Published on August 24, 2022

North Hertfordshire College’s Supported Studies courses are a great opportunity for young people with special education needs and difficulties (SEND) to build the skills they need for the next step in their life journey. These courses, and the great opportunities offered through the curriculum, wouldn’t be possible without the support of our amazing team of teaching and support staff, like Karl Scott!

Karl has worked in a variety of roles within the College, but he now works as a Course Team Leader in Supported Studies. Find out more about what Karl enjoys about the department in our new Meet The Team interview:

What do you do at North Hertfordshire College?

“I’m a Course Team Leader for Supported Studies here at NHC, which is a programme for young people with SEND. It’s an entry-level programme to prepare young people for adulthood including the next steps in their education and career journey. The aim is to build independence, resilience, maths, English and employability skills to enable our students to progress to wherever they want to be in life.

“I deliver a broad range of subjects but one of my specialisms is Sport, which not only helps to keep students active and promote wellbeing but it also builds transferrable skills. It’s incredible to see the growth and improvement of our students. A recent example is observing the progress made by a student who initially struggled with coordination. Over time they overcame this and have now mastered the art of badminton sessions – it’s a good feeling to see the improvement and their confidence grow.”

How does Supported Studies help students prepare for their next step?

“The intent of the Supported studies provision is to enable students to progress onto a higher-level course in a vocational mainstream area or employment in the future. Students regularly progress from Supported Studies to courses and careers in IT, sports, care, catering, retail and art, just to name a few. In our department, there are tons of additional opportunities open to our students all of the time. There are wellbeing clubs and a dedicated gym, supported internships, work experience placements and a student-run college shop and trolley service offering drinks and snacks to staff to build students’ confidence in communicating with unfamiliar faces and to develop their customer service experience.”

Before working in Supported Studies, what did you used to do?

“My role before this one was still at the College, I used to work in Student Services which was a lot more pastoral support than delivery. I was offered the opportunity to work with Supported Studies, so I decided to give it a go. It’s a much more hands-on classroom-based role, which I enjoy a lot.

“I decided to apply for a role with NHC because I wanted to teach young people and help them to learn. I wanted to pass on my knowledge and help our students to grow and reach their full potential – I’m very passionate about education.”

What has been one of your highlights of teaching at North Hertfordshire College so far?

“Any time I can see one of our students make progress is really rewarding. Sometimes it’s just a small thing… one young man who’s enrolled on the course I oversee came up to me and said: ‘Good morning, how was your weekend?’, which threw me off guard a little. It may seem like such a simple thing, but that young man was autistic and hearing him navigate making small talk was a huge step forward. It was great to see him confident, relaxed, and talkative.”

If you could speak to someone that is thinking about joining a Supported Studies course at NHC, what would you tell them?

“I would tell them that North Hertfordshire College is one of the safest and friendliest environments I know. The team are passionate about providing the best possible student experience and there’s so much respect between the staff and the students, the building and the campuses. We’re open and friendly, and we’re here to help you with the next step in your journey.”

Any closing thoughts?

“It’s great to see the results from the hard work that everyone puts into NHC’s Supported Studies courses – both the students and the team. Our managers support us to be the best we can be and to provide the best experience for our students. There are plenty of things to do, and learning is made fun!”

If you’re interested to know more about NHC’s Supported Studies courses, be sure to check out our Supported Studies showcase page!


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