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Care Academy, News

Students trained to support Bath’s first slow shopping project

 

Bath College students will be part of an exciting new project launched this week.
 
Slow Shopping aims to make doing the weekly shop easier for older people, those living with dementia, or anyone who might need a bit of extra time to complete their shopping.
 
Students from the Bath College Care Academy and staff from Waitrose, Bath, are joining together to kick-start the city’s first Slow Shopping project, with the help of funding from the St John’s Foundation.
 
The new Slow Shopping project will deliver training to health and social care students from the Bath College Care Academy and Waitrose staff.
 
They will be on hand to assist shoppers who may require extra time or support to complete their shop. During Slow Shopping sessions, background noise will be limited to create a calm atmosphere in store.
 
The first Slow Shopping session starts on January 23rd. Slow Shopping sessions will run at Waitrose, on Northgate Street, every Tuesday between 10am and 12 noon.
 
Founder Katherine Vero set up Slow Shopping after her mother was diagnosed with dementia.
 
Inspired by her mother’s experience of visiting shops, Slow Shopping works with retailers, training providers and others to advocate a safe environment for those who need to take more time shopping.
 
Katherine said: “I am delighted to be working with such a wonderful team of people to deliver Slow Shopping to the community in Bath.
 
“The commitment and enthusiasm shown by all the partners is heartening and I feel sure that the quality of the support that they can offer to the customers in Waitrose will be both sensitive and effective.
 
“Shopping is such an ordinary activity that it can be underestimated. It has so many benefits especially for those who live with visible, invisible, intellectual or cognitive disability and their carers and families.
 
“A trip to the shops can be a social activity, it can help maintain independence and health and it is a physical exercise involving personal choice.
 
“I want to encourage people who may feel less confident or fearful to come shopping and enjoy the experience, knowing they can get help if they need it.”
 
Bath’s first Slow Shopping project was launched at Bath College on Tuesday January 16th following the first training session for Waitrose staff and Bath College Care Academy students.
 
Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator at Bath College, said: “We’re excited to be working in collaboration to help shape this ground-breaking programme within the local community supporting peoples’ health and wellbeing.
 
“Students will learn so much from working in partnership in this way. They will develop a greater awareness of some of the barriers that those experiencing dementia (and other additional needs) may face when shopping, and the different ways they can support them.
 
“All of this ties in with the main aim of The Bath College Care Academy: to enhance students’ employability skills by working with partners to provide a wide range of work experience opportunities within the health and social care sector.”
 

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Judges choose the winners of the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge

 

Students taking part in the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge worked under pressure to impress competition judges.
 

Nearly 40 students studying business and accounting took part in the three-hour challenge in the Futures Hub, sponsored by NatWest.
 

The challenge was led by Jack Henman, from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
 

Groups were given a tight timescale to produce a SWOT analysis and presentation responding to a real-life business scenario.
 


 

Congratulations to the winning team: Lisa Plenderleith, Danielle Damen, Edward Dooley, Oliver George, Charles Oliver-Cork and Muhammed Kizilboga.
 

They were chosen as winners by a panel of judges, including Peter White, from the Royal United Hospital, Bath, Chris Hanney, from Barclays, Neil Whittemore, from Curo, Desmond Doherty and Ryan Taylor, from NatWest, Iain Black, from Monahans, and Gemma Stock, from the Bath Building Society.
 

Mr Henman, Marketing Executive at ICAEW, said: “It’s important to show students what it’s like to be a chartered accountant. A lot of employers have fed back to us that some students don’t know what’s expected of them in the workplace.
 

“They are looking for a whole array of different skills, including soft skills like team building, verbal communication and decision making. This challenge is preparing them for work on a daily basis, and it’s something that they can talk about in interviews because they’ll have the certificates for their CVs.
 


 

“The students are really determined. They have put in a lot of work and have taken to the task well. They all have individual skills and are showing them off by taking on specific tasks.”
 

Students studying business and accounting have the opportunity to work with local companies through the Bath College Academy of Business.
 

Last year, students studying business and accounting came 2nd in the regional heat for the ICAEW Base accounting challenge at Oxford University.
 

Student Muhammed Kizilboga said: “I thought it was a great challenge. It taught us how to be an accountant for a day and showed us what it would be like to choose accountancy as a career path.
 
“I want to be a chartered accountant, and doing this challenge confirmed that I’m making the right choice. It stretched us as a team, but it was achievable when we worked together.”
 

News

Foundation learning: Nino’s story inspires gala dinner attendees

 

Photo above: By JMPUK
 

College student Nino Genua was an important part of Bristol Sport’s annual gala dinner at the Ashton Gate Stadium.
 

Nino, who has Down’s Syndrome, started at Bath College in September 2017 as a LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) student.
 

Before this, he was one of the first participants to take part in the Spectrum Project, run by the Bristol Rugby Community Foundation.
 

Nino with Kris Tavener, from the Spectrum Project
 

The Spectrum Project gives young people with special educational needs and disabilities the chance to get involved with life at Bristol Rugby.
 

Nino, 18, had the chance to work in the club shop, in the fan zone on match days, and also took on journalism tasks, such as interviewing players.
 

He is one of the Spectrum Project’s success stories and was invited to the dinner just before Christmas to share his story.
 

 

Nino’s time at the Spectrum Project has helped him believe in himself and progress well on the LILS course at Bath College.
 
Due to his hard work, he was crowned regional winner for Volunteer of the Year at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Awards in 2016.

 

In September 2017, Nino was offered a volunteer post as assistant coach for the project alongside his mentor and manager Kris Tavener.
 

Outside of college, he spends his time coaching members of the Adult Walking Rugby team at Ashton Gate and pupils at New Fosseway School in Hengrove.
 


 

He is a keen footballer, playing regularly with the Keynsham Mencap Football Club, as well as vice-captain of the Bristol Sharks Swimming Team and a Special Olympics competition swimmer.
 

