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Argyll College News

Campbeltown Inspirational Young Persons

Two Campbeltown pupils have become the first ever recipients of a new Argyll College UHI Inspirational Young Person of the Year Award.

Calum Ellis Calum Ellis of Dalintober Primary and Emma Bannatyne of Campbeltown Grammar School won the junior and senior categories respectively, with Clachan Primary triumphing in the other category –Active Participation Group.Emma Bannatyne with Fraser Durie

The awards were established by Argyll College UHI’s Campbeltown centre to recognise the efforts of individual pupils and groups, and at the same time promote the College and the options it offers to young people across the area.

Letters were sent out to all Campbeltown Grammar feeder primaries as well as the Grammar itself, asking for nominations.  The centre staff then picked the winners from the nominations received.

 

Argyll College UHI principal Fraser Durie, who presented Emma with her award at the Grammar school prizegiving, said the new scheme was a fantastic way for the College to further engage with the local community and, in particular, its schools.

“I’m delighted the Campbeltown centre has established these awards because it’s impossible to understate the impact which having inspirational peers can have on young people,” he added.

“Too often these pupils who give so much to others go unrecognised.  It’s great that schools and communities in the Campbeltown area now have a means through which they can get the recognition they deserve.”

The Active Participation Group award recognises the work of a group of youngsters who have actively participated in a project or activity throughout the year which has had a positive influence either in their school or in their local community.  This can be either an individual activity or an ongoing project.


Clachan Primary won for its annual Christmas cakes initiative, which sees every pupil in the school work together from November to back 44 Christmas cakes which are then hand delivered to every retired person in the village.

Calchan Primary


Clachan head teacher Lucy Blake said: “This project, which has been going for 20 years, links the children to the older members of the community in a real and tangible way.  
“Clachan is a village with the school at its heart, and it is important to the school to keep links to the wider community.
“The fact that each cake is hand labelled individually adds to the sense of caring for each person. We receive thank you cards which tell us how appreciated the cakes are. Christmas can be a lonely time too. We hope that letting everyone know they are thought of is a way to show that we care, and we’re delighted the project has been recognised in these awards.”
The individual awards recognise a young person who has by their own actions, efforts or personal achievements inspired others and proven a positive role model for fellow pupils.

In her nomination letter, Campbeltown Grammar depute head Catherine Cameron said Emma was a stand out choice for this inaugural award.

“Emma demonstrated a huge level of resilience and determination last year when, suddenly faced with the adversity of serious ill health, she resolutely pursued her aim of maintaining her attendance at school in order to complete her SQA diet of 5 qualifications” she said.

“She refused to be deterred by her illness, even on the days of her formal exams when she was very unwell.  She remained positive and upbeat, meeting all her challenges head on.  As a result, Emma has been rewarded with an excellent set of qualifications, leading to unconditional offer at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland.  

“She has been excellent role model, both as a student and as a patient, and has allowed the school to share her story, keen for others affected in some way by a similar illness to realise what can be achieved but also to know they are not alone.”

Dalintober Primary principal teacher Elspeth Campbell said the school had nominated Calum because ‘he always has a positive attitude and volunteers with many activities in school’.

He has been a P7 Buddy and a member of our Sports Council which attained Silver Award.  He is a good role model to younger children and has helped with clubs in school and has been a fantastic Playground Buddy”, she added.

My story - Scott

scott andersonScott Anderson – Dunoon


A debilitating medical condition which puts a stop to a successful 20-year career doesn’t sound too positive. But Scott Anderson grabbed the opportunity it presented with both hands.

After a failed attempt at University when he was 17, Dunoon man Scott had worked in the catering industry his whole adult life – much of it abroad.  But a few years ago a long-standing hip injury which required several surgeries meant he had to give that up.

While receiving treatment, he stayed at home looking after his three children while his wife, Gillian, enrolled at Argyll College UHI to do a hairdressing qualification.

“It was only then that I started to realise just what Argyll College had to offer,” Scott said. “Throughout my career I’d maintained an interest in studying and had picked up a few qualifications in my own time.  One day I walked past a poster advertising Argyll College’s Administration and Information Technology course, and thought, ‘I could do that.’  I applied the next day.”


