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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, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Emily Bryan, Sport and Exercise Science Student

 

We spoke to Emily Bryan, a passionate Irish dancer who is currently studying Bath College’s new Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science course.
 
 

How did you get into Dancing?
When I was in year 1 (5 years old) there was an after school club for Irish dancing and I really liked the sound of it so I went to it and haven’t stopped since.
 
What is your favourite aspect of competing?
My favourite aspect of competing is performing in front of the judges and showing them how much I love to dance. I also love travelling and meeting lots of people. Its also an amazing feeling when I do well at competitions as it tells me that all the hard work I put into dance is worth it.
 
What is the highest level you have competed at?
International. I qualified for the world championships in November 2018 and attended the worlds this April in North Carolina.
 
What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?
P.E. was always my favorite subject for GCSE as I found it very interesting so when I saw what the sport and exercise science course consisted of I knew that’s what I wanted to do as I knew I was going to enjoy it and find it interesting.
 
How do you balance college/training?
I can find this difficult sometimes, especially leading up to bigger competitions. But whenever I’m not dancing I just do any college work I have and make sure I still have time to do it even when I have dance a lot of the time. When I do not have training I usually do any college work I have then practise dance at home after.
 
How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?
In the future, I know that doing this course will benefit me a lot and give me an option of pathways that interest me.
 
What are your aspirations after finishing College?
My biggest aspiration when I leave college is to travel the world in a dance show. However I also love the idea of being a physio or something along those lines. I would also love to become a qualified dance teacher one day as I like teaching others how to dance.
 
 
For more information about the Sport & Exercise Science courses, click here.
 

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.

 

 

Molly Cook SU Equality & Diversity Officer

News, Students Union

Meet our new SU Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly Cook

 

We spoke to our brand new Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly, who got elected onto the Students’ Union after running a successful campaign at the end of last academic year.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Molly Cook and I have autism. I love to socialise with different people. I like to make new friends and get to know people. I love music and I like to chat to people about things. I love to be out and about with people and on my own. I go to clubs outside of college. I am a lovely person. I just love chatting to people to get to know them.
 
What course are you doing at Bath College?
I am doing the LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) course at Bath College at Somer Valley Campus.
 
Why did you apply to be Equality & Diversity Officer?
I applied to be Equality and Diversity Officer because I want to make a difference around the college and make college a better place. And I want to share my personal experience of autism and raise awareness of other disabilities and make college a more equal place.
 
What would you like to achieve during your time on the Students’ Union?
To make college a better place and to make people aware that I am the same as everybody else in college including all of my college friends. And I want to plan some events about different things. I’m looking forward to starting my campaigns.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Wellow Building at Somer Valley Campus.
 

Group Photo - Agricultural Mechanics Alumni

News

Agricultural Mechanics students return to College after 50 years

 

Nine ex-students of Norton Radstock College returned to what is now the Somer Valley Campus of Bath College to have a 50-year reunion.

 

They studied Agricultural Mechanics from 1967-69 and decided to meet up to catch up with each other, share memories and see if the course itself led to the paths they took with their careers.
 

The alumni had a tour of Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, where they spoke to lecturers from a range of disciplines including carpentry & joinery, bricklaying, refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, animal care, stonemasonry, engineering and motor vehicle.
 

Stuart King, Head of English & Maths at Bath College, led the tour and gave the group a brief overview of how College has changed since they left. He said: “it’s been fantastic having the alumni with us. Hearing their stories of 50 years ago and how successful they have gone on to be is really heart-warming.”
 

The ex-students very much enjoyed their tour of the College before heading off to a reunion lunch at a local pub.
 

Steve Crowe said: “Years ago when we studied here it was far more based on mechanical and hand-skills. Now I get the impression it’s much more diverse focusing on many different skills. I’ve been so impressed, especially with the stonemasonry workshop which is a real unique selling point.”
 

Mike Church said: “Coming back to the College has shown an incredible change. Like everything, including all the people here today, everything has moved on. I have been very impressed seeing the broad curriculum that is taught here, it has really opened my eyes.”
 

Nick Dee Shapland, who organised the reunion added: “We couldn’t have asked for more this morning, what an enterprising college! Each lecturer has really given us an insight.”
 

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.

