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Amersham & Wycombe College Buckinghamshire

Tutors

Jamie Cousins
Plumbing & Heating tutor

I qualified as a car mechanic with BMW and enjoy working with my hands so when an opportunity cropped up to cross over into the plumbing industry over 20 years ago I decided to give it a try.

I worked with a family member for 12 years and then set up my own business, racking up a further eight years in the plumbing and heating industry.  I’ve always wanted to further my career and have added various qualifications along the way to ensure I am up to date with the latest technology.  I have completed L2 and L3 plumbing qualifications. I have also completed water and unvented regulations and am furthering my knowledge into the heating engineering sector for natural gas and LPG.  I am gas safe and Oftec registered. Environmental technologies such as energy efficiency, solar thermal, air and ground source heat pumps are also an area of specialism.   For the student this means I can inform them of the very latest industry developments and pass on information and skills to ensure they keep up to date with the industry.

The transition from plumber to tutor wasn’t as difficult as you might think as I’ve been dealing with the public for 20 years.  You have to be knowledgeable about your subject and tolerant about dealing with problems.  I reflect back to how I was at age 16 and you can instantly relate to students, but if they are here to learn I don’t have any issues.  We get students straight out of school who want to learn the trade and work-based learners who generally seem more grateful and want to learn.  We have over 100 plumbing students at the moment and the department is still growing.

When I was working in the industry I always gave myself a goal to excel and to be the best at what I did, to earn as much as I could and enjoy life and its toys.  That’s what I try to impress on my students – work hard and enjoy the rewards.

 

Sasha Crawley
HND in Theatrical, Media and Special Effects Make-up tutor

I have been a lecturer at the College for five years and have been working as a make-up artist/nail technician for 18 years. I teach across all levels in hair and media make-up and I am a Course Leader for Level 3 and HND courses.

I am keen to help build young people’s futures in their chosen field and guide them throughout their time at college to make the most out of their education. To see a student’s progression from the start of the course to completion of their studies is extremely rewarding not only for themselves but for the team as well. In the department we have a strong and varied skillset throughout the team who are dedicated to their specialisms and are passionate about cascading their skills to the new generation of professional MUAs.

During the course of their studies, HND students have been visited by Annabelle’s Wigs, NARS Cosmetics, FANGS FX prosthetics, Freelance Make-up artists from Fashion & journalism, Treasure House Make-Up, Body painters, Stuart Bray prosthetics artist and Kryolan product house.

 

Richard Dean
HND Sport tutor and  Sports Psychology Practitioner

Teaching on the HND course is my favourite part of working at A&WC. Learners are exposed to a new level of information, and to give them a window on what the Sports Industry is really like is satisfying.

This is a course like no other. I know of no other programme where students have exposure to as many eminent guests coming in and sharing such valuable insight. No other College, no other University will provide an experience like it. Students have had exposure to world ranked boxers, international footballers, sports broadcasters and sports agents.  In addition, interviews have been specifically niched for the HND programme from a SuperBowl winner, a world top-ten tennis player, champion boxers, international footballers amongst many others.

My work has led to some amazing experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to work in very high-profile, high-octane environments, for example; the NFL, ATP World Tour tennis finals, boxing world title fights, International Test Cricket and the World Athletics Championships. Each experience of working with some of the best athletes in the world has been, and continues to be, deeply enriching.

Outside of my time at college I provide Sport Psychology support to elite sports people, either at the top of their sport, or those just embarking on the journey, I write for the UK’s biggest Football-dedicated newspaper; The League Paper. I act as a Sport Psychology expert for BBC Five Live and in between I write academic research papers/book chapters for publication.

 

Mario Santos
BTEC Level 3 and HND in IT

I am very proud to work on the Faculty of Computing at Amersham and Wycombe College because I have a long standing passion for this constantly developing field of education. I hold a BCs Honours in Computer Science and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

I have almost five years of teaching experience and in recent years worked as a Games compliance /language and hardware tester. I have designed and maintained web sites for individuals and companies and am an able Software Developer, Digital Animator and Games Designer with experience in merging creative concepts with practical application.

Using this knowledge to teach Computing and Systems Development allows me to encourage learners to explore and master software tools, making them able to design interfaces between technology and creativity.

I developed, implemented and delivered a new academic curriculum embedding emerging technologies for the BTEC IT Level 3 and HND courses, including for example: Mobile App design, Computer Animation and 3D Modelling and Printing units.  The course is now more popular than ever and I was very proud to be voted A&W College “Teacher of the Year in 2014-15.

ICT can have such a positive effect on learners and their learning; I encourage students to be confident at working independently and to access updated knowledge quickly and easily. My ultimate goal and aspiration is to continue developing these and other practises and contribute to the student’s achievement and continuous academic and professional development. In line with the college’s overall objective, I actively source valuable industry work experience for IT students and introducing them to the world of the IT industry, through work placements and apprenticeships.

