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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Martin Bamber - My Life at Hereward College

Who am i?

My name is Martin Bamber and I am a student at Hereward College. I am currently studying a BTEC National Diploma in I.T Practitioners and a subsidiary diploma in business studies.
I am originally from Preston hence I sound funny but now live in Coventry where I have two cockatiels (Sunny and Ricoh) as well as a guinea pig called gyro who likes to chew everything including brand new laptop chargers.

College life

If I’m honest I’m pretty new to Hereward. I’d visited from time to time  but now I’m a student I can honestly say I’ve experienced the what it’s like to be a student here and have made many friends.
Originally I studied in mainstream schools and colleges but struggled as all the work was piled on me and was required within a set time which I found was difficult to keep up to date with as I had multiple assignments. As for being a Hereward I can honestly say that the lecturers have given the assignments but have set it out in sections and lessons.
I have only been here 6 months but have somehow either joined or roped myself into activitues which are very useful to both myself and the college. I myself have a very creative mind and have found that many of the activities such as the breakfast buzz and the employability activity have required me to design graphical posters  which has helped me boost both my ability and my confidence when working with others.
Originally when I came to Hereward I knew 2 people my girlfriend and another friend who was returning to Hereward at the same time if I’m honest my main goal was to focus on my work and not have a social life in college  but  unfortunately wasn’t possible as the people I have met are such lovely people to talk to and spend time with and I have found some of the greatest friends I have known and wouldn’t change them for anything.
I can truthfully say that I struggled with confidence due to reasons such as bullying or people being judgmental towards me. But can say with a big smile on my face that I am slowly gaining the confidence that I lost over the years.


Around 5 years ago I left Coventry which caused me to leave my job and college so I had no way of getting my degree but when I moved to Bristol I spoke to my dad and discussed how I was feeling and he suggested that I go back to college and get the degree that I needed as I would get further on in life so used my dad’s words of guidance for my motivation and I’m glad I did.
Apart from the friends I have met I can say the best part of my course is the subject I am learning and the respect I gain off the teachers. Some of the topics I have learnt I already possess the knowledge but at the same time I have managed to also learn some new things on my road to learning and I agree that the saying “You learn something new every day” is true I can prove it I learnt today I’m writing this article for the blog.

My Future plans

I have not finished my course yet and I still have a year and a half to go but my main goal after this course is to go and get a job that supports a higher apprenticeship as I am over the standard age for an apprenticeship I any one asked me about the course I would tell them that it is a really good course to do and that the staff who teach the units are great and you can have a laugh with them,
As stated before I have only been here 6 months but can say that by coming to Hereward College I made the right choice and I’m proud of the decision I made.

thank you to the staff and students who have given me the respect and support for the time I have been here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Fan of the Week - James Stewart - What I've managed to achieve

When I first started Hereward, 19 weeks ago I was very nervous, I didn’t know where I go and didn’t know where places were. My skills were that I knew that I was good at IT and had some useful knowledge.

 In classes I have learnt more ways to make websites and different ways to set up websites and hyperlinking pieces of work to websites using ‘Dreamweaver’. With Mandy and Julie, and Jo Meaton, we went through training so that we were able to lift pieces of equipment. We were also given the opportunity to deploy laptops to staff. I completed 2 units on PSD for Julie. I have finished both Dida courseworks for Simon and Mandy. Next year, i would like to move up to level 2.  

For the future, I would like to work in the IT industry and get a full time job in a office working with IT. If it is to do with producing powerpoints or making Word documents, I feel I would be good at this. 

What has been good about Hereward, is that you are treated like a young adult and treated with the respect like a young adult. The other good thing about Hereward is that you are able to chose from a wide range of courses, the course are all good. All the enablers and teachers are good as they allow me to be more independent when doing work, if I do something wrong they will just say go back and change this.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Fan of the Week - David Gaggini - Business and ICT

When I came to Hereward College 18 months ago I was very quiet and did not know what to expect. I knew a lot about IT but I did not know a lot about the hardware part of the computer.

I have learnt a lot about the inside of a computer and how to download software and how to install hardware. I have also learnt about health and safety and COSHH and moving and handling. 

I am working on NVQ Customer Service course in order to develop my communication and my social skills. I also deal with money for the Credit Union. I will be completing the Level 1 Diploma in IT Practitioners at the end of June.

Next year I want to do level 2 IT Practitioners and another Customer Service course and also level 2 Maths.

