RLF Academic Writers in Residence

We are delighted to inform academic staff that once again, the University has two RLF Academic Writers in Residence this year who are available to advise and support students with all aspects of academic writing.

Professional, published writers, Sue Fletcher and Karen Wallace offer confidential, one-to-one tutorials for students in any subject area. This free service is provided by the Royal Literary Fund which sponsors over 80 writers to work in universities across the UK.

Tutorials with Sue (who covers Mondays and Tuesdays) and Karen (who covers Wednesdays and Thursdays) take place on St John’s Campus and last 45 minutes.

Students should book by emailing us direct:

Sue: s.fletcher@worc.ac.uk

Karen: k.wallace@worc.ac.uk

General Enquiries: rlfwriterinresidence@worc.ac.uk

Please ensure that you use your University of Worcester email address.

Please note that we cannot give advice by email, and we also do not provide a proof-reading service or support with basic English language skills.

Launch of 2017-18 Students as Academic Partners scheme

Following a successful Students as Academic Partners (SAP) scheme in 2016-17, with very high quality projects being completed, we are pleased to announce the launch of the 2017-18 scheme. Applications are now open until 30 October 2017. Please can you share this information with colleagues who may be interested in applying to the scheme.

Students and staff are invited to submit applications which have a clear emphasis on supporting future course development and improving the course and student experience. The scheme seeks to employ students as active partners of learning and teaching project teams based within the University. SAP is open to all students who are eligible to work in the UK and registered on a course for this academic year, and to all staff at the university.

Information on the scheme and details on how to apply are here:

SAP Project Scheme 2017-18

SAP_application_17_18

Final reports from previous years are also available for inspiration!

We look forward to receiving your application. Please contact us if you need any further information:

Karen Blackmore (k.blackmore@worc.ac.uk), academic lead for the SAP project scheme.

Carolyn Nisbet (c.nisbet@worc.ac.uk) project manager for the SAP project scheme.

TEF Subject Pilot Panels – applications for panel members

There are opportunities for staff to apply to participate in the TEF Subject Pilots as assessors, to review submissions and decide on the assessment outcomes.  Colleagues who may be eligible and interested in making an application can find further details via the TEF recruitment portal https://tef.hefce.ac.uk/recruitment.

Please note that the deadline for receipt of applications for all roles is midday on Friday 6 October.

Bone Density Scans

Bone Density Poster

The McClelland Centre will be hosting a day of bone density screening on Monday 25th September. We are pleased to offer you this test for £30. Payments can be made at the end of the appointment by either cash or cheque.

Tracey will assess your bone density and fracture risk using a machine called a ‘Quantative Ultrasound Scanner’ or ‘QUS’. The test measures the bone density in your heel, and is very useful for assessing your risk of fracturing (breaking) your legs, arms, hips and wrists – common fracture sites for sufferers of osteoporosis. The machine is safe, painless, and has no side effects.

After the test is completed, your results will be printed off and explained to you. There will also be time for you to ask questions, if you have any. Along with your results and explanation, you will receive an information pack with evidence-based nutrition, exercise and lifestyle advice to enable you to safeguard yourself against the condition, greatly enhancing your chances of having strong and healthy bones for life!

If you would like to book a test please email Tracey: tracey@bonematters.org The appointment will take approximately 15 minutes and results and advice are given immediately. It is recommended that you visit the Bone Matters website before your appointment: www.bonematters.org.

Hive dates for your social calendar

For children, this autumn is packed full of live theatre and educational events:

  • Saturday 30 September, 2pm – The Wind in the Willows performance
  • Saturday 7 October, 11am to 4pm – The Hive’s annual Space Day
  • Saturdays from 7 to the 21 October, 10.30am and 12.30pm – Beeline Story Pit Tales from professional storytellers
  • Monday 9 October, from 4.30pm onwards – Chris Riddell, illustrator extraordinaire will be signing books.
  • Monday 23 October and Thursday 26 October 10.30am to 12pm – Computer coding drop-in sessions during half-term
  • Thursday 26 October, 11am and 2pm – The Ugly Duckling.
  • Friday 27 October, 10am and 1pm – A Little Book of Nature workshop

For adults, business workshops, exhibitions, mini courses, family history and film:

BBC Orchestra event 1 October

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will return to Worcester next month for its second performance at the University of Worcester Arena. Presented by the University, in association with the Autumn in Malvern Festival, this rare opportunity to see and hear one of the UK’s leading orchestras takes place at 3pm on Sunday, October 1, 2017. To purchase tickets, go to www.ticketline.co.uk/venue/university-of-worcester-arena, call 0844 888 9991 or visit the University of Worcester Arena reception.

