July 2020 - Capital City College Group
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Daphne Named Runner-Up at National Writing Competition

First year A Level student, Daphne Katz, has been named runner-up in the Young Hugo Award, a writing competition from the Guardian, for her piece titled “Nationalism: an Avoidable Evil.” Now in its fourth year, the award was created in memory of the late Hugo Young, a political and influential figure in journalism.

Daphne also recently won the silver award in the UK Linguistics Olympiad proving her talent for writing. We caught up with her to find out about what inspired her piece, what her plans are and how she’s finding college life.

Daphne, congratulations! Can you tell us about what your winning piece was about?

The piece is essentially about why nationalism is evil, especially after Brexit. For world peace to be achieved and climate change to slow down we need to open our borders to those around the world and increase diversity.

What was the inspiration behind it?

I’m someone who’s always felt I don’t identify with a specific nationality so I’m able to look at patriotism and national pride from an outside perspective. It’s never made any sense to me and I wanted to try and express it to an audience who don’t have that experience.

Where are you from?

My dad is American and my mum is French. I was born in France and lived there until I was four, then we moved to the UK. Although though I’ve lived here for most of my life, I’ve never had citizenship.

What’s influenced your subject choices at college?

I’m studying A Level French, German, Politics and Philosophy. I love languages and I’m really interested in politics, but my heart is in philosophy. I love thinking about things that you know are important but don’t necessarily think about.

How are you finding life at Candi?

I came from a single-sex grammar school which I found suffocating. It wasn’t the right environment for me. I need to be somewhere where I can work because I’m inspired to, rather than because I feel scared to fail, it’s really freeing.

What are your plans after college?

I want to go to university, hopefully in Canada but we’ll wait and see. I want to study philosophy or languages, maybe even politics as well!

Daphne was awarded second place in a virtual ceremony on 16 June. You can read about Daphne and the other winners at the Guardian.

Media Students get the Scoop on Working for UK’s Leading Magazines

Students gain an exclusive insight into media publishing careers during an online chat with an editor, designer and social media manager from some of the UK’s leading magazines.

The live discussion with A Level Media students at Westminster Kingsway College was hosted by Isabella Silvers, Associate Editor at publishing house Hearst Magazines UK.

Hearst are behind many big name titles; including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health, Esquire, Red, Prima, Good Housekeeping and Country Living.

Sarah Karmali, Digital Editor of Harper’s Bazaar; Adam Gerrard, Creative Director at Women’s Health and Sophie Boyden, Social Media Editor at Cosmopolitan, spoke about their careers and gave students advice on how to get into the industry.

Each panellist shared their experience of working in the media industry and how they got their positions, along with some of their career setbacks and highlights

Sarah Karmali

Before joining Harper’s Bazaar, Sarah studied Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University and worked in various writing and editorial roles for Vogue, The Huffington Post, Marie Claire and InStyle.

She told students: “Show how creative you are. Start an Instagram account focused towards your work. If you’re into writing, start your own blog. People do check social media when they are hiring, so make it something you are proud of.”

“Create your own network of people with the same interests as you. There are lots of Facebook and Instagram groups for people trying to get into the industry – Get connected and get involved.”

Sophie Boyden

Sophie studied the same degree as Sarah; where she undertook a work placement on celebrity magazine Star. She later worked in social media and content producer roles at Verizon for MTV and Comedy Central before her current position at Cosmopolitan.

She said: “Do not be afraid if you don’t know what you want to do. I did not have a simple path and flitted between different things. I found that so helpful in finding out what I wanted to do.”

Adam Gerrard

Adam graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in graphic design. He worked for several publications and design studios before landing a job at Bauer Media, working on titles including FHM and Empire, and then going on to join Women’s Health.

He told aspiring designers: “Look at what work inspires you and try to understand why you like what they do. Sometimes that will create a path you want to go down. Give yourself jobs to produce work to show potential employers what you can do.”

WestKing offers A Levels in Media and Film Studies and various Digital Media and Creative Computing diploma courses from Level 1 to Level 3, including Creative Media Production, Digital Art and Photography and Film and Visual Effects.

A Level Media lecturer Roxanne Baptiste said: “The panellists gave our students an inspirational and fascinating insight into their careers in digital and print media publishing.

“Having people who actually work on these magazines talk to our students and advise them what they need to do to get into this competitive industry is invaluable.”

Apply now for A Levels and Digital Media and Creative Computing diplomas.

Teacher Inspires by Making GCSE Maths Relevant to Vocational Courses

One of our teachers has told us how she has inspired her GCSE maths students by making the subject relevant to their vocational studies. Valerie Sampson asked students at to give presentations on how mathematics can be applied to their chosen course and career.

She said: “There are many reasons why students end up retaking GCSE mathematics multiple times, and some are disappointed at having to study it again.

“I wanted to find out how my students could have a positive experience when relearning mathematics, and how I could make it relevant to their vocational studies.

“I suggested students should work on a project that would make links between the course they have chosen to do, and the mathematics they had to do, more explicit.”

The students worked on the project over a number of weeks before sharing their presentations with the class at the end of term.

