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News

Voters at the Natural Stone Show choose stonemasonry competition winners

 

Students at Bath College made it hard for industry experts to choose the winner of this year’s Lovell Stone Group competition.
 
A group of 16 full-time and part-time Love2learn stonemasonry students took part in the competition and spent a week creating carvings.
 
They were given some Hartham Park Bath stone and asked to create a piece of sculpture that best represented the city of Bath.
 

 
Company directors chose four designs to put on display at the Natural Stone Show at the ExCeL arena in London, the only UK exhibition and conference dedicated to the natural stone industry.
 
Students Sam Bradley, Jeni Wood, David Lambard and Josie Baher all had their work displayed for the chance to win a cash prize.
 
Three-hundred people at the Natural Stone Show voted to choose the winner, with the prize going to Love2learn stone carving student David Lambard.
 
He said: “It was nice for the college to give us those three days to produce the piece and also to be put under time pressure, so that you had to produce something in that time.
 

 
“Before I joined the stone carving class I had no previous experience, but I’m a builder by trade so I am very practical. The class is very sociable and it’s about doing something creative that’s only for me. I’m not producing something for a client, it’s my creation. Having the pieces displayed at The Natural Stone Show was fantastic.”
 
Jeni, who also had her work displayed, is a sculptor living in Combe Down. Her design, called Respect, was inspired by the area’s mining history.
 

She said: “It’s a lovely village within the city to live in and there’s a lot of respect for the miners because they were the making of the village.
 
“It’s just good to have the opportunity to spend the extra time working with the stone and working with a great group of people. In the evenings everyone walks round to talk to people and see what they’re working on.”
 

 
Simon Hart, Managing Director, for the Lovell Stone Group, said: “We were really impressed with the response we got for the competition.
 
“The plan was to shortlist three people, but the quality of the stone carvings presented a real difficulty so we decided to take four peoples’ work to The Natural Stone Show.
 
“It was pretty nerve-wracking transporting them after the hard work students had put in, we wrapped them up extra carefully, so I’m really pleased they’ve made it back to Bath College safe and sound.
 
“Three hundred people voted at the show, we had a really good response and a really close result. If it had been a general election, it would have been a hung parliament!
 
“We’d like to thank all of the students for taking part. The Natural Stone Show takes place every two years, so we’d like to make this a biannual event with the college.”
 

Stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs and Love2learn tutor Sam Flintham supported the students during the competition.
 
Paul, who teaches full-time students at the college, said: “We were delighted to be offered the opportunity for students to participate in the stone carving competition sponsored by the Lovell Stone Group.
 
“The students have worked enthusiastically to showcase their skills with outstanding results.”
 

News

Good luck Eintracht Frankfurt! Music students create song for German football final

 

Music students at Bath College have been working with football fan Carole Banwell on an unusual and quirky project.
 
The students are helping Carole, General Manager at Bath City FC, to record a song in German ahead of the country’s FA cup final.
 
They hope that the song, dedicated to SG Eintracht Frankfurt, will catch the attention of German football fans on social media and wider afield.
 
Bundesliga club SG Eintracht Frankfurt are playing rivals Borussia Dortmund in the final in Berlin on May 27.
 
Carole, who was appointed General Manager of Bath City FC in April, was an Eintracht Frankfurt season ticket holder when she lived in Germany in the 90s.
 
She said: “Eintracht and Bath City both play in black and white stripes and the song is Bath City’s gesture of fan friendship from one black and white striped club to another!”
 
Level 3 music performance students Harry Cook, Michael Dance, Cameron Webb, Penelope Harris and Arron Francis wore black and white Bath City FC scarves to record the song in the music studio at Bath College.
 
The lyrics, written by Carole, talk about the team heading to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and how they should feel confident about lifting the trophy.
 

 
Music tutor Tim Goode said: “Studying music at Bath College is all about engaging in industry and learning how to work to industry briefs. The students were asked to create a high-quality product in a short amount of time, which is what you have to provide in industry every day.
 
“It’s been a great experience for them and they have worked hard to complete the project. My knowledge of German football is limited, but I wish Eintracht Frankfurt all the best in the final. I have a writing credit, so if it all goes well you may see me on my private island in the Bahamas!”
 
Carole said: “Eintracht Frankfurt are my German team, so I was delighted when they made it to the final of the competition. Bath City FC has been doing quite a bit of engagement work with the college recently and we hope to continue this as the club settles into its new position as a community-owned club and looks to engage with the wider community.”
 

