Hereward College News

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Acorns Youngsters have awesome time at Hereward College

Acorns Children's Hospice is a charity organisation that provides care and support for children and young people who have life limiting or life threatening conditions. Acorns is currently supporting nearly 600 children and 800 families, including those who are bereaved. Their specialist nursing and support services provide a vital lifeline for these families who would face a much tougher challenge coping alone.

Hereward College hosted three Acorns Youngsters (Jorden, Adikah, Ollie) who are considering going to college. Our objective was to exhibit what college life is all about and what opportunities are waiting for them if they decide to go to college. 

During their visit, the youngsters have been accommodated in one of our residential blocks and we have planned a full week of activities for them, which can be seen here.

The whole gang had an awesome time and told us that after this experience they are strongly considering coming to Hereward College next year. The things they liked the most during the visit were the support offered by staff which were extremely friendly and helpful, and the fact that it was so easy for them to make new friends with a lot of students which shared many similar interests.
We have also produced a DVD with interviews and activities during the week, which can be seen here:

As you can see in the video, the youngsters had a lot of fun while working out and playing games in our sport facilities. They were also pleased with the fact that the college is 100% wheelchair accessible, since this is a big issue in their lives and they thought this was a big positive for Hereward College. Ollie wanted to add that he is almost sure he will be attending Hereward College next year because he wants to become as independent as possible despite his disability.

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Friday, 9 December 2011

Hereward College attends the International Day of Disabled People 2011

Last Thursday (01.12.2011), students from Hereward College (Clint, Lea-Anne) have attended the International Day of Disabled People Event at the St Peters Centre in Hillfields, along with Education Enabler, Wendy.

The objective of the event was to increase the understanding of the issues around disabilities and attention to the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The event also aimed to increase the awareness of the gains for everybody if disabled persons are integrated into all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life and raising money for resources for persons with disabilities.

The event began with Coventry’s legendary Lady Godiva saying a few words about the International Day of Disabled people and then taking group pictures with the attendees.
Once this was over, our students wanted to take advantage of this opportunity in order to raise awareness about how Hereward College can help people overcome their disabilities and become a responsible and productive member of society. 
 
The students were responsible with preparing a stall, which represented the college, handing out the Prospectus, DVDs and promotional pens to attendees and responding to queries regarding the college. They managed to do an outstanding job of presenting a positive image of the college and themselves, making sure that the stall was looking presentable, responding promptly and courteously, and providing useful and comprehensive information to any queries.

Clint had the following to say: ‘It was a great event, very informative. I was happy to support my college and spread awareness about the great opportunities that future students can expect.’

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hereward College joins Warwick University for tennis exhibition

Hereward College has been involved in a successful Wheelchair Tennis project at The University of Warwick.  As part of the project, the University has organised for an exhibition session by 2 national players who will play a game and then work with our students for the remainder of the session.

Bellow you can see the activities planned for the event which will go of this Friday (09.12.2011)

2.30 - 3.00pm             Demonstration match.  We can watch from the balcony or from the next door court.
3.00 - 3.30pm             On court session with Hereward College pupils joining in with the players
3.30 - 4.30pm             We have another hour with one court where anyone wanting to stay on for a little longer to hit it with the players


If you would like to participate in this event please contact andrew.commander@hereward.ac.uk for more details

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Jamie Hamilton - Pre Paralimpic Test Event

Friday 25th November, , Eight of the country's best fencers were selected to take part in a
Pre Paralympic Test Event, at the actual venue where the Paralympic & Olympic fencing will take place (Excel London). We were treated like stars from the moment we arrived at the 4 * hotel on the Thursday night. On the day of the event we arrived there early to get our official passes and get signed in.
There was loads of willing volunteers there to assist our every whim and need! We practically had to lift a finger throughout the day.
The competition itself was split into a team and individual event for foil weapon and individual competition for sabre. I had prepared well for the event during the weeks previously and felt really good and up for the competition.
My first fight in the individual foil competition was against one of the top 3 women and beat her 5-2, the following fight was against the ladies number 1 and lost to her 5-2, I then fought the ladies number 2 and beat her 5-3 I won my next two fights quite comfortably against two of the upcoming male fencers. My final fight was against the ladies number 4 and beat her 5-4. Which put me in 2nd place for the foil, my best result to date!
In the team event I was put with the top two foil fencers in GB. It was my first team event and was gruelling, with both teams evenly matched.. We went into the final round of matches down 40-39. Both of the final fencers were fencing brilliantly and with one point to go the score was tied at 44 each. Our team captain pulled out a speedy attack and won the final match 45-44!
In the afternoon I took part in the sabre and won my first fight against one of the rising male fencers and beat him convincingly 5-1, my next fight was against the current number 1 class B fencer and matched him point for point right up to the final point and he beat me 5-4! my next fight was against another experienced male fencer and this time my concentration lapsed and I made a shambles of the fight losing 5-1. Going into my final fight I was up against the current number male fencer, who I had previously always lost to convincingly on every occasion, But I was feeling confident, calm and relaxed and went into a 3-0 lead. My opponent then pulled some very good shots out and brought it back to 4-3. I guess I tried to hard at this point and lost the next point making it 4-4. With the final point I had seconds to think about what to do and decided to go for a a feint attack, however my opponent had other ideas and went for the simple option and went straight through the middle, hitting me milliseconds before I hit him ! I lost the fight but coming 2nd wasn't a bad result under the circumstances and has spurred me on to do better as I can see I'm not too far away from the top now and know exactly what I have to do to win next time.
All in all it was a good day and having seen the venue and knowing what it will look like and feel like when the Paralympics comes around, has encouraged me to go for my dream even more. The only thing missing was the crowds, and their cheering and encouragement should give any of the GB fencers an added advantage., Just being in the same hall on Friday gave me a fantastic buzz and almost had tears in my eyes! Who knows what I'll be like if I get to be there next year!!

