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News

Applying to Bath College for 2020? What to expect and what we are doing FAQ’s

 

Updated 14th May 2020 12.26pm

 

Given the current situation with COVID-19 nationally, we are conducting our interview and applications process slightly differently this year to ensure that you are fully supported and clear of what is expected of you. We have compiled a list of FAQ’s you might have about applications, and will be adding to it as more questions come in so please check back here if you have any questions.

 

If you have a question that’s not detailed on here, or want some general information please contact admissions by emailing AdmissionsFT@bathcollege.ac.uk
 
Following new Government guidance, we are currently evaluating next steps for re-opening the College. Our planning is underpinned by the principle that the safety of our students and staff is paramount and we will ensure all health, safety and security measures are in place, following all official guidance before returning.
 

If you are a full-time applicant with a place at College for 2020/21, please be assured that you will still be able to start your student life in September and we will be in touch very soon to explain what that will look like.

 

If you are a returning student, we will also advise you very soon about the next steps.
 
If you are an apprentice or adult learner, we will be in touch to advise you about employers and individual courses over the next few weeks.
 

Whatever the next few months brings, we are here to support you. If you have any concerns please email closure@bathcollege.ac.uk
 
The College has now reverted to online teaching and remote learning due to the Covid 19 outbreak and our staff and indeed students are working incredibly hard to support one another complete their qualifications. We are seeing some amazing results. Our team is also working hard to support new applicants.

We understand that now is a challenging and unsettling time for students. We are monitoring the national situation and government guidance very closely. Rest assured, this page will be updated regularly in line with any changes of policy or guidance.

 


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

If I apply what will happen to my application next?

Great news, we can’t wait to hear from you. We know there is a little uncertainty about exams at the moment so we want to make your transition to Bath College as simple as possible. Therefore if your current predicted grades meet the entry criteria for the course you are applying for, you will be guaranteed a conditional offer at our college. As part of the condition there are a couple of courses (Music and Performing Arts) which will expect you to complete an online task of two, but you will be advised of that in your offer. Welcome on board.

 

I have a conditional offer already and it is based on achieving certain GCSE results. What happens now?

Your original conditions for your course would have been based on you achieving certain grades in your exams. Given the uncertainty around exams currently, we are writing to each of you individually to let you know that we will use your predicted grades now instead. Welcome on board. Your offer with us is safe and we don’t want you to worry. Make sure you accept your place so we can get excited about meeting you again.

 

With GCSE and A Level exams being cancelled, how will grades be calculated?

Following the cancellation of examinations for GCSE and A levels during the national Covid 19 epidemic, we have been awaiting advice as to how awarding bodies would enable grades to be calculated for learners. In the case of A levels and GCSE’s for the following awarding bodies AQA, OCR, Pearson, WJEC Eduqas, ASDAN and City & Guilds the advice is as follows;

 

Teachers will be asked to make a fair judgement of what they believe their students would have achieved should they have undertaken the exam. To form this judgement, they will be asked to take into account all ways in which their students will have demonstrated their learning and will be also use understanding of their student’s knowledge obtained through homework tasks, class performance, coursework and mock exams. Schools and colleges are awaiting further advice on how these grades should be allocated to ensure parity and fairness. For students working on functional skills, technical and vocational programmes, we are awaiting further clarification by the relevant awarding bodies on how grades will be allocated.

 

Please click HERE for current guidance provided by ofqual for further information.

 

Do you know when college will return to normal?

The answer is no, not at the moment. The national situation is very fluid. However, we are monitoring the government guidance very closely and will provide any updates as soon as we know of any.

 

Are you still accepting applications for September 2020?

Yes, we are still welcoming applications on all of our courses and you will be offered a conditional place at college based on your predicted grades.

 

Will the September 2020 intake be postponed?

Bath College is closely monitoring the situation and students will be updated if the Government proposes to enact any decisions that could affect start dates. This is a complex and evolving situation so please bear with us.

 

Will the college be asking learners and staff to work remotely next academic year?

The College has now moved to online and remote learning teaching for the rest of the academic year. There is no update currently as to whether this will be required in September 2020.

 

Is it worth me applying late with many things being on hold around the country?

We are actively accepting applications now and we encourage you to make an application. You will receive a prompt response and offer based on your predicted grades. Making an application now will be a really positive move for your future.

 

How will students be assessed for their final grades?

We are awaiting final guidance from OFQUAL and the awarding bodies about the agreed process and will provide updates and soon as we receive them.

 
 

News

Riley Phillips – Bath College Case Study – IT

 

Riley is one of our hard working BTEC IT students, who is also currently working part time at an IT company called SoVisionIT, Riley is really enjoying his course, and his part time job is helping him get valuable work experience in aspects of cyber security, the sector he would like to go into after he completes his BTEC.

 

We had a chat with Riley to find out what it’s like to be an IT student at Bath College, and what he does in his part time job.

 

What course do you study at Bath College?

I study Information Technology BTEC Level 3

 

What part of your course do you enjoy the most?

The most enjoyable aspect of the course would be the Web development with Steven Harries. I enjoy coding, and Steve’s class is all about that. My future goal in IT is to become a member of a cyber security firm. HTML is a great starting point, to find an error which could lead to the development of my problem finding skills.

 

What have you done on your course that you think has been valuable?

I feel like the most valuable part of my course is the multi-subject part, being able to experience nearly all fields in the IT industry and being able to communicate with others who have the same interest of IT as I do.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

I applied for Bath College to expand my knowledge in IT and achieve qualifications that can be shown on my CV and help me later in life.

 

What are you doing now/what would you like to do in the future?

I am currently working on software testing. This allows for me to gather experience finding errors and bugs within programs that will need to be always stable. This is similar to work they do in cyber security which is the IT field I would like to go in, in the future.

 

Can you describe a typical day on your job?

I test websites that are used to control tracking systems, web applications etc, clicking each button making sure that it does what it was programmed to do. I work with the development team, they make/fix software designed mainly for websites from clients. They finalise it, pass it on to me and I try my best to break the system. Discovering errors which then can be fixed, preventing future errors.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking at enrolling on a BTEC IT Course?

The best piece of advice I would give to students is to just go for it. IT may look difficult to some people, or that they can’t understand anything, but however this course is what eliminates those thoughts. If you’re interested in the subject and want to study more, don’t hesitate and just go for it!

 

If you’re interested in enrolling on our BTEC IT course, you can find it by clicking here. You can find our full IT Course list by clicking here.

 

If you’re interested in IT Leisure Courses, we do evening courses in HTML and CSS.

 

News

Coronavirus Advice for Places of Education

Updated 17th March 6.40pm
 
 
While we have no confirmed cases of Coronavirus, the College has taken the difficult decision to suspend face-to-face teaching for the rest of this week, starting on Wednesday 18th March. We will be closely monitoring the national and local situation over the next few days and will evaluate our position before the end of Friday 20th March. We expect students to be back at College in the week commencing Monday 23rd March unless we inform you otherwise.

