Putting our ideas into practice

  • By K PYMER
  • 31 Mar, 2017

As we have been putting our heads together, we have been starting to put these into practice

Employer Forum
Our new promotional material have been delivered and are now in the post to hairdressing and barbering employers in the Norfolk region.  We are inviting them all to an Employer Evening to introduce the new Apprenticeship standards and how it will effect them.  If you haven't had an apprentice before and are thinking of employing one, please come to the evening as we will be able to help you with all the legalities.

We are holding an Apprentice Open Day in the Easter holidays.  We will be helping them find an apprentice position, so if you are looking for a hairdressing or barbering apprentice, please let us know so we can point them your way.

K and Denise went to City and Guilds last Friday to be updated on the latest news for the Apprenticeship standards, and they are going to VTCT on Monday so we will have the latest information for the employer evening.  We look forward to seeing you.

We have put our courses on Eventbrite, so if you are interested in expanding your skills in Wet Shaving or want to move into Barbering you can either book online with Eventbrite or contact the office 01603 886969 to book your place.   We have found the app Flipagram so there are lots of videos of our students working and their work on Facebook and Instagram.  

Dilemma of the Week
We have started a new trend 'dilemma of the week'.  Last week it was Jam or Marmite on toast - Jam was the favourite! This week it is Lamborghini or Porche - Porche is winning at the moment, but what do you think?

  Barbering Course
Our barbering students are doing some really great work - check out their photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram.  If you are interested in learning barbering, follow this link to our Training Courses page for more information.

Easter Holidays
Our Apprentices break up for Easter from Monday 10 April and start back on Monday 24 April.  

See you next week

By K PYMER 22 Jun, 2017
AAH Staff
Poor Sara is in the wars.  She fell over and broke her arm in two places!  Her arm is now in plaster and cannot do any hairdressing!  We are covering her classes so training is continuing this week.  Thank you to Alex, Carol and K for stepping in.  Sara may be back next week to deliver the theory classes and functional skills.

Congratulations to Alex who got engaged over the weekend!  We wish Alex and George all the best for the future.

Functional Skills
One group of 1st years tried out our new Functional Skills online programme this week.  They completed the initial assessment for Maths and did really well.  They can now work on the areas where they need developing and then move on to the online test.

 2017 Apprenticeship starts
We have now set dates for potential apprentices to come in and carry out their initial assessment - Wednesday 26 July and Wednesday 9 August.  So if you have  new apprentice, please give us a ring to book your place.

 New courses
We are in the process of reviewing our self funded courses.  We are going to be delivering some day courses in hair up and cutting, so keep an eye out on our website for the extra page and details of when the courses will be taking place. The courses are aimed at beginners, those coming back into the craft or qualified hairdressers who want to learn something new.

It's feeling a bit cooler as I write this, but whatever the weather, enjoy your weekend and see you next week.

By K PYMER 16 Jun, 2017

Functional Skills

We were visited by the EQA this week and he observed a discussion by our 2nd years.  They chose to talk about terrorism and the tragic events that have happened recently.  They were great, they had a very grown up discussion and they made some very interesting comments about how they feel about the whole subject.  We are always interested to hear what our students have to say and it is great to listen to their discussions.  We were again very proud of our students - Well done!

2nd years

Our 2nd years are now in their last month of training and they are looking forward to working in their salons and their own clients.  As the students are coming to the end they need specific types of models especially cuts and colours.  If you are interested in being one of our models, please call 01603 305884 to make an appointment.  We will look after you and will give you a full consultation, the only thing is that they will take a little bit longer than a more experienced stylist so bare with us.

1st years

Our 1st years tried their first short graduation this week and they thoroughly enjoyed it and produced great work.  Photos will go up on our social media page next week.  It is great to see the students working hard and enjoying what they are doing.  Great work!


Our new barber students are soaking up the knowledge they are being given and can't wait to work on our male clients.  As we like to keep our clients happy, Dean (an ex student) has very kindly been coming in on a Tuesday, keeping up with the clients until the barber students are more confident with their scissors and clippers.  Thank you Dean, we do appreciate it.

