Planning for the new year

  • By K PYMER
  • 09 Jun, 2017

It's that time of year for us where we look into our crystal ball and plan for the future


It's this time of year, where we get together, look into our crystal ball and think - how many new starts are we going to have? what days should they attend and for this year, how do we alter our delivery to cater for the new hairdressing and barbering standards?

September seems such a long way away, but there is a lot to do between now and then, especially with all the new changes to the standards and the funding rules.

But we will get there, it happens every year and we look forward to starting a new academic year and meeting the new apprentices starting their career in the hairdressing and barbering industry.

If you know of anyone who is interested in an apprenticeship, we have salons who are looking and if you are a salon owner looking for an apprentice, we can put you in touch we some potential employees.

You may also be interested in teaching and assessing your new apprentice, our 8 session teaching course, would be ideal.  Visit our Professional Development page for more information.

New start in Barbering

We started a new barbering class this week and would like to welcome the new learners and look forward to seeing their work in the near future.

We would also like to welcome Carol Bell who is shadowing Sara in the barbering class as she is interested in teaching.  She is an employer and a barber, she also completed her assessor award with us late last year. 


Another tragedy has hit London.  We send our best wishes to everyone who was involved.

By A White 18 Jan, 2018
We would like to congratulate another group of students who completed their VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Barbering on Tuesday.  We can't wait to see your work on social media.  Well done to you all!

If you have always wanted to learn the skills of barbering, our next course starts on Tuesday 6 February.  We do only have 2 spaces left but please call us on 01603 886969 to reserve your place.

 Last week we looked at what to put in your CV if you are now leaving school and looking for an apprentice position in a salon or barbershop.  This week we are looking at what you should wear if you are invited for an interview.

It only takes a few seconds for an interview to decide how they feel about you....  No matter how strong your experience or how polished your interview technique is, you should never underestimate the importance your appearance.

Step 1 - Find out what your interviewers will be wearing.   No matter what your personal style is, you don't want to look our of place.  If you wear something smart and everyone wears jeans, for example, you'll probably feel uncomfortable - and it might even seem that you don't understand the company's culture.  Find out what's appropriate by looking at what the employees are wearing in the salon.

Step 2 - Don't wear a brand new outfit.   Above all, interview clothes should make you feel confident and comfortable.  Which means you shouldn't wear anything you've never worn before.

Step 3 - Keep it cohesive.   Interviewers are looking for a candidate who has it together - which means you should think about how all the elements of your outfit add up.  One tip, always avoid wearing any more than two or three different colours.

Step 4 - Layer up.   The room you're interviewing in could be boiling or freezing.  To be prepared for either eventuality, wear two layers:  a shirt and jacket.  If it's warm, the shirt looks good by itself... but if the air conditioning is blasting, a jacket or something similar will look good and keep you warn.

Step 5 - Iron out all the details.   The devils in the details, so polish your shoes, make sure your nails are neat, iron your clothes, and keep perfume and make up to a minimum.   More importantly make sure your hair is perfect.  You are going into the hairdressing industry this will be your selling point!

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Good Luck!!

World Religion Day - 21 January 2018

World Religion Day  is an observance initiated in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly  of the Bahá’ís  of the United States, celebrated worldwide on the third Sunday in January each year. Though initiated in the United States, World Religion Day has come to be celebrated internationally.

The observance of World Religion Day is based upon the Bahá’í principles of the oneness of religion  and of progressive revelation , which describe religion as evolving continuously throughout the history of humanity.The purpose of World Religion Day is to promote these principles by highlighting the ideas that the spiritual principles underlying the world’s religions are harmonious, and that religions play a role in unifying humanity.

By A White 11 Jan, 2018
Our hairdressing and barbering students were busy practicing their skills and on tuition heads and clients.  Some of the groups started their online tests and they did great.  Congratulations to everyone you did really well.

Students in year 11 at school are probably now thinking about what they are going to do next.  Apprenticeships are a good way of starting your hairdressing or barbering career.  To be an apprentice you have to be employed in a salon/barber shop for at least 30 hours per week.  To help find a position we do have a list of salons we can send you.  You can then approach them with your CV to see if they have an apprentice position.  If you would like a copy of the salon, please email us on or phone us on 01603 886969.

If you are now writing your CV, here are some tips on how to write the best:

Contact details :  Name, Address, email, telephone number (also put in a picture of yourself)

Personal statement: Always start with your personal statement – and  tailor it to the role in question. To put it simply, every time you apply for a new job, you will need to write a new personal statement, which should be tweaked to match  the job description. In terms of structure, consciously try and answer the following questions: Who are you? What do you have to offer? What are you aiming for in your career?

