Posted on Friday, 17 July 2015 at 2pm
by Paul Devlin. See more of my posts here.
Very occasionally there are episodes of the popular TV show Doctor Who where previous incarnations of The Doctor return to the show and we have the rare chance to see not one Doctor on screen but two, three, four and, if memory serves me right, on one occasion five.
It may seem a very tenuous link but last Saturday felt like one of these episodes – sharing a day at the end of the academic year with current students from the Lifelong Learning Centre – reflecting back on their achievements over the last twelve months – as well as welcoming new students to the LLC in anticipation of their starting with us in September.
The day itself combined our annual Celebration of Learning event with our annual Summer Welcome Event and it was such a positive and inspirational experience. The Welcome Event does what it says on the tin – a chance for new students to meet staff, current students and each other, and to start having some of their questions answered, their hopes confirmed and their fears challenged. For many of our learners, their return to study has not followed the traditional ‘school-to A Levels-straight to university’ route. Having a safe and welcoming environment for them to start experiencing University life proves invaluable in settling nerves.
Our incoming students were then guests of honour at our 2015 Celebration of Learning event, the annual student conference which this year featured presentations from nine of our current students on a range of themes – from academic research to reflections on individual learning journeys. The diverse topics included:
- Supporting Spanish Gambians with English Skills
- An Exploration of the Use of Pupil Voice to Bring About Change
- Austerity Post-World War Two and Positive Attitudes
- Attending the International Medieval Congress
- Click Away! Pornography and Sexting: Parent’s Perspectives on Talking to Their Children
- Improving the Literacy for Learning Levels and Student Experience Through the Introduction of a ‘Communication Leaders’ Programme
- The Thrill of Discovery Modules
It was a chance for our incoming cohort to see first-hand what their own journeys are potentially going to look like over the next few years. Feedback was very positive with everyone feeling inspired by the transformative personal and academic journeys our students were sharing:
Reignited my passion for learning after a difficult year. Inspired me and increased my confidence for my coming year of study. Thank you.
I can’t wait to begin my journey
Profound and honest life stories. Very brave. Well done.
It may well be another twelve months before we have such a rare coming together of our current students and our new students. Much like those rare episodes of Doctor Who, I’m already looking forward to it.