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Interview – College Progression Officer

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Sander de Groot recently met with Mel Francis-Jones, Progression and Projects Officer to discuss the effectiveness of the MADE workshops delivered at the College.


SDG: How did you think your students benefited from the workshops today?

MF: I think that the students have really enjoyed it today. There has been a really nice mix of some physical exercises, some bits to get them thinking and some amazing memory tricks. Also, there was great use of visual aids such as the lighthouse, which allowed them to really think about their targets and how they are going to achieve them. It’s really good that you’re able to analyse the rocks underneath the lighthouse which are your barriers; barriers as to perhaps why they are not achieving. And it helps them to focus on that and say, “Right, how do I turn this around and make it a success?”

SDG: Do you think that our courses are applicable for different age groups?

MF: I do think that your courses are fit for a range of age groups because at the end of the day, you’re looking at concepts such as the conscious and sub-conscious minds and looking at how they can actually redevelop the barriers and turn something difficult into a success. Those kinds of aspects are important to any age group. I know that Gavin Scott (MADE associate) last time was a little concerned with addressing an age group that we call pre-access; mature students, nineteen plus. But actually, as he was doing it in the same fashion, he was utilising the same tools. It was just as relevant and just as poignant as it was for the younger students.

SDG: What were the stand-out moments for you?

MF: I think that they really listened intently and tuned in to your own experiences. You were talking about signals and visualisation. Talking about how we use visualisation sub-consciously, and lots of those stories, those off-the-cuff stories, that basically underpin the theories. You are delivering some difficult theory, but when wrapping it up in a nutshell, delivering it through a story. I think most of them could relate to that. I was watching and I could see they were really tuning in to those stories; experiences similar to ones that they’ve had. It was good because a lot of it was how you could learn from your mistakes, and of course that’s such an important process of learning.

SDG: Did you find the staff session beneficial?

MF: It was certain from the team that I work with that they most definitely did. Though a lot of them work on a one-to-one basis with students, it will help them to understand goal setting and action planning. It will allow them to help students to set and achieve realistic targets. It was really good, thank you.

 Mel Francis-Jones
College Progression Officer, Canterbury College

If you would like to find out more about our work within Further Education please contact Corin Mitchell on 0800 2707660.


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