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ŚCDN Visit to University of Chichester

freeu erasmus noweOn 10 May 2015, led by their intrepid bosses, the valiant team of the ŚCDN consultants set foot on the British soil heading for Chichester, the seat of the University of Chichester.

Chaperoned by their infinitely patient and kind guardian angel, Dr Duncan Reavey, the group enjoyed intellectually and linguistically challenging three days filled to the brim with presentations, interviews, school visits and talks delivered by top education and in-service training experts in the area. The team managed to persevere only thanks to the delicious refreshments recommended by the hosts and the invigorating proximity of the sunny sea shore just round the corner.

Next, following in the steps of all conquerors, the team hit London. Undeterred by the rain, the group reached the City of Westminster College and then British Museum to acquire even more of adult education and continuous learning experience.

Finally, having absorbed as much as possible of the London cultural offer, the team, exhausted but joyful, triumphantly returned to their native land on 16 May 2015.

The photos attached illustrate their peregrination.

The description

It is never too late to learn new skills.

Respect and support

Advisory teachers of Świętokrzyskie In-Service Teacher Training Centre (SCDN) were observing British teachers during their visit in England . This will result in an offer of training courses, seminars and workshops for teachers from Świętokrzyskie Region who work with adults.

Support, respect and adjusting education to individual needs and abilities are the most important pieces of advice concerning work with adult learners at universities, colleges which were given by British teachers.

Sixteen advisory teachers from SCDN divided into two groups spent an arduous week in the UK to get through by carrying out the project: "In-service training of teachers of adults – new Chance and Challenge" as a part of the programme Erasmus Plus. The two –year project has been implemented by Świętokrzyskie In-service Teacher Training Centre (SCDN) based on partnership with University of Chichester.

PhD Duncan Reavey, who looked after the Polish groups, introduced Polish colleagues into work of the University of Chichester on the very first day. A full-day workshop concerning feedback in teaching and learning was delivered by Sheila Thorpe from Chichester College. Whereas Mary Young from the University of Chichester invited advisory teachers from Świetokrzyskie region to participate in a conference for teachers from Chichester and the region of Chichester who teach English as a second language, which took place in the University of Chichester. A headmistress of one of local schools said : " My students speak in twenty different languages. Some of them know English, but a little and they need support". Several Polish teachers, who have been living in the UK for a few years, also took part in this conference. They often play a part of a teacher assistant and help students from Poland to learn content subjects in English.

Returning to the university

Dave Corocoran, a head of the support group for adult students of the University of Chichester, told Polish advisory teachers about the situation of adult people in the UK who wanted to either start studying at universities or go back to schools, colleges and universities to learn after a break caused by e.g. maternity leave.

„Returning to the university is an enormous challenge for many adult learners. University as an institution and lecturers try to adapt their timetable to their abilities. We understand that they often have demanding work, a family. It happens that the journey to the university takes them a lot of time. We get to know their problems, difficulties in their life and take care of them in a special way. They get support from the university, e.g. tutorials, on-line classes and they are supported by means of scholarships, grants. We also look for funds for their tuition fees", explained Dave Corcoran during his lecture for teachers from Kielce.

Dave Corcoran listed, among other things, raising qualifications, losing a job, a necessity of learning new skills and a sense of emptiness after the children move as the reasons for the fact that adult people decided to return to the university.


Highbury College teachers from Portsmouth have taught mature students successfully for years. The school brochures convince grown-ups that it is never too late to learn new skills and activities. Computer courses are particularly popular, even among 80+ people, who learn how to send e-mails, how to shop online or how to use their smartphones efficiently. Mature students may also develop their artistic interests and get information on healthy lifestyles there.

"Many adults have bad memories of school. It's not easy for them to go back to learning. We help them do it and thanks to our help 90 per cent of the mature students finish the College," said Lara Bakhshov from Highbury College.

Mature students are offered over 200 courses by the City of Westminster College in London, which is one of best and biggest vocational schools in Britain's capital. This is the place where Polish immigrants have come for years to learn English. The immigrants interest in the courses has decreased recently as the government stopped subsidizing them.

"There is no age limit in our College. We accept not only teenagers and the unemployed sent by the Job Centres, but also other mature candidates who want to upgrade their professional qualifications. The student is in the centre of our attention. It is the teacher's role to direct him or her how to acquire the knowledge and skills independently," ŚI-STTC advisory teachers were told by Pete Sharrocks, Head of Teaching and Training.

Małgorzata Zielińska, who administers the City of Westminster College's job search skills courses, stated that the crucial notion in teaching adults was respecting their life experience.

The ŚI-STTC advisory teachers all agree that the visit to Great Britain was perfectly prepared – meritorically and organizationally. Aneta Bródka, a ŚI-STTC advisory teacher and the coordinator of the project: "In-service training of teachers of adults – a New Chance and Challenge for the ŚI-STTC", points out that the project participants have already started preparing an offer for the Świętokrzyskie Region teachers who work with adults.

"I have been surprised to find out that in Britain people get new qualifications or job skills until late in life. To give an example, they start studies in history or astronomy at the age of 60 or more. It is wonderful that the secondary and tertiary education institutions give them so much support. And the teachers respect and appreciate their life experience enormously," comments Aneta Bródka, the project coordinator.

Starting from September 2015, the Świętokrzyskie In-Service Teacher Training Centre welcomes teachers to new adult teaching and training courses related to foreign languages, art and sport.

The photos

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