Marisuz’ story: studying at ELATT led to working for a world global technology corporation

Marisuz’ story: studying at ELATT led to working for a world global technology corporation

When I joined ELATT I had just left my previous job in the retail sector and was unemployed. I wanted a career change. IT was always my biggest passion and despite the experience, I did not have credentials to back it up. I contacted City & Guilds who recommended ELATT. Starting my course, I felt hopeful and knew that I was going in the right direction. 

My experience was very positive. I studied Level 1 iTQ Award for IT Users, Level 2 Award in ICT Systems and Principles and Level 2 Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles for IT Professionals plus CISCO Essentials. 
 
Our tutor Daudi Frederick-Cato, helped us in every step of the way and had an unlimited amount of patience as well as great teaching skills to help us understand the subjects and move forward at a great pace. I was planning to continue to Level 3 but, in the meantime, I applied to some companies and had two positive responses from which I had to choose. I am currently employed as a Helpdesk Advisor - Windows 10 by a world renowned American-based IT company with offices in London. My prospects definitely improved as the credentials I acquired gave me the confidence to aim higher. 

I’ve already recommended ELATT to some friends who are considering a career change. I am so glad I decided to study with ELATT and would say to anyone considering joining, what have you got to lose? It’s the best way to improve your life. You’ll meet great people who will support you every step of the way and build a foundation to progress in your career. 

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Meet Rasa: from learner at ELATT to Student Support Advisor/Business Recruitment Officer

Meet Rasa: from learner at ELATT to Student Support Advisor/Business Recruitment Officer

My name is Rasa and I'm a Student Support Advisor and Business Recruitment Officer at ELATT. However, I actually began my ELATT journey as a student. Before coming to ELATT, I was unemployed and looking for work. I had never used a computer before, which was a huge setback for me. I popped into the Kingsland Road centre and the staff helped me understand my options and what would be best for me to study.

I studied IT for the Office from beginners to L2. My tutors were Ivo and Rita. Rita was extremely patient with all of us as we had many questions and most of the time asked to explain the task more than 2 times, it's not that we could not do it, but just making sure that we doing it right. Tutor reassurance helped us a lot.

It sounds funny now but, I was afraid to use the internet just in case I pressed the wrong button and all my personal data would be taken from my account! Even the word Google in big letters on my screen made me feel uneasy!

After completing the course I volunteered with ELATT for some time and then applied for a part time job as a Receptionist/Administrator. I have now been working for ELATT since 2007.

My job title has changed as I progressed within the company. At the moment my main job is supporting students getting on to ELATT courses - I work as a Student Support Adviser/Business Recruitment Officer. My experience from coming as a student to now helping students means I can really understand how it feels when you’re just starting out.

ELATT is one of the best places that I have studied and worked at. The staff and learners are amazing. It is wonderful to see people getting one step closer to their dream job or the dream career. I would like to keep working for ELATT as well as progressing within my job.

I would encourage anyone that needs computer skills come and study here. The staff are passionate about helping you reach your full potential and progress further. It does not matter if you feel that you tried somewhere else but did not succeed - just take one step at the time and say I can do it; I will try and do my best. All of us have to face our fears at one time or other, so please don’t give up on yourself. We are here for you, so make your efforts count.

We are now recruiting for September 2021. Take the next step in your career and join one of our free courses today.

 

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ELATT celebrates students with international transformation coach and TedX speaker Lena Kay

ELATT celebrates students with international transformation coach and TedX speaker Lena Kay

On 14th July 2021 over 200 ELATT students, staff, funders and volunteers joined the annual Student Celebration event focussed this year on ‘Reaching your goals’, held online for the second year. The event kicked off with the highlights from each department, including many students moving on to volunteering, paid work or further education and almost 150 devices provided to students to bridge the digital divide, including 90 laptops, 23 tablets, 23 smartphones and 10 Wi-Fi boxes. 