Football Academy, News

Bath College secures funding for women’s futsal team

 

Bath College is delighted to have been selected as one of thirty colleges to receive English Colleges FA Growth Funding to support the formation of a new women’s futsal team.
 

The college was chosen out of 100 applicants to receive the funding which will help establish a sustainable futsal team over the next 3 years, allowing new and existing students to participate and therefore creating a more inclusive extra-curricular offer.
 

The money will help provide qualified and licensed coaches, referees and kit to help the futsal team improve their skills and abilities, and give them a positive and enjoyable experience of futsal whilst studying at college.
 

Bath College is extremely passionate about ensuring their students are able to join a sporting community to keep them physically active and positively impact their mental wellbeing.
 

Shaun Mullen, who will be head of futsal provision, is a UEFA B licence futsal coach and FA Tutor.
 

Shaun reflected on how the funding would help the college by saying that this would: “Increase the participation rates among not just sports students but also the wider student community of the college. This will give students an opportunity in potentially a new sport to learn core values and skills and create a new social group within a team environment.”
 

Callum Cocks unveiling the stone seat for Ralph Allen Mine Project

News

Historic stone wall restored and made into bench in Combe Down

 
A Bath College Stonemasonry student has been restoring part of a historic wall as part of the Ralph Allen stone mine project by the Museum of Bath Stone, B&NES Council and the UNESCO World Heritage Enhancement Fund.

 

The shaft wall, where Combe Down freestone used to be hauled out, has been turned into a seat, which has been supported by many locals who have crowd-funded the project and came out to see the finished result.
 
Callum working on the stoneCallum Cocks, Stonemasonry student at Bath College, said: “I’ve been working on the lettering on the coping stone that sits on top of the remaining wall.
 
“The things I most enjoyed about this project were working the stone and seeing the remarkable result of how it looked when it was finished.”
 
The stone reads: “Rebuilt in 2018 site of access shaft to Ralph Allen stone minesthe stone that built Bath”.
 
Callum’s tutor, Joe Leber, Stonemasonry lecturer at Bath College said: “Callum came to the college in 2017 age 16, he has been a pleasure to teach, improving his skills year on year.
 
“Last academic year he achieved his level 2 diploma and his NVQ ahead of time and got involved in designing and building a garden for the special educational needs centre.
 
“He also set out and produced the lettering for the Ralph Allen stone mine project with some help from Stephen Shute our technician. He is now working towards his level 3 Stonemasonry diploma and his NVQ level 3 here at Bath College.
 
“We are all very proud of Calum and are expecting him to achieve more stretch and challenge tasks at the college after completing his diploma with us.”
 
For more details about stonemasonry at Bath College, click here.
 

News

Bath College and Bath & North East Somerset Council are hosting “Have a Go” as part of the nationwide Festival of Learning

 

• Bath College offers local communities the chance to try and learn a new skill
• 30th September 2019 10am till 12pm at the Roman Baths
 
As part of the 2019 Festival of Learning, Bath College and B&NES Council are inviting local residents to small taster sessions i.e. try their hand at a range of new skills or take part in a taster session.
 
Festival of Learning, led by Learning and Work Institute, invites organisations and communities to take part in adult learning activities to showcase the wide range of opportunities and resources available to adults hoping to continue or resume their education. The Festival recognises the inspiring achievements of adult learners nationwide.
 
**At the “Have a Go” visitors will have the opportunity to try and experience an Art Class, Mindfulness, Health and Wellbeing **
 
Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning and Work Institute, commented: “The Festival of Learning helps people to learn and to discover the wide range of opportunities there are to gain new skills, expand their abilities and transform their lives.
 
“I hope that people take advantage of this exciting event at the Roman Baths and recognise that you’re never too old to learn.”
 
For more information about the event click here.
 

Apprenticeships, News

Meet the new Head of Apprenticeships, Business & Community at Bath College

 

Bath College has appointed a new Head of Apprenticeships, Business & Community.

 

Paul Gilmore has worked at Bath College for 16 years, starting as a lecturer in joinery before progressing to Head of Technology in 2018 and into his new role this Spring.

 

His new remit is to oversee the development of Apprenticeships, Love2Learn leisure courses, free courses and Adult Community Learning.

