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News: Aspir­ing jour­nal­ist writes sto­ry close to her heart

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Stacey Smith, Journalism student
Stacey Smith, Journalism student

A Media stu­dent at Not­ting­ham Col­lege has told the sto­ry of the College’s spe­cial­ist Pre-16 pro­vi­sion in a spe­cial fea­ture arti­cle on her blog. 

Sev­en­teen-year-old Stacey Smith spent two years study­ing towards her GCSEs with Not­ting­ham Col­lege (on a Pre-16 course), after a peri­od of being home educated. 

The spe­cif­ic Pre-16 pro­gramme that Stacey com­plet­ed is designed espe­cial­ly for stu­dents who have spent time being edu­cat­ed at home. It helps them get qual­i­fi­ca­tions to pre­pare for their future. 

After pass­ing her GCSEs, Stacey has now pro­gressed to her Lev­el 3 Jour­nal­ism course (equiv­a­lent to A Lev­els). As part of her cur­rent course, the aspir­ing jour­nal­ist chose to report on her own pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence of the Pre-16 Home Edu­cat­ed pro­gramme, along­side inter­view­ing fel­low stu­dents and staff. 

Below are some extracts from her arti­cle, in her own words and from her interviewees. 

Stacey’s piece (extracts from her full article)

The Pre-16 course helps stu­dents who have either been home edu­cat­ed or aren’t at school for cer­tain rea­sons achieve their GCSEs in order to suc­ceed in lat­er life. This has proven to be a huge suc­cess as many of their for­mer Pre-16 stu­dents are off study­ing in fur­ther edu­ca­tion or have suc­cess­ful jobs. As I myself have pre­vi­ous­ly been on this course for two years, I can ful­ly say that this course changed my life. It shaped me to the girl I am today. 

Speaking to staff

Jo Edger­ton is the man­ag­er of the Pre-16 GCSE course. She over­sees all the staff and stu­dents who are on this course. She has watched the course blos­som into the fan­tas­tic thing it is today. 

Jo Edger­ton said: I’m amazed at how quick­ly peo­ple make friends on this course. I think what’s real­ly nice about the pro­gramme is that you’ve got young peo­ple that have expe­ri­enced very sim­i­lar things that they can be sup­port­ive of one and oth­er.” It is sat­is­fy­ing to watch them blos­som all togeth­er. I think it’s the thing that makes you do the job basically.” 

Interviewing students

As well as speak­ing to the staff at Not­ting­ham Col­lege and hav­ing my own per­son­al views, I want­ed to speak to pre­vi­ous Pre-16 stu­dents to get their thoughts on the course and what they expe­ri­enced. I spoke to two for­mer stu­dents who both stud­ied on the Pre-16 course. 

Aaron Roche has been a part of the Pre-16 GCSE course at Not­ting­ham Col­lege for three years. 

When asked about what advice he’d give a new home edu­cat­ed stu­dent join­ing the course, Aaron advised To make friends with a group of hard work­ing students.” 

Aaron Roche

You’ll enjoy your course, and will not regret it. 

Aaron Roche — Pre-16 stu­dent who has now gone on to study A Lev­els at Not­ting­ham Col­lege’s High Pave­ment Sixth Form

From leav­ing the Pre-16 course with eight GCSEs, Aaron has pro­gressed onto his A‑levels at Not­ting­ham Col­lege. He is cur­rent­ly study­ing chem­istry, biol­o­gy and psychology. 

A personal view

But what was col­lege like for me? I joined the Pre-16 course in Sep­tem­ber 2018 and it was one of the great­est expe­ri­ences of my life. Com­ing from a school envi­ron­ment, to study­ing at home to then being in a col­lege envi­ron­ment, it real­ly was a whirl­wind of emo­tions. But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. 

Not­ting­ham Col­lege real­ly wel­comed me with open arms and slow­ly, I became the girl I once was. It was one of my proud­est achieve­ments and I would do it all again if I could. I’ve made so many amaz­ing friends who I will always have in my life and I gained great grades dur­ing my two years at college. 

I will always be thank­ful for the amaz­ing two years I’ve had as a Pre-16 GCSE stu­dent. The course is such an amaz­ing experience! 

Published on:
  • 25th February 2021 (8:30 AM)
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