My aspirations are to become an IT technician or to work in a call centre.
I like  Hereward College for the variety of courses to choose from and the fact that you are treated more like an adult which encourages me to become more independent.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Fan of the Week - Jay Joshi - City of Coventry Freemen's Guild Charity Award Dinner

On Tuesday 27th March 2012, I attended City of Coventry Freemen's Guild Charity Award Dinner at the Guild Hall in Coventry. I was nominated to receive a check worth £250 on behalf of the Friends of Hereward Charity.

Even though this was my first experience of attending such an event and I was very excited, I think I had a lot to learn from the new experience. 

  • I improved my social skills e.g. talking to other delegates.
  • Experience of receiving a cheque on behalf of the Friends of Hereward in front of an audience
  • The importance of being appropriately dressed for these kind of events and creating the right image.
  • Learning how to network.
I really had good night. Thanks again to Nigel, Una Judy for giving me the opportunity to attend a prestigious event like the City of Coventry Freemen's Guild Charity Award Dinner. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Fan of the Week - Timi Sosan - Life at Hereward for an international student

My name is Timi Sosan and here is my story on how I started my journey at Hereward College.

I felt really nervous when I first started in Hereward. In my first year, I was unsure of how to treat people and respect their opinions because I was born in a different background in Nigeria and the culture is quite different.

I have now achieved lots of independence staying at Hereward and I feel staff members have really helped with guiding me in the right directions like knowing where to go at the right time and also ensuring I am up on time for my lessons.

I feel more confident since my two years at Hereward , I am now a member of the PeerSupport Team and I am using my skills to help other students by talking to them when they are upset and also showing them who to communicate better to different members of staff like the mentors, care staff and tutors in order for them to get as much as possible from the college experience

Because of what I have learnt at Hereward, such as behaviour to both student and staff, I feel this will benefit me in different ways in the future.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Fan of the Week: Mike Jenner Jones - The Rebel with the heart of gold

Name’s Mike Jenner-Jones, and I am a promising college student here at Hereward College, but sometimes a rebel with a heart of gold.

Whenever I am given a task, I face it with extreme stoicism as well as surefire determination. Sometimes, I can get a little cocky, high and mighty and be a bit wild at times, but I am generally a calm student…well, a fairly calm one.

Rough around the edges, maybe, but I shine like a diamond. Oh, and I was born with Autistic Spectral Disorder, and no, I’m not making it up…seriously. It’s not like I’m academically challenged (which I truly am not, thank you) or anything, because I don’t take kindly to that sort of untrue rumors.

Anyway, I currently live with my parents, and my brothers both have jobs, so that makes us a working class family. Me, I’m still a least for now until I get a job, the job in media and entertainment I want and deserve, ever since I was a child. The main reason, for me, is basically to succeed in life, something I’m sure many of us all have in life, whatever reality we make it. Sometimes, there comes a time when you’ve just got to believe in yourself and take risks no matter what, or whatever one another says.

I may be a loner (hence my self-conversations with myself, and no, I do not belong in a mental hospital, thank you), but at least I make a few friends, so that does count. Now, as for girlfriends, I’ve had a few, but none have worked out entirely (not that I suck at relationships, but because I try so much – too much without realizing it – I really do try, but to no avail).

I am allergic to penicillin, which is my weakness, as Superman is with kryptonite. Back when I was a child, I was first administered to it by the doctor…and all I can say is big mistake, as I was covered all over in spots; and thus, my allergy to penicillin was since official.

In school, all I can say it was worth it for me. When somebody tells you to wear the uniform, don’t let the head teachers know exactly how you really feel. Take my advice, and shut up and wear the uniform, if you know what’s good for you. Oh, and every time I got bullied, I actually had trouble remembering names of the people in school who tormented me. That was before they understood about my disability back then, yet Round Oak School didn’t really know about my autism until recently when they first enrolled me. To this day, I still look back on my Round Oak years and re-imagine all the downsides and pitfalls I experienced excruciatingly. All in all, I managed to have a good time in school. Ah well, that’s life…to say the least.

Now, when I experience hobbies, they include railway modeling, classic films, musicals and cartoons from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, reading, interweb surfing and westerns. That’s my hobbies out of the way; now for the music I like; country, jazz, blues, 50s rock, classical and 80s pop (mainly synth music – I remember synth music from my childhood). Okay, so you want to hear about my choice of sports? Well, there’s horseback riding, gymnasium workouts, long walks and swimming.

And that’s my basic profile about my good self, as told in my own words, hopefully. Normally, they should all sound formal, but…well, you know the rest.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Fan of the Week: Kyle Wilson - Interviews

This week, we are rewarding Kyle, an ex-student at Hereward College, for all the interviews he made with staff and students about the college!