Valerie said: “A group of forensic science students began discussing ideas that included blood splatter analysis, which uses trigonometry to find the angle of impact and point of origin.”

Other presentations looked at substituting numerical values for formulae when calculating body mass index, using equations to explain binary fission and how to use graphs to monitor child development.

One student said: “I did research on medication dosage and realised how complex it can be.

“When you use the right formula it makes it easier to know the right amount of medication to give to a patient.”

Another added: “This project linked back to our health science course. It helped me to see the relevance of what we are learning in mathematics more.”

Valerie, who joined CANDI last year having previously taught in a secondary school, plans to run the project again from the start of the next academic year.

She said: “The project has been mutually beneficial. The presentations have enabled me to reach out better to students and make maths lessons more vocationally relevant.

“My aim is to find more vocational examples to cover, which I hope will ultimately contribute to improving outcomes for all learners.”

Journalists Share ‘Words of Wisdom’ with Class of ‘20

On Wednesday 17 June, 12 students from the Sixth Form centre in Angel led a Careers Service-organised sit down with three of the nation’s prominent journalists.

Chaired by Head of Careers Joanne Bishop, A Level students Jessica Tunks and Wisdom Charis quizzed the panel – who all work at magazines published by Hearst UK – on their experiences in journalism.

The event took place as part of an ongoing initiative to encourage students to network and explore a breadth of future career options.

Social Media and Content Manager for Men’s Health Magazine, Joy Ejaria, spoke frankly on her experiences as a woman of colour working for a men’s interest publication. She remarked on the steady progress of representation in an industry that has historically lacked diversity, admitting that there was still a way to go. In 2016, The Guardian reported that 94% of journalists in the UK were white, as well as there being a gender imbalance between men and women.

“In my role as Social Media Manager, I am one of two women on the team. It is a bit weird sometimes. You sit in a meeting surrounded by men, which can be intimidating when you start. But you get to know everybody as individuals and that changes. You learn to gauge and manage different personalities.

“The best piece of advice I received was ‘don’t be a statistic’. A teacher told me that when I was 15: You are black. You are this. You are that.’ You are expected to be a certain way. Break the mould.”

Ms Ejaria acknowledged that the gender imbalance is “largely because I work for a men’s magazine.” Jessica Lockett, Art Editor at Cosmopolitan, responded that: “For me it’s the opposite. We have one man on our team, who is the Creative Director. We support and lift each other up as women. But again, who you work with is very different depending on your brand.”

Finlay Renwick of Esquire Magazine highlighted his experience as a graduate of the benchmark National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) programme: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was 22. I was working in a hotel and did not go to university. I ended up doing an NCTJ qualification, which included a short course at a newspaper where you learn the ropes. I managed to get a bit of experience at Esquire and it all followed from there.”

Mr Renwick went on to emphasise the role of relevant work experience in journalism, urging the students to start thinking about networking and growing a portfolio of writing. Ms Ejaria mentioned that her biggest surprise had been that she didn’t need to go to university, and suggested students research further into less traditional routes into the industry.

The three panellists commented on the value of increasing diversity in the industry, whether by encouraging people of colour to apply for jobs, or making routes into journalism more accessible. In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the western world, many businesses have moved to make crucial changes to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives.

They also told the students that it was an exciting time for journalism, that the move to digital presented its own challenges and that no two days were the same. After a brief Q&A session, students left with a better idea of the merits and issues still underlying the industry.

Joanne Bishop said: “This is the start of a really exciting partnership with Hearst Magazines. The key messages from the talk resonate with our careers strategy, with its focus on taking every opportunity to develop skills and gain experience, ensuring that our students are work-ready when they move on.

“We are excited to see how the partnership with Hearst develops as we continue to expand the enrichment opportunities on offer for all students to explore their career ideas and gain the skills and attributes that employers are looking for – and ultimately to achieve their long term career goals.”

Find out more about our A Level courses and apply online now!

Apprentice Chef Named Runner-Up in Seafood Cooking Competition

One of our apprentice chef’s fin-tastic culinary skills have seen him named a runner-up in a national seafood cookery competition. Gerry Sands, 18, was among the finalists in the Classics at Home competition, run by the Norwegian Seafood Council, for his dish of cod and clams with asparagus and bacon.

Gerry just missed out on the top prize to a Michelin starred chef in the contest judged by food experts including top chefs Michel Roux Jr. and Simon Hulstone.

Gerry, from Barnet, north London, said: “It was a big competition and I learnt a lot doing it. I didn’t have any expectations and was shocked and humbled Michel Roux Jr. and Simon Hulstone chose my dish from the hundreds of entries.

“They said they liked the overall presentation, the golden crust and colour of the pan-roasted cod and that the barded white asparagus was a nice touch. 

“They told me to stick with what I am doing because I’m heading in the right direction.”

Gerry’s dish was inspired by the style of Dominic South, Head Chef at the Corinthia London Hotel, where he is undertaking his apprenticeship, and American chef, Thomas Keller.

He said: “I’ve always had a passion for food and eating. I enjoy working with food and love learning about different produce, its flavour and preparation. 

