Students dive in to get a taste of college life

Caleb Pape, left, and Josh Nightingale.
Caleb Pape, left, and Josh Nightingale.
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School pupils really did take the plunge to explore the opportunities on offer at one of the world’s leading maritime colleges.

Teenagers Caleb Pape and Josh Nightingale had just seconds to dress in cold water survival gear as youngsters from South Shields School were given an insight into college life.

It was such an incredible experience

Helen George

The 15-year-olds were set the under-a-minute challenge as part of a student fact finding mission.

South Tyneside College has built a global reputation for training in maritime matters as well as a host of other vocational courses.

Around 230 Year 10 and 11 students were invited to the college for the day to get a flavour of courses on offer.

This included using the college’s virtual reality bridge, which can recreate ports and sea conditions from around the globe for students to pilot their way through.

Helen Groege, Head of Year 10 and 11 at the school, said: “It was such an incredible experience. I don’t think students realised what an amazing facility they have on their doorstep, where they can gain a host of technical and marine qualifications recognised around the world, from being a captain and an able seaman to chief engineer, welder and painter.”

South Shields School has forged close links with the college, which sees their students attend twice a week for personal development, numeracy, literacy and to experience what the various departments have to offer.

Mrs George said: “Our headteacher is very keen to develop these links with our 14-16-year-olds which puts them ahead of other students and offers an insight into the incredible opportunities within vocational education.

“Being exposed to the full range of courses helps them choose the right one for them. It also gives them a global perspective and they really enjoy being treated like adults, which helps them mature.

“Our students have been amazing and the lecturers think they are fantastic.”