Scott successfully completed the HNC, is currently doing the HND and has now been offered a place on the BA Business Management course next year.

It’s not just in academic terms that he has excelled.  Having reluctantly agreed to be the Student representative for his class when he first arrived, he was voted Best Class Representative for the whole of the University of the Highlands and Islands in 2016, and was subsequently elected HISA depute president for Argyll College 2016 - 2017.

“I always try to give everything I’ve got when I take something on and I feel I’ve done that over the last couple of years, and I felt that I could give something back by getting involved in the brand-new Highlands and Islands Students’ Association.” Scott said.
“Argyll College has been absolutely fantastic for me.  It’s given me the opportunity to do something completely different with my life and I’m enjoying every minute of it.  It’s hard work but very rewarding. There is no way I could do this if I couldn’t study locally.  It’s incredible that I can progress to a degree level course while still living in a rural area and caring for my kids.  Argyll College UHI is pretty unique in that way."

“A long term injury is never a positive thing, but Argyll College has helped me put my life on a new course.  I’m really looking forward to another year of being one of its students and I’m excited about what the future might hold.”

Childcare Students Visit Hospital

Our Skills for Work Childcare Students from Rothesay Academy recently had the amazing opportunity to visit the Royal Hospital for Children, part of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The students were given a tour of all the areas of the hospital which are funded through the Glasgow Children's hospital charity.

students visit hospital

This included the Teddy bear hospital, an area staffed by play therapists who work with children through fears and anxiety about attending the hospital. They have hospital equipment within the room, this gives children the experience of many different treatments or tests they face during their time there. The play therapist we spoke to showed us how versatile the room is, from having materials to show how blood is taken to setting up the room for a mock MRI scan, with lights and sounds included.

Students were shown around areas in the hospital which pay tribute, not only to the children who have sadly passed away, but also to pioneering individuals who have created new treatments at the hospital.

The students and their tutors were guided round the fantastic and forward-thinking facilities that the new hospital has. Our guide Lara (Fundraising Manager), kept the best surprise to last - a cinema, which shows up to date and new releases - complete with 3D viewing.

The Skills for Work Childcare classes across the college will be working throughout the year to fundraise for the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity.

My story - Oisin

Oisin DohertyIslay resident Oisin Doherty says his experience with Argyll College UHI has made him realise his potential in terms of his further education and career prospects.

S6 pupil Oisin, who has Aspergers Syndrome, hasn’t always found school easy but his interest in computing saw him enrol for the College’s European Computer Driving License (ECDL) course, which runs one evening a week.

When he finished his last module, he had achieved at least 80% at every stage.

His success has given him the confidence to apply for a place at North West Regional College in Derry in Northern Ireland (where his Mum lives) to do a BTEC Level 1/2 course in Information and Creative Technologies.

He received an unconditional offer for a place at College on the same day he finished his last ECDL module.  Oisin will take up his place there at the beginning of September.

“I’ve really enjoyed the course, because I’m into computing so have found it quite easy as well as interesting,” Oisin said.

“It’s a really good course if you want to get into any computer-related jobs or onto computer-related courses, because it shows people what you’re already able to do.

“It was a different way of learning from school, and I liked that.  I liked the fact there was a mock test where you could prepare, and the tutor would go through what went wrong so you could improve on the official test, which is taken after every module.

“I also liked the fact I could go at my own pace – which turned out to be one of the fastest in the class.  Our class had mixed abilities and I found I was able to help other students which I really enjoyed.

“The online notes were good because they were presented well and it was a lot less stressful for me to go through them in my own time than in having to do it in a large group of people.”

Oisin said he found the help and support of tutor Lorraine Ferguson invaluable, and added that the course had given him much more than simply an extra qualification.

“It has proven to me that I’ve got the potential to do really well in whatever I choose to do in the future.  It shows me I can achieve at this level,” he said.

