Posted by Kayleigh Mcleod on the 26 Feb 2018

Staff from Orchard Hill College gathered at the Holiday Inn, Kingston for their annual development planning day. Morning coffee on arrival was a great way to catch up with colleagues offsite and provided an opportunity to meet staff from other College Centres and Quadrant House.
John Prior kicked off proceedings with a welcome speech which set the tone for the rest of the day – informative with a touch of humour. Principal, Caroline Allen delivered a strategy update, Jackie Van-West presented an update on safeguarding and Janet Sherborne geared us up for the first phase of GDPR.

A series of workshops followed, Simon Gale and David Thomas explained how the upgraded Contour product would be rolled out and used by students as an e-learning portfolio – giving students more autonomy. Ashley Jordan-Diaper and Kelly Phillips talked about how they are developing the OHC and Careers offer, adapting it to best support learners to specific destinations and to match regional demand.

After the morning session, one member of staff said: “It has been brilliant to meet people from other centres and share ideas.”, another commented: “Having an event offsite means I can give the day my full attention without interruption.”

Although the day had a serious agenda, in true OHC&AT style there was also room for a little fun! The Digital School organised a game of Virtual Reality Pictionary which delivered some hilarious results…is it a bird…is it a plane….no, it’s a submarine!?!?

OHC Apprentice and Receptionist at the VPC, Claire was a popular winner of the “Thank you” prize draw for staff that had been nominated for ”going the extra mile” at work. Well done Claire!
After lunch, another series of workshops followed highlighting various topics from; mental health and support in and out of the classroom to outcomes and destinations and the new regional hub plans.
The workshop elements of the day seemed to strike a chord with many staff, one commenting that: “The speakers were really motivational, I am looking forward to getting back to work and getting things done.”

Caroline Allen brought the day to a close saying: “It was lovely to see everyone together, sharing good practice and generating lots of great ideas. We all have the same objective in mind - working together to achieve the best life and work outcomes for our students.”