 
Bath College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in B&NES, so Paul’s first objective is to work with local businesses to develop the apprenticeship provision to suit local demands.
 


How do you plan to improve quality of delivery of apprenticeships?

By ensuring the apprenticeship is tailored accordingly to suit the needs of the employers and the individual, the apprenticeship will be planned in a partnership with the employer to make sure that a high level of training take place at college and whilst the apprentice is in the workplace. The progress of the apprentice will be closely tracked and monitored by the assessment team to ensure the development and skills of the apprentices meet employer’s needs and the training needs of the apprentice. The college is also committed to providing high quality facilities for all college based training which is complimented by highly qualified staff who undertake regular continuous professional updating.
 

How do you plan to improve communication with employers?

We aim to provide an effective and timely recruitment service to our employers to meet their requirements and organisational needs, communication with the employer will take place frequently as part of the apprentice’s progress reviews meetings. We value input from our employers as this helps shape and develop our apprenticeship offer.
 

How is Bath College meeting employers’ needs?

The college will continue to review its apprenticeship offer in collaboration with our employer network to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets our local, regional and national economic needs and skills shortages. As a college we are aware the changing landscape in the workforce and we remain committed to training and upskilling employees and apprentices that benefits our employers and the relevant sectors.
 


What benefits do apprentices get from their Bath College apprenticeships?

Any Bath College apprentice will be fully supported and guided through their apprenticeship programme which will encourage the individual to take ownership over their own development and career progression. The additional advantages of being an apprentice ranges from earning whilst being trained and receiving a national recognised qualification at the end of apprenticeship programme.
 
To find out more about apprenticeships at Bath College, click here.
 

Project SEARCH interns in the Guildhall

News

New Project SEARCH interns start the year with afternoon tea

 

Last week the new Project SEARCH interns gathered in the Guildhall to meet their coursemates for the first time over a cup of tea.
 
Project SEARCH is an employability programme in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Virgin Care, which helps young adults with learning disabilities gain the skills they need to become employed.
 
The students have a mix of classroom based learning and workplace experience within one of the B&NES departments, with placements varying from working in a kitchen to working in a museum.
 
Laurel Penrose and Alice Honey
Alice Honey (right), who has been through the project SEARCH programme, came to chat to the new interns about what a positive impact the programme can have.
 
She said: “I found Project SEARCH really encouraging. It was good because I learnt the skills to get a job and now I am working 16 hours at Action on Hearing Loss which is great because I live so close. I really enjoy my job, it’s pretty good.”
 
Laurel Penrose (left), Principal CEO gave an informal welcome to the new group: “Project SEARCH is very close to our hearts. It’s amazing to see how much students change and grow in confidence from the beginning to the end.
 
“Sometimes the course will be hard, so please talk to us, everybody needs some help sometimes. It’s a lovely course, you’ll get some really good employment opportunities and experience.”
 
For more information or to apply for Project SEARCH, click here.
 

Bath Rugby Foundation Bath College Advantage students

Adult Community Learning, News

Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation work with young people to boost confidence and employability skills

 

Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation have been running a Summer course working with unemployed young people to improve their job prospects.
 
The Advantage course is in partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions and Bath Rugby’s charity and is for 18 to 24 year olds who are, or in danger of becoming, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
 
Working with Bath Job Centre, the course was created to not only encourage young people to enrol on college courses or gain the confidence to find job roles, but also to create a peer support group within them in which they could encourage and support each other on their journey.
 
The learners started the course finding it difficult to engage and ended with enthusiasm and a new-found confidence.
 
The opportunities the Advantage students have gained access to have been very broad, with one offered a place on a performing arts course at college; one enrolled on a sports coaching course; one has moved into supported housing after being homeless and sofa surfing; one has created a CV and is volunteering in order to gain experience in a retail environment; one is starting volunteering in a youth drug and alcohol support group with a view to becoming a youth support worker or counsellor, drawing on his own experiences.
 
Leah being filmed at the RecLeah (left), who has just completed the Advantage course said: “I have enrolled on a college course as I have enjoyed this course so much that I want to continue. It has made me feel safe and confident and I have had fun too.”
 
Luke found his confidence while completing the course: “This course has given me something that school and college didn’t manage to. I now know what I want to do and this makes me get up in the morning. I now have self-belief that I can make something of myself and this motivates me to get up.”
 
