1. Harrogate College Online MA Creative Practice Exhibition 2020

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    On 20 July, Harrogate College launched their online art exhibition, celebrating the work from students studying on the MA Creative Practice course.

    Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the college had to adapt to an online way of working and learning. Students would normally invite guests to attend the event in college, but this year students, staff and the public were invited to watch two short online films. These showcased the experiences and work of two MA students who are graduating this summer. 

    Irene Vassoliou’s mission was to use her photography to help enlighten the world about ongoing, catastrophic food wastage, as seen in her final MA collection of photographs. Using her creative practice – to make waste into visually beautiful images – is the culmination of two years of research, exploration and experimentation. 

    Through the mediums of paint, print and ink, Tom Ranson exhibited his final MA collection of work. This was the culmination of two years of exploration and discovery as a practicing artist. Using his local environment as inspiration, he has captured the magic of the landscape and light, by creating a body of work that is both delicate and strong. 

    Dr Annabel Smith, MA Creative Practice course tutor, said: “Our students have adapted to the new working scenario through lockdown with good humour and a flexible approach, having been forced to use new software to create virtual galleries, to film to communicate their final story, and to have online conversations to access support and guidance from their tutors. Tom and Irene have really demonstrated what can be realised under very difficult circumstances by producing some excellent work. At Harrogate College, we are very proud of what they have achieved this year.”

    Check them out:

  2. Harrogate College launches summer programme for new students

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    Harrogate College has launched a Summer Transition Programme to prepare students for joining in September.

    Launching on Monday 6 July, the weekly activities aim to support students in starting successfully at the college. All new students can access the scheme, allowing them to meet tutors and classmates and begin developing course-focused skills.

    Run on Google Classrooms, the fun tasks will be specific to various course groups. Each 30-minute session will encourage students to communicate virtually through face-to-face videos with tutors, who will be introducing students to their chosen course through a range of activities. As part of the programme, students will also be practising English and maths skills in preparation for September.

    Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, said: “This programme is a fantastic way to ensure our new students feel comfortable and confident for starting in September. It gives learners a head start in their academic journey, ensuring they have a strong understanding of their course and the skills required to excel.

    “We have carefully crafted the programme based on each course. The Science sessions will focus on infections and control, whereas Health and Social Care will provide insight into development and mental health. All our programmes will also incorporate ice-breaker activities and interactive discussions.”

    The Summer Transition Programme will cover many subject areas including Art and Design, Performing Arts, Motor Vehicle, Construction, Hospitality and Beauty.

  3. Celebrating Windrush Day

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    On Monday 22 June, many people across the country will come together to celebrate Windrush Day. The annual celebration pays tribute to the exceptional and ongoing contribution of the Windrush generation.

    What is the Windrush generation?

    The term ‘Windrush generation’ was first introduced in 1948 shortly after World War Two. Britain was beginning to recover from the effects of the war, which saw thousands of buildings and homes destroyed. Many young men and women in the Islands had previously served in the British armed forces, due to many Caribbean countries still being under British rule and not yet independent.

    After the war, many people from the Caribbean were invited to come to Britain as there were a variety of jobs available due to post-war labour shortages. The first ship, Empire Windrush, left the Caribbean to travel thousands of miles and arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex on 22 June 1948. This ship was the first of many, with hundreds more arriving in Britain from 1948 to 1971.

    Why has the Windrush generation been in the news recently?

    The ‘Windrush scandal’ involved many of the Windrush generation being wrongly told that they live in Britain illegally. The 1948 British Nationality Act gave citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies states a legal right to settle in the UK. As a result, during 1971, the Windrush generation were told they could stay in Britain permanently without any paperwork and the government didn’t keep a record of these people.

    A change to immigration law came about in 2012, with people being told that official documentation was needed in order to receive free hospital treatment and other benefits. As a result, many people who had attended schools and worked their whole life in the UK were sent to immigration detention centres and faced deportation.

