Students care for animals at Bath City Farm


A new course at Bath City Farm is offering adult learners a practical insight into animal care.


Students are learning how to feed and handle animals on the farm as part of the course, organised by the adult community learning team at Bath College.


Helen Fisher, deputy manager at Bath City Farm, gave students a tour of the farm’s animals during an introductory session in early November.


Many already volunteer at the farm, a registered charity which runs a number of different volunteering, education and training projects.


Some are part of projects at the farm, including the EarthWorks project – for people with mild to severe learning disabilities.





Ms Fisher has been running animal care courses at Bath City Farm for a number of years and has seen how they help to increase confidence.


She said: “People don’t feel comfortable if they have been out of work or school for a long time.


“At first they are quite shy of the animals and shy of talking, but once people understand that everyone is in a similar situation that really helps.”


Students will study animal behaviour to overcome any worries they may have about handling animals.


If they want to progress, Bath City Farm is offering an advanced animal care course during the spring – which could lead to a course at Bath College.


MS Fisher said: “Each week they are going to be focusing on one of the animals on the farm – they will learn how to clean them out, handle them and give them health checks.


“In the spring there’s an advanced animal course and careers advisors from Bath College will come in to discuss courses that are accredited.


“It’s a gentle way of getting there, rather than going straight in for a Level 2 animal care course.”


Full-time carer Jo Welch is hoping to start a new career working with animals and has enrolled on the course as a first step.


She said: “There’s a vet course at Bath College so I thought I would do this and see how it goes. I just want to get a little bit more knowledge about animal behaviour.”


Jeff Fanstone volunteers at Bath City Farm every Wednesday, offering his expertise in horticulture by helping to maintain the allotment.


He said: “I feel as though I should know more than I do. We get a lot of people come round and ask us questions about the animals.


“Really I just want to know the basics – feeding and handling them.”


Bath College raises over £900 for Children in Need

Students at Bath College have teamed together to raise over £900 for Children in Need through cake sales, street collections and a music gig.


Early year education students at the college’s Somer Valley Campus kicked off a week’s worth of fundraising activities.


They dressed up for a street collection in Midsomer Norton, collecting nearly £300 for projects supported by the Children in Need appeal.




At the college’s city centre campus, business and IT students enrolled on the college’s Vocation Access Programme held a cake sale.


A collection in the centre of Bath raised over £260 thanks to childcare, performing arts and beauty students who dressed up as superheroes.


In the college’s music department, students organised a gig and on Friday it was childcare takeover day.


The day, organised by students studying childcare, included face painting, guess how many sweets in the jar and guess the name of the teddy.


Staff members Sarah Demirci, Jess Lewis, Abi Holt and Lesley Hart helped with the day and joined in by dressing up as superheroes.


Staff at the college braved the Pie a Pudsey stand where they had custard pies thrown at them and were filmed for social media.




Student engagement officer Scarlett Mosnier said: “Everyone has been really generous and everyone’s contributions make a big difference.


“For the students dressing up and collecting money, it’s a confidence boost throwing yourself out there and seeing what comes of it.


“It’s something great to be part of. They can see the programme on television and see how they have contributed to something massive.”


Media students launch Crowdfunding campaign for film sets and props


Students at Bath College have launched a campaign to fund two short films, raising money for sets, costumes and props.


Level 3 media students will work in teams to produce the films, which should be ready to be shown before Christmas.


The money is being raised through a Crowdfunding campaign and the sets will be built in the college dance studio.


Students will submit the finished film for festivals and competitions, including Enter the Pitch – an online short film competition for budding filmmakers.


Media students at the college have already had some success, with previous films winning recognition from Into Film in July.


Set up to support young filmmakers in colleges and schools, Into Film named the students’ sci-fi thriller ABEL as its film of the month.


To prepare for the project, students have been speaking to Enter the Pitch project director Luke Walton.


They also visited Codsteaks, a Bristol-based production arts company specialising in sets, and met company director Sue Lipscombe.


In September, they went along to Encounters Festival – a short film and animation festival held in Bristol.


To produce the film, students will work with business, media, music and performing arts students at Bath College.


The film shoot takes place in the third week of November.


Lecturer Tom Gray said: “The project gives students hands-on experience outside of the classroom and the normal timetable.


“It allows staff, who are trained filmmakers, to work individually with students in their production roles.


“Feedback from students in previous years has been that they’ve gained so much experience and knowledge from the project.


“This year we’ve decided to bring it forward to the beginning of the second year course.