Level 3's

As you can see from the above photo our Level 3's have been practicing their creative colours.  Great work again by our students!  If you are interested in having something different, whether it is a colour or a cut, our Level 3's are available on a Monday afternoon.  Call 01603 305884 to make an appointment.


Karen went to an ESFA - Education and Skills Funding Agency - meeting on Tuesday in Coventry.  Even though she got lost on the roundabout system, she finally got there.  There are still some decisions being made about the new funding rules etc. due to the election and the hung parliament, but when things have finalised we will be able to let employers know  about their contributions and grants that are available.

By K PYMER 09 Jun, 2017


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 K PYMER 02 Jun, 2017
Barbering Students
Congratulations to our barber students who completed their Level 2 Certificate in Barbering course this week.  They have all worked really hard and we look forward to see your work in the future.

Our next course starts next week and we look forward to meeting our next class of students. 

Apprentice Interviews
Thank you to the young people who came to the apprentice interviews this week, it was lovely to meet you.  

If you of if you know of anyone who is interested in a barbering or hairdressing apprenticeship, please contact us as we could put you in touch with employers who are looking to employ an apprentice.

Here are some questions you may be asked when going for an interview:

  • What are your skills and interests?
  • Why are you applying for the role?
  • Why you have chosen this particular apprenticeship?
  • What are your future ambitions?
It would be ideal if you wrote a CV to give your potential employer.  Here are some tips and what to include in your CV. There are many designs, search on the internet for one that suits you.

  • Make sure you show the salon that you have the key skills they are looking for. The core competencies that salons are looking for in an apprentice, are: a friendly and social personality, a genuine interest in the business and making people feel good about themselves, a hard working attitude and a willingness to learn.
  • Keep your CV short and to the point. The maximum length should be 2 pages.
  • Start off your CV with a short personal statement, affirming your interests and passion for the business.
  • Tailor your CV to meet the requirements of the job description. This is particularly the case if you are applying online. You should be given a short personal profile, which describes exactly what the employer is looking for in an applicant. (This could also be in the job advertisement)
  • Remember an employer must be able to look at a CV for a maximum of 11 seconds, and find the information that are looking for. Therefore, good presentation is extremely important.
Good Luck!

See you next week!

By K PYMER 26 May, 2017
EQA Visit
Our VTCT EQA came to visit this week and quality assured Functional skills, Hairdressing Level 2 and Barbering Level 2.  Our students and staff were amazing, it was a busy day working between the two premises.  Poor Sara being observed all day!  The students doing the functional skills discussions were amazing, considering they had someone in the room they didn't know, observing them.  They got on with their discussions and presentation with ease.  Thanks to Emily who stepped up to make up the numbers.  Thank you to the barber students who came in specially for the visit.   We haven't got the report back yet, but we have been told everything is fine and we are looking forward to the EQA visit in June! 

1st years
More congratulations to our students.  The Tuesday group all passed their two Colour online tests with flying 'colours'. After a bit of trouble with the computers, everything worked out fine and with one student getting 100%!  Well done!

Bank holiday weekend
The Academy will be closed on Monday due to the Bank Holiday, but will be back on Tuesday.  The training salon is now open Monday - Wednesday until September when our new classes start.  We hope the good weather stays for the long weekend so we can all get out and about - with sun screen of course.  Check out our Facebook page for some summer hair up ideas.

Teaching and Assessing
As you can see from our image above, learning continues throughout our careers.  That is why we have introduced a teaching qualification to our list of continuing professional development courses.  This way you can pass on your knowledge to others - whether it is hairdressing or flower arranging.  If you teach others or are thinking about it, we will take you through the planning, delivery, evaluation and the principles of assessing.  Call 01603 886969 or look under the ' Continuing Professional Development ' tab for more information.

We are deeply saddened by the events that took place in Manchester this week.  We send our best wishes to everyone who was involved and their families.  It was encouraging to hear of the amount of people who came to peoples aid, with all the doom and gloom we hear on the news, this was good to hear.

Have a great weekend and see you next week!  

By K PYMER 19 May, 2017

Wet Shaving Course

Our students have been enjoyed our 2 day wet shaving course.  The main challenge being getting brave gents to sit in the barber chair for a wet shave by students.  But they did and we would like to thank those models, we couldn't have done it without you.  Videos and more pictures will be on our YouTube channel and Facebook next week. If you are interested in the next course, please contact us either by phone 01603 886969, website or facebook.