    In 2018, following a review of 11,800 cases, the home secretary announced that 18 people within the Windrush generation who could have been wrongfully removed or detained would receive a formal apology from the government. Additionally, anyone who had left the UK would be helped to return to Britain.

    What does Windrush Day celebrate?

    First introduced in 2018 on the 70th anniversary of Empire Windrush arriving in Britain, the day encourages communities across the country to celebrate the outstanding contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants.

    Overcoming great hardship and sacrifice, the Windrush generation and their descendants have made Britain a better and more inclusive country in many ways. From the vital rebuilding of the country and public services after the war, to the ongoing enriching of our shared social, economic, cultural and religious life.

    What events will take place as part of Windrush Day?

    Backed by government funding, community groups and local authorities across the country will receive a share of a £500,000 Windrush Day Grant Scheme to host events which honour the second national day. There are a range of funded projects which mark this vital part of our shared heritage.

    How can I get involved?

    Although many celebrations will be digital due to social distancing, there are many ways to get involved with Windrush Day events.

    The National Maritime Museum is working with the Caribbean Social Forum and University of Greenwich to create online resources, talks and events including different generations to explore Windrush and what it means to people today.

    The State of Trust is hosting a live panel, featuring artists from State of Trust’s Remembering Windrush project, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Terry Baddoo on 22 June.

    On 22 June, the Windrush Foundation is hosting a Zoom event, featuring presentations, music, Q&A and a review of key events that affected the Caribbean community over many years.

    On Windrush Day in Bradford, a special flag raising ceremony will take place outside City Hall.

    Leeds-based charity, Geraldine Connor Foundation, is marking the day with online event ‘Generations Dreaming’, combining music and literature on the themes of Windrush. The charity has also created a digital learning resource about the Windrush Generation and their legacy.

    How can I access support?

    Our student-focused team is dedicated to ensuring our students always have access to support. We have specialist counselling officers who can offer guidance and direct you to support services.

    To get in touch with the counsellor at Harrogate College, please email

    For help and advice in North Yorkshire, visit The Go-To.

    Useful resources

    The Geraldine Connor Foundation have created a digital learning resource, providing insight into Windrush Generation and their legacy.

    Digital platform, My Learning, has developed a short video with an introduction to Windrush, the history and the people who made the journey.

    Home Ed Voices has provided a range of useful resources for Windrush Day, including videos, books and activities. 

  4. Gender Recognition Act 2004

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    The Gender Recognition Act 2004 governs how people from our trans communities can legally recognise their gender identity.  Being able to do this is critical to living freely and authentically. 

    It is currently a long, expensive and dehumanising process. It requires evidence from two medical professionals,  a detailed psychiatric assessment and a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria (which has now been removed from the WHO list of mental health disorders), evidence of living in authentic gender for two years and evidence of intention to continue doing so.  This intrusive evidence and professional testimony is then considered by a Gender Recognition Panel (who have never met the individual concerned) to make a final judgement.  It is costly, inaccessible and relies heavily on gender stereotypes. 

    In 2018 a review of the Gender Recogntion Act was opened to consider reforms, with the aim of making the process more accessible, less reliant on medical examination and less expensive.  70% of respondents to the GRA consultation support a fairer process for gender recognition certificate applications. Despite this overwhelming public support, a proposed amendment to the act will impact on self identification for young people identifying as trans and change the rules around the use of single sex spaces.  This would adversely affect trans communities and all who do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes. 

    As a college we are committed to being an inclusive environment for all.  We support our trans communities and urge the government to reconsider the impact of the proposed amendments. We would like to offer reassurance to our students and staff that we will continue to make every effort to ensure we provide protected spaces for our trans communities.

    If you would like to share your voice, we recommend you to write to your local MP. ​

  5. Harrogate College reopens

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    Harrogate College will be reopening for a selection of students and staff from 16 June it has been announced.

    Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, said: “Supporting staff and students to return to a safe environment has been at the centre of the college’s preparations and approach.

