The headteacher of a Bedworth school has praised the work of students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) who have given the school a makeover as part of a project to help improve the environment in its local community.
Foundation learning students based at the college’s Nuneaton Campus worked tirelessly to overhaul the grounds at Exhall Junior School in Bedworth, weed the garden, redecorate the IT room, and refresh the staffroom kitchen. They also refurbished an outdoor shelter in the grounds and provided a fresh and colourful coat of paint for the fence and benches.
Robert Mann, headteacher at Exhall Junior School said, “We are so grateful for the hard work of the NWSLC students and have been amazed by what they have achieved and impressed with the difference they have made to our school facilities. Local residents have complimented us on our new look, and we can’t thank the students enough for their hard work.”
The project is part of a ‘Respect’ scheme adopted by NWSLC to encourage good citizenship amongst its students. Students on the foundation learning programme have special educational needs and disabilities.
Their tutor Ian Lee, himself a former pupil from the school, explained the rationale for the scheme and said, “We aim to provide students with live projects that give something back to the local community while enabling them to improve their teamwork, leadership and communication skills and help them to develop transferable skills for independent living. Achievements like these increase our students’ self-esteem and help their mental health and wellbeing.
“As a group, we assessed the work that needed doing and drew up a plan to make improvements where we could. The students have been delighted with the outcome and with the positive reaction they have had from the school. For me, it was lovely to return to my old school and brought back great memories.”
Student Kevin Clamp said, “Working in the community helps with my confidence and I have enjoyed learning new skills. Working outside has helped with my mental health too.” Kevin has progressed well and secured a supported internship working for Nuneaton Signs.
Student Ashley Pook said, “This project has proved to me that I really want to help people in the future, and I am going to work for a charity helping others when I leave college.” And college student George Tomes said, “Using the skills I learned, I have cut down some trees in our garden at home. My mum was amazed and very happy.” In the grounds, the school has benefited from new garden beds recycled using the original materials and some of the pupils have already started to plant potatoes. One of the students had an idea to use exterior blackboard paint in the garden so that the pupils could make a note of what they were growing. The students noticed that the memorial area dedicated to the memory of a deceased colleague and student needed refurbishing, so they worked to smarten it up and providing a fitting tribute and place of reflection.
Ian Lee added, “The Respect campaign enables all our students to focus on building transferable, social and employability skills, and helps them to access to a rich set of experiences that teach them why it is important to contribute to society and sustainability within their local communities.”
The college is happy to consider any requests for help as part of this scheme and students are actively seeking opportunities to get involved in activities between January and March 2022.
- Painting, decorating and maintenance
- Music and dance performances in care homes
- Pamper treatments such as hand massage, hair styles, or nail painting
- Gym or exercise classes
- Photography and filming
- Care work
- Tech support and IT
- Litter picking.
Organisations or groups that would like to nominate a project can do so through this form on the college’s website nwslc.ac.uk.
For further information please contact:
About North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College
North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College is a leading college group based in the Midlands. The group has six campuses located across Leicestershire and Warwickshire.
Through the shared Mission, ‘to achieve success through learning’, the college is committed to working in partnership with local, regional, and national employers to ensure it delivers the skills training that industry needs today and in the future. North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College also sponsors the Midland Academies Trust, an independent charitable organisation designed to support local schools.
For more information visit www.nwslc.ac.uk