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Blue Bear has a picnic at Runaround play centre, Wrexham
Staff at Runaround indoor play centre in Wrexham have had fun writing a puppet play while they learn communication skills as part of the Essential Skills in the Workplace project.
Coleg Harlech WEA Tutor Diane Roberts explained, “as part of their course the staff wrote a puppet play called “The Blue Bears Picnic”.
When I first visited the play centre I met with the manager, Sue Ford, and she talked about how important it is that staff are able to communicate confidently with children and parents. I then designed the course to develop the skills staff need in a fun way that is relevant to their work.
As part of a communication skills taster course staff wrote a puppet play which involved considering the characters, writing a script, creating the scenes, making hand puppets from socks and soon it will all come together when they present the play to an audience.
The staff taking part, including Jodie Kirkham and Holly Speirs, have thrown themselves into the course with enthusiasm and in the process it has helped them develop their writing and communication skills”.
Manager, Sue Ford “I’m really pleased with how this course has gone, I can see the progress the girls have made, they have grown in confidence and it has helped develop their creativity, they are coming up with new ideas all the time.”
The Essential Skills in the Workplace project is European Social Fund (ESF) funded led by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
Working in partnership with Training Providers and employers the project aims to raise awareness of the benefits of a skilled workforce.
Staff at the BeeFfit Fitness Gym Shape up for the Future
Staff at BeeFfit fitness club in Caernarfon are making the most of the Dyfodol project by working with Coleg Harlech WEA. Since signing up last year four members of staff have completed 6 different courses which are all designed to support their business.
Sarah Roberts, administrator, explained that four members of staff have
received a range of training which the company would not otherwise have
been able to afford including First Aid, Employment Law, Sage, ECDL as
well as the teaching qualifications PTTLs and CTTLs which were all provided
by Coleg Harlech WEA. Sarah commented that
“tutors have been very flexible and prepared to arrange the courses at a time to suit us”
Doris Bee, owner, said that “we understand the value of staff development and this project has enabled us to offer training at an affordable price. By signing up and paying a one off fee of £50/employee we can access a wide range of courses.”
Sarah believes that the members of the gym have also benefited, “customer service has improved as our IT skills have developed, we are better at identifying and responding to customer needs and generally providing a professional service.”
Find out more about Dyfodol and how BeeFfit Fitness Gym have taken part
Tutor gains recognition from Apple
Creative Technologies Tutor, Ian McNeill, has been selected to take part in the prestigious Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program. He is one of only 200 around the world to have been chosen this year.
Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) are part of a global community of education leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. They explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities. That includes working with each other — and with Apple — to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere.
ADEs advise Apple on integrating technology into learning environments — and share their expertise with other educators and policy makers. They author original content about their work. They advocate the use of Apple products that help engage students in new ways. And they are ambassadors of innovation, participating in and presenting at education events around the world.
Deputy Minister praises Essential Skills programme
The Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert, on a recent visit to north wales praised the work of Coleg Harlech WEA, Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Menai on the flagship Essential Skills in the Workplace programme.
The programme aims to raise awareness of the need for a skilled workforce and to commit to supporting essential skills training in the workplace.
He said while attending an awards event in Rhos-on-Sea “I congratulate the learners and employers here today on their endeavours and would like to thank Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai and Coleg Harlech WEA for their commitment to the cause.”
Moya Seaman, Coleg Llandrillo’s Essential Skills Manager, said: “In partnership with our colleagues at Coleg Menai and Coleg Harlech, we are pleased to be able to offer this training across Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd. We currently have 136 employers and over 400 staff engaged on the programme.
The Welsh Government recently stated that its aim for education is to ‘help everyone reach their potential, to reduce inequality, and to improve economic and social well-being’. The Minister for Education and Skills’ priorities are improving standards of literacy and numeracy, and reducing the impact of deprivation on educational improvement.
Dynamic Arts project with Clwyd Alun Housing
Coleg Harlech WEA have been successful in securing a £29,000 grant
from the Arts Council for Wales for an exciting project working in partnership
with Clwyd Alyn Supported Living Projects to provide dynamic art courses
to young people.
The Supported Living Projects work with young people who have been in housing crisis to support them to gain the experience and skills to live independently.
Sarah O’Connell Jones team manager says
“ This project will provide fun, high quality art courses to young people currently being supported by Clwyd Alyn. The young people who take part in the project will not only develop increased art skills but also improve their communication, presentation and team work skills.
Coleg Harlech WEA are very excited to work in partnership with Clwyd Alyn Housing Association and the Arts Council for Wales on this project which starts in January.”