London Trip

We went on a business trip to London this week.  A very rainy London!  Details to follow.


Our 2nd years are working really hard to complete their assessments.  Their expected end date  is in July and it is great to see that some are already completing and wanting to work on their own clients in their workplace.

Next Week

We have the External Quality Assurer next week, checking our assessors in Functional Skills, Barbering and Hairdressing Level 2.  We will let you know how it went next week.

See you then!

By K PYMER 12 May, 2017

New Teaching Course

We have added a page to our website introducing you to Continuing Professional Development courses - teaching and assessing.

The VTCT Level 3 Award in Education and Learning will take you through the planning, delivery and evaluation of teaching.  The 8 week course is ideal for those of you who are interested in teaching, whether in your workplace or in a Training Provider.

You could then move on to the assessor award , this will enable you to assess learners who are on a vocational qualification.  For this course you will have 2 sessions of input, prepare for a presentation and carry out assessments on 2 learners.

The Sun was out!

Did anyone get their sunglasses out this week?  It was a beautiful walk into work, the birds were singing and the trees looked lovely with the sun shining through them.  Makes the start of the day even better.

Wet Shaving

Sara was getting  ready for her wet shaving course, taking place next week, making sure she had all the equipment available and the resources up to date.  We are now looking for a few more models so our students can practice.  It's free! so please  call 01603 886969 to book your appointment either Thursday 18 or Friday 19.  Lie back and be pampered.

Level 3's

Some of our 2nd year Level 3 students came in to do their Functional Skills English discussion and presentation - it was very entertaining!  They are now ready to complete their qualification, just need to cross the t's and dot the i's.  We hope to see them in a few years time, they may become interested in teaching and assessing themselves!

The dilemma on Facebook this week is 'Summer holidays' or 'Winter holidays'.  Summer holidays are winning at the moment - which do you prefer?

Let's hope the sun is here to stay next week - see you then!

By K PYMER 05 May, 2017

Employer Evening

Our employer evening was a great success.  Thank you to everyone who attended.  K took us through the changes to the Apprenticeship standards and how they differ from what we are delivering now.  Everyone agreed that this was a positive move forward and the apprentices will be ready to hit the salon floor once they complete.

The main difference to the new standards is the End Assessment.  Learners will not be able to complete until they have done this.  It is very much like a trade test where they will need to bring in their own models and complete the criteria i.e. creative cut, colour and hair up.  The main emphasis being on their consultation skills with their client.  The apprentice will also have to answer some questions to test their underpinning knowledge.  The apprentice will be graded a pass or a distinction.

We are looking forward to the challenge and seeing all our apprentices achieve a distinction!

Those employers who were not able to attend and would like to a personal visit, appointments will be made within the next week or so.

1st years

Our 1st year group were working really hard this week, they do every week, but this week especially as they are coming to the end of their theory lessons and looking forward to having practical all day.    In their practical class they were all working on their own individual needs - one length cut, setting and dressing out, plaiting and practicing their foils.  If you know of anyone who would like to be their model, please make an appointment by calling 01603 305884.

Level 3 2nd years

Our 2nd year Level 3's are coming to the end of their training.  They only have a  few assessments left.  we hope they have learnt a lot and put them into practice on their own clients.

2nd years

One group of 2nd years were taking their Functional skills tests this week.  Unfortunately, we don't get the results straight away so we are going to have to wait.  But we wish you luck.

Weekly quiz

On a Friday, on Facebook, we do a quiz where we ask... Do you prefer cats or dogs? for example.  So we asked some the students what they would respond to.  We have had some great ideas, so in the next few weeks, look out for our post on a Friday morning while you a travelling to work or school and pick who you would prefer.  Today is Harry Styles or Niall Horan from One Direction - Harry is winning at the moment!

We look forward to hearing from you.  See you next week!

By K PYMER 28 Apr, 2017

Well, the learners are back after the Easter break and the 2nd years are working really hard to complete their qualification.

