Students become Dementia Friends before going on work placements


Students at Bath College are supporting an initiative to make Bath and North East Somerset a dementia friendly place to live.

The college has signed up to support Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) and has produced an action plan with key pledges.

As part of this, Level 1 students studying health and social care and childcare have completed dementia friends sessions.

There are around 4,500 people living with dementia in Bath and North East Somerset, and this number is predicted to rise in the future.

During the sessions, students learnt what it’s like to live with dementia and how to speak to people affected by memory loss.

Sarah Williams Martin, Chair of BaNES Dementia Action Alliance, said: “Our aim is to make the whole of Bath and North East Somerset dementia friendly, so it’s really important that organisations like the college get involved.

“A lot of students will be going on to work in care homes, and it will help them to have an understanding of dementia before that.

“They’ve all been given a dementia friends badge and we’re encouraging them to tell people about what they’ve learnt.

“We’re also running sessions in schools for young people. The idea is that if you empower young people, they won’t be afraid of dementia and it removes any stigma.”

First year student Trinity Collins said: “I found it really interesting listening to Sarah, she’s a volunteer and she’s using her own time to help people. It’s something that I’d be interested in getting involved in, that’s why I asked about work placements.”

The DAA works with businesses and organisations across England to help them review their procedures and become dementia friendly.

It is working with Bath College as part of the Bath Care Academy, set up to make sure students are prepared for a career in the health and social care sector.

There are also plans for students to work with retailers on a slow shopping scheme, introducing a dementia-friendly environment in store.

Care Academy Coordinator Sally Wilson said: “We’re working with our Care Academy partners to provide training and work experience opportunities, helping students to find employment and to learn more about the broad range of roles and career pathways within the sector.

“Dementia is an important issue for the health and social care industry, and we have signed a dementia pledge for all of our students to complete the sessions this year.

“A lot of our students will be undertaking work experience with those experiencing dementia and this deepens their understanding and gives them a head start.”


Students learn on the job with apprenticeships at Bath Audi


Four students who studied at Bath College have taken the next step in their career and secured employment at Bath Audi.
First year apprentices Morgan East and Malique Hayward are working at the car dealership in Peasedown St John alongside second year apprentice Dan Church and trainee service technician Josh Cocks.
All four students began learning their trade by studying vehicle maintenance and repair at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.
Working at Bath Audi will take them to the next level as they specialise in carrying out services, MOTs and repairs for Audi owners.

Dan, 19, from Midsomer Norton, said: “I enjoy working on cars, I have always wanted to work with them, so this is perfect for me.
“You get paid to learn and you’re doing something you enjoy. I get on well with the guys in the team, there’s always someone in the workshop to show you what to do if you need help.”
Morgan, 17, said: “I worked in a local garage, which gave me a taster of what it’s like to work in the motor industry. After that I knew what I wanted to do and I’m hoping to make it a long-term career”.
All apprentices with Audi learn at the National Learning Centre, a state-of-the-art training facility in Milton Keynes. They also need to have a C grade at GCSE in English and maths.
Barry Russell, After Sales Manager at Bath Audi, works with Bath College, visiting to speak to students about apprenticeship programmes.
He said: “Every car that comes into us has a health check and if there’s additional work they’ll see to that as well.

“I’m impressed with these four. They get on with the job and they’re always willing to learn. They’re also local, and I like to employ local people.
“We like to grow our own and make sure they’re learning about our product. In college, students get a good grounding, but they’re working on a variety of cars and it’s not current technology.
“With Audi, the cars are so technical and the technology is moving fast, particularly when it comes to electric cars. Every month something new comes out.”
Glyn Mountjoy, Automotive and Engineering Learning Coordinator at Bath College, said: “Our aim is to get our students work ready. We want to prepare students for the ever-changing environment of automotive engineering, and see them progress to a position where they can become apprentices.
“At Bath Audi, Barry Russell has been very supportive giving our students the opportunity to experience high-end modern technology at Audi on work experience.
“He has also visited during employability week as a guest speaker, providing our students with an insight into what dealerships look for when recruiting. This gives our students a better chance of moving into the industry.”


Apprentice of the month: Arthur Parsons from S M Parsons Ltd


Arthur Parsons is a Level 2 stonemasonry apprentice at Bath College working with the family firm S M Parsons Ltd. The firm, run by Arthur’s dad Steve, specialises in stone restoration projects and stone cleaning. Stonemasonry runs in the family, as Arthur’s brother also works for the company and used to study at Bath College.
Can you tell us why you signed up for an apprenticeship?
My dad encouraged me to start a career in stonemasonry. I spent a couple days out of school with him and really enjoyed the work, so I decided to enrol at college. I went straight into an apprenticeship from school, I was 16 at the time. I was one of the only ones at school going off to do an apprenticeship, but it’s something that I would recommend. It’s enjoyable and if you have an interest in something, you should follow that.