Next, attendees broke into groups to discuss their goals and where they hope in be in 5 years' time. After reflecting on this, Lena Kay, international transformation coach, shared her story from being a child refugee from Kurdistan, growing up in London, excelling in management before having a breakdown and reaching rock bottom. She transformed her life and got off medication and benefits, now living in the USA and empowering others. To get a feel of the talk and her tips, you can find her Tedx Talk here. 

Following Lena’s inspiring talk, attendees were treated to the premiere of a film showcasing Sixth Form’s recent Community Action Anti-Homelessness Project, produced by Odd Eyes Theatre. The video can be viewed on Youtube and you can read more on the Learning Community blog. 

Staff, students and volunteers commented on the inspiring talk from Lena, practical tips they will implement going forward and on the hard work and dedication of the Community Action project. We wish everybody a lovely summer break and look forward to returning in September! 

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ELATT Sixth Form & Highway House - anti-homelessness action project

ELATT Sixth Form & Highway House - anti-homelessness action project

We are so proud to share that ELATT Sixth Form students recently partnered with Highway House a church and homeless shelter in Tottenham, North London to help improve conditions for rough sleepers in London. Highway House has a number of local homeless people who often sleep in their church hall. When the pandemic struck, no-one was allowed to sleep in the church hall due to social distancing rules. Thankfully, many were relocated in hotels during the pandemic, however some people were not found by outreach teams and some became homeless during the pandemic and could not access shelters for accommodation due to their closures so were faced with sleeping rough in terrible conditions.


In our Social and Personal Development sessions, our tutor asked our students how they would like to support the homeless. Their solution was to buy ten 'iglous', ordered from France, which could be set up in the church hall in the Highway House grounds or nearby, so that the homeless would now be able to sleep in the warm and dry without breaking social distancing rules. The students distributed these in March 2021 and also took part in befriending sessions with the homeless.

In the photo we see Emil who slept in Tottenham Green by Highway House. He said that he is happy with his Iglou and that it keeps him very warm.

Volunteering has been ongoing as part of the students Community Action Project. The volunteering involves; helping serve food and refreshment, sorting clothes, helping with cleaning and setting up the day centre and helping with the distribution and maintenance of the Iglous.

Throughout the project, our students have been working with Odd Eyes Theatre learning about camera skills and documentary making to produce a film which shows community action in action. It documents their understanding of homelessness and how their work with Highway House has given them an appreciation of the challenges faced by the homeless. The documentary also aims to raise awareness about homelessness amongst the ELATT community and encourage them to get involved in community action.

Summai, one of our students said “Helping out at Highway House has been a really good experience and I can understand more about homelessness and how it affects people's lives. I have learnt and used my skills to help out at this charity during our project at highway house I was really excited to get involved when we discussed it in class and I really wanted to get involved as it is something I am have very passionate about and I like helping people.”

Imtiaz, English and Personal and Social Development tutor at ELATT, said “Our students have been wonderful in how they jumped at the chance to volunteer with Highway House. They have really enjoyed it and learned a lot from their experience. As result of this, they would like to take part in further activities that would help the homeless.

Abigail from Highway House said “When ELATT reached out to us with the idea to purchase iglous for rough sleepers who have not been able to access statutory help, we thought it was great idea! We were very glad to partner with ELATT in making a difference in the circumstances that the pandemic has created, mainly the closures of open plan shelters. A number of people sleeping rough benefit from sleeping in the iglous. An extraordinary story... we had 6 international students who suffered from a fire in their property, leaving them homeless for 3 days! They used the iglous during that time outside of the shelter and they were very grateful for the provision.”

 

   

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Celebrating our volunteers #VolunteersWeek 2021

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Volunteer Testimonials

This Volunteers' Week we'd like to thank our volunteers and share their stories. We have had over 55 volunteers this year and their support for our students is so important to our excellent student satisfaction and success rates. Volunteers have been vital during our live, tutor-led online lessons during the pandemic. Volunteer TA's provide essential support to those in need of additional tech support whilst the teacher continues the live lesson, ensuring no one is left behind whilst we've been locked down.

