Barony Campus 2013-14 Student Newsletters

by Barony Student Newsletter Group (2013 - 2014)

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November 2013, Issue 8.

Welcome to the Award Winning SRUC Barony Campus Student Newsletter.

SRUC LogoWelcome to our November 2013 newsletter release and what a bumper release we have for you this month! We have articles from students from the Go Green project, articles from former Barony students, Fun Five Facts and much more.


You can click on the thumbnail images within the image galleries to view larger images. Text highlighted as green within the articles are hyperlinks to websites and other resources, which open in new windows. You can also place feedback (using the Place feedback link) and rate our newsletter at the bottom of the newsletter page.

You can view last year's student newsletters by clicking here

Our next student newsletter release will be on the 20th of December.


The Start of My Journey

In the summer of 2005 at the age of 16 I found myself finished school and working in a clothes shop, as much as I enjoyed my job I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life so I applied for the Barony to study Equine studies, unfortunately at that time the course was full!

I was devastated but thought there is always next year, so you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I received the phone call a week before the start date that there was a space for me! So September 2005 was the start of my path into what is now a successful business and career.


I had already done a week's work experience with the Barony and it really appealed to me. I think the fact that it’s a smaller college made it feel a lot more friendly and gave a lot more one to one time with the lecturers meaning anything we weren’t sure about we could go through in full without feeling like we were taking up too much time.

Studying at Barony

The equine courses at Barony  were aimed at the BHS stages syllabus and enabled me to gain the invaluable experience and knowledge to walk away with stages 1 – 3 as well as a lot more qualifications during my time. We would spend half of our time getting our hands dirty doing practical and riding and the other half in the classroom going over our theory, as well as doing an IT (Information Technology) class which at the time I thought what's that got to do with horses!?

What I didn’t realise it is actually a major part of running your own business so not only did the Barony equip myself with the knowledge and skills to be hands on working in the equine industry it also enabled me to sort out my taxes and keep track of my outgoings using spreadsheeds and the skills I learned through the IT class.

Lesson Learned

After my time at the Barony a couple of students went to work away on yard, and the majority didn’t work with horses at all…. I was part of that majority. I knew I didn’t want to leave home and the jobs in Dumfries and Galloway were almost nil! I managed to get a job on a yard for a while but that soon fell though so I found myself once again working in a clothes shop, 3 years I spent in there same thing every day till one day I just cracked and that was it I was going to put myself out there and go freelance!

So I did it, I started off balancing the freelance work with my everyday job and slowly but surely word got around and my business started to take off and I eventually went full-time and have never looked back!

Everyday I am still learning, but if it wasn’t for the Barony teaching me the basics and giving me the foundations to build apon and most importantly teaching me the life skills to develop from a troublesome teenager into a business woman I would never be where I am today.

I cannot recommend the barony enough, from the fantastic lecturers who have a brilliant rapport with the students to the facilities and resources to help us along the way.  The Barony really is the place to be! Smile

Please feel free to have a look at my business Facebook page by clicking here.

By: Fern Carey (Equine Studies Year's 1 & 2 from 2005-07)

On Wednesday the 30th of October 2013, both staff members and students got dressed up in fancy dress for Halloween. However it wasn’t just for any old reason, we did this to raise money for a very special cause that is very close to many of the staff and students hearts.

There were many different costumes, some very well thought out and others well, just have a look at the pictures and decide for yourself. There was a costume competition and there were two winners who were Darren McMillan (HND Animal Care) dressed as Hellboy and Katie Wood (HNC Animal Care) dressed as Austin Powers.

Another one of the competitions we held was a pumpkin carving competition. All of which had been created by the HND Veterinary Nursing Course. However HND Animal Care tried to pass off a blow up pumpkin as an entry and it was considered in good sportsmanship!! Lois McCredie of HND Veterinary Nursing won this competition with her very well thought out and designed pumpkin as you can see from above.

All in all the day was very successful and, I hope I speak for everyone involved when I say this, it was a very enjoyable day as well. We managed to raise a grand total of £168.13 which will be sent to the Stroke Association, so a very big thank you is in order for everyone that got in the Halloween spirit and got involved.

By: Gemma Martin (HND Vet Nursing)


Staff and students at SRUC Barony recently took part in a Onesie / Pyjama Day on Wednesday 13th November.

The event was organised in order to raise some much needed funds for a very worthwhile charity.  One you will all be familiar with – Children in Need!

Barony Campus Students with their PJ's on (above). Click here for a larger image.

The turnout was not as great as it was hoped for, however those who did turn out and gave a donation, however small – a very huge pat on the back to all of you.  your help and support was gratefully received and greatly appreciated by the Barony Campus.

The atmosphere amongst those who joined in was one of fun, and the group enjoyed having their photos taken at 10.50am outside the Barony Reception.

Everyone looked so cosy on what was a very cold day.

Barony Campus Animal Nursing Sudents with their PJ's on (above). Click here for a larger image.

The sum raised was £172.93 which will be received by a very well known bear with nothing but thanks and gratitude.

Well done again to all the staff and students who took the time to participate for a worthwhile cause.  Your help and kindness really does go a long way in helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves!

Have a look at the image gallery below for more coverage of the event Smile

By: Leesa Mackay (HNC Animal Care)

Sorry to all the fans of the Fun Five Facts that i missed last months so this time i have an extra 2 Facts...

1. The First Fact is about tractor did you know that Italian super-car maker Lamborghini started out by making tractors.

2. The Second Fact is about cars did you know that windshield wiper was invented by a woman, Mary Anderson in 1905 after she noticed rain and snow accumulating on car and trolley windows.

3.. The Third Fact is about fish did you know that mudskipper is a fish that spends most of its time out of water and can “walk” on its fins. It carries a portable water supply in its gill chambers when it leaves the water. It can also breathe through the pores of its wet skin.

4. The Fourth Fact is about cows did you know that cows do not bite grass; rather they curl their tongue around it.

5. The Fifth Fact is a creepy fact did you know if your immune system received access to the inside of your eye, it would attack and destroy them like foreign bodies causing blindness this has happened on a few occasions.

6. The Special Sixth fact is about a law In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

7. The Special Seventh Fact is about a coincidence or is it ? did you know that It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.


Creative Commons license

Creative Commons license

November 2013 by Barony Student Newsletter Group (2013 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from Barony Student Newsletter Group (2013 - 2014).

Above, Professor David McKenzie (SRUC Vice Principal Education), Ailsa Caygil (former Vet Nursing student), Stuart MacTeir (former Agriculture student), Ali Hastie (Learning Technologist) and Alison Halliday (Student Services Officer)

SRUC, Barony Campus won the Student Enterprise category award at the College Development Network Annual Awards at Glasgow's Radisson Blu Hotel on the 28th of November. Colleges throughout Scotland entered a total of 81 award entries for 6 award categories. This demonstrates just how well Barony Campus did in WINNING  the Student Enterprise category! Sealed

The Student Enterprise Award recognises a group of students who have been involved in entrepreneurial activities or projects (including commercial enterprises, social enterprises and curriculum projects) that have made and impact on the College and/or wider community.

As part of Barony Campus and the Student Newsletter team, we would like to thank the following:

  • Darren McMillan (Animal Care)
  • Hannah Haig (Agriculture)
  • Callia Antonia Soave (Equine)
  • Special Programmes
  • Leesa McKay (Animal Care)
  • Claire Brewis (Animal Care)
  • Introduction to Engineer students (2012-13)
  • NC Fisheries students (2012-13)
  • Sian Little (Animal Care)

Click here for more information on the award category winners and shortlisted colleges. (Website page)

Click here for images of the Annual Awards event. (Facebook page)


Jamie McClelland

Hello I’m Jamie McClelland and I have been in the SRUC Barony Campus since the 29th of July to the 29th of November alongside my college mates Alex Storr, Alexander Cook, Brandon Hundertmark and Jonathan Biagi. We have been taking part in a new college programme called Go Green.