Arts and Culture Now

Arts and Culture Now AW17

Welcome to the latest news about what’s happening in Arts and Culture Now. Over the next few months, we’re presenting a very exciting and eclectic mix of film, theatre, exhibitions, lectures and conferences.

Throughout September we are proud to be associated with the Worcestershire Pride Festival of Arts & Culture and in October we are delighted to host a family-friendly concert by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Award-winning author Michael Rosen returns to The Hive as part of our fifth anniversary celebrations – there really is something for all ages. Download your copy now!

Brilliant Mentor book

The second edition of ‘How to Be a Brilliant Mentor’, written by members of the PGCE Secondary team is now available.

It has been revised throughout to cover the new Mentor Standards and changes in teacher training routes and with two completely new chapters on school-based training (Trevor Wright) and development through risk-taking (Suzanne Lawson and Kerry Whitehouse).

Car Parking – Staff Permits

Dear Colleague

I am writing to colleagues about the practical matter of car parking at the University.

I know that car parking is generally a great convenience to colleagues, but is, on occasion, a source of irritation.

Some changes are being made this year and I thought it would be helpful to explain the wider context within which car parking is provided and managed at the University.

The University has no responsibility to provide any car parking at all except for those students, staff and visitors who have mobility impairments. However, we try our best to provide a much more extensive service.

The University’s leadership is keenly aware that we live in a predominantly rural area where public transport is patchy at best. We know that many of our students engage in placements in rural schools and at health care settings where the only practical way to get to the placement on time is to use a car/motor bike. We want to do what we can to make working and studying at the University as practically convenient, as well as safe and secure, as possible. We are keenly aware of the issues posed by shift work and teaching in the evenings for example, and our safety and other systems are designed to be supportive.

Although providing car parking is expensive, we try to provide what we can in ways which are reasonable and pragmatic within the framework provided by the public authorities. The charges which are made are easily outweighed by the costs of providing car parking.

The public authorities have generally discouraged the creation of new car parks. For example, we developed the City Campus some 10 years ago we were only allowed to provide disabled car parking. When we acquired the Riverside building we were permitted to construct the new car park behind the Riverside building  only because there was a pre-existing car park there.

In recent years we have acquired new facilities for parking – notably at the Moors car park (Monday to Friday on a leasehold basis) and the Jenny Lind building. We have lost the car parking we used to rent at the former Coppertops Pub. The car parking at the Jenny Lind is ‘city centre’ car parking which is very much in demand. A University annual permit costs very much less than the £720 for a City Council annual season ticket valid at the nearest public car park (Cattle Market). New developments have, of course, created new issues and challenges.

The University facilities team work hard to manage the University’s car parking as well as is possible. If there are practical issues I know that the team try to resolve them fairly and sensibly. If you have a practical, personal matter please raise this direct by contacting  carparking@worc.ac.uk

Technological developments, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition, means that we hope to be able to manage car parking on a new basis in future. This is a challenge because of the spread out nature of the University’s car parking. Nonetheless, our Facilities team is preparing plans for the investment required and we hope to be able to move to a new, more effective system within the next two years.

For the time being, the University is continuing to use an updated version of our long-standing permit and pay and display system. This requires that all permits should be re-issued – so that the invalid permits in circulation can be eliminated.

If you wish to make an application for a new parking permit please do follow the procedure outlined in the attached document. You may also find these frequently asked questions useful.

Many thanks to all colleagues for your understanding.

Particular thanks to our colleagues in the University’s Facilities team as they do their best to meet the challenges of providing for car parking for so many diverse needs from so many students and colleagues. I know that the results achieved are the envy of colleagues in many other Universities.

As always the University’s strong culture of friendliness, courtesy and resolving problems together provides the basis for making the best of the facilities at our disposal. Thank you.

With all best wishes

Professor David M A Green
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive

Cake sales

Macmillan Cake Sale
Wednesday 27 September
10am until it’s all gone
WB 090 – Student Records Office

I’m holding a Macmillan cake sale as they’ve helped me, and numerous friends, both in the past and present.

Any donations of cakes, biscuits, doughnuts, fruit etc all gratefully received.  Please let me know if you’re planning to donate a cake.

Many thanks! Helen Mullen | Timetabling Officer | Registry Services |

The Finance Department are also organising a Macmillan Coffee Morning cake sale, next Friday 29 September 9.30am – 12.00 noon, in Woodbury 57.

