Rally night is a huge draw for students
A college open event with a difference which combined rally driver demos with careers advice was a huge draw.
By: Bishop Auckland College
More than 500 people attended the Bishop Auckland College open evening, which saw 2013 Autotest champion Richard Pinkney showing off his precision driving skills in the car park at the college's main Woodhouse Lane campus.
Local Mitsubishi dealer Nicky Porter, who has competed in the London to Dakar, London to Cape Town, London to Monte Carlo and World Cup Rallies, also brought his classic Mk I Ford Cortina rally car and a brand new Mitsubishi Evo to display on the night.
Meanwhile UK rally driver Chris Anderson displayed his Ford Fiesta rally car and the Subaru Impreza rally car which recently won the Scottish Forest Rally. A classic Mini rally car was also on show.
The event was the idea of Principal Natalie Davison's PA Wendy Brown, herself a veteran of car rallies, and was organised with the help of Durham Autoclub, which is working with the college on events and initiatives to help raise its profile and attract younger members.
As well as the motor vehicle department, other curriculum areas who carried out demos on the night included the construction department, which was open for visitors to have a go at brickwork, painting & decorating and joinery.
Music and performing arts students put on a showcase performance in the art atrium, hair and beauty salons were open for nail art, and sports activities in the sports hall included the climbing wall, golf, badminton and basketball. The fitness suite was also open.
Curriculum staff provided advice and guidance on all courses on offer next year, including BTEC Extended Diplomas (equivalent to 3 A Levels), Apprenticeships and Higher Education programmes.
New courses starting next September include Level 3 BTEC Extended Diplomas in Dance, Engineering and Photography and a City & Guilds Level 2 in Motorcycle Maintenance.
Principal Natalie Davison said: “This was probably the best attended open evening we have ever had, with more than 500 people visiting during the course of the night. Making events like this more interactive, enabling prospective students to experience a taste of what we can offer here is much better than just sitting down giving course advice. It is definitely the way forward.
“Our thanks go to Durham Autoclub and their drivers for helping us put on an exciting night, and hopefully it helped them with their own recruitment drive too.”
Durham Autoclub organiser Peter Masters added: “All Durham Autoclub members who attended on the night really enjoyed showcasing their driving skills and cars to college visitors, despite the very wet weather, and would love to work again with the college and put on future displays.”
For more information on new courses starting next September, visit www.bacoll.ac.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01388) 443000.
2013 Autotest champion Richard Pinkney takes Bishop Auckland College Principal Natalie Davison for a spin during the open evening demo.
For more information or interviews contact Chris Jennings at email@example.com or on (0191) 340 8422.