May 2023 - Capital City College Group
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Aspiring designers to gain creative and business skills at new Fashion Academy

Future fashion designers will have the chance to create and distribute their own clothes with industry professionals at a new Fashion Academy at City and Islington College (CANDI).

The academy has been launched in partnership with the Fashion Technology Academy (FTA), part of Fashion Enter, a not-for-profit organisation developing skills for the fashion and textiles industry.

Located at CANDI’s Centre for Business, Arts and Technology, the Academy will run a new Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication Level 3 Diploma – Fashion, Design and Business course.

The course will be open to 16-18 and adults and will blend practical, creative design skills and techniques with business knowledge to fully equip students for a career in the industry. It will be taught by qualified teachers from CANDI and the FTA.

Students will be able to design and manufacture their own garments using the latest industry equipment including Kornit Digital ethical printing technology, and then distribute them through Fashion Enter’s shop in Fonthill Road in Islington and online.

Marie Bradley, Head of School for Creative arts and Media, said: “We are excited to launch our new Fashion Academy. This is a fantastic collaboration between CANDI and Fashion Enter that will combine both the creative and design elements of working in the fashion and textiles industry along with relevant business skills.

“The Academy will see students attend practical workshops and lectures with teachers who are experts in their field, enabling them to explore their creativity and develop business and entrepreneurial skills by marketing and selling their own clothes collections and designs.

“At CANDI, we have a long-established history of delivering fashion and textiles courses, and over the years we have seen many talented students study with us. This partnership will further enhance our provision and give students even more access to the fashion industry and what it takes to succeed in this ever-evolving and dynamic sector.”

Fashion Enter is a social enterprise and centre of excellence for sampling, grading and production, and for learning and development of skills within the fashion and textiles industry.

The FTA has a fashion studio and factory and provides training through courses and apprenticeships with companies including ASOS, Tesco, Mountain Warehouse and Next, as well as hosting education visits from schools, colleges and universities.

Jenny Holloway, CEO of Fashion Enter, said: “Creativity careers will always be as unique as the individual, which is why fashion keeps evolving and reinventing itself. There are so many fulfilling jobs in fashion, not just designers, but pattern cutters, stitchers, graders, garment technologists and digital creators. There are so many opportunities to develop different skills.

“Students at the Academy will be exposed to the real world of fashion. They will be guided through the step-by-step process from idea to final garment and selling it by developing business and marketing plans, including the opportunity to generate their own brands.

“London Fashion Week is one of the big four fashion weeks on the world stage along with New York, Paris and Milan. We are thrilled to be working with CANDI to give students an incredible insight into the industry to ensure they are prepared for that global reach with designs ready to hit the catwalk.”

Find out more about the Fashion Academy here and apply for the Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication Level 3 Diploma – Fashion, Design and Business course here.

Young stars perform the Broadway smash hit musical Guys and Dolls

Aspiring young actors brought the bright lights of Broadway to Westminster Kingsway College when they performed the smash hit musical Guys and Dolls.

Performing Arts Level 3 Diploma students starred in the spectacular show for parents, staff and students at the college’s theatre at its King’s Cross Centre.

The musical, which was turned into a 1955 film starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons, featured the classic songs Luck Be a Lady, Marry The Man Today, Sue Me, I’ve Never Been in Love Before and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.

The show set in New York tells the story of gangster Nathan Detroit, who is engaged to Miss Adelaide, and high roller Sky Masterson, who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown.

The WestKing cast included Emilis Jarasius as Nathan Detroit, Dalia Ishak as Miss Adelaide, Demani Marshall as Sky Masterson, and Caprice Dawkins as Sarah Brown.

As part of their preparation the cast went to see a performance of the show, which has been recently revived on the professional stage at the Bridge Theatre in Southwark.

Emilis, 17, said: “I loved how this show brought everyone in. There weren’t really any scenes where there was just one person on stage.

“We got to play around with ideas and were always learning from each other. My class was really good for constructive criticism and sharing what we could do to improve on our characters and performance.

“Playing Nathan brought me out of my comfort zone. I’ve never really played a character who has to skate around so frantically. He’s quite smart but anxiously trying to stay in control despite the pressures being put on him.

“What I love about acting is the way you get to become a whole different person and get to live life through their eyes. Through the power of drama I get to be who I want. It’s like living hundreds of lifetimes in one.”