Joe Aygul, Employability Officer at Bath Rugby Foundation said: “Working in partnership with Bath College this summer has been incredible, we have been able to create a unique and bespoke training course that has without doubt positively impacted the lives of young people in our community.
 
Advantage students on interview day“Watching our students grow in confidence over the past five weeks has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. The journey these young people have been on in this short time has been remarkable, from starting as un-engaged ‘NEETs’ at the beginning of the course to now leaving us with aspirations and opportunities for further education, employment and training.
 
“The future looks bright for these guys and the team at Bath Rugby Foundation look forward to collaborating with Bath College again in the future.”
 
Anna Wheeler, Community Engagement Manager at Bath College said: “The Advantage programme has been so much more than a collaboration between Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation to upskill a group of young people. It has been innovative and dynamic with input from a huge range of local partner organisations and experiences both challenging and exciting.
 
“The group’s confidence has grown alongside new skills and experiences and every member of staff involved has been inspired by the enthusiasm, talent and positivity they have shown”.
 
For more details about the ‘Advantage’ course, visit: www.bathrugbyfoundation.com/advantage
 

Dan SU President

News, Student Spotlight, Students Union

Meet our new Student Union President, Dan Ball

 

We spoke to our brand new SU President, Dan, to find out all about him and his plans for the year.
 
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi my name is Dan Ball. I’m 19 years old. In my spare time I like to meet up with friends and take my dogs out for a walk. My favorite sport is Rugby. I support Bath and England Rugby club.
 
What did you study at Bath College?
I studied Uniformed Public Services for three years. I started at level two and finished level 3 year two.
 
Why did you apply to be the SU President?
I applied for the Student Union President Job role because I would like a future career in pastoral care and applying for this role can give me an insight what it is like.
 
Why do you think the SU is important?
The SU is important as this gives the chance for all students to put forward their suggestions on how the college can improve based on their needs. I also think the SU is important as this students can work as a team.
 
What would you like to achieve during your Presidency?
I would like to achieve in my year as president is to raise money to a chosen charity by the majority of students getting involved into different kinds of fundraising. I would also like to achieve a good outcome towards the campaigns I have created for this year.
 
What vision do you have for the SU at Bath College?
The vison I have for the SU is that the Student Union will be there to support students throughout the year so they can also get involved with us and learn more about what the Student Union does.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Student Union and Participation office on the bottom floor of the Macaulay building in the new Student Union area.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new and returning students?
The words of wisdom I would say to students is to keep a positive mind set to your studies. Have fun and a laugh with friends and staff members and always smile.
 

News, Student Spotlight

Bath College students celebrate their GCSE results

 

Students across both Bath College campuses have been nervously opening their GCSE results this morning.
 
Harvey has been studying Level 2 Childcare and has passed both his English and Maths, so will be going on to Level 3 Childcare.
 
Students who study at the College often take GCSE Maths and/or English alongside their studies to maximise their employability or future study options.
 
He said: “I was hoping to pass but not expecting to, and I’ve passed both!”
 
Megan, Katie and Luci all came back to college as mature students to take their GCSEs.
 
Megan got a 4 in Maths and 6 in English and can now apply to do an Access Course so she can become a teacher.‬
 
‪Katie got 11 GCSEs and went onto her A-Levels when she was at school but failed her maths so made the decision to come back to college to take it as an adult and got a 4.‬
 
Electrical students Dom and Josh were delighted when they opened their GCSE English results. Dom got a 6 and is now progressing onto the Level 2 and Josh got a 5 and is off to do an Electrical apprenticeship.
 
‪Luci left school at 15 so came to college to do her Maths and English GCSEs in which she got 5 and 8 and is now off to do a Maternity course at Swansea University before training to be a midwife.‬
 
 
Stuart King, Head of English and Maths said: “We are very proud of our learners who have worked so hard for their GCSEs.”
 
“Many of them are studying alongside a full-time course, apprenticeship or full-time job, which can be really tough.”
 
“It’s been fantastic to see so many smiles across our campuses today.”
 
GCSE results day can be a stressful time for many, so Bath College has had careers advisers on hand to talk to anyone who picked up results today to offer them impartial advice about what their next steps are.

