NPA Beauty Skills with Hairdressing – Emma and Aaron

As the 2016/17 school-college pupils were finishing up their college course with us, we thought now would be a good time to catch up with them and find out what their ambitions for the future are.

The school-college programme is open to S4, S5 and S6 pupils across Ayrshire and offers a range of qualifications that enhance a pupils employability and progression pathways. A range of courses are on offer from Creative, STEM, Sport, Childcare and Hospitality.

Aaron and Rachelle

NPA Beauty Skills with Hairdressing is a school-college programme aimed at those who enjoy using their creative ideas to produce the ‘look’ they want to achieve. The course is a mixture of introductory skills in areas such as cosmetology, creative nail finishes, and hairdressing.

Aaron Duncan, an Irvine Royal Academy pupil and Emma Backman, a St Matthews Academy pupil both 16 years old, told us all about the course and what they plan to do now.

Aaron Duncan and Rachelle Kerr pictured above along with Emma, feature in the NPA Beauty Skills and with Hairdressing video available here.

Why did you choose the NPA Beauty Skills with Hairdressing programme?

Emma – I thought it would be interesting to try something different from my other school subjects. I think it’s something I would like to have a career in.

Aaron – I saw the course advertised on the College website and thought it was interesting. I would like either to have a career in this area or do it as a hobby.

Did you have any experience in beauty skills or hairdressing before the programme?

Emma – I didn’t have any experience. This course is a starter course, so I really didn’t need any.

Aaron – I did a trial class of the course first and then decided to continue with it.

Tell me about the programme. What have you been doing throughout the year?

Emma – In the course there is a lot of different aspects. We have learnt about hairdressing and came up with our own ideas for nail finishes and make-up.

Aaron – Everything from blow-drying hair, styling hair, nail art and face painting. The face painting is a taster for make-up artistry.

What have you liked best about the programme?

Emma – The beauty aspects like trying new make-up ideas. I enjoy exploring new designs and being more creative. I am studying art this year at school as well, I like more creative subjects.

Aaron – I have enjoyed the hairstyling, it involves a lot of creativity. Curling hair is good fun and beauty skills like facials are relaxing to do as well.

What’s been the most challenging aspect?

Emma – I find doing hairstyling is more difficult than nail art, but nothing is too difficult.

Aaron – Nothing has been too difficult. The theory is mostly common sense and we do assessments for every unit which are based on what you have already done in class.

What is it like going to school and coming to College two afternoons per week?

Emma – School and college are different. I feel more independent at college, you get to try more new things.

Aaron – I think it is fine. I am not that far away and travel by bus to the College during lunch time.

Do you feel any different since starting the programme?

Emma – I definitely feel more confident in myself and my abilities.

Aaron – I am more confident in my abilities. It has also helped me pick what I want to do as a career.

Will this programme help you get the job you want?

Emma – This course is a stepping stone to the job I would like. It will help me get into Level 5 Hair and Beauty at the Kilwinning Campus.

Aaron – Yes I think so. I would like to do hairdressing and this course can help me get an apprenticeship.

What are your ambitions?

Emma – I don’t really know, there is so much I want to do. I do think I would like to be a Beautician though.

Aaron – Other than being a Hairdresser I would like to travel. If I do become a Hairdresser I will be able to work anywhere in the word as well.

What advice would you give other pupils hoping to take the class?

Emma – It will give you a different view of the College. It helps you feel less scared as well. I would say the course is better than I thought it was going to be.

Aaron – Just try it!

Hair and Beauty

On the day we came in to interview both Emma and Aaron the class were practising their make-up artistry skills. Emma’s dad (pictured on the right) very kindly volunteered to be her model for the afternoon and was very impressed with his tiger face paint.

Lecturer Elaine Lennox told us how great the class have been this year

“This group of school pupils have been excellent. They have worked very hard to get the most out of this year here at the College. I am pleased that so many of the class have applied to join us next year full-time and others are thinking of it for after their S6.”

To find out more about our school-college programme:

For more information or someone to speak to regarding school college courses please contact

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