Nino’s mum Sharon is proud of her son and is looking forward to seeing what he achieves in the future.
 

She said: “The Spectrum Project has offered Nino untold opportunities. They all believe in his ability, worth and role as a valued member of their team.
 

“So far he has been very happy on the LILS course at Bath College, and as parents we have found all staff involved with Nino to be supportive and understanding of his educational needs.
 

“If he can, he would like to attend the Vocational Access Programme (VAP) for sport at the college, but if not he wants to increase the number of days working at Bristol Rugby.
 

“At the dinner he introduced himself to Lee Johnson and arranged to do some work with him, so watch this space for Nino’s next adventure into the world of football, there is no stopping him!”
 

Care Academy, News

Health and social care students capture First World War memories

 

Students at Bath College are taking part in a local history project to help preserve peoples’ memories of the First World War.
 
The Project, called A Century’s Memories, is being run by Bath & North East Somerset Council with £7,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
 
Young people aged 15 to 21-years-old are being trained and supported to conduct interviews in four different areas of the county.
 
Level 3 health and social care students Kellie Crossthwaite and Freya Game have already started interviewing community members in Radstock.
 
At the start of January, they spoke to David Taylor, whose father George Henry Taylor started work in the coalmines at 13-years-old.
 
He was 16 when he enlisted with the Somerset Light Infantry, and after a couple of month’s training, was sent to fight in France.
 
Kellie and Freya have recorded George’s story to be included in an illustrated commemorative book.
 
The interview will be kept at the Bath Record Office and used to produce online learning resources for seven to 11-year-olds in schools.
 
Freya, 20, said: “I thought it seemed a really interesting project. I’ve read a lot about the First World War, but it’s nice to hear real-life stories from people who have a connection with the past.
 
“I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve enjoyed speaking to David. It’s given me more confidence in meeting people and being able to build up a connection with them.”
 
A Century’s Memories is part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War between 2014 and 2018.
 
This month, health and social care students will also interview members of the Larkhall Friendship Circle at New Oriel Hall and members of the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association in Bath.
 
All students studying health and social care have access to the Bath College Care Academy, a partnership set up between employers and the college to provide work experience and training.
 
After the project is completed, there will be a number of celebration and sharing events in September and October.
 
Mr Taylor, who shared his dad’s photos and war medals during the interview, said: “Dad spent most of the First World War fighting, getting injured and going back to the front again.
 
“Out of 60 members of his regiment, he was one of two people to survive. I wanted people to hear what happened during the war, and I think the students have done extremely well.
 
“There are very few people left with direct family who were involved in the First World War, so it’s a good thing they’re doing. I will be interested to see what they do with the interviews, and so will my family.
 
“I have two grandsons who took dad’s medals to school for a show and tell, and they are quite proud of him.”
 

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Bake Off Crème de la Crème winner Mark Tilling visits Bath College

 

Hospitality and catering students learnt how to make sweet treats from an award-winning chocolatier and pastry chef during employability week.
 

Mark Tilling, winner of BBC Two’s Bake Off Crème de la Crème, was invited to speak to students and demonstrate the precise art of chocolate making.
 

Students learnt how to melt and temper chocolate, and how to create marbled lollipops, stamped medallions and customised shapes during a three-hour session.
 


 

Second year student Amy Benfield works as a pastry chef at the Peppermill Hotel in Devizes, Wiltshire, and plans to specialise in this area.
 

She said: “Pastry is quite creative and I’m a creative person. It was nice to meet Mark who is a specialist in chocolate and passionate about it. It’s inspiring to be able to speak to someone at that level.”
 

Experts in the hospitality and catering industry volunteer their time to give students an insight into their profession for employability week every January.
 

The college’s hospitality and catering department also works with local chefs throughout the year as part of the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School.
 

On January 18, students will work with professionals from the Pig near Bath to prepare a three-course meal at the Shrubbery Restaurant. Tickets are available for members of the public. 
 

This year, activities for employability week included bread making, cocktail making, wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, and mock interviews with employers.
 


 

During the mock interviews, students had the chance to network with professionals form the Bath Pub Company, Apex Hotels and Woods Restaurant.
 

They enjoyed workshops with the Billingsgate Seafood School, Richard Bertinet, from The Bertinet Kitchen, Gary Rosser, from the Scallop Shell and Chris Cleghorn and Claire Wilkins, from the Olive Tree Restaurant.
 


 

Mark Tilling has worked as a pâtissier for over 25 years. He started his career at 16-years-old studying at college and working part-time at a nearby hotel.
 

In 2008 he won the title of UK Chocolate Master, progressing to 7th in the World Chocolate Masters Final in Paris a year later.
 

He said: “I always think it’s important to teach the next generation, to come into college and show the students what we do.
 

“They are the ones who will carry the industry into the future, and hopefully they will pass on their skills when they look back and realise how useful these experiences were for them.
 

“I was at their level early in my career and we didn’t have people coming into college to visit. They are so lucky to have these different companies and chefs come in to inspire them. You never know, we might have the next chocolatier of master chef in the room.”
 

Learning how to make bread with baking expert Richard Bertinet.
 

Ryan Hanson, Deputy Head of Hospitality and Catering at Bath College, said: “Employability is very important for our department and it’s something we focus on throughout the year.
 

“We use the first week in January to showcase opportunities for students, as it’s often when industry professionals have a little more availability in their schedules.
 

“We find giving our student access to these inspiring masterclasses, workshops and experiences throughout their time with us is invaluable to their development.
 

“It’s something we work hard to deliver. We’re always looking to engage with industry and are so thankful for the experts that continue to support our students.”
 

For details of catering events and to book a meal at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant click here. 
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Care Academy, News

Bath College Care Academy: Students tested during inter-college competition

 

Students had to think on their feet at an inter-college competition testing their team work, presentation skills and ability to react to challenging situations.
 
The competition, for early years and health and social care students, was hosted by the Bath College Care Academy and also involved competitors from Wiltshire and Frome Colleges.
 
Competitors were given an interactive display board and presentation task, with early years students focusing on outdoor play and how children can benefit from this.
 

Competitors from Bath College
 
Early years students also had to take part in a role play, in which they met a parent to discuss a child who is about to start at nursery and talked about helping them to settle in.
 
During their role play, health and social care students met Pearl, an elderly lady about to be moved to a care home. They were asked to assess her needs and decide how best to help her.
 

 
The Bath College Care Academy is partnership between health and social care employers and Bath College, set up to prepare students for working in industry by providing work experience and training.
 
Employers at the competition included Isa Richer, from the Swainswick Explorers Pre-school Club, Judith Green, from Bath Mind’s Food for Thought programme, and Louise Malkin and Jacqui Watson, from Riverside Nursery.
 
Congratulations to the following winners from the competition:
 
Health and social care: Shanrece Ferguson and Patti Poplawska.
 
Early years: Katherine Ogborne and Jordan McMahon.
 
Childcare lecturer Abigail Holt said: “The competition went very well and all of the participating students were fantastic.
 
“It gave them an opportunity to network and share their knowledge with peers and employers, and was a great opportunity to bring employers into a college-based event.
 
“We are looking forward to holding similar events in the future and inviting more college to take part.”
 

News

Awards ceremony recognises English and maths achievements for adult learners

 

Students returning to college to study English and maths had their achievements recognised during a special awards ceremony.
 
The ceremony, at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant, was a proud moment for students who are working hard to improve their qualifications.
 
Through the Adult Community Learning team, students can start at entry level and progress to a Level 2 qualification. From there, they have the option to study English and maths at GCSE level.
 

 
Student Thomas Watson has worked in general administration at the Post Office for 10 years and has just achieved a Level 1 in maths.
 
He said: “I’m 46 and this is the first thing I’ve ever achieved. I left school at 15 with no qualifications, so to get something like this definitely gives you a sense of achievement.
 
“It’s something I would recommend. Now I’ve learned these skills, I’ve adapted things at work to make my job easier. You don’t have to sit a big test, you can tick a module off and go onto the next one.”
 
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose handed students their maths and English certificates at the ceremony on Monday December 4.
 
Students also enjoyed the chance to catch up with classmates and tutors before Christmas, as well as musical entertainment and refreshments.
 

 
English and maths student Kieran Fry said: “I’ve taken the courses because I want to better myself. I started at entry level and now I have my Level 1 qualifications.
 
“My friends and family are immensely proud. It’s not an easy task, but I hope to progress and to have the chance to do my GCSEs soon.”
 
Entry level English student Lesley Hillier hopes to continue learning so that she can enrol to study bereavement counselling in the future.
 
She said: “It really means a lot, taking this qualification pushes you forward all the time and means I can do what I really want to do – I can follow my dream.”
 
Community Engagement Manager Anna Wheeler said: “This event was an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of just some of our brilliant learners.
 
“For many people, school isn’t the right time or place to gain their qualifications, so it is really important that there are opportunities to develop skills at a later point.
 
“Our learners work extremely hard, fitting their studies around responsibilities and challenges in their everyday life in order to attend class.
 
“We are immensely proud of the effort and dedication they have shown, and of our skilled English and maths tutors who have contributed to their success by guiding them through.”
 

News

IT students step up to present in front of Bath Rotary Club members

 

IT students had the chance to develop their public speaking skills as part of a challenge set by members of the Bath Rotary Club.
 

The Level 1 and Level 2 students were asked to choose from a range of projects to research, prepare and present.
 

All speakers were given ten minutes and were marked by judges looking for logical, coherent and enthusiastic presentations.

 

The winning team
 

The judging panel included Richard Bush and John Harney, from the Bath Rotary Club, and Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College.
 

Presentations ranged from looking at public transport in Bath to helping the elderly, homelessness and playing equipment for young children.
 

George Booth and Zachary Thomas were chosen as the winners after producing a new idea for a flat pack climbing frame.
 

Students also received feedback on their presentation skills from judges, including making eye contact and selling their ideas.
 

IT lecturer David Wills said: “The students gained experience and confidence in speaking in front of an audience, overcoming barriers such as shyness and stepping outside of their comfort zone.”
 

Rotarian Donald Gorrie said: “We wanted to work with students in the college to get them up in front of an audience speaking and presenting, just to give them a chance to express themselves.
 

“The Bath Rotary Club is a broad church in terms of the young people that we work with, but we’re keen to go into the local community and pass on our knowledge and skills. It’s what the Rotary Club is all about.”
 

News

Students challenged to think about accessible design by creating new products

 

Product design students are working with a Bath-based charity on a project to get them thinking about accessible design.
 

The Level 3 students are developing products to make daily life easier for people with a variety of needs and disabilities.
 

They will pitch their designs to Rob Hanson, from the charity Designability, which works with people, carers and health professionals to create new life-changing products.
 


 

Students have met three end users as part of the project, in order to understand some of the challenges they face.
 

James Onyett decided to design a bottle opener after meeting Peter Hinchley, who has been severely affected by a stroke and wanted a product to help with movement and dexterity.
 

He tested a number of options before settling on a 3D printed mould, which can be used one-handed and fits on top of a new bottle making it easier to break the seal.
 

Above: Peter tests the new bottle opener
 

James, who is applying to study sustainable design at Falmouth University, said: “I appreciated the fact that he came in to speak to us about his daily routine.
 

“Being able to speak to a real person is important, it’s much better than trying to guess what people need.
 

“After that, it was easy to get an idea for a product that might help Peter and his reaction to the product was really good.
 

“I enjoy product design because it’s about solving problems and inventing. If you’re able to create new products, you can contribute to society.”
 

Students also worked on a range of designs for two end users who find it difficult to walk, creating a design for a walking stick to make it easier to climb up and down stairs.
 