“Diving straight into a production of this scale will give students a much broader experience base to develop themselves and their practice for the remainder of the year.”


To support the project click here.


Students’ achievements marked at Celebrating Success Awards

Outstanding students at Bath College received plenty of praise during an awards ceremony held to celebrate their hard work.


Over 40 students and their families were invited to Bath College’s annual Celebrating Success Awards at the Guildhall.


Tutors from every department took to the stage to share stories of students going above and beyond to meet the demands of their course.


Floristry students contributed to the evening with elaborate table displays and catering students prepared tasty snacks for those invited.


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Students receiving awards included 25-year-old Matthew Clifford, who was awarded Stonemasonry Student of the Year.


He has been travelling from Gloucester to Bath over three years to attend his course and didn’t miss a lesson.


Complementary therapies student Deb Cullen was also praised for showing “boundless enthusiasm and commitment” despite a hectic schedule.


The 35-year-old from Bath studied a Level 3 qualification alongside a part-time job cleaning at the college and passed her course with flying colours.


Lecturer Diana Rowe said: “She worked every morning at the college from 6am to 8.30am, would run home to prepare her young son for school and then be on time for her class.”


Tatyana Labno, from Frome, studied accountancy at Bath College andwon the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.


She passed her AAT Level 2 and Level 3 exams in just a year, instead of two years, finishing both courses before other students.


The 25-year-old, who is expecting a baby soon, is now studying for an AAT Level 4 qualification and is applying for jobs as an accountant.


This year for the first time, there was an award for volunteering – the Rotary Young Person’s Community Service Award.


Bethany Tavener, 19, from Keynsham, is working as an apprentice at the University of Bath and received the award for her dedication to youth work.


Over the past few years, Miss Tavener has volunteer as a youth worker for the Riverside Youth Centre and Southside Youth Centre.


As part of this, she has been working with the charity Off the Record to run LGBT awareness activities and workshops in the youth hubs.


She said: “I did over 200 hours last year alone. At first I didn’t know about the student participation team at Bath College.


“Then I spoke to the student engagement officer and she explained how I could log my hours. They have been really supportive. If I say ‘we have this event going on’ they help publicise it and get it in the weekly bulletin.

“Most of it is because I like helping people out.”


All award winners were presented with a certificate and a Bath Aqua Glass paper weight.


Celebrating Success pic
Several businesses received recognition for their contribution to student development and were named as Employers of the Year.


Social housing landlord Curo was named Business Employer of the Year and the University of Bath and Southgate also won awards.


Lisa Quayle, employment, training and engagement co-ordinator at Curo, said: “We’re delighted to have received this award.


“At Curo we’re committed to helping people into work, and we offer an expanding programme of accredited work placements, support via the National Careers Service and other opportunities.


“We provide apprenticeships, scholarships and a graduate scheme, and we ask our suppliers to provide training and apprenticeships as part of our procurement process.


“We know our work is making a real difference, and we’re continuing to develop and grow the service to benefit as many customers and colleagues as possible.”


Bath College principal Matt Atkinson said: “This year’s awards evening was the first time since the college merger that we have come together to celebrate the achievements of students from across Bath and North East Somerset and beyond.


“This event is my favourite of the year because it is where we get to say thank you to our students for entrusting us with their education and training.


“The college’s purpose is to develop talent, careers and people and last night provided wonderful evidence of us achieving our core purpose.”



Bath College launches new hotel and restaurant school


A new hotel and restaurant school at Bath College will give industry leaders the chance to address a skills shortage in the city by developing home-grown talent.


Tourism is big business in Bath, but top hotels in the city need highly skilled staff and a shallow labour pool is making it hard for managers to find the right employees.


The Bath Hotel and Restaurant School will help employers to discover future talent and will make sure students are getting the right training early on in their careers.


Sixteen businesses have signed up to be part of the new partnership and will meet students for the first time at a launch event on November 10.


The launch takes place at the multi-million pound Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel, part of the Malaysian-based company YTL.


Over 200 high-profile guests were invited to the hotel’s official opening in October and students from Bath College were there serving guests on the night.


Now the Gainsborough has committed to offer regular work placements and masterclasses through the new hotel and restaurant school.


Food and beverage manager Paul Mason will be offering students cocktail masterclasses and is looking forward to passing on his knowledge.


He said: “YTL have their own catering school in Malaysia so the Gainsborough Bath Spa understands the benefits of working locally with the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School.