“I’m learning from some of the best chefs in the industry and using incredible ingredients every day. As long as I’m in the kitchen and cooking, I’m doing my dream job and the thing I love most.”

The Classics at Home competition was open to all working, student and apprentice chefs in the UK and Northern Ireland.

Competitors had to create a dish using seafood from Norway or the north east Atlantic and then post it to Instagram with a description of the dish and cooking method.

The finalists were asked to make an Instagram video of them creating their dish before an online chat on seafood preparation and sustainability with Michel Roux Jr and Simon Hulstone.

Gerry began his Royal Academy of Culinary Arts commis chef apprenticeship in September 2019. He is expected to complete this in January and continue his training on a chef de partie apprenticeship.

Nick Gunyon, Lecturer in Culinary Arts, said: “Gerry always pushes the boundaries with his presentation skills and his food is always well-flavoured and beautifully cooked. He has received some wonderful reviews and is very well thought of by his head chef.

“He is a very committed member of his class and has achieved a fantastic result in the Norwegian Seafood Council competition. I am very proud of his dedication and all his achievements.”

Find out more about our Hospitality and Culinary Arts courses and apprenticeships.

CANDI Students Support Research to Improve Links With the Police

CANDI students have contributed to a university research project to look into the relationship between young people and the police. The research project, called Civic Innovation In Community: Safety, Policing and Trust with Young People, was led by University College London (UCL) and Citizens UK.

Researchers Dr. Artemis Skarlatidou and Lina Ludwig carried out 20 interviews with Metropolitan Police officials and young people aged 16-25 from across the capital.

The study found young people and the police agreed that there was a lack of trust between police and communities.

It revealed that the root cause of this lay in interactions between the police and young people including stop-and-search. 

The research also found young people were not aware of what the Met Police was doing to better engage with communities, while police officers were not aware of the extent of young people’s concerns about racial bias. 

However, the research showed young people were willing to participate in projects that improve safety and trust in policing.

Dr. Skarlatidou said: “What was striking was the depth of knowledge of young people had about police enforcement methods, but little to no knowledge of the police’s non-enforcement methods of policing, including community outreach. 

“This is despite a willingness of young people to participate. Although there is a lack of trust, we can see ways to re-establish trust in policing.”

Boz Arslan, vice president of CANDI’s Student Union, welcomed the college’s involvement in the research and the need for better understanding between young people and the police.

Government figures continue to show that black and ethnic minority (BAME) people are still more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white people.

Sinead Morgan, Student Engagement Coordinator at CANDI, said: “The project has given our students the opportunity to talk about their experiences and ideas around youth safety and the police. 

“Given the disproportionate number of BAME youths who are stopped and searched, according to recent government figures, it is important that these channels of communication between BAME students, the UCL researchers and the police are open. 

“It is a valuable effort to increase understanding and hopefully improve relationships between young people and the police.”

The Islington Gazette’s report on the research can be read here.

Froi Legaspi, Community Organiser at Citizens UK, said: “Young people are willing to stand up for youth safety and good policing.

“With the Black Lives Matter movement continuing unabated, now is the opportunity for policy makers to work with communities on improved trust through better police training and accountability mechanisms.”

Our latest newsletter for stakeholders is out now

We have just issued the latest edition of our Good News newsletter, by email to our stakeholders and partners.

This newsletter is about how we and our students have risen to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has inspiring stories from our three colleges (City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College, and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London) about how staff and students have worked together so that teaching and learning could continue under this most difficult of circumstances, as well as information about the work we are doing to plan for the return of students and staff to our colleges.

Wimbledon Chef Raises £4,500 for NHS in 24-hour Bake-a-thon

A Wimbledon chef has served up thousands of cakes for NHS workers after completing a 24-hour bake-a-thon to raise £4,500 to help marine life. Rebecca Marshman-Romdeau, who is Head Pastry Chef at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, made around 3,500 treats for the Royal Marsden, Great Ormond Street and Epsom hospitals.

The former Westminster Kingsway College culinary arts apprentice is donating all the proceeds to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. She hopes to raise £10,000 – the cost of running the aquarium for one day.

Rebecca, 27, said: “It was so exhausting. I had a lot of fizzy caffeine drinks to keep me going because I don’t drink coffee. It was hard but it was so worth it because it was for two great causes.”

The aquarium is the largest in the country and has already lost £1.1m in income since its closing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rebecca said: “I have visited the aquarium with my godson, Lennon. It is one of his favourite places, and to think it may close is so sad for him and other children.

“The aquarium also does so much for the environment, trying to protect the ocean and keep the sea clean. which is important to me and something I am very passionate about.”

Rebecca won Apprentice of the Year from Craft Guild Of Chefs aged 16 and completed her apprenticeship in 2011.

She has gone on to bake for royalty and celebrities including Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry and singer Katherine Jenkins.

On her training, she said: “Doing my apprenticeship at WestKing was the best thing for me. It meant I could learn and be on the job. I just loved it. 

“My teachers were always pushing me to be the best I could be, not only as a chef but as a person too.”

Find out more and donate at Rebecca’s JustGiving page.

Queen's Award for Enterprise