Also, try and quantify and give examples, where possible, and be specific. Generic personal statements can prompt a CV to fall at the first hurdle.

Key Skills - Instead of concentrating on a minimal work history, the most effective CVs written by school leavers often give precedence to skills.  Just as with your personal statement, try giving examples that are applicable to the role in question. For example, IT skills (naming specific programs), or soft skills  such as problem solving, public speaking and interpersonal skills, not to mention a friendly and welcoming demeanour, are all desirable qualities to have.

Education - Education should be included from GCSE level on. State the number and general grades you received (Maths and English at the very least). If you’re awaiting any results, you may state mock/expected results where possible, although this is not essential.   Write in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent events coming at the top.  In direct terms, particular course modules you’ve undertaken may be relevant to a role or scheme you’re applying for and can be used to demonstrate your wider knowledge of the subject.

School Name

Work Experience - Write details of any jobs you have had - voluntary and paid

Hobbies & Interests - A Hobbies and Interests section is optional. However, if you lack any notable work experience, they can be a great way of getting your personality across.  Feel like you don’t really have a hobby? Don’t panic. It’s never too late. Starting a blog , for example, can be a perfect way to show what you can offer – and could work for practically any career you look into. From the obvious such as fashion and retail (fashion blogs) through to carpentry and construction (documenting a DIY or restoration project, for example).  Just be wary of anything too generic, such as socialising with friends or going to the cinema (unless, of course, you’re applying for a role at your local cinema).

References  - Unless asked directly in the job posting, making them available on request is fine.  However, always make sure that you do have credible references. Close family friends, teachers, or career councillors are all good options, and are usually more than happy to help.

Taken from

 We wish you all the luck in your search for an apprentice position.

By A White 04 Jan, 2018
We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and we hope to see you, whether it is as a student or a client in 2018.

Have you made any New Year resolutions?  Are you continuing to keep up with them?  Maybe we can help with learning a new skill.  Our next barbering and hairdressing courses will be starting in February and April.   Our courses are great way to meet new people, learn new skills and to eventually earn money.

VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Barbering
This course, which is ideal for beginners will cover - Consultation, Health and Safety, Cutting Mens Hair and Cutting Facial Hair.  There will be online tests for each unit and practical assessments, but don't worry we will give you all the resources you need to meet the criteria, all you have to do it put in the hard work.  We endeavor for you to work on models as soon as possible as this is the best way to learn.  We advertise for models and we do have our regulars, but it would be beneficial to you and your training if you also helped in to bring in clients.  The course start on Tuesday 6 February 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm.

NVQ Level 2 in Hairdressing
Again, this course is ideal for beginners.  You will cover - Consultation, Cutting, Colour, Plaiting & Twisting, Maintain Effectiveness, Cutting Mens Hair, Style and Finish and shampooing.  There will be online tests and practical assessments.  We will provide all the resources you require to meet the criteria.  We endeavor for you to work on models as soon as possible as this is the best way to learn. We advertise for models and we do have our regulars, but it would be beneficial to you and your training if you also helped in to bring in clients.   The course starts on Friday 6 April 10.00 am - 4.00 pm.

If you are interested in any of our courses, please contact us via our website or call us on 01603 886969.

Some strange New Year traditions

In Denmark they save all of their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December when they affectionately shatter them against the doors of all their friends and family.

In Ecuador they celebrate the New Year by burning paper filled scarecrows at midnight. They also burn photographs from the last year. All in the name of good fortune.

In Romania they throw their spare coins into the river to get good luck.

In Bolivia coins are baked into sweets and whoever finds the coins has good luck for the next year.

In Ireland they hit the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirits

Have you heard or tried any of these traditions?

If you are due to leave school this year, you are probably thinking about what you are going to do next.  In the next few weeks, we will be talking about how to write cv's, your appearance, your options and what questions to ask at an interview.  See you next week.
By Anna White 21 Dec, 2017
While the learners are on their training break, the Academy staff had their training day.  We went through the assessment process on our new online portfolio, update on the colour and hair up workshop, standardise our lesson plans and lesson evaluations and some functional skills.

Seeing as it is Christmas next week here are some fun facts about Christmas Day and Boxy Day

Christmas Day Fun Facts

1. Hanging stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.

2. The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.

3. Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor.

4. Robins on cards started as a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.

5. The christmas cracker was invented by a London sweet shop owner called Tom Smith. In 1847, after spotting French bonbons wrapped in paper with a twist at each end, he sold similar sweets with a “love motto” inside. He then included a little trinket and a “bang”.

