Rotherham College recently joined other Further Education (FE) providers across the country in celebrating Colleges Week 2020.
The annual celebration is a key part of Love Our Colleges, a national campaign organised by the Association of Colleges, which provides an opportunity to shout about all of the brilliant things that FE colleges do to build communities, boost businesses and support individuals.
This year’s theme was ‘At the centre of…’ giving colleges a chance to celebrate the role they play in supporting people, communities and industries, particularly throughout the challenging times of COVID-19.
At the Centre of Innovation Helping Shape the Future
First-year Level 3 Games students tested out and provided feedback on each other’s games; working on their critical thinking and review skills and ultimately, providing feedback on how to enhance the prototypes.
The students spent five weeks building the prototypes, which featured core mechanics, some audio to support gameplay and demonstrated the intended art style.
Rotherham College Digital Interactive Technologies Curriculum Team Leader Martin Deshayes-McCourt said: “When you’re working in the industry you have to be able to work collaboratively with other people and think critically. Completing peer-on-peer reviews helps to develop these skills and shape the future games developers.”
At the Centre of Supporting Student and Staff Wellbeing
Students and staff on the Career Pathways programme started a long-term garden wall project to brighten up areas around the College.
The colourful garden walls, which are created using recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced flowers, aim to positively impact on mental health and wellbeing by providing something beautiful to look at.
Rotherham College Employability Curriculum Leader Samantha Walker said: “A colleague has already commented that they were having a bit of a down day and then saw the garden wall as they were walking to their next class and it instantly lifted their mood. As well as positively impacting on everyone in college the garden walls are providing opportunities for our Pathways students to develop important teamwork, communication and business skills.”
At the Centre of Supporting People and Communities
To help support those in need of essential food and toiletries in the local community staff and students at Rotherham College collected donations for the Rotherham Foodbank. A spokesperson for the charity said: “We are very grateful to all the staff and students at Rotherham College for their donations in this current climate. Everyone at the Rotherham Foodbank has been working above and beyond to provide support for individuals within the community who are struggling. It really means a lot to the charity for the College’s support and donations.”
Rotherham College Childcare students got involved with cleaning, wrapping and hiding books around the region as part of the Look for a Book Rotherham initiative, which was started by Rotherham College Childcare Curriculum Team Leader Tracy Chapman last year to encourage children to explore the outdoors and become excited about reading.
Tracy said: “By making books easily available and adding the hide and seek element, hopefully it engages children to become interested in books in a way that they might not have done previously.”
As well as hoping to ignite a love of books Tracy is keen to provide families with a free activity they can do together.
She said: “A lot of children sit in front of Xboxes and we get so tied up in society and a fast lifestyle that we don’t stop to appreciate what’s important. I think COVID-19 brought that home to a lot of people; a nice walk in the fields with your family is great and being able to do that while you are hiding or going looking for a book gives families a chance to spend time together without having to spend any money.”