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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

An asphaleia Student Shares Her Inspiring Story

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

Most of the young asylum seekers have different stories to tell but there are some things that make us similar too. Now that we are in the UK we almost go through the same path. For instance, sharing houses, having a social worker and attending asphaleia. Although not all young asylum seekers go to asphaleia but we all get to go to school at some point.

My experience at asphaleia is great. It is my first experience of education in the UK. Though I live with many young people in my accommodation, I still get to meet with new people, new friends and of course the teachers. asphaleia is a little different than my old school back in my country. Over here, we have smaller class with smaller number of learners. Although it is different than what I am used to, I still like it and appreciate it as it is because the teachers get to understand what you want, who you want to be and as an individual. The teachers are understanding and patient.

When I grow up, I want to be an architect because I like to design buildings and be creative. I have completed my Level 2 in English and in the process of doing my Level 1 Maths. I plan to complete my Level 2 in Maths here and after that I am going to go to college. I would like to finish my A Levels in college and go on to university. Hopefully I will achieve my dream to become an architect.

Thumbs up with a smiley face on with well done

Apart from Maths and English, we have Life and Living classes at asphaleia. This subject is basically about what is good and what is bad for us in life.  As we come here alone and we don’t really have much experience in life, we need people to help us and advice us what to do. For instance, we learn about healthy living where we learn what kind of food is recommended for us to eat in order to be healthy. We also learn how to respect people and some of the norms of the English society which are sometimes little different from ours. I personally think that this subject is really helpful because I got to learn and be reminded of the things I should do and not do.

As I mentioned above, I want to be an architect and I’m trying to work on that. It is really hard being separated from your family, relatives and friends. However, we have support workers who checks on us and shows us how to do things that we don’t know. For me everything is new and different as in the past my family did everything for me. However, here I need to be independent and I am getting used to do things by myself.

It is a difficult journey but nothing comes easy in life. I will continue to work hard to fulfill my dream and be successful in my life. I know I can and I will.

Thank you.


Young Person’s Week

27th February 2019

asphaleia training logo and ofsted good

Pancake Day in an ESOL Lesson

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

Pancake Day is a term used in the United Kingdom for Shrove Tuesday. This is the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It is a day of penitence to clean the soul and the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

This year, we at asphaleia training in West London did lots of learning about Shrove Tuesday. During our lesson, we shared about the Christian traditions. Including the 40 days before Easter known as Lent, which mark the time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

Pancake Day ESOL learning

Our learners, who come from different parts of the world learned that traditionally, Christians would mark the period with prayers and fasting, abstaining from a whole range of foods, including meat, eggs, fish, fats and milk. They learned that Shrove Tuesday is also known as “Pancake Day” or “Pancake Tuesday”, as it became a traditional custom to eat pancakes as a meal. We also discussed how some other countries celebrate the day too.  For instance, in France, it is called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. In Sweden, it is called Fettisdagen and interestingly, in Spain, it’s actually ‘Omelette Day’ or ‘Día de la Tortilla’ where they eat omelettes! We discussed if there are pancakes eaten around the world and if they were similar or different. It was revealed that anjero is a type of pancake in Somalia, dosa in India, okonomiyaki in Japan, pannukakku in Finland, crepes in France and of course pancakes in the United Kingdom.

We also took the opportunity to learn how to make pancakes by watching a video on Youtube. The learners’ comprehension was later tested with a Q&A session. At the end of the lesson, all of our young people celebrated Pancake Day by savouring delicious pancakes with a topping of their choice. The options were maple syrup, Nutella or a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of castor sugar. They all enjoyed it very much!

Pancake Day eating pancakes in ESOL lesson

Finally we told our learners… “So now that you know how to make pancakes and the history behind Pancake Day, go make yourself a few pancakes as a treat!”

To find out more about our ESOL classes and/or OnTrack programme for 16-18 year-olds, call us on 01903 823546.

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Halfway Through Young Person’s Week 2019!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

It has been an inspiring week so far as staff across the organisation have been sharing the many successes of the young people they are working with.

We are gushing and we know it! That’s what this week is all about. We have been finding out more about our young people via our Instastories. On Monday we did a poll asking about their biggest barrier to learning with a choice of ‘self-confidence’ or ‘self-motivation’. Self-confidence proved to be the bigger issue with 67% of the vote. Follow us on @asphaleiainsta to catch our updates this week. Without further ado, here is another fantastic piece of creative writing as featured in Visable Inc.

Another Door Opens

Why I left: I found it difficult to talk to people and make friends. I don’t feel I was helped enough.

Why I’m back: I am back because I want qualifications, a good job, and to work hard.

I have anxiety I become nervous in social situations. I want to make friends.

I’ve always found school hard and I want to change that by coming asphaleia and become the best I want to be, and I really want to achieve my best and work hard and not give up my goals and ambitions.