“I have Aspergers Syndrome and I would encourage people on the autistic spectrum to try something like this, as just because you have autism or Aspergers that shouldn’t stop you.  Don’t let it put you at a disadvantage – use it to your advantage because people on the autistic spectrum often find they have an expertise in a particular subject, and computing was mine.

“For me, the College course has been great.   It allowed me to stay at home and get an extra qualification, which I’m sure played a part in getting into North West Regional College.  It’s given me a massive confidence boost, and I’m really looking forward to the future.”

Virtual Garden

view of garden

The Educational Development Unit in collaboration with Argyll College UHI has developed a suite of interactive online learning resources for the HNC in Horticulture.

Included in these resources is a Virtual Garden Tour which will enable remote students to virtually visit  and learn all about a commercial plant nursery and ornamental and vegetable garden in Craignish, near Oban, which the students regularly visit.

Consider Childcare

As one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in Scotland, Childcare professionals are going to be in increasing demand over the next few years.

Ciaran Norris

If you fancy making the most of the situation and opting for working with children in some capacity as a career, the great news is that you can do your studying right here in Argyll.

Argyll College UHI offers five levels of courses in Childcare, ranging from Childhood Studies: An Introduction right up to BA (Hons) in Childhood Practice or BA (Hons) in Child and Youth Studies.

At present all three and four year olds in Scotland, and eligible two year olds, are entitled to 600 hours a year of free early learning and childcare.

The Scottish Government intends to nearly double this figure to 1140 hours by 2020, which will see a corresponding increase in demand for qualified childcare workers.

Rena MacDonald, Argyll College UHI’s Health and Wellbeing Curriculum Manager, urged anyone interested in pursuing Childcare as a career to check out what’s on offer at their local College centre.

“The additional investment in this sector will have a significant knock on effect on the numbers of trained staff required, so we’re likely to see a big expansion of career opportunities in Childcare over the next few years,” she added.

“Whether you’re new to Childcare and higher education or whether you’d like to boost existing qualifications, Argyll College UHI will have a course to suit you so come in and have a chat, pick up a copy of our prospectus or look at our website.  It might prove the best thing you ever did.”

Think that’s an exaggeration?  Ask Campbeltown man Ciaran Norris, who took Childcare as a taster course at school and is now well on his way to realising his dream of becoming a primary teacher.

Ciaran, 19, said:

“I’ve loved it from Day One, and the fact I can potentially go from zero to qualified early years teacher without ever leaving my home town is fantastic.

“I knew I’d probably be the only male in the class, but it didn’t worry me and I couldn’t have asked for a more positive reaction from everyone I’ve come across – my fellow students, tutors, staff in my placements and also the parents of the kids I’ve been involved with.

“I’m so thankful I opted for Childcare, because I’ve discovered a real passion for it.  I can’t recommend it strongly enough.  If you’re even slightly interested, go and find out more about the options open to you.  That’s what I did, and I’ve never looked back.”


For more information on Argyll College UHI courses, go to https://www.argyll.uhi.ac.uk/courses

Lochgilphead Fundraiser

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?

Fundraiser

Students, staff and visitors at Argyll College’s Lochgilphead centre were recently treated to various home baking delicacies after the childcare section decided to bake to raise money for Brain Tumour Research (BTR).
All the childcare students – plus their tutor Ali Windham-Wright – contributed to the effort by bringing in cakes and other baking over a three week period.  The items were displayed in the foyer and staff room, along  with BTR wristbands and pens, with honesty boxes for payment.   In total, the students raised an impressive £175.77.


“The whole childcare team had fun doing it, and we’re very grateful to everyone who supported our fundraising effort,” Ali said.“We all enjoyed not just the baking challenge but also eating the cakes, and we’re delighted to have raised money for such a deserving cause.”

Outdoor Adventure

Argyll College UHI gears up for outdoor adventure

Are You Open to Adventure?


Andy Spink

If adrenaline-fuelled outdoor activity is your idea of fun, Argyll College UHI has a brand new course which is ideal for you.

NC Outdoor Adventure Sports is a one year course which will include a range of Adventure Sports units overseen by one of the country’s most experienced outdoor activity instructors – Andy Spink of Oban-based Hebridean Pursuits Ltd (HPL).