 

If you have a vital examination in the next few days, we will be in touch via email to give you more details. All students and parents have been emailed. If you have any queries please contact the College on closure@bathcollege.ac.uk.
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal & Chief Executive

 

 
This guidance will be reviewed daily by 4pm until further notice.
 
If you are a parent of a Bath College student and have not received updates from the College on the Coronavirus situation, please contact Jordan Wilkins on Jordan.Wilkins@bathcollege.ac.uk stating your son/daughter’s name, date of birth and the email address you would like the updates to come to.

 
 

 

Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline

 

A helpline has been set up to answer questions about COVID-19. Staff, Parents and Young People can contact the helpline as follows:

 

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

 

Where to find the latest information

 

You can find regular updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) HERE

 

You can find the Government Advice for Educational setting HERE

 

 

News

Project SEARCH Interns secure jobs in Bath

 

Young people with learning difficulties or disabilities, who want to increase their employability skills and find paid work, can apply for our Project SEARCH internship programme. Each year Bath & North East Somerset Council provides internships from September through to June in professional work environments. The interns learn transferrable skills working in three different departments for ten weeks. This year, our interns have worked in places such as B&NES Offices, Better Leisure Centre, The Roman Baths, Charlton House Care Home as well as many other places.

 

During their time on the course the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care.  The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.

 

Two of this years cohort of Project SEARCH Interns have secured jobs and had a tea party to celebrate. Jake will be working as a Porter at The Roman Baths, a job he did on his first rotation of his internship. Jake is really excited to be starting his new job;

 

“The Roman Baths was my favourite job, and I’m really looking forward to starting at The Roman Baths!”

 

Jake’s Grandparents attended the tea party to celebrate and they were absolutely thrilled that he had secured his favourite job, they said:

 

“This time last year Jake was a very nervous boy, but Project SEARCH has really helped with his confidence. It’s wonderful to see him being social and happy”

 

Jake on the Job at Better Leisure Centre

 

Matthew, another Project SEARCH Intern has secured a job working as a Porter up at The University of Bath, and says he is ‘excited to do something new’. Matthew’s favourite rotation was working at The B&NES Offices, as he enjoyed being trained on how to use the computer for work.

 

Matthew (left) & Jake (right)

Matthew (left) & Jake (right)

 

Councillor Dine Romero, Council Leader said:

 

“This is the 12th year we’ve run Project SEARCH and over that time it’s proved hugely successful with our graduates finding community-based employment through the programme. It really is a fantastic way to experience the world of work while developing employability skills.  At a time when the average employment rate in the UK  for adults with a learning difficulty or disability has dropped to just six per cent, its essential we provide opportunities like this to help more young people find sustainable employment.”

 

Project Search is open to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities who are aged 18-25, and applications for next academic year are now open. If you know someone who would like to apply for a placement please click here to go to the Project SEARCH Application page.

 

Following successful completion of the nine-month internship graduates are presented with certificates at a special ceremony in front of an audience of family members, programme partners, local businesses and council staff.

 

News

Up and coming local talent competes in Chef v Chef 2020

 

Bath College hosted their annual Chef v Chef competition on 25th February. Six current local chefs, as well as groups of aspiring students competed in a variety of competitions; the Chefs vying for the Chef Champion title, and the students for best team, best knife skills and best Front of House service.

 

The morning focussed on the student competitions, students arrived and grouped into their teams. They then had 30 minutes to plan their two course dinner, including deciding what wines would pair with their food, and who would be in the kitchen and who would lead on the service. Each group had to produce a paupiette of plaice served with a suitable sauce and potato garnish of their choice, as well as a chocolate tart with appropriate accompaniment for dessert. The student selected to lead on service then took part in the Front of House challenge, demonstrating a napkin fold, cocktail and role play scenarios to the judges; Sylwia Ooger from Lympstone Manor and Stuart Shepherd, retired Front of House Manager. Once the students had completed their dishes, they presented one plate to the judges, for tasting and assessing, and served the other plates inside Bath College’s mock restaurant, where they were once again assessed on their customer interaction, their wine suggestions and how they had laid their tables.

 

 

Whilst this was happening, over in the other kitchen, more students were competing in a knife skills challenge. They had just 30 minutes to prepare 6 different vegetables, and cut them in 6 different classic styles (macedoine, paysanne, brunoise, julienne and chiffonade), and were marked from everything from their hygiene to the accuracy of their cuts.

 

 

The second half of the day was the Professional Challenge, 7 chefs from across the local area were shortlisted to compete; Andrew Jenkinson from Lucknam Park, Christian Orner from Salt Co, Dean Toon from Blunsdon Hotel, Jethro Lawrence from Woolley Grange, Henry Scott from Henry’s Restaurant, Frazer Carroll from No. 15 Great Pulteney Street and Jason Ramplin. Each professional had two and a half hours to compile a main course using game meat, and a dessert using Solkiki Chocolate, Williams Pear and Hazelnuts. Bath College students volunteered to act as Commis chefs for each professional during the challenge, to assist them with cooking but also to learn from the Professionals as they cooked. As with the student challenge, the Chefs needed to produce two plates; one for judging and one for presentation. The dishes looked fantastic, and were on display during the awards reception.

 

 

The judges really had their work cut out for them, and spent a while in the kitchen deliberating over who deserved the title. Once they had decided they joined the drinks reception ready for the awards presentation. Delicious canapés had been prepared by the students, and were being served with an assortment of drinks. The first award announced was the Knife Skills Challenge, which was taken by Joseph Rowe; next was the Front of House Challenge which was taken by Daniel Shermilt. The Team Challenge was won by Team Marcus Wareing, consisting of Lucy, Emily and Eryn. Finally, the Chef v Chef Champion was due to be announced, and Dean Toon from Woolley Grange was announced as the 2020 Chef V Chef Champion. Each competition took a long time to judge as each entry was so close, Scott Lucas from The Crafty Chef, and one of the judges commented:

 

“Sometimes you can pick a winner just by their dish, but today it was element by element, it was that close”

 

 

We want to say thank you to all our esteemed judges for taking time out of their day to judge the dishes:

 

 

We also want to congratulate all our winners:

 

Chef V Chef Champion

1st Place – Dean Toon
2nd Place – Frazer Carroll
3rd Place – Henry Scott

 

Team Challenge

1st Place – Team Marcus Wareing (Lucy, Emily and Eryn)
2nd Place – Team Angela Hartnett (Millie, Vicky and Ciara)
3rd Place – Team Paul Bocuse (Ollie, Dan and Sophie)

 

Front of House Challenge

1st Place – Daniel Shermilt
2nd Place – Destiny Smith
3rd Place – Emily Hunt

 

Knife Skills Challenge

1st Place – Joseph Rowe
2nd Place – Jack Goult
3rd Place – Rebekah Paisley

 

News

East Met West at The Mint Room in Bath

 

The Mint Room Bath was the venue for the latest Chefs’ Forum event which saw a celebration of Indian gastronomy led by Executive Chef Soyful Alom.  The first impression of Soyful’s food was of vibrancy and culinary excellence as he showcased his menu, perfected over the last seven years of heading-up the kitchen in the popular Bath eaterie.

 

Ever since its launch in 2012, The Mint Room Bath has been a much-talked-about foodie destination as Soyful offers diners elegant and vibrant plates, showcasing the very best in local produce. The restaurant is very stylish and the food very modern and the team now boast four sites, including the newly opened Bandook in Bath’s city centre on the former Carluccio’s site.

 

 

Soyful invited students from Bath College and Gloucestershire College into his kitchen to prepare Indian canapés for some fifty industry professionals that were to fill this fashionable venue at midday.

 

Soyful said:

 

“It was a pleasure to have the students in my kitchen today.  I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.  I have offered trial shifts and a free dinner to three outstanding students from Bath College today, that shows how impressed I was with these and all students who participated in today’s event, the second that we have hosted for The Chefs’ Forum”

 

 

Soyful, inspired by his mother’s cooking has been cooking for over 20 years.  He relished the chance to pass over skills he learnt to the next generation.

 

Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer at Gloucestershire College said

 

“It has been really inspirational for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour.  It was also a great chance for them to get to know their peers from Bath College – They all got on very well indeed.  We welcome chefs like Soyful into our teaching kitchens with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, that we implemented in the college in 2016.  The curriculum enrichment programme really forges links with employers, opens up opportunities and makes our students more work-ready on leaving college”

 

Alex Byrne from Walter Rose gave a fantastic beef butchery masterclass, showcasing the finest cuts of Stokes Marsh Farm steak. Soyful then cooked-up the steaks so the chefs were able to sample the finest quality Wiltshire beef, many of whom were already customers of Walter Rose, award-winning catering butcher.

 

 

Another highlight of the day was the Welsh Fine Food Cluster leading a fascinating and insightful Welsh food sampling session. Ffion Jones and Dafydd Jones gave a very interesting talk and tasting of Welsh cheeses, condiments and sauces.

 

 

The visiting chefs and students relished the chance to have a glimpse of complex Indian cooking techniques, handed down from generation to generation.  Soyful performed an excellent cookery demo of seabass moilee, one of the most popular dishes on his menu, usually made with mixed seafood as sampled in extra portions that came from the kitchen for the chefs to enjoy.

 

Bath College student Daniel Shemilt very much enjoyed his Indian cookery experience, he said

 

“Working at The Mint Room today under Soyful and his team has been different and very inspirational.  It was great to learn how to make samosas by hand and I’m delighted to have won a meal and trial shift here on the back of it.”

 

Eryn Beales (front of house) and Ellis Ali (kitchen), both of Bath College have also been awarded dinner at The Mint Room and a trial shift with a view to a part time job if successful, for being nominated as Soyful’s ‘Stars of the Day’ – A great result all round.

 

The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath & Cotswolds area and forty chef events per year nationally.  Any chefs wishing to get involved should contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com

 

Photo credit: www.jcampbellphotography.co.uk

 

Josh Chambers – Commis Chef Apprentice

Apprenticeships, News, Student Spotlight

Apprenticeship Case Study – Josh Chambers – Commis Chef Apprentice

It’s National Apprenticeship Week this week, and we want to celebrate one of our Apprentices, Josh. Josh is on a Commis Chef Apprenticeship at Graze in Bath, where he learns his trade alongside other experienced Chefs in a busy restaurant kitchen. We visited Josh on site to ask about how he was finding his Apprenticeship, and see what he got up to on a typical day.

 

What apprenticeship are you studying at Bath College?

I am studying on the Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship.

 

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your apprenticeship?

I like bringing what I learn from College to my job at Graze and what I learn on the job to my College studies, it’s interesting to adapt between the two environments.

 

What have you done on your apprenticeship you feel is most valuable?

I think what’s been really valuable is being given the same work and responsibilities as my other colleagues. They don’t treat me differently because I’m an apprentice, so I get real job experience.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

Bath College has both extensive kitchen facilities for learning in, but is also conveniently local.

 

What do you want to do after your apprenticeship?

After my apprenticeship is finished I want to keep progressing forward in my career. I want to keep learning so I can keep myself motivated and focused on securing a secure job in the hospitality industry.

 

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to do an Apprenticeship with Bath College?

Go for it! It gives you the opportunity to learn on the job and actually experience the working environment and all that comes with it. You can put what you learn in College straight into practice in a real environment.

 

 
For more information about apprenticeships at Bath College, click here.
 
 

News

Bath College Care Academy hosts yet another successful Learn a Skill Day

 

On Thursday January 16th the Bath College Care Academy Learn a Skill Day took place at the City Centre Campus.

 

This has become an annual event at the Academy and this year’s event was bigger than ever. The aim of the day is for students to work with practitioners, as well as people they support, to participate in practical workshops to learn a new skill for the health and social care sector; and thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of the practitioners and services involved, there was such a broad a range of opportunities on offer during the day.

 

 

Workshops were facilitated on Occupational Therapy, Care and Support Work, Youth Offending Team Support work, Physiotherapy, Mental Health Nursing and Psychosis awareness, Midwifery Skills, supporting Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Radiography, Orthoptics, Understanding some experiences of young LGBT+ people and social work.

 

Practitioners who took part were from Designability, The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Way Ahead Care, Wiltshire Council, B&NES Early Intervention in Psychosis service, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Butterfly Care, Off the Record (BANES), Dimensions, Wiltshire Health and Care, Relax Kids, Banes Youth Offending Team and Winchester University.

 

As well as discussions, the activities they took part in included: experiencing some Physiotherapy exercises, finding out what it is like to be moved in a hoist, looking through prisms, trying out relaxation exercises and experiencing dementia through a virtual reality headset.
As always it proved to be a fantastic way to encourage learners to consider career areas they may not have thought about otherwise, to explore a range of knowledge and skills and to see how these skills are so transferable within the sector.
The learners and staff enjoyed hands on, experiential activities and working with practitioners, and those they support, to discover more about the sector as well as the skills and knowledge needed for the range of roles within it.

 

 

As well as facilitating workshops, Practitioners had the opportunity to attend other workshops.

One of the visiting Practitioners said:

“I really enjoyed working with your students, and learning alongside them. They were very accepting of having an unknown adult in their midst. The workshops I attended were really informative, and the students appeared very engaged.”

 

Some learners have secured work experience placements and others have already starting researching next steps for new career paths they would not have even considered before.
Some of the learner’s comments are listed below.

 

“Everybody was very friendly and informative as well as letting me know about how to become what they are!”

“This really helps me to look further into different careers and what I would like to do!”

“I liked learning things that I didn’t know before, such as how people can benefit from help from us”

“The employers were very good at explaining what kind of obstacles comes in with their jobs”

 

Staff also had an amazing day and have talked about how much this has helped them to broaden their understanding of the sector and enhance their teaching. Thank you again to all involved.

 

News

Eleanor Penning – Case Study – Early Years

 

It’s our second week back of 2020, and whilst we already have lots going on in the College, we thought we’d kick off the new decade with a Case Study.

