INVITATION: Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Excellence in teaching and learning event at WEA, 101 Hinckley Road, Leicester, LE3 0TD on Monday 29th June 2015 from 16:30 – 17:30.

We are planning an event as part of the Festival of Learning 2015 in order to highlight the importance of skills and lifelong learning. The event, Excellence in Teaching and Learning will give visitors the opportunity to celebrate the dedication and success of the tutors, students, staff and volunteers who are committed to maintaining the values at the WEA.

We would like to invite you to attend the event on Monday 29th June 2015 from 16:30 – 17:30 at 101, Hinckley Road, Leicester, LE3 0TD. You will have the chance to meet Kerry Gray, Chief Executive of Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Services (LASALS)  as well as speak to the learners and tutors who are a part of our thriving community.

True Colours – Community Learning Mental Health Pilot – Tutors needed

The WEA is pleased to announce the launch of True Colours – The Community learning Mental Health Pilot project in Nottingham.    If you are a WEA tutor or support worker with experience and commitment to this area and are interested in joining the project delivery team, please email

For more information about the project see the WEA press release here:

and the project blog here:

Make learning visible

Do you have a large amount of information but no easy way to make it accessible to your students ? Is the information spread geographically – events and locations in local history perhaps, or different plants across a county ? This free practical introduction to GIS may help you convert the information you have into a format easily visible to your learners. Although funded to be aimed at small businesses, the workshop is open to others and offered as part of Adult Learners Week:

GeoData : Hands on Workshop

17 Jun 2015    10:00 – 12:00
Leicester University, Readson House, 96-98 Regent Road, LE1 7DF


a business focused hands on workshop at Leicester University on ‘how to use spatial data’. The workshop will provide delegates with an opportunity for hands on data processing either with the workshop data or some data of your own. With ‘Big Data’ becoming increasingly critical to Businesses across the UK, we know more and more about WHAT the products are and WHO to target, but WHERE to target is becoming more crucial. The workshop will briefly introduce the uses of geographic information systems (GIS) and take up to 15 delegates step by step through Google’s ’scrappy GIS’ data processing system

Please bring your own device such as a laptop (own data is optional) and have an active Google+ Account.

How to book

go to or contact

Success Stories: IT for ME

Nusrat Hathiari has provided a success story from a student who is currently enrolled on the IT for ME course at the WEA.

Before I came to class IT for me, I knew how to use a computer but it was mainly by trial and error. I wanted to learn it properly and when Nus told me there was a space in the Wednesday class I couldn’t wait to start.

I thought getting a computer qualification was going to be impossible but Nus convinced me that I would be able to achieve. I was really nervous the first couple of sessions but then realised that I was looking forward to Wednesdays.

When I joined the class I knew only one other member and was quite shy. But soon realised that the group was really friendly and had a good chat with my mates.

Being in this class made me realise that I was really good on the computer and a fast learner. Most days I complete the tasks on my own and Nus has to show me just once and I get it. Either Nus is good teacher or I am much smarter than I thought!

I can now create documents, send emails with attachments and even work on spreadsheets. Unbelievable!

I am better at managing my time and look forward to learning more new things in the future!

What I’m going to do now is complete my Entry Level 3 in Using ICT and look forward to coming back in September.

Coming to this class has made me feel happier, more confident and look for another volunteering position. So excited.

Success Stories: Functional Maths at Level 2

Ros Taylor has provided a success story from a student who was on the Functional Skills – Maths Level 2 course.

I came to the WEA because I wanted to improve on my maths and gain a qualification in Functional Skills – Maths

Level 2. I expected to be learning more difficult maths such as algebra, multiplication, difficult formulas etc. However I realised it was actually more on the practical side, which you’ll need to use on a regular basis. In general maths that is useful in everyday situations and the world of work. The classes provided a good basis for progression in mathematics and it has helped me to build my confidence. I have found it incredibly helpful. I feel it has given me knowledge and the skills that I thought I would never have. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to do a functional skills in mathematics. I can now say that I have obtained a Level 2 qualification in Functional Skills in Maths and I intend to use the skills I’ve learned both at work and at home. I plan to expand on them in the future and I wish to help others to improve on their maths skill. I plan to go back to into work as a Teaching Assistant within a primary school setting. I am also considering doing a degree in teaching in the future. WEA has given me a better chance towards career opportunities as I have now completed my functional skills in maths, which has helped me to learn a lot more than what I learned at school.

Success Stories: Yoga

Nerissa Fields has provided the following success story from a student on the Yoga course she instructs at the WEA.

Before I came to class I was in a great deal of pain, and very tense and sore. My mind was racey. I had one yoga teacher a few years ago but never found another tutor who could find ways to help me do yoga as a disabled person

I thought yoga was lost to me forever

When I joined the class I was quite low, with lots of pain and stress. I used to hate doing the yoga as it made me see what I could not do

Being in this class … has made me feel powerful and strong. I now see (again, as I used to feel good about myself) that I just do things differently, with my own strengths, and in fact no person in yoga does everything the same as another. Nerissa has really boosted my self-esteem and confidence, as have the other members of the group. Even when I cannot attend for long periods I have been welcomed back. Wonderful!