Dalia, 16, said: “Miss Adelaide is very ditsy but lovable. She’s very funny, easy to please and very gullible but very strong-minded.

“I did a lot of research into the role, watching past productions and the film, and we went to see the new production. The Miss Adelaide I play was very different to the one I saw on stage who was much more aware of what was going on. I took her energy but not her personality.

“My passion is musical theatre and I hope to go on to do a course at university after college. I love dancing, singing and acting and seeing amazing shows with songs that get stuck in your head. It’s such a buzz.”

Demani, 17, said: “Sky’s quite a smooth operator. He’s cool and not afraid and ready to do what he’s got to do as long as it’s calculated and makes sense.

“At first, I didn’t want to play him as I didn’t really want to sing, but my teacher said go for it. Over the couple of months we were rehearsing I developed my singing and the character to the best of my ability.

“I’ve learnt many different performance skills and theatre styles at college and how to use them to be effective. I’ve learnt how to follow a script, take direction, voice projection and articulate myself better. My teachers are brilliant, I’d be lying if I said they weren’t.”

Performing Arts courses at WestKing cover acting techniques, vocal skills, movement, improvisation, production, text analysis, scriptwriting, singing, rehearsals and auditions.

Sarah Slade, Lecturer in Performing Arts, who directed the production, said: “The show went superbly well, and the students rightly deserved the rapturous applause they received from the elated audience.

“They worked incredibly hard to learn their lines and the songs and develop their characters, and showed real commitment throughout the rehearsals to bring the show to life. I am hugely proud of them, as they should be of themselves.”

Find out more about Performing Arts courses and apply here.

Your guide on how to apply for college

Want to study at a further education or sixth form college this year? Here’s our advice on choosing a place to study and how to apply.

Studying at a further education or sixth form college is a significant step towards university and great careers.

Making an application to college can be an exciting yet daunting prospect for many students, so here’s our guide on how to secure your place of study.

Before you begin your application, it is important to research the various colleges in your area. Many colleges have open days and taster events to give prospective students the chance to learn more about then and what they have to offer. Look at their course offerings, entry requirements and any additional information, such as extracurricular activities, facilities and student support services. This will help you to determine which college is the best fit for your education and career goals.

Capital City College Group (CCCG) comprises City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training. Our colleges offer A Levels, T Levels, BTECs and many other technical and vocational qualifications as well as apprenticeships in various subjects to give you the skills, knowledge and experience for university and your future career.

Once you have identified the colleges you are interested in, it is time to start the application process. Most colleges will have an online application system require you to set up an online account. When applying to CCCG you will be asked to provide your personal details, your education and employment background and other supporting information and documents. You only need to complete the full application form once no matter how many courses you apply for across CCCG.

There is no commitment at this stage, but it is advisable to submit your college applications as early as possible. You can choose as many courses at as many different colleges as you like, so you have plenty of options to choose from when you come to deciding on your preferred college.

As part of the application process, you may also be required to attend an interview or assessment day. This is an opportunity for the college to get to know you better and assess your suitability for the course, and for you to find out more about what the college has to offer. At CCCG we will find the right course and career pathway for you.

You will later be invited to enrol on your chosen course.  When enrolling at CCCG you will need to bring documents to show proof of UK residency and for some courses your previous qualifications or  exam results.

All our courses at CCCG are free up to Level 2 and some at Levels 3 and 4.  If you are over 19, you will need to provide information regarding your income, such as payslips or evidence of benefits, to be prove your eligibility for our free courses. If you are required to pay tuition fees, you might want to consider an Advanced Learner Loan. Our Admission teams can advise on loans and provide you with a learning and funding letter to support your application.

When you start college, you will have access to a whole range of student services including careers advice and help with UCAS applications, student welfare, employer workshops, sports and other enrichment activities. By making the most of these opportunities at college, you can ensure a successful transition to higher education or career and a bright future.

 Find out more about all our courses and apprenticeships and apply here.

Gary Hunter retires after nearly 30 years at Westminster Kingsway College and CCCG

After an illustrious culinary and education career, Gary Hunter has stepped down from his role of Deputy Executive Principal at Capital City College Group (CCCG).

Following a protracted period of ill-health, Gary has retired from his post at CCCG, which includes Westminster Kingsway College, which is hailed as one of the most prestigious hospitality and culinary schools in the world.