 

Eleanor studied on one of our Early Years courses, and is now studying at Norland College, alongside agency work for experience and a job at Waitrose.

 

Norland are a renowned institute for Early Years Education, having moved to Bath in 2003. You may have spotted them around in their tell-tale uniforms!

 

 

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

Children’s Play, Learning and Development Level 3

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your course?

Whilst doing the course I think the most enjoyable aspect was placement as it allowed me to put my knowledge and learning into real life situations, increase my communication skills, meet new people and show good practice.

 

What have you done on your course that you feel is most valuable?

 During my time at college I had many opportunities to take part in charity events. One occasion was when we raised money for Children in Need which involved us coming up with ideas, planning the event, working as a team and being enthusiastic.

 

What made you apply to Bath College in the first place?

I knew I wanted to do an Early Years course therefore when I attend a jobs fair I focused on related courses, I then went to an open evening where I felt very welcomed. I also applied to Bath College because of the great support available, the friendly environment and the opportunities they give you.

 

What have you been doing since you left Bath College?

Since I left Bath College, I carried on working in a nursery that I started half way through college. I then started Norland College in September alongside an agency job called Eyears. I left my weekend job at Primark and I am now employed at Waitrose.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to study Early Years?

To work or study a child base course you have to be enthusiastic, passionate and interested in the topic. It is a hard/full-on course therefore you need to be organised and prepared. The opportunities you receive from the course is phenomenal e.g jobs, trips, practice and experience.

 

Eleanor kindly came in to talk to our current Early Years students about progression routes after College and her own progression into Norland College. It was really inspiring for our students to see the success that our past students have had, and we hope it helps spark excitement for their future and career.

 

News

Bath College Business Entrepreneurs enjoy sale success at The 2019 Bath Christmas Market

 

 

Two teams from our BTEC Level 3 Business course have spent the last three months creating their own businesses in the lead up to The Bath Christmas Market. Each team had a Managing Director, came up with a team name and product ideas, and then a business and financial plan for how their business would run.

 

During the months leading up to the Christmas Market they have been working hard behind the scenes, alongside lectures and project work, coming up with posters, and sourcing materials to make their products. Once they had completed their Business Plans they went head to head for the first time, competing for a £50 investment from Metro Bank. This £50 would be a baseline cost to buy materials for their products and print posters and flyers. The pitch to Metro Bank was styled like Dragons Den, with the two teams outlining their business plans and financial forecasts to The Director and Manager of Metro Bank, Chris and Yani. Chris and Yani couldn’t pick a winner and so agreed to invest £50 in both teams.

 

The teams worked closely with local businesses and business leaders, in particular Taste of Bath and Minuteman Press. Helen from Taste of Bath, who had held a stall at The Bath Christmas Market a few times, shared her knowledge of how to sell and grab people’s attention at The Christmas Market, as well as provide advice on their products and set up. She also introduced them to Dave at Minuteman Press, who provided large posters free of charge to help their stall stand out. The team at Minuteman also helped with printing the teams hand drawn cards, and Helen from Taste of Bath visited the students at their stall, despite currently running one of her own, to motivate and give them some last minute pointers.

 

 

Helen said:
“It’s been wonderful to see the Bath College Business students grow in confidence over the months leading up to the Bath Christmas Market, and now all their hard work has paid off and they have had a successful two days of sales. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to help and offer advice on both their products and The Bath Christmas Market, well done Bath College Entrepreneurs!”

 

The two teams ran the Charity Chalet at The Christmas Market on Wednesday evening (residents night) and all day on Thursday. Team one named themselves ‘Eutur’ and ‘Giving Gifts’; Eutur sold beautifully scented and festively wrapped Reed Diffusers, and was made up of Fergus Blythe (Managing Director), Dala Hodgson, Emily Hayden, Will Davis, Will Dugan, Eleanor Higham and Alex Godrige. Giving Gifts were selling hand drawn Christmas Cards and an array of beautiful jewelleries, they were made up of Ben Betteridge (Managing Director), Freddie Coulson, Emily McCarthy, Mitch Hooper, Kirsten Harkness, Libby Cartwright and Jack Ewings.

 

 

Between the two teams they made a total of £697 over the two days, and each team will be donating 50% of their proceeds to a chosen charity. Eutur have chosen to donate 50% of their proceeds to Make a Wish, whilst Giving Gifts will donate 50% to The Childrens Hospice South West. It’s been a fantastic experience for the students, the Bath Christmas Market is well attended by residents and tourists alike, and they have had the opportunity to network and collaborate with local businesses. The students worked extremely hard, working through a drizzly first evening, and a very busy second day.

 

Kate Knights, Business Lecturer who has led on this project said:
“Our BTEC Level 3 Business Students have been working tirelessly for the last 3 months in preparation for this event, doing everything from bidding for investment to market research to manufacturing the products themselves. I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work they’ve put in and it’s been great to see them reap the benefits and be quite so popular at the market”

 

Team Giving Gifts Managing Director Ben commented:
“I’ve learned how competitive Market stalls are and the importance of good advertising”

 

This is just one of a number of fantastic opportunities available to our Business students, we have a range of Business courses suited to all levels, including Business Level 2 and the International Business Extended Diploma. Click the linked course names to find out more, or for a list of all our Business related courses please click here.

 

News

Bath College Apprentice wins gold at WorldSkills UK Competition 2019

 

The WorldSKills UK Live final, November 21-23, saw the SkillFRIDGE finalists go head to head to compete for the coveted gold medal.

 

The finals were held at the NEC in Birmingham and spanned several convention halls, where hundreds of apprentices from a wide range of industries came together to compete to be the best in their sector. The atmosphere was filled with the nerves and excitement of the young competitors, all focussed on their own specialities.

 

After competing in regional heats, seven RACHP apprentices made it to the WorldSkills Final. Whilst being scrutinised by the judges, the apprentice’s skills were assessed as they completed a total of four tasks.

 

Sidney Copus, Bath College Refrigeration and Airconditioning Apprentice, who won the national SkillFRIDGE trophy, was the front runner going into the WorldSkills Final. In addition to the 2019 apprentices, visitors also saw the return of SkillFRIDGE’s 2018 winner, Dominic Dray, as he competed for a place on Team UK.

 

 

Keith Nichols, ex-training manager from Airedale, returns to judge the SkillFRIDGE competition annually, he noted: “I enjoy doing this each year, it really feels like giving back.”

 

WorldSkills isn’t only about technical standards, but about finding people who are truly passionate about the industry, who exhibit other skills like motivation and determination, but finding someone who could go onto the international competitions too. But following the first task of the competition the apprentices were feeling the pressure.

 

David Dunn, sales managing director of Toshiba Carrier UK, said: “SkillFRIDGE is a superb initiative. It challenges and rewards young trainees to improve their skills and knowledge, and pursue excellence. We are delighted to once again be supporting the competition as headline sponsor, and look forward to the SkillFRIDGE 2020 events planned for next year.”