Young designer Oriana Viall has been developing a handbag storage compartment with moveable sections to carry and manage pain relief.
 

Product design lecturer James Purslow said: “This is a really good unit for us to explore. It challenges the students’ perception of design and makes them focus on the needs of the user, rather than their own interests.
 

“They get to meet members of the public they wouldn’t normally meet, and learn how to communicate with them as a designer.
 

“The students also have to pitch their concept to their mentor from Designability. Wherever they progress onto, being able to consider the requirements of clients and end users will give them a clear advantage over their peers.”
 

News

Outstanding students chosen as winners at the Believe in Somerset Awards

 

Outstanding students Joshua Underwood and Oliver Takhar have been chosen as winners at the Believe in Somerset Awards.
 

Their success comes just weeks after the SkillBuild 2017 UK National Final, where both students did exceptionally well in their categories.
 

After a tough three-day competition, Joshua won a silver medal in stonemasonry and painting and decorating student Oliver was selected to train with the WorldSkills UK squad.
 

Joshua and Oliver’s success has led to local recognition of the important part colleges play in developing construction skills.
 

Josh and Ollie with Bath College lecturers Graham Walmsley and Ray Sumner
 

Judges for the Believe in Somerset Awards were impressed with their hard work, as well as their dedication and commitment to their trade.
 

They chose Joshua for the Apprentice of the Year Award and Oliver for the Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award.
 

Josh, an apprentice at Architectural Stone in Cardiff, said: “Quite a lot has happened for me this year, which has made it go really quickly.
 

“I didn’t expect to win at the SkillBuild final or to win this award as a result. I’ve just been focusing on getting my head down and working hard.
 

“Every student should get involved with the skills competitions, you’ve got nothing to lose so you might as well give it a go.
 

“If you put the effort in it’s a good way to improve and get better at masonry, because you’re under pressure and you have to work quickly.
 

“It teaches you to work quickly and accurately, which is what you need to do in industry in order to secure a job.”
 


 

The Believe in Somerset Awards are organised by the Somerset Guardian to celebrate and recognise local community achievements.
 

Finalists were invited for dinner at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford.
 

This gave nominees the chance to meet, and to hear about each other’s work as fundraisers, volunteers, teachers and community heroes.
 

Painting and decorating tutor Graham Walmsley said: “Some of the award entries were quite humbling, especially the winner for the Child of Courage Award.
 

“They did stress the fact that we have a wealth of talent in Somerset, and the awards ceremony was about celebrating that.
 

“I think we as a college strive to develop students, to realise their potential by giving them opportunities and making lessons as challenging as possible.
 

“As students, Ollie and Josh are outstanding. They have done well repeatedly and we have put a lot of time and effort into developing their confidence.
 

“It’s great to get recognition for the work that we do, and recognition for the quality of work our students produce.”
 

News

Apprentice of the month: Malisa Kelly from ESPA UK

 

Malisa Kelly is a Level 2 business administration apprentice studying at Bath College and working at the European Student Placement Agency (ESPA UK).
 
Based in Bath, ESPA UK provides six-month work placements for EU undergraduates, linking them with companies throughout the UK. During their placements, students undertake a variety of project based work, with companies benefiting from their language skills, knowledge of different cultures and enthusiasm for new experiences.
 
What do you do in your job as an apprentice at ESPA?
I started as a general administration assistant registering students on placements, as well as responding to e-mails and phone calls. This was a big step for me, as it was the first time I was picking up the phone and speaking to people on a regular basis.
 
In April, I joined the accommodation team housing students coming to the UK on placements, and since October I’ve been able to manage this without anyone else in the team.
 
The number of students waiting for accommodation varies (and also the timescale before their arrival). Sometimes I’m planning for students arriving a month in advance, and sometimes it’s a couple of weeks. I have a contact list of landlords who I’ve built up a working relationship with and who I can call upon (sometimes at short notice).
 
The period coming up to Christmas has been especially busy, and because I’m busy the time I’ve spent as an apprentice has flown by – it’s been amazing
 

 
Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?
As much as I love learning, I like to be doing something practical and this apprenticeship has proved that I can learn on the job. When I interviewed for my apprenticeship, I said I wanted an apprenticeship that would give me an insight into the business world. I’ve definitely fulfilled that wish, and having this apprenticeship on my CV is a great starting point.
 
I have a lot of university friends who seem stressed with academic work, and then they have to find jobs afterwards, whereas I already have a job. I think it has helped me mature and build my confidence. I would say that university isn’t your only option, you need to be open-minded and look at different career paths.
 
What have you learned as an apprentice?
I used to work in retail and although I had to communicate with customers, I found this hard. I’ve faced my confidence issues head on and now I speak to different people every day. In an office job like this you have to deal with so many different situations, and you have to think on your feet to resolve issues. I deal with a lot of second language speakers and I have to be careful to make sure they understand communications.
 
I enjoyed the chance to go into Bath College and study, as you’re given time to get on with your coursework and you’re given pointers for the mandatory units. You get to meet people and realise that you’re not alone in feeling that you’re nervous about what you’re doing.
 

Hear from ESPA apprentices Lauren and Tom
 
What’s the best thing about your apprenticeship?
When I’ve placed a student in accommodation, and they come back and say they’ve had a great experience. That gives me a big sense of satisfaction. I also enjoy the challenge of communicating with landlords and sorting out the finances. We have a lot of interns every six months, so you’re getting to know different people all the time. I have so many people I can visit, who live in different places and countries.
 
What do you hope to do in the future?
I finish my apprenticeship on December 27th and after this I’ll be employed full-time. I feel so lucky to have been placed somewhere like this. I feel like I fit into the family and everyone has been amazing. I want to stay working here for a while, but my big dream is to go into the fashion industry (as a PA for a fashion company). It’s an industry that’s fast-paced, so being in a business like this has been the ideal experience.
 
