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Paisley Interior Achitecture students work with David Ross, Director of Keppie Design

This academic year has seen the College’s HND Interior Architecture students team up with a range of design companies, providing them with invaluable real work experience, concluding with a collaboration with future led design company, Keppie Design.

Working closely with David Ross, Director of Keppie Design, the students were given a brief which involved designing a studio for a contemporary artist or sculptor, whose work and practice makes use of natural light.

Speaking to the students’ lecturer, Lola Paterson, about the project she said,

David Ross’s investment in West College Scotland’s designers past and present has been outstanding. This particular project saw David deliver a session on design, inspiring and guiding the students before providing encouragement and feedback on their initial sketchbook work.

 

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Paisley 2021 computer game by WCS students is ‘roaring’ success

Teams of students at West College Scotland have taken inspiration from Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 by creating special computer games based around the town’s cultural and heritage story.

Winning West College Scotland Paisley 2021 game Pride of the Lions by team BARDS

HNC Games Development students were tasked with creating the Paisley 2021-themed games as part of their graded unit and had just over 10 weeks to program, develop and design them before being put to the test by local primary school pupils.

Team BARDS, from left, David Cavana, 18, Adam Dickinson, 24, Ryan Duffy, 22, and Samuel Burrows, 25

Forty-four pupils from Lochfield Primary School were given the first chance to try out the 12 games and grade their favourite during a special afternoon at West College Scotland.

Lochfield Primary pupils enjoy their day playing games at WCS

The games were marked on their originality, graphics, sound and gameplay with the pupils awarding first prize to ‘Pride of the Lions’ by team BARDS.

Inspired by the Pride of Paisley public art trail, the game allows players to take control of colourful Paisley lions and compete against each other at various landmarks around the town.

The winning team was comprised of Ryan Duffy, 22, Samuel Burrows, 25, David Cavana, 18, Adam Dickinson, 24, and Ben Cunningham, 18, who were thrilled to scoop the top prize.

Project manager Ryan Duffy said: “We’re delighted to be chosen as the favourite game by the Lochfield Primary School pupils. Working together as a team really helped us to get the best out of each other and produce a game that’s fun and looks good visually.

“We wanted to make a fun game that reflected Paisley so we thought ‘what about the Paisley lions?’. We thought a multiplayer game featuring the lions inspired by the ‘Pride of Paisley’ art project would go down well with the children and we’re glad our hard work has paid off.”

The team took photographs of the town’s famous landmarks to feature them in various gameplay modes, as well as creating over a dozen patterns for players to choose for their lion.

BARDS are now looking at the possibility of entering the game into competitions and hope it will promote Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Ryan added: “We’re looking at various ways in which we can take the game forward and there are a number of competitions that we’re looking at the possibility of entering it into.

“We hope that the game can help raise awareness of Paisley 2021 and showcase the town as it bids to be UK City of Culture.”

West College Scotland have been running the games competition with Lochfield Primary School for the past seven years and Games Development lecturer David Renton believes the experience is great for both students and school pupils.

David, who has been nominated for the BAFTA Young Game Designer Mentor Award for 2017, said: “It was a fantastic day. We had 44 children in from Lochfield Primary School playing the games that the HNC class have created over the past 10 weeks.

“We set them the theme of Paisley 2021 and there were some games that really captured the imagination. The winning team and some of the runners-up had some great artwork that really incorporated Paisley and I think the kids really enjoyed it.

““We’ve been doing this with Lochfield Primary School for the past seven years and having the school pupils come in makes it real for our students. They have a client that they are actually making the game for and it makes them realise just how much the kids enjoy it when they come in to play it.”

Marie Renton, Depute Head at Lochfield Primary School, said: “Our P6 and P6/7 pupils really enjoyed working with the Games students from WCS this year. They collaborated together at the start of the project when the college students shared their game ideas with our pupils. Our pupils then gave feedback and even helped with some of the artwork.

“This year we chose the Paisley theme as we are all very enthusiastic to get behind the Paisley 2021 bid. We have a great partnership with WCS and both sides benefit from this ongoing link.”

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MOYA, Paisley Art & Design students’ production company, earns sector and public recognition

MOYA – Minds of Young Artists – is a production company created and driven entirely by design students from West College Scotland Paisley Campus. This revolutionary concept aims at promoting and selling the students’ artwork and is supported by Paisley 2021.

MOYA has now provided a solid foundation for the students to put their artwork into circulation and to generate revenue for themselves. In fact, they have already designed and created original artwork for five local businesses. The students have therefore achieved the full circle: providing a means of implementing their learning, setting up business and earning money.

This outstanding achievement was recently recognised at the 2017 SPARQS Student Engagement Awards. SPARQS – the Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland – is a publicly-funded agency for Scotland’s university and college sectors which aims to support student engagement in the quality of the learning experience.