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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Peer Support Team from Hereward College says ‘No to bullying’

The Anti-Bullying Week has become a key date in the annual calendar for thousands of schools and colleges, and Hereward College took part in this national event by organising activities and events to raise the awareness on the issues of bullying inside the College.


The PST (Peer Support Team), a group of students who help and support new students at the College, raised concerns about the negative use of language in the College and the wider community. With the help of their coordinators, Cyntia G Laycy - assistant educational psychologist, Rachel Brindley - youth worker, Dayna Donnelly – mentor and Linda Allden-West - counsellor, the objective of the group, during the week, was to deliver the message to Hereward students that derogatory language – words and expressions that are homophobic, racist, sexist or disabilist and seek to demean particular groups and individuals, should not find their way in the College.


The events organised by the PST included having a petition on a big notice board where people could sign their name and add any thoughts they would like to share with others about bullying. Visitors to the college were also invited to sign the petition.  This was a great success around the college, as you can see in the photo, so it was decided to leave the display on the notice board for a while longer to enable people who had not already signed up have the opportunity. 


Other events included making T-shirts with messages against bullying which were spread around the college; encouraging students to write down words that have hurt them and then burning all the upsetting words; watching movies followed by discussions; playing bullying themed board games; and finally, offering free hand massages to relieve stress. All the events were highly successful and students agreed they had a great time while learning something very important. "I enjoyed it and it taught me a lot!" said Steph Merrison, member of the PST.


And if these weren’t enough, the PST organised and took part in a sponsored walk to help raise funds for Childline, a charity which helps the most vulnerable children in society. The walk took place at the Memorial Park in Coventry, which has a circular path that runs alongside the park boundary and each lap of the park is 1.6 miles in distance. The PST managed to complete a lap and has raised £265 until now, with the donations running until the 19th of December. Charlotte Shakespeare, another member of the PST wanted to add that she ‘(…) thought it was good to get out of college to show what we are doing, and also raise money for a very good cause." 


The fundraiser will be held until the 19th of December and donations can be made by following this link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=PeerSupportTeam&isTeam .

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Friday, 25 November 2011

Jamie Hamilton - Fencing career and aspirations

Welcome to my blog about my fencing career and aspirations. I am currently ranked 4th in Great Britain for Sabre and 5th for foil weapons. This year Hereward College kindly agreed to sponsor me in my ambitions to get into the National Squad (I have to be in the top 3 to get in the squad). Hereward's support has enabled me to step up  my training so I am able to take advantage of facilities and equipment that  squad members have free access to. This has meant that I am able to fence every day of the week and go to the gym every day as well, so I am fitter than ever! My diet has changed also - out go the fries and burgers and in with the vegetables and pastas! Along with these, I am regularly seeing a Chiropractor and Sports Masseur so I can keep myself flexible and free from injury. I am also using top quality equipment now, which is stronger and more flexible than standard.

As a result of the training I have been doing, my results in competitions is getting better each time and am rarely out of the top 4 places in sabre, which puts me in a good position for getting selected sooner rather than later.

My long-term ambition is to be selected for the Paralympics. As I have not been long in the sport, I may not make it in time for London, but I am aiming for Brasil in 2016. I have recently been selected to take part in a test event for London 2012 on November 25th and only the top 8 fencers in the country are going there so I am playing with the big boys now! My next competition is on December 10th in Sheffield and is the British National Fencing Championships, a good result there will most definitely put me in the spotlight.