Congratulations to tutor Sali Burns
Sali was presented with the runner up Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Award at the Royal College of Nursing Wales Nurse of the Year awards on November 28th 2012 at the awards ceremony in Cardiff City Hall. She was nominated for her contributions towards developing bilingual mental health services that will better meet the needs of Welsh speakers.
(Pictured here with Tina Donnelly, Director of RCN Cymru and David Jenkins OBE Chairman of Bwrdd Iechyd Aneurin Bevan Health Board)
Sali said "My work for the NHS supported my work as tutor and Hub Tutor on the Coleg Harlech Open Minds project from November 2009 to November 2012. The project manager, Sarah O'Connell Jones, was eager to develop bilingual courses for the Open Minds project in line with Coleg Harlech's aims to provide ease of access to educational opportunities in Welsh. As a result, a pioneering Introduction to Basic Mindfulness Course was developed in both Welsh and English. The learning resources that were created included recordings of Welsh language meditation practices that were recorded and edited by Charlie Goodall at the Coleg Harlech sound recording studios on the Harlech campus. This is the first time that mindfulness resources have been made available to Welsh speakers in this way. I was very proud to have been part of a project that respected the right and need for Welsh speakers to be able to access information and education on health and wellbeing in the Welsh language.
The Royal College of Nursing judging panel made these comments:
"Sali has embraced the opportunity to get involved in projects that will raise the language awareness of the mental health workforce and she recognises the need to influence national strategies and policies in order to improve service user experience at a local level. Sali gets invited regularly to give presentations on developing bilingual mental health care services and uses her expereince as an adult education tutor to try to make the information engagihng and informative to her audience"
MP makes an emotional return to Harlech to open Bistro H
The MP for Anglesey has revealed how a second chance college transformed his life.
Albert Owen was speaking during a return visit to Coleg Harlech to officially open a new bistro, Bistro H, and art gallery.
The other main guest of honour was Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the AM for
Dwyfor Meirionnydd and former National Assembly Presiding Officer, who
worked as a tutor at the college in the 1970s.
Royal photographer in the picture at new exhibition
A photographer who made global headlines when the Prime Minister gave two of his picture books as a wedding gift to Prince William and Kate Myddleton currently has an exhibition at Coleg Harlech.
The work of Anglesey-based photo artist Glyn Davies went on show at the new gallery and bistro which opened at Coleg Harlech on Thursday, October 25.
The Bistro was officially opened by one of Coleg Harlech's illustrious
former students, Albert Owen, the MP for Anglesey, who said the college
had transformed his life.
The other main guest of honour was Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and former National Assembly Presiding Officer, who worked as a tutor at the college in the 1970s.
The bistro and gallery are part of an initiative to ensure the sustainability
of the college well into the foreseeable future.
Coleg Harlech Principal, Trefor Fon Owen explained: “We wanted to integrate the bistro, café and gallery so they can be used by students and members of the public alike.
New campaign is the write stuff
Literacy and numeracy drive launched by Coleg Harlech WEA
Coleg Harlech WEA (N) has launched a major campaign to improve literacy and numeracy standards across North Wales, responding to a call from the Welsh Government to drive up essential educational skills.
It's been revealed 25 per cent of people in Wales are below the basic literacy level and 50 per cent are below the basic numeracy level. Coleg Harlech Principal Trefor Fon Owen explained: "People without adequate literacy and numeracy can be condemned to poorly paid jobs or unemployment and a lifetime of poverty and exclusion.
"By helping people gain essential educational skills we can help them create a better and brighter future for themselves and their families.It is equally important for the individuals concerned and for society as a whole."
As part of the campaign, community-based tutors from across the region
attended an Essential Skills Residential Weekend at Coleg Harlech with
the aim of passing either a Level 2 or 3 Essential Skills qualification.
Unique course to train additional lip reading tutors gets set to improve life for deaf and hard of hearing people across Wales
Thousands of deaf and hard of hearing people are set to benefit from the launch of a unique course which aims to increase the number of lip reading tutors across Wales.
As a result of £202,000 Welsh Government funding, 12 tutors from across Wales will start a year-long training course at Coleg Harlech WEA (N).
Principal for Coleg Harlech WEA, Trefor Fon Owen said:
“We are extremely pleased to be involved in this ground breaking project which will have a significant impact on the lives of learners throughout Wales.”
World first puts Facebook students in the picture
North Wales college believes it is the first in the world to deliver a
course on Facebook.
In a pilot scheme, Coleg Harlech WEA, has used the social network site to deliver the course on digital photography.