What advice do you have for someone looking for an apprenticeship?
Research your options and think about what you want to do, because there are lots of opportunities available. Talk to different companies or someone you know. Make sure that you do your application in time and don’t leave things to the last minute, because it will stress you out. Be open to where you could go and what you could do, and listen to what your parents are saying (because they’re trying to help and give advice).
 

News

Hospitality and catering newsletter: A busy start for students serving at top industry events

 

We’ve kept our hospitality and catering students busy since September, with students of all levels taking part in a range of events at the college and in the community.
 
Students started with the Bath Good Food Awards, held at the new Apex City of Bath Hotel just a stone’s throw from the college. They had to be on top form, working alongside several head chefs in the kitchen, including the new Head Chef at the Apex Hotel, Ben Abercrombie. Students on front of house duties were serving restaurant owners, food critics and industry experts, as well as Michelin-starred chefs Nathan Outlaw and Angela Hartnett. All students were a credit to the college and were given a standing ovation for their work at the end of the awards ceremony.
 

 
Our Deputy Head of Hospitality and Catering Ryan Hanson has also been busy visiting restaurants shortlisted for the Bristol Good Food Awards. Ryan is a judge for this year’s awards, and is working alongside a number of familiar faces. These include Rupert Taylor, Head Chef at the Abbey Hotel in Bath, who spent his early days studying at Bath College. Ryan is doing a great job networking, representing the college and has been able to enjoy some fantastic food so far!
 
Taking part in events gives students the chance to meet local chefs, experience working under pressure to a busy schedule and rise to the challenge. Over the last couple of months, students have had some great opportunities to develop their employability skills. These include:
 
• Serving industry professionals at a charity polo day raising over £50,000 for Hospitality Action. The event was a chance to work alongside chefs from the Calcot Spa Hotel, Cliveden House, Lucknam Park Hotel, Whatley Manor, The Manor House in Castle Combe and the Abbey Hotel in Bath.
 

 
Students served a three-course meal at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant for Seafood Week. The event, supported by the Billingsgate Seafood School, tested students’ skills in preparing and serving seafood, including lobster, seabass and haddock.
 
• We’ve called on the skills and expertise of our catering and hospitality students at a number of college events, including our annual Celebrating Success Awards. They did us proud on the evening, serving hand-made snacks and drinks to special guests and award winners.
 
• Hywel Jones, Executive Chef at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, stepped out of his kitchen to work with students in November. Under his guidance, students prepared a gourmet four-course menu for guests at the Shrubbery Restaurant.
 
• In the run-up to Christmas, we’ve been busy with Christmas lunches serving up to a 100 covers per day. We hope you’ve enjoyed the chance to relax and enjoy a traditional three-course lunch designed to get you in the festive spirit!
 

 
Students have a busy new year ahead of them in January, as employability week starts the first week in January. They’ll be working with an exciting list of local chefs and industry professionals from the Pig near Bath, the Abbey House Hotel and the Scallop Shell. We’re also very excited to welcome Mark Tilling, winner of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème in 2016, who will be leading a chocolate masterclass.
 

Keep an eye on our website and social media channels, as we have several lunches planned from January. On January 18th, we’re collaborating with The Pig near Bath. Look forward to an exciting menu inspired by British garden food. Chefs at The Pig use produce from their extensive vegetable and fruit beds, and go to a special effort to make sure that their menu is sourced locally.
 
Members of the public can book tickets for meals inspired by Mardi Gras, St David’s Day, the Caribbean and a great British summer gourmet dinner throughout the new year. The Shrubbery Restaurant is open for lunch Monday to Friday during term time, so do pop in to see us!

 

News

Bath City Football Academy round-up: News from head coach Billy Clark

 

We’ve had a great start to the academic year at the Bath City Football Academy. Read our progress report, written by former Bristol Rovers player Billy Clark who is head coach at the academy.
 
This year has brought together a strong group of players, formed from a mixture of first and second year students studying sport at Bath College.
 
After a disappointing FA Youth Cup exit in the final qualifying round to Clevedon Town, we have been unbeaten in the South West Counties Youth League.
 

Billy Clark
 
We are currently at the top of that league, two points ahead of the Bristol Academy, although they still have games in hand. We have played them once this season in the league, which resulted in a 2-2 draw at their Filton College campus. This was probably our best performance of the season to date, and I believe one of us will win the league this year.
 
To date, we have only lost one match, away at Bridgewater. Of the 10 league matches, we have won six:
 
5-2 against Cirencester
2-0 against Salisbury
6-0 against Poole Town
6-4 against BC Saints FC
And twice against New College Swindon (3-2 and 10-1).
 
We are fortunate to be blessed with goal scorers this year. James Ollies, Louis Britton and Shea Bennington Mannings have all scored nine league goals to date, while Zak Drew and Charlie Saunders have four each.
 
These statistics are encouraging, but the end goal for us is to be able to feed youth players into the first team environment. The Somerset Cup offers and opportunity for our strongest players to be able to step up and play alongside the first team players.
 
In the first round, academy players Charlie Saunders, Nick Pulman, James Ollis, Zak Drew, Adam Forster and Maz Courtier seized their chance in the fixture at Cheddar.
 
The experience that these players gain from playing alongside the likes of Dan Ball is immeasurable. The result was a 2-1 win that saw the club progress to the second round against Keynsham Town FC.
 
Both Adam Forster and James Ollis were unused subs in that match, but Sean Bird, who a player at the University of Bath came on in the first half and played admirably alongside some of the senior first team players in a strong Bath City side. Several members of the group have trained regularly with the first team and are gaining in confidence all the time.
 
There’s a lot to be proud of in this group of players. They work consistently at a high level despite the commitments that they have in keeping up to speed with their studies at Bath College, where the staff support myself and the players every step of the way.
 

Charlie Saunders
 
Our most recent success story is that Charlie Saunders has been selected for the ECFA national squad, an outstanding achievement. Charlie will travel to St George’s Park to train with the squad in December in preparation for their tournament in Italy in 2018. We’re also proud of James Ollis, who signed for Bath City FC’s first team in November.
 