“For YTL it’s all about the next generation. Many of the current staff have been working for YTL for the last 15 years and started at the bottom to work their way up to become head chefs and managers.


“In Bath especially, there are so many restaurants. Every restaurant is looking for chefs and front of house staff. It’s a good market for staff, but for us as employers it’s hard to find people with the right skill sets.


“Tourism is one of the key industries in Bath, the industry employs 9,000 people locally. But Bath is not London – it’s not a big city – and we have to work harder to attract people to come to work here.


“By working together, it means that the students emerge better trained for real life in a busy restaurant or hotel, which will definitely benefit both the industry and the young people themselves.


“It benefits us if we can train them from the start, rather than people coming in with bad habits which we have to train out of them, and it’s always nice to pass your knowledge on – it gives you a sense of fulfilment.


“Getting work experience here will add to their qualifications. As well as jobs in Bath, it will open up scope for them throughout the world.”


A string of top employers have signed up to support the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School and offer students a variety of work placements. These include Demuth’s Cookery School, Homewood Park, The Pump Room Restaurant and the Royal Crescent Hotel.


Level 3 students will also work at The Priory, the MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, the Bath Pub Company, Abbey Hotel and the Hilton Hotel. They will be offered experience at Woods Restaurant, Apex Hotels, The Pig near Bath, Lucknam Park, the Manor House Hotel at Castle Combe and the Methuen Arms, in Corsham.


Bridget Halford, head of hospitality, hair, beauty and spa industries at Bath College, is looking forward to the growth of the new school.


She said: “We’re building partnerships to give them the best opportunities and access to the best employers across the city and beyond. Businesses have been really supportive. They think it’s a fantastic idea and it’s something that’s needed.”


Sarah Holden, hotel director at The Pig near Bath, said: “We’re excited about the launch of the hotel and restaurant school- it’s a real opportunity for us to showcase the hotel and demonstrate the huge opportunities there are within the group.


“It’s a privilege to be involved and what makes this different is that all the businesses have had a voice in how this has been set up. I am sure it will help with recruitment- it’s no secret that industry wide this is a huge challenge, especially in the kitchen.


“The dream is that the hotel and restaurant school will enable us to recruit the next generation and home-grow our own talent.”


International business students at Bath College visit Shanghai


Students studying international business at Bath College had the chance to speak to the head of Barclays in China during a cultural trip to Shanghai.

Five Level 3 students were chosen for the trip to Shanghai Sipo Polytechnic College – which has strong links with Bath College.

They were matched with student buddies and took part in lessons at the college, learning about Chinese culture, oil painting and Tai Chi.

Chinese students greeted their visitors with a traditional mandarin song and a talent show featuring music, dance and tea making.

It was an overwhelming experience for the five students, who performed Wonderwall by Oasis to an enthusiastic audience.




Jon Domaille, head of business, media, music and performing arts at Bath College, said: “They were waving their phones in the air like lights.

“There was a real sense of warmth and generosity. They really bonded with their Chinese counterparts – I think they have made friends for life.

“This is an international business course and we wanted to give them the opportunity to experience that world themselves – to give them a sense of a global community.

“The class sizes are bigger – they noticed that – and they noticed there’s a sense of discipline they probably don’t identify with over here.

“I taught for the day and it was absolutely fascinating. They really care about getting things right and doing things properly.”

As well as spending time at the Chinese college, students travelled to see Shanghai’s financial centre and free trade zone.

They listened to talks from Chinese businesses and, on the final day of the trip, they met the head of Barclays in China.




Mr Domaille said: “They sat in his office discussing Chinese English relationships with him. That really gave them a sense of confidence.

“It was fascinating stepping back from that and watching them hold their own with someone who is incredibly important in world finance.

“It was a fantastic experience for the students because everything they have learned about, they saw it happening.

“I think that the fact that students had spent the week exploring Chinese culture added great significance and context to their visits to businesses in China.

“They have come back far more rounded individuals and more open-minded individuals.”

International business student Henry Lancaster said: “To be sitting with the manager of Barclay’s operations in China is pretty special.

“He wanted to hear our thoughts about the alliance between the UK and China and how things can develop in the future.

“It has helped me gain a better understanding of China’s current state of affairs and to put into practice what I have learned in class.”


New curatorship course to start at Bath College in collaboration with 44AD Artspace


Three years after setting up her own arts enterprise, painter Katie O’Brien will share her expertise with students enrolling on a new curatorship course.


The course, at Bath College, will guide students through the practicalities of putting on an exhibition, from artwork selection to promotion and display.