I used to feel so isolated and alone in myself and in general at school and I feel like I was not helped enough but asphaleia will help me with my general anxieties.  And, by me coming here will really help me with my issues and hopefully make friends.

I’m going to be attending asphaleia now regularly. And I want to feel brilliant.

I feel like a brilliant person. I’m not weird I just have unique ways of doing things and I am kind and smart and helpful.

I want my door to open wide and I want to achieve my best goals possible. I reckon with asphaleia they can help me enough to achieve my goal as a manager and make friends in a positive environment like asphaleia and I feel confident and comfortable enough coming here every Monday and Tuesday as per my timetable.



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Beautiful Creative Writing From an asphaleia Learner

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

In January, a group of our learners contributed to the January edition of the Visable Inc online magazine. They wrote pieces on their experience of coming back to education and the reasons why they left. The are compelling and inspiring pieces of creative writing, clearly written from the heart. We’re proud to be sharing them with you this week.

Young People thumbs up with visable Inc magazine

The Anxiety Box

Why I left: Anxiety

Why I’m back: I want to try and get some sort of education. I want help with my anxiety. I think I have that now.

“What’s your excuse?” My body speaks more than my mouth: I stumble, I stand still. All they did was put me at the back of the classroom. I can’t speak. My mind has made its decision – I need to get out. I need to know that the door is open. If I know it is, I’m more likely to stay. But they don’t understand that. Even if I could speak, what would I say? I look it up online – there is a word that I can’t pronounce – is this another box to be trapped in? If I can’t even say it, how can I face it?

I feel trapped.
I need to know that I can get out.
I know I need to calm down – but no one helps me to try.
Breathing  becomes bumpy.
I am panting pathetically.
I am making childish noises from my supposedly adult mouth.
I want to leave. I want to leave. I want to leave.

There are rules – I can’t leave whilst people are looking at me. Sometimes I feel that people trap me. My transparent box sees the eyes are staring in. I don’t even know how I got into the box, but somehow I keep going back in. I look it up online – there is a word that I can’t pronounce – is this another box to be trapped in? If I can’t even say it, how can I face it?


To see this as part of the Visable Inc January publication, click here


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Safer Internet Day 2019 in Uxbridge

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

In today’s modern world, keeping up with technology can be both time consuming and complex. With our new generation spending time online more and more these days, it’s vital that we explicitly teach young people how to stay safe whilst being online.

On the 5th February 2019, our young people in Uxbridge (West London) participated in the Safer Internet Day.  Although they were very good with technology, they still lacked the awareness of the danger with the internet, for instance anything about viruses, online privacy, phishing, social networking etiquette and other internet safety and security issues that is considered important.

student work for safer internet day

During the lesson, we discussed what can be shared online and otherwise. The lesson was to remind all learners that it is crucial to remember that everything we do over the web is captured forever and could come back to haunt us some day. For instance, many employers and university admissions offices look at social media profiles when researching candidates.

Also, learners brainstormed ideas on how they connect and the gadgets they use like smart phones, tablets and even old fashioned computers need to be protected as well. They went on talking about the use of sensible passwords and protection and how it can be helpful in the long run.

Some of our young people have played games online before and offered to share their two cents relating to online strangers. They said there are strangers online because they don’t always know who they are talking to and this could end up being detrimental. The discussion continued with the different ways one could connect with strangers online such as online games, Facebook and Instagram. They then watched a video presentation on how to handle strangers online. It was a good presentation as it got the learners to think about questions like, “What sort of information should we not tell a stranger?” We elicited a variety of answers from our young people, ensuring that details like “home address,” “phone number,” “full name” were emphasized.

Overall, it was a fun-filled, informative lesson with learners reflecting the issues that our young generation are facing as well as tackling emerging trends that could leave a lasting impact on online users.

Well done to our learners for engaging brilliantly in this lesson. #asphaleiayoungpersonsweek2019

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10 Reasons I Like asphaleia training

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

From the  25th February to 3rd of March, asphaleia is holding it’s third Young Person’s Week. During this week we make a big effort to celebrate the many successes and achievements of the young people we are working with. We couldn’t be prouder of every young person who comes through our door looking to make a positive change for their future. So stay tuned for some serious boasting! Ahead of #asphaleiayoungpersonsweek2019 our student ambassador had a chat with a member of staff and came up with ten reasons why she likes asphaleia.

1. The staff are helpful
Nothing feels like a stupid question. They all seem to know what is going on generally even though it is different subjects. You can tell they work with each other and I feel like they care about my education.

2. Nice atmosphere where you can be yourself
Everyone here seems to understand that school wasn’t easy. No one asks questions or acts like you are stupid. People come here to get the grades they need and then they can move on. It is nice to be in a class with people who think the same way as me.

