Forth Valley College and Sistema Scotland work together to help more young people into further education

Sistema MoU signed at Stirling Campus

Forth Valley College and Sistema Scotland work together to help more young people into further education

Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise Raploch programme and Forth Valley College are working in partnership to improve support for young people in Raploch to enter and complete further education.

The partnership agreement, signed this week, outlines a commitment from both organisations to work together over the next five years to support more young people in the area to consider Forth Valley College as a post-school destination, as well as sustaining young people through further education to positive employment opportunities.

Big Noise Raploch will also provide support to maximise the relationship between parents and Raploch community members, and Forth Valley College, through the programme’s existing networks.

Nicola Killean, CEO of Sistema Scotland, said: “I am delighted that Forth Valley College recognises the educational and life skills developed by the children and young people at Big Noise Raploch. Sistema Scotland wants to maximise support for the young people in our programmes, to help them undertake important transitions into all aspects of adulthood. It is extremely encouraging to be working with Forth Valley College, who have been a proactive and willing partner in helping us to take this forward here in Raploch. It is wonderful to see our first cohort of Big Noise participants taking those initial steps into the world beyond school, equipped with the understanding, determination and self-belief they have developed through their time with Big Noise Raploch.”

Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “Forth Valley College is absolutely delighted to formalise our relationship with Sistema Scotland. Their Big Noise programme here in Raploch does excellent work to transform the lives of young people by helping them to develop important transferable skills, including confidence, resilience and ambition. This encourages them take the next step in further and higher education, both here at our college and beyond.

“This new partnership also builds on the longstanding relationship between our two organisations. I am delighted that a number of Big Noise Raploch graduates have chosen to continue their musical and educational journeys by undertaking qualifications in related subjects here at our Stirling campus, using our state-of-the-art recording studios to pursue learning in fields such as sound production. A number of Forth Valley College students have also supported the work of Big Noise Raploch, assisting them with recording and performance activities.

“Our own students have benefited enormously from these experiences and we hope to inspire many more local young people to find out more about the courses on offer at the college. I look forward to building on our relationship with Big Noise Raploch and Sistema Scotland in the future and to see it go from strength to strength.”

Stirling Councillor Chris Kane, convenor of the Community Planning and Regeneration committee which oversees the local authority’s partnership with Sistema Scotland, said: “Big Noise has been a key partner in transforming the lives and aspirations of young people in Raploch.  

“They’ve helped our children grow and become more confident. I’m delighted to see this formal partnership with Forth Valley College establish an alternative pathway for young people into further education.”

Fiona Brown, FVC’s Vice Principal Learning and Teaching, said: “It was great to hear the stories of progression from Tommy, Frazer and Annie who have been involved with Sistema and Big Noise for several years. Not only have they developed their musical talent, but they have grown into mature, confident and inspirational young people all of whom have a very clear idea of what they want to do with their lives. We are delighted that Tommy and Frazer are already studying Sound Production with us here at Forth Valley College and Annie might well join them when she leaves school. Their journey will no doubt inspire the next generation of Sistema and Big Noise youngsters to look at further and higher education here at Forth Valley College and beyond. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Sistema in the months ahead and signing this Memorandum of Understanding is another step towards us Making Learning Work for the people of Raploch and Stirling.”

Sistema Scotland, the charity which runs the Big Noise programmes, was launched in Raploch in 2008, when the Raploch Community Campus first opened, with thirty five children. Big Noise Raploch now works with almost 500 children and young people every week, from babies to teenagers, as well as supporting an adult orchestra of parents and local community members. Its first wave of participants are now coming to the end of their time at school (or have recently left) and Big Noise Raploch is committed to supporting them to use the life skills they have developed through the programme into adulthood.

Sistema Scotland seeks to address long-entrenched and complex social challenges. The tool for this social change is the Big Noise orchestra programme, devised to give children and young people an invaluable range of life skills and experiences. Through their membership of the programme, participants develop confidence, teamwork, resilience and aspiration. Independent research by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has consistently found that Big Noise has a wide range of positive impacts on children’s lives, including engagement with education, developing life skills, securing emotional wellbeing, building social skills, encouraging healthy behaviours and offering respite and protection for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children.

For more information, please visit

Visit Big Noise

Sistema MoU 1


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