Andy, who has spent nearly 30 years running HPL, is passionate about outdoor education.  He will be teaching Adventure Sports (canyoning, gorge walking and coasteering), Rock Climbing, Paddle Sports, and Summer and Winter Hillwalking.  The course may also include a multi-activity week at HPL’s Tavool House outdoor centre on Mull.

Anatomy, Nutrition, Contemporary Fitness and other subjects are also studied.

“It’s very exciting for us to be given the opportunity to get students participating in - and hopefully enthused by - outdoor adventure and education,” Andy said.

“This course will be a fantastic way for anyone who’s keen on adventure sports and outdoor activities and thinks they might want to pursue a career in that area to get themselves onto the first rung of the ladder.  Who knows where that ladder might lead?”

Successful completion of the Level 5 course could lead on to various opportunities including other further education qualifications, apprenticeships and even a degree.  The University of the Highlands and Islands currently offers degree courses in Adventure Education, Adventure Performance and Coaching and Adventure Tourism Management at The School of Adventure Studies in Fort William.

According to Andy, there’s no better place in the UK in which to be involved in outdoor education.

“The West Coast of Scotland is one of the world’s best adventure playgrounds, and we’re right in the middle of it,” he said.

“We’ll be doing some really adventurous, fun, exciting activities.  There will be a classroom element but this is primarily designed as a practical, skills-based course.  Our highly experienced team of instructors can’t wait to meet the first group of students and get started.”

More information about this course can be found by clicking here.

Hebridean Pursuits Ltd is part of the Roses Charitable Trust.   All proceeds subsidise The Roses Project, which offers residential adventure activities for disadvantaged young people at Tavool House on Mull.  For more details, please go to www.hebrideanpursuits.co.uk

Fundraising dinner at Islay High School

On the evening of Saturday 22 April Islay High School, in conjunction with Argyll College, hosted a fundraising dinner in aid of their next expedition, this time to Zambia and Botswana.

students

The catering was managed by the Argyll College tutors, Chris Wolfe and Sarah Richardson together with HNC Hospitality Student, Laura Meek and SVQ Professional Cookery students (and former Islay High School pupils), Melissa Douglas, Jason Holyoake and Johnathan McNichol.

pix3The three course meal was absolutely tremendous with such delights as langoustines in a filo pastry basket as a starter and roast saddle of venison with a Botanist Gin and Rowen sauce as one of the mains.

The team cooked for almost 100 guests and laid on a perfect showcase of local produce.

The High School students on the expedition prepared and set all the tables during the day and then waited on the tables in the evening with some also helping in the kitchen. They were supervised by Glen Roberts, formerly of Port Charlotte Hotel and Darlene Russell, Curriculum Manager for Argyll College UHI.

pix4Gary I Campbell , Key Account Director, was visiting Islay for the first time to see this partnership event between Argyll College UHI and Islay High School. When he found out there was an auction he happily volunteered to run it and he was superb - one of the highlights of the night. His patter was brilliant, entertaining everyone and raising a great deal of money. What a great night! The whole event raised over £5500 for the High School expedition.

 

Students View of the Event:

sutdent -j_mcNicolJonathan McNicol
This was the first ever time I have prepped for so many people that quick, it was hard work and alot of concentration & alot of communication was needed for us the group that provided the hospitality for this catering event to get along and get the jobs done and everything ready and prepped, I'm glad to say it turned out AWESOME!! as I wasn't there for the ending but from what I heard there was just compliments and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to prep my own version of these dishes and dish them out to the island & It's lovely locals. It made me smile see everyone happy and smiling, it was well worth it.

