Future medic wows staff on work experience placement

Work Experience placements are an integral part of BTEC/CTEC courses and, at Xaverian College, students spend a week with employers to put into practice what they learn in the classroom. Alfa Djau, aged 17 years from Salford, recently spent a week in a GP’s surgery to complete his work experience placement, and made such an impact that he received glowing feedback from everybody in the organisation that he worked with.

Former Oasis Academy MediaCityUK student, Alfa, chose Xaverian College due to its reputation of being an excellent college and one that would help him progress into his chosen career. He was interested in Health and Social Care, Business and IT at school, but when it came to making his college choices, he wanted to specialise in one course, and commented: “I thought about what job I wanted to do in the future and decided I wanted to become a Nurse, so I chose the CTEC Health and Social Care Extended Diploma to enable me to do this.

“As part of the CTEC course, we take part in a one-week work placement, and I did mine at The Robert Darbishire Practice in Rusholme. The work experience placement exceeded my expectations. The staff treated me really well and took time to show me how to do things. Our teachers tasked us with taking part in individual and group activities, and for mine I took part in a teams meeting where I talked about my experiences at the practice and spoke to individual staff about how to perform the tasks I was going to be working on.”

Alfa’s duties involved working on reception to welcome patients and visitors and typing in their details on the computer when they have an appointment to see a Doctor, as well as speaking to people over the phone to book appointments and deal with other admin enquiries and entering information on the system. He also worked with the Admin Team, Marketing Team and spoke to Nurses and Doctors about their roles in the surgery. Alfa said: “I gained experience of what it would be like to work in a GP’s practice, but also what happens in the background as I didn’t think that it would involve so many people. Being in the practice enabled me to gain new experiences, work in a team and it improved my confidence being in a work environment and speaking to members of the public.”

“I’m pleased that I did my placement at the practice as it helped me with my experience and knowledge in health and social care, and they treated me really well and I got on with everybody. My favourite part was when I was given a box of information that I had to sort because it was outdated, and they taught me what I needed to do to correct it and ensure that the records were updated. I gained so much in the week I was there and feel that my communication, written, leadership and teamwork skills have all improved.”

Alfa received amazing feedback from all staff with whom he worked within the practice, and Central Services Manager and Alfa’s placement mentor, Rachel O’Pray, praised Alfa by saying: “Alfa is an extremely capable, intelligent and approachable person. In his time with us, he quickly became valued and well-liked by all staff and it has been an absolute pleasure to have him as part of our team during the week. He has demonstrated his values and ethics and acted with integrity in all interactions. We wish him every success in his future and believe that he can achieve in whatever career path he chooses.”

In talking about his future plans, Alfa said: “My experience at Xaverian has been great and I’m so happy to be here. At the beginning, it was a lot of hard work but I soon got used to it and I knew that if I succeed it will take me to university. In the future, I plan to go to university and following this work in the UK or abroad as a Nurse, and doing my placement has confirmed this. I hope to specialise in paediatrics and one day I would like to work in Dubai as it is an amazing city!”

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers a large variety of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses, including BTEC Health and Social Care, which gives students the opportunity to progress to university on related Degrees or into further training, Apprenticeships or employment in the healthcare sector. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

Christmas Music Concert is a resounding success

Xaverian Music students put on an impressive show to round off the year at the Royal Northern College of Music in December. The concert was a familiar mix of traditional and modern music styles and included impressive performances of Christmas classics from the brass band with ‘A Christmas Cocktail’, the chamber choir with ‘Underneath the Tree’ and the orchestra with ‘Sleigh Ride’.

Xaverian Alumni from the class of 2022, Lydia-Faith Smith, has performed and compèred at previous RNCM concerts and so enjoyed her time as a Xaverian student that she is now working with the Music Department as a Music Mentor. Lydia said: “I was so inspired by the Mentors we had in the year above me, and I thought it looked like a great opportunity, that I spoke to the Music Department and the rest just fell into place. My role is to organise lunchtime concerts, help the students if they have extra questions about the A Level course, prepare and transpose parts for ensembles and I even get to run my own gospel choir, which is very fulfilling as the choir performed ‘O Come All You Unfaithful’ in the lead up to Christmas.”

Former student of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Lydia-Faith studied A Levels in English Language, Music and Psychology at Xaverian, and commented: “The environment just seemed so friendly and supportive, and the Music Department especially attracted me as it was very vibrant, it quickly became a no-brainer to be a part of the Xaverian community. I really liked all my subjects but Music was my favourite by far. I spent most of my week in the music rooms and being in the choir and soul band were my favourite extracurricular activities.

“I’m going to continue with my interest in music and I’m all set to go to University of Leeds to study a Degree in Music and Music Psychology later this year. Ultimately, I’d like to be a Music Therapist as I feel like it’s the best blend of my massive passion for music and my dream to help people improve their lives. I want to see where that takes me, but I’m not planning too heavily at this stage in my life!”

If you’re passionate about Music, Xaverian offers an A Level in Music for those interested in Performance or a BTEC Advanced in Music Technology. Music is also offered as a enrichment option for those who to improve their skills alongside studying other subjects.

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses.

Lydia-Faith Smith, Music Mentor at Xaverian College
History students Caitlin and Nadia

Xaverian History students recognised in national competition

Two Year 12 students at Xaverian College, Caitlin Bowler and Nadia Bishop-Broadhurst entered The British Association for American Studies (BAAS) School Essay Prize earlier this year and have recently been recognised for their excellent work. 

The British Association for American Studies invited students to investigate using the brief: “Explore any aspect of the American experience, from the perspective of history, literature, film, politics or any other related or inter-related discipline.”, allowing students to focus on any area they had a particular interest in.  

Nadia won the competition with her essay: “Were the golden years really golden?” and Caitlin gained an honourable mention for her essay: “Has America always considered itself exceptional?”.  

Both students attended a digital awards ceremony on Friday 17th June 2022, where their hard work was celebrated by leading academics.  

Caitlin said: “The theme of my essay was American exceptionalism – what is it, where does it come from and how does it affect people consumed by it? I have always been really interested in the concept that America seems to have – that they are inherently better than everyone else just because they are American – and how it seems to change their perception of life. I got to explore lots of different aspects of this when writing my final submission. 

“I entered the competition to challenge myself, I never thought I’d get an honourable mention! Our teachers always encourage us to step outside of our comfort zone and try something new, especially when it combines our studies with something we enjoy and are passionate about. 

“At Xaverian there are lots of subjects to choose from and the enrichment opportunities are endless – that’s why I chose to study here! I’ve made so many great friends and I feel really prepared for my future, hopefully as a History Teacher!”  

Hayley Flanagan, History Teacher, commented: “It’s incredible to have two students from the College recognised for their work! Both Nadia and Caitlin work exceptionally hard and it’s been a pleasure watching them grow over the past year. They should be really proud!” 

It’s only while studying the past that we can make sense of the present and when studying History at Xaverian you have the chance to immerse yourself in various topics, from the Tudors to the American Dream. This A Level course requires you to think critically and to explore different perspectives of the past to develop your own arguments and conclusions. 

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!