News

Dorothy House ‘Before I Die’ wall inspires students to write down their life goals

 

Students, staff and celebrity visitors added their hopes and dreams to Dorothy House’s Before I Die wall for Dying Matters Week and Mental Health and Awareness Week.
 

Olympic champion Amy Williams and James Moore, Acting Head of Creative Learning at the Theatre Royal Bath, were among the first to write on the wall on Tuesday May 9th.
 

The team from Dorothy House set up the wall, a four-sided chalk board, just outside the entrance to the college.
 

Life goals written on the board included humorous and profound thoughts, shedding a light on peoples’ life goals:
 

• Live the life I choose
• Hold a panda
• Become a meme
• Have the power to give peace to the world
• Write a book
• Sail the Whitsundays in Australia
• Make pancakes for everyone
 

The wall was popular at lunchtime, with people gathering to read, photograph and discuss what others had written.
 

Dorothy House, based in Winsley, near Bath, offers end of life care to patients and support for their families.
 


 

Before I Die walls were inspired by Candy Chang, a New Orleans artist who created the “Before I Die…” wall concept.
 

After losing a close friend, she channelled her grief and began working on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood. She covered the crumbling house with chalkboard paint and stencilled it with the prompt, “Before I die I want to…”
 

Dying Matters Week aims to get people talking about death, which can be a taboo subject, and to make it easier for people to talk about end of life care.
 


 

Amy Williams, Olympic Skeleton Champion and TV sports presenter, who left her own mark on the wall, said: “I always like to encourage young people to follow their dreams and set life goals, that’s why I’m glad to support Dorothy House’s ‘Before I Die…’Wall event and meet the students and staff at Bath College. The subject of death and dying is too often ignored by society so any effort to bring it into normal conversation has to be a good thing.”
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal of Bath College, said: “We are delighted to invite the local hospice, Dorothy House, to come and meet our students to help them understand why it’s important to talk about death and dying.”
 

Stephen Dale, Head of Community Partnerships at Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: “Our ‘Before I Die’ wall aims to encourage everyone to focus on living life to the full and exploring their dreams and hopes for the future.
 

“It also helps to start a conversation around death and dying with young people and helps to normalise the subject as part of everyday life. This event provides an opportunity for the college community to come together and focus on their life goals and how they want to make their mark on the world.”
 

News

Erasmus trip: Students spend a month living and working in Greece

 

Students got a taste of what it’s like to live and work abroad during an Erasmus trip to Crete.
 

Twenty students studying beauty, spa and complementary therapy spent a month on the island completing work experience.
 

Within days of their arrival, at Rethymnon, they were trained and working on paying clients at local hotels and salons.
 


 

Spa therapy students had the chance to work at a five-star hotel and beauty students gained experience using high tech laser therapy equipment.
 

Erasmus is a European Union programme offering opportunities for students to study, work and train abroad.
 

Students stayed in self-catered apartments, within walking distance of most placements. Some even hired cars and bikes in order to see the island, visiting Milli Gorge, nature parks and the beach.
 

Lecturer Lucy Baughan said: “All the students made friends with their employers and colleagues, socialising outside the workplace with them.
 


 

“The hotels offered all the students jobs if they ever want to return and were very sad to let them go. The students did extremely well representing the high teaching standards we have at Bath College.
 

“During their stay they had to live independently, including cooking, travelling and time keeping. They all supported each other as a group, putting messages on Facebook if they were going out somewhere to eat and inviting others to join them.
 
“Everyone returned home happy and grateful for experience, with several students hoping to repeat it next year. We are in discussion with the hotel chain who would like to send therapists to us for training and to visit our local spas.”
 

News

Preparing for employment: Students take part in hundreds of mock interviews

 

Students from across Bath College have been preparing for employment with a series of mock interview sessions.
 
The college’s Futures Team organised 137 interviews over two days for students who will finish their courses in the summer.
 
Students studying sport, performing arts, business and travel and tourism got a taste of what it’s like to face scrutiny in an interview situation.
 
A wide variety of businesses offered to help on the day, including the Bath Building Society, Barclays, ESPA UK and solicitors Lyons Davidson.
 

 
Employability adviser Lucy Beattie said: “This was an invaluable experience for students. To have employers who they hadn’t met conduct real interviews and give feedback will hugely help them when they come to job and further education interviews.
 
“The interviews helped them learn how to answer standard interview questions, and to see their CVs from an employers’ point of view.
 
“The feedback has been hugely positive, with at least three employers wanting to see candidates again to interview for real jobs and work experience being offered on the spot.”
 
Health and social care students also took part in a day of interviews with industry professionals as part of the Bath College Care Academy.
 