Now it has applied for grant funding to widen the courses it can offer
using Facebook as a “hybrid learning platform.”
The experiment, which has been hailed a great success, was the brainchild of IT and innovation consultant, Chris Headleand, lecturer in creative technologies at the college and an expert in social media.
“The feedback from the students – who I never met during the course – has been brilliant, they are very pleased. They liked the inter-action that Facebook offered and felt very comfortable talking to each other in that way.
Inspirational Billie champions Welsh language revolution
An "inspirational" Welsh learner who hails from Yorkshire is leading a classroom revolution in the Wrexham area.
Tutor Billie Owens is helping 18 teaching assistants from local schools who have signed up for a pioneering scheme to learn conversational Welsh.
The 20-week course called Cwrs Iaith Meithrin (Nursery Language Course), is being held at Gwersyllt Resources Centre.
It is the first initiative of its kind to run in North Wales and the experience is proving educational and enjoyable for the students.
The course is aimed specifically at teachers, nursery workers and childminders who work with very young children and who want to start learning or build their confidence with the language.
Pioneering project, Open Minds, in line for top award
ground-breaking education project to help people mental health problems
is in the running for a major award.
Coleg Harlech WEA’s Open Minds project is short-listed in the Inclusive Practice Category of the Gwobrau Colegau Cymru 2012 (Colleges Wales Awards 2012).
According to Project Manager Sarah O’Connell Jones, the scheme is proving a big hit with learners across North Wales.
She said: “Coleg Harlech WEA has a well established history of working with learners who are socially excluded, disenfranchised or who are simply classed as hard to reach.
AM's visit Ground-breaking project that helps people grow
Mature students on a pioneering gardening course in Mid-Wales are making history - as well as growing fruit and veg.
The "life-changing" Open Minds project in Newtown has been designed to help people who have or who are at risk of suffering mental health problems.
It's being run in partnership with the mental health charity, the Ponthafren
Association, in Longbridge Street.
The green-fingered students are in the process of investigating setting up a social enterprise to sell produce and possibly even offer garden design and landscaping services in the future.
Five of them are also studying for qualifications in horticulture based
‘Progression’ and ‘Employability’ with Diplomas
accredited by Agored Cymru.
It's believed they are the first in Wales to study for such demanding diplomas through a mental health centre.
Their achievements impressed two Mid and West Wales AMs, Rebecca Evans
and Joyce Watson, who came on a visit.
Rebecca Evans said: "It's fantastic, I don't think a single inch has gone unused and their plans to develop further are very ambitious."
Joyce Watson, a keen gardener herself, added: "I understand how people can learn skills in a relaxed way and how they can literally see the fruits of their labour and how that will give them confidence in itself."
Head is top of the class for Welsh
The inspirational head of a village school is in line for a top award.
Jennie Lewis has been nominated for one of the prestigious Niace Inspire
Awards for her work in boosting the Welsh language at Ysgol Nannerch.
(photo: Teacher Gaynor Selwyn, Meinir Tomos Jones, Head Jennie Lewis)
Jennie took over as head of the 72-pupil school three years ago, just before an Estyn inspection which recommended that more be done to promote use of the language in the English-medium school.
She contacted Coleg Harlech Workers’ Educational Association.to set up a group of learners among the parents and for herself, and the results have exceeded everybody's expectations.
Students enjoy food fit for a Queen...and the future King
staff and students are tucking in to food fit for royalty.
Kevin Williams, the new Catering and Hospitality Manager at Coleg Harlech, has cooked for the Queen and a whole host of the Royal Family, including the late Queen Mother on her 100th birthday.
He is a leading member of the award-winning Welsh National Culinary team and has worked as Head Chef for TV star Neil Morrisey when he ran a hotel in Carmarthenshire.
Kevin has big ambitions to transform the kitchens and eating experience at the college which takes in students from all over Wales and offers full time, part time and short courses.
Pioneering scheme scores a hit
A football-based scheme set up to help unemployed people have a shot at a new future has notched up an impressive scoring rate.
More than 50 people have found jobs after taking part in the ground-breaking Rhyl Strikers project.
Another 179 participants have gained UEFA-recognised qualifications and 282 people have gone on to Further Education.
On top of that, six of the former Rhyl Strikers students have set up
their own social enterprise.
The scheme is based at Rhyl Football Club's Belle Vue ground and the tutors are funded by Coleg Harlech WEA.
Coleg Harlech WEA Principal Trefor Owen is delighted at the success of
He said: "I was keen for Coleg Harlech WEA to become involved and support this excellent project because the abiding passion people have for football is an ideal way of unlocking their potential.
