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West College Scotland has been working closely with Castlehead High School since 2016 in a bid to better prepare its future Art & Interior Design students for life at the College. The College has provided guest lectures and workshops for S3 students in order to make a connection with high schools and help bridge the gap between the organisations. Thanks to the hard work of the Art & Design Department, both the College and Castlehead High School have managed to create a positive collaborative partnership.

“The beauty of the project is, we’ll be seeing students apply for courses that we steered them towards when they were in S3.”

CQL of Art & Design, Billy Kinnear, highlighted how important the project is in not only providing a realistic expectation for future students but giving them a better idea of what they might want to study at the College. To do this, the College has provided design briefs very similar to what they might receive when studying. Other projects include working closely with S5 & S6 students to identify skills and potential career paths by hosting in house competitions in groups to see who could identify the most careers in an industry.

“They’re all creative, but they don’t know how to hone their skills into a career. Our next session is based around identifying their skills and matching them with the jobs they’ve found.”

Castlehead High School Art & Design Staff are delighted to have developed and maintained a strong link with West College Scotland Creative Industries.

“The opportunities it has opened up for the young people in our department have been invaluable. Bringing colleagues together in the shared interest of creating positive destinations for learners and instilling in them an appreciation of the creative industries is hugely important to us as educators. Our S3 - S6 students have engaged in tutorials and workshops with WCS tutors at CHS and visits to WCS. Many of our seniors have been inspired to apply for courses at WCS and now see the Creative Industries as a positive option for future employment”

Scottish Playwright & Artist, John Byrne, visited Castlehead to meet the students and discuss their work and future education goals. John had highlighted how he was “blown away” at what was happening at Castlehead and the implications this has for future projects. He was not aware of what was happening in schools given how historically difficult it has been to develop such a strong working relationship between the two organisations.