We are working towards achieving the Certificate of Work Readiness which will help to prove to employers that we are eligible for employment. This is the first time this course has been run in the Barony Campus and it has been a brilliant success as it has improved all of our abilities and skills. It has also made many of us grow in confidence.

The course has included many activities and these activities have been: work experience, grass cutting, strimming, edging, turf maintenance, fencing, hanging gates, pruning trees, sowing seeds. we have also done various team building indoor tasks like drawing maps , poster making and role play. Whilst we have been doing our course every Thursday we have been keeping an electronic diary of our day to day tasks on Mahara.

All of this has been possible thanks to our tutor Callum Crawford (Go Green instructor) who has helped us all gain new techniques and gain confidence and at the same time have a laugh.

You can see our impact of the college grounds, and the amount of compliments due to our work is unbelievable and I think that at least one member of staff from each department has acknowledged it and various students as well. We have improved the view of the campus from all sides .

My favourite part of this course has been the fencing, it’s very practical and keeps you moving, even in ridiculously windy days and there is lots to learn about this area and lots of techniques. If you take a wander down past the car park you will see one of our fences we have constructed for the farm. I have also enjoyed helping my class mates out with anything they get stuck with.

We all kept a Journal within Mahara (see image gallery below) of our weekly tasks and has actually been really useful during this course as it will help to prove my chances of employability. If I pull out an e-portfolio at my job interviews so I can show a detailed script of what I have been doing and pictures to keep the eyes interested.

Since the great success of this course I have gained lots of experience and tips about the working world and I have gained an apprenticeship starting on the 2nd of December (3 days after this course) for E-learning project. Hopefully a few yearS down the line I will have stolen Ali Hastie’s (Barony Learning Technologist) job Laughing

Alexander Cook

I have been involved with the Go Green Horticulture course which is a course that has been run for the first time here at SRUC Barony Campus, its aim is to help us gain work experience and to receive a Certificate of Work Readiness that can be shown to future employers to prove that I am a suitable candidate for entering the workplace.

The course itself has concentrated on specific topics these have included: developing and establishing of decorative amenity areas, plants outdoors and maintain general turf.  Through this period of time I have taken part in a numerous of practical activities which have all been selected to help me gain confidence and to learn new skills.

This course has helped me have more self-confidence in my own abilities and has acted as a small stepping stone for me to enter future education and employment. I have always had a keen interest in Horticulture and this course has expanded my knowledge and passion that I have towards this particular industry.

I have applied for the Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment (Level 2 Horticulture) which will commence next year.

Alex Storm

I really wasn’t doing much as I had just left high school in May this year until I was introduced to the Go Green programme. Go Green has taught me a lot of new skills such as setting up stock wire fencing, basic lawnmower and strimmer maintenance, general grounds maintenance and how to tend to plants correctly and effectively.

I feel like I have made a difference to the Barony grounds and it shows, the grounds didn’t look this good four months ago!   But doing this for four months hasn’t just improved the look of the Barony grounds it has helped me a earn a few qualifications along the way such as Safe Manual Handling and First Aid, but the main one I have earned is the Certificate of Work Readiness.

Hopefully the skills and qualifications I have learned will help me get into the world of work, although I plan to return to the Barony in August next year to do a Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture. 

Brandon Hundertmark

I liked the experience on the Go Green course, which is on its first year at the barony campus. The course has provided me with a broad range of experiences over the length of the course e.g. maintenance of enmity areas including pruning, fencing, grass cutting, edging, turf repairs, manhole lowering and leaf raking.

The part of the course I enjoyed most was the fencing because it was very hands on and taught me new skills in the process.

This course has helped me improve my confidence and my practical working skills within a group and with potential customers.   

Jonathon Biagi

I have enjoyed my time at the barony.  I have met friendly people and have made new friends.

I have learnt a lot.  I know how to make a fence and hang a gate.  I have learnt a lot about turf maintenance.  On work experience I gained a lot of skills that I can talk into the work place.  I have worked in teams of two and worked in bigger teams. 

