Thursday, 21 May 2015

SSTO welcomes college partners

The SSTO welcomed staff from six partner colleges to UCLan for a two-day event designed to ensure the continued quality of our Foundation Degrees.

College colleagues from Runshaw, Myerscough, Wigan & Leigh, Preston, Blackburn and Burnley took part in the event, which provided the opportunity to moderate the programmes and discuss examples of good practice.

Sport Science, Sports Coaching and Health & Personal Training courses were the focus of attention, with staff collaborating to share ideas and iron out any issues.

Burnley College programme leader Craig Trafford commented: "The event helps us make sure our work is consistent across the partnership. It's an opportunity to sit down with colleagues from other colleges to check if we're delivering in the same manner and to share useful hints and tips.

"We can also investigate whether anything needs changing ahead of the next intake of students. Having the chance to meet face-to-face is extremely useful, especially for new members of staff who can learn off those who've delivered the courses before."

Scott Threlfall from Runshaw College added: "These events allow us to quality assure our cross partnership working to ensure marking and feedback is consistent.

"Our students use the foundation degrees as a platform to progress to the full honours degree at UCLan's Preston campus, but we also see some go straight into their vocation which pleases us – as long they progress and we signpost them accordingly."

The event was organised by the SSTO's Quality and Partnership Lead, Louisa Jones. She said: "We invite our partners to come along to the university as part of our quality cycle to moderate each other's work.

"It's also an opportunity to join UCLan mentors from each subject area to provide parity from an SSTO perspective. This ensures grading is consistent and our staff can act as mediators if there are any issues. They can also look at ways to develop the modules and make enhancements where appropriate."

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Students continue to make a difference at Green Gecko

Students from the SSTO's Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management programmes have raised around £5,000 for a children's charity in South East Asia.

As part of a final year module the students organised a series of events ahead of a life-changing trip to Cambodia to visit the Green Gecko Project - a school for disadvantaged children.

The trip helps students enhance their learning in a developing country, whilst gaining personal and professional skills by volunteering at Green Gecko.

The group also experienced the rich culture and diversity Cambodia has to offer by visiting various tourist attractions, including the famous Temples of Angkor.

Dr Philip Stone accompanied the students during the trip. He said: "This was my first visit to Cambodia and the Green Gecko Project and I left with an overwhelming sense of the warmth and hospitality of the Khmer people.

"The contribution of the staff at the project to the children and their immediate families was also amazing to see. I was delighted our students had the opportunity to add a very positive contribution during their visit. I know they thoroughly enjoyed the experience which will stay with them as they graduate and beyond.

"The trip was a huge success, largely thanks to Pete McGrath's meticulous planning, leadership and organisation of the module, as well as students' engagement in teaching and learning at Green Gecko."

This year's total takes the overall amount raised by SSTO students to over £43,000 – cementing the school's commitment to making a difference to society. Student James Price said the trip has inspired him to consider a possible career in education.

"My time in Cambodia was an eye-opening experience that I'll never forget," said James. "I saw some amazing sights and made some brilliant friends. Green Gecko was my highlight - being with the children and teaching them new skills was incredible. This experience made me think a career in teaching is the way forward."

Abi Housley added: "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of the trip and meet the Gecko kids - it really has been one of the best experiences of my life to date.

"People keep asking me how it was, but there really are no words to describe my feelings. All I know is I will definitely be going back there one day."

To view a selection of images from the trip please click here.