“It’s really inspiring to have tutors who have worked in the arts world themselves as they’ve got a realistic view of working in the sector,” said 18-year-old Naomi Hardwick who enrolled for the two-year Level 3 extended diploma in art and design after leaving school after the first year of A Levels.
Naomi added: “Because I was academic at school, A levels were pushed on to me and no-one ever told me that there were other options that would be more suitable for me and what I want to do in the future.
“I knew I wanted to do art and university and if I’d carried on with the second year of A Levels I’d have then had to do a foundation course but this course will give me the qualification I need to go straight to university in the same amount of time
“The facilities in the art department are good – we have everything we need and, so far, I’ve learnt about different artists and their styles, as well as techniques such as model making, digital design, pattern making, textiles and screen printing.
“It’s a nice atmosphere to learn in and the tutors are really kind and supportive – we have weekly 1-2-1 tutorials with them and they give feedback on how you can research more or add more detail to your next piece of work.
“Since starting college I’ve become more independent and better with time management – tutors don’t tell you that you have to do homework that night like they do at school, it’s up to you how much you do to extend your learning and the more you put in, the more you get out.
“After gaining my diploma I want to either go to university to do an art degree or get a degree apprenticeship and, after that, either work in advertising so I can use my digital skills or do a PGCE and become an art teacher.”