We introduced an initiative in September 2015 which really marks our offer out as distinctive in the region, and it has also been a real success with our students.
This year, we have rationalised our timetable so that lessons take place over four days – Monday through Thursday. Focused Friday, as we call it, is a day for anything and everything but lessons. From First Aid, craft club, Duke of Edinburgh Award and Student Council, students can access options which enable them to acquire new skills and claim that all-important experience which gives them the leading edge going into competitive selection processes for university or employment. Friday’s activities also include Critical Thinking, student newspaper, support for prospective lawyers, Pathway to Clinical Science (PaCS), driving theory lessons, charity enrichment and much more.
If you have fallen behind through absence or homework has been below standard, you are expected to come into college on a Friday to catch up. Of course, some students choose to come into college to study.
A further benefit of Focused Friday is that it creates space and time to participate in a commercial or voluntary setting without interrupting lessons. Employers really value the potential to develop a relationship with a trainee over an extended period. For example, six of our Law students are working at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Stockton every Friday and are being trained to deliver legal advice online and over the telephone. Three Computing/Graphics students are volunteering with digital media companies at Digital City in Middlesbrough and, if successful, may be offered full-time jobs. Our Work Experience Co-ordinator will help you access these opportunities whilst you are a student here.