 

Matthew Dudley
Foundation Degree Musical Theatre

Matthew studied at Trinity College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has taught on professional training and degree programmes for 15 years and is currently HE programme coordinator for the Musical Theatre degree programmes at Bucks New University, delivered at Amersham and Wycombe College. As well as teaching voice and singing, he has directed several plays and musical theatre productions and contributed to the writing of the new degree programme. Matthew is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® has taught voice and singing at several respected training institutions including LIPA, Guildford School of Acting and Italia Conti and performed in Opera, Oratorio and Musical Theatre at venues such as the Royal Opera House, the Albert Hall, the Barbican, the Salzburg Festival and with Garsington Opera.

 

Simon Clayden
Foundation Degree Animation & Visual Effects

Simon has been an educator for over 10 years within the fields of Visual Effects, Animation and Digital Media. He is the higher education programme leader for the Foundation Degree in Animation and Visual Effects, validated by Bucks New University.

Simon teaches a wide range of technical skills for the VFX, Animation and Games industries, including Zbrush Digital Sculpting (Certified), 3D modelling, 3D Printing, Anatomy, Advanced Character Rigging, 3D Dynamics and Compositing.   As part of the course, he trains students in the college’s dedicated Centroid Motion Capture facility to create animations using the very latest equipment and to ensure students have the relevant skills for work placements in industry. He has also incorporated Shotgun Studio software to help better integrate their workflow in an industry specific pipeline.

Students benefit from strong associations with Centroid Motion Capture in Pinewood; and more recently with Gnomon School of Visual Effects and Pixologic in Los Angeles through an organized trip to the ZBrush Summit. Foundation Degree (and BTEC) students also benefit from visits to UK studios such as Framestore, Double Negative and Aardmann to give students a wide overview of the industry and its trends and developments.

 

Jo Roots
Foundation Degree Musical Theatre

Jo trained professionally for three years on the HE Diploma at  London Studio Centre, upon graduation she entered the commercial Industry, performing in the UK and Europe for various artist and cooperate events, such as supporting Tina Turner in Monte Carlo.

Returning to education at the  Arts Educational School to top up her diploma for a BA Honours degree, and alongside her performance work, she taught in various institutions such as CPA, East Berkshire College, Arts Educational and Creative Academy. More recently she has worked as a Senior Lecturer at Mountview Academy whilst maintaining her position as FdA course Leader here at Amersham and Wycombe College.

Jo is now studying at Middlesex University to gain her MA in Professional Practice Dance Technique Pedagogy.  She is hugely passionate about her subject area of Dance and encourages and motivates students to maximise their ability to reach their full potential.

 

Peter Scott
Head Coach for the College Football Scheme, Academy Coach at Reading Football Club and former Fulham FC player.

I stopped playing professionally for Fulham FC in 1996.  I had always been interested in coaching but found making the switch from player to coach quite difficult mentally.  In the end I just launched myself into coaching getting into anywhere I could and coaching different cohorts – sometimes 9 year olds, then 14 year olds and adults to get the experience and to begin understanding the coaching process.  Initially I trained to get my UEFA B coaching licence and then decided to go further and study for my UEFA A coaching licence.  This was pretty much like a degree course which took four years to complete. I don’t think there are many football coaches around in colleges that have this level of expertise.

Initially I worked with Watford Academy where I got my first taste of the professional side of coaching. I worked there for 18 months before moving on to head up a new football education programme at Uxbridge College.  I worked there full time and got a real buzz out of it.  I got a kick out of helping students achieve, change their pathways and seeing them enjoy their time on the course.  From here I was approached by Amersham & Wycombe College to set up a new football education programme.  We had 12 students initially and it was a real challenge but it’s been running for 12 years now and has been a great success.

It was recognised from the outset that this type of course needs a specialist with coaching experience as a priority combined with teaching experience – not the other way round.  Being in a classroom standing in front of 20 or so students is totally different  to being out on the pitch with them, but I organise their syllabus, their coaching needs, pick the teams and teach in the classroom.

I’ve been coaching at college for 12 years now and at one time we operated the only scheme in the area. Now there are several and you need something that sets you apart, which is why we approached Reading FC and this is how the association came about.  They were very happy to add their name to our scheme and to offer some great opportunities for our students. The programme is building nicely for the next academic year.

Many of our students have gone on to play for different clubs, Sam Beasant, (son of former England Goalie Dave Beasant) now plays for National League club Braintree Town, Charlie Strutton, former AFC Wimbledon player now plays for Slough Town FC and Alan Massey plays for Maidenhead United alongside former college student Harry Pritchard.  They have helped the club win promotion to the Conference League next season.  Students have also won scholarships to work in the US of A and many have gone on to university.

It’s clear that not all of our football students will make a professional living from the game but we are honest with them and try to help steer them towards alternative pathways.  The biggest success from my involvement is making sure whoever comes here leaves thinking it’s been a worthwhile experience that has broadened their outlook on life and given them the skills for employment.

We started our footballing scheme with just 12 students and trained anywhere we could, going and as far away as Slough.  Now we have over 40 students, a very productive relationship with Reading FC, an enviable line-up of coaching/teaching staff with the best possible qualifications and a brand new 3G football pitch that really is the envy of the county.

 

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