She said: “It’s been really good to continue on the course. The only thing is the weather, every time we’ve walked round it’s been raining!
“The first course came at the right time for me because I had lost my husband. It gave me something to do and I enjoy being part of the group.
By Sarah Ward
“I wanted to come back to learn how to put my photos on the computer. I’ve got a lot of memory cards and I wanted to learn how to organise my pictures.
“Once you do this course, you start looking at pictures with a photographer’s eye rather than snapping away. It’s interesting to see how the final photos are chosen and hung to show off out hard work.”
Sally, from the Picture Participatory Photography CIC, said: “I’m so pleased to see how much participants have progressed.
“Many have gone from having little experience using a camera or computer to taking, uploading and editing the beautiful images you’ll see in the exhibition.
“Spending afternoons exploring with camera in hand and discussing each other’s’ images has been a real pleasure and there’s been a lot of laughter.
“Many participants have noticeably increased in confidence and benefited greatly from being part of a supportive group.”
The exhibition opens at the Guildhall (from 9am to 5pm) on August 22nd and runs until September 25th. For information on the Snap and Stroll course click here.
Students will have weekly use of professional rehearsal studios, as well as access to the world-renowned Theatre Royal Bath and its three dedicated performance spaces.
Jon Domaille, Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise at Bath College, said: “We are incredibly excited about this innovative partnership. This venture will provide our students with a clear ‘line of sight’ into the performing arts industry.
“To have professionals from the world of performance and production feeding directly into our curriculum is invaluable and will provide our learners with vocationally relevant, exciting and memorable experiences in a professional and creative environment.”
James Moore, Course Leader and Acting Head of Creative Learning at the Theatre Royal Bath, has designed the new course to work with the theatre.
He said: “The creative curriculum empowers students to begin making choices about the theatre makers that they would like to be, drawing on their interests and allowing for student lead progression.
“Working in a professional theatre will allow students to be fully immersed within the world of theatre making, enabling a fully rounded experience of the standards and expectations of a professional theatre maker.”
The new course will offer:
• Dedicated teaching from a variety of active and leading industry professionals
• Access to the full suite of spaces and resources at Theatre Royal Bath
• Professional mentoring and career advice from industry insiders
• A clear line of progression from course to employment or further study
• A commitment to students’ routes into the industry
Mr Moore added: “The students we will work with are dedicated and committed to the performing arts industry with a passion to create innovative and exceptional new theatre, on or off stage, and this course offers an unparalleled insight into the industry.”
Places are still available on the course, and applications for the Bath Theatre Academy can be made through Bath College. Call (01225) 312191 extension number 720 or visit the course page on our website.
She said: “I was looking through the college courses and I thought ‘this course looks fun’. I enjoyed it, so I worked hard because I’d found something I was passionate about.
“From June to July, you have clients coming into the college every week and I think that helped me to build my confidence. I knew I wanted to work at The Gainsborough so I arranged some work experience.
“I really like the opportunities they give us and the training, because you can always improve. I’m meeting new people and everyone is lovely.
“It’s quite amazing really because a lot of people my age don’t really know what they want to do. I’m very lucky that I know what I want to do and I’m already working in my chosen career.”
For Diana, who came to Bath College as a mature student, studying to become a spa therapist was a chance to start afresh personally and professionally.
Diana, 42, said: “I moved to a new town to make a new start in my life, and within three months of being in Bath I enrolled on a course at the college.
“It was really hard and challenging, but the college helped me in many ways. My tutor Di Rowe was amazing and made me believe I could do it.
“I benefitted from the healing process of the course. We had to practice the treatments on each other, so I gained a first-hand experience of the benefits of complementary therapy.”
The Gainsborough is part of The Bath Hotel and Restaurant School, set up by Bath College to link employers with new and emerging talent through employability talks and work experience.
Diana was keen to apply for a position at The Gainsborough after meeting Melissa Mettler, who works there as a spa consultant.
She said: “Melissa came up to the college and I was blown away. My first question was ‘how do you get to do what you do?’ I just remember thinking ‘there’s something about her and the company she works for’.
“The Gainsborough is a good place to work, they invest in your training. I would like to keep progressing and to give something back by staying in the company.”
Next year, students studying complementary therapy and spa therapy will be given a tour of The Gainsborough and the Thermae Bath Spa, followed by a buffet lunch and a talk about working for YTL.
They will take part in a new programme of mock interviews and work experience placements, with the chance to win a weekend spa break for two at The Gainsborough as part of the college’s annual competition in April.
Bath College tutor Diana Rowe said: “We’re pleased to be working with The Gainsborough to give students an insight into what it’s like to work in an award-winning five-star hotel.
“Having this relationship with The Gainsborough has successfully motivated and propelled these students into employment.
You don’t have to go to university to study a higher education qualification. At Bath College, we offer a range of degree-level courses taught by expert tutors in a supportive learning environment. Here are a few things to consider when choosing whether to study with us.
• We offer high quality courses which meet national requirements.
If you choose to study with us, you’ll get a good qualification. All our courses are monitored by inspectors for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) who visit to make sure we’re meeting rigorous national standards.
At our last review, inspectors were impressed with our academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about student learning opportunities.
Our music production course was also identified as an example of good practice for other college and universities.
Reviewers said the course “gives students access to people working successfully in the industry and cutting edge facilities, enabling them to develop their academic, personal and professional potential.”
• You can choose from a diverse range of degree-level programmes
Through our strong links with our university partners, we are able to offer students a diverse range, including business, animal studies, art and design, computing and education studies. These courses are specifically design to prepare students for their chosen industry and offer an excellent progression route into further education or employment.