"The scheme's track record in helping participants create a new future for themselves is a credit to the students and their tutors.
Exciting new scheme to help local families learn Welsh
A ground-breaking initiative was launched by Coleg Harlech WEA at the National Eisteddfod, to help families in Denbighshire/Conwy/Gwynedd/Flintshire/Wrexham and North Powys learn Welsh.
From September, Coleg Harlech will be running the Cymraeg i’r Teulu (Welsh for the Family) courses across North and Mid-Wales, working in conjunction with the North and Mid Wales Welsh for Adults Centre.
According to tutor Meinir Tomos Jones, Welsh for Adults coordinator, the Welsh for the Family course is aimed at adult beginners which focuses on the fun element of learning.
Coleg Harlech is also offering Cymraeg o'r Crud (Welsh from the Cradle)
courses w in partnership with Welsh language project TWF for parents and
babies, and Hwyl i'r Teulu, a short taster course for parents of young
She said: “Cymraeg i’r Teulu is a new and exciting Welsh course for beginners wishing to learn Welsh through practical teaching methods.
“The aim is to enable them to acquire suitable phrases and vocabulary that may be used with the whole family and to access a broad informal activity programme of Welsh activities for the whole family.
£7.5m skills boost for North Wales
A £7.5m scheme to help over 5,000 workers in North Wales gain new skills and drive forward productivity in the workplace is being announced by Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths today (28 March 2011).
Y Dyfodol – which means The Future - will be led by Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, in partnership with Coleg Menai, Deeside College and Coleg Harlech, targeting employees and businesses across Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd and Anglesey.
Aimed at helping up to 800 businesses to boost performance, the scheme will offer company training needs analysis as well as sector specific training and development for staff. Accredited qualifications will also be offered up to and including Level 3, as well as short courses and NVQs.
Top Marks for Community Education
Community education in Gwynedd and Anglesey is the best in Wales according to inspectors.
Estyn, the government's education inspection body, has reported outstanding results in an assessment of a partnership of collages and other learning providers.
The Gwynedd and Mon Adult and Community Learning Partnership has been judged to be 'Excellent' in all areas assessed. The Partnership includes Coleg Harlech WEA(N), Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Anglesey County Council, Bangor University, Communities First Gwynedd and Anglesey, Mantell Gwynedd and Medrwn Mon.
The learning activity assessed ranged from adult basic education and English for Speakers of Other Languages to community development and traditional adult learning courses.
More information about the partnerships can be found on the following websites
Excellence in adult learning at Coleg Harlech WEA (N)
In a recent Estyn inspection Coleg Harlech WEA(N) achieved excellent grades for the quality of its work
Coleg Harlech WEA(N) was awarded the highest grades, Grade 1, for Community Development, Learner Support and Meeting the Needs of Learners, particularly through partnership working.
The grades awarded are amongst the highest awarded to an adult education provider in Wales and are the result of a period of great commitment by managers and staff to improving their service to learners.
Principal Annie Williams said “We are delighted that the immense achievements of staff and students are recognised by Estyn. We welcome the recognition given to the high quality of care, support and guidance that is provided for our learners.
The Association places a high priority on working effectively with partners across all sectors and is pleased that the report has seen this as one of its strengths.
We aim to build on these achievements and attain the highest quality standards across the organisation.”
The Estyn inspectors praised a number of important aspects of the work
of the learners and staff of the organisation, for example:
- the levels of progress made by many learners in all learning areas, particularly those in Community Development and the outstanding progress made by many vulnerable learners in overcoming health issues to achieve success
- the success of the organisation in engaging learners with disadvantaged backgrounds
- the range of learning opportunities offered by the organisation
- level of care, support and guidance for all learners
- the leadership of senior managers and the governing body.
Full Estyn report
Coleg Harlech WEA 1st College to gain Wales TUC Quality Award
For the Quality Award the comments from regional union officials who supported the application, verified that tutors were supportive, friendly and that confidence building was a key factor on each course.
One education officer commented that, “They (the WEA) have a really strong commitment to learning.” One of several examples given was of how a tutor had gone to considerable lengths in time and effort, even calling in favours, with no personal advantage to help out a union officer, because the final outcome was of benefit to the learners.
The Workplace Learning Department at Coleg Harlech, overcome the many obstacles and the barriers that there clearly are, to take learning out into the everyday lives of our union members. That strong commitment, that belief in the accessibility to learning, to education, to training, for all adults, has remarkable benefits for individuals, for their families and for our communities.
More information about Coleg Harlech Workplace courses