What do you do in your job as a stonemasonry apprentice?
I work with my dad, my brother and one other person. There’s four of us and we all get on well. We’re based in Bristol and we do a lot of restoration work on old houses. We can be working on the interior or the front of the house taking off the paint and cleaning so that we reach the old stone behind. I like doing the cleaning jobs because it’s interesting to see what’s underneath and what it looks like afterwards. Sometimes it’s quite a surprise.
What do you enjoy about working and what does a typical day look like?
I study two days at college and work three days a week. I’m on the second year of my apprenticeship, so I’ll be qualified by the end of the year, but you can continue onto another qualification. The type of work depends on the type of job; at the moment we’re fitting a fireplace. We cut the stones in the workshop and then fit it together onsite. I enjoy the practical side of things, working on a specific job and being able to get on with it.

Bath College’s new Somer Construction Centre
How are you finding your time at Bath College and what are you learning?
In my first year at college, I started with learning how to make a rough block smooth. We also learnt how to create a chamfer, an ashlar stop and how to work on different types of stone. It’s useful to learn the theory in college because it backs up what you’re learning on the job. I get on well with the people in college, they’re a nice team and I’ve enjoyed moving into the Somer Construction Centre. The facilities are better and we’ve got more room to work in.
Do you think your apprenticeship has helped you in your career?
I feel as though I’ve grown in confidence. I’ve started to know what I need to complete a job and what time I can do it by. It’s good to see that’s I’ve improved. I want to continue working with my dad long-term or maybe running my own business. My dad has said I’m doing well and he’s happy with what I’m learning here.


Pygmy goats win prizes at Frome Agricultural & Cheese Show


Bath College’s pygmy goats did well at their first competitive showing, winning five rosettes at the Frome Agricultural & Cheese Show.
Smokey, Bubbles, Twix and Galaxy are firm favourites with staff and students in the animal care department at the college’s Somer Valley Campus.
The show, which attracts hundreds of people each year, was their first outing and was a chance for staff to meet other breeders and owners.

Level 2 and Level 3 animal care students worked hard to bath and groom the pygmy goats, to get them looking their best for the show.
All four goats scrubbed up well, with three-year-old goats Smokey and Bubbles winning 1st and 4th in their age categories. Smokey also won 4th in the overall pedigree female category.
Animal care staff Katie Parfitt and Gemma Hancock supervised the showing and won 1st and 2nd in the novice handler competition.
Katie said: “They had a lovely day, they met a lot of other goats which they seemed to enjoy because they’re sociable animals.
“It’s quite competitive. The judge checks their mouth, teeth and feet, to check they’re in good condition, and then looks at them in profile to judge their size according to breed specifications.
“I enjoyed talking to like-minded people about their animals. We’re thinking about breeding our goats next year, and we met a lot of people who were able to give us help and advice.”

Bath College offers a wide range of animal care courses, from foundation learning to Level 3, alongside veterinary nursing diplomas.
As well as the pygmy goats, the college is home to a large number of reptiles, birds and popular pets, including rabbits, hamsters and chickens.
All animal care courses have practical duties, so that students spend time looking after and learning how to care for different species.
Jayne Withers, Head of Hospitality, Spa Industry & Landbased, said: “We are so proud of the results for our first showing, which is all down to the students and staff looking after the show preparation and continuous welfare of Smokey, Bubbles, Twix and Galaxy.”


Access to Higher Education programme leads to a new career as a physiotherapist


Studying at Bath College helped former student Vicky Baldy succeed at university and secure a job as a full-time physiotherapist.
Vicky has just finished studying at the University of the West of England and has a job working at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.
The 31-year-old achieved her university place after enrolling on Bath College’s Access to Higher Education programme in 2013.

Read about this year’s Access to Higher Education Awards Ceremony. 
Students on the programme leave with a nationally recognised qualification allowing them to progress and study at degree level.
Vicky, who studied the Access to Higher Education programme full-time, gained a 2.1 degree and was also chosen by the university to receive The Mullany Prize for Excellence.
The £250 prize recognised her work as a student representative for her year group and co-founder of the Physiotherapy Society.
Vicky said: “Clinical placements were a key component of my course. They allowed me to apply my knowledge and practical skills on real-life patients, helping my confidence to grow as a therapist.
“Being a student rep offered me lots of opportunities, such as talking to 100 students at a careers day about university life and how to succeed.
“I was the co-founder of the Physiotherapy Society, and for my final year I was voted to be the President. I set up a student physiotherapy clothing brand, which turned out to be a big hit with the students.
“I also organised two summer balls and a graduation ball, and was awarded the ‘Innovation in Representation Award’ at the Students’ Union Awards.

“I found the teaching and skills I gained at Bath College made the transition to university a lot smoother. The support and guidance I received encouraged me to pursue my dream career.”
Vicky was also the Roper Prize winner at Bath College’s Access to Higher Education awards ceremony four years ago.
Carolyn Guy, who teaches Access to Higher Education at Bath College, said: “Vicky was an outstanding student who remained completely focused throughout the Access to Higher Education course.
“The course enabled her to achieve her ambition to become a physiotherapist and she took every opportunity to excel.
“While a student here, she was awarded the Roper Prize for overall excellence and we’re delighted that she has now found employment as a hospital physiotherapist. She’ll be a real asset to the profession.”


Snap and Stroll group: Photographers share images at new exhibition


Snap and Stroll students will share images reflecting the way they see their local community at a new exhibition opening in Bath this month.

Led by Sally Collister, from In the Picture Participatory Photography CIC, the course is organised by the Adult Community Learning team at Bath College and is suported by Creativity Works.

It was created to benefit a wide range of people, including those who are in recovery from or experiencing mental health challenges.

By Irene Burchell

Students spend eight weeks exploring their town, learning how to take photographs and making a new group of friends in the process.

The new exhibition will combine photographs taken by two groups, based in Bath and Radstock, and will open at the Guildhall on August 22nd.

Students are busy choosing the final images for the exhibition and discussing how they will be displayed with university student Katie Constantine.

By Kazvan

Irene Edgell, from the Radstock area, is taking part in the course for the second time and was part of a group trip to Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park.

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.


Bath Theatre Academy: Exciting new partnership between Bath College and the Theatre Royal


Bath College is pleased to announce an exciting and ambitious new partnership with the Theatre Royal Bath.

The newly-formed Bath Theatre Academy will offer students studying on the college’s full-time Level 3 UAL performing and production arts course a unique curriculum.

It will combine a practical introductory theatre programme with real-life industry experience to give students the best start in a competitive industry.

Photo by Philip Vile

The performing and production arts course will be delivered at both the theatre and the college, and is aimed at students aged 16 and over.

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. 



Students offered full-time jobs at five-star luxury hotel and spa


Two college students, Diana Pommills and Evie Mason, have secured full-time jobs at a five-star luxury hotel and spa in the centre of Bath.

Diana and Evie, who studied at Bath College for two years, are working as spa therapists at The Gainsborough Bath Spa, owned by YTL Hotels.

The Malaysian-based company owns and manages a prestigious collection of award-wining hotels and resorts across the world.

As new employees, Diana and Evie have a bright future ahead, with the chance to learn a range of different treatments from spa manager Kabir Aliri.

Diana with spa manager Kabir 

Evie, 18, chose to study Level 2 complementary therapy at Bath College after finishing her GCSEs and continued to a Level 3 qualification.

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.

Tutor Diana Rowe with former student Oscar Marcus who started work at The Gainsborough last year

“The fact that they had the opportunity to visit The Gainsborough, hear talks and speak to staff gave them the confidence to apply for the jobs.

“Employers are looking for well-rounded therapists and that’s something we work really hard to develop. In September we will have more numbers on the spa therapy course than ever before.

“The industry is booming and Bath is known for high-end hotels. There are some amazing career opportunities and fantastic progression routes into management.”

Click here to find out about studying complementary therapy and spa therapy at Bath College. 


Choosing a degree level course: What are the benefits of studying at a further education college?


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.


Hats off to higher education students graduating from Bath College

Higher education graduates at Bath College celebrated their achievements in style after years of hard work spent studying.
More than 80 students dressed in caps and gowns gathered at Bath Abbey for a formal graduation ceremony, followed by a reception back at the college.
They have all completed courses at Level 4 or higher in a wide range of subjects, from accounting and construction to computing and music production.

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.
In September, he will begin a year studying at the University of the West of England (UWE) in order to achieve a full honours degree.

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.”


Apprentice of the month: Daniel Marriott from GEM Solution


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 impress during three-week training programme in Spain


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.”


Somer Construction Centre: Student works onsite managing subcontractor packages


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.”


Celebrating 125 years: The history behind Bath College and why it opened


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.


Project SEARCH interns ready for work after completing year-long employability programme


Project SEARCH interns have a bright future ahead of them after completing an intensive job coaching programme preparing them for employment.
The programme, run in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bath College and Virgin Care, is a year-long employability programme for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
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.”


English student to take part in first boxing match for Cancer Research UK


Students from Bath College will be cheering on boxer Georgina Stone, who is taking part in her first fight at the Bath Pavilion this month.

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.”


Georgina, who is studying for an English GCSE with the Adult Community Learning team at Bath College, will be taking her exams next year.

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.”

To sponsor Georgina click here and to book tickets for the fight click here.


Engineering students receive certificates for progress and achievement


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.”



A-level and GCSE results day 2017: What you need to know before you collect your marks


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.

For careers advice at Bath College, contact the Futures team. 

Advice for students collecting A-level results

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! 


LILS students brighten up the gardens at Stratton House Care Home


A new gardening project, involving students at Bath College, is making a difference to the lives of residents at Stratton House Care Home.

The group of students have been working on the gardens at the care home since April, helping to clear patches of brambles, weeding and litter picking, as well as sanding and painting benches.

They are all part of the college’s Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) programme, which focuses on developing life and work skills through practical classes and community work experience.


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.”


IT student designs new website for Keynsham & District Talking Newspaper


A new website has been created by a student at Bath College for local charity Keynsham & District Talking Newspaper.
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.”
Students at Bath College have been offering to build websites for clients, helping them to test the skills they learn in the classroom and gain experience.
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 put five programme languages into it, including PHP and JavaScript, and I had to think about site security, so that members could login with their own code.
“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.”

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