News & Events

  • Eduqas Psychology Research Poster Challenge

    One of our students Nate Smulska has been selected as the winner of the Eduqas AS/A Level Psychology Research Poster Challenge.

    The Eduqas poster competition was used as part of WREP week in June 2023. It was to boost students’ research communication skills. Psychology students across the UK were invited to create academic posters to showcase their research ideas. The poster had to explain what the student’s psychological research idea was, how the research could be conducted and why they think it would be a valuable addition to psychology. Every entry was excellent and the Psychology subject team had a very challenging time selecting a winner. Nate and Bilborough College won £500 worth of prize vouchers each. Below are the judges comments:

    Judges’ Comments

    Eduqas Psychology Subject Officer Rhiannon Murray commented:

    “Nate’s entry was considered to be a well-thought through methodology for an under researched, yet important area of psychology. Although much is known about some eating disorders, it seems clear that we have much more to learn about the impact of gym culture (which encompasses a supposedly healthy activity) and its potential negative impact on psychological wellbeing.”


  • Business Delivers on Green Pledge Made to Midlands Students

    For the last 2 years our Geographers have been involved in the excellent Midlands Engine Young Peoples Green Growth Assembly working to secure pledges from local businesses to do more on the environment. One interesting outcome already has been the development of a Hedgehog House by a local firm to help improve the plight of wildlife. The programme has been amazing to see the students involved going from strength to strength, even very shy students making powerful speeches to rooms full of local business leaders and politicians, we are very proud of them all!

    Read the full article here



  • Gecko’s production of Kin

    We took 140 Drama and Performing Arts students to see Gecko’s production of Kin at Nottingham Playhouse on 12 October.  The piece explores migration, racism and family.  Our students were extremely positive ambassadors at the theatre and gave insightful contributions to the post show Q&A where Gecko’s artistic director Amit Lahav asked the audience to share what they had connected with (most of the voices were our students!).  Here are a sample of some of our student responses:

    “I really connected with the part where the performer painted themselves white and it reminded me of how I, as a black person, or person of colour, has to whitewash myself or code switch to fit into society and feel like I matter.  It made me feel seen and understood in that moment.”

    “I connected with the fact the puppets were their ancestors because I was born here but my parents weren’t, so I feel disconnected from my culture back home, because I have my culture here.  It felt like they were a part of me.”

    “Your piece was really inspiring.  I didn’t think I had experienced racism directed at me, but now I’m thinking at a deeper level it has made me go back to certain parts of my life to see if I was treated differently because of how I looked or how I behaved.  Now I think of it I think that has happened.”

    “I think what really spoke to me was the idea of family as a whole, no matter what culture you are from, or what time period, there is always this idea of family and community.  The fact it was stripped away from these characters, whether that be from immigration borders, or people being taken away to camps, it made me take a step back and realise how lucky I am to have the family I have.”

    “I connected with the moment when they had to change their clothes or how they looked to fit in with other people.  Even outside of other cultures, within one culture, everyone has to change themselves in some way to not stand out of be different.”

    “I feel connected because it shows no matter what colour, what gender, or whoever you are, you should be accepted for who you are.  For me, I was born in Poland and left when I was 2 months old to come to England.  It has been hard for me to find my own culture in this English culture.”

    Another audience member said this in response to our student’s insights:

    “I have been feeling really depressed about everything that is going on around the world, but after hearing these marvellous young people speak tonight, I feel there is hope.”


  • Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology – Special Merit Award Winner

    We have been awarded the Special Merit Award for Science and Technology 22-24 from Rolls Royce. As part of this we will join their School Prize Alumni which will allow us to mutually benefit from a working relationship with the company.

    Our project we are going to conduct over the course of the year will be based around “Solving real-world sustainability problems using artificial intelligence and machine learning”. We have been awarded £1000 as part of the award and we intend to use this money to set up a small robotics team based at Bilborough. We are hoping to buy-in new equipment which we can use alongside the technology we already have to work on programming and coding skills as well as team work and research based learning. We also intend to equip our team with the resources and knowledge needed to showcase what they have learned and accomplished to other students during open evenings and outreach events, in conference style presentations and hands-on workshops.