The 2017 SPARQS awards ceremony was held in Edinburgh at the end of March. MOYA was part of the shortlisted projects in the awards category ‘A co-curricular initiative/project which has had an impact across the college or university’. Our students were up against other groups from well-respected universities, such as St Andrew’s, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

MOYA won first runner up and West College Scotland students were extremely pleased with the recognition. Murron Stoddart, HNC Graphic Design student and member of MOYA, said “I can’t express how honoured were to have been a part of the SPARQS awards, it really means a lot when our work as students gets recognised and rewarded, and we are so grateful.”

West College Scotland Design Lecturer Deborah Dennett was very proud of what her students have achieved. She said: “We are delighted that our students are designing, producing and selling their products through the MOYA brand. It enables them to implement their learning while at the same time grow their entrepreneurship skills and gain invaluable work experience.”

Last week, West College Scotland students running MOYA have also attended ‘Get Inspired 2017’ – Bridge 2 Business’ annual end-of the year event for West Scotland. The event, held at the Citizen M hotel in Glasgow, was an opportunity to promote and recognise student entrepreneurship across the West Region. Showcased at the event, MOYA was awarded ‘Best new business enterprise’ through public vote. The students were delighted to earn this popular recognition of their work. The event also gave them yet another opportunity to promote and market their work at a merchandise stand presenting a range of their products, such as T-shirts, framed artwork, tote bags and prints.

To find out more, like and follow MOYA on www.facebook.com/MOYAWCS

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Ferguslie Learning Centre Open Day

West College Scotland will be holding an Open day at Ferguslie Learning Centre on Thursday 4th May from 10am until 2pm.

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WCS Paisley Dance lecturer Rosina Bonsu named among ten “Outstanding Women of Scotland”

A West College Scotland dance lecturer is one of just ten women named among the 2017 “Outstanding Women of Scotland”.

photo courtesy of Robin C Mitchell

Paisley-based Rosina Bonsu was awarded the prestigious nomination by the Saltire Society for her contribution to Scottish life. She joins First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Professor Dame Sue Black and the singer Horse Macdonald among the inductees.

photo courtesy of Robin C Mitchell

Born in Ghana, Rosina moved to London when she was seven years old. She trained to become a school teacher before becoming a dance artist at the London Contemporary Dance School. She was a standout in her field and in 1984 moved to Glasgow to take up the position of Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet’s “Steps Out”.

Photo courtesey of Brian Hartley

In 1987, she was the dance artist for Renfrewshire Dance Project now called Right2Dance, which promotes dance as fun and accessible to all people of all abilities. A decade later Rosina founded Dance House Glasgow to address the lack of provision of professional dancers and performers in Scotland. The project was a tremendous success and the Dance House is today well-established as the regional centre for dance for Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Since 2009, Rosina has worked as a lecturer at West College Scotland’s Paisley New Street Campus. She teaches Contemporary dance to students from first to third year. She also teaches dance and movement at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Rosina loves her work at the College, she says: “I can help these young people grow, challenge themselves and travel the distance from where they come to where they dream to be. The level of deprivation in the West of Scotland is high, so that distance is often huge and can be daunting – but I want them to see it’s possible, if they believe in themselves and realise their full potential. I take so much pride when these young people go on and achieve great things, discover the world and their true, talented, selves.”

Rosina knows what it takes to overcome tough challenges. She has recovered from two cancers, eight years ago and then again five years later. She says: “My work on bodies and self-awareness really helped me go through these hardships and not surrender. My yoga practice allowed me to focus my mind and body on what was important and to collect my energies to face adversities.”

Rosina is also a yoga teacher and has run her own studio since 2008.

“I work with bodies – it doesn’t matter if it’s through dance or yoga or anything else. I love this work because it brings honesty and clarity in people. When they learn to work with their body, they become their true selves and can develop their full potential. They can get over the barriers of internal thinking and social conditioning”.

She continues:

“I believe Scottish people really need this. I see huge potential but too many of the young people I work with hide it, they limit themselves, they censor their bodies and personalities. I notice this every day, including with my students at the College. They can take so much criticism without blinking an eye. But give them praise, and they will feel so uncomfortable that some will actually walk out of the room! Too often, people focus on what they can’t do but they ignore what they’re good at. I’m teaching them to change their mind set and focus on their strengths instead.”

Despite her outstanding work for and involvement with the local community, Rosina was genuinely surprised to be nominated for the Saltire Society’s ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’.

“I really did not expect this and I feel so honoured”, she says.

Rosina was nominated by Sue John, Enterprise Development Manager at the Glasgow Women’s Library. Sue and Rosina met years back when both took part in the development of ‘Women in Profile’, an organisation which aimed to ensure representation of women’s culture during Glasgow’s year as the European City of Culture in 1990. Since then, Rosina has always been a strong supporter of the Glasgow Women’s Library. A few years ago, she contributed to the ‘Women on the Shelf’ fundraising initiative and dedicated a Library shelf to her sister when she passed away.