Matrix Master Cutting Course

Karen and Julie (Salon Sixty Six) went on the Master Cutting Course at Matrix with Jamie Stevens on Monday.  We are looking forward to them bringing their skills into the Academy to show the tutors what they have learnt.

2nd years

The learners are so excited about nearly completing their qualification and becoming qualified.  They are working really hard to achieve their assessments and progressing on to some Level 3 skills.

1st years

Our 1st years have been catching up with their theory, by carrying out online tests, completing their assessment packs and going through any underpinning knowledge they are unsure of.  They are doing really well.  Some of the learners are completing their shampoo and blowdry assessments and are looking for models who are happy to have their hair plaited and for models who would like a one length cut.

Level 3's

The level 3's are working on avant garde hair up techniques using unconventional tools like coke cans and straws.  We look forward to seeing some photos in the near future.  If anyone wants to be a model so our learners can try out some of these techniques, please give us a ring.

Barber Students

Sara is really pleased with how her barber students are progressing with their skills.   They have another month  to refine their techniques and we are so lucky to have male models coming in for them to practice on. 

The next course starts on Tuesday 6 June 2017 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm, so if you are interested, please give us a ring on 01603 886969.

What makes a great hairdresser/barber?

There are many things that can make a hairdresser or a barber great, but these are our 5:

1.  You're a good listener - we have heard in the news recently that clients open up to their stylist and that they make better therapists that the real deal.  But the most significant act of listening you'll undertake as a stylist is during the initial consultation with your client, before their service.  It is your obligation to clarify exactly what they want from their service.  Before you pick up your scissors or mix the colour, it is vital that you and your client have communicated clearly and that you are on the same page

2.  You are honest - if a client wants a look that won't work for them, you must be able to tactfully let them know some other ideas that would better suit them.  A great stylist understands how a look will work and wear in the long term, and can identify whether it's a good fit for the client.

3.  You possess technical skill and manual dexterity - all the honesty, creativity and listening skills in the work can't make up for a bad haircut.  Being a good stylist means committedly learning the ins and outs of several techniques - and staying hungry for more education and training.

4.  You are adaptable - an excellent stylist is unfazed by changing trends, new tools, client visions and the millions of tiny inconveniences that some how fill everyone's lives.  You never know what your day will bring, so it's imperative that you're confident that your creativity, vision and skill can all come into play to help you achieve a great result and a happy client.

5.  Present yourself well - you are an image maker so be sure to develop your image.  Your personal presentation impacts how you are perceived.  Be clean, tidy and well groomed.  Wear clothes that suit your own style - fashionable, alternative or classic.  be authentically you so people can trust you.

General election

With the general election coming up, the Government have put a 'pause' on the processes that were due to take place.  This will effect things like the AGE grant and the incentive for employers, so bare with us, as we are being filtered information on a day to day basis.

Next week the new Apprenticeship funding rules come into play, so hopefully we will have some news then.

See you next week!

By K PYMER 21 Apr, 2017

Easter Break

It has been very quiet at The Academy while the hairdressing Apprentices have been on their Easter break.  They will be back next week with the 2nd years on their last term of training and completing their assessments.


We would like to thank our models for their continued support, as our hairdressing and barbering students couldn't do their training without them.  We are looking for some gents who are brave enough to let our students carry out a wet shave on them.  Obviously the students will be fully supervised.  If you are interested, the dates are Thursday 18 May and Friday 19 May.  Please call 01603 305884 to make an appointment.


Our 6 monthly newsletters for employers and learners are now finished.  The employer newsletter will be sent out via email and by Alex when she visits the salons for reviews.  The learners can find theirs in the rest areas in both 52 and 66 London Street.  You will find the up to date information on the minimum wage, step by step on how to do finger waves, how to look after your back, the next step for our 2nd years, a list of our courses and much more.  Happy reading!

Private students

We have many students who are now apprentices but are working towards a qualification.  One of our hairdressing students has only been with us for a couple of sessions and this week, we had two colour clients in, so she jumped in right at the deep end and carried out 2 colour services.  There is no better education that learning on the job and working on clients!

With the students back next week, K and Denise have put up the new colours in the training salon ready for our colour clients and Sara has had a good sort out of the trolleys and tuition heads, the learners won't know what's hit them.

See you next week!

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