 

Toshiba Carrier, the headline sponsor of SkillFRIDGE, provided a range of equipment for this year’s competition, including Y-joints and headers for the piping test rigs and graphical recreations of Toshiba outdoor units. The company also supplied a number of controls rigs equipped with various interfaces, including its remote controllers and Touch Screen controller.

 

Another piece of equipment featured at the final was the JAVAC Nitrogen Regulator. It is suitable for testing systems which use R410A refrigerant gas and allows for 300 bar maximum inlet pressure and has a 0-50 bar outlet pressure range. It also includes a ‘T-bar’ handle designed to protect the gauges from impact should the gas bottle get knocked.

 

On Saturday, the final day of the competition, the apprentices came together to participate in a surprise Saturday feature led by Jacinta Caden.

 

The feature was based around the classic construction game, marble run, which kept the competitors engaged whilst showcasing their skills to the public without the stress of competing. The task enabled them to use almost all the skills they needed for the competition, as well as showing their ability to follow direction and work as part of a team.

 

With the theme of this year’s WorldSkills event being ‘Mental Strength’, it is important to draw attention to the benefits events like this can provide. Former SkillFRIDGE competitor, Chris Baillie, acted as a judge at this year’s competition, he noted: “This competition changed my life.”

 

He continued: “I used to suffer from quite bad anxiety, I even used to get sick before competing, but through this competition I was able to improve my confidence and communication skills, as well as my skills within the sector. I like being a judge now because I know what they are going through, I’ve been through it. Knowing what competing did for me, along with the support and help I received from the judges, is what really motivated me to keep participating. I like the idea that I can give that back to the younger generation.”

 

Following the two days of competition and Saturday’s feature task, the Gold medal was awarded to Sidney Copus, Bath College Apprentice with Space Engineering, certifying him as the SkillFRIDGE Champion of 2019. He commented:

“I’m feeling very happy about my win and extremely relieved. After coming top in the regionals, I felt quite a bit of pressure to get a win in the finals and the step up in difficulty was a bit of a surprise. The win’s given me a little confidence boost, but the biggest thing about it for me is all the support and messages I’ve got from my lecturers, colleagues and friends. Everyone has been really supportive the whole way through and I’m glad to be able to win it for Space and Bath College!”

 

Ben Wilson of Knights Engineers claimed Silver and Joshua Collins of JD Cooling came away with the Bronze.

 

In preparing for the competition and keeping cool under pressure, Silver medallist Ben commented that:

“I just made sure I was healthy and drinking enough water, concentrating on the task ahead. It was a challenging but great week; I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

 

He also noted his passion for the industry, saying: “I love that in that you come across new things every day and you never get bored. There’s always more to learn and you get as much out of it as you put in in.”

 

Mr Dunn added in response to the results of the competition: “On behalf of TCUK congratulations to all those who took part in this year’s competition. As the industry’s national event, it takes a high level of skill, determination and composure to make it through to the finals, and this year was no exception. My warmest congratulations to Sidney on becoming the UK’s SkillFRIDGE champion 2019. We wish you all success for your future career.”

 

With the current skills crisis occurring in the UK competitions and events like WorldSkills UK are more important than ever. Encouraging young people to pursue careers within engineering industries should be one of the top priorities for schools, as well as the government as the political environment changes.

 

News

Meet the Tutor – Gabrielle Malcolm (Creative Writing)

 

Gaby is one of our Love2Learn tutors, teaching Creative Writing (Love2Learn courses are Bath College’s extensive range of Leisure Courses). She’s recently had success with her book, ‘There’s something about Darcy’, which looks at the character of Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and is inspired by the ‘I *heart* Darcy’ badges sold in the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.

 

Gaby loves writing, and loves teaching writing during our evening leisure classes. We caught up with her at her book signing to ask about how she got into writing, what we can expect from her book, and what she has planned for her next classes. If you’re interested in a Creative Writing course then you can get a real insight into the lessons, and Gaby’s teaching methods here!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a writer with a background in teaching and lecturing. I have worked in a number of universities in different parts of the world before coming to live in the environs of Bath. I have a great passion for theatre and literature and have been able to make that my life’s work.

 

How did you get into writing?

Through my academic teaching and research career. Once you write a PhD thesis you can safely say ‘I’m a writer’! It was after I had my children that I started to find ways of making it more commercial for me and soon started on scripts and content for web-series and writing for children’s theatre.

 

What drew you to Jane Austen?

That was all thanks to my mother, right from an early age. We had books everywhere and she was a teacher and a children’s author. We would sit for hours talking about literature and my mother’s appreciation for Austen’s wit and humour really got me into her novels.

 

What was the inspiration for your book ‘There’s something about Darcy’?

I was stood at a bus-stop in the city, not long after moving here, about ten years ago. I saw a girl carrying an ‘I Heart Darcy’ tote bag and it amused me and made me curious. Why this character for all the marketing and merchandise that was coming out of the tourist sites? Apart from the obvious reasons that he is handsome and rich, of course! There is more to it, and that’s what I chose to explore. Plus, it’s immense fun reading Austen again and watching all the adaptations!

 

Can you give us any sneaky insights into the content of your book?

A couple… How Darcy is like a superhero, for example. And the connections between a hero like him and an anti-hero like Count Dracula. You also get to read some of the behind-the-scenes stories of the shooting of the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy (there, I’ve mentioned him now!).

 

Where can we pick up copies?

It’s available from 11th November, online and in bookshops, and from the publisher (Endeavour Quill) website. Plus, you can get a signed copy from the Jane Austen Centre bookstore online.

 

How did you get into teaching Creative Writing?

I came onto the Love2Learn programme to teach some leisure literature courses, about Austen and other writers, and as the demand for writing courses grew I stepped in to teach some of the groups and it’s grown from there.

 

How do you structure your Creative Writing courses?

I’m a nuts and bolts, bread and butter kind of writing tutor. I encourage creativity, but I also support potential writers into publication. I look at what’s right for you, what’s your style or preferred genre, and I help you to develop that and find a route into publication or further study. From Love2Learn I’ve had students successfully complete the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, get agents, and get published. So, it’s really up to you how far you want to take it. Be warned – it’s hard work!

 

What do you enjoy about teaching Creative Writing?

The students. The characters I get to meet! I have made some great friends over the years and seen them go from strength to strength. The recent winner of the Creative Writing Love2Learn prize, for example, Teresa Fowler. She is now a published poet. Her collection ‘Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes‘ is amazing – I highly recommend it! It’s rare for poets to get into print and she did it with her first collection! It’s published by BLKDog Books, London, and is available online. We’re a talented bunch on the L2L writing stream!

 

Why do you think Creative Writing and Literature are important?

It’s about communication, the human need for story-telling, and the way that we grow in the world and help to shape it. Literature can open doors, and it offers so much enjoyment and opportunity. There will always be the need for it, to expand our horizons. And, take it from me, print books will never disappear. They are as strong as ever, in tandem with digital tech. There are also more ways of getting published now than at any time in the history of the human race – so be part of it, I am!