• We offer a supportive learning environment
Our experienced and qualified careers advisers are available to give impartial information in a friendly and confidential environment. They’ll also support you with completing job applications and practicing your interview technique.
You’ll have access to library resources, mentoring, counsellors and a dedicated college nursing service. You can get involved with our Students’ Union team to participate in trips, sports, awareness days and volunteering in the local community.
• Advice is at hand to help you manage your funding.
Higher Education students can apply for a loan from Student Finance England to pay for tuition fees and a maintenance grant/loan for living expenses. If you are enrolled on one of the College’s higher education courses, then you may be eligible for additional help. To apply for the HE Access to Learning Fund, you must have already applied for a Student Loan and your household income be £50,000 or under.
• We have strong links with local employers.
Our employer links are strong, providing opportunities for students to gain practical skills and increase their employment prospects. Local employers are engaged with, and supportive of, the College.
Our latest QAA report said: “The college has clear strategies and effective practices for developing and promoting employability skills and activities for its students.”
Case study: Sport and exercise student Jack Targett
Jack, 22, spent two years studying at Bath College on the HND sport and exercise course and now works as a soft tissue therapist with Bristol Rugby and Bristol City.
He said: “I manage game preparation and recovery for players, providing them with massages to help injuries. My time at Bath College certainly helped towards my career, as it gave me the chance to try sports massage which I hadn’t done before. I studied a range of subjects, including psychology, massage, anatomy and physiology. After studying massage, I decided I wanted to continue so I paid for an extra course. I would recommend studying at college, as you learn in a smaller group. I found it easier to learn this way and I had more interaction with my course leaders.”
• You’ll have the chance to study locally in the beautiful city of Bath
Most of our undergraduate courses are based in the heart of Bath, at our City Centre Campus. Animal care is taught at our Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, where students have over 200 animals to look after and learn how to handle.
• You’ll benefit from smaller class sizes
Class sizes are smaller than university, so you’ll get more time with your tutor and you’ll be learning in a classroom (rather than a large lecture hall). For many students, this has a number of advantages, as you’ll get more chance to ask questions and be involved in open discussions.
• You can continue to progress onto university.
Depending on your course, it may be possible to complete a final ‘top up’ year to covert your two-year HND into a full honours degree. Many students say studying at college gives them the academic confidence they need to continue studying at a larger campus or city university.
• You’ll take part in our graduation ceremony
We’re proud of our higher education students and we organise a graduation ceremony for every student completing a course at Level 4 or higher. This is a great time to celebrate with students and friends, as well as to acknowledge your achievement.
The ceremony started with a formal procession made up of heads of departments, governors, and The Mayor of Bath, councillor Ian Gilchrist.
It also included a key note speech from Martin Doel, Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills at University College London, and former Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC).
Liam Burcombe graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in sport and exercise science, after two years of studying at Bath College.
He said: “I was originally going to go straight to university, but the more I thought about it the more I realised studying at college would suit me better.
“You get a lot of support from the tutors and you’re learning in a classroom with a smaller number of students, rather than a large university lecture theatre.
“These two years at college have prepared me academically for the third year at UWE, helping me to build up referencing and researching skills.
“I’m looking forward to getting my certificate, and I’m looking forward to next year as well. I hope to go on to do either coaching or PE teaching.”
Reena Sharma decided to study for a diploma in education and training in order to continue her teaching career after moving to the UK from India.
She said: “In India, the teaching is totally different, it’s more lecture-based, whereas here it’s about involving the students and how you can interact with them.
“It’s been a learning journey, but everyone in my class has made me feel comfortable and helped me to understand things – it has been a very good experience.
“My husband and my family, they are more excited than me! They are excited to see someone from our family graduate in the UK.”
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose said: “Behind each achievement is a story, a story of hard work, dedication and determination. Without your individual grit and tenacity, we wouldn’t be here today so well done and congratulations.
“Although this is a celebration and it might seem like a conclusion for all your hard work, in many ways it’s just the beginning of future opportunities. By completing these qualifications at such a high level you have demonstrated an obvious determination to do well in the world.
“You are exceptional individuals, I congratulate you on all you have achieved and I’m delighted that the college has been part of your life journey.”
Daniel Marriott is an apprentice with GEM Solution. The property maintenance firm, based on Lower Bristol Road, Bath, specialises in electrical, gas, carpentry, decorating and roofing. Daniel, 20, works as a site carpentry apprentice and starts the 3rd year of his apprenticeship in September.
What did you study at Bath College before you became an apprentice?
I joined the college in 2010, when I was 14-years-old. I progressed to study on the access to building services course, and then air conditioning and refrigeration. Although I completed my course, when I looked for an apprenticeship in air conditioning and refrigeration I was unsuccessful. Instead, I took some time out and became a labourer. I’ve been working for GEM Solution since March 2015, and when I was asked if I’d like to study as an apprentice I jumped at the opportunity.
Can you tell me what you do in your day job as an apprentice?
I’m working as a site carpentry apprentice, which means I go out with other tradesmen on site. Within the company, we can have up to 25 people onsite, including plumbers and electricians, as well as carpenters.
We never do the same thing twice; every day is different and we can be out onsite in Bath, Frome or Trowbridge, anywhere in the surrounding area. Last week, I put in a skylight, we made a hole in the roof and fitted a timber framework around it. Recently, we also completed work on a massive factory in Frome, I haven’t done anything as big as that before, so I learned quite a bit.
We are partnered with a kitchen company in Frome – they make and fit everything from scratch. It’s good to be working somewhere where there are two companies, because you have a chance to complete a wide range of tasks.
Why were you keen to study for an apprenticeship?
Although I was working as a labourer, there wasn’t a career progression route and it wasn’t something that I could see myself doing in ten years’ time. Now every day I spend at work is time spent investing in my future, because I’m closer to completing my apprenticeship. I enjoy working as an apprentice because the company has invested in you and you feel respected.