    We are hopeful that this new enrichment will be launched to students starting college in September 2023 and we will be able to encourage a new group of experts in programming and robotics within the college. The potential connections we can establish as part of our programme makes this a really exciting time for us in our outreach with industry and our local schools.

  • Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) honours top geographers

    We are delighted that Simon Holland, Head of Faculty for Geography at Bilborough College has received the Ordnance Survey Award.

    Commenting on his award Simon said “I am deeply honoured to receive this RGS Ordnance Survey Award. Geography is an amazing, engaging, empowering and ever-changing subject which opens so many doors for young people. It is a real privilege to teach the subject I love every day and share my genuine passion with so many students over the last 18 years of my career. I work hard to open the eyes and minds of my students, encouraging them to fully explore all that the subject has to offer, including engaging with the many wider opportunities on offer to them. In recent years, my students have won awards including the RGS Young Geographer of the Year and the GA award for NEA Proposals. Seeing my students go on the achieve enormous success in their diverse careers, often engaging with Geographical career paths directly and indirectly, including at COP26 for example, is extremely rewarding and inspiring. Receiving this award was a wonderful surprise and I am immensely proud to receive this unexpected recognition for my hard work and huge enthusiasm for Geography education over so many years – without geography you are nowhere!”

    You can find out more about the award below.


  • Applying To College: What Courses Do I Choose?

    Choosing the right Level 3 courses for you…

    It can be a difficult task! We’re here to help you choose the right college courses for you throughout the application and enrolment process.

    You need to pick THREE subjects to study at Bilborough, at least one of these has to be an A Level (we have some great BTECs too!). Some uni courses will ask for two or more of your choices to be A Levels so make sure you take a look at the entry requirements if you have a particular course in mind!

    Students studying around the table.
    It can be really hard to decide which courses are right for you when you’re applying to college! Here are 3 tips on helping to pick your courses….

    1. Come to an Open Day!

    This may be obvious but there is really no better way to find out about each course than by seeing the classrooms where it’s taught and chatting to the teachers who teach it. You can ask anything at our Open Days and many people come away with a much clearer idea of what they want to study.


    Open Days at Bilborough College

    2. Think about your future!

    If you’re not sure about the next step, think about the end goal. If you’re thinking about uni, make sure you look at some uni courses you might be interested in on the UCAS website and see what the entry requirements are. This can help make sure you’re on the right path to where you want to be! Some university courses will accept a  maximum of one BTEC, others might accept 3 A Levels only or have specific courses that must have been studied (e.g. Medicine courses usually require Chemistry A Level and other specific requirements).

    An A Level business class at college

    3. What do you enjoy?

    Think about what subjects you are naturally motivated and do well at! A Levels require hard work both in and out of the classroom so make sure you’re doing subjects that you want to spend a lot of time studying! You will always do your best when you’re enjoying yourself, that’s not to say it won’t be challenging but give yourself the best chances by choosing your best subjects.


    If you need anymore guidance on how to choose your college courses, you will have the opportunity to discuss them at enrolment with a member of staff. If you are given a provisional offer, you will also be invited to our Taster Days in the summer, when you will be able to try out all of the subjects you have applied for to see if they are right for you.


    For more information about applying to college, please email

  • Strep A and Scarlet Fever

    We are aware of reports of an increase in the number of cases of Strep A and Scarlet Fever across the country in recent weeks. Below is some useful information from the Department for Education.

    Scarlet Fever and Group Strep A Infections
    The Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, is closely monitoring the increased cases of Group A streptococcus (Strep A) and scarlet fever. As a Department, we are working closely with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), who are leading on the response.
    UKHSA is reporting an increased number of cases of Group A streptococcus (Strep A) compared to normal at this time of year. There is no evidence that a new strain is circulating, and the increase is most likely related to high amounts of circulating bacteria and social mixing.

    What are scarlet fever and Strep A?
    Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria called Group A streptococci (Strep A). The bacteria usually cause a mild infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics.
    In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS).

    What are the symptoms of Strep A/scarlet fever?
    Strep A infections can cause a range of symptoms that parents should be aware of, including:
    Sore throat
    A fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel
    On darker skin the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel

    If a child becomes unwell with these symptoms, please advise parents to contact their GP practice or contact NHS 111 (which operates a 24/7 service) to seek advice.
    If a child has scarlet fever, advise they stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.
    Encourage parents to trust their own judgement and if their child seems seriously unwell call 999 or go to A&E if:
    a child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
    there are pauses when a child breathes
    a child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
    a child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.

