Archive for 2015

Free journey-sharing website launches for Aztec West Business Park

Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2015 at 12:49 am by SH (Editor)

Ben Luger, marketing communications specialist at  ecosurety, and Verity Heal, Local Sustainable Transport Fund project manager at South Gloucestershire Council.

Drivers exasperated by peak-time congestion at Aztec West can now use a map-based online journey-sharing website to travel more sustainably.

joinmyjourney launches today (Wednesday 25th November) thanks to funding from South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), development from resource efficiency specialist ecosurety, with support from North Bristol SusCom.

The free-to-use site enables commuters travelling by car, bicycle or on foot to find others to share compatible journeys to work, either regularly, or as a one off. It is initially aimed at commuters in the West of England but there are also plans to open it out to educational organisations and business centres nationally. joinmyjourney is launched first for the 8,000 people travelling to Aztec West, with other business locations and employers coming on board in 2016.

Ben Luger, marketing communication specialist at ecosurety, based at Aztec West, who has driven the development of joinmyjourney with co-workers explains, “Every day I would see single drivers sitting in traffic queues, waiting to get into the park. I’d started an off-the-shelf car share scheme for ecosurety employees, but it just didn’t have the scale, was too complex and too limited to make a significant dent in emissions and the number of vehicles.”

Ben was bemoaning the issues to an officer at the LSTF one day and the pair agreed Aztec West needed a bespoke solution, which also appealed to walkers and cyclists. Ben took the idea back to ecosurety, and following further financial support from the LSTF and ecosurety, development started on joinmyjourney.

Benefits include fewer cars on the road, improvements in parking, lower emissions, and helping drivers save money by cutting commuting costs. Others include less stress from sitting in traffic queues, improved confidence from increased outside exercise and the option to share sustainable and safe journeys during the winter.

Users who sign up and start journeys between now and the first week of December are also automatically enrolled into a prize draw for up to £1,000 in shopping vouchers to be presented next month.

The site gives commuters an option to find journey sharers ahead of 12 months of roadworks, scheduled to start in spring 2016, to improve traffic flow, walking and cycling routes around the Aztec West Roundabout on the A38.

More: Apple, Android and Windows app versions coming soon »

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Patchway Army Cadets inspire local youth

Posted on Sunday 11th October 2015 at 8:55 pm by Shaun Hickman

Members of Patchway Army Cadet unit.

Based near Patchway youth club, the Patchway Army Cadets are looking for new recruits aged 12 to 18 years old to join their established unit. The cadet group aims to engage and encourage young people in the local community through military-themed activity sessions which help to develop important team-building skills and leadership qualities.

The unit is led by lieutenant Tracey Sperring who runs and organises the sessions. Tracey is part of a team of three other instructors who aim to “bring young people off the streets and teach them respect for themselves and others.” The unit takes a positive and fun approach to the development of their young cadets who follow a syllabus called the Army Proficiency Certificate.

The certificate is organised in a series of gradual levels which teach the cadets about a range of different topics including navigation, expedition training, marching, field skills and how they can help the local community.

When a cadet progresses through enough levels they can become a Master Cadet and will have the opportunity to train to be an instructor – a popular incentive for many young cadets. Cadets can also choose to pursue certain qualifications within the unit including the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, the BTEC award and various first aid qualifications.

New recruits to the unit receive constant support through a ‘buddy-buddy system’ which ensures that they are paired with an existing cadet who will help them through their first few sessions at the unit. Tracey describes the friendships which form within the unit as “bonds for life” which are strengthened by the diverse opportunities offered to the cadets which include kayaking, climbing, archery and mountain biking.

The unit also runs weekend camps and a 10-day summer camp which allows cadets to apply the skills gained from their weekly sessions in an exciting new environment. Tracey recognises the positive change these experiences encourage: “Seeing the transformation of the cadets through the different things they achieve is really rewarding. The weekly sessions are also structured in a way that allows new cadets to slowly come out of their shells by building their confidence and teaching them that they do have the skills to succeed.”

More: Most activities offered are low cost or even free »

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Patchway Community College students celebrate post-16 exam successes

Posted on Thursday 13th August 2015 at 2:45 pm by SH (Editor)

A-level students at Patchway Community College collect their results.

Post-16 students at Patchway Community College have performed well this year, with a 96 percent pass rate and students achieving the highest possible grades in subjects ranging from English literature, sociology, psychology and business, to health and social care, applied science and textiles.

Headteacher Jane Millicent said:

“These results show the hard work of all involved and it is wonderful to see students gain the grades that they need for university places, apprenticeships and employment. The BTEC certificate results were particularly outstanding this year, with 47 percent gaining a distinction or distinction* and 89 percent a merit or above. I am proud of our students for gaining such good results and securing excellent opportunities for their futures.”

Patchway students have some exciting destinations and next steps ahead of them. Luke Viner, who was awarded two As and two Bs, will be starting a degree in computer science at Nottingham University, as will Dan Viner at UWE whose grades included A* in sociology. Robin Barratt who obtained two As, a B and a C is beginning a degree in psychology at Cardiff University, whilst Charis Wilcox who obtained an A* and two Bs will be heading to Birmingham to take a degree in costume design. Dan Tuck is going to study law at Winchester, whilst Scott Crane, with a distinction in BTEC business, has secured an apprenticeship in accountancy with the MoD.

Robin Barratt commented:

“I am delighted and relieved that I’ve got the grades needed for my university course.”

Fellow student Paige Coughlin added:

“I am delighted with my results that were better than expected; I had been planning a gap year and am definitely going to university in the future.”

Source: Press release from Patchway Community College.

Related link: Schools in Patchway (The Journal)

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Callicroft Primary School celebrates positive Ofsted rating

Posted on Monday 20th July 2015 at 12:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Callicroft Primary School pupils celebrate a 'good' Ofsted report.

Staff and pupils at Patchway’s Callicroft Primary School are celebrating after receiving a positive inspection report from Ofsted.

Ofsted inspectors visited the school at the end of June and awarded an overall rating of ‘good’, with each of the five individual areas reviewed also assessed as ‘good’. This demonstrates the great progress that has been made since the previous Ofsted inspection in June 2013 when the school was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors stated: “Teaching has improved since the last inspection and is now effective because pupils receive work that is at the right level for them. Teachers ensure that pupils are aware of what they are going to learn and that they are given clear steps to follow so that they know when they have been successful in their learning. Checks to measure the effectiveness of teaching and learning are rigorous. Consequently, the effectiveness of the school continues to improve.”

The report also praised the school’s leadership and management, saying: “Senior leaders have a clear vision for school improvement and a drive to achieve the best outcomes for pupils.”

Headteacher Nicola Antwis said:

“This report is great recognition of the dedication of our staff, the vision of our governors and leaders and the commitment of pupils, parents and carers. We are immensely proud of the report and see a bright future for the school and every pupil.”

More: Governing body has played a vital part in school improvement »

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