Summer Series Blog - Jamie Quinn
Scotland’s colleges and schools have been brought closer by college regionalisation, which has boosted the range of learning and training experiences available to young people. Edinburgh College, for example, has seen a 300 per cent increase in its activity with school pupils, with just under 5,000 pupils studying at the college each year. Jamie Quinn, 15, who is in S5 at Castlebrae Community High in Edinburgh, describes the benefits.
My experience at Edinburgh College as a SCP (Schools College Partnership) student was very positive. I really enjoyed studying my course throughout the year.
I signed up to the Professional Cookery NPA Course at Edinburgh College, Milton Road Campus in the 22/23 session as I've always had a keen interest in cookery. I had already studied Practical Cookery in school, but I wanted to expand on my existing knowledge and skills - which I have done at college.
My course substituted just over 4 school periods per week - I'd leave school early on the days in which I had college and make my way by bus. My course ran between 1.30pm and 4.00pm each Tuesday and Thursday. There were people from many different schools in my class, and as with any new environment with new people, I was worried I'd have a hard time fitting in, but thankfully the lecturers were extremely supportive, and the people in my course were easy to connect with and I quickly became friends with a few.
In my course we were given a recipe on a Tuesday, which we were to follow with a demonstration. We made our own independent dish at the same time as the lecturer and were welcome to ask any questions or ask for help along the way.
At the end of the class we'd plate up our finished dish and then we'd get to take it home and eat it. On a Thursday we would follow the same recipe, this time without a demonstration and with minimal help. I think this teaching method was effective as it allowed me to have a mixture of teamwork and independent work.
Throughout my course I picked up new skills while also expanding my existing ones. I feel I have picked up a lot of valuable skills while learning at college. The lecturers made me feel welcome in the class and they'd always do their best to resolve any issues or concerns any of us had. I feel I got more support at college than school as I felt more comfortable asking questions, and the lecturers were consistently helpful and understanding.
For me personally, choosing this SCP course was one of the best decisions I have made, as I have met new people and built many skills, including transferable skills such as teamwork. My SCP course has made me certain that I want to pursue a career in the hospitality industry - and as a result I have opted to do a full-time course at Edinburgh College. I hope that in my new course I learn even more skills which will prepare me for the world of work within the hospitality industry.