 

sutdent -J HolyoakeJason Holyoake
I had the pleasure of being involved in a charity dinner event for Islay High Schools' Zambia expedition where myself and three other Argyll College students had the opportunity to cater for the ladies and gentlemen invited. It was our first time catering for such an ammount and i was personally surprised at how easily planned and executed such an event can be with a well coordinated and extremely helpful team. The prep seemed to pass in a flash as we were preparing anything from languostines, venison, salmon or vegetables and was completed in plenty of time for the event to start, giving us valuable insight into what is involved in such events and what we should be focusing on improving and educating ourselves on for the future. The most surprising piece of information i have taken from this event is how fun you can make these events despite the number of jobs on hand and at no point did i feel pressured or overworked with the wonderful help from the rest of the team and tutor!



student M DouglasMelissa Douglas
I enjoyed the event very much and i was privileged to be a part of, it's has giving me confidence to pursue this as a career choice for the future. In high school I done NC Hospitality and done an event like this before and it was a bit different to this event as this event had more technical aspects to producing the food and was  more professional by way of presentation as the previous event before.

E4L Police visit

PC ShonnieMeet PC Shonnie MacIsaac – Oban’s newest recruit.

Shonnie, one of our E4L students, borrowed PC Claire Brown’s police accessories to parade around the Argyll College UHI building keeping everyone in order.

PC Brown was visiting the group to talk about life in the police service.

The Education 4 Life course is designed for people with learning difficulties, and aims to increase their academic and life skills.  It is the first Further Education course of its kind in Argyll.

apprenticeship week

Liam PattersonLiam Paterson (20) is currently in his second year as a Carpentry and Joinery apprentice at Argyll College UHI’s Construction, Engineering and Renewables Centre in Lochgilphead.

Liam left school three years ago with no particular plans, and had a variety of jobs ranging from supermarket worker to crewing on a commercial fishing boat before being offered an apprenticeship with local firm Duncan Hunter.

He has never looked back.

“My message to any young person out there who’s not sure whether or not an apprenticeship is for them is that it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” Liam said.

“It’s very rewarding - I feel I’m getting a lot out of it.  My skills are improving all the time, and I’ve got the support of both my employer and my college tutors in making sure I do as well as I can over the four years.

“It’s great being out on site working for a few months, then coming back to college for another block of training and assessment.  I’m with a good group of lads and we all enjoy meeting up when we come back for the college elements.

“I feel as if I’ve been given a chance to make something of myself, and it’s a chance I’m not going to mess up.”

NC Horticulture Students Clean Up!

students

 

view1On Tuesday 17th January Argyll College NC Horticulture students carried out a huge clearance of land outside the Men’s Shed in view1afterDunoon, as part of their enterprise activity. The Men’s Shed is a community run workshop and they needed the help to clear the outside area to clear the way for landscaping, raised beds and a view2greenhouse.

The clearance took a whole day and the students worked very well view2afteras a team in order to achieve this. Our volunteers spent the day running back and forward to the dump, filling eight tonne sacks with various different types of garden waste, rubble, weeds and brambles. Multiple bins were filled with rubbish and wheelbarrows of stones moved.

Hopefully our Horticulture students will be able to carry on helping with this project in future months to come and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

 

https://www.facebook.com/DunoonMensShed/

Argyll College Student Wins UHI Literature Degree prize

As a partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Argyll College can offer a wide range of Degree level courses.  A full list of all courses on offer are available here.

One such course is the BA Literature degree.  Argyll College student Ian Brotherhood is currently studying the course via distance learning and has been awarded the “Best Performing Student” for 2015/16.

PrizeWinners2201516.jpg

We asked Ian about the prize: “Getting any kind of prize is always a treat, but this one is really special for me because I've been enjoying my time at UHI so much. Took me a while to settle into the course, but I prepared well for third year during the summer and got a lot of reading done. That meant I had more time to get the essays done properly. I had no idea that my marks were comparatively high, so the prize is a genuine surprise, and a big boost. Very much enjoying my final year now, but can't believe how fast the time has passed. I've met some great people, learned heaps of interesting stuff and will really miss it when it's over!”

We also asked Programme Leader Dr Kristin Lindfield-Ott to tell us about the course:

“Studying literature at the University of the Highlands and Islands is not ‘English’, and nor is it ‘Scottish’. Our modules cover a wide range of authors, in English and translation, as well as theory from classic to contemporary. With a solid foundation in genres and periods in years 1 and 2, and research-based modules in years 3 and 4, our graduates are confident and enthusiastic writers, researchers and readers.