 

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Jessica’s Erasmus Catering placement in Seville

 
We spoke to Jessica Porch about her REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Seville.

 

Name: Jessica Porch
Course Name: Catering and Hospitality Level 3
Placement Location: Seville
 
Why did you apply for the placement?
I applied for my placement because I was interested in working abroad.
I was encouraged by my tutors and lectures at college to go as it would be and was a good experience.
I prepared myself by writing a CV and cover letter and also organised my passport, EHIC card, travel money card and budget.
 
Describe your work placement and tasks.
My work placement was joined onto an English Hotel so served English food as well and Spanish tapas food. Some tasks that I carried out were preparing starter dishes, preparing all food that needed to be cooked in advanced and also cleaning down the kitchen after service.
 
What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?
Learning about different cuisine and learning a new language.
 
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?
I think that it will help me in the future as it shows that I have no limit to what I think I can achieve.
 
Jessica in Seville
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?
The city was really beautiful and had lots of amazing attractions that we visited throughout the 3 weeks. I also liked the restaurants and shops we went in and the people were very welcoming. It was also really hot which is always nice when you are not used to it.
 
What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?
Next for me is going into a full time job away from home. And my advice would be don’t get too caught up in missing parents or loved ones as the time goes so fast that you have to enjoy all of your time there and use your days off wisely – go sight seeing or to the beach.
 
 

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her placement experience. If you would like any information about our Catering & Hospitality courses, click here.
 

News

Case Study: Claire Dean – Highways Distance Learning

 

One of our fabulous Distance Learning students graduated from our Level 4 Professional Diploma in Highways Engineering. Highway Engineering is a distance learning package, similar to the way the Open University operates. No attendance at College is necessary, which makes it perfect for anyone anywhere, and you may enrol at any time and study at your own speed at home or work. We did a short Q&A with Claire to find out why she chose Bath College, and why she chose to study Highways.

 

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I moved to Devon over 20 years ago with Balfour Beatty as part of a small team to undertake the design and build of two new bypasses. I started in a secretarial role but over time became interested in the technical side of road construction. I decided to take the plunge as a trainee highways technician. Balfour Beatty supported my ambition to do this and have continued to encourage me to further myself – from this first move from secretary to technician through to my academic studies. I have now been working as a Highways Technician for Balfour Beatty on the A30/A35 in Exeter for 17 years.

 

Why did you choose Highways Distance Learning?

Balfour Beatty are really supportive when it comes to upskilling and believe in having experts in the business. As a full time employee, I needed a way to work and study simultaneously. My goal was to develop in my role at the same as progressing academically. This, however, meant finding a course which I could do outside of working hours – the Highways Distance Learning course allowed me to do just that!

 

Which courses have you completed via Highways Distance Learning?

I have completed; Highways Maintenance, Highways Technology, Highways Legislation and Administration, Highways Materials and Testing and produced a project on current drainage challenge on the Balfour Beatty joint venture project on the A30/A35 in Devon and Dorset.

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your courses?

Similarly to my work with Balfour Beatty, I feel my strength lies in projects – I found producing in-depth, high quality coursework as part of my course one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things about academic study. Likewise, I love learning from others, whether in my role at Balfour Beatty or with my tutors. The insights and interactions I had with my tutors reminded me how much I love the highways sector.

 

What has been most valuable to you?

Everything I have learnt I can apply to my work. I feel I can contribute an expertise and understanding of highways projects which benefits my professional progression, but which can also help others in my team. Just like the Balfour Beatty values; I am a trusted expert in my field, and this is recognised by the business and my peers and colleagues. I put this down to the constant support from all my tutors and the administrative team for the feedback on my marked assignments. These comments meant a lot and gave me the confidence to continue.

 

What made you choose Bath College?

I was specifically looking for a distance learning course and Bath College not only provided what I required but had a Highways Distance Learning course in Highway Engineering. I do not come from an engineering background but I did bring practical experience from a live project environment and I was glad they recognised the value of this. I was pleased to see that there was a great range of course covering all the main topics and my areas of interest, so I knew I’d be gaining a well-rounded education there. The college was also very helpful in all aspects of my enrolment.

 

What do you plan to do with your new found knowledge?