We all got to be a foreman for the day. By doing this we learnt about people management skills and also I to manage our time better.  Overall I have enjoyed learning, meeting new people and working as part of a team. I am going to do a horticulture course next year.

On Wednesday the 20th of November, Barony Campus opened their doors to prospective students from all over to let them know what’s in store should they chose to go to Barony!

Our HNC’s stayed down in the Animal Care Centre talking up our animals and showing our visitors what a variety we have, and even allowing some to handle!

Our NC’s were called up front with our HND’s to show our visitors around and show what facilities we have, answer any questions and to hear from our current students experiences which was not only enjoyed by the prospective students but by our tour guides themselves!

The event was enjoyed by all and a big success and we hope to see our visitors in the future! A PowerPoint Presentation was constantly on loop in the meeting room using students past and presents photographs they have captured here at Barony Campus and put together by myself, Katie McHenry which I’ve been doing for the past 2 years and here are some of our clips!

By: Katie McHenry (HND Animal Care)

I began my Barony College journey back in 2005 thanks to Reid Kerr College (NC Animal Care), where I spent an eye opening 4 week placement.  I knew within the first week that becoming a student at Barony was a must!  I applied at Barony before leaving the placement and subject to my grades was accepted, which made me excited and terrified at the same time. 

An hour and a half away from home when I had never been away from family before was a big deal but I wanted to make something of myself and I knew this was a fantastic opportunity.  So the end of summer 2006 I packed (not so lightly) and drove to Dumfries to start a very memorable two years. 

The idea of living on campus was unheard of for me so the unknown was extremely exciting.  The tutor’s at the college were all so friendly and approachable which was a huge part of the appeal.  The HNC and HND courses at Barony covered so many avenues it gave me time to decide where to take my career. 

I gained so many life skills as well as the knowledge needed to progress into a Further Education.  The practical experience I gained was invaluable as I came into contact with animals I had never heard of before let alone held!  The theoretical side I really enjoyed and the varying exam types helped a great deal when moving on to University level! 

Being asked why I enjoyed student life here is very difficult to answer as it’s an accumulation of the life- long friends I have made and the wonderful tutors I have learned from.  Also the student experiences I’ve had and all the doors that have opened for me after being at the college.  I was head student rep both years and organised trips, school groups to come to the college and any/all festive parties I could!  Throwing myself into student life gave me so much confidence, that I thought I could take on the world!

Me speaking at Barony's Burns Night

Getting hands on with a crow


After two unforgettable years at the Barony, and much support from the fantastic tutors, I applied to Worcester University, Animal Care Science Bachelor of Science course.  I was accepted and yet again took a huge step in packing (even less lightly) and moved a whopping 7 hours away to start a 9 month degree.  Although my time at university was a once in a lifetime opportunity, the Barony will always hold a special place in my heart.  It is a slightly larger than normal family, which is somewhere I created so many memories and friendships that a university lacks. 

After University I was fortunate enough to move back to Dumfries and was employed by a vet practice to run a small branch they were opening.  It was great landing that job and knowing I was going somewhere.  After a year an opportunity came up with the Scottish SPCA, which I jumped at as they were always top of my list for a worthwhile career choice.  I was now putting everything I learned at the Barony to great use.  Also I have made wonderful friendships with staff that were also at the Barony before and after me. 

Me with Bobby before he went to his new home


I would recommend going to SRUC if you love animals but are unsure which path you want to take.  The tutors are great at bringing the best out in you and the courses open up so many avenues that a career could even find you.  It’s a really special place for me and if I could do it all over again I would! Go on have a look at the courses and APPLY, APPLY, APPLY as it was the best decision I ever made! Wink

By: Leigh-ann Brady (HNC Animal Care 2006-2007, HND Animal Care 2007-2008)




Another outstanding newsletter from the Barony Campus students, especially from the former Animal Care and Equine students. They never cease to amaze Smile

03 December 2013, 10:25 PM
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