This Week in Student Services...

Student Services - Reading College

...To the bank holiday Easter weekend!

Yes,we're now only a week away from a lovely 4-day weekend, full of good food, good company and, in my case, a good healthy chunk of sleep!

What about you - got much planned for the Easter break? Whatever you're up to we would like to wish everyone a wonderful Easter and a relaxing and restful bank holiday weekend!

Puppy Easter

Meanwhile, in Student Services...

It's been pretty spooky with no students around, don't you think?

I think we've all enjoyed the opportunity to get on top of all our work over the past week, but time certainly goes slower without the students.

I think we miss them when they're gone really...just not all the day passes... :p

The next Michael Palin?

With the sunshine coming out, we've all got holidays on the brain. Talking to Sandra the other day, Neil and I discovered that she's quite the seasoned traveller!

So ... as some of us are still making up our minds where we'd like to jet off to this Summer, we thought we'd give Travel Guru Sandra her own feature in the newsletter to recommend her top destinations.

Sandra will be letting us in each week on her top holiday spots - one a week until her China trip! So, where will our travel expert send us this Summer...?

This week Sandra says...

"I have been to Rome twice now, and would recommend it highly. There are many great places to visit; the Forum, the Vatican, Palantine Hill, The Colloseum, Trevi Fountain, Castelo D'Angelo. I would also definitely recommend doing the hop-on-hop-off bus ride, a sight-seeing bus that goes all around the city.

Out of everything I visited, my favourite place was the Sistine Chapel - although we had to be quiet, with monks clapping their hands saying 'Silencio! Silencio!'

To eat out in Rome I would recommend Chianti's, which is right next to the Trevi Fountain and the restaurants on the Via Veneto. My favourite dish here was the Cacio e Pepe - simple, but delicious! Here's a recipe in case you want to create a little taste of Rome at home:

See you next week, at our new destination,


Vanessa's Sci-Fi Weekend

Vanessa from the Employability team had a great time recently at the Sci-Fi Weekender! Here's the lowdown from Vanessa:

"My friends and I had a lot of fun at Sci-Fi Weekender in north Wales at the end of March. Having first conquered the dizzy heights of Mount Snowden (the hard way on foot – not the lazy way by train!), we attended a lecture on zombieology and then went to a gig performed by Darth Elvis and the Imperials."

Sounds like a fantastic weekend, and takes me back to my Buffy Convention days! Back to the real world now though...! :p

A Plea for Placements!

Now t's not all fun and games with Vanessa.. at the moment she and her team need some help finding work experience placments for Business and IT students.

If you have any contacts outside of college who you think would be interested in finding out more about placements with such students, then please point them in Vanessa or Jordan's direction.

In particular, the team are currently working on behalf of a student who has additional needs. This student is looking for work experience in a business-related environment and has health and mobility issues (the college will provide a carer to look after the personal care).

They are looking for a meaningful placement with a company in Reading or Henley that will provide a safe and fostering environment, and that can provide some solid work experience. Ideally the placement would be for a week, but if a company can only offer 2 or 3 days then that will be better than nothing!

If you know of anyone that could help please do get them to contact Vanessa on / 0118 955 4625

Layla's weekend away

Over her time off Layla went to Center Parks & Longleat Safari with a big group of friends, and enjoyed the lovely weather we've been having - as well as lots more!

Yes, whilst we were busy working away in the office, Layla was out on her bike, seeing safari animals, rockclimbing, swimming in the rapids, and holding tarantulas!

She even had little rhesus monkeys all over her bonnet - and they owe her a black panel from the top of her car! Cheeky monkeys...

Now ... after that adorable little monkey, you may want to brace yourself for the next bit - especially if you don't like creepy crawlies! Here's a video of Layla with a Tarantula she met on holiday...

Rob Wilson MP launches Job Fair at Reading College

Tomorrow Rob Wilson, local MP, will be coming to Reading College to launch his seventh Reading Job Fair.

Rob will launch the event with Principal Lesley Donoghue, as well as with representatives of Jobcentre Plus, Reading UK CIC and local employers who will be attending the Job Fair on 28th May.

Following the official launch in the main entrance hall in the morning, Rob will be popping in to Student Services to visit our Employment Shop, meeting students who are looking for support with jobs.

In light of this special guest, let's make sure we impress tomorrow, with smart dress, big smiles, a tidy department, and the fantastic service that we always provide here in Student Services. How will he be anything but impressed, eh!? :)

Design Thinking Course on Thursday 10 April 2014 - B100


Are you ready to re-think thinking?

Design Thinker is an important first step that will provide a true taste of the innovation process. With practice, your design thinking skills will help you:

• see new opportunities consistently

• connect deeply with customers

• transform insights and data into actionable ideas

• create and implement new solutions with business

impact, faster and more effectively

In summary, design thinking will help you effect meaningful change!

On Thursday morning Management staff, the Pass-It-On team, and Change Champions met in B100 to attend a training course in 'Design Thinking'

The general idea of 'Design Thinking' is that the more we move away from concrete challenges and observations about people, and toward a more abstract approach, we also move past the traditional solutions that these traditional approaches provide us with, journeying instead into innovation and expanding our boundaries and possibilities.

You can see this Innovation Process laid out below:

The three main phases of the design thinking process are as follows:




INSPIRE focuses on the problems & opportunities that motivate the search for a solution.

IDEATE involves generating a number of ideas that will shape your final solution.

IMPLEMENT bridges the project room and reality, with a focus on evolving ideas into successful solutions.

All participants of the training took part in a Design Thinking challenge, harnessing the skills of these three stages of thinking.

Our very own Nir won the challenge with her team Green Giant, consisting of Julie Kennedy, Paul Buckey and Chris Vickers. Well done to the innovators! :)

Buddy System

With everyone off on annual leave at the moment, the Buddy System put into place by Nir has begun for the year, and is going well.

Buddy Systems

Make sure you know your buddies everyone, and be sure to prepare handover notes for them before you go on leave. And remember...when the applications come flooding in...

New look Reception

There has been a new face helping out on Reception recently...

No! It's not Miss Diane from the classic TV series Crossroads, (though we all agree that she would be a wonderful addition to our team). Drum roll please...The newbie on Reception is...


Kelly has been helping out Julie during busy times at Reception. Thank you Kelly for all your support. You and Julie make a great team!

That's it for this week everyone...Until next time!