College’s doors opened last week to a sea of new faces ready for the new academic year. Before classes started, learners took part in College’s Induction Week which involved a range of activities to help students prepare for their new courses and the year ahead.

Special guest Jenny Sealey, who co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, delivered a fantastic workshop about not listening to people who say that deafness will prevent you from following your dreams. Jenny explained that she became deaf at age seven from a knock to the head, but this hasn’t stopped her becoming Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company. She asked students to think about themselves, their strengths, support networks and goals and even asked them to think about their vulnerabilities and recognise that these are not a disadvantage. After the session it was clear that students were truly inspired for the future.

To boost learners’ creativity, local artist Michael Fairfax delivered a workshop on making Fiddlesticks. These are instruments that learners created by whittling a stick to a design of their choice and then stringing some fishing wire across it. These were then hung from trees on the college field. The design meant that when students used a violin bow or plucked the string whilst holding the Fiddlestick against their head they could sense the vibrations and tones produced. Michael has also previously worked with our School students on a similar project.

Deafax, who develop solutions and opportunities for deaf people in order to empower and enhance their lives, also provided a session on how to stay safe and keep your information secure when using mobile apps. Other sessions included enrolling at the local Exeter College or other colleges where learners are following external courses and enhancing their study skills. Most importantly, throughout the week, learners got to know their peers and staff who would be supporting them with their studies.

College’s Induction Week has provided a fantastic start to the year for our learners and we know that there will be many great successes and achievements to follow in this coming year.