King's Lynn students enjoy busy start to summer term at College of West Anglia
Students and staff at the College of West Anglia’s (CWA) King’s Lynn campus have had a busy start to the summer term.
Since face-to-face teaching and learning has transitioned to online studying at the campus, teachers have uploaded a variety of online, interactive resources and media for the students to continue their studies from home.
Teaching staff have also been holding individual and group tutorials to support assignment work and to keep learners motivated on CWA’s online learning platform, LEARN, which is currently averaging around 30,000 logins per day.
Paul Gibson, programme manager of art and design at the campus, said: “Our students have been having virtual learning sessions using Zoom. These are being recorded and shared with learners for future reference.
We are meeting learners on an individual basis to hold tutorials and check on their work, progress and well-being.”
Art and design student, Holly Craske, is adapting well to online learning and said: “During lockdown I have been working on my final major project for art and one area I have decided to work on is the evolution of flower painting and photography.
"The support from my tutors has been great. I receive emails from my maths tutor and my art tutor with the work I need to do, and I know I can contact my tutors if needed, while I work on the final project for the college year.”
Jo Evans, learning and skills lead for the Air and Defence College at the campus said: “With lockdown in place, students have been investigating the role of the Royal Air Force in previous times of crisis and predicting what they might be called on to deal with whilst the coronavirus is ongoing.
"Students have put forward some great ideas, such as repatriation of UK citizens, delivery of resources where required and RAF medics helping on the front line, as well as Red Arrows flybys to help boost moral!”
Performing arts students are also coming up with novel new ways to hold singing, dancing and acting rehearsals since lockdown, using Facetime and Zoom to hold collaborative warm-ups, workouts and rehearsals, as well as sharing their meals as part of learning and understanding how to be a healthy performer.
Musical theatre student Olivia Crane said: “Personally, I believe I have adapted well working at home, and I’m also starting to teach myself the piano which I hope will help with the singing side of the course.
"It has been great completing college work in my own home, as I don’t have distractions, although I do miss my peers and teachers in the studio.
"I have had regular zoom calls with singing and maths teachers which have been really beneficial as well."
Dance student Tyler Woodhouse added: “Even though we are in a very difficult situation, I have adapted around work commitments to do my college work.
"I have completed my theory and I am up to date with daily journals, these are showing the progress I am achieving over the week.
"We have had constant emails with corrections of all work and the tutors are really helping me with my theory, which I struggle with.”
Musical theatre student Emma Rear said: “Every week, we receive work from our singing and dance teacher to keep our skills improving. I am specifically working on my research and journal for what would be our final show.
"This is something I need to work on lots due to this contributing to my final grade.”
Performing arts lecturer ,Annette Connolly, said: “I’m exceptionally proud of the students who are making the best of a difficult situation by challenging themselves with workouts, learning new skills and continuing to keep in touch with tutors. “
Two level 3 performing students, Madison Cole and Taylor Dinnis, have participated in a ballet barre set by English National Ballet, which they have uploaded to LEARN to receive corrections and advice, so they can continue to improve their classical technique.
Students, staff and, even, family members have recognised the importance of looking after their physical health and mental well-being at this time.
Staff members from CWA’s Sports Campus have been setting weekly sports challenges for their learners and exercise workouts.
Jo Evans said: “Our learners have been participating in daily PT sessions with me using online workouts including; strength, conditioning and kickboxing workouts and sometimes, getting their families involved as well.
"This is important for their physical fitness, as many of our students will go on to join the RAF when they leave us, and their mental well-being at this time.”
Student Emma Rear said: “To make sure I don’t lose any physical stamina throughout this time I have been working out every day.
"This has also given me the opportunity to work on my flexibility more. This not only helps for my course it has also given me a reason to go out in my back garden and get some sunshine.
"That is definitely one of the positives of being in lockdown, I can go outside, spend time with my family and get fit.”
Students have also been finding ways to keep motivated and stay positive during the crisis.
Olivia Crane said: “I have joined Gareth Malone’s Online Great British Home Choir, which is so much fun learning different songs.
"Also once or twice most weeks we have been having special guests joining us as well for part of the sessions, including a couple of cast members from the Military Wives Film, they spoke to us about some of the experiences they had in the making of the film.
I have had regular exercise to make sure I keep healthy, finding new workouts online to do as well as taking the dog for a walk.
"I have done bedtime yoga with Adrienne classes on YouTube, which are very relaxing and gets rid of all negative energy.”
Many students from the health and social care and nursing and paramedic courses are currently working in key worker roles while balancing their studies, including in QEH, care homes, as first responders and in supermarkets, as well as some students shouldering the responsibility of being young carers for family members.
Level 2 health and social care students celebrated Captain Tom Moore’s landmark birthday last week, making birthday cards for the 100-year-old veteran, including messages such as “Thank you to Captain Tom Moore for raising money for the NHS and for serving our country” and “Happy Birthday! Thank you for doing what you’re doing”.
The Learning Resource Centre has been busy supporting learners remotely and transitioning and accommodating for student clubs, student council meetings and mentor schemes to move to online formats, as well as making fun activities and resources available to all; including cookery and creative writing clubs.
They have also been ensuring the welfare of learners with regular contact and their own Wellbeing Club, which focusses on discussion and activities around staying positive.
Staff have hosted Facebook live event tours to share information and answer any concerns parents or applicants or for those interested in applying may have regarding exams, student life, transport and any other questions or concerns, with plans to hold more in the coming weeks.
Please visit: cwa.ac.uk for more information.