We are happy to reward our alumni for supporting the college and as a result Kyle is our winner!

 Here are the interviews taken by Kyle:

Physiotherapy:                                                                                   Jamie Hamilton: Students' Union

Aim Higher Course:


College Experience:

Monday, 30 January 2012

Fan of the Week: Veronica Volke - About me and my life

Hello everyone! My name is Veronica and I am a student at Hereward College. So, you would like to find out more about me? Well then, here we go!

When I was 6 I ran away from my mum’s house because she did not look after me properly and then my dad came to take me on and get on with my life.

When I came to Coventry I did not know anyone and that was a really bad experience for me as I felt very lonely. But now I know a lot of people in Coventry who look after me a lot and offer me all the support I need. Since coming to Coventry I’ve had a lot of positive experiences like the first time going to the pub and other places with my family, which helped me become more sociable and gain more confidence.

Now to talk about college! When I first came to college, I felt a bit overwhelmed as I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know what to expect. When I used to go to school, I would often get picked on by other students, and because of that I’m not the most sociable person. However, once I came to college I received support from the staff and mentors in order to gain confidence and make new friends. I can now say that I know many people around the college, both students and staff, which have helped me become more independent and enjoy life more.

I like Hereward College because I like doing my lessons and trying out new things. I am currently studying maths, English and ICT and my main course is BTEC Level 1 Business.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Fan of the Week: Darren Nicol - My experience at Hereward College

My name is Darren and I am 21 years old.
I come from the great city of London. I am a very friendly, very out spoken, good listener, very loyal and love to be of help to others when I can, I like to be able to motivate others to achieve their dreams and goals.
 I am currently studying performing arts level 3 at Hereward College in Coventry.
 I really enjoy the subject because of the different skills I gain in the areas of dance and drama, I also am able to learn from others and improve on my own skills.
I always want to do my best in everyday I do and be able to teach the skills I gain to others.
I have studied at Hereward College for 5 years. The qualifications I have gained in my time here are a retail qualification, IT skills, BTEC level 2 in performing arts and also I have gained more confidence in the area of communication. I have also learnt various independent skills through living in a shared environment within the college that I have found useful to live a more independent life.

What I hope to achieve       

On leaving Hereward College I hope to go to university and continue my studies in performing arts, and also do a course in philosophy and the theories of the emotions behind body language.
My long-term goal is to carry out performance, but also to teach performing arts to others.
I also would like to write poems, or my own theater productions.
Finally I also always want to keep pushing myself to be the best at what I do.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Poor Ron by Jeff Underwood

Last week Jeff, an alumni at Hereward College since 1973 has decided to share a poem he made about one of his friends from the college. The poem is about Ron, an ex-student with cerebral palsy.

Poor old Ron,
In the end
No one would listen
And his eyes would glisten
With the tears
That stemmed from his fears
Of not being wanted.

He was a laugh,
At first, but
Then they grew tired
Of his longings that fired
From within,
Some called him 'dim',
They were wrong.

Now he's gone,
Poor old soul,
Too late for them
To ever put right again
All the harm
They'd done to his charm
That he possessed.

Jeff Underwood

Jeff asked us to use a retro photo of himself, in case he wins the Fan of the Week. The picture is taken outside the C-Block  in 1973.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Findig Myself by Tamara Spokes

Stuck in a classroom,
wanting to get out,
Feeling somewhat alone,
With a touch of doubt.
Fate had been cruel,
No one understood,
I know I didn’t ask for it, 
No student surely would.
But this year has been better, 
It’s gone past without a sin, 
Feeling more optimistic,
Like I’ve let the sunshine in.
College can be tough sometimes, 
Juggling work, feelings and stuff, 
But it can make something out of you, 
If you work hard enough.
Friendships that will last a lifetime, 
Though the rough times and the smooth, 
Eternal memories together,
Strong until the end.

Tamara is a BTEC LEVEL 2 Music student at Hereward College. If you would like to know more about Tamara please click HERE

Click HERE to find out how you can win the Fan of the Week and £30 voucher competition

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Hereward College Story by Martin Berisford

Well, first of all I suppose I have to introduce myself to you all. My name is Martin Berisford and I’m a student at Hereward, although that may have been obvious! I currently study IT Practitioners and Business Studies and I’m enjoying it!

On with the show anyway, I’m writing this to tell you all about my time at the college, how it has been and the way it has changed my future. So kit up with those tissues and the tasty popcorn and come along for the story!