The knowledge that I have gained has already benefited me in my current role – Balfour Beatty believe in having expert, trusted employees delivering their projects so I feel I can contribute and support the business even better than before. Whilst studying, I consolidated my knowledge of the practical skills I learn of the job with an academic understanding. I now feel equipped and confident and aim to progress to a managerial position with Balfour Beatty.

 

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

Don’t keep thinking about it, do it! It was the best decision I made, and I know it has provided me with new skills and experiences to reach my goals and strive to progress professionally and personally. As a mature student, in full-time employment, attending college and stepping so far out of my comfort zone was a scary thought and difficult to balance but I have truly reaped the rewards. If you have an employer who supports you the way Balfour Beatty supported me, it is possible to have the best of both worlds; work and study.

 

Claire is right, don’t keep thinking about it, do it! You can enrol on one of our numerous Distance Learning courses, or Highways Distance Learning courses. We also offer Love2Learn leisure courses for those looking to learn something new in a more leisurely capacity.

 

Congratulations Claire, we hope you’ll be back to study with us again and we hope you had a fabulous Graduation Day!

 

Callum Morris in Prague

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Callum’s Erasmus IT placement in Prague

 

We spoke to Callum Morris about his REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Prague.
 
Name: Callum Morris
Course: Computing & IT Level 3
Placement Location: Prague, Czech Republic
 
Why did you apply for the placement?

I applied for the placement for a few reasons. One was just because I wanted to be able to live in Prague for a short time. I’ve always really enjoyed travelling abroad and Prague seemed like a really nice place to stay. Being able to stay there for an entire 6 weeks (which was also during college time and not holiday time) was a very attractive offer.
 
The work was the other main reason I wanted to do this placement. I really wanted to work with a real IT company doing programming. It was made clear to us that we might not be doing exactly what we specifically wanted to do on our placements with our companies, but I was okay with doing anything IT related really – programming was just my preference.
 
Describe your work placement and tasks.

I had the pleasure of being able to do exactly what I wanted to do with my company. My specific role was a back-end developer for a web application. This job was absolutely perfect for me, which is why I am very thankful that I was the one chosen to do it. My main job was to write modules that would perform various tasks on the back-end. I would be given this tasks in the form of online tickets and when completed I would mark these tickets for testing and push the modules I had developed to a remote repository using GIT. Each of the modules were written using python – this was also perfect for me as python is my best language.
 

What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?

It’s difficult to choose one experience during the placement that was the biggest for me overall. I would say that the placement as a whole was the biggest learning experience for me. The work that I did, places I saw and people I met all contributed to a massive learning experience for me that has taught me a lot.
 
As for my biggest achievement, that would definitely be being offered a job by the company that I worked with. This was a huge achievement for me as it showed that they were very impressed with my work and wanted to continue working with me.
 
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?

Without a shadow of a doubt this placement has and will help me in my professional future. It has helped me already, in that I now have a job in IT because of it. It is also sure to help me in the future as well though and this is for many reasons: it looks great on a CV, I have learned a huge amount about my field during the placement and it gave me a great insight into how IT companies operate.
 
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?

Prague is a brilliant city. The public transport is amazing – you can get where ever you need to in the city with ease thanks to the high quality public transport system. Plus you cannot get lost in Prague, because there is always a tram stop nearby and locals are almost always happy to give you directions.
 
The local people in Prague are super nice and the majority of the younger locals speak really good English. I was honestly quite surprised by how kind the locals are there.
 
Prague as a city is also absolutely beautiful. There are so many huge parks around Prague that are great fun to visit and explore. The buildings there have a very interesting style; many are very old and historic, while others were very modern. It made for a very nice contrasting appearance around the city.
 

What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?

I will be continuing my work with the company from my placement shortly, which I am very much looking forward to. I am hoping that continuing to work with them part-time will evolve into a full-time position in time or perhaps lead to a job with another company in the UK. Either way it’s likely that working with this company will jumpstart my career in IT.
 