 

When can we enrol on the next course?

Courses are open for January and the rest of 2020. I offer 10 weeks of Creative Writing, and also 5 weeks (intense!) courses on Writing for Children, Writing for Publication, and Writing for Theatre. And my wonderful talented colleague Dr Kate Mattacks teaches alongside me on the 10 week course as well as delivering her own course on Writing for Well-Being. This gives you the therapeutic angle on creativity and self-expression.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Persevere, and believe in what you want to do. Rejection is standard. Most of the time, most people, will not want to read what you write. It only takes ONE acceptance, one person saying ‘Yes’ for you to get an agent or a publisher, so keep going!

 

What’s in the works for you for the future?

I am planning more non-fiction, entertaining reads. And I’m working on a novel!

 

If you’re feeling inspired by Gaby you can enrol on one of her courses by clicking here, or you can see our whole range of Love2Learn Leisure courses by clicking here.

 

We wish Gaby the best of luck with her new book, and we’re looking forward to seeing the next novel!

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – International Foundation Year Student of the Year

 

Bath College hosts the University of Bath International Foundation Year. This is a one year full time course which prepares International Students for entry into their chosen course at The University of Bath. The IFY course covers the key principles, theories and practical skills which are the standard entry criteria for the University of Bath, and broadly based on the A-level syllabus.

 

Claudia was our International Foundation Year Student of the Year at our 2019 Celebrating Success Awards. Claudia’s citation from her tutor Larissa was absolutely glowing, and we have no doubt that Claudia was the perfect choice to receive this award, Larissa commented

 

“Claudia was a pleasure to work with in and out of the classroom, as she contributed with happiness and enthusiasm to college life. Some students are, unknowingly, a great asset to teachers, as they set a culture of excellence and academic rigour in the classrooms, the laboratory and in student accommodation.”

 

Claudia is now studying Chemical Engineering at Bath University, and we knew we had to ask her about her time on her IFY course!

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied on the International Foundation Year.

 

Why did you choose to study on the International Foundation Year?

I knew I wanted to go to the University of Bath and the foundation year was a path to do so with my USA high school diploma.

 

What was the most interesting thing you did on the International Foundation Year?

The Labs were really interesting and a great way to solidify knowledge from lectures.

 

What is a typical day like as an IFY student?

Starting at around 9:30 am, we had class until lunch then a break then more class until around 5pm. Most of the week would be a mix of classes around these timings, though it was rare to have a day where the only break was for lunch. I had a lot of free time.

 

What are you doing now?

I am now studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath!

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like to become a Chartered Engineer and to work on solving problems we have today such as fossil fuel alternatives and pollution management.

 

What advice would you give to people looking to start the International Foundation Year?

Work hard but also take some time to explore the city. Bath is beautiful and so nice to just take a walk around. Also, you’ll have a head start on all the freshers in your first year at Uni!

 

How do you feel about winning Bath College’s International Foundation Year Student of the Year?

I am so honored and thankful to be chosen for the award. It was such a nice surprise after so much hard work last year!

 

Claudia has worked so hard, and now she is on her dream course at the University of Bath, we don’t think we can sign off better than Larissa, so we’ll use another one of her quotes:

 

“Claudia has all the attributes for fantastic academic and professional careers, and as a chemical engineer could well effect any one of our lives! We wish her every success for the future!”

 

If you’re interested in what the International Foundation Year can do for you, visit our IFY page here, or get in contact at bathfoundationyear@bathcollege.ac.uk.

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Higher Education Student of the Year

 

Kian started studying Sport with us at Level 1, gradually progressing through the levels until he ended up on the HND (Higher National Diploma) in Sport and Exercise Science. This Level 5 qualification is equivalent to the second year of a Bachelor’s degree.

 

 

Kian has worked so hard to get where he has, and so he was the obvious choice to be the Higher Education Student of the Year. Kian is hoping to pursue a career in Sport, and on completion of his HND in Sport and Exercise Science, has been accepted on to the final year of the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science course at the University of South Wales.

 

We caught up with Kian to ask about his time at College.

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied the Higher National Diploma course in Sport and Exercise Science, which is a level 5 course.

 

What courses have you previously studied at Bath College?

I have studied sport at all levels, from level 1 to level 5.

 

What did you enjoy about your course?

The thing I enjoyed most about is the interaction between lecturers and students and the many different styles of teaching that the lecturers provided. This could be interactive lessons or group study sessions. I also made many friends throughout my courses.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

A family member had attended the college and had told me about how good the teachers and lessons were and that they had a good rating from OFSTED.

 

What do you want to do after College?

I am thinking about pursuing a career either in Sports Psychology or potentially teaching at further education level as a lecturer. I have since been accepted on to the final year of Sport and Exercise Science at The University of South Wales.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to study at Bath College?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling that’s what the lecturers are here for; to help you to achieve your best self

 

If you’re interested in studying a Degree Level course like Kian and seeing where we can take you, then you can view all our Higher Education courses here. We also do Access to Higher Education courses, which can help you get on to Degree Level courses.

 

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Love2Learn Student of the Year

 

Love2Learn courses are our extensive range of Leisure Courses, which cover a vast array of topics, including Languages, Arts and Carpentry.

 

Gwyn was the recipient of our Love2Learn Student of the Year Award at our annual Celebrating Success Awards. Gwyn has done courses in Ceramics and Sculpture, with her plates being featured on an Episode of The Great British Menu, displaying Top Chef, Gordon Jones‘, food. (You can read about this separately here).

 

Gwyn enjoyed her Love2Learn courses so much, she is now undertaking a Part Time Art & Design Foundation Course. We caught up with Gwyn to ask about how she found her courses, and how she felt about winning the Love2Learn Student of the Year.

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied Sculpture and Ceramics.

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your course?

The most enjoyable part was learning to use different materials, as well as developing and experimenting with new techniques. You surprise yourself at the things you can make.

 

What did you do on your courses that you felt was most valuable?

I think gaining the confidence to try new ideas and make bigger and better objects has been the most valuable lesson.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

I hadn’t done anything for years, and after visiting some galleries in Madrid I knew I had to do something in Art! So I applied.

 

What are you doing now?

I am now doing an Art and Design Foundation course part time over the next two years.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students’ looking to enrol on a leisure course?

Just give it a go! It opens up a Pandora’s box of wonders to learn and delight you!

 

How do you feel about winning the Love2Learn Student of the Year Award?

I am absolutely over the moon about it! I never imagined I could reach such dizzy heights!

 

If you feel inspired by Gwyn’s journey you can view our range of Love2Learn courses here and open up your own Pandora’s box!

 

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Distance Learning Student of the Year

 

Last week we held our annual Celebrating Success Awards, celebrating amazing results and contributions from our students across all aspects of the College. The Awards are broken down into ‘Students of the Year’, with each discipline being able to nominate their chosen student of the year.

 

Peter King was the nomination for Distance Learning Student of the Year. Peter has been studying a BTEC Diploma in Highway Engineering to support progression in his role as a Trainee Technician for North Somerset Council. He is now a Principal Engineer in the Highways Operations Team, responsible for a range of Highway Maintenance Projects.

