The College of West Anglia

‘Invaluable’ help for local aviation centre

Uniformed and public service students from the College of West Anglia Wisbech campus have been lending a helping hand at the Fenland and West Norfolk Aircraft Preservation Society.

The society uses restored crash sites and artefacts to tell the human story behind the wartime sacrifices and ensure they are not forgotten. Maintenance, restoration and upkeep of the exhibits and buildings is an ongoing and difficult task for the society. As a result, its members want to express how very grateful they are to the College of West Anglia for allowing students from the uniformed and public services course to regularly visit the museum and help in all aspects of this work.

Jim Paradine from Fenland and West Norfolk Aircraft Preservation Society said: “The students’ enthusiasm and willingness to pitch in and lend a helping hand has proved invaluable. Not only have they willingly completed the mundane and boring tasks of general maintenance and site clearance, they have shown a great interest in technical based restoration of exhibits.”

Students have restored items such as a historic gun turret, a valuable propeller and other delicate aeronautical items. They have also helped to enhance displays with new aircraft information boards, completed to a very high standard.

Mr Paradine added: “The students have proved to be capable of completing tasks on their own initiative, they are hardworking and trustworthy, and the Society hopes that the association with the college shall continue into the future, as their help has proved invaluable in preparing us for the new display season.”

CWA does Comic Relief!

Level 2 Enterprise Skills students from the King’s Lynn campus have braved a leg wax to raise Red Nose Day money! Levi Keatley, 18, from Sutton Bridge and Morgan Barker, 18, from Wisbech, raised approximately £100 from their event, including a bake sale, name the teddy and ‘how many sweets?’ games.

Keiran Nimmo,18, also dressed in drag for the day raising over £150!

Dance student turns dance teacher!

Former performing arts student Steven has visited current King’s Lynn students at CWA to make sure they always keep dancing!

Steven Shepherd, from Kent was a student at CWA from 2002 to 2006. He started on the media production course but soon realised his passion for street dance and made a course switch that has set him up for life.

Steven, now a dance teacher, was invited back to teach a street dance lesson and talk  to students about what life was like for him after completing his education.

Currently he teaches street dance at Prima Stage School in Kent. The skills gained from his course at CWA assisted him greatly in his path to teaching; he has gone from dancing on stage with famous acts and in big theatres to teaching at a prestigious stage school.

After finishing his session, Steven said: “It was brilliant to come back to Kings Lynn today, and I was surprised at the high level of talent here. I hope the students found it all worthwhile!”

Annette Connolly, Course Director for Performing Arts said: “For Steve, street dance and choreography was his real passion and what he did the best. It’s been great for the students to talk to Steve about what can be achieved with a little hard work and dedication. ”

Justyna Swiderek, a performing arts student at CWA, who sat in on the lesson, said: “It was good to get to dance alongside Steven today and hear about his story. I’ve auditioned at different places now so I’ll hopefully get into the industry too.”



Photo: Hannah Tuck
Story: Noush Vuksanovic


‘A Passion to Inspire’


A trio of budding young chefs have sautéed, spruced and pan-fried their way to a place in the regional heats of the annual catering competition, ‘A Passion to Inspire’, after impressing a judging panel of top local chefs.

Teams of catering and hospitality students took to the training kitchens at the College of West Anglia (CWA), on Monday 20 March, to put their culinary and front of house skills to the test.

A Passion to Inspire is designed to create strong links between cookery schools and local employers. This is the third year that the College of West Anglia has been involved with the competition.

The competition required the teams to create a main course and dessert, paired with an accompanying wine to compliment the meal. Front of house staff were also challenged to create a cocktail as a welcome drink.

This year’s winning team was Courtney Fleet (17) from Emneth, Josh Haycock (16) from Hunstanton and Becca Smith-Ames (21) from King’s Lynn. The young chefs served up a spinach and feta stuffed chicken dish with squash purée for mains, followed by a deconstructed lemon meringue pie.

Becca Smith-Ames said: “We are so glad to be going through to the next round. It gives us a chance to showcase what we can do and have to offer to some fantastic chefs.”

Their work was critiqued by some of the top chefs and restaurant managers in the area; Eric Snaith of Titchwell Manor, Richard Golding of Market Bistro, Mark Dobby from the Dabbling Duck and Avrum Frankel of Anglian Country Inns.

Lead judge Eric Snaith, head chef of Titchwell Manor Hotel and owner of Eric’s Fish & Chips, said: “We have had a really good day as usual at the College of West Anglia. The students have such a great attitude and overall, there was an impressive standard of food and service. These events are important as it’s good to meet the young chefs of the future and I wish the winning team the very best of luck in the next round.”

The winners of this heat will now go through to the final, at Colchester Institute, on Tuesday 20 June.



Furniture reuse benefits

The business and humanities department came up with an idea for an Enterprise Zone after seeing a similar project during an exchange to Denmark. The Enterprise Zone is like a small business where students raise funds for charity and an end of year trip. Students develop fund raising ideas together and their tutor helps them to turn these ideas into reality. Ideas range from making handmade soap, cards and origami decorations for sale around the college to selling handmade jewellery for a local jeweller on commission.

A budget of £2,000 was provided for furniture for the Enterprise Zone, at our King’s Lynn campus, as initial thoughts were that new furniture was needed. However, it was suggested that property services should be consulted as they might have some furniture that could be reused to save costs. As it happens, they did! Desks and computer chairs from C Block and office bench systems from the LRC came from the Wisbech Campus. A meeting table and chairs came from Q810 in the Tower Block. The meeting chairs are currently being fitted with some new arms at a cost of £80, a significant saving on the original budget of £2,000.

Where possible, property services tries to reuse or upcycle furniture for use within the college with some furniture being reused more than once. During large refurbishments or when buildings are demolished any furniture that can’t be stored or reused is either sent for recycling or donated to organisations such as the British Heart Foundation. This is great for the environment and saves on disposal costs.


The Enterprise Zone fit-out was no exception to this reuse philosophy and, even though it’s not quite finished, students are already benefiting from their new space. Morgan Barker, a Level 2 Enterprise and Employability student, said: “It’s definitely helped our course as it gives us space to plan our fundraising events without being interrupted by other students.”

Their lecturer, Abigail Cassie, commented: “It’s amazing how much the students’ confidence has grown and the Enterprise Zone will help prepare students for a level 3 course or the workplace.”

So far, students have raised over £200, some of which will be donated to a charity working in Africa to support entrepreneurs and small business start-ups. This project has the added benefit of increasing students’ awareness of businesses around the world. Many businesses in Africa are set up using reused and recycled furniture so this project is particularly poignant.

Katherine Middleton, Energy and Environment Officer, said: “All too often the work that property services does for teaching staff goes unnoticed. This is a great example of college support and faculty departments working together to benefit students. I’m really pleased that the Enterprise Zone will raise funds for charity and help business start-ups in Africa.”

Students step back in time!

Students from the Becoming Independent course at the College of West Anglia King’s Lynn campus stepped back in time on Wednesday 22 March 2017.

The group visited the Stories of Lynn museum, on the Saturday Market Place, for an educational morning spent in the gaols and court rooms of the Town Hall.

Ruth Farnan, learning and engagement officer at Stories of Lynn, said: “It was great to meet the group and show them around the museum, including the gaols, archive and a drama session in the old courtroom. They were such a nice bunch, really engaged and enthusiastic.

“Everyone acted their parts in the courtroom drama brilliantly, although I think some of the punishments suggested – such as execution and torture – may have been a little harsh for the crime of deliberately not doing homework!”

Sir Henry Bellingham MP visits UcWA

University Centre West Anglia (UcWA), in King’s Lynn, welcomed Sir Henry Bellingham MP to speak with students and tour the town’s new degree facilities, on Friday 10 March.

Sir Henry met with Principal David Pomfret and a mix of both College of West Anglia (CWA) A-level students and UcWA degree students for a talk and Q&A in the UcWA lecture hall.

He talked about his role as an MP and the modern day political world, before answering a wide range of challenging questions from the students, on topics such as Brexit, education policies and government strategies.

Henry Bellingham, MP for NW Norfolk said: “It was pleasure to visit CWA, where I had the chance to do a Q & A with a group of business studies students. After that the Principal took me on a tour of the campus, which involved a visit to all the different departments.


“Although I have been a regular visitor over the years, I was really impressed with the very significant level of investment in the skills agenda. We had the chance to see a number of groups of students carrying out off the job placements from various firms in West Norfolk. Above all, I came away with the strong impression that the college is now really succeeding in helping to equip local businesses in securing the skills they need for the future.”

Business lecturer Paul Cullen said: “Our students were able to learn a great deal from Sir Henry about modern political life both in the House of Commons and in the West Norfolk constituency, which clearly enhanced their knowledge for their future studies as well as stimulating their interest in local, national and global affairs.”

Jessica qualifies for Pony Club championships

A level 3 equine student from the College of West Anglia Cambridge Campus has qualified for the Pony Club Championships, this summer.

The Pony Club Dengie Winter League Dressage Area 8 Competition was held at CWA Cambridge in Milton on Sunday 12 March 2017.

Jessica Bowes and her horse, Winnetou Apache, placed second in a large class of 25 competitors with a fantastic score of 71.8%.

Miss Bowes, 16, competed alongside Victoria Oram, 17, also a Level 3 Equine student at CWA Cambridge. The pair were both winners at the inter-collegiate competition held at Easton College, in December 2016.

Both girls competed in the Pony Club Novice class on their own horses. Victoria Oram rode a lovely test, scoring a respectable 68% on her horse, Future’s Pride.

Jessica’s score has qualified her for the Pony Club Championship, which takes place from Friday 18 – Tuesday 22 August, at Cholmondeley Castle, in Cheshire.

Jade Rouchy, Equine Director at CWA, said: “We’re really proud of both girls who are excellent ambassadors for both the college and the Pony Club. Everyone at the College of West Anglia wishes Jessica the very best of luck in the Pony Club Championships.”


Apprenticeship bus arrives in Lynn!


From 10 to 17 March, a new bus route came into action across our region, to raise awareness of apprenticeships.
Stopping at a range of locations in the King’s Lynn area, including Springwood High School and Alive Leisure Lynnsport on Wednesday and Morrisons in Wisbech on Thursday, the bus welcomed a wide range of visitors on board to #JoinTheJourney.

The Signpost 2 Skills bus is touring the area to help promote the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer to both businesses and young people. It will be manned by an expert crew of apprenticeship providers, members of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP’s own Signpost 2 Skills team, and local apprentices who can share their experiences first-hand with visitors.

Neil Darwin, Chief Executive at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, explains: “Apprenticeships provide both young people and businesses with a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and develop their staff. With such a wide range of different apprenticeships available, almost every business could benefit from taking on an apprentice to help their company to grow. We hope that as many young people and employers #JoinTheJourney by hopping on board our bus and speaking to one of our experts.”

Companies in the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP area are already embracing apprenticeships well, with the area 2.9% up for new apprentice starts, which is 1% above the targeted increase of 1.9% for the area set by the Government.

Vicky Mann, Head of Apprenticeships & Work Based Learning at CWA, said: “This has been a great opportunity for young people in the area to come along and speak to the experts about taking that next big step, after finishing secondary school. It’s also been a chance for local employers to explore the option of taking on an apprentice.”

Students showcase to Studio20a

Creative arts students at the College of West Anglia’s King’s Lynn campus were treated to a morning of creative thinking and real-life scenarios by a local graphic design company.

Studio20a is the creative arm of the Maze Media group of agencies. Based in the Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, they specialise in advertising campaigns, branding, photography, video and graphic design.

Hannah Hornigold, lead designer, and Gavin Caney, communications manager, spent a morning with the college’s first and second-year graphic design students.

Hannah gave a talk about her career so far before the pair introduced a brief for the students to engage in. They encouraged students to take an everyday stationery item and turn it into an exciting new product. Students created items such as animal rulers and sticky tape reels.

Ms Hornigold said: “It was a really enjoyable few hours and it was great to see the students being so creative. It was nice to offer an insight into the industry and hopefully it can help people make some decisions about their future.”

Mr Caney added: “The students couldn’t have embraced the task, or been more respectful, if they tried. We had a great time working with them and it was lovely to see them being so enthusiastic about the work. It’s always nice to give something back to the community and the next generation of graphic designers.”

Many students said this was their first experience of working to a real life brief. The group’s lecturer, Jane Goodwin, was delighted with how the students involved themselves in the tasks and networked with the pair from Studio 20a.

She said: “Engagement with industry helps to put learning into context and offers invaluable experience in preparing our students for work. It’s always good to reinforce working processes, and it was a real pleasure seeing the first and second years so fully engaged with Studio 20a’s project. Our Graphic Design students never fail to impress visitors with their maturity, commitment and creativity and this experience was no exception.”

Daniel Bilham, 30, a student on the course, said: “It was good to be issued a real life brief, outside of the eyes of a student. It has given me a a very true to life experience of what I could be doing on completion of this course. This is a good group to work with and we bounce ideas off each other well.”

Another student, Deirunas Puodzionas, 17, said: “I am a first year student so it was good to get a real life brief as I haven’t worked with one before.”