My advice to future participants would be the following:
• Work hard in the placement and show initiative with the company you end up with, because it could end up in a job for you.
• Don’t go in with massive expectations for your placement – while the company I had was great, others were disappointed with the companies they had to work with because they expected more. You should treat the placement as a learning experience and not a dream job in a foreign country – the best parts of the placement are made by you and your friends.
• Travel around and explore the country you visit – don’t just visit some monuments or go to the same places over and over. The most fun thing to do is just walk in one direction with friends and see what happens.
• Learn some basic phases and pronunciation in the language before starting the placement – it helps more than you expect.
 
 
Thanks to Callum for sharing his placement experience. If you would like any information about our Computing and IT courses, click here.
 

Events, Hair & Beauty, News

Complementary Therapies, Spa and Media Make-up students pamper Glastonbury Festival Glampers

 

Our Complementary Therapies, Spa and Media Make-up students worked at an off-site glamping site located close to Glastonbury Festival this year. Under supervision from Bath College and Bath Priory staff, the girls delivered top class massage treatments to guests as well as getting them festival-ready with glitter make-up. They were professional and hard-working, representing the college well.

 

Throughout the year there are opportunities for students to get industry experience at high-profile events such as this one.

 

If you would like any info on any of our Hair, Beauty and Complementary Therapies courses, click here.

 

Below is the gallery from the weekend.

 

 

News

Bath College makes commitment to support students and staff with their mental health and wellbeing

 

Bath College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter – created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.
 
The 11-point document includes commitments to:
• Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
• Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
• Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate
 
Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year – including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means Bath College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its 8,000 students and 450 staff.
 
Bath College staff at their mental health training
Laurel Penrose, Principal & CEO of Bath College, said: “Mental Health is something we take very seriously at Bath College. We ensure that we have designated youth mental health first aiders who are trained by Mental Health First Aid England. We have now equipped a wide range of departments with the tools to support our students and staff when required.”
 
Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like Bath College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”
 
Clare Stafford, CEO of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, said: “We passionately believe that mental health support of the highest standard should be available to all young people and college staff. The launch of the Charter further enhances the Association of College’s long-standing commitment to this.
 
“As a charity, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is delighted to be working in collaboration with AoC and fully endorses the principles and intentions of this important new Charter.”
 

Access to HE, News

Access to HE student wins Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement

 

We are delighted to hear that one of our Access to Higher Education students, James Kean, has achieved the Ascentis Access Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement.

 

The excellence awards (formerly known as the DJ Moore Award) have been in existence for over 20 years. This year Ascentis received a total of 21 nominations from centres all over the country.

 

James Kean – Centre

 

 

James was nominated for this award by his Lecturer John Barry who commended his high work ethic and consistently high grades. In support of the nomination, John forwarded two of James’ assignments, together with supplementary evidence detailing why he was nominated.

 

In his citation, John explained that James,

“Has been a thoroughly impressive student throughout this year. He has achieved Distinctions for all fifteen graded units for a total of 45 credits at Distinction. He has also studied A Level Maths alongside the Access course in order to prepare for a degree in Economics and is expected to achieve an A grade. The Applied ICT assignment showed real depth of understanding of how ICT has impacted on society and how it will impact in the future. A major element of the assessment was a 15-minute presentation on how ICT affects the world of work. James produced an excellently researched and engaging presentation on how technology has influenced employment and work from the days of the industrial revolution through to the future impacts of ICT…. It was the best presentation that I have had in Applied ICT over the five years that I have taught that unit.”

 

James had spent several years in Hong Kong and moved here on his own to do the Access course and has done impressively well. As well as the demands of the Access course and the Maths A-Level he has been helpful and supportive to other students and contributed well to the academic endeavours of each class he has been in.

 

James, who will receive £400 prize money, has a place at Bristol University to study Economics, told us that “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you [lecturer John Barry] and the other Access to HE course staff at Bath College.”

 

The Access to Higher Education course provides students with a nationally recognised qualification and an alternative career pathway for those who want to study at university.

 

The course prepares students to pursue a degree or diploma at university. Working with a supportive tutor, students develop skills and confidence to enable them to embark on a successful higher education career. Access to Higher Education qualification is a QAA-recognised entry qualification for degree or diploma level studies at all universities in the UK, for a wide range of subjects. On this HE course, students study English, Maths and study skills together with subjects related to their degree choice.

 

This is a full-time HE course completed over one year. If you would prefer to study part-time and spread the course over two years, we now offer a part-time Access to Higher Education course.

 

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