Worcestershire Pride Festival of Arts & Culture

Worcester Pride festival programme

The Worcestershire Pride organising committee, which includes staff, students and alumni of the University of Worcester, is pleased to announce Worcester’s first official Pride event on Saturday 23rd September 2017, and the Festival of Arts & Culture, which will take place from 18th – 29th September 2017 in Worcester.

The attached PDF gives details of the festival which includes: an art exhibition at The Hive, a ‘queering of the museum’ event at the Worcester Museum and Art Gallery, a poetry evening in Jenny Lind Chapel, an evening of queer performance at Worcester Arts Workshop, a UK film premier of Troma’s Spidarlings in association with Splendid Cinema, and a production of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9 by Kidderminster based, Calanit Theatre.

Many artists featured in the festival are alumni of the Institute of the Arts including on the creative teams of both Cloud 9 and Spidarlings; also performance poet Jack Bateman who was a finalist in the 2016 Hammer & Tongue performance poetry competition held at the Royal Albert Hall and UK Drag Idol 2017 finalist and current X Factor contestant Ginny Lemon.

Worcestershire Pride Festival of Arts & Culture is supported by the University of Worcester.  The Department of Theatre and Film, Anne Hannaford – Director of Arts and Culture, and the University’s LGBT staff network have all supported the events with funding and support in kind, and the University has also made a financial contribution to ensuring access for people with disabilities to the main day Pride event on 23rd September. The event is also supported by the National Lottery, the Elmley Trust, Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council, and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

The event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, while also promoting diversity and inclusion in the cultural life of Worcestershire. Please come along and enjoy, all the events are open to all.

Daniel Somerville
Lecturer in Drama and Performance
Artistic Director of the Worcestershire Pride Festival of Arts & Culture
Treasurer of Worcestershire Pride organising committee

APPEAL: Some events in the festival are ticketed and to pay for, but many are free, and the main day event on 23rd September is FREE. Donations make this possible. If you would like to make a donation of any amount large or small, as an individual, group or organisation, please visit: www.gofundme.com/worcestershirepride

Staff Development Workshops

Appraisee Skills

It is recommended that all members of staff attend a briefing to prepare for their review meeting. This practical session will help you to get the best results from your appraisal. You will develop a clear understanding of the nature of appraisal, its objectives and the part that it can play in personal development planning as well as becoming familiar with the University’s appraisal Scheme. If you prefer, a session can be tailored for specific teams. Contact Rachael Stephens to arrange a date and time to suit you.

  • 20-09-2017 09:15 – 12:30
  • 22-11-2017 09:15 – 12:30

Appraiser skills

A practical session which is a pre-requisite for members of staff who appraise others. The session aims are to develop an understanding of the nature of appraisal, its objectives and links with other university processes. We will also explore the skills and techniques that help to make the process effective, and become familiar with the University’s appraisal scheme and procedures and prepare for an appraisal meeting

  • 20-09-2017 13:00 – 16:30
  • 22-11-2017 13:00 – 16:30

Information Security Awareness Training

IT workshops are designed to provide you with the opportunity to understand and comply with current IT security best practice and identify access appropriate support. The one hour sessions will help to: Improve your understanding of Information Security Find out about the wide range of IT services and support available to you Discover what tools are available to help you work more securely

  • 13-09-2017 10:30 – 11:30
  • 14-09-2017 13:30 – 14:30

Minute-Taking & Servicing Meetings

Work effectively with your chair, construct an agenda, take notes of committee/meeting discussions and produce quality minutes. (The Personnel Department also has a Committee Servicing video, specifically made for use in universities which you can borrow to use, individually or in teams.)

  • 07-11-2017 09:30 – 16:30

Skills Gym – Discipline and Grievance

This Skills Gym is aimed at leaders and line managers developing core skills around difficult conversations, specifically about discipline and grievance which can be daunting. Not only is the range of disciplinary issues very large and varied the issues surrounding the reason why it has occurred can be very emotional at a variety of levels. When considering grievance issues there can be a multitude of factors that the employees brings to the conversation. This half day session will link to the University policy on discipline and grievance while introducing the use of a strategy based on the ACTION model to give a framework to any difficult conversation. The session will look to develop the verbal and nonverbal skills required to know how to talk assertively and appropriately, bearing in mind the sensitivities that a disciplinary or grievance interview can bring. A major focus of the session is based on the aim of the meeting, as this is often where individuals go wrong. This Skills Gym will provide practical and engaging demonstrations of the different skills that would be employed by line managers in addressing discipline and grievance related issues. The skills gym will also explore more complex issues that managers are uncomfortable addressing, including two written case study scenarios

  • 13-10-2017 09:15 – 12:45
  • 29-11-2017 09:15 – 12:45

Skills Gyms Difficult Conversations for Support Staff

Holding difficult conversations can be daunting. They can be with colleagues, external people or senior managers. They can just happen or you can have time to prepare. Whatever the situation this course will help you with a strategy to find the behaviours and words to communicate effectively. The strategy used is a Call to ACTION. The 6 facets of ACTION are introduced during the seminar and each one discussed as to how they can help in conducting difficult conversations effectively.