Like other UHI degrees in the Humanities, our degree are taught through blended learning: a combination of video conference seminars, online materials and – of course – lots of reading, writing and thinking. You can study at one of our many campuses in the Highlands and Islands (Inverness, Perth, Moray, North Highland (Thurso or Dornoch), Orkney, Shetland, Lews Castle, West Highland (Fort William), Argyll, at one of our smaller learning centres, or, if you are in a remote location, from home on your own computer. This makes us unique, and equips our students with hands-on technological skills.”

You can find out more information on the course at their website https://uhiliterature.wordpress.com/

Childcare Students Support Bookbug Extravaganza

Here are some great photos of our Childcare Practice students supporting the annual Bookbug extravaganza which took place on Monday 5th December.

Bookbug1

Nursery children, P1s and some P2s attended from across Mid Argyll. The event aims to encourage a love of books and reading from an early age.

With 2 or 3 sessions throughout the day there’s lots to do, and our students arrived early to support in different ways:  they meet and greet the buses, direct the children to the dance studio, take

Taking part in events such as this forms an important part of courses like NC Early Education and Childcare and SVQ2&3 Social Services(Children) and Young People and allows the students to put into practice the knowledge they gain through their studies. photos, support the children during the songs, and hand out stickers at the end.  This year Lisa Hilton and Kirsty McDougall volunteered to lead the singing and as you can see it was great fun.

The Bookbug day is organised by Argyll and Bute Council Early Years Team with help from Alistair the ‘story teller’ and Lorna Cameron, ABC Early Years & Family support worker.

Childcare Students at Bookbug Event

Shown in the photo from left to right;

Sarah Nicolson

Niamh Rodden

Kirsty McDougall

Chloe McChesney

Lisa Hilton (Bookbug)

Patrice Seaward

Sophie Kirk

Emma-Jane Cunningham.

Field to Fork school competition - Results

Field to Fork School Competition

THURSDAY 3rd NOVEMBER 2016

 

Three High School teams came together at Argyll College UHI’s Oban centre today to compete in the ‘cook off’ final of the 2016 Field to Fork competition.

The judges were impressed with the creativity of the menus and the level of culinary skills exhibited by all the teams but ultimately Tobermory 1 were announced as winners and received £100 for their school as well as prestigious trophy.

The competition, which is being held as part of Argyll Enterprise Week, has been designed to encourage senior school pupils to explore the local food and hospitality industries. Two teams from Tobermory High School and one from Hermitage Academy prepared their two course local food menus for the judging panel in the college’s Professional Training Kitchen.

The winning team were Torran Mealand, Fraser Mitchell and Gosha Rybczynska who served up Mull smoked haddock with a parsley sauce and Glengorm onion mash, followed by individual Glengorm carrot cakes topped with Isle of Mull crowdie icing.

Also from Tobermory High School, Alexander McLean and Joseph Mitchell from Tobermory High School made Inverlussa Mussels in a white wine and parsley sauce, served with freshly baked soda bread, followed by spaghetti carbonara using Isle of Mull bacon and smoked cheese, served with Glengorm herb and leaf salad.

Hermitage Academy team members, Grace Lewis, Leah MacPherson, Amy Ringham and Jordan McGhie, presented Argyll smoked haddock and potato timbales followed by ‘Scottish Bread Pudding Gold Edition’ with berries and cream.

Teams were judged on their creative use of local food and their approach to seasonal ingredients, as well as the quality and presentation of their finished dishes. Guest judge, Shaun Squires, Head Chef of The Manor House Hotel, Oban said ‘’All the teams did really well and produced dishes which had balanced flavours and showed high levels of skill. The result was extremely close and judging was very difficult.’’

University of the Highlands and Islands Regional Skills Group Project Manager, Wilma Brown said, ‘’This has been a great way of introducing young people to issues of sustainability and the importance of locally produced food to our region’s economy. The teams showed a very good understanding of some of the complex issues surrounding the Scottish Food System.’

Fraser Durie, Principal of Argyll College UHI presented the trophy. He said ‘We’re delighted to hold this event which further reinforces the links between schools, employers and Further and Higher Education. Connection with one of Argyll’s most important industries is vitally important in developing the young workforce.’