CCCG is the third largest college group in the UK and also comprises City and Islington College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training.

Previously called Westminster College when Gary joined the college 27 years ago, he started his journey as a Lecturer in Patisserie and Confectionery, employed by then Head of School Bev Puxley who he regarded as one of his greatest mentors.

He progressed to become Head of Faculty for Culinary Arts and Hospitality, working alongside Geoff Booth, before taking promotion to Deputy Principal, and eventually Principal at WestKing.

Gary said: “I feel tremendously lucky and privileged to have worked alongside so many great chefs and leading hospitality professionals, not just at Westminster Kingsway College, but within the industry itself, throughout my career.

“I especially want to salute those, both past and present, who have worked so tirelessly alongside me to create such a strong educational legacy for the profession.  It always gives me a feeling of great pride to reflect upon the many talented Westminster Kingsway alumni, too numerous to mention, that we have helped to develop, nurture and succeed in the industry. 

“The history of the college creates a heavy expectation like no other culinary school in further education within the UK, but I have no doubt that we are in safe hands with Paul Jervis, Sharon Barry and Terry Tinton leading the way from here forward.”

In addition to his role an as educator, Gary is the author of nine hospitality and catering books student, trainee, apprentice and professional chefs, which have been published and distributed internationally.

The Level 2 Professional Chef book has won a PACE award for innovation and forewords for this, and the Advanced Professional Chef Level 3 Diploma book, have been written by Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal respectively. Both books are endorsed by the Master Chefs of Great Britain, Craft Guild of Chefs, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and the British Culinary Federation. 

Gary also wrote a non-academic book In a Class of its Own, detailing the history of the School of Hospitality and Culinary Artsl at Westminster Kingsway College.

Passionate about chocolate since his days as a student at a catering college in Norwich, Gary is also a UK Chocolate Ambassador for Barry Callebaut and has worked extensively on the UK World Chocolate Masters Competition developing UK candidates to compete in the World Chocolate Masters.

Among his many accolades Gary has been awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts for his contribution to culinary and hospitality education, he has received a prestigious Catey award in recognition for services to hospitality and culinary training and education. In 2017, Gary received the Queen’s Anniversary Award on behalf of the WestKing, awarded for the outstanding work of the culinary arts and hospitality provision at the college.

Gary has also been awarded the Education Chef Award by the Craft Guild of Chefs for services and contribution to culinary education, a City & Guilds Medal for Excellence in recognition of his work writing the VRQ series of professional chef qualifications and for outstanding performance in teaching and training in hospitality and catering.

He is also a Fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and a Director/Trustee of the PM Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting young people into the hospitality industry in London.

Kurt Hintz, Executive Principal for CCCG, said: “We express our heartfelt gratitude and deep appreciation to Gary for his outstanding contributions to culinary and hospitality education throughout his illustrious career. From his role as a lecturer to his position as Deputy Executive Principal at CCCG.

“Gary’s leadership, passion, and dedication have left an indelible mark on the industry. His authored books, international recognition, and numerous accolades are a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence.

“We commend Gary for his remarkable achievements and extend our warmest wishes as he enters retirement, knowing that his legacy will continue to inspire and shape the future of hospitality education.”

Find out more about Hospitality and Culinary Arts courses and apprenticeships and apply here.

Seven steps to sixth form and college interview success

You’ve applied to study at college or sixth form and you have been invited to an interview. Don’t panic! Follow this short guide to secure an offer.

Preparing for an interview for sixth form or college can seem a daunting task for many students.

At Capital City College Group (CCCG) we will support you every step of the way and find the right course and career pathway for you. Whatever your skills, background and qualifications or interests, we will make sure you receive a conditional or unconditional offer to study at one of our colleges.

Here’s our seven steps to prepare for your college interview and what to expect.

Consider all your options

Before attending an interview, consider the options that are available to you. If you’re about to complete your GCSEs, you have a choice of studying A Levels or a technical or vocational qualification such as a T Level or BTEC, or an apprenticeship.

Discuss your future

If you’re looking to study A Levels, we’ll talk to you about what you’re looking to study at university, the entry criteria and the subjects you need to take. With technical or vocational qualifications, we might look at why you’ve chosen a particular course, your career aims and previous experience.

Prepare portfolios

Bring a portfolio with samples of your work, particularly if you’re looking to take a creative subject such as art and design, fashion or media. Sometimes performing arts and music courses will ask you to audition with a pre-prepared piece.