  • 06-10-2017 09:15 – 12:45
  • 28-11-2017 09:15 – 12:45
  • 14-12-2017 09:15 – 12:45

Skills Gyms – Working with Others (part 1)

Sally Booth is a highly experienced trainer who is passionate about building confidence and skill in others to help enhance their performance at work. Her personal satisfaction comes from enabling people to increase their personal impact and to encourage influential team and individual communication. This Skills Gym will look at understanding those we work with, both customers and colleagues, to enable us to understand the issues and effectively resolve difficult situations. This session will look at how our perceptions become our reality, how we react to the needs of others, using questioning and listening skills to understand rather than judge. You will look at how to establish the best approaches, verbally and non-verbally and stay professional under pressure.

  • 10-10-2017 09:00 – 12:30
  • 10-10-2017 13:00 – 16:30
  • 11-10-2017 13:00 – 16:30

If you’re interested in any of the above workshops you can now book a space through the workshop bookings system or by contacting the HR Training Team (training@worc.ac.uk).

Do you want to get more active?

Do you want to get more active? Do you want to be part of some novel research taking place at the University of Worcester? This novel research study explores a new approach to how and where we exercise. High-intensity interval exercise is recently becoming a more popular mode of training based on its time-efficiency compared with traditional, continuous and moderate-intensity exercise. However, the time-efficiency becomes questionable if a time-consuming visit to the gym is required in order to undertake this training. We are investigating whether high intensity workouts in the living room can be just as effective as a trip down the gym, by exploring many different effects of a bout of non-gym-based bouts of high-intensity interval exercise, such as star jumps, on the body.

For your time and efforts, you will receive a free month’s gym membership at the University McClelland Centre for Health & Wellbeing and the St John’s campus gym, as well as be entered into a prize draw to win a prize up to the value of £150.

Participating in this study will require 3 visits to the laboratory from around 8am-2:30pm, but during most of this time you are free to work from the laboratory. If you are able to work away from your office for this amount of time and are interesting in participating, please see the attached poster and email Alice Burgin at a.burgin@worc.ac.uk. Thank you!

Download the poster for more information.

National Know your Numbers Week

This week is National Know your Numbers Week and we want to encourage everyone to get their blood pressure checked and get to know their numbers!

A healthy blood pressure is vital for keeping all parts of our bodies supplied with the energy and oxygen we need. However, problems can occur if our blood pressure is too high or too low. Blood pressure is important because the higher your blood pressure is, the higher your risk of health problems in the future.

The only way of knowing whether you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test. All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Getting this done is easy and could save your life. You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:

  • at your GP surgery
  • at some pharmacies
  • as part of your NHS Health Check

It’s important to know what affects our blood pressure and what you can do to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Why not take this short quiz to find out how much you know!

Information about Welcome Week 2017: 16 – 22 September

Dear all

Welcome Week Timetables: staff access

Welcome Week Timetables are available for staff to view via the Welcome Week Timetables 2017 link which is located under ‘Your online services’ when you log in to your UW staff page home page. You can then select the relevant course title from the drop down menu.

Welcome Week Timetables: student access

Students can access their Welcome Week Timetable from the ‘Welcome Week’ section on the ‘Welcome’ tab of their SOLE page. To view their personalised timetable for the week, they click on the Welcome Week Timetable link. Their timetable has information on the dates, times and content of all sessions.

Here to Help Badges

You may remember that for the last couple of years during Welcome Week, staff have had the option to wear a ‘here to help’ badge, so that students can easily recognise staff members & know who to ask for help. This has been very successful in the past and we would encourage staff to do the same this year. Badges are available from the main reception desk at St John’s Campus and City Campus reception – please help yourself to a badge and wear it during Welcome Week.

Please let me know if you have any queries or require any further information about any of the above.

