Carla chatted with FVC Principal Dr Ken Thomson
Carla experiences Access and Progression at FVC
A Dutch social worker has spent the last two weeks embedded in Forth Valley College’s Access and Progression Department to see at first-hand how the department works with students with special support needs.
Carla Dijkstra who is a School social worker/guidance counsellor at ROC Friese Poort in both Leeuwarden and Dokkum in the Netherlands, has been based mainly in the Falkirk Campus, but has managed to observe, classes, projects, work experience and much more across the whole College.
She also met and chatted at length with FVC Principal Dr Ken Thomson, who welcomed her to the College.
The visit comes on the back of a fact finding mission to FVC by a group of Dutch educationalists back in May 2015, who spent the day learning about the College’s whole system approach to teaching students with a disability or who have limited social skills recently.
A total of 20 teachers, managers and education professionals from the province of Friesland in Northern Holland, were also keen to learn about societal education and vocational training which was offered in the College.
“I really enjoyed my first weeks here, everybody has been most welcoming and friendly. It was very interesting for me to see how you include groups with special support needs in education.
“The vision that, where possible, everybody should have a college experience is very inspiring and definitely something I will take back with me to the Netherlands. Another thing that stood out for me after talking to students, is that they really appreciate that they are treated as adults.
“It makes them feel that they are taken seriously and that will enhance their feeling of independence and maturity. In general I find the sense of community spirit and looking beyond your own backyard, something I feel right at home with. So far, it has been a very good experience, many thanks to my temporary colleagues at Access and Progression and other departments at Forth Valley College.”
Alan Ritchie, Curriculum Manager in Access And progression, said: “It has been a pleasure having Carla work with us. We have been sharing thoughts and teaching methods regarding the work we do in college which helps us provide a better experience for our students”.