Colleges Week 2020 – Activate Learning at the centre of the economic rebuild

As part of College Week 2020, Activate Learning are celebrating a different theme each day. Today, we look at how all of our colleges have been at the centre of the economic rebuild in the UK and their economic importance.

As part of College Week 2020, Activate Learning are celebrating a different theme each day. Today, we look at how all of our colleges have been at the centre of the economic rebuild in the UK and their economic importance.

We’re so proud of our close relationships with our employers, their support with shaping the curriculum and their help in providing the skills students need to become the workforce of the future.

We’d like to extend this thanks to our students also for their hard work and fantastic representation of Activate Learning in the workplace.

Here are some examples of the fantastic work students have undertaken with employers at Activate Learning:

Industry placements within the NHS

Last year, Activate Learning ran Industry placements within the NHS with five different trusts. Level 3 Health and Social Care students would spend two days per week over the second year of their course within a hospital placement. Students completed hospital staff inductions and training on site at the trusts prior to starting these placements. These placements included working within A&E, theatres, outpatients, rheumatology and cancer care departments.

These successful placements have led to students securing apprenticeships, degree opportunities and jobs within the NHS.


The GIFT project – generations interacting and having fun together

Activate Learning runs an intergenerational project called The GIFT (generations interacting and having fun together) at Banbury and Bicester College and Reading College.

At Banbury and Bicester College, health and social care and early years students meet monthly at Green Pastures Christian nursing home and plan and provide a variety of fun activities for the residents to take part in alongside children from the Hobby Horse college nursery. This unique project brings different generations together in a fun, relaxed and supported environment.

Demonstrating business skills in the Karcher Accumulator Challenge

Each year, Activate Learning business students at City of Oxford College take part in the Karcher accumulator challenge. Students are given £50 from Karcher and are challenged to use their business skills to raise money for Katherine House Hospice in Oxfordshire.

Fundraising ideas have previously included FIFA tournaments, cinema sessions, raffles and auctions.

Redesigning the hospitality and catering curriculum with Heston Blumenthal

Activate Learning announced a new partnership with world-famous Michelin star chef Heston Blumenthal to redesign the content of hospitality and catering courses.

Heston, whose restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, is one of only five restaurants in the UK to have three Michelin stars, is working with Activate Learning to redesign this offering to ensure learners are equipped to meet the demands of modern kitchens.

Business students prepare for T Level programmes with industry placements

Our Level 3 business students took part in industry placements in preparation for T Level programmes. These two-day placements each week enable business students at Activate Learning to become work ready and fully employable after their studies.

Photography students work with Honda to capture the power of dreams

Photography students at Bracknell and Wokingham College snapped their way to success by working with local employer Honda in September 2019. The students were involved in an ongoing project with Honda to produce images that captured the Japanese company’s values and philosophy.

The students visited Honda’s UK head office in Bracknell in June 2019, where they photographed top-of-the-range cars and motorbikes from the Honda collection. They celebrated the end of their project by holding an exhibition entitled The Power of Dreams, showcasing their final images at Honda’s UK head office, where the students’ work was judged by Honda’s Senior Management Team and viewed by employees.

Maria Nicholls, 18, from Bracknell, won both the Overall Judges’ Votes and People’s Choice awards. For her final image. She had used her initiative and placed a Honda sticker at the bottom of a sink, running water over it to make it look abstract.

Reading College performing arts students participate in prestigious National Theatre Connections programme

Level 2 performing arts students at Reading College have been selected to participate in the prestigious National Theatre Connections programme. Every year, the National Theatre commissions 10 of the UK’s best playwrights to write a script for young actors. Performing arts courses, youth theatres and young companies are selected by the National Theatre to work on these plays, culminating in performances in the most prestigious theatres in the country.

This is the first time that Reading College has participated in the programme and Level 2 students will be working on the Connections programme for their final major project. This is a huge achievement and one we hope to continue.

Reading College culinary arts students create digital recipes and cook for the Reading Town Meal

Level 1 Culinary Arts students at Reading College recently took part in the Reading Town Meal, creating recipes which local residents could download from the Reading Town Meal website, giving out free fruit and veg in Reading, and even taking part in a live radio broadcast on RG2 radio where three students cooked their dishes live!

Performing arts students’ extra-curricular trips and performing for Disney

In previous years, performing arts students have been lucky to go on a series of fun-filled trips including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. Students have even performed in these locations, being given exclusive Disney masterclasses before taking to the stage live at Disney.