 

On the night of Celebrating Success, Peter was presented with two awards. Not only did he win the Distance Learning Student of the Year for his hard work and dedication, but his project on his Diploma was awarded the ‘Institute of Highway Engineers’ Best Project Award 2019′ by IHE (Institute of Highway Engineers).

 

“The IHE’s Best Project Award acknowledges the considerable hard work and dedication the learner has made over a sustained period of their studies. The IHE sees Bath College as a key partner in providing the knowledge and skills the highway engineering sector so desperately needs in these challenging times.” – Richard Hayes

 

We caught up with Peter to find out how he found completing his Diploma with us and how he felt about winning our Distance Learning Student of the Year.

 

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I left a small construction company working on the tools to start a new opportunity as a Trainee Technician for North Somerset Council. I was encouraged to take on the Professional Diploma in Highway Engineering by my employer to enable me to develop my career. Five years later and I am now a Principal Engineer in the Highways Operations Team, with responsibility for the delivery of a wide range of highway maintenance projects across North Somerset.

 

Why did you choose to study the BTEC Professional Diploma in Highway Engineering?

It was recommended to me as part of my Trainee Programme with North Somerset Council. They funded my course, with an expectation that I would dedicate my time to complete it. I chose this course over a generic engineering qualification as I wanted to focus my career in Highways engineering.

 

On your course, what has been most valuable to you?

  • The ability to fit my studies around my home and work life
  • The knowledge I have gained to support my practical experience within the industry
  • The knowledge I have gained to support others in my team, helping them to develop their careers
  • The support and opportunities I received from my employer, North Somerset council

 

What made you choose Bath College?

As far as I am aware it was the only college offering a Highways-specific qualification. The course was relevant to my current job and benefited both myself and my employer.

 

What do you plan to do with the knowledge you have gained from studying for the Professional Diploma in Highway Engineering?

Since completion of my course with Bath College, I have moved onto an ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification. In conjunction with the ILM course, I hope to use the technical knowledge I have gained from the Highways Distance Learning course to assist me in developing junior members of the team. I will also use my knowledge to deliver larger projects.

 

What piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to enrol on a Highways Distance Learning course?

  • Understand your learning style, it will stand you in good stead for your course.
  • Work with your tutors and ask for help if you get stuck. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience from which you can learn and are always happy to assist you. It’s not always easy if you don’t have classmates or a face to face tutor to talk things over with. I was fortunate to have great employers and tutors who were dedicated to helping me to achieve my goals.
  • Engage and ensure you have ‘buy-in’ from your employer, it makes your life much easier. The support and learning opportunities I received from my employer made a real difference.
  • Think positively, stay motivated and enjoy it!

 

How do you feel about receiving the Institute of Highway Engineers’ Best Project Award 2019 as well as Bath College’s Distance Learning Student of the Year 2019 Award?

It’s a great feeling. It was such an honour to not only be recognised by Bath College but also by the IHE, the experts in my field.

 

 

The Distance Learning courses at Bath College cover a broad spectrum. You can pick from CPD courses across a variety of professional subjects, such as Administration or Counselling, or our more specific Highways Specialist courses. Distance Learning is a unique way of learning; you learn at your own pace in your own time, with the option of communicating with your assigned tutor if you get stuck or need any help. You complete a range of online modules over a varying period of time, these modules are how you are assessed.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about our Distance Learning courses, you can find them by clicking here. Alternatively you can contact our Distance Learning team by emailing DistanceLearning@bathcollege.ac.uk or highways@bathcollege.ac.uk.

 

News

Jake Cover – Case Study – Sport and Exercise Science

 

Jake Cover is one of our amazing year 1 Sport and Exercise Science students, who, alongside his studies, trains hard at sprint hurdles with Team Bath.

 

We caught up with Jake to ask how he go into Athletics, how he balances College work and training, and how he is finding his course.

 

How did you get into Athletics?

When a started secondary school I had the opportunity to try athletics and I was chosen to go to Bath University for a school athletics event. I did well and as a result started to train with Team Bath Athletics Club. I was very keen on sprint hurdles and eventually gained a place on the sprint hurdles squad.

 

What is your favourite aspect of competing?

I enjoy all aspects of competing including the camaraderie between athletes and having the opportunity to improve my times.

 

What is the highest level you have competed at?

National level including English Schools and Youth Development League National Finals.

 

What events have you got in the near future?

It is currently off season, however, I am training for the forthcoming (Jan) indoor season.

 

What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?

I enjoy all aspects of sports and wanted a course which I enjoyed and had an interest in. So the Sport and Exercise Science course was perfect for me!

 

How do you balance college/training?

I primarily train in the evenings and weekends, so this is removed from College anyway. So far College has not impacted on my training, and my course tutor has been very supportive and talked to me about how the College will support me if any training and events may impact on my College work.

 

How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?

So far the course has helped me with my mindset and understanding of sport.

 

What are your aspirations after finishing College?

I hope that I will be able to compete professionally in Athletics. I also hope I will be able to work in the sports industry.

 

News

Case Study: Sport and Exercise – Rhiannon Bowen

 

Rhiannon is one of our star Sport and Exercise Science students, currently on target to achieve 3 D*s (Distinction) in her studies. She also will be taking part in the British Olympic Trials in June, for which she is training incredibly hard alongside her lessons and coursework. We caught up with Rhiannon to ask her about her passion for swimming and how she manages to balance her training alongside her studies to be on track for such fantastic grades!

 

How did you get into swimming?

Whilst at junior school, I participated in every sport available. I realised I was good at sport and enjoyed winning and competing to try and become better than everyone else. By the time I went to secondary school, I has narrowed my sports down to focus on swimming and athletics, achieving high levels in both. I decided to cut down to only swimming as the athlete pathway was better, meaning I had the freedom to achieve more. I now compete regularly at the British Championships and have been abroad with England to compete and train.

 

What is your favourite aspect of competing?

I have quite a few aspects of competing that I love, however my favourite would simply be the thrill of racing. It is like a rush of energy and confidence as I go through my procedures leading up to my race. This is because I know how hard I have worked in training beforehand and the outcome of my performance will be the result of that, which will push me to try even harder.

 

What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise Science course at Bath College?

College provided a better balance for my education and swimming to ensure I get the best result out of both. It was a big change to school life, pushing me to become more independent. I felt like college would give me a good set-up of how university runs. The Sport and Exercise Science course interested me because there are more relevant units to learn compared to A-levels which apply to the sporting world. I particularly find physiology, psychology and nutrition interesting, which I was eager to learn about. Rather than having long exams at the end of the two years, I preferred the on-going assessments which include coursework, presentations and practical elements. This helps me understand where I am with my final grade and knowledge of each unit, due to the constant feedback and progressions in my work.

 

How do you balance college/training?

