying but I’m not sure that will happen. I enjoy developing my skills.”

The media make-up department is seeing a huge growth due to the number of provisions in the College increasing with an additional HND in Performing Arts: Specialist Make-up being added to the lists of courses on offer in the subject area. The department is hoping to bring a degree level course to the College to give the opportunity to those who do not wish to go to universities far away and those who want to stay in Rotherham, to be able to gain a higher education qualification. With media make-up being such a specialised subject, there is a huge hole in the higher
education provision offered locally in Yorkshire.

Kirsty is hoping that by the time she has completed her teaching qualification the degree will be on offer and she will be able to develop her skills even further. Kirsty said: “College dealt with the financial support because I had some problems but they helped me and dealt with it. They got the right information to the right places. Financial support is definitely not an issue. I didn’t see taking on the loan as a bad thing, I saw it as investing in myself and my future. It’s worth doing and investing in yourself.”

“Studying at college is the best thing I’ve ever done. If you’re unsure go for it.

Kirsty Lewin

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Saturday 29 June
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