Islay student picks up top award

sarah and mairiBowmore resident Sarah Mottram has been named Argyll College Further Education Student of the Year for 2016. Sarah was presented with a beautiful cup and certificate at a local celebration in Bowmore this Thursday 6th October by Mairi MacCuaig, Centre Manager of Argyll College Islay.

Sarah studied NC Business at the Argyll College Islay Centre in Bowmore and was nominated for the award by Dunoon based tutor Liz McFarlane who said, ‘Sarah is a joy to tutor and she has met the many challenges of remote learning with determination, positivity and enthusiasm. I have been inspired by her tenacity, cheerfulness and consistent hard work throughout the year.’

Sarah is a full time carer and has a range of family responsibilities. The judges felt that her ability to juggle these demands with full-time study, combined with her impeccable attendance and academic records make her a very worthy recipient of this accolade.

sarahSarah said ‘’ I initially approached Mairi, manager of the Islay UHI with regards to a computer course, and she suggested NC in business studies which I accepted. I was glad to see other Islay colleagues but during time I found myself the only student. I admit I did question whether I should proceed and I am so glad I did. There was a possibility of feeling isolated with regards to the teaching method. This was overcome with help from the centre staff Mairi, Maria and Gordon, who were on hand to help. I cannot stress enough the helpful, friendly and supportive environment that the staff on Islay offered. I also would like to mention Lorraine who taught Information Technology. Never have I been taught by such a patient, positive and professional teacher. My tutors also were fantastic, specifically Liz from Dunoon and Dawn & Fiona from Campbeltown. On a final note my experience with the UHI came at a time in my life when I needed positivity, friendship and support.

Fraser Durie, Argyll College Principal commented, ‘Sarah is a credit to Argyll College UHI and to Islay. She embodies all that is best about our coastal communities: an unfailing commitment to care for others coupled with a determination to succeed in all endeavours. We wish Sarah well in whatever she chooses to do next.’

Surviving Exam Results

two school pupilsSenior school pupils all over Argyll will be receiving the results of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams on 9th August.  The culmination of at least a year’s work and a summer of waiting, finally getting your results can be extremely stressful for young people and their families. We’ve put together our top tips of how to cope on the day.

  1. Be honest. If you're feeling stressed because of other people's expectations of you, be honest and let them know how you're feeling – we often exaggerate the expectations of others, so talking about this will help keep things in perspective.
  2. Don’t bottle your feelings up. If you’re nervous or anxious, talk about it. Tell your family or friends, or if you don’t think you can, you might want to check out www.childline.org.uk: they have some great advice about coping with exam stress and, if you’re aged 19 or under, you can contact one of their counsellors for free and talk to them about anything – no problem is too big or too small to them.
  3. Don't compare your results to other people's. Exam results are personal to you, so it's important to focus on your own expectations and ambitions.
  4. If you didn’t get the exam results you were hoping for don’t panic. There’s plenty of help and advice around: Skills Development Scotland offer callers’ access to information on UCAS course vacancies at college and universities across the UK, Confirmation and Clearing, advice about Modern Apprenticeships, employment and training opportunities. The helpline number is 0808 100 8000
  5. If you don’t understand your SQA certificate, or if you think something is missing or wrong, contact your school or college immediately and ask for help. If there is a problem, your school or college will contact SQA to sort it out.
  6. For help or advice about the content or layout of your certificate you can contact SQA’s Candidate Advice Line. This will be available from Tuesday 9 August to Friday 12 August. The advice line number can be found on the letter that accompanies your certificate.
  7. For information about remaining college course spaces in Argyll you can contact Argyll College UHI on 0845 2309969 and ask to be put through to your local centre. Your local centre staff will also be able to give you advice on funding and bursaries.
  8. If you got the exam results you wanted Hoorah! Massive well done to you and make sure you celebrate your tremendous achievement, but be aware that others around you may not have had such happy news – you might want to take it easy on social media until you know that there’s no one nearby who’s upset by their results.
  9. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate good results, but don't be hard on yourself if you haven't done as well as you'd hoped.