I will keep you informed on this blog of my progress and believe me if I am selected you will be the first to know!! (I'll be the one dancing on the roof!)

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Guide to using LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social networking site specifically designed with professional business connections in mind. When you create a profile on LinkedIn you are creating a short version of your resume, showing your skills, current and past jobs, and other business ventures. Your profile on LinkedIn has many different features, and the creators of the website encourage you to fill in all of your information in order to use these features more robustly.

Why use Linkedin?

·         LinkedIn gives you the keys to controlling your online business identity. LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of search engine results, letting you control the first impression people get when searching for you online.

·         Sometimes your immediate circle can’t resolve a unique business challenge. Tools like Companies and Groups let you locate and interact with external experts through trusted introductions. LinkedIn Search lets you explore the broader network by name, title, company, location, and other keywords that will help you find the knowledge you’re looking for.

·         LinkedIn also acts as a great business connection when other people may need your services. Once your profile is completed correctly your job title will appear on the Hereward College Company page and other people can contact you through a trusted introduction. No other information except your job title will be provided before the people who are looking for you send you an introduction and you accept to connect with them (See picture).
                               
Picture 1 – how external viewers see employees on a company page
























·         In today’s professional world, people change jobs and locations constantly. By connecting on LinkedIn, your address book will never go out of date. Your contacts update their profiles, keeping you current with their latest jobs, projects and contact info. You’ll stay in closer contact with great tools to communicate and collaborate.

Setting up a complete and professional profile:

·         Go to LinkedIn.com

·         Select ‘Join Today’ from the top of the page

·         Complete the 1st frame with the relevant information and make sure you use your WORK EMAIL (staff000@hereward.ac.uk)

·         In the next frame, the following sections should already be completed: ‘I am currently’, ‘Country’ and ‘Company’. If these are not completed it means you didn’t enter your work email. If this is the case, go back and enter your work email.
If the sections are already completed, continue and enter your HOME  postcode (it will only be displayed for your trusted connections) and your job title at Hereward College

·         In the next frame, you have the option to enter your HOME EMAIL, so LinkedIn can find which of your personal contacts are on LinkedIn and you can invite them to your network on LinkedIn. If you don’t want to connect with your personal contacts on LinkedIn you can skip this step.

·         You should now receive a message to confirm your e-mail address. You have to access your WORK email and you should have received a confirmation e-mail on LinkedIn. Click on the link and you should be redirected to a page called Sign-In to Linkedin

·         Enter your WORK email and the password you selected in the first frame

·         In the next frame you have the option to invite your Facebook and Twitter friends to connect with you on LinkedIn. Remember, LinkedIn should be used only for business purposes so you might want to skip this step.

·         In the next frame you have to select the type of account you want. It’s recommended to select the basic account since you wouldn’t want to pay for it.

·         Congrats! You now have an account on LinkedIn. The next step is to start completing your profile! Go to the ‘Profile’ Tab on the top of the page and select ‘Edit Profile’

Editing your profile

·         Edit the ‘Summary’ Section by adding a short description about yourself. The Summary Section is one of the most important parts of your profile. When editing your ‘Summary Section’ you have to think about what is the best introduction for yourself for the people that might need to contact you or you might need to contact regarding business related queries.
For example, I am the contact person for advertising, marketing and PR related activities, therefore my summary includes the following information: ‘I am currently undertaking a 1 year placement at Hereward College. I am the contact person for all advertising, marketing and Public Relations activities.
One of our main focusses, at the moment, is raising awareness of the business, its aims and objectives to a local, national and international audience. If you would like to start collaboration with Hereward College please contact me on
liviu.manda@hereward.ac.uk.’
This piece of information is also extremely important if a person would try to find you via Google for business purposes. For example, because my summary contains the following words (keywords): advertising, marketing, public relations, my LinkedIn account will appear on the 1st page of Google if someone would do a search like: ‘advertising Hereward College’ or ‘marketing Hereward College’ or ‘Public Relations Hereward College’. This makes LinkedIn a great source of information when people need to contact a specific person for business purposes from a specific organisation.

·         Edit the ‘Specialities’ section by adding the skills you are currently focusing on and are using for your current job (See Skills bellow for more info).

·         Edit the experience section by adding your current job and at least two previous jobs, along with the respective responsibilities you have/had. The ‘Experience’ section is also one of the most important sections of your profile, especially your current job.
Again, when you write your responsibilities, you will have to think of the most efficient way to inform possible connections on how you can collaborate. Therefore, the content you enter for you current job should be as detailed as possible and should cover all the aspects of your job.

·         Edit the ‘Skills’ Section by adding all the skills gained through your work experience. In this section you should add ALL the skills you have, not just the ones you are focusing on at your current job (see Specialties section for more details).

·         Edit the 'Education' section by adding any education you have completed or are in the process of completing (High- school, college, university, other courses).

·         Under the heading 'Recommendations' you need to ask for recommendations from work colleagues who are also on LinkedIn. These can be current or past colleagues, or external connections you have done business with, while working within your current organisation.

·         Finally, in the photo section you need to upload a small photo of yourself. You should upload a picture that best describes you at work and should be professional (i.e. suit, uniform).

·         When you've achieved all these steps, your profile should be complete


What to do now?
Once your profile is complete you can Join the Hereward College Network:
·         Go to this link: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hereward-college and select Follow (upper-right part of the page) to follow Hereward College on Linkedin. This will include you as a company employee (see picture 1) so it will make it much easier for you to be found by the people that need to do business with you.

·         Go to this link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=4093222 in order to join the Hereward College LinkedIn group. This will allow you to participate in discussions regarding Hereward College, view the latest news, promotions and jobs and network with other members from the Hereward College Group (staff, students, alumni, external business connections who are part of the group)
For further questions, please contact Liviu Manda at staff1107@hereward.ac.uk .


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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hereward College wins TES FE Outstanding HR Team Award 2011

Last Friday (11.11.2011) Hereward College’s HR team was awarded with the TES FE Outstanding HR Team Award 2011 at a ceremony at the Brewery, London. This award recognises outstanding work within human resources departments for 2010-11 and was open to all further education providers in the UK.


The award was provided by TSL Education, the largest teacher network in the world. The judges recognised that a great deal has been achieved by Hereward College over the last couple of years. They said “Hereward’s team has worked hard to embed HR best practice right across the college. This has delivered a major cost reduction and reduced absences. The team has achieved the Investors in People Gold Standard and its new approach to training has saved 40%. We also liked the use of key performance indicators.”


The vision of the Hereward HR Team was that it had to change the way the HR department was perceived. Rather than ‘being sent to HR when you did something wrong’ the HR Team understood that they had to collaborate with all other departments around the college to become as efficient as possible. This is why Ben Arnold, HR Manager, wanted to underline the fact that ‘this award doesn’t just go to Hereward's HR Team, it also goes to our managers, staff and senior leadership team’. This was also recognised by Investors in People who awarded Hereward with the Gold Standard this year, putting them in the top 1% of employers for the way in which we manage and develop their staff.


Moreover, the way they recruit people has changed dramatically. Only 10% of staff are appointed on interview alone, as opposed to 90% in 2009. They got rid of outdated processes and now fill vacancies 17 days quicker on average. The vacancy rate has more than halved, too. Sickness absence has also been halved from 6.6% in 2009 to 3.3% this year and it has now fallen below the AoC and CIPD average for the first time in over 4 years.


More people than ever have had appraisals and 100% of staff been trained in safeguarding and equality and diversity. The average Hereward employee gets over 10 days’ training per year. The number of staff at the centre of discipline, bullying or grievances cases has fallen by two thirds and the HR Team now resolve these cases almost three times quicker than before. Voluntary staff turnover fell from 9.6% (June 08-09) to 6.2% (June 10-11).


Another important issue recognised by the HR Team is that Hereward is both a residential college and a care home for people with disabilities. For this reason they made sure to set an example as the proportion of staff who have a declared disability jumped from 4.6% in June 2009 to 10.4% in June 2011.
And if this wasn’t enough, all the achievements were made with with 20% fewer HR staff, a 40% cut to the training budget and a 27% reduction to the total HR budget (pay & non-pay). Restructuring also saved the College over £2m and HR had a central role.


Ben Arnold, HR Manager, wanted to add that “There is of course still a vast amount to improve but it’s hugely encouraging to see the College recognised on a national scale. This year we're going to build on this success, focussing in particular on improving staff development, communication and better use of data”.


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Sign Up and say NO to bullying!

Throughout this week, students staff and visitors are invited to join our petition and 'sign up and say No to Bullying.  A notice board in the main building has been made available so people can sign their name and any thoughts they would like to share with others about bullying.
If you would like to join the petition please come along and make your mark.  If you need support to do this, at break times members of the Peer Support team will be there to lend a hand.

If you are unable to get access to the board or you are not in college, you can still join in by signing up and adding a comment below with your name and thoughts and we will add this to the board.

By signing the petition you are entitled to an antibullying bracelet (while stock is available) as our way of saying thank you, so please leave information on how we can send it on to you!

Thank you,
Peer Support Team.
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