 
Employers visiting the college included Creative Youth Network, St Monica Trust, Way Ahead Care, Dimensions, Youth Connect and the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
 
Freya Game, 19, is a first year student studying Level 3 health and social care, and took part in the Dimensions group interview.
 
She said: “It was really helpful talking to them and being able to give us tips. It wasn’t as intimidating as I expected and I’d feel a bit more confident going into this kind of interview situation now.
 
“I’m not sure what area of care I want to go into yet, but I would consider working with Dimensions because this has been really interesting.”
 
Nick French, recruitment manager for St Monica Trust, is looking for 100 care workers for Keynsham’s Chocolate Quarter.
 
He said: “It’s just nice to get that connection with people who are at the beginning of their careers.
 
“I understand how difficult it is when people are starting out in their careers. It’s a catch 22 situation: it’s difficult to get the job without experience, and it’s difficult to get the experience.
 
“It’s about seeing what people can bring to the role, and from my point of view, what you can do to improve the recruitment process as an employer.”
 

 
Motor vehicle students studying for a Level 2 diploma were part of interview sessions with Mon Motors on Thursday April 4.
 
HR manager Sally Wade, dealer’s personal assistant Toni Preston and sales manager Barry Russell gave up their time to meet the students.
 
They prepared feedback, assessing students on the way they answered questions and how they prepared for the interview.
 
Lecturer Glyn Mountjoy said: “It gives them that experience of being interviewed by professionals in the motor industry. Some of the students were nervous because it’s the first time they have been put in front of anybody in an interview situation.
 
“The course is there to progress them into employment and this is part of it. The feedback will show how they can improve on their interview skills.”
 

News

Apprentice of the month: Hajraah Qureshi from the University of Bath

 

Hajraah Qureshi is a Level 3 business administration student studying at Bath College and working within the Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath. At the moment, the University of Bath has three apprentices working onsite, including Hajraah.
 
When did you start as an apprentice at the University of Bath?
 
I started a Level 2 apprenticeship in January last year and finished this in December. I’m now studying for a Level 3 apprenticeship, which will finish in June 2018.
 
When I first started, I had just finished my GCSEs. I started my A-levels, but I didn’t finish them because this opportunity came up and an apprenticeship was my first choice.
 
For my Level 2 qualification, I moved around different offices within the university. I started work in the undergraduate office, which gave me a basic understanding of the university and the services it offers. For my Level 3 qualification, I’m doing longer placements. I have been working in the Marketing office since December and will stay on till April.
 

 
Has it been useful to work in different offices – where are you based now?
 
Yes, I’ve gained a lot of experience in different areas, so for my Level 2 coursework I was able to choose from a range of different units. Moving around helped me to realise how different departments are connected and also helped me to give useful information to students (because I’d worked in those different places). At the moment, I’m based within the marketing team, working on news articles, blogs and social media in general.
 
Why was it important for you to study as an apprentice?
 
It feels more professional when you’re working as an apprentice and it’s helped me with my independence, because I commute to work.
 
The most important thing was having the opportunity to be paid while I learn. When I was looking for an apprenticeship I asked advice from family and friends. They said ‘these days people value experience’. My cousin did an apprenticeship and she was telling me how much she enjoyed it and how she found it better than A-levels.
 
You still get a qualification which is the equivalent of your a-levels, and it seemed more fun to go out and learn about things. Being here is like being on a work placement, you’re meeting new people all the time. It’s nice going into work in the morning knowing you have projects to be working on and people to be talking to.
 
What are you working on within the marketing team?
 
A typical day is quite busy. I ask students to write blogs about their experiences and I’ve just finished an Instagram competition. I’ll be looking at whether this content made any different and how many followers we’ve gained.
 
At the moment, we’re transitioning to new website software, so I’m moving content and writing up newer, updated articles. One of my projects is to write guidelines for e-mail communications with students, so there are many projects that pop up. I always leave time to do my coursework at the end of the day too.
 

Do you feel as though you’ve grown in confidence since starting your apprenticeship?
 
Yes, definitely. Some of my friends are still doing their A-levels and then they will go to university so I do feel as though I have a head start in terms of gaining experience.
 
When we have meetings I put forward my opinion and they say ‘we can do that’. My team values my opinion and I feel comfortable telling them what I think.
I always try to use things I have learnt from other offices to help my new team. The university is a really comfortable place to be working in. I was expecting it to be really strict coming here, but it’s easy to relax and everyone is really friendly.
 
What are your plans for the future?
 
I definitely want to get as many qualifications as possible.
 