10.  The important thing to remember is that, even if things don’t go your way, there are always options open to you. Sometimes, the best opportunities come out of life's unexpected twists and turns.

Summer Dance School

dance groupArgyll College ran a dance summer school for children s3 and upwards in the first week of July in the Tower Digital Arts Centre in Helensburgh.

Girls from west Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute attended.  It was a great success with happy, talented dancers.  At the end of the week, all involved took to the stage for a performance in the Tower theatre with great feedback from family, dance teachers and friends.

All involved said they loved trying the different styles of dance each day, the impressive purpose built studio and getting the chance to put on a performance at the end.

Dance tutor Suzanne Shanks says “the courses Argyll College will be running are a fantastic opportunity for the many gifted dance students in the local area as the talent I saw at the summer school was outstanding and what we achieved in such a short space of time was a great success.”

danceIf you’re  interested in our Dance summer schools as well as our NPA and NC Dance, Drama and Theatre Production courses call us on 01369 707182 for further details or search for the courses on our website.

Scott Anderson

Dunoon Student Recognised in HISA Awards


scott andersonArgyll College UHI are delighted to announce Scott Anderson has been voted winner of the Best Class Representative award in the Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) Awards 2016 by his fellow students.

The awards, run in partnership by HISA and the University of the Highlands and Island are designed to recognise the very best practice in enhancing the experience of our students. The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first UK institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards. The initiative, now in its seventh year, recognises excellence in ten categories, with winners coming from around the university partnership. Scott is being recognised as having made an exceptional contribution to serving his class through his role as class representative.

A fellow student commented ‘Scott has been a fabulous class representative, anything that anyone has asked him to do he does with confidence and keeps everybody up to date with everything that may affect the class as a whole by email or by addressing the class by video conference. He doesn't shy away from asking the tough questions which is shows a confident and capable person. It has been a privilege to study alongside Scott Anderson.’

On learning of the award Scott said ‘I'm really touched and grateful to receive this award.  I've absolutely loved my time so far at Argyll College UHI and this has just made my year even better. I'm genuinely shocked to get this, amazed by all the nice comments and can't wait to do the best I can for Argyll College and its students next year.’

His tutor Liz McFarlane said, ‘‘Scott has been a natural and effective spokesperson for the class. I've never seen a rep so committed to getting students to engage - he has shown them they have a valued voice with senior management. ’

Scott, an HNC Administration and IT student at the college’s Dunoon Learning Centre, has also been recently confirmed as the HISA Depute President for Argyll College UHI for 2016-17, as well as being nominated for Argyll College UHI’s HE Student of the Year

Star Tutor

Kerry teaching on VCCampbeltown based tutor Kerry McGeachy has been highly commended in the 2016 HISA student awards in numerous categories including: Most Inspiring Lecturer, Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor, Best PAT, and Best Assessment Feedback.

Kerry joined Argyll College in 2005 teaching various Early Education and Childcare Courses. Despite combining her demanding teaching role with the care of her two small children, she always goes the extra mile for her students, often being in touch with them well after classes have finished.

Kerry Kerry undertook a BA in Child and Youth Studies at Argyll College UHI completing this in 2009, and in 2015 attained a Teaching Qualification in Further Education; Kerry has always shown an immense talent for the difficult task of teaching by VC – a skill that is greatly appreciated by her students – here’s what they have to say:

‘’The way in which Kerry teaches through VC is great as we have many class discussions which many think would not work due to being on video call, however with our class we can have great debates and we all have great inputs. ‘’

‘’When marking assessments Kerry is always really good for giving us lots of feedback to improve our writing and I now feel my writing is at a much higher standard feel ready to start my degree after the summer. ‘’

‘’As my PAT Kerry is always there for me to talk to, whether it involves assessments, placements, work stress or even issues with my personal life, she is always there to listen even late at night or on the weekend’’

‘’As soft as she is, she is not one to be messed with and takes deadlines and word counts very seriously!’’

‘’Kerry is the best teacher I have ever had and she is the reason that I come to college.’’

Well done Kerry!