    Managing confirmed cases
    Early years settings and schools should contact their UKHSA health protection team if there is an outbreak of 2 or more scarlet fever cases within 10 days of each other and the affected individuals have a link, such as being in the same class or year group.
    Further information for staff on how and when to do this can be found here: Managing outbreaks and incidents – GOV.​UK (
    If there are confirmed or suspected cases in an education or childcare setting, there is no reason for children to be kept at home if they are well.

    How to help prevent Strep A?
    To prevent the spread of Strep A, UKHSA advises children, young people and staff to implement good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.

    For more information please visit the UKHSA website

  • Alumni Spotlight: Languages, Geography and Taking Opportunities

    Where can languages take me? Ex-Bilborough student, Matt, used his Geography and Language A levels to kickstart a career in the charity sector as well as travelling around the world. We caught up with him recently to find out how he got there!


    1. Can you tell us your name and current job role?

    Matt Cooke, Supporter Engagement & Income Generation Officer at Framework Charity.


    2. What does an average day look like in your job?

    It’s a job where no two days are truly the same. I work as part of a small and amazing team and our primary goals are to increase the profile of the charity in the areas within which we work, raise awareness of homelessness and raise funds so that we can continue to provide the vital and lifechanging services that Framework offers.

    I primarily look after our relationships in the community and so spend much of my time working with schools, youth groups, colleges, universities, faith groups and other community groups to facilitate opportunities for them to support our work.

    I also help organise events and work with individual supporters to make sure they are happy and feel included in what we are doing, especially those who choose to make a major donation to Framework or to leave us a gift in their Will.


    Matt gives a talk in Nicaragua.


    3.What subjects did you study at Bilborough?

    I studied Spanish, German and Geography at Bilborough from 2011-2013.


    4. When you started at Bilborough, were you planning to go down this route?


    Having studied languages at Bilborough and continued these at University, I always intended to pursue a career in which I could use my language skills on a daily basis. I did do this for a few years whilst at University and after graduating, spending time living abroad in Germany and in Central America and working for large multinational corporations where I was able to put my language skills to good use. This was really fun and a great experience, but for personal reasons I wanted to try something a bit different and ended up making a move into the charity sector.

    Whilst I am not using my language skills directly in my current job, studying languages taught me so much more than just the language and has allowed me to develop some really important skills and build my self-confidence. It is only because I studied languages that I have been able to have all the experiences I have had to-date and am able to do such a good job in my current role.

    Matt receiving an award from Bilborough.

    5. After Leaving Bilborough, what was your next step?

    After leaving Bilborough I went on to study Translation Studies with German and Spanish at University and spent time working and volunteering in Germany and Nicaragua. These were some of the best experiences of my life so far, but it was studying at Bilborough that gave me the confidence and belief to go out there and grasp these opportunities.


    6. What advice would you give your college-age self?

    Take every opportunity that comes your way and keep an open mind. There are so many paths you can follow when you leave Bilborough – not just in terms of the working world but in terms of life as a whole – and if you work hard and dream big at Bilborough, you could find yourself walking down any of them. You’re incredibly lucky to be studying in such an amazing environment, so enjoy it and have no regrets.

    I would also say that, when it comes to the world of work, find a job that makes you happy and don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things. There is nothing worse than not wanting to get out of bed every morning to go to work. Find something you are passionate about because, when your job becomes a passion, you’ve won.



    Matt graduates from Aston University with a degree in translation studies with
    German and Spanish.


    7. Is there a highlight of your time at Bilborough that helped put you on the path you are on?

    I don’t think I have a particular highlight or moment that I look back on. I just loved my two years at Bilborough and would say that, by taking every opportunity available to me, I was able to get the very best out of my time at college.


    8. What’s next for you?

    Who knows – I am loving working in the charity sector and for now am looking to make a career out of it. But life takes you to unexpected places and I know there will be other opportunities and different paths that become available. I plan to keep an open mind and enjoy the ride!


    With thanks to Matt Cooke for sharing his career story with us!

    If you are an ex-student of Bilborough and you would like to share your story, please email

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