Miss O’Brien studied for a national diploma in fine art at Bath College before enrolling on a fine art degree at Bath Spa University.


She set up 44AD Artspace after graduating in response to a shortage of studio and gallery space for emerging artists in Bath city centre.


The venue, in Abbey Street, has affordable studio space for 18 artists, as well as two floors of free admission gallery space.


Students on the new course will see how 44AD operates and will get an insight into the art world during optional field trips to London and Cornwall.


Miss O’Brien said: “Each year I saw art students moving en-masse to Bristol.


“There was nothing really being provided for graduate art students and emerging artists within the centre of Bath.


“It’s fantastic to be back at Bath College, but this time leading what I feel will be an extremely valuable course at this level.


“You have the highly regarded MA curatorial studies program at Bath Spa University, but there is nothing locally at college level.


“I began 44AD after I graduated in 2012 and the last three years have provided me with such a learning experience.


“I thought it would be really great to pass some of this knowledge on.”


Students on the curatorship course will study curatorial theory and research, collections, documentation, installation and display.


They will also gain practical experience, curating two exhibitions in Bath next year.


Miss O’Brien said: “The course will feature an invaluable series of visiting talks from professional curators and gallerists.


“Students will be encouraged to lead the selection and curation of the annual Bath College Love2learn exhibition in February and will be curating an exhibition for Fringe Arts Bath in May.


“This is a pilot run, so it will be extremely exciting to see how this course develops.


“I’m positive it will offer students an extensive amount of practical experience, and a variety of encounters that will generate different career avenues and possibilities.”


David Merriman, head of the Art and Design Department at Bath College, is looking forward to seeing students’ work.


He said: “We have already been working with 44AD to develop our studio painting course. A lot of our students are involved with the Fringe Arts Bath events.


“We have given students opportunities to be involved in pop-up exhibitions and small scale curatorship, as well as their contribution to our end of year show.


“With the ownness clearly on employability skills at the college, I was mindful that curatorship in museums and galleries can provide exciting opportunities for career pathways.


“We welcome the collaboration and hope it will grow.”


The course starts next week. For more information click here.


Students at Bath College tackle sponsored perm challenge


A group of students have discovered a new love for eighties hairstyles after taking part in a sponsored perm session at Bath College and raising £600.


Eight students from the University of Bath’s rowing club, CrewBath, took part in the hairdressing challenge – to collect money for new boats for the team.


The club has over 150 novice rowers keen to get out on the water, but at the moment there not enough boats and only 20 people can row at a time.


Level 2 barbers at Bath College were taught how to give the all-male group a perm by hair tutor and lecturers Becky Jon, Lisa Nelson and Donna Ford.


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Joseph Riou, novice captain for CrewBath, said the whole group enjoyed getting to know students at the college during the three-hour session.


He said: “We created a poll on the club’s social page on Facebook and people were able to vote for the eight men who they would most like to see get the perm.


“Lots of rowing clubs raise money by doing a naked calendar or taking part in Movember. CrewBath have already done both of these and we wanted to do something no-one had ever done before.


“It was a lot more fun than people ever anticipated. The Bath College hairdressers were up for a laugh and seemed to enjoy the day as much as we did.”


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The event was a success for the team, who raised enough money to repair one of the club’s boats – meaning that nine more people can race this month.


They were surprised at how popular the perms were with sponsors and will be racking their brains for more original fundraising ideas soon.


Mr Riou said: “All of the hairstyles went down really well. Some people’s hair was more suitable for perming. The men’s senior captain, Ryan, had really good hair for perming and now looks like a sexy version of Justin Timberlake.


“We expected a lot more abuse for our eighties hairstyles, but people really like the perms and we are all considering getting them re-done. They are much easier to manage in the mornings -after a quick shower there is no need to apply hair product – just dry and go!


“Thanks to the money we have raised so far from the perming extravaganza, we are able to fix one of our boats called Geoff. This money has come just in time as will need the boat to race as many crews as possible at the local head race on the Avon in just a few weeks’ time.”




Lecturer Donna Ford said: “All the students remained professional.


“They have only been taught perm winding in the last couple of weeks. They are trained to do perms, but usually it would be a lot later in the year.


“I said to the students ‘you’re being chucked in the deep end’. We had a few nerves, but they did their very best and achieved great results.


“It was a great experience for all barbers involved.”


For more information about barbering courses at Bath College click here.


Students inspired by workplace day trips during employability week

Bath College students headed out of the classroom into the workplace to visit building sites and factory shop floors during employability week.


Students studying carpentry, engineering, plumbing and stonemasonry took part in the week, organised by the college’s technology department.


They had the chance to meet employers, who visited the college to lead talks, and were offered CV writing, skill building and interview workshops.


A wide range of students studying at different levels gained a valuable insight into the types of tools used in their trades.


In the engineering department, Level 2 students were given a tour of Rotork in Bath and a talk about the company’s apprenticeship programme.


Oct 22 - ROTORK trip GROUP


Engineering and plumbing students spent a day with HMRC volunteers and took part in mock interviews, role-play and team building activities.


For plumbing students, the week included a day with Horstmann Plumbing, when they had the opportunity to handle the latest plumbing components.


Students studying carpentry travelled to Bishops Sutton, where H Mealing & Sons is building five new primary school classrooms.


They also visited Interesting Timbers, a family owned business between Bath and Wells producing air dried and kiln dried English timber.




Level 1 stonemasonry students took a trip to Hayes Wood Quarry, Farleigh Masonry and Wells Cathedral Stonemasons Ltd – based in Cheddar.




Students toured Cirencester Chapel, which is being re-built using traditional methods, as well as the Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet and Avon Canal.


This Autumn, Level 2 stonemasonry students are volunteering at Woodchester Mansions and they continued working there during employability week.


The mansion, in Gloucestershire, is an unfinished Gothic Revival mansion – a Grade I listed building which was abandoned mid-project.


Students are honing their practical skills by undertaking supervised restoration and renovation stonemasonry work set by the trust.


Head of Technology Daisy Walsh said: “Employability week gives students a valuable insight into the world of work.


“In the technology department, we work very closely with local employers to make sure students have the relevant skills and training needed to secure jobs.


“Employability week allows students to meet employers and see what they are looking for in terms of skills, qualifications and work ethic.


“It’s an inspiring time for them which helps them to visualise the kind of place they might work in the future.”




American visitors learn European spa treatments at Bath College


A group of American visitors have travelled to Bath for the first time to learn European spa treatments from staff at Bath College.


The group, from the Healing Arts Institute in Ohio, visited for a three-day course put together by college staff and approved by medical experts in America.


They were taught wrap training, Indian head massage and hot stone massage – spa techniques that are not usually taught in their home state.


Lecturer Diana Rowe, who works in the college’s Hospitality, Hair, Beauty and Spa Industries Department, designed the course especially for the group.


She said: “We have never done this for the Americans before. They are all fully qualified – some have been in the industry for 20 years.


“These techniques are not common in American – they had never heard of an Indian head massage.


“They are regarded as a medical service, so they are not allowed to do these extra things within their training.




“It varies from state to state, but in Ohio they are very strict, they are the strictest medical board next to New York.


“They are a lovely bunch. Our staff have really enjoyed working with them – they have found out how things are done in America.


“It’s been really enlightening and it will help staff advise students who do move on and work abroad.”


Teachers at the Healing Arts Institute in Ohio initially visited Bath to see the Thermae Bath Spa and learn about the city’s history as a spa town.


They began thinking about a course for students after meeting former Bath College students working at the natural thermal spa.




 Ms Rowe said: “Staff at the Thermae Bath Spa kindly pointed them in our direction. They were so impressed with the facilities they thought ‘this is something our students might like to learn’.


“We’re very lucky we have built strong links with the Thermae Bath Spa. We have been offering students work experience there for the last three years and it’s largely staffed by ex-students.


“I think Bath is a very attractive place to study and as a spa venue. The fact that we’re in the middle of this city with all the amazing spa history around us attracts people to study here.


“Our American students want to come back again. Even on the first day they said ‘can you send us dates?’ because they want to come back again.”


American student Trina Lovins qualified as a licensed massage therapist in April and started up her own business in May.


She said: “The stones don’t seem that different – the Indian head massage I have never done before.


“We were thinking about what our favourite thing on the course was last night. None of us had an answer because everything has been great.


“For me, I’m really happy with how friendly everyone is and how excited they are to have us here – as much as we’re excited to be here – which is nice.


“I’ve started my own business. It’s in a salon and the person who owns the salon, she was really excited about me going on this course.”



Open days taking place at Bath College campuses in November


Bath College is opening its doors for students to discover more about its full-time, part-time, university level and professional courses.


We’re hosting two open evenings to help you find the best way to achieve your goals through study.


All are welcome to pop in to meet staff and students at the Somer Valley Campus on Wednesday November 4, or the City Centre Campus on Thursday November 12 from 4pm to 7pm.


Open days are the ideal opportunity for students to take a tour around the campuses and try some taster activities.


Students can talk to tutors to find out more about learning and progression opportunities, or discuss your options with careers advisors.


Information about financial assistance, learning support and extra-curricular activities will also be available.


Open Evening (2)


Apprenticeship talks will take place at each campus, providing more information about learning while earning with some of the region’s biggest employers.


Principal Matt Atkinson said the open evenings would give prospective students more information on where new skills could take them.


He said: “Our open evenings are a great place to start the next part of your learning journey. Everyone is invited to come along to take a look at our first-class facilities and learn more about what we can offer.


“There will be lots to see and do and the open evenings will give you a real flavour of what goes on.”




For the Somer Valley Campus event visit the CAM building in South Hill Park, Wells Road, Radstock, between 4pm and 7pm on Wednesday November 4.


For the City Centre Campus event call into the college’s Roper Building, on the corner of Avon Street and St James Street West, between 4pm and 7pm on Thursday November 12.


If you cannot attend the open evening but want to find out more information about courses, you can visit the Student Advice Centre. The team can help you with any queries about courses or arrange for you to see a careers advisor.


For further information or to pre-register online go to www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191.


Bath College’s English Language School hosts International Food Sharing Festival

Students studying English as a foreign language shared exotic dishes from their home country at Bath College’s International Food Sharing Festival.


The college’s English Language School hosts the festival every year, giving students the chance to sample new flavours from different cultures.


Students from over 30 nationalities are studying English at the college this year and the festival included dishes from all over the world.


In the European room, students had the chance to try Butterkuchen, Wiener Schnitzel and Frikadellen – German fried meat patties.



They also filled their plates with Chinese dumplings, Japanese omurice, rice pudding and Columbian three milk pudding.


Staff from the English Language School baked a number of British delicacies, including Grasmere gingerbread, Bara Brith and banana loaf.




Elizabeth Mallender, head of the English Language School, said the festival was a favourite with everyone in the department.


She said: “We always get a huge variety – there are all sorts of fabulous things.


“Everyone loves talking about food and it’s a subject close to peoples’ hearts in many cultures. It’s a wonderful way for students to learn and use English.




“We get a lot of visitors from other departments and it raises awareness of our department within the college.


“A lot of students, if they are coming over here, they still eat their own food so now they get to try British delicacies as well. Some of them have put in a real effort with what they have produced.”


Every dish had a card next to it with a basic recipe, so students could learn about its origin and how it was made.


Zoya Ali, originally from Pakistan, lives in Bath with her husband and made chicken biryani for the festival.


She said: “It’s my mum’s recipe. The recipe is hard, there are so many ingredients, so my teacher asked me to shorten it for people to read.”




Asuka Kittaka, from Japan, is studying at Bath College and living in England for the first time.


She said: “The students have made them, so it’s different from restaurant food, you can feel the effort that they have put into it.


“Bath is a really nice place – it’s a small area, but there are a lot of shops and people. The teachers are really kind and helpful.”



Learning support tutor launches children's picture book inspired by the legend of Prince Bladud

Artist and writer Jane Samson has bought a Bath legend to life in a new children’s picture book.


Mrs Samson, who works at Bath College, was inspired by the story of Prince Bladud, who was cured of leprosy by bathing in the hot mud around Bath’s springs.


Her book has been picked up by bookshops around Bath, including The Roman Baths Gift Shop, Topping & Company and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.


This week, she will be entertaining children at Bath Central Library with an interactive storytelling session, to include dressing up and a craft activity.


Mrs Samson, 57, said: “It’s got my own little embellishments.


“It’s set in the Iron Age. The prince is thrown out of his kingdom because he gets leprosy – he’s banished from the kingdom and ends up being a swineherd.

A kind old woman gave him some pigs


“I first heard the story nearly 40 years ago when I first arrived in Bath. Somebody told me that story and it just stuck in my head – it’s been a little acorn in my mind for a long time.


“I wanted to write a story book and it was a ready-made story. I thought ‘that would be a perfect story for a children’s book’.


“When you see pictures of Bladud, they are always embedded in tomes of text, but this is supposed to be for children.”


Mrs Samson came to Bath to study at the Bath Academy of Art, in Corsham, and now works at the college as a member of the learning support team.


It took her two years to create The Story of Prince Bladud – a Tale of Bath.


At the start of the creative process she signed up to an illustration course at Bath College, led by artist Sholto Walker, and later she joined a Photoshop class.

Adobe Photoshop PDF


Learning Photoshop helped Mrs Samson to move her images around the page, to make sure her book had the best possible layout.


She said: “The illustration course was really good, I took on board everything he said, and it was also good being with people who had the same interests.


“Three of us got together in the evenings and odd days and kept it going – we started a little group to keep us motivated.


“The college was really useful. I used to work as a full-time teacher in a secondary school. I just decided I would cut my hours and make sure I had enough time to do my own work.


“I was burning the midnight oil, so working in the college has helped with that.


“Then I started providing support in media classes and for the first time I had to get to grips with Photoshop and InDesign. I went to an evening course to continue learning Photoshop.


“It’s a labour of love because you don’t know if it’s going to be successful. It’s in the early stages of marketing, but I have had a lot of positive feedback.”


Mrs Samson will be at Bath Central Library on Tuesday October 27 at 10.30am.


She is also holding a book signing at the Bath Christmas Market on Thursday December 3.



Art and Design


Saturday courses prove popular with students looking to try something new

Budding artists, bakers and beauticians got to grips with the basics of portraiture, bread making and body massages at Bath College last weekend.


There was a buzz in the air when people arrived to take part in a Saturday course, as part of the college’s part-time Love2learn programme.


Attendees chose from 11 different courses across the college departments, opting for lessons in finance, ceramics and the history of fashion design.


At the college’s Department of Hospitality, Hair, Beauty and Spa Industries, there were also body massage, holistic treatments and beauty courses on offer.


Ceramics is a popular course at the college and a new BBC2 show from the Great British Bake Off team– Britain’s Best Potter – is set to generate extra interest in the subject.


Art and design lecturer Julia Warin teaches ceramics and showed beginners how to handle clay, as well as some basic techniques.


She said: “They get the feel of the clay first – beginning by making some smaller things, but moving on to making bigger things, either functional or sculptural.


“Many are surprised at what can be achieved in a short time.


“Five of them had never done it before and I had one who is one of my of my regulars – she came because she wanted some extra time.


“Usually they just want to try it out and see what it’s like. Sometimes it’s in preparation to think about joining a longer course.


“Complete beginners always get tuition in the basic techniques when they first start and after a while they become more independent.


“At least two of the people who came will be signing up for a ten week course. It’s very addictive. My students, once they are hooked, they don’t want to stop.”


Bath College offers over 500 adult leisure courses as part of its part-time Love2learn programme, including courses in animal care, cookery, computing and creative writing.


As well as courses in the daytime and evening, the Love2learn programme provides a number of Saturday courses throughout the year.


Director of student services Karen Fraser said: “We are pleased to be able to extend our services and facilities to adult students for day courses such as these.


“It is well documented that learning something new helps to promote health and well-being and we are well placed to be able to provide such an opportunity for local people.


“Our Love2learn students develop new skills, creative or otherwise, and add to the rich diversity of the College’s learning community.


The next date for Saturday courses is Saturday December 5. Courses on this date include papermaking, aromatherapy, pattern cutting and print making.


There will be a number of festive courses available, from a floristry Christmas workshop to speciality bread and festive cake decoration.


BBC Introducing champions music created by former student Louis Sterling

A former student at Bath College has been tipped as a rising star by music experts at the BBC just months after finishing his course.

DJ Mary Anne Hobbs was impressed with music technology student Louis Sterling’s work after he submitted his tracks to the BBC Introducing team.

The 18-year-old’s music has been played on BBC Radio Music 6 and last Saturday he was given a 20 minute guest mix slot on BBC Introducing in the West.

BBC Introducing in the West supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar artists in the West of England by giving their music airtime.

Louis, an experimental electronic musician, was interviewed by presenter Richard Pitt, who was given a guided tour of the college’s music department.

Bath College has seen a number of music students and ex-students enjoy success, including singer-songwriters Gabrielle Aplin and Laura Doggett.

Louis, known as Auxx to music fans, was 16-years-old when he came to Bath College, where he spent two years learning from tutors and industry professionals.

He said: “The facilities here are fantastic. I’m glad I spent two years on this course because it definitely got me musically to a different place.

“I remember when I first started, on the production side of things I wasn’t as great, everything was quite basic, and then over time I started exploring different sounds.

“The teachers are people who have been in the industry. They really know what they were doing and that was definitely a different thing to get taught by those guys.