Boxing Day Fun Facts

1. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Boxing Day is a “holiday, on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.

2. It has also been suggested that the term related to alms boxes left for the poor by churches.

3. However the earliest known use of the term Boxing Day dates back only to 1833 when the above practices were already dying away.

4. Boxing Day is also known as the Feast of Stephen as St Stephen’s Day is December 26.

5. Hunting wrens was once a popular activity on Boxing Day in Ireland. Killing them was thought unlucky on other days.

It is the Winter Solstice today.  Here are some fun facts

1. Winter and Summer Solstice

In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the winter solstice  and the shortest day of the year.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it is summer solstice  and the longest day of the year, because equinoxes and solstices  are opposite on opposite sides of the planet.

2. A Specific Point in Time

Most people count the whole day as the December Solstice. However, the Solstice is actually at a specific moment - when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn.

In 2017, the December Solstice is on December 21, at 16:28 UTC . Due to the Time Zone  difference, some locations will have their solstice on a different date.

3. The Sun 'Stands Still'

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium , meaning 'the Sun stands still'. This is because on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. It's also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.

4. It's the First Day of Astronomical Winter

In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomers and scientists use the December Solstice as the start of the winter season, which ends on the March Equinox. 

5. Daylight Hours Increase Faster in the North

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the increase rate of daylight hours depends on your location's latitude - in more northern latitudes you will see a rapid increase in daylight hours compared to if you're in the more southern latitudes.

By Anna White 15 Dec, 2017
Are you wearing your Christmas jumper today for Christmas Jumper Day in support of Save the Children?
By K PYMER 07 Dec, 2017
Our learners produced some lovely work this past week.  If you would like any of these looks, appointments are disappearing quickly.  The apprentices break up for Christmas on Thursday 14 December.  The barber appointments will continue on a Tuesday evening and a Friday.  Call 01603 305884 for an appointment.

We had Ofsted in this week.  We would like to thank all the learners and tutors who were observed, you did a great job.  It will be a while before we get any feedback, so watch this space.

It's National Anger Awareness Week - The aim of Anger Awareness Week is to identify anger as a disturbing social issue which needs to be brought out into the open and addressed effectively. Anger Awareness Week will help people befriend anger by using the right tools to calm themselves down and to deal effectively with this emotion, be it of their own or that of others.

Visit  to download kits which will help you manage your anger, there is also one for managing your anger over Christmas.

It was St Nicholas Day yesterday.  Saint Nicholas’ reputation as a bringer of gifts has been absorbed by Christmas, but children in many parts of Europe also receive presents today as well. Some European cities also host special parades or celebrations, in honour of Saint Nicholas.  One of the traditions of the day is children putting shoes or boots by their fireplace or front door in the days leading up to 6 December and leaving carrots for Saint Nicholas. In countries such as Holland, you will be able to find special St Nicholas Day boots to mark the occasion. They will then hope to wake to find them filled with small presents on the day.

Some of you may be leaving school next year and thinking of going into hairdressing or barbering.  Here are some tips, our learners suggest to help you start your career in the hairdressing industry:

  • Find a salon you think you would like to work in, introduce yourself, ask if you could work there on a Saturday
  • Start a portfolio of your hair up/blowdry work.  You could show these to potential employers
  • You need to like all types of people
  • You need to be good at communication - it is your job as a hairdresser/barber to make your client feel comfortable and relaxed and be able to get them to tell you what hairstyle they would like.
If you want to do an Apprenticeship you have to find yourself a salon who will employ you for at least 30 hours per week.  We can supply you with a list of salons who we work with.  You can then approach them with your CV and find out if they are looking for an apprentice.  Call 01603 886969.

By K PYMER 01 Dec, 2017
Our level 3 hairdressing students did some lovely, creative hair ups this week, maybe you would like to have one of these styles for Christmas.  Appointments are available on Monday afternoons and Thursdays from 11.00 am.

Below you will see a short video of one of our Level 2 hairdressing classes practicing their skills before their first client.  If you are leaving school next year, you will probably be starting to think what you will do after school, do I go to college? do I stay on at school? or do I do an Apprenticeship.  If you are thinking of becoming a hairdresser or a barber, an apprenticeship is a great way to start in this career.  You will get to earn money while you learn skills to become a hairdresser or a barber.  You may have a salon/barbershop in mind.  Call in and introduce yourself and ask if you can be their Saturday girl/boy, this will be a foot in the door to a great career.  Call 01603 886969 if we can help you any further.
By K PYMER 23 Nov, 2017
K and Sara went to a Hair Up workshop held by Amy and Carly Whittaker from South West Academy.  They found it very inspirational and couldn't wait to show their new skills to the students.  We can't wait to see the styles the learners will produce.  Visit our instagram page for all the photos.

