Why did you choose this course?
I wanted to do charity work. I didn’t want to be sat in lessons writing, I wanted to be more practical. I was looking at Water Aid and the jobs you could get with them, and they were looking for people with plumbing skills. I’m really enjoying it!
Why did you choose Kendal College?
It was the only college I could get to!
Was College like you had expected. If not, why?
I was terrified as I knew I was going to be the only girl and I didn’t know anyone coming here. Then I got here and it was fine.
I like that everyone is on first name terms, I didn’t realise it would be like that. It makes it more casual and it’s easier to feel more comfortable. It feels like you’re an equal rather than having a higher up person looking down on you. I like that college is in town as well, Kirkby Stephen is in the middle of nowhere, it’s great to go into town on your breaks!
What do you most enjoy about College life?
There are so many different courses, you get to meet loads of different people from all around.
What opportunities did you have as a student at the College?
I have been on three work placements. The first was with Russel Armer for one week. We did a lot of first fixes – when they build a new house a ‘first fix’ is all the first plumbing that needs to go in before they can build all the walls. I liked being on the site with everyone – it was quite scary at first as they were quite loud but everyone was relaxed and I felt welcomed.
The second placement was in Sedbergh with Nicky Ross, a one-man guy and the third with Paul, a builder. I worked with Paul for a week and did big tiling jobs. I also put a liner down a chimney for a wood burning stove and was on the roof, which was good fun! Although it was freezing on some days, the people you were with make it light-hearted and you have a laugh.
Darren, my tutor, gave me extra time off lessons to go to the placements, as it’s such good experience. He made sure I was up-to-date with exams and workshops.
What was the teaching style like on your course?
On Thursday, the first half is theory and the afternoon practical. At the moment we’re learning about drainage and guttering, and revising for exams as we have 8 exams over the year.
On Friday we have theory lessons in the morning. The tutor has a PowerPoint and he gives us a copy to write our notes onto it, which is much easier than copying off a board. Our assessment is through coursework (doing practical’s and then writing them up) and exams. We also sometimes do presentations about the theory we’ve learnt.
Having a 3-day course is good as it gives you the opportunity to do other things, like gain part-time work experience.
If you could give advice to people considering College, what would it be?
Don’t think too far ahead. Do something you enjoy, and if you find you’re not enjoying it, you can change really easily. The ball is in your court!