Read on to hear what ELATT volunteers have to say about their experience...

I started volunteering with ELATT after I found myself jobless during the pandemic in 2020. I’ve loved having the opportunity to help others, and meet new people whilst developing my skills and knowledge, and supporting a fantastic charity! The team are so flexible and accommodating, and the training is great plus there are a range of ways you can get involved; I initially planned to support the admin team as this is where my work experience lies, but instead decided I’d try my hand at being a teaching assistant in the virtual ESOL classes and loved every minute! My time volunteering with ELATT has opened so many doors and given me the confidence to pursue a new career in Speech and Language Therapy. I would encourage anyone considering volunteering with ELATT to go for it - it has been an absolute game changer for me!
- Robyn, volunteer ESOL TA in 2020

I had the opportunity to do volunteer work in two ways for Elatt. I assisted my teacher in the creation of some digital materials (forms) and also as an assistant in a group of beginners. It was an experience that allowed me to learn a lot. It was amazing to meet people from different parts of the world, with so many different stories and a lot of willpower to be there. It was definitely inspiring! I recommend it to everyone who has a little time. It will be an incredible experience for you and will help others! Thank you Elatt for the opportunity!
- Juliana, volunteer Teaching Assistant

I have been a volunteer teaching assistant since July 2020 and I am half way through my third term of teaching alongside the main ESOL teacher. The best thing about volunteering for me is simply the time you get to spend having conversations with people that I would never get the opportunity to interact with otherwise. I have met numerous different people all from different backgrounds and cultures and I have learned so much about each individual one. I have gained so much confidence in not only speaking to new people but in my own teaching ability. When I started I found it difficult to know what to say to students and now I am happy to take control of a lesson if I need to and guide the students in the right direction effectively. This is what I found challenging in the beginning. It is hard to know what questions to ask students and how to relate to them when they speak little English but I have learned that a friendly face and smile can go a long way. I would definitely recommend volunteering and teaching to others whether it be to develop your own career or to fill some spare time as you will get as much out of it as the students do from your help.
- Rose, volunteer ESOL Teaching Assistant

My experience as a student and then as a volunteer at ELATT has been the most precious time in my education. ELATT gave me the opportunity to volunteer as a teaching assistant. I have met many teachers here who made a good impact in my life, the staff are kind and always happy to help in any way they can. After my time at ELATT, I had the opportunity to get a job and improve myself in many areas.
- Margarita, volunteer Teaching Assistant

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#ELATTStories: Blog with Sixth Form Ambassador Alfie

#ELATTStories: Blog with Sixth Form Ambassador Alfie

I'm Alfie and I've been studying in ELATT's Sixth form for 2 years. I am proud to be ELATT's Sixth form ambassador, which means I am a voice for the Sixth form community and provide feedback to ELATT's leadership team.
 
My classes include English and Computer Engineering (which is my favourite) and it's given me the idea to my own business in the future: a computer maintenance and repair shop. I have already begun disassembling computers which is something I enjoy doing in my spare time, as well as photography and supporting Arsenal. I look forward to learning how to assemble computers next.
 
I've had the opportunity to take part in projects including Headliners #Unfiltered project where we get to go on trips and take photos, and Wild London's Keeping it Wild project. These projects get us out of the classroom and learn lots of different things with a new perspective. I am really proud of my stunning photos that have been included on websites like Headliners - https://www.headliners.org/lifeinlockdown-a-look-through-the-lens
 
A highlight of my time in sixth form would be a trip to London Metropolitan University, where it was really helpful to get to look around and see what a university is like, as I may be applying after I complete level three studies. I also loved it as it was right by Arsenal's home ground!
 
