British Study Centres News January - June 2011
Bournemouth on Olympic Relay Route
In superstition Friday 13th is unlucky for some; but not for Bournemouth. Next year, on Friday 13th July 2012 Bournemouth will play host to the Olympic Torch as it takes its 70 day tour of the UK before arriving in London signifying the official start to the Olympic Games. Bournemouth Borough council are thrilled, Councillor Peter Charon said "..the Olympic Torch Relay will be greeted by the people of Bournemouth in breath-taking style". The council will host "celebratory" events in the evening for the public. The organisers of the route planned it to ensure that 95% of the population would be within a one hour journey of the torch. It seems a logical choice as a stop on the route because Bournemouth is close neighbours with Weymouth which will play host to the sailing events in the games. Full details of the Olympic Torch Relay will be announced in 2012, but you can be assured that BSC Bournemouth will be participating fully in the celebrations of this historic occasion.
Happy Birthday BSC Bournemouth!
What a difference a year makes! Last year British Study Centres Bournemouth opened with 4 students, this week the school boasts 122 students and we are still growing! With a move of location from Hanover House to Bristol and West House due to demand for classes the newest school to the British Study Centres portfolio is proving just as popular as our other more established schools. The ever increasing demand for classes in Bournemouth has seen a rise in classrooms from 12 to 14 year-round classrooms and an extra 4 summer classrooms made available for students this year. We like to thank all our agents for their continuing support and staff for making this year so memorable. If you would like to book a course for this summer, please check with the school for availability, email@example.com.
Students Celebrate Oxford Shop Opening!
Students at BSC Oxford were yesterday celebrating the opening of our new school shop. The shop on the fourth floor of Oxenford House (just opposite our new coffeeshop), which is open during breaks and after classes, sells all the things that our students want and need! With a comprehensive range of stationary items useful for classes such as pens and designer notebooks, students can also top-up their mobile phones, book social programme excursions, buy grammar and vocabulary books, dictionaries, city guides, BSC branded clothing, plug adaptors, Oxford souvenirs, footballs and much more!
The response to the shop opening has been incredible. Daumantas, who looks after the shop said 'I am amazed by the interest in our new shop, students come in just to browse but most leave with something. Yesterday a student popped in and walked out with an 'I Love Oxford' mug, which makes a fantastic gift for friends or family back home! The day before a student was on her way to a lesson, she popped her head around the door, saw a dictionary and said "That's just what I need". By the time she got to her lesson, she had a new dictionary to help her with her English.'
The new BSC Oxford shop - now open for business!
Organic Deli Now Serving Food and Drink at BSC
BSC Oxford is thrilled to announce the opening of our 4th floor coffee shop this morning, in partnership with Trevor and Christina from the Organic Deli. Trevor himself was here in person to make the first coffee - a cafe latte for school director, Niko Phillips.
Trevor described the ethos behind the Organic Deli: 'Our new coffee shop is truly green - we sell organic locally sourced produce in baguettes and sandwiches, and a range of organic and gluten free cakes, pastries and snacks.'
'To drink students can select from a range of 25 different different teas, as well as fairtrade coffees - whether it's a long slow latte with friends or a quick hit of espresso before class begins! All our drinks are served in 100% compostable cups which are made from recycled materials. We even have brand new compostable lids for our cups!'.
Niko Phillips went on to describe the changes afoot on the 4th floor of the building in Oxford: 'We are now offering a more complete service to our students with the opening of the coffee shop. This week we will also be opening our new student shop and information point, where students will be able to purchase useful items such as mobile phone top-up vouchers, plug adaptors, stationary, souvenirs, British Study Centres clothing and even footballs - watch this space!'.
Teacher Training - 100% CELTA Course Pass Rate
The March CELTA Course at British Study Centres Teacher Training, Oxford reaches a successful conclusion. After four weeks of hard work all seventeen candidates on the current CELTA passed the course with flying colours and will now be starting their careers as professional English Language teachers.
The CELTA course provides an initial training for people entering the profession and successful completion of the course has enabled many candidates to find their first teaching post, as it is a qualification highly regarded by employers.
It's hard work – no two ways about it, it can be stressful but it's always stimulating and well worth that glass of cava when it's all over!
Celebrity Adventurer Talks at 1st Annual General Meeting
The inaugural AGM for British Study Centres was a resounding success with staff members from all areas of the group meeting and exchanging ideas for the first time under one roof! Sessions included the launch of Bellbird, our amazing new online teaching resource facility headed up by Richard Turnbull and James Baker's and Roland Sharp's session about creating a customer service pledge.
The highlight of the day had to be celebrity adventurer Mark Beaumont's inspirational talk about his cycling challenge where he smashed the world record by 82 days for circumnavigating the globe by bike (the journey was shown in his documentary on BBC1 and explored in greater detail in his book). Mark demonstrated how mental endurance and rational choice are key to what he does. His session struck a chord with many as his book was a sought after prize in the giant raffle which saw signed copies given away along with bottles of wine, iPod Shuffles and even a digital camera.