Be punctual

Arriving early for the interview will give you enough time to compose yourself and avoid a last-minute rush. Being punctual also shows that you respect the interviewer’s time.

Show enthusiasm

During the interview, show enthusiasm and passion for the course and the college. Show that you have done your research and that you are genuinely interested in studying there.

Be honest

Honesty is key. Avoid exaggerating your achievements or lying about your experiences. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it is better to be honest and admit it.

Ask questions

Prepare questions to ask the interviewer. You might want to ask questions about the course, work placements, careers advice extracurricular activities or the admission process.

Find out more about College Life with CCCG here.

Students create ‘memories of a lifetime’ on trip to South Korea

Students from across Capital City College Group (CCCG) have shared their highlights and memories of a trip to South Korea they say will stay with them for a lifetime.

The 20-day trip was the first of two organised by the Group this year under the Turing Scheme, the UK’s global work and study programme, following a successful visit last July.

Half the students visited Keimyung College University (KMCU) in Daegu and the rest headed to Kyungbuk College (KBC) in Yeongju for the first two weeks before joining together in the capital Seoul.

Students were paired up with their Korean peers and given tours of the cities and colleges where they tried out taekwondo, flew kites and drones, played games, painted ceramics and took part in a make-up and skincare sessions. They also joined in a Korean tea ceremony where they were invited to wear traditional clothing called hanbok.

During the trip, students had the chance to see some of the country’s famous landmarks including Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of five royal palaces dating back to the 14th century, and Buseoska Temple near Mount Bonghwang in the Sobaek Mountains.

The trip also educated them on careers in Industry 4.0 – the innovation and development of smart technology in industry, and the green sector, both areas of economic growth in South Korea. This included tours of the Hyundai Motors Ulsan Plant and Hanul Nuclear Power Plant, and a visit to the Smart City Exhibition in Seoul.

The visit included an overnight stay at the National Centre or Forest Therapy near the Sobaeksan Mountain, and a chance for students to make meju and doenjang at the Korean Folk Village, which is used in condiments such as soy sauce and red chilli pepper paste.

At KBC, students planted a tree with a plaque celebrating the friendship between the college and CCCG to mark Sikmogil Abor Day, an annual day to promote trees, forests and gardening.

Both groups joined together in Seoul where they took a bus tour of the city sights and visited the artificial intelligence and engineering facilities at Korea Polytechnics.

Students also visited HiKR Ground, one of Korea’s newest tourist attractions where visitors can immerse themselves in various experiences related to Korean popular culture known as Hallyu.

Business student Jonny Ross, 18, said: “When I heard about the trip, I thought it was an amazing opportunity and I would grasp it with both hands. There’s nothing like actually being in a country and experiencing it.

“Taekwondo was fun. All the Korean students were black belts and helped me learn the basics and I picked up some moves quite quickly. The same day we played some Korean games and everyone got quite competitive.

“I’d love to go back one day and tour the rest of the country. I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity. It’s given me memories of a lifetime.”

A Level student Fatima Ahmed, 18, said: “I’ve always wanted to travel, and knew I would regret it if I didn’t go. It was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. They all went above and beyond to make sure we all had a good time.

“In Deagu, we took part in a traditional tea ceremony, which was a lovely experience. It felt so relaxing and peaceful. The way you bow, put in your tea and leave your cup in a certain way – everything had a place and meaning.

“I wish I could go back again and do more. It was an experience I will always remember, and I look back on fondly. It really makes you realise there so much more in the world to learn, discover and explore.”

All students and apprentices at City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training, were offered the chance to apply for places on the trip.

Seungeun Chang, Head of International Development and Operations at CCCG, said: “This was our second trip to South Korea under the Turing Scheme and was a wonderful opportunity for our students to broaden their horizons and learn about a fascinating culture that is very different from their own.

“They enjoyed meeting their peers at the Korean colleges, visited many historic landmarks such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace, explored the bright lights and bustling streets of Daegu and Seoul and the serene natural landscapes of the Sobaek Mountains, and took part in some of the country’s customs and traditions.

“This was an incredible trip and a chance for our students to learn and understand more about the world around them. It was a wonderful experience that I am sure will stay with them forever.”

Find out more about College Life with CCCG here.

Queen's Award for Enterprise