Hopefully I’ll be able to complete my level 3 apprenticeship and progress to level 4. I’ve had a lot of different options to do training at the university, I’ve been on general training programmes and university specific ones. For example, mental health and first aid.
It’s good to get as much experience as you can and make the most of your apprenticeship programme before you get a job
 .
Do you have any advice for someone looking for an apprenticeship?
 
Ask for help with your application, there are lots of people around who will be able to support you. I asked my career adviser whilst I was at school. And when you start your apprenticeship, don’t be afraid to ask questions because you’re there to learn.
 
Try and get some experience, which will help you when you apply. When I was in year six, I worked in the reception office. I also tried some teaching at a local mosque and did some work experience at the MoD, which was a very different environment. That experience helped me to get my apprenticeship.
 

News

Students win four medals at the South West SkillBuild regional heat

 

Students at Bath College beat some tough competition to win four medals at this year’s South West SkillBuild regional heat.
 
SkillBuild is the UK’s largest construction skills competition, designed to test the ability of promising young students going into industry.
 
This year, over 1,000 young people will compete in 15 regional heats across the country to win a place in the SkillBuild National Final.
 

 
Students studying carpentry and painting and decorating travelled to South Devon to take part in their nearest regional heat.
 
First year students Shannon Symes, Dean Hale and Ollie Takhar took part in the new entrant and senior entrant categories for painting and decorating.
 
Alex Franklin entered the bench joinery competition as a senior competitor, and Jacob Lower and Ryan Cottle were entered for site carpentry.
 
All students worked well under pressure, but judges were particularly impressed by Dean, Ollie, Alex and Jacob who won four silver medals.
 
Alex, an apprentice at Hawker Joinery, said: “It was a brilliant opportunity to test my ability against a diverse group of people.
 
“The support I got leading up to the competition, from both the college and my employer, helped me prepare myself for the task and contributed towards my second place finish. I hope to have the opportunity to go back next year and aim for first place.”
 

 
For Dean, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year, coming second in his heat has boosted his confidence.
 
The 23-year-old said: “I wasn’t very well, so coming to Bath College to do this course has helped me turn my life around. It gives me confidence to know that I came second because I’m forever doubting myself.
 
“People tell me that I’m good at what I do, but when you enter a competition like this you can really test yourself. It’s down to our tutor Graham really, because he has helped us to get prepared.”
 
Ollie, 18, said: “I was a bit nervous, because I didn’t know what it would be like, but I got on with it and it turned out well. We started practising a couple of months ago, if we hadn’t prepared for the competition it wouldn’t have gone as well. I’m looking forward to entering again next year.”
 

 
Painting and decorating students are now getting ready for the Johnstone’s Young Painter of the Year competition in Bournemouth on May 17th.
 
Tutor Graham Walmsley, who teaches painting and decorating, said: “I’m very proud of our students. This is our second year of entering the competition, last year we didn’t get any medals but this year we did.
 
“It’s a great way to build their confidence, because it tests them against all the other painters and decorators in the South West.
 
“Shannon did really well. She needed another half an hour to complete her work and then she would have been challenging for a place.
 
“Ollie was a first year student in the senior category competing against a previous winner. We’re very pleased with the effort they put in.”
 

News

Florists from Bath College win the chance to compete at Chelsea Flower Show

 

Three florists from Bath College have won a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete at the famous Chelsea Flower Show.
 
Linda Sorenson, Lora Stevens and Sarah Hampton will compete at the show after impressing judges during the South West regional heat.
 
Last year, a team of florists from Bath College won RHS Chelsea Floristry College of the Year and 17-year-old Emily Smith achieved a bronze medal in the Young Florist of the Year competition.
 

 
Lora and Sarah are among 16 florists from across the UK chosen for the final of the Young Florist of the Year competition.
 
Linda is one of two college students selected to compete for the title of Chelsea Florist of the Year, with most of the places for the final going to professional florists.
 
She said: “It was quite a surprise to get through. I entered the heat because it was an opportunity to make something very different from the type of thing you make in everyday floristry.
 
“I just wanted to have the experience of giving it a go. My design was quite simple, but the colours were very beautiful and I think that helped me get a good score.”
 
Florists entering the regional heats were asked to create designs inspired by a wedding for the curator of the Tate Modern in London.
 

 
They will be in the spotlight as thousands head to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, from May 22nd to May 27th.
 
Linda, who volunteers at Roots Floral Designs in Bristol, enrolled on a floristry course at Bath College after working as a nurse for 30 years.
 
She said: “I felt it was time to try something new. One of my patients told me that she had done the Level 3 course at Bath College, and that got me thinking.
 