Best wishes

Ellen Williams
Student Achievement Service Manager

Mindfulness Day – Tuesday, September 12th 2017

This is the annual date intended to raise awareness to the general public about the profound value and benefit of mindfulness. Below are some of the mindfulness opportunities that exist on campus for staff and students to access, many of these you can use or access throughout the year:

  1. The Counselling & Mental Health Service  runs a weekly Introduction to Mindfulness course open to staff and students each term – next one starting at the beginning of October. More details from Rod London Tel: 01905 85 5417 Email:r.london@worc.ac.uk
  2. The Counselling & Mental Health Service staff also teach some skills (breathing, sensory grounding etc.) in their psycho-educational workshops. More details from Rod London Tel: 01905 85 5417 Email:r.london@worc.ac.uk
  3. A Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme will run again in December/January. This is a programme of weekly sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours,  over eight weeks. Details will be published in due course. There will also be a three hour session ‘An introduction to Mindfulness’ as part of the staff development workshop programme.
  4. There is a meditation labyrinth marked into the grass at the bottom end of Woodbury by the car park: http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/relax-well.html The University Labyrinth is a perfect place to go to relax, it provides a walking meditation area in which to reflect and relax.
  5. There is a nature trail around St Johns Campus, marked on the campus  map, which you can follow to see what you may be likely to see in Summerand Autumn/Winter.
  6. There are a number of campus areas that have been identified as good places to be mindful including the low pollen garden in the corner between Edward Elgar and the Pollen Unit which is a very quiet and underused spot and the student/staff allotment with an earth ‘cob’ oven which is in the garden of (Forensic house).
  7. There is a Mindfulness website that offers free mindfulness exercises to download and a link to mindful poetry and short stories  which you can access to ‘Be mindful on Mindfulness day’! www.freemindfulness.org
  8. There is a very useful Mindfulness site for students http://mindfulnessforstudents.co.uk/ which you may want to look at and direct students to.
  9. There is a useful report by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG), 2015 called ‘Mindful Nation UK‘ which:

CAKE! Wednesday 27 September

Macmillan Cake Sale
Wednesday 27 September
10am until it’s all gone
WB 090 – Student Records Office

I’m holding a Macmillan cake sale as they’ve helped me, and numerous friends, both in the past and present.

Any donations of cakes, biscuits, doughnuts, fruit etc all gratefully received.  Please let me know if you’re planning to donate a cake.

Many thanks!

Helen Mullen | Timetabling Officer | Registry Services |

Students’ Union – Help & Advice in the City

From Thursday 21 September our Advisor will be working from Jenny Lind JLG013 every Thursday.

Drops in are available 1:30-2.30, students can also make an appointment online or at the SU Welcome Desk, St Johns.

(term time only, make appointments online at www.worcsu.com/helpandadvice  or phone 01905 543210)

The Student’s Union offers independent and confidential help and advice to all students on a range of academic, welfare and accommodation issues.

For any queries please email suadvice@worc.ac.uk

Cycle to beat the other universities and win a holiday

The University of Worcester has entered a competition, called “UniCycle”, with LoveToRide.net against staff and students in other UK universities to see which university can get the most people cycling, and cycle the furthest as an university.

Although you can enter the general competition as individuals and compete for a range of prizes from bike equipment to holidays, in order to beat the other universities in the main competition we need to gather a team of riders for the University of Worcester.

“UniCycle” is a year-long competition and there will be events, information and incentives throughout the year.

#Cycle September

This September we start with a fun free competition between organisations to see which can get the most people to try riding a bike.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been on a bike in years or you ride every day. You can ride a bike anywhere, any time in September to help the University climb the leader board and go into the draw for prizes!

Prizes include: holidays in Berlin, Italy or San Francisco, bicycles and cycling equipment.

Find out more and register on University of Worcester team here:

https://www.lovetoride.net/unicycle/companies/17145?ic=73bd4512&locale=en-GB

Twitter #CycleSeptember

Colleagues can benefit from the Cylesheme to save money on a new bike and pay monthly through your salary;

http://www.worc.ac.uk/personnel/documents/University_Cyclescheme_benefits_and_guidance.docx

Arts and Culture Now

Arts and Culture Now AW17

Welcome to the latest news about what’s happening in Arts and Culture Now. Over the next few months, we’re presenting a very exciting and eclectic mix of film, theatre, exhibitions, lectures and conferences.

Throughout September we are proud to be associated with the Worcestershire Pride Festival of Arts & Culture and in October we are delighted to host a family-friendly concert by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Award-winning author Michael Rosen returns to The Hive as part of our fifth anniversary celebrations – there really is something for all ages. Download your copy now!