No bricklaying tutor for first four weeks. Very poorly organised course. The materials didn't turn up on time, so lots of time waiting around. Certificates took between a year to a year and a half to be delivered, so poor admin too.
Firstly, I should say the classes are very enjoyable with a pleasant and knowledgeable teacher who bends over backwards to assist her students. The room is light and well set up with sewing machines interlockers irons etc There is no where to leave your sewing equipment in the room but it is possible to hire lockers. So why only three stars? The administration of the college is the problem. I attend the Tooting college which is relatively small I think compared to their other sites. All students have passes which gain access through the automatic barrier. But if you forget your pass, even tho’ your enrolment and information is all on their computer system you will be charged for a replacement pass, they don’t issue temporary or visitor passes. So you either forgo the class you’ve paid for and go home, or go home find your pass and return or pay a fine, which increases should you forget your pass again. There is a blanket ban on hats, hoodies and sunglasses being worn (and any food or drink) as you enter (and presumably once inside but this is never checked!) They insist that your pass be put over your head, even tho’ you will be taking off scarves and coats in your classroom. Holding the pass in your hand is against the rules. Although I think it is possible to have one on a clip which I presume you are allowed to unclip and hold in your hand to scan at the barrier?All head gear (unless religious) must also be removed. A security guard stands, watching, waiting for any misdemeanour. Infirm, elderly Ladies with walking sticks on very cold days are told they cannot enter wearing their hat., even tho’ it does not obscure their face. That it is the policy of the college and an exemption requires a medical certificate. I believe it is possible to have your security pass showing you wearing a hat, but presumably this has to be retaken in summer when you either don’t wear a hat or change to a sun bonnet? I was told that at some colleges there have been problems with young men using passes, which didn’t belong to them, to gain entry to steal college equipment. One would assume that the teachers would spot a student they did not recognise in their class rooms. This begs the question would it not be better to have security actually walking around the college? Unless Mi5 have some info about elderly ladies, wearing, hats, carrying a stick and a shopping bag being a security risk, this policy, ‘which has to be equally enforced at every sight’ is purely for the benefit of the college and not the students, who pay to be there. I did raise my frustration at this rather draconian attitude in an email but never got a response, I raised it in person and got the polite but usual platitudes and a reiteration of the college’s policy. I’ve attended several adult education colleges where there is nothing like this kind of security and I’ve worked in places where security is a genuine concern but never encountered this. What sort of message is South Thames sending?
I WILL MAKE IT BRIEF AS REALLY UPSETTING WASTING MY TIME WRITING THIS! ONLY THING ALL DAY WE LEARNT WA VERY VERY BASIC WATER SYSTEM, BOILER - THEORY. ONLY PRACTICAL THING WAS HOW TO DRILL A SCREW INTO A PLASTER BOARD - WHICH I ALREADY KNOW!!!!!!!!! TEACHER DIDN;T EVEN KEEP TRACT OF TIME AND WE HAD TO RUSH AND LEAVE THE COLLEGE VERY QUICKLY AS WE HAD 30 MINUTES NOTICE AND DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO WRITE FEEDBACKS AS CUSTOM FOR THAT COLLEGE! TOTALLY WASTED MY TIME AND MONEY! WILL WRITE OFFICAL COMPLAINT T0 THE PRINCIPLE, VICE PRINCIPLES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN AND WANDSWORTH COUNCIL AS IT IS HALF FUNDED BY THEM! WORSTEDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE SO FAR!
The course is 2 hours for three weeks. Total 6 hours. Would have expected the lessons to be organised and prepared, but no. The first lesson involved asking us what we were interested in,rather than following the items we had seen in the course description and following them. The items mentioned were, painting, wallpapering. The tutor asked what about tiling, shelving, electrics, plumbing. There was interest in tiling and shelving, but no interest in electrics or plumbing, yet we spent the first lesson, having a tour of the building, chatting about electrics and plumbing and finally seeing the room where the wallpapering occurs. The next lesson the only practical we did was making good a small portion of wall. This probably took up 25 minutes of the lesson with everyone taking turns. The final lesson, because nothing had been prepared, we ended up using small pieces of board to do the tiling, painting and wallpapering in groups of two. By the end of two hours, only three people had painting an area not much more than 1m x 50cm, two people had had a go at wallpapering an area of about the same size (which was gutting when we were in a room full of walls split for the specific purpose of wallpapering), and tiling was performed with an unsuitable tool. There was no mention of shelving as nobody felt comfortable mentioning it as they were worried the other items wouldn't get covered,and it would be an excuse to do no further practical. The plusses were the tutor was very easy to ask questions to, and knows his stuff, hints and tips during the course were good,but then you can find that sort of thing on youtube. We wanted practical hands on work from the moment we entered the course to the end of the third day and not one person who was there for the three days found it remotely worthwhile or as per the description of what they signed up to. We were told we would be given hand outs in the final class, but these were not present. We were told these would be emailed. I am not holding out much hope,but can't say for sure they will not be sent. Also the feedback form is worded in a way it's not really possible to rate the course as such, if it had been I wouldn't have resorted to this. The tutor was very nice and in the course we were all far too English and polite but afterwards it seemed to me that nobody was happy.
Level 2 was probably the worst year I've had in any school or college year. The teachers kept leaving and new ones kept joining. All the work kept going to waste because of this. And as new teachers came in work kept piling up. Nome.of the new teachers were friendly or kind. Every student in my class would agree to this. #worst_experience_EVER
Beware when signing up to this course, as there are only 5 classroom based sessions but there are approximately 16-18 actual typing lessons which have to be learnt. As a result, much work is required at home and unless an individual has lots of spare time, it is very, very difficult to complete all of the lessons. None of the students completed the course.! I will be taking the 10 week beginners touch typing course with City Lit which is much better paced.
I took this course after completing the first module, but you could just as well start with this one. New selection of recipes, but just as approachable and delicious as those from previous module. Really good way to further improve confidence and learn more about about cooking with spices. The tutor (Kally) was very enthusiastic and patient. Would definitely recommend this course.
Due to the accelerated nature of the course, we didn't have enough time to adequately cover the entire syllabus, plus the group was quite large, restricting the one-on-one time. Absence wasn't adequately provided for.
Computers always misbehaving...Student life
Made quite a lot of friends from the group, staying in touch with most of them
The teacher Martine is fantastic, she has the power to relax you only with her tone of voice! The course was well balanced with 70% of practice and 30% of theory.
The classroom was ok, in Balham near the tube station.Student life
Everyone was coming from a different background (students, teachers, professional masseurs, mums, etc) but everyone was interested at the same level.