It’s a big pay drop from being a labourer to becoming an apprentice, but it’s important to think about your long-term goal. When I was a labourer my pay wasn’t going to go up and it was a flat rate, so I will benefit more in the end.
What’s the difference between studying as an apprentice and as a full-time student?
Previously as a student at 14, I had to attend college whether I wanted to or not. Now, as an apprentice, it’s up to me to turn up on time. I have returned with a drive to learn, because it’s for my benefit to finish the apprenticeship and earn a decent salary – the way I feel about going into college has changed a lot. The quicker I complete my qualification the better.
What do you learn in college?
I come into college once a week to study. This year, I studied functional skills in the morning, after that I would have theory and in the afternoon I’d have practical lessons. At the moment, I’m completing my NVQ online. I’m uploading photos of the jobs I have undertaken and completing health and safety assessments for my e-learning portfolio.
Next year, I’ll return for the final year of college. This year, I enjoyed the practical lessons in particular. We were all given our own bay, it was basically a little room where you could complete all the carpentry work that might be needed onsite. We had to put in a window bay, fit a door and do the skirting boards.
Our tutor was available, but he wasn’t there to give us help with everything. He wanted to get us thinking for ourselves, if you have a problem you need to spot it and work out how to fix it for yourself. It took a lot of patience, but I was proud of the result at the end.
There’s always someone available to support you at college. I have an assessor who comes out onsite, as well as a theory and practical lecturer, so there’s several members of staff you can speak to. Because I’ve done quite a few years at college, peoples’ faces are familiar. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m in college because I feel so relaxed.
What are you enjoying about your apprenticeship?
Just learning new things every day, and I’m just excited to see what the future brings. I enjoy being out and about, the carpenter I work with is one of my best friends so it’s a good environment. I’ve enjoyed learning from different generations of carpenters who have been taught in different ways, I’m learning from different people and finding out what suits me. At the moment I can do quite a lot, but I’m still learning how to plan my work and think about the best thing to do in certain situations.
What advice would you give to someone attending at college at 14-years-old?
Just get your head down and work hard. Don’t let what’s happened in the past ruin the future because there’s always time to change. Getting kicked out of school and coming to college, although it wasn’t ideal, I wouldn’t have changed anything because I’ve learned from the experience. I would recommend the college to anyone because the treatment I’ve been given has been really good. The teachers have given me so many chances, they saw potential in me. It’s nice for them to see me back and to see they were right – it’s nice to be able to prove myself.
Sports students spent three weeks playing football in Seville, competing against local youth teams and winning all three matches.
Eleven Level 3 and Level 2 students travelled to Spain as part of the Erasmus scheme, helping young people to experience life abroad.
During the trip, organised by REY Europe, they stayed in a hostel with self-catering facilities where they learned to cook some Spanish food.
The students attended training five days a week at the World Players International Centre and also took part in classroom-based training helping them to understand the Spanish style of playing.
A highlight of the trip was a stadium tour of Seville FC, looking at the history of the club, and taking in the trophy room, dressing room, and pitch.
Students were given Spanish cooking lessons and language lessons, and played three matches against teenagers their own age.
The results were:
First game: 3-1
Second game: 5-2
Third game: 7-2
Alex Gaiger, Deputy Head of Department for Sport, Leisure and Care, said the trip was a chance to experience football coaching and education in a different culture.
He said: “It was a fantastic experience for learners, exposing them to a new culture. The trip provided learners with an opportunity to live as independent adults, and it was an amazing experience watching them grow over the three-week period.
“Students embraced the Spanish playing style and developed their understanding of the game, which resulted in them winning all three fixtures.”
Student Luke Nutland has just two weeks left working on Bath College’s new Construction Skills Centre as part of the site management team.
The new purpose-built facility, to be named the Somer Construction Centre, opens at the college’s Somer Valley Campus in September.
All construction trades will be taught under one roof, catering for 500 students and apprentices studying bricklaying, construction, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as plumbing electrical installation and refrigeration.
Luke, 20, is studying for a Level 3 construction diploma at Bath College, which prepares students for a career designing, building or managing construction projects.
Since January, he has also been working for Midas Group at the Somer Construction Centre, managing subcontractor packages for the building’s masonry, cladding, lifts, dry lining and carpentry.
He said: “In the last four months, the building has progressed massively, once we had the steel frame up, things moved very fast.
“There can be between 40 to 50 people on the site every day, and studying on the diploma course has given me an understanding of their jobs.
“I’m in charge of health and safety, and I make sure contractors complete their jobs correctly. I also talk to building regulations and liaise with building control who come out and tick off jobs.
“I’m taking what I’ve learnt in the classroom and applying it on site. I’ve progressed faster than everyone expected, because I’m on a small team, so I’ve had to step up to the mark. Seeing myself developing in that sense is very rewarding.”
Prospective students for 2018 can see the new Somer Construction Centre at Bath College’s open day on Thursday September 28th.
Places are still available for students who would like to be part of the first cohort learning a construction trade at the new centre in 2017.
Luke, who started at Bath College studying carpentry, is working towards becoming a qualified project manager and plans to progress to study at degree level on a HNC in construction, and later the HND.
He said: “Careers in construction are wide-ranging. When I left school, I didn’t think about management, so I did the carpentry course, but it’s something that people need to know – that there are lots of options out there.”
Daisy Walsh, Head of Department for Technology, said: “Students should grasp any opportunity offered to work in a construction environment.
“This will expose them to what the subject is about, and we can do the rest here at college. When you come to Bath College, you’ll be taught by people who are experts in their field, which will increase your knowledge and prepare you for your chosen career.
“Our Somer Construction Centre will be a fantastic place to learn, and after months of preparation and hard work, we’re looking forward to welcoming students in September.”
This year marks 125 years of further education at Bath College. Throughout this time, the college has supported generations of students – helping them to find employment, develop new skills and improve their career prospects. There have been new administrations, new courses and new buildings. Find out how everything started here.
When did Bath College first open?
In September 1892, the Bath City Science, Art and Technical Schools opened for its first intake of students into the new institution. In the course of 125 years, this facility has evolved through many changes to become the present day Bath College.
Why did the college open?
With Britain’s economic dominance being threatened by the USA and Germany the demands of industry and commerce for a better trained, more flexible workforce had to be met.
The response of the government of the day was to make available for technical education the delightfully named ‘whisky money’. This allowed local authorities – of which Bath City was one – to raise taxes on spirits and use the extra revenue to fund technical education. In the case of Bath, the amount of money raised in the year to March 1891 was £1,374. By 1901 this had risen to £1,900.
It was a matter of choice for councils whether they took up the option of establishing technical education. In fact Bath City was one of the earliest, for only 30 were established nationwide.
What education was available in Bath before the college?
Three establishments provided the core of what became the Bath City Science, Art and Technical Schools.
Firstly, there was the long established Bath School of Art and Science. This opened in May 1854 as the Bath School of Art and only added Science to its title in 1876.
A second strand was provided by the Bath Art Night Classes. The actual date of its opening is uncertain though a report of 1890 spoke of it having been in existence for 12 years.
The third strand was the Bath Evening Science School, again aimed at ‘artisans’. It was opened in 1879 and located at 36 Broad Street.
So when the City Council came to consider what to do in February 1891 there were already in existence institutions providing the needs of those of post compulsory school age. The Council’s deliberations and their decision led to the College’s foundation.
Where was the first college located?
The existing classes were rapidly outgrowing their accommodation and a central site needed to be found.
After much discussion, the council decided that the College should be built as an extension to the Guildhall, at the north wing of the site. However, this was not a decision universally approved in Bath; shopkeepers and businesses made it clear that they would have preferred such a valuable site to be used for more shops or a hotel.
This opposition never truly disappeared and so the College opened in September 1892 in a variety of locations spread across the city. All the old premises were retained – 33 The Paragon; Victoria Room, The Corridor and 36 Broad Street – and as a temporary measure 19 Green Park was leased to become, for the interim, the temporary headquarters of the College.
Despite these difficulties over accommodation, the College got off to a successful start with 554 students.
It was not until April 1896 that the new purpose-built premises for the College at the Guildhall were actually opened and the previous premises vacated. By this time there were approximately 660 students.
What could you study at the new college?
In its original form the College provided technical education in four broad areas of work – Art, Commerce and Languages, Cookery, Science, and Technical classes. There was, however, concern about the ability of many students, because they had an inadequate grounding in elementary education.
In the Science and Technical classes area, special foundation evening classes were developed which were made compulsory for all trades classes from 1901. In other areas, arrangements were made with the local elementary schools to provide introductory classes for interested pupils so as to provide a bridge into the College.
These challenges led to the decision to found a Secondary Day School for boys and girls in 1896. It was to be located within the Guildhall site and it had to share its staff with the other aspects of the College.
What happened as the college began to grow?
With all this expansion in the work of the College, it is no surprise that the Guildhall site rapidly became overcrowded. It had been designed for an enrolment of about 700 students but even in its first year the enrolment was 1,110. As commitment increased the pressure grew and by 1906-7 enrolment had risen to 1,609 students.
The solution was to remove the College from just one site and take up a number of satellite premises, designated for particular aspects of the College’s work.
The longer term solution, though, was to separate out the City Secondary Day School from the main body of the College.
During wartime, the college ran commercial courses for women, so that they could replace men called up for military service.
What happened to the Secondary Day School for boys and girls?
Firstly, a new girls school was established in 1922 as Oldfield Park Secondary School for Girls. In due course it became City of Bath Girls’ School and later Hayesfield School.
This left the boys in the Secondary Day School still occupying inadequate premises and the pressure to find a suitable site continued.
Eventually the city purchased the site on Beechen Cliff and a brand new building was constructed, capable of taking 850 boys. The school first occupied the premises in 1932 and was known as the City of Bath Boys’ School, now Beechen Cliff School.
Pressure on the Guildhall site was only partially relieved by these changes, however, as the College found its work in this area expanded again almost simultaneously.
The RUH building in Beau Street
Where did the college move next?
In 1929, the RUH agreed to sell its Beau Street building to the City Council and then move out when its own accommodation in Combe Park was ready. In December 1932 the RUH left Beau Street and the builders moved in. The College moved in formally in June 1935, amidst much celebration.
When did Bath College move to its current site in Avon Street?
In 1955 work began on Phase One of the College’s current Avon Street campus, which was occupied in September 1960.
Phase Two produced the Main Building and the extension of the Avon Street Building, occupied in 1963. Phase Three took longer to develop – The Kingsmead Building, Sports Hall and College Theatre were finally occupied in 1973. In spring 1993 the final building, the Allen Building, was completed and occupied by Catering, Hair and Beauty, and sports students.
In 2012 there was further significant change to the College’s Avon Street campus with the construction of the £5 million Roper Building. The attractive, modern building created an impressive new reception area, café and College shop, and a new industry-standard hairdressing salon, beauty treatment rooms and a spa. The Roper Building also saw the creation of a dedicated Undergraduate Centre for the increasing number of students studying Higher Education courses at the College.
What about the name changes for Bath College?
In 1974 the College left the control of the City Council after 82 years and came under the responsibility of the new Avon County Council. As a consequence of that council’s decision, the College’s name was changed in 1986 to City of Bath College of Further Education. The name was changed again in 1989 to City of Bath College.
More recently, the college merged with Norton Radstock College to become Bath College.
This is an edited version of ‘…affectionately known as The Tech’ – a booklet charting the history of City of Bath College, produced in 1992 by John Morell, a former history lecturer at City of Bath College.
Two interns, Reece Fenton and Chloe Mairs, have successfully found paid employment, and the rest of the group will continue looking for jobs with the support of Virgin Care’s employment inclusion team.
Interns received a big round of applause after sharing their success stories at this year’s Project SEARCH graduation ceremony, attended by family, friends and support agencies.
Reece, 19, from Bath, started a full-time job at McDonalds in April after completing work placements with The Assembly Rooms and the Bath Recycling Centre.
He said: “During my time at the Assembly Rooms, I was setting up for various functions that were taking place, including weddings and awards ceremonies.
“Because of my decision to come on this course, I have managed to get full-time paid employment. I am clearing tables when people have finished their food and changing bins when they are full.
“it is a great feeling that I have managed to get work and I would definitely recommend the course. Yes, it is hard work, but in the end it is worth it.”
Emma Geddes on placement at The Assembly Rooms
Interns aged 18 to 24-years-old complete three 10-week work placements, with the help of an instructor and job coaches, as well as classroom based activities reinforcing what they’ve learnt on the job.
During the year, they learned how to manage their money with the Bath Building Society, and organised a Christmas fundraiser for CLIC Sargent, raising over £90 with a raffle and afternoon tea party.
The Project SEARCH programme is in its 8th year with Bath and North East Somerset Council, and new interns starting in September were invited to the ceremony to watch the Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor Cherry Beath, hand out certificates.
Attendees also heard from Eilisha Mayhew, whose son Jack, 18, has grown in confidence after working hard on the Project SEARCH programme.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when we were told at the beginning that someone would visit Jack at work every day – that is beyond the call of duty and, at times, that level of support was exactly what we needed.
Jack working with the parks department at Bath and North East Somerset Council
“For Jack to receive presents and a card from staff at the Registry Office (one of Jack’s placements) at Christmas was really touching and made us feel really proud.
“My only wish going forward is that more departments are open to Project SEARCH students. I really hope that, in time, employers will recognise the huge potential they have.”
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose told interns: “The future is bright for this project. You are exceptional individuals and the college is proud to be part of your life journey.
“Success is a team effort and behind each achievement, there’s also a team of people: fellow students, family, tutors, and employers, our local council and Virgin Care who support these students every year.
“This celebration might seem like a conclusion for your hard work, but in many ways it’s only the start of future opportunities. I hope you come back and see us again and again.”
Georgina, from Radstock is studying English at Bath College, and is also training to become a fully-qualified fitness instructor. The 25-year-old has a passion for sport, and played for Bristol City FC when she was younger, but has never boxed before.
She is taking part in an eight-week coaching programme with Ultra White Collar Boxing at the Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Bath. After training finishes, Miss Stone will face her first fight during a charity match for Cancer Research UK on Saturday July 8th.
She said: “I’ve always enjoyed sport at school and I’ve always wanted to pursue it as a career, which is why I’m training to become a personal trainer and fitness instructor.
“There are 30 people in my boxing group, including four girls. When you first start, everyone’s fitness levels are different. They make you run around the block, and there are people who struggle, but we make sure we cheer them on – it’s all about teamwork.
“When you’re finding it hard to punch and you can’t keep your arms up, they’re constantly encouraging you. We’re all here to get fit and do something good for charity. You feel tired after boxing, but also really good and proud of your wellbeing.”
After a tough start in life, including being made homeless at the age of 14, she is determined to do well and improve her original GCSE grades.
Members of her English class are backing her to do well on July 8th, and as well as sponsoring her, they will be at the fight to cheer her on.
Miss Stone said: “My English class is a great group. You’re always hesitant on the first day, when you first go into the classroom, but after that you look forward to going back again.
“As a fitness instructor, I’ll be doing personal assessments for people and I have to make sure that the information I’m putting down is correct. It’s a lot of responsibility, but this English class has given me a lot more understanding and confidence.
“My advice to anyone thinking about going back to college would be, if there’s something that you want to do in life, go and do it.”
Congratulations to engineering students at our Somer Valley Campus who were chosen to receive prizes at an end of year awards ceremony.
Students are studying for an engineering diploma (level 1 and level 2). They welcomed Maurice Poole, from The Institute of Engineering & Technology, and Esther Dunstall-Sewell, from Rotork, who presented certificates.
The following awards were handed out:
Kyle Britton: Best turner
James Dobson: Best fitter
Jordan Carpenter: Best miller
Josh Palmer: Best welder
Robbie Hearne: Best overall engineer 2017
Matt Driver, lecturer in engineering at Bath College, said: “We had an excellent year and the students did well. We’re looking at 100 per cent achievement across the course, and we have many students progressing into full-time employment, apprenticeships or higher level studies.”
Good luck to everyone picking up their GCSE and A-level results – we wish you all the best for your next adventure. If you’re still unsure about results day, we have some tips for you. Stay calm and read our handy guide, which will help you with your preparations.
When is results day?
A-levels: Thursday August 17th
GCSEs: Thursday August 24th
How to prepare for results day
• Nerves are normal, but try to manage this.
We’ve all got different ways of coping with nerves, so follow what works for you whether it’s talking to someone, listening to music or watching a film. Get an early night so you’ll feel fresh and awake in the morning.
• Focus on your own situation
With so many people getting results, there can be a lot going on in the run-up to results day and the day itself. If you’re feeling nervous, take things one step at a time – if it helps, take a break from social media and switch off.
• Make sure you know how to collect your results
The time you’re able to pick up your results will depend on your school. Make sure you know what time you’ll get there and how you’ll get there. Think about whether you’d like to collect your results alone or if you’d like some moral support from friends or family.
On the day itself: what do do when you collect your results
• Make sure you celebrate your achievement
If you’ve achieved your grades, now is the time to celebrate. If you’re disappointed with your grades, speak to someone you trust. You may be disappointed, but don’t let this stop you pursuing your dreams – exam results are important but they’re not the whole picture.
• Thank a teacher for their support
Teachers are just as nervous on results day, and want you to do well. If you’re leaving school for college or university, make a teacher smile and spend a couple of minutes thanking them for the support they’ve given you and all that marking!
For students collecting their GCSE results
• Are you away and unable to collect your results?
It’s best to be around on results day, but you can arrange for your school to post your exam results. If you’d like someone to collect your results, check with your school as they may need a signed letter and ID to do this.
• Didn’t get the grades you hoped for? Resits are available
You need at least a C in English and maths to continue with your studies. College and sixth forms will offer resits for these, as employers and universities will look for these grades. If you’ve missed the grades you needed in other subjects, speak to your sixth form or college for advice.
• Think about alternatives, and keep your options open
A-levels are only one option, but you can also study at college, leading directly to the career you’re interested in, or on an apprenticeship. Check with your local college to find out about courses on offer and to speak to a careers adviser if needed.
• Check UCAS Track
It’s worth checking UCAS Track before you go in to collect your grades so that you know what to expect. Knowing you’ve got your university place will also relieve your nerves when it comes to opening your envelope.
• Have a Plan A and a Plan B
Having a Plan B will help you to feel calm the night before results day, and on results day if things don’t go as expected. The most important thing to know is that there are many options available, which will allow you to progress with your education.
• Make sure you understand the clearing process
According to UCAS, just under 65,000 students found a university place through clearing last year. It can get busy on results day, so make sure you understand the clearing process beforehand. Read this UCAS clearing survival guide to prepare and find out how you can enter clearing.
Did you know? Bath College offers higher education courses up to degree level. Find out more here.
• Seek advice from your parents and teachers
Don’t go it alone -help is at hand, and your teachers will be there at results day to celebrate with you or give advice. Most of all, ask questions to make sure you understand everything and are making an informed decision.
• If you’re entering clearing, keep calm and stay organised.
Find a quiet space for phone calls and have a notepad and pen ready to take down information. You’ll also need your UCAS number, your exam grades and your clearing number (which will be given to you on UCAS Track if you’re eligible for clearing).
Good luck and for those of you who have a place to study at Bath College, we look forward to welcoming you soon!
Between them, students have put in 836 hours of volunteering, and as a thank you, they were invited to a volunteers’ party, with tea, party poppers and music.
Student Georgia Long, who has been helping to plant a new vegetable plot, said: “I have really enjoyed the volunteering experience. They are lovely people, really friendly. My favourite job was working on the lavender bushes, because I like the smell. I have been talking to people and telling them what I’ve done.”
Stratton House Care Home, on Park Lane, is a residential care home with over 30 beds. As part of the project, residents have enjoyed talking about gardening with students and sharing lunchtimes with them.
Sarah Crockett, community coordinator at Stratton House, said: “It makes such a difference to know that people from the local community care about us and about making life better.
“One of the best sessions was when we came out and had our lunch on the lawn, just being about to sit together with the students was really important. They have done some beautiful gardening – you can see the results.”
Student Engagement Officer Hayley Hayward-Boyle helped set up the project with Stratton House Care Home, which will continue with a new group of students in September.
Lecturer Suzann Taylor, from the Foundation Learning Department at Bath College, said: “This volunteering project will improve their work skills and communication targets.
“Some of our students are finishing the course this year, and will be progressing to our step-up diploma or Project SEARCH, a supported internship programme preparing young people for the workplace.
“This is getting them used to a working environment. For example, two of our students, Oliver and Katie, both paid for themselves on the bus today. It’s getting them to practice those kind of things.”
Level 3 IT student Peter Day has been working on the website, to raise awareness of the talking newspaper – for blind and partially sighted people in Bath, Bristol and the surrounding areas.
Listeners of the Keynsham and District Talking Newspaper, known locally as KTN, receive a memory stick in the post once a week. This allows them to listen to interviews, community features and lifestyle articles.
Peter, who has just completed his course at Bath College, has made a sample of these articles online to give potential listeners and their families a preview of the service. He hopes that the website will enable more people to become aware of the service offered by KTN.
He said: “A website is a great tool, for people who want to set up a business or run an organisation – it helps get your name out there.
“The charity wanted the website to be clear and easy to use, allowing people to navigate it themselves. The main challenge was making sure it was readable for partially sighted people, which is why the website is yellow with a large font.”
IT lecturer Steven Harries, Peter Day and Mike Crane, from KTN
Mike Crane, chair of KTN, said: “We are delighted with the work Peter has done for us and were very pleased that he was able to attend our recent AGM to meet volunteers and listeners, and to present the new website.”
They have also been completing websites for the Chippenham Gateway Club, and Art in the Arch, a project to transform the St James Viaduct, a Grade II listed row of railway arches on Lower Bristol Road, into gallery space.
Peter, 18, from Bradford on Avon, will help with the upkeep of the KTN website and will use the experience to help him apply for a job or an apprenticeship.
He said: “It’s been a good experience. I’ve learned a lot about working with clients and producing a website for someone who has a real-life need.
“I’m glad I came to study IT at Bath College. I had the choice of sixth form, but I had been at school for five years, so I decided to go to college and make new friends.
“If you go to college, you’ll be trained for industry, whereas if you go to sixth form you’ll continue learning theory. I’ve met quite a few employers who have come into the college, it helps you to network and plan your future.”
Sixty-two students have successfully completed the intensive course, allowing them to progress to study on competitive degree-level courses.
Students gathered in the Shrubbery Restaurant to enjoy a glass of prosecco, catch up with each other after finishing the course, and collect their end of year certificates.
Staff chose Nicola Bailey, from Bradford on Avon, to receive the Roper Prize, presented to a student who has gone to exceptional lengths to complete their course.
Miss Bailey, 28, chose to study health and social care as an access student and has a place to study paramedic science at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.
She said: “Before attending this course, I was working full-time as a senior sports assistant at the University of Bath. For years, I had always wanted to be a paramedic, but I needed to get a C grade in English language and maths at GCSE.
“I worked hard at these courses part-time at Bath College, while still holding down a full-time job at the university, and I got the grades that I needed to enrol on the Access to Higher Education course.
“One of the hardest challenges was having the confidence and belief that I could go back into education and excel in this after leaving school 12 years ago.
“This course is tough and intense, however, having support from fellow students, and the support, commitment and enthusiasm from staff at Bath College makes completing it possible.”
Lesley Colonna-Dashwood runs Colonna and Smalls, a successful coffee shop and roastery in the centre of Bath, with her husband Maxwell. She studied for the Access to HE Science Diploma, and has a place to study physiotherapy at UWE.
She said: “The plan is to do a masters in veterinary science after I have completed the human physiotherapy degree.
“The business is now well-established and last summer I was able to take a back seat. I am still involved, but in an advisory capacity, rather than a hands-on role.
“I have always had a passion for equestrianism and when I was in my teens I aspired to be a vet, however life took a different direction for me and I pursued a different career.
“The Access to Education course is life-changing, it enables you to go and pursue what you have always wanted to do. The course has given me confidence, and even more enthusiasm about going to university than I had at the beginning.
“I know that there is a lot more work to do, and a long road ahead, but the course has given me the belief that I can do it.”
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose attended the awards ceremony to meet students and hand out course certificates.
She told students: “Access is one of the hardest courses. We don’t really tell you that in the beginning, but at the end we congratulate you on passing it in style. I believe doing the access course will give you that stepping stone for a very bright future, so congratulations to you all.”
Charlie Griffin with Alex Gaiger (Deputy Head of Department for Sport, Leisure and Care) and Dan Bowman, football coach at Bath City Community Sports Foundation
He began playing professional football at a young age and his CV includes playing for Swindon, Wickham, Stevenage and Bath City.
The former striker said: “At the Bath City Community Sports Foundation, we’ve built up the girls’ football team and we’ve seen it grow over the years.
“This programme will be different for the players. To start with they might ache a bit, but we’re there to help them move up a level and improve them as a footballer.
Football players at an open training session for the women’s academy, at Odd Down Playing Fields
“This is a great opportunity to work with the college, and for these girls it gives them a real focus. If they can look to the world cup and the England women’s team, and see a progression route, that helps to inspire them.
“I started off at four-years-old kicking a ball around. I was at the Bristol Rovers academy until I was 16, when I was released, but I never gave up and worked hard to get signed for Swindon.
“That’s what I tell the girls who train with us, never give up and that determination will pay off. We would love one of these girls to play in the women’s premier league one day, because the talent is out there.”
Sam Spong, sports student Ellie, and Paul Blenkinsopp (from Bath College).
Players training at the academy, which is unique to Bath, will train three times a week at the Bath College gym and Odd Down Sports Ground.
They will play matches on Wednesday as part of the ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) and will study for a Level 2 or Level 3 BTEC in sport.
Lecturer in sport, Paul Blenkinsopp, said: “It is great for the college to have Charlie leading the coaching of our new women’s football academy.
“He not only brings a vast knowledge from the men’s professional game, but has been coaching girls for five to six years as part of his role at the Bath City Community Sports Foundation. This knowledge and understanding of women’s football will be vital for our first year, but also as we look to grow and strengthen the programme over the coming years.
“There are still places available on the women’s academy and I encourage anyone who is interested to contact me for more information.”
To find out about the women’s football academy, register online, call (01225) 312191 or e-mail email@example.com.
Students studying international business had the chance to put their skills into practice, helping companies with market research, events assistance and online communication in Prague for a month.
Six Level 3 students were chosen for the trip, organised by REY Europe as part of the Erasmus scheme, set up to support and fund young people who want to experience what it’s like to live and work abroad.
Students had the opportunity to work at the following places: Radio Prague, Ivana Rosova Fashion Group, Albinus Grammar, the Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economics Institute, and the British Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic.
Second year student Charles Hickman, from Bath, is finishing his two-year course at Bath College this summer and has a place to study marketing management at Manchester Metropolitan University.
He was chosen to work for the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and had the chance to attend a showcase at the British embassy in Prague.
Charles, 19, said: “The showcase was a chance for Czech distributors to meet hair, beauty and care UK businesses. The BCC had to represent the businesses who didn’t attend in person but sent over some samples and information.
“One of my internship roles was to represent these brands and attract attention from the Czech companies. The building was beautiful and I enjoyed having to use my sales skills while working among a team of brilliant people.”
Students also had the chance to travel around Prague and take part in activities, including a visit to the zoo, paddle boats on the river and shopping.
International business students Anika Chowdhury and James Coombs spent their time in Prague working for award-winning fashion designer Ivana Rosova.
Anika said: “The highlight of my placement was creating the social media calendar for Ivanna and also when I was added as admin to the pages, as this made me feel like she valued my opinion which I really appreciated.
“I’m used to going on social media for my own personal use, but I didn’t realise that a lot of market research goes on behind each and every post that you see from a business.
“I learnt that working for someone who is lovely (and doing something you enjoy) really makes a difference, and it has made me look forward to working a lot more. I plan on travelling a lot more and going to university.”
James said: “Prague is such a beautiful city, with many activities and things to do. I enjoyed being able to catch a tram and going to any location in under 15 minutes. In the next few years I want to travel more and visit cities in Europe and America, especially Norway, Berlin and Los Angeles.”
Over 100 pieces of work will be on show, making it an ideal time for prospective students to visit and see the wide
range of art specialisms available to study at the college.
For many students, the exhibition is the chance to show off their work before leaving the college to progress onto further education.
Product design students Matthew George and Mitchell Wilson hope to continue working together, as both students have offers to study 3D design at Plymouth University.
Matthew, 17, has created a collapsible shelter for deployment in disaster zones and refugee camps as part of his final major project.
He said: “When a disaster happens, people start to improvise with shelters before aid organisations arrive. This is a transition shelter, it’s something that can be set up quickly and is easy to expand, pull out and secure.
“Studying at Bath College has challenged my perceptions. When I first started, I wasn’t open to how you can be creative and the creative process. Now I know that you need to explore your interests before you settle on an idea, because you never know what you will discover.
“I’ve enjoyed having the freedom to explore different aspects of design and I’m looking forward to university where I’ll spend the first year gaining practical skills in making and modelling.”
Product design lecturer James Purslow said: “The product design students have presented a really strong body of work this year.
“Students have created a wide range of concepts, from modular protective casings for expensive electronic devices to an architectural piece, which is intended as a college extension to accommodate apprenticeships and higher education.
“The work has been produced and presented to an exceptional standard for this level of their education and more than a few would be commercially viable.”
The exhibition, at Bath College’s City Centre Campus on Avon Street, is open from Wednesday June 21st to Friday June 23rd (10am to 5pm). Members of the public are also welcome to visit on Saturday June 24th between 10am and 4pm.
Bath College works with over 260 businesses, who employ over 450 apprentices, making it the largest provider of apprenticeships in the Bath and North East Somerset area.
Anna Parkinson, our Apprentice of the Month, is working at engineering company Rotork, a major employer in Bath and a market leader in industrial valve actuation and flow control. Find out how she’s benefiting by working and studying as an apprentice here.
Can you tell us how your apprenticeships scheme works?
Throughout the apprentice scheme, time is allocated to working in a number of departments in the company to gain experience with all aspects of the organisation.
The first year of the apprenticeship is spent in college gaining a performing engineering operations (PEO) qualification and a BTEC Level 2 in engineering. In the second year, the BTEC in engineering includes a day release from work, and the other four days of the week are spent in the company doing department rotation.
During the third and fourth year, a HNC qualification in mechanical and/or electrical engineering is taken on. During this time, the apprentice moves around the departments within the company completing various jobs and projects. Once the four years are completed, if there is a suitable job available, the apprentice is offered it within a certain department at Rotork.
What was the progression route for you into an apprenticeship?
I joined Rotork in August 2015 as a technical apprentice and I graduate in August 2019. On completing my A-levels in maths, physics and chemistry, I chose to do an apprenticeship at Rotork rather than going to university. I chose to do this to stay ahead of graduates, gain valuable experience and continue with further education while being paid.
What does a typical day look like for you and what’s the best bit about your day?
Regular changes to my day-to-day activities means each day holds something different, making the job interesting. Learning new skills is a regular occurrence and I was warmly welcomed into the company by all members of staff.
A typical day would involve progressing and completing a variety of jobs given to me by my line manager or supervisor, along with progressing a technical project if applicable. The best bit about the day is the satisfaction that the work I’m doing is beneficial to the department and the company; working within friendly teams is another highlight.
What do you think the benefits are of studying this way?
As an apprentice, I get the best of both worlds: my passion is STEM subjects and I am continuing to apply this in a working environment. Rotork’s technical apprenticeship scheme has greatly improved my analytical and practical skills in engineering, especially maths-based problem solving skills. People can leave university with large debts and no guarantee of a job, but with an apprenticeship I am one step ahead with my career.
Click the picture to hear from apprentice of the month Scott Jardine
How are you supported in the workplace and at college to achieve your qualification?
Bath has become a very well-established college for engineering, with more and more people taking courses in the subject. The college has great resources available for my use, including personal computers, a library and a student advice centre. My course lecturers, who teach me, have been very helpful, organised, and professional throughout my learning experience.
Within the workplace, I have a mentor and have regular reviews with my assessor; the support I receive is excellent.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you feel as though there are plenty of opportunities to progress?
My ambitions for the future are to graduate from my HNC in electrical engineering and continue higher education and work-based training. I would like to develop my roles and responsibilities whilst incorporating travel with my job. I see this as a great way of learning and exploring the many divisions and sectors Rotork cover, leading to the long-term goal of becoming a manager for a department with customer facing interaction.
Do you feel as though your apprenticeship has opened doors for you?
Absolutely: I have a foot in the industry at such an early stage in my career, and am developing personal skills which is massively beneficial. I am experiencing working in many areas of the business and identifying what suits me – this isn’t experienced at university.
On the social side, I have a close group of friends (the apprentice team) and we are lucky enough to attend events; Christmas dinners, nights out, joining sports teams, the annual dinner and dance. Rotork sponsors Bath rugby and I was fortunate to be able to watch a match in the corporate box.
I am treated the same as any other member of staff and have enjoyed meeting new people from all levels of the business, enabling me to build professional contacts that’ll benefit my future. Once I’ve completed the apprenticeship, I’ll have credentials and transferrable skills that will be valued anywhere I go.