Gents! How are you getting on with growing your moustaches for Movember?   What do you know about Movember?

The following was taken from the Movember Foundation website.

'Our Cause
The state of men's health is in crisis.  Men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier.  Prostate cancer rates will double int he next 15 years.  Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50.  Three quarters of suicides are men.  Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year.  That's one every minute.

The Movember Foundation is uniquely placed to address the crisis at a global level.  We've funding ground-breaking programmes all over the world, engaging with men where they are, to understand what works best, to help make change happen sooner.

By 2030, we'll reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.

What does the future look like?  Half as many men dying from prostate and testicular cancer.  Half as many men suffering serious side effects as a result of their treatment.  A quarter fewer men during from suicide.

By prioritising the funding of three of the biggest health issues by men we ensure that we've having long-term, global impact.

Here are our top five things to know, and do.

1.  Make man time - stay connected.  Your mates are important and spending time with them is good for you.  Catch up regularly, check in and make time.

2.  Have open conversations - you don't need to be an expert and you don't have to be sole solution, but being there for someone, listening and giving your time can be life-saving.  70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support,  but only 48% say that they reply on their friends.  In other words:  we're here for our mates, but worried about asking for help for ourselves.  Reaching out is crucial.

3.  Know the numbers - At 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether it's right for you to have a PSA test.  If you are black or have a  father or brother with  prostate cancer, you should be having this conversation at 45.  Know your numbers, know your risk, talk to your doctor.

4. Know they nuts.  Simple

5. Move, more - Add more activity to your day.  Do more of what makes you feel good.
  • take a walking meeting
  • park further away from the station
  • get off the bus a stop or two earlier
  • instead of the lift, take the stairs
  • cycle to work instead of driving'

If any gents would like a hair cut or a facial trim, visit our training salon on Mondays from 2.00 pm, Tuesdays from 5.30 pm, Thursdays from 11.00am and Fridays from 11.00 am.  Find us above Subways - 52 London Street, Norwich.  It's FREE!!!!!
By K PYMER 17 Nov, 2017
We do not tolerate bullying within the Academy and encourage learners to talk to a member of staff if they feel they are being bullied or if they see someone is being bullied.

(Taken from the Anti-Bullying Alliance)
This Anti-Bullying Week we want to:
  • employer children and young people to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique
  • help children and young people understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying
  • encourage parents and carers to work with their school and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality.
  • enable teachers and other childrens workforce professionals to celebrate what makes us 'all different , all equal' and celebrate difference and equality.  Encouraging them to take individual and collective action to prevent bullying, creating safe environments where children can be be themselves.
Bullying doesn't just happen at school, it can also happen in the home and at work.

(The following was taken from Childline website)

What is bullying?
  • being called names
  • being teased, put down or humiliated
  • being pushed or pulled about
  • having money and other staff taken
  • having rumours spread about you
  • being ignored and left out
  • being hit, kicked or physically hurt
  • being threatened or intimidated
  • being bullied through your phone or online

  • nobody has the right to bully you
  • bullying could be done by friends, family, people at school/work and strangers - but its never ok
  • it can happen in different places - like at school/work, home or line
  • there are ways to get it stopped and ways to feel better about yourself
How to get help

  • Build your confidence
  • Practise being assertive
  • Block the bully
  • Tell some
Feeling angry?

Don't fight back - you could get in trouble if you fight back against people involved in bullying.  There's no shame in not fighting back.

Don't reply to an abusive message

Replying to an abusive message could make the bullying worse.  And it could end up upsetting you more.

It's a good idea to save these messages to that you can show them to someone.

If you are being bullied or you know someone is being bullied, visit this website where you can find lots of advice.

It's Children in Need tonight!

BBC Children in Need works throughout the year to ensure that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood, and the chance to reach their full potential. It relies on the energy and commitment of thousands of fundraisers and supporters across the UK, who donate their time and money to put on events supporting the Appeal.

If you want to donate visit this website to see the different ways you can donate

By K PYMER 10 Nov, 2017
The first were trying out new practicals skills this week and they did really well!.  One group was working on their foil work, making sure they had the foils in the right place and practice weaving with a pintail comb.

Another group was demonstrated and then practiced the long graduation cut.  They learnt how to section and then the angles they needed to produce a long graduation.  

Both groups worked really well, considering we had two new learners start and went straight into foiling!

It's Remembrance Sunday this weekending.  Here is a poem that brings a tear to our eyes.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

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