As I have been participating in swimming at a high level for such a long time, I am able to manage my time and deadlines efficiently for the best result. I swim early mornings, starting at six, and return later to do an evening session after college. Creating my own timetables to set when to recover and complete coursework has really helped me, as well as still having enough free time to pursue other hobbies and socialising.

 

How do you feel your course at the college has helped you?

I have been able to apply the knowledge learnt through the course into my swimming and gym sessions to help me improve. Due to there being a wide range of teaching and learning methods, my confidence and self-management has improved, which positively affects my training and lifestyle.

 

What are your aspirations after finishing college?

After college, I wish to continue to study Sport and Exercise Science at University, whilst still participating at a high level in swimming. This would involve competing at BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) events with the university team and training to medal at the British Championships. I hope to apply and receive sporting scholarships to support my sport and education.

 

We wish Rhiannon all the best with both her studies and her swimming, and maybe we’ll see her on TV for Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024!

 

News

Sally Wilson, Bath College’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor

 
Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

Sally, Care Academy Co-Ordinators at Bath College, is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors.

 

Mental Health is not something we should take lightly, and by having qualified Mental Health First Aiders in places of work or education, we can begin to remove the stigma surrounding discussing Mental Health. It’s just as important as physical health, and should be taken just as seriously. Sally will be specialising in Youth Mental Health First Aid, which makes her courses ideal for those working in Education, or directly with Young People.

 

We had a chat with Sally to find out why she’s decided to become a Youth Mental Health First Aider, and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is important, scroll down to see her answers!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As well as being a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, I also work as Bath College Care Academy Co-Ordinator. I work in partnership with health and social care employers and practitioners to develop employability skills for the current and future health and social care workforce.

I have worked for the careers service, as a playworker, a teacher overseas and an Inclusion manager for a secondary school; working with children and young people experiencing crisis.

I have also worked in partnership with many agencies, in a wide range of settings, supporting young people’s personal, social and emotional development.

I am a qualified Youth Worker, Lecturer and Assessor and have taught and assessed youth work study programmes.

I love working with young people, developing projects from scratch, sunshine, travelling and cake!

 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid is about having the practical skills and confidence to spot the triggers and signs of a range of mental health issues. You will then be confident to step in, reassure and support a person in distress using the Mental Health First Aid action plan.

Just as in Physical First Aid, people are trained to use an action plan to support those whose safety is at risk. Mental Health First Aid does the same, but with the person’s mental wellbeing at its centre.

 

Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

Looking after our mental health has so often been overlooked, and stigma and misinformation around mental health conditions has not helped.

Having worked with vulnerable young people in crisis for many years, I have always felt there has been a great need for this. Last year alone, the Samaritans offered tailored support to schools and colleges with 185 suicides or suicide attempts.

It is imperative that more and more of us feel confident enough to approach and offer support to those experiencing crises, as well as to develop further awareness of how we can all look after our mental health.

 

How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

I have always loved facilitating training courses, there is always so much more to learn from everyone who participates.

The instructor training course was a great way to learn more about a range of mental health issues from many practitioners, as well as from young people who were experiencing mental health issues and what they had found helpful. This was an ideal opportunity for me to explore mental health issues in more depth and has inspired me to keep up to date with research around this topic.

As part of our training we are also offered a range of continual professional development opportunities to ensure we remain accredited trainers.

Mental health is of great interest to so many people. It is fascinating. Being an instructor helps me to equip others with the confidence and skills to both support others, and to look after themselves.

 

Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

I would say all of us. It is about helping to build larger communities where people feel able to support young people experiencing mental health issues. It helps us to tackle stigma and open up conversations, to help others to help themselves.

 

What’s different about Youth Mental Health First Aid?

 Youth Mental Health First Aid is based around working with children and young people aged 8-18. Adolescence is a period of huge transition – socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.  It presents so many challenges, even for those for who do not experience trauma. Many recent studies have highlighted how lonely young people can feel.

Within this course you learn about the potential impact of adolescent development on young people’s behaviour as well as the work that targeted services can do to support young people.

 

Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

Meeting and working with the group! As with every training course, each of us brings a wealth of experience, from our personal and professional lives. There are always such a range of people with different job roles from parents/carers to youth workers, teaching assistants and advisers. All of whom are keen to learn more about mental health and to support others. It is a difficult but interesting subject, and the sessions are enjoyable and stimulating!

 

 

If you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course, you can find them by clicking here. Our first Youth course starts on the 30th October, but we have more running throughout the year.

 

 

News

Paula Power, Bath College’s new Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor

 

Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

 

Paula is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors, specialising in Adult Mental Health First Aid. We did a short Q&A with her to find out why she chose to become an instructor and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is so important.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the business owner of My White Dog and facilitator for the 1 and 2-day adult and youth courses. I am a MHFA Instructor, NLP Practitioner, Mountain Leader, with Business Studies, Further Education Certificate and Social Science at the Open University.
I started out in a corporate environment, but always enjoyed adventure and outdoor space, climbing, mountaineering and sailing. When I realised the positive impact of my own wellbeing in this space, I went onto develop skills in education and mountaineering and led groups in the outdoors including expeditions to Africa and Asia. A rewarding role watching students age 13-18 develop latent and new skills when stretched, build resilience, team and leadership skills. I went onto explore other personal challenges when selected to take part in the first all women expedition to the geographic North Pole in 1997. 20 women relaying in teams of 4 across the arctic over 3 months. We went onto become Guinness book record holders.
I ocassionally work in partnership with Wiltshire MIND and am affiliated with Mental Health First Aid England on raising mental health awareness, reducing stigma and how to improve wellbeing in work schools and communities.

 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health is part of our overall health, physical and mental wellbeing. Mental Health First Aid approach is similar to physical first aid, in preserving life and preventing a condition worsening, promoting recovery; however, as mental health is not easy to identify, it can be more complex to recognise, we teach the skills to recognise signs and symptoms. We explore language stigma, listening skills, and then how to signpost in order to help and provide hope for the future. We also explore strategies and coping strategies for our own wellbeing. Our approach is interactive engaging using group activities, various mediums, video and plenary speakers (lived experiences).

 

Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

Currently, 1 in 4 adults will experience some form of mental health issue in their lifetime. The economic cost of mental health issues in England are estimated at £105 billion each year. In addition, 10% of primary school children suffer from a low sense of wellbeing and about 13% of young people aged 5-19 meet clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. Mental health first aid is a great early intervention towards professional help, for example, people can fully recovery from their first episode of psychosis if they receive the appropriate help.

 

How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

From my own personal experience of mental illness within my family – I recognise the impact of early intervention and an opportunity to close a significant gap within the Mental Health support system.

 

Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

Everyone will benefit as it opens channels of communication, it empowers others to reduce stigma and discrimination and raises awareness in the workplace, communities and schools.

 

Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

Thought provoking and light bulb moments. Many people have come to me at the end of a course realising that awareness is the ‘tip of the iceberg’, but they feel confident going forward. It’s a journey and learning takes place in a safe and inclusive environment – many delegates go on to become advocates within work and communities

 

 

If Paula has inspired you and you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course you can find them by clicking here.

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