We are starting to look ahead to our recruitment for next season. If you or anyone that you know would be interested in studying at Bath College and playing for the Bath City Academy under 18s, please get in touch by e-mailing bclarkwilliam@gmail.com.
 

News

Mitch orders standing wheelchair to help him pursue his dream career

 

Student Mitchell Chalmers is pressing ahead with his dream to become a qualified hairdresser after a successful fundraising campaign.
 
Mitchell, known as Mitch, was left paralysed from the chest down after an accident at a motocross racing event three years ago.
 
He has collected £4,900 for a standing wheelchair to help him with his hairdressing training after inspiring hundreds of people to donate through JustGiving.
 

 
Mitch, a hairdressing student at Bath College, shared his story on the radio and in the local press, and has been supported with his fundraising by family and friends.
 
In October, hairdressing and beauty students from Bath College raised £316 in one week through a sponsored rowing challenge and raffle.
 
Mitch, 25, said: “It’s surprising how many people it’s reached – I’m grateful for everyone’s support and a bit overwhelmed.
 
“It helped a lot when I was in the news, that was when my JustGiving page started going up and I collected £1,000 in two days.
 
“Someone donated from Blackpool, which is miles away.”
 
Studying hairdressing at Bath College is an important step for Mitch, who is keen to re-gain his independence by starting a new career.
 
He was competing at British Championship level before the life-changing accident, which happened when his bike hit a bump on the track.
 
The standing wheelchair will help Mitch in class, providing extra height and support which makes it easier to lift and cut peoples’ hair.
 
It will also benefit him physically, as standing will help to increase the blood supply around his body and re-gain some strength in his muscles.
 
Mitch said: “The new wheelchair will make a massive difference, it’s the next step in my career doing a job I enjoy and making a fresh start.
 
“At first I wasn’t sure if I would hit the fundraising target, but now I can’t wait to get the chair and use it – hopefully it will be before Christmas.
 
“It’s all falling into place nicely and I’m excited to get my training done so I can work every day.”
 
Hairdressing tutor Lisa Nelson said: “It’s not just about being able to work, being able to stand will help Mitch physically providing physiotherapy.
 
“The students did really well fundraising. It was just so nice for them to collect for something close to home, because they’ll be able to see the benefit that it will have for Mitch.”
 

News

Success at the SkillBuild National Final: Students win a silver medal and a WorldSkills UK squad place

 

Bath College is celebrating an incredibly successful three days at the SkillBuild 2017 UK National Final, held at the NEC in Birmingham.
 

Students Josh Underwood and Ollie Takhar represented the college in stonemasonry and painting and decorating, battling for the top spot in their discipline as part of a tough and demanding competition.
 

Josh, an apprentice with Architectural Stone in Cardiff, did exceptionally well, coming second out of eight finalists to win a silver medal.

 


 

The competition was also a big success for Ollie, who has been selected by judges to train with the WorldSkills UK squad over the next year.
 

Both students were picked to compete against the best in the country after scoring highly in this year’s SkillBuild regional qualifiers.
 

Josh, who took part in the finals last year, said: “I was a lot calmer and I felt relaxed because I’d done it once already and I knew the system.
 

“It’s a 19-hour competition, but it’s a tough task to finish within that time. Last year I rushed the task because I didn’t focus on accuracy.
 

“This year I was happy with what I did, but you never know whether it’s good enough because you don’t see other peoples’ work in detail.
 

“It’s a good feeling to get the recognition for my hard work. To have that silver medal on my CV will set me apart from other stonemasons.”
 

Josh’s work at the SkillBuild final


 


 

The SkillBuild 2017 UK National Final was part of the Skills Show, the country’s largest skills, careers and apprenticeships event.
 

Thousands of people visited the show from November 16 to November 18, which finished with a large awards ceremony on the Saturday night.
 

Competitors are judged according to strict marking criteria, which takes in their ability to interpret the drawings they are given and execute them.
 


 

Ollie said: “I was a bit nervous to start with, but once I knew the design I was working on and I got started it was all right.
 

“In the end, the competition went really quickly. I enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to the chance to train with the WorldSkills squad.
 

“I found out I’d been selected when my name flashed up on the screen. I wasn’t expecting it, I was just sitting down, relaxing and watching the ceremony.
 

“Now that I’ve been given the chance, I’m going to carry on and keep pushing myself to improve – just to test myself that little bit further.”
 


 

Being selected to train with the WorldSkills UK squad means Ollie could have the chance to compete at WorldSkills Kazan 2019.
 
The competition, in Russia, will bring together participants from over 70 countries, who will compete against each other in over 50 different skills.
 
Ollie’s tutor Graham Walmsley said: “We spent a lot of time preparing Ollie for the competition, practicing hanging with pattern papers, working with frisk film to transfer designs and lettering.
 
“He worked really hard, nothing can prepare you for the scale of the competition but Ollie rarely gets flustered when working.
 

 
“One of the judges praised the quality of Ollie’s work, especially his undercoat on the door which he said was very high quality.
 
“I’m ecstatic really to see that he’s made so much progress, within 14 months he’s gone from being a novice to an accomplished painter.
 
“From the work he’s produced, they can see potential. It’s not a given that he will go to Russia, but knowing Ollie he will take the training in his stride and go far.”
 
Josh’s tutor Ray Sumner said: “We have a long list of accomplished stonemasons who have trained here and Josh is among the best.
 
“He’s done exceptionally well in other competitions and to get to the finals is an achievement in itself as the competition has been incredibly tough.
 
“It’s absolutely fantastic that he’s won the silver medal. He has great ability, although he’s modest with it, and he sets the standard for the rest of the stonemasonry group.”
 

News

College event: Support music student Lewis at fundraising gig

 
Update on 23/11/17: All money raised through Lewis’ JustGiving page and the gig will go to Diabetes UK.
 