The best part of studying at ELATT is learning new skills - I would recommend ELATT to anyone else who'd like to learn new skills and meet new people.
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ELATT stories: Staff & student experiences

ELATT stories: Staff & student experiences

At ELATT, our staff and student's wellbeing is our highest priority. We know that for many of our students, our courses offer a lifeline to normality and hope during lockdown. We are very proud that 92% of our students reported being 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with our provision during March - December 2020. Click on the video to hear first-hand some of our staff and students' experiences working and studying with us during 2020.  

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Adnan shares his experience of studying at ELATT during lockdown

Adnan shares his experience of studying at ELATT during lockdown

I am writing this blog to talk about my experience studying at ELATT during lockdown. 

Lockdown has been very difficult for me but everyone at ELATT has been wonderful and very supportive. This applies to the admin staff, the technical team, the TAs and the teachers.

Since lockdown I have been able to continue my studies in a whole new way and still carry on in order to get my qualification sorted and ready to take a next leap of my career. I have been having regular timetabled online sessions every week. The teachers teach as if we are in a real classroom. I was really worried about how I was going to continue my studies. Although it is not as good as being in a classroom it is still very good.

I haven’t liked lockdown because I wasn’t allowed to meet my friends or go to any other people’s household which made it boring for me. But because of my online lessons during lockdown I have managed to socialise with my friends at ELATT as we are all in a meeting together. This has been very good for my wellbeing.

In addition to our normal lessons, ELATT gave us the opportunity to work on online projects with London Wildlife Trust and Headliners. I have to thank Laura from London Wildlife Project for teaching us about the environment and for letting me write a blog. I also have to thank Lucy and Zahrah from Headliners for helping us create podcasts and learn about journalism. We finished the year by going on a Wildlife Action Day to Woodberry wetlands where we learnt about wildlife conservation. It was really good to get out and meet my friends again and also to see the swans and other birds.

I want to finish by saying that although lockdown hasn’t been the best experience for me, ELATT has helped me so much to continue my studies and to help with my mental wellbeing. I would recommend ELATT to anyone looking to gain new skills, improve their confidence and meet new people.

Author: Adnan Tanmoy

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ELATT Sixth Form: Anti-Bullying Campaign

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Over the last few days, a few of our Sixth Form software development students worked on designing and building some fantastic interactive educational websites to raise awareness of anti-bullying as part of Anti-Bullying Week. You can follow the link below to experience their work!

https://elattlearning.com/Youth/

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Overcoming Technophobia with ELATT – A Student’s Story

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My name is Inger and I am a 50 year old housewife, charity volunteer and grandmother. I have always felt left behind because I did not know how to use a computer - it has held me back for many years. Not being able to get online or use a computer made me feel useless, stupid and actually, I was quite scared of computers due to not knowing anything about them! I just didn’t know what to do about it or how I could overcome my technophobia. My kids always promised to help me learn but are always busy with their own work or homework, and classes I had seen advertised were either really expensive, or seemed to be aimed towards OAPs, so I felt I wasn’t welcome there.

Then I heard about ELATT. I signed up for a free IT for the Office course, which would teach me all the basics of using Microsoft Office Packages and computing skills that I could use to help me improve my employability and prospects. With help, I completed an online sign up form, I had a quick phone call from ELATT’s assessment team and completed a short test to see what skills I already had, before starting my course.

I was really nervous about learning and joining online classes on Zoom, but my tutor is so welcoming, kind and helpful, and takes us through the class at a gentle pace. ELATT is such a supportive environment, I am not afraid to ask questions or for additional help when I need it. I was so delighted when I passed my Level 1 Assessment. I have felt my confidence grow week by week, and I can’t believe I am now completing Level 2! The huge mystery around laptops, computers and the internet is fading and I am excited to use my new skills. I’ve even made new friends on the course and met up for socially distanced walks, which has been a huge unexpected benefit. I would recommend anyone wanting to learn something new to check out ELATT’s website and find a course they’d like to study.

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