I can now stretch, breathe deeply, relax, and use yoga to ease the pain that is within every part of my body.

I am better at relaxing, stretching, deep breathing, and chanting. I love chanting! But also, and the most important, I now ENJOY my yoga.

What I’m going to do now is I cannot do yoga at the moment, but hope to return soon. But I am doing the seven way stretch at home, and also continual stretching and deep breathing too.

Coming to this class has made me feel wonderful, valued, relaxed, stretched (sometimes sore, but a day after I feel wonderful) and calm. And happier!


Success stories: Botanical Painting and Drawing

Annabel Barrett’s group was the Group Regional Winner for exploring Botanical Painting and Drawing for the teamwork putting together their art exhibition at Westcotes Library during Adult Learner’s Week 2014. Below are some success stories from students in her group.

Before I came to this class I had a career in design technology. So my ‘strength’ was in analytical illustration but experience of painting of any kind other than ‘filling in’ areas of colour.

I though Botanical drawing and painting would open up an avenue into using colour that could use my technical background.

When I joined the class I was impressed by the warmth of the welcome; not at all daunting in spite of most of the existing members being long-term participants.

Being in this class has been brilliant!

I can now use watercolour to enhance my drawing to enhance my drawing and I feel I am making real progress.

I am better at using watercolour.

What I am going to do now is get even better, and then try using pencil crayon.

Coming to this class has made me feel great!

Before I came to class I had been waiting two years to move house, due to racial harassment. I started the class just before the move. Somehow I only missed one class, the class was a constant lifeline.

I thought Botanical drawing and painting was just what I needed. A certain discipline in painting and observation. Watercolour techniques having their own technique.

When I joined the class: I joined the class while I was very stressed. I have kept sketch books for years but had got a bit lazy. I was very negative, having lost my self-confidence.

Being in this class took me a while to lose my nervousness and open up to the new environment. I am a very shy, introverted person.

I can now enjoy the work. I think the rest of the students (?) are as crazy as me. “A Great Bunch!” I have relaxed, which has helped me be more creative, also share our work and support each other.

I am better at I think I emphasise with the group. We have common ground. There is no ‘pecking order’. We are all beginners. We have an artistic journey to make.

What I am going to do now is I am hoping to continue with my education. My tutor, Annabel, runs a great democratic class. We are kept informed of projects and direction.

Coming to this class has made me feel very special. We are students do respect and appreciate the WEA’s support especially in these trying, social times. Thank you

Before I came to class I was retired, I took early retirement. I was a graphic/exhibition designer.

I thought Botanical drawing and painting was an ideal opportunity to study and learn how to use water colours.

When I joined the class I had little knowledge of using water colours and no knowledge on the subject.

Being in this class has made me aware of the beauty of botany and the difficulty of water colour painting. It has enabled me to meet creative and interesting people.

I can now have a better understanding of the subject and begin to learn how to paint and draw the subject.

I am better at water colour, painting and drawing (I hope!!)

What I am going to now is continue to paint and draw, until I am at least proficient in the subject.

Coming to this class has made me feel like I have stepped into “an oasis of creativity”. I am more creative and its great meeting so many talented and interesting people.

Before I came to this class I had always like drawing so I joined Annabel’s drawing class where she introduced me to watercolour painting.

I thought Botanical painting was too specialised for me to tackle!

When I joined the class I was a complete novice.

Being in this class I soon learned how to build up colours and create a decent painting.

I can now produce a painting which actually looks lifelike

What I am going to do now is carry on and hopefully improve

Coming to this class has made me feel more confident.


Cancelled – What makes a British value? What makes a value British?

British Values to be debated by Leicester people

Apologies but this event has had to be cancelled due to low numbers. If you are still interested let us know and we will try and rearrange it for the future. or call 0116 2556614

Know the Health System

Know your NHSFriday 12th June 2015 from 10.30 – 12.00

Facilitator: Philip Parkinson – retired NHS senior manager.

An introduction to the health system and what the NHS can do for you. Have you ever wondered how to find an NHS dentist? Make a complaint? Come and get some expert guidance.

Please email or ring the WEA office to register.


Phone: 0116 2556614

Taster Session: Active Ageing

active ageing

Facilitator Rob Hunter, Leicester Ageing Together Board

We all get older but we don’t have to do it gracefully! Participants will reflect on their own experience of ageing and all the possibilities opening up, with a group discussion and a brief introduction to Ann Karpf’s How to Age.

At the WEA, 101 Hinckley Road, Leicester, LE3 0TD from 13.00 – 14.30 on Thursday 18th June 2015. Please call 0116 255 6614 to book a place.