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West College Scotland successfully launches coding clubs in three Renfrewshire Secondary Schools

West College Scotland’s Digital Xtra Project, funded by Skills Development Scotland, is now well underway with the launch of coding clubs. Run by some of the College’s computing staff and students, the clubs are aimed at engaging S1/2 pupils in the use of the BBC Micro:Bit and encouraging them to become more involved in coding.

The clubs have been launched successfully in three Renfrewshire Secondary Schools: Paisley Grammar School, St Benedicts High School and Renfrew High School. All of the clubs have been well attended and have seen some great activities taking place including making music from Katy Perry & Star Wars and developing a pong game… controlled by a banana!

Chris Wilson, computing teacher from St Benedicts High School said: “We had a whole lab full of pupils turning up after school in their own time.  The best thing was the gender split – exactly 50/50!  Really great to see so many girls taking a genuine interest in STEM and coding in particular. The hands-on Micro:Bit coding is going down really well with the pupils.  I think the idea of writing code to run on a physical device they hold in their hand gives them something extra.  All pupils seem to have a love for technology and creativity so the Micro:Bit exercises really appealed to them.  The staff and students from West College Scotland have been absolutely fantastic with our pupils and I’d definitely recommend the club to any schools who missed out first time around.”

West college Scotland’s computing students involved in running the clubs are thrilled to share their skills with the pupils while gaining invaluable experience themselves. Michael Walsh, one of the students enrolled in the STEM Ambassador program, said: “This is was a great opportunity to introduce young people to the game development industry to try and get them interested in programming specifically as there aren’t enough people coming out of school and going into the game development sector. This experience is also different from my usual College week and it will be a great addition to my CV for future employment.”

Josh Balling, also STEM Ambassador student, adds: “Taking part in the coding club is a great way to get the kids thinking outside the box while having fun by creating their own code and seeing it work in front of them. Every pupil is interested and engaged and hopefully this could lead them down the path to a STEM career in the future.”

West College Scotland also hosted the second training session for Renfrewshire School Teachers as part of the project. The sessions are run in association with Microsoft Education, Renfrewshire Council and Paisley YMCA.

This time over 20 teachers from primary & secondary schools across Renfrewshire attended the session to further develop their technology skills for teaching and use engaging activities to encourage use of the Micro:Bit in the classroom.

The College is also happy to now be on the Digital Xtra Map, featuring all activities taking place across the country. To find them visit:www.digitalxtrafund.scot/find-an-activity/

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New part time course starting March at WCS

West College Scotland is starting a new course, award in airport services and ground operations, in March at their Paisley campus.

More details can be found on the flyer or by visiting here.

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Learn Vintage Hair and Make-Up at WCS

Starting in March from our Clydebank and Greenock Campuses!  Learn how to create vintage styles, retro glamour and period looks using Hollywood and period inspiration! Apply NOW!

http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/make-up-artistry/vintage-hair-and-make-up-january-start

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Glentanar Court residents go Online

Students from West College’s Creative Industries department have been working with tenants at Glentanar Court in setting up social media accounts allowing tenants to develop their skills in modern communication technology.

WordPress, Tumblr Instagram and Facebook are now there for tenants to connect to families, friends and the world! The newly formed Heritage and Local History group at the Court hopes to use these media to share stories and research about the east end of Paisley and to connect to other Paisley heritage groups as the town drives for 2021 success.

The project incorporated film work, photography and audio alongside the development of the social media platform and has been a resounding success. The inter generational aspect of the project provided a great opportunity for the breaking down of barriers between old and young and will be a firm launchpad for further collaborative projects between West College and Glentanar Court.

 

Glentanar Court invites applications for the tenancy of a one person { studio} flat, now available. Please contact Cairn Housing Association on 0800 990 3405 to arrange a viewing or request an application form.

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College Partnership with Elior UK Set to be a Recipe for Success!

West College Scotland has partnered with Elior UK (one of the UK’s leading hospitality companies) at Ibrox stadium under the guidance of award winning chef Jav Aziz.

 

We are looking for people with a positive attitude, who are willing to learn in a fast moving environment to take part in a unique and exciting opportunity to develop their professional cookery knowledge and skills.

This opportunity is open to a very limited number and will involve training and working within the stadium’s hospitality and function kitchens and restaurants as well as attending classes at the Paisley campus. The 14 week course will commence on 3 February  2017 (date may be subject to change).

Entry Requirements- There are no formal entry requirements required, although experience in hospitality would be beneficial.

Apply here: http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/hospitality-professional-cookery/wcs-and-elior-culinary-development-at-ibrox-stadium