“While I was here I met a lot of musicians. For years I was by myself making beats – I was on a solo one-man mission – it’s incredible to meet people that are on the same wave length and musically interesting.”

Louis’ music grabbed the attention of the team at BBC Introducing, who listen to hundreds of songs submitted by aspiring musicians every week.

Presenter Richard Pitt said:  “We listen to absolutely everything, so you need something special to grab your attention.

“I thought it would be good to speak to Louis in his own environment, to see what inspired him.

“We just walked up the stairs when we first arrived and the staircases were full of students going to their next lesson and talking about software.

It’s not the be all and end all of it, but anywhere where people are making music, to have an inspiring environment helps – it’s the creative juices that flow.

“You can see why people come to music college here, it’s a fantastic place.”

Louis, who lives in Odd Down, is taking a gap year to concentrate on his music.

He said: “I will probably end up developing my music further, as well as submitting to other music labels. To end up getting picked, especially by BBC Introducing, was like ‘wow this might end up being a job’.

“When you’ve been making music for a certain amount of time you think ‘it would be awesome to do this more often’.”

Mark Smithers, learning co-ordinator for music technology, said: “We’re really proud to have impressive links with industry

“We have employed industry practitioners, who are practicing music producers, and this has allowed us to facilitate the development of students’ production portfolios – to the point where they are making music which is good enough to go on the radio.

“It goes to show that hard work and dedication can result in impressive things. Louis is tipped as a rising star at the BBC and I am sure we will see more from him very soon”.

Click here to listen to Louis on the radio.



Students to run community sports day at the Recreation Ground

First year students at Bath College are running a free community sports day at the Bath Recreation Ground next weekend.


The day will help students, who are studying for a Level 3 sports qualification at the college, complete their National Citizen Service.


Fifty students have volunteered to run sports skills and games sessions for children aged 7 to 14-years-old.


Families can have a go at dodgeball, rugby, netball and cricket from 10am to 1pm on Saturday October 24.


Students will be offering football, basketball, rounders and a mini Olympics session from 1.30pm to 4pm.


Teenagers aged 16 to 17-years-old need to complete 30 hours of volunteering to receive their National Citizen Service Award.


Careers and Employability Manager Louise Croft said: “We are hoping that it is going to be very popular at the start of the half-term holidays.


“The students are offering a range of turn up and play sessions for a variety of sports, as well as coaching skills sessions.


“If you have children aged seven to 14 this is an ideal event to come along to. It’s free and in a great location just behind the sports centre at Bath Recreation ground.”



Students pack hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes for Mercy in Action

Students and staff at Bath College have been hard at work packing hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes for children in the Philippines.


Over 200 shoeboxes have been packed at the college for the Bath-based charity Mercy in Action, who will ship the boxes abroad on Friday.


They will be added to 700 boxes put together by community groups across the city to help make Christmas special for children living in poverty.


Charity founders John and Allison Todd set up Mercy in Action in 1995 to offer food and education to vulnerable children living on the street.


They were moved to start the charity after a trip to the Philippines where they met five boys who were begging on the street and hadn’t eaten in days.


The boxes will be handed out to children living in the province of Cebu and for many it will be the only present they receive at Christmas time.


Each box contains a small toy or gift, as well as tins of meat and fish, toothpaste, soap, pens, paper and crayons.


Travel and tourism students at Bath College were keen to help after packing boxes at Mercy in Action’s warehouse on Lower Bristol Road last year.


Student engagement officer Scarlett Mosnier said they had been inspired to volunteer after hearing John and Allison’s story.


She said: “They met these little boys, they fed them and the next time they came along with a couple of their friends who also hadn’t eaten for a couple of days.


“It’s nice to be part of something that you know is going to help people – I’m really impressed with the travel and tourism students.


“This is the second year we have worked with Mercy in Action. Last year we packed boxes at their warehouse and this year we decided to pack in-house.


“Doing it in-house means that a lot more students and staff can get involved.”


Beth Hockley, from Mercy in Action, will be travelling out to Cebu to hand out the boxes at Christmas time.


She said: “It’s nice that the students can show some empathy and think about people the other side of the world- we need any help we can get.


“It will be a lot of the children’s only Christmas present and they will share whatever is in the box with their entire family.


“A lot of them have only the clothes they are wearing and nothing else, so this will be life changing for them. They will be really excited about their bar of soap and shower gel – they are luxury items.


“We have links with other NGOs so any boxes we don’t use for our own project will go to partners out there who don’t have the support we have.”


Visit www.mercyinaction.org.uk.


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