A gig at the Bath Brew House will help 18-year-old music student Lewis Tucker to celebrate his mum’s life.
 
Lewis, a second-year student at Bath College, lost his mum Lisa in September after a short illness.
 
Lisa, 48, had type 2 diabetes and, unfortunately due to ill health, didn’t have the chance to hear Lewis play at a music gig.
 
Students at Bath College will play alongside Lewis at the gig, on November 27, with money collected going towards Diabetes UK.

 
Lewis, who has also set up a JustGiving page, said: “It was horrible at the time, because now I’ve lost both my parents, but this gig isn’t about me and the people playing.
 
“It’s to remember the death and life of my mum, and it’s my way of saying goodbye. I’m a music student, it’s my passion and it’s how I understand the world around me, so I’m using that to make sense of things.
 
“My mum had been ill throughout her life. She always supported what I did and understood why music was important to me, although she never got to go to one of my gigs.
 
“Emotionally it’s difficult, but I have to carry on with what I do. Music is a good way to celebrate, even if it’s something that you wish you didn’t have to celebrate or commemorate.”
 
The gig, which starts at 6.30pm, will include acoustic sets from The Bohemian Embassy, Ladies & the Gentleman and Kane Pollastrone.
 
Students Emily Harbord, Carenza Kelland, Ollie Dye, Kenan Broadway and Tom Piner will also play during the evening.
 
Lewis, who is studying music performance at the college, enjoys singing, playing the guitar and the piano, and works as a sound technician at local and regional gigs.
 
He said: “I have been so grateful of all the support my friends have given me. Since September, college has changed for me. My whole life has changed since this happened, but everyone has been so good it’s been amazing.”
 
Tickets for the gig are £3 on the door. Visit Lewis’ JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lewis-tucker-1
 

News

Apprentice of the month: Josh Cottle from Cross Manufacturing

 

Josh, 19, is an apprentice toolmaker working at Cross Manufacturing in Bath, a leading manufacturer of aerospace seals, aircraft piston rings and custom seal rings for aircraft engines, steam turbines, vehicle turbochargers and control valves.
 
He has been at Bath College since he was 16-years-old, completing a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations before progressing to become an apprentice.
 
During the first two years of his apprenticeship, he successfully completed the City Guilds Level 3 Engineering and is now currently studying for a BTEC Level 3 Engineering.
 
Can you tell us about working at Cross Manufacturing?
 
We’re based near St Martin’s Hospital, Bath, and the site has quite a bit of history. The business has been on the same site since it opened in 1938. The factory is part of an old quarry, so until people visit they don’t realise how big it is. I find working at the company enjoyable and interesting, everyone is really friendly and helpful.
 
How did you get your apprenticeship?
 
Bath College is really good at setting up interviews for apprenticeships, that’s how I got my interview for Cross Manufacturing. Rob Aldous, from the apprenticeships team, told me about the opportunity. Now he provides support, coming to the company once a month to check my work. I record the work I do, I do a write-up, take pictures and drawings, and then he marks it according to the training scheme.
 
What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship?
 
I enjoy the fact that there’s something different to do each day. At the moment I’m on the factory floor making parts for machines. I’ve also had the chance to do CNC (Computer Numerical Control).
 
Doing the programming helped improve my maths skills, I would write everything down on paper and programme it into the machine. After a while you start to build up a visual picture for what the end product will look like.
 
You get to work on different things within the company. It’s a big place, there’s 15 to 20 people in the tool room and then you have the ring shop and the winding shop. As long as I’m on a machine I’m happy. Sometimes I make a mistake, but I try not to lose confidence. Someone told me ‘think twice and do it once’, which is good advice because once you’ve cut something that’s it.
 
When I look at what I have made I feel proud, especially if it’s a hard job. I take quite a bit of pride in what I do, everything has to be measured correctly otherwise I’m not happy with it.
 
Why did you choose to study for an apprenticeship?
 
I enjoyed the Level 2 PEO Engineering course and decided engineering was the career for me. Some people go to university, but for me an apprenticeship was the way forwards. You learn and earn at the same time.
 
What do you hope to do when you’ve finished your qualification?
 
I’m hoping to stay where I am. I’m really enjoying working at Cross Manufacturing, I get on well with the team I work with. I like socialising and having a bit of a laugh with them.
 
How have you improved since starting your apprenticeship?
 
I feel that I have grown in confidence and my attention to detail has improved. When I opted for my apprenticeship, I was told the maths was going to be at a higher level. However since being an apprentice, my maths has improved without me realising.
 
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of an apprenticeship?
 
It’s worth signing up to the national apprenticeships website to see what companies are offering locally. If you have an interview and are unsuccessful don’t give up, just keep looking. Some people get down-hearted, but it’s just about waiting for the right opportunity.
 
For the first couple of weeks, take it as it comes and if you make a mistake don’t panic about telling someone. You’re expected to make mistakes at first, and you can learn from them. Finally, if you’re given homework do it straight away otherwise work will pile up and you’ll fall behind.
 
There can be a lot of college work, so when you have an assignment answer what you can and get your tutor to explain the rest. Then you can combine the two things, instead of waiting for your tutor and leaving everything until later.
 

News

FE Week’s new league table: Bath College ranked as 17th in the country

 

Bath College has risen 50 places in a national college league table.
 
Published at this year’s AoC National Conference, the league table is the work of journalists at leading industry newspaper FE Week.
 
Colleges across the country have received scores based on learner satisfaction, employer satisfaction, destination data for 16 to 18-year-olds and destination data for adult students.
 
Overall, Bath College has been ranked as 17th in the country out of over 200 FE Colleges, and is top in the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) region covering Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.
 
The college scored highest in employer satisfaction, with data taken from the government’s latest FE Choices employer satisfaction survey.
 
With the highest college scoring 35 points in total, the table marks Bath College out as a high performer and is a good indicator of progress made in the last year.
 