Well, it’s been a fun year and a bit at Hereward, quite the change from the hustle and bustle of school! I came to Hereward all on my own, knowing nobody. So, here I am on my first day, all quiet, lonely and just wanting to see if I can get through the first day yet here I am now, still quiet but I have made a few good friends and I actually look forward to coming to college. The college itself has been a fantastic environment for myself, I have seen a change in the way I go about my life and to be honest, I can only attribute that to the college.

At my old school, I had quite possibly the worst experience of my stay in the joyful land of education. You just felt quite detached from everything that went on around you and that was all down to the fact you had a different way of going about your life.

I didn’t cause a problem so I didn’t get the attention or help that I needed. I wasn’t always understood; the people around me often ignored me. If I didn’t succeed, I was called lazy when really; I could not grasp what was expected of me. I never seemed to fit in; I was never part of a “group”. I was told I wouldn’t succeed in College, I was told I had basically no future and truth be told, that’s not what I wanted nor needed a teacher to say to me.  And then I came to Hereward…

Ah Hereward, my very own little paradise. Immediately, I could tell that this place had a different vibe to anywhere else and that was felt just at the interview stage. I so longed to be accepted to Hereward, just to get a place there would’ve meant the world at that time. The day I was accepted I had so many hopes and dreams, I hadn’t felt this way since a long time ago, back in year 7. So, I go to my first lesson in College, I see only 6 people in my class including myself. I thought to myself, “Am I going mad?” I was used to the normal 25+ classes, the loud noise and the lack of attention from the teachers. Alas, I sat down and introduced myself and I could just feel the warmth of the other students, I expected an immediate “Hi” in a downbeat mood but was greeted by a smile and a welcoming attitude, even by the teacher! I was amazed; I thought surely this won’t be the case all the way through the year?

It seems I was wrong about that! That first year at Hereward changed my life, my expectations and myself. Having been told over and over, you won’t amount to anything, you start to believe it. Although at Hereward, everyone believes in you no matter what barriers are in the way. All the staff is friendly, approachable and quick to offer you a helping hand if needed.  Just after starting at Hereward, I was attacked by several youths whilst I was out one night. This affected me badly. I felt my dreams and my hopes were shattered, gone. It felt just like being back at school again. I couldn’t imagine how I could ever face crowds again or how I could carry on at Hereward.

But numerous staff members have helped me get over the more awkward moments and for that, I am eternally grateful. They helped me get my life back on track. I have learnt a lot of skills from these teachers and they are a true asset to the college. Of course, it wouldn’t be a college without teachers!

I’ve had many an opportunity at Hereward, in my short time there I’ve been on a long-term placement every Wednesday within the Technical Resource department and I’ve helped out in the HR department on the mystical top floor! Just so you know, it’s not as spooky as you all think! All these opportunities have given me an insight into two of my main career choices and I couldn’t thank the people who organized it enough for giving me the time of day to learn new skills and practice existing ones. I was treated like a member of the team; I wasn’t made to feel different. It taught me to listen, to speak up and what it was like working within an adult environment.

This year, I have taken part in running the Indigo college shop, me in a shop! Madness! Me, the lazy boy, the boy who needed pushing. The boy who has a fear of crowds and little to no confidence, isn’t it amazing what you can achieve in life when people believe in you?

I’ve recently had an opportunity to take part in another course as well, namely the PTTL’s course and it has been going swimmingly!  Without Hereward, I would have never known about this course’s existence and what it is! As such, upon being told I jumped at the chance to take part in the course and I’ve learnt a lot so far. I am actually participating within a group, contributing to the lesson, speaking out! My worst fears combined and yet in a few short weeks, I will be doing a micro-lesson to a class. I’m nervous, yes but excited. It is another achievement. I can’t believe I have come this far.

As for success after college, well I haven’t yet finished college just yet but I can tell you this. Hereward has given me the confidence to believe in myself and what I can achieve with my life. I guess you can say Hereward has given me everything I needed. Confidence, opportunities and the chance to be myself and for that, I cannot thank Hereward enough!

I feel like an individual who people are willing to listen and talk to, not just that person who people used to laugh at and ignore. I now stand-up for myself and realise every small step I make is an achievement that I will use in my life.

Mum always said to be proud of who you are, I now understand why. She believed in me and could see potential where school couldn’t. Since being at Hereward, it is not just mum that sees the potential in me but the teachers and as a result, I now can see my own potential.

In all, as you can see Hereward has changed my life for the better. I have gained confidence, skills and independence.  I am learning to live life and be happy with who I am, I now have dreams and hopes for my future that I never had before. If this year is my last, I will leave with only good memories of the college and the people who I have met and the people who have inspired me.

Click HERE to find out how you can win the Fan of the Week and £30 voucher competition: