Festival of Learning 2021 and Lifelong Learning Week

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New Directions College is taking part in celebrating Adult Learning through the Festival of Learning and Lifelong Learning Week 2021

Lifelong Learning Week takes place between Monday 8th and Friday 12th November 2021. During the week, the College will be celebrating the success of our learners. Each day we will release a new case study which highlights how our learners overcome adversity to gain new qualifications, build their self-confidence and make a change in their lives.

Our mission is to highlight the benefits of learning, celebrate achievements of adults who have used learning to transform their lives, and to encourage everyone to embrace lifelong learning.

We will be nominating all of these learners for a nationally recognised award which will given in the Summer of 2022 with the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in England, the Festival of Learning.

Lifelong Learning Week – Our Success Stories

Our first success story is Leanne Henderson. Not only is Leanne a learner at New Directions, she is also a member of the team and works as an Apprenticeship co-ordinator and Tutor. Leanne is also our Lead IQA for Employability programmes.

Here is Leanne’s story:

Learning on my terms and Catching the Learning Bug

I accidentally fell in love with learning at what I thought was the wrong time in my life. As a single mum of two, living with depression and anxiety with no prospects, I was dragged into an adult education class kicking and screaming about 15 years ago and it changed my life. I’d long since finished school with a bunch of D Grades and thought that was that, education over. Turns out, I was wrong. That one class at New Directions led me to another, then another. I caught the learning bug and couldn’t give it up. I was finally learning things on my terms, about concepts I actually wanted to learn about. I was hooked. Fast forward several years and I now work in adult education and have a Degree and a Masters Degree to my name as well! The journey continues however. Although I am working, I was still able to sign up to do a Level 5 Management Apprenticeship. This has enabled me to keep my learning bug fed and has the added bonuses that I can complete it by continuing to work (mostly) as normal and that there are no tuition fees! The Apprenticeship has benefitted me by focussing my mind on self-development, self-awareness, coaching others and leading teams. I am still that single mum of two, and I still battle with my depression and anxiety, but now I definitely have prospects!

Learning is a huge confidence boost!

Nora moved to the UK from Algeria in 2011. She had studied English at Secondary School and had previously worked as a doctor. Despite this, when she moved to the UK Nora did not feel confident with her English skills. A friend told her about New Directions College and she decided to enrol on a course.

When Nora came to her first class at the College she felt afraid, not knowing what it would be like. Once Nora had been to the first class she felt fine and did not feel afraid any more.

Nora made some new friends at College which was important to her and is now much more confident speaking and writing in English. Nora has recently passed her driving theory test and said her skills gained in her English class helped her to pass.

The English class also helped her to pass her Level 2 Mathematics. Nora has achieved certificates in English at Entry 3 and Level 1 and is now working towards Level 2 English. In the future Nora would like to secure a job in the UK working in the health sector.

Using personal talent to support others

Lewis has Asperger’s syndrome and came to New Directions College to improve his drawing skills as his dream is to become a comic book artist or a video game concept artist. He is inspired by Marvel.

Lewis joined a mixed ability group of students and it was clear from very early on that he had an incredible attention to detail, which not only benefits his own drawings, but also benefits others.

He has become a valued member of the class as he is able to use this strength to support others in the class who are complete beginners.

Perseverance and determination pays off!

Tasneen is a single mother who has worked incredibly hard and persevered to improve her English.

Despite having low digital skills, Tasneen continued to learn online and attended all of her online tutorials throughout the lockdown.

Tasneen has made fantastic progress in her learning and successfully passed all of her ESOL exams in the summer of 2021. Tasneen is now studying English at the next level. Her confidence has increased and she hopes to obtain a job once her English has improved.

The New Directions College Award Ceremony 2022 will take place on Wednesday 21st September 2022 – venue to be confirmed.

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