Overall college league table scores for Bath College

Learner satisfaction Employer satisfaction 16-18 student destinations Adult student destinations Total points
8 10 8 6 32

 
 
The latest overall college league table


 
See last year’s league table here.
 
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose said: “This is a worthy recognition of all the hard work and dedication the staff at the college have shown throughout the last academic year.
 
“The college’s vision is ‘pursuing excellence in all that we do’ and we continually strive to provide the very best for our students and employer partners in order that individual potential is maximised and our community benefits.
 
“I am really proud of their commitment and professionalism during what has been a financially difficult and demanding year.”
 

News

Rachelle wins Adult Student of the Year at AoC national conference

 

Inspirational student Rachelle Wabissa was chosen as Adult Student of the Year at the Association of College’s national conference.
 
Rachelle was nominated for the award by Access to Higher Education lecturer Carolyn Guy and was one of three students to be shortlisted.
 
She was invited to a prestigious awards ceremony, which was part of a two-day conference attended by senior leaders in further education.
 

Rachelle with BBC Breakfast television presenter Steph McGovern
 
The 22-year-old has just finished studying the Access to Higher Education course at Bath College, which enabled her to secure a place to study social work and applied studies at the University of Bath.
 
She was nominated for the award in recognition of her drive to succeed and her determination to overcome difficult personal circumstances.
 
Rachelle said: “I thought I was going to cry, but I managed to hold it in. A couple of months ago I was nominated for the award and suddenly I’m at the awards ceremony with these amazing people, who have been nominated alongside me, and I won.
 
“I wasn’t expecting to win at all, it feels like a dream! The continued support from my college was a great help and they really pushed me to be the best I could be.”

 


 
Bath College’s Access to Higher Education programme is a year-long intensive course which provides students with a qualification, allowing them to progress and study at degree level.
 
Rachelle enrolled on the programme in September 2016, which required her to study English and maths in addition to units relevant to her degree.
 
Just four months into the course, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, but despite being ill, she continued with her studies and helped with a pioneering project to integrate technology into tuberculosis treatment.
 
Alongside this, she became a course representative, listening to the views of her fellow students and supporting their needs throughout the year.
 

Rachelle with Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose
 
Rachelle said: “It will open doors for me when employers see that I have put my heart and my soul into my education.
 
“Now it’s finished I don’t think about how much work I put in. I’m at university with two scholarships, it’s one of the best starts I could have had.
 
“These awards not only recognise the hard work people have put in, they recognise the different paths people take to reach their goals. You don’t have to do A-levels; you can do an access course or an apprenticeship at college.
 
“Two years ago if someone told me ‘this is what you’re going to be doing’ I would never have believed them.
 
“I want to tell people that the access course is not just a course, it’s so much more than this and you can accomplish more than you think.”
 
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose, who was at the awards ceremony, said: “We’re very proud of Rachelle and the fact that she’s won national recognition for her dedication to the Access to Higher Education course.
 
“This achievement is inspirational and also demonstrates the strength of our teaching staff, who go above and beyond to make sure students receive excellent support and guidance.”
 
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The Student of the Year awards showcase the very best of college students across the country.
 
“They celebrate exceptional students who stand out from the crowd. Rachelle’s achievements despite her commitments outside of studying are to be commended.
 
“Her compassion and hard work show, despite the illness she has been struggling with, must be lauded. She’s more than deserving of this award.”
 

Care Academy, News

Student wins award for making a real difference during work experience

 

Health and social care student Obed Adomako was praised for his sensitive and understanding approach at this year’s Care & Support West (CSW) Care Awards.
 
Obed, a second year student at Bath College, won an award at the ceremony for time spent volunteering as a frontline care worker for healthcare company Dimensions.
 
The 19-year-old completed a three-month work experience placement at accommodation on Rivers Street, Bath, helping people with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.
 

 
He was invited to a special dinner at the Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol after being nominated for the award by Jane Colenso, BANES Locality Manager at Dimensions.
 
Obed said: “I enjoy doing work experience, seeing how everything works in practice helps you learn quicker.
 
“Most of the people I was working with had impaired movement, so helping them to get back on their feet was really satisfying.
 
“I would go in once a week to help out for a full day, I was there from 8am to 3pm, so I got to know people fairly well.
 
“Just seeing them smile makes it worth it, I’d definitely do it again.”
 
Jane, who was Obed’s placement supervisor, said: “In the short time that Obed has been working for Dimensions, he has made a real difference.
 
“He supported a service user who had become withdrawn and felt unable to leave his flat, helping him to clear the paved area in front of his flat.
 
“His gentle and encouraging approach has helped to inspire the service user, fostering his wellbeing and enabling him to take an interest in the wider world and his local community.
 
“Nothing seems too much trouble for Obed, he has impressed with his conscientious and person-centred approach and has fitted in well with all members of the team.”
 
Health and social care students at Bath College can progress onto a wide range of higher education courses, including nursing, midwifery, primary teaching and psychology. Some go straight into caring roles and may choose an apprenticeship route.
 
As part of their course, Level 3 students need to do 300 hours of work experience and aim for three different placements.
 
In December, students will be invited to apply for work experience through the Bath College Care Academy, which will enable students to have structured work experience opportunities linked to local employers.
 
Successful students will spend time on rotation working for Somerset Care, Sirona Care & Health, Dimensions, Way Ahead Care, the Royal United Hospital and Swallow, a charity for teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.
 
Obed, from Bristol, grew up in Italy and came to the UK when he was 16-years-old, originally enrolling at college to study for his GCSEs.
 
He hopes to go on to study physiotherapy at university and is currently looking for work experience in this area.
 
He said: “Being nominated for the award has given me the motivation to put in 100 per cent at all times, because you don’t know who will be watching your work and where it will take you.
 
“Sometimes it’s hard finding work experience, but it always pays off. This experience will really help me when I come to do my personal statement for university.”
 

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