    “Many steps have been taken based on the guidance for further education colleges provided by the Department of Education, which have been translated into a practical operation for the college to open safely. We have invited 168 students and apprentices to come back into college over the next 6 weeks to complete their courses while our other students continue to work remotely.”

    Harrogate College is taking the following steps to ensure a safe practical operation:

    • All staff and students will arrive and leave college at off-peak times, with staggered start and finish times between groups.
    • The number of people that can be in the buildings and each classroom has been calculated, so that two metre social distancing can be maintained at all times.
    • Any personal protective equipment (PPE) that is risk assessed as being required, will be provided by the college.
    • A one-way system will be in effect throughout the college.
    • Ongoing cleaning of classrooms and workshops will take place throughout each day.

    Staff have also been working on preparations for students joining in September. All students who have applied to Harrogate College will be contacted and asked to take part in a summer transition programme. This provides students with the opportunity to communicate with new teachers and classmates, while developing valuable digital and study skills needed to return to full-time education in September. 

  6. Principal announcement – information on returning to college

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    You’ll be aware that following the Prime Minister’s statement and government updates since, that schools and colleges should plan to open from 1 June in a phased way.  

    In his message, the Prime Minister specified a range of year groups, including those in years 10 and 12, with a focus on those taking exams in the following academic year. 

    Most students at college, however, do not study two-year programmes with exams at the end; many courses are assessed at different times and in different ways. Practical courses (particularly those that need a formal assessment of their skills competence) and apprentices are not able to achieve their qualifications on the basis of a teacher proposed grade.  

    We have been working hard on plans for a gradual and phased return of our students and staff with a focus on those who cannot achieve their qualifications or progress to the next level without some face-to-face support or assessment. We will only start this when we feel it is safe to do so.  

    Because there is a lot of preparation needed to make our buildings safe and to prioritise which students need our support to achieve this year, we will not invite any students into college buildings until 15 June at the earliest.  

    Your teachers will contact you individually by 5 June to let you know if you need to return before September. If you are not contacted by that date, please do not arrive at college on 15 June.

    In the meantime, we hope that you are able to continue learning remotely and you are in regular contact with your teachers about next steps, whether that is continuation on your current course or progression to the next level, an apprenticeship, higher education or employment. 

    Danny Wild
    Principal Harrogate College 

  7. Childcare students aim high

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    Childcare and Education Technical Diploma Level 3 students at Harrogate College, Alison Taylor and Emily Beecroft, have been recognised for their impressive achievements during their course.

    Alison joined the course as a mature student after raising a family of five. Now that her children are older and independent, she decided to focus on pursuing a career in childcare. At the beginning of the course, Alison struggled with low confidence and lacked IT skills, and worried she may not pass the course. Through real determination and hard work, she mastered her IT skills and developed effective learning techniques needed to achieve a good grade.

    During placements, staff commented on how fantastic she is with children and many have offered her jobs as a result. Alison recently secured a job at her local nursery in Pateley Bridge and plans to start work when the nursery re-opens. She also plans to progress on to a Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies in September.

    Alison said: “When I first started the course, I felt really out of my depth and older than everyone there. However, everyone was incredibly supportive and made me feel really comfortable. At first, I even struggled turning the computer on! But my course mates were very kind in helping me get started and I’ve improved immensely. This course has given me a head start in a career I’ve always dreamed of.”

    Meanwhile, Emily faced some incredibly difficult challenges in her personal life when she joined the course. Despite this, she remained focused on her course and worked very hard, engaging with all the pastoral help offered with a positive attitude. She consistently received excellent reports from her placements and occasionally worked during the holidays. Emily has ambitions of becoming a primary school teacher, and through her hard work and commitment has received offers from all five universities she applied for.

    Emily said: “The support I got from the team at college was amazing; I always felt I had someone to talk to when I was struggling. This course has allowed me to begin my journey into teaching, supporting me every step of the way and making sure I did every piece of work to the best of my ability.”

    Find out more about our childcare courses here.

  8. College remains closed – a message from the principal

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    I hope you and your family are safe and well. I know these last weeks will have been challenging but I wanted to thank you as the vast majority of students have embraced remote learning and have engaged with their tutors very productively.  

    Due to the likely further extension to the lockdown, we wanted to let you know that the college will remain closed after the Easter holidays (from 20 April) until further notice.

    I’d like to reassure you that we will do our utmost to support you to achieve and progress this academic year and you can access careers support to help with your plans for September. 

    Your studies will continue remotely with Google Classroom or your designated digital platform. We hope you’re adjusting well to this new way of learning. If you are having any issues, please contact your tutor. 

    We have provided some Chromebooks and other devices to students who didn’t have access to these; again, your tutor can be contacted if access to remote learning materials, teaching and assessment remains an issue.    

    While our college is closed, we will still be available to offer advice and guidance to potential and existing students, parents and members of the public. You can contact us by emailing

    This is an unsettling time for us all. Below are some useful links if you are struggling with your mental health:

    All students who were entitled to a free college meal will continue to receive support through a voucher scheme. This seems to be working well but please do contact your tutor if there are problems accessing this. There is lots of information about our support services on the college website and the student intranet. 

    I do hope we can welcome you back to college before too long, but in the meantime, we need to maintain social distancing recommendations and do our best to limit the spread of the virus. 

    We will keep you updated of any changes, informed by recommendations from Public Health England and the government, as soon as they are made.  

    Take care and stay healthy! 

    Yours sincerely

    Danny Wild
    Principal – Harrogate College

  9. Outstanding achievements for childcare students

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    Our Childcare tutor, Susan Robson, would like to recognise two of her students for their outstanding achievements. Chloe Jackson and Annie Everson both studied the CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education.

    Chloe passed her course above her target grade with an overall A and successfully secured her place at Leeds Beckett University to study social work.

    She said “I have really enjoyed my two years at Harrogate College. I have learnt a great deal on my course and developed my study skills; I am much better at time management, and can now prioritise my work and am better organised. I have also passed my GCSE English, which is another goal that Harrogate College has helped me to achieve. During my course, I completed a work placement and this experience increased my confidence and developed my work skills.”

    Annie also successfully completed her course and achieved above her predicted grade, with an A. This has resulted in Annie receiving a scholarship award to progress to university to study child psychology.

    She said; “I really enjoyed my experience at college; I have felt very welcomed by all my tutors and peers on my course. The course was exactly what I thought it was going to be and helped me to develop many skills such as my organisation and time management. My placement developed my work skills and I now feel more confident in new situations and when communicating with people.”

  10. Spotlight on Harrogate College performances

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    Harrogate College has enjoyed a rich year of public theatre performances by the students working towards an award or diploma in performing and production arts.

    Late May saw the premier of Zero for the Young Dudes! performed by a cast of 10. The students included a mix of both Level 1 and 2 students in their first year. The play was set against a political backdrop of tension between younger and older generations, resulting in a rebellion of the millennials which landed them in prison camp.

    In June, the Level 3 second years took us back to 1930s’ Berlin in their production of Cabaret the Musical at Oatlands Mount Club. Students Fred Cash and Ella McCann played the leading man and lady in post-world war I Germany, as the Nazis were gaining power. The story centred on the doomed lovers in this dark period.  

    Other performances included Artaud, Brecht & Grotowski Project and Want by the Level 1 and 2 students. Second year Level 3 students working for their extended diploma performed Status Update and Specialist Projects – Comedy, Improv, K-Pop and Voice Over.

    All of our performing arts students were able to display their talents at Saint Wilfrid’s Church Hall for the 2018 Christmas Variety Show

    The success of all our theatre performances this year shows the confidence, professionalism and determination of our students.

    Keep checking for updates about any upcoming performances for the 2019-20 academic year!


Harrogate College

Hornbeam Park Ave, Harrogate HG2 8QT United Kingdom

Tel: 0113 386 1997