The day was rounded off with a fantastic Hog Roast and drinks where everyone could let down their hair. Let's see if we can top such a successful day next year!
Due to Events in Middle East & North Africa
Due to the recent events in the Middle East and North Africa, British Study Centres would like to offer their continued support to the international students studying with us.
We are working with the Embassies to ensure that our students are supported throughout this time and that all due care and consideration is offered to those involved. We understand that there may be students with us that may require additional information with regards to their visa, course and accommodation and we will be working with these individuals to offer our services to the best of our ability.
We understand that students may be experiencing difficulties communicating with their family and friends at home and we would like make it known that these students are free to visit their student services team to fully utilise the telephones and internet access that we have, should they need any assistance with making contact.
Please be sure to inform your school of any appointments of planned visits to the Embassy, as we will require this information for our records.
BSC Teacher Training Oxford Grand Opening Event
Last Friday evening saw the official opening of our dedicated teacher training centre in Oxford.
The good and the great from the world of EFL were in attendance. People travelled from as far afield as Russia and Colombia to join us on the night, and we also welcomed representatives from France, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
Niko Phillips, Oxford School Director, was proud to introduce Marion Williams ex-President of IATEFL and published EFL author to cut the ribbon and officially 'open' the centre. Other speakers on the night included BSC Chairman Simon Cleaver, and Oxford Head of Teacher Training Steve Haysham who addressed an audience including representatives from OUP and Macmillan, as well as from a number of Oxford's language schools, colleges and universities. Also in attendance were this month's CELTA graduates, alongside a number of people currently undertaking our DELTA course under the tutelage of Mark Bartram. It was a pleasure to see novice teachers rubbing shoulders with their more experienced counterparts - we hope to welcome those CELTA graduates back to BSC TT when they too are ready to consider doing their DELTAs!
The night was a great success as ex-colleagues got re-acquainted and industry professionals networked, while a gypsy jazz band played in the background and waiters served champagne and canapés!
The evening ended with a prize raffle which one of our CELTA graduates, Sara Rawnsley, won. Sara won a meal for two at Jamie's Italian in Oxford, we expect Sara will take her boyfriend, Adam Hunt, along to the restaurant to celebrate the fact that he too also just completed his CELTA at BSC TT in Oxford!
Hotcourses Foundation Fund Raising Gala Dinner at the Houses of Parliament
On Thursday the 3rd of February 2011 British Study Centres took part in a gala dinner in the Members Dining Room at the House of Commons hosted by Baroness Morris of Yardley. Baroness Morris is one of the Hotcourses Foundation Trustees, along with Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and BSC's own Chairman, Simon Cleaver.
The dinner was attended by 150 people and Jonathan Dimbleby was a very erudite guest speaker. Sister Mary Owens, head of the Nyumbani HIV orphanage, came all the way from Kenya to attend the event and speak about the work being done in Kenya. It was really moving to hear directly how many children are being helped and understand the challenges ahead.
Since the event we have received some really wonderful feedback from guests who described the evening as 'inspiring', 'fascinating' and 'thought provoking' and everyone who attended seemed to be in agreement that the House of Commons is a really special venue.
The auction was a huge success with a massive total of £45,000 raised with a further large donations being given including a generous donation to cover the cost of the construction of the sports pitch for the orphanage High School which was one of the key aims for the evening.
Another highlight was the presentation of a cheque for £1,000, single-handedly raised by Georgia Nicklin, the daughter of British Study Centres' Group Accountant. Sixteen year old Georgia had raised the money by baking and selling cakes to friends and at her school over a six month period. Sister Mary was absolutely thrilled to receive Georgia's donation and wrote her a special letter of thanks on her return to Kenya.
So all in all the event was a great success and most importantly helped to raise awareness of the work that is being done for the children in Kenya and will hopefully have made a lot of new friends for Nyumbani UK & Hotcourses Foundation. A huge thanks to everyone who attended and thank you to everyone who continues to support everything we are trying to achieve.
BSC Bournemouth Accredited by the British Council
British Study Centres Bournemouth can now sit at the top table alongside BSC's other schools, (London, Oxford and Brighton) after receiving a glowing report in our recent British Council inspection. As with the other schools, Bournemouth received a point of excellence for the premises in the publishable statement which proves that as a group, British Study Centres is committed to providing the best environment for you to study in (please see the Bournemouth school photo tour here).
The team at BSC Bournemouth deserve great credit for all the effort and hard work they put in to making the school such a success and a pleasurable place to be! It was an outstanding achievement to receive this point of excellence having been open for less than six months!
BSC Bournemouth can now apply for an individual sponsor licence number and will be more visible worldwide - please check your local British Council office for further information.
Well done everybody!!!