3. Students are very easy to get on with
Everyone’s nice!

4. Tutors challenge us to learn new things
Sometimes it can be annoying when you do things wrong. But when the teacher reminds you that you won’t learn unless you try to do new things, it makes it clear they are doing it to make us better.

5. We have input into our education
We are a part of interviews for new staff and we get asked about what we like and what we don’t like.

6. Work experience
At school I didn’t get any, here, we get to plan things that we actually find interesting and want to go into instead of a standard one everyone goes on.

7. We are responsible for our learning
Teachers always say that if I work hard and attend I can do well and I actually believe them now!

8. The learning helps me feel more prepared for a job
Especially in employability – I feel like I’m more ready to have a job now because I have a CV, have plans, have looked at how to apply and I know what employers like and don’t like.

9. Exams are flexible
You don’t have to wait until a set time to do them if your teacher thinks you are ready.

10. It’s fun!
I actually enjoy learning here!

If you, or someone you know, may be interested in studying at asphaleia, email to find out more.

Make Trax Learners Start Work on Sustainability: One Water Bottle at a Time

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

This week, our Make Trax learners have begun learning about sustainability. In one of their workshops, learners discussed what recycling means to them with a project worker, before taking on a recycling quiz based primarily on single-use plastic.

See an example below: can you answer the questions?

  1. What do you think ‘biodegrade’ means?
  2. What kinds of things take less time to biodegrade?
  3. What kinds of items take more time to biodegrade?
  4. On average, how long does a plastic bottle take to decompose?
  5. How many times could you circle the world with the amount of plastic that is thrown away in one year?

After taking the quiz and discussing why choosing reusable plastic is so important in our training centre and the workplace, our learners decorated a name tag and attached it to their reusable water bottle. Through ditching single-use plastic at water fountains around the centre, and in our breakfast club, these learners are now contributing to ‘greener’ support through Make Trax.

If you, or someone you know, may be interested in our Make Trax project, (or wants to know if they got the answers right!) email Gracie at for more information.


Lunch and £20 Refer a Friend for New Sign Ups on our Employability Programme!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Are you a young person aged 16-18 looking for a college where you can achieve the qualifications you need to progress? Are you thinking about joining asphaleia college but are not quite sure? Are you a professional working with a young person who is hesitant?

We all know how good food is essential for optimum learning, so we are offering to get lunch for the whole of a young person’s first week with us, if they sign up to join our employability further education programme THIS WEEK.

Bring a friend along as well and you’ll both get a £20 high street voucher too (usually £10). Again, this is the final week of this bonus amount so act fast!

Free lunch sign up for education college course

Call us today on 01903 823546 to find out how to make a referral or sign yourself up.

Setting Targets for Achievement at asphaleia training College

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

As the last bit of tinsel is packed away and the pounding headache of New Year’s day thankfully loses its strength, we are then left to ponder resolutions that will improve our lives and well-being. Some opt for Dry January; many will attempt, some more successful than others, to push aside the habit of smoking; while others seek new careers with new opportunities and new challenges. We are no strangers to progress and achievement at asphaleia college, which is why review week at the start of 2019 has given our learners the opportunity to set targets, realise their potential and open up a world full of achievement and opportunity.

Education and qualification targets

Eyes on the prize!

Even seemingly small targets, such as: ‘answer questions in front of the class’, ‘participate in some work experience’, or ‘achieve my first qualification in English’ enable our learners to focus on overcoming their challenges so that progress is recognised, confidence is gained and new targets can be set. Chipping away these small targets allows us to climb, bit-by-bit, our own personal Everest.

At our next review in three months’ time, when others have fallen off the New-Year’s-resolution-wagon or have sneaked outside for a cheeky cigarette; we will have learners who have held their hands high, taken their first steps into employment and passed that first English qualification.

To make a referral to our English, maths and employability programme, email

New Year, New Maths Game at asphaleia training College!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
What better way to start the new year than by practicing those mental maths skills? Brush the dust off your brain cells that have hibernated over Christmas and get the maths mind ready with a simple mental arithmetic game. In the maths Level 1/2 class in Worthing, we had circular targets printed out with a range of numbers up to 20 round the outside and 25 for the bullseye. You could easily make this yourself if you are feeling crafty! We then played the old fashioned game of ‘Tiddlywinks’ (yes it really did used to be called that many years ago), which means you ping a counter across the table by pressing another counter gently on its edge. Each learner started with 100 points then they had to subtract the number they landed on (no calculators allowed!) and the first to zero was the winner!
We then changed it up a level and combined rolling a dice with shooting a counter on the target and then you had to multiply the two numbers – the first to 500 won! An easy way to practice mental maths and it brought out the competitive edge in everyone! Use it or lose it I say! If you have any other ideas for simple mental maths games, do send them in to me at
… Keep on playing, whoever said maths wasn’t fun?!
 If you or someone you know is aged 16-18 and needs to get a maths and/or English qualification, please contact