“I did a 10-week floristry course as a taster and became hooked. It is so exciting to have found another direction to take in life.
 
“Competing at Chelsea is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I’m hoping that I can make something beautiful and unique.
 

 
“The Level 2 and Level 3 floristry students exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show last year. It was a huge group project that many of us worked on.
 
“It’s far more daunting to be entering as an individual, but we are lucky that our tutor Jo Matthews is very experienced at teaching creative floristry.”
 
Sarah, who works at The Blossom Tree, Flowers and Gifts, in Market Lavington, said: “I was nervous competing in the regional heat, but I found it was a great experience overall and it was great to see everyone’s creations.
 
“Last year we entered as a college group and achieved the best college award. I’m looking forward to returning as I loved entering last year.
 
“I’m sure it will feel very different as an individual competitor, but I can’t wait to experience it with Linda and Lora.”
 

News, Students Union

Promoting healthy living on campus: New award for Bath College’s Student Participation Team

 
Bath College’s Student Participation Team has won an award recognising its work to promote health and wellbeing on campus.
 
Whether it’s a fruit kebab stall or a giant post-it wall, the team works hard to come up with creative ways to engage students. In recognition of this, they were invited to receive a Director of Public Health Award from Bath and North East Somerset Council.
 

 
The team submitted evidence from Bath College’s health and motivation month in January to qualify for the award.
 
Activities included a giant game of smoking hoopla to promote the college’s anti-smoking campaign. Anti-smoking kits were given out, including tangle toys, breath mints and information on quitting smoking.
 
Members of the Student Participation Team made postcards with motivational quotes to hand out at lunchtime, and started January with a float your hopes event. Students were given helium balloons and invited to write their hopes for the future on them.
 

 
Equality and Diversity Officer Katie Dunn was also keen to promote the importance of having a positive body image during mental health week. To do this, she covered a sofa with white fabric and asked students to write down their favourite things about themselves.
 
Student Participation Manager Rob Heyes said: “Judges liked the fact that a lot of the things we’re doing are very different. We’re constantly working to come up with creative ways to engage with students around the topic of health and wellbeing.”
 

News

A piece of mining history: Old mural finds a new home at Radstock Museum

 

An old mural showing what mining life was like in the early 19th century has been given a new home at Radstock Museum.
 

The mural, made up of four large wooden panels, was being kept in storage at Bath College, who have donated it to the museum.
 

It shows Lower Writhlington Colliery, on the outskirts of Radstock, which was closed along with Kilmersdon Colliery in September 1973.
 

Mike Drewitt, from the Estates and Facilities team at Bath College, was keen to find a home for the mural, which used to be on display at Norton Radstock College before it became Bath College.
 

When Norton Radstock College merged with the City of Bath College in April 2015, it was renamed as Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.
 


 

Mr Drewitt said: “It was too nice to throw away and now it’s gone to a good home. It couldn’t be more fitting for the museum to have it.
 

“The old Norton Radstock College started as an educational facility for miners and there used to be a printing workshop onsite.
 

“I don’t know if it was created at the college, but it would be interesting to know and to find out why that person chose to recreate this particular scene.”
 

Norton Radstock College evolved from the Old Mills Technical Institution, formed in 1948 to cater for the needs of the local mining community.
 

In 1964, the Institute moved to South Hill Park. Now Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus, South Hill Park was the former residence of James McMurtrie, manager of the Ludlow, Camerton and Middle Pit Collieries.
 

The mural, captioned Lower Writhlington Colliery, 1830, is a reproduction of an old photograph by Leonard Meux Delt.
 

Miranda Litchfield, Development Programme Coordinator at Radstock Museum, said the museum holds a copy of the original photograph.
 

She said: “The mural is just stunning; we can do so much with it. It’s so big you can image yourself in the scene and it’s a very informative illustration. We can see that in 1830 they were still using horses and steam power. It’s a new highlight of the museum I would say.”
 

Do you know anything about this mural? E-mail development@radstockmuseum.co.uk
 

News, Students Union

Interview: Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins reflects on her time in the role

 

Article by Love2learn journalism students Geoffrey Mackett and Penny Tranter
 
For two years Kez Hawkins has been the face of the Bath College Students’ Union. This June, she will stand down from her post as president and hand over to a successor from the May student union elections.
 
The role has allowed her to grow in confidence, she said: “I am here to represent all students, and where change is needed or sought, I promote it to the college management.” She gets different ideas from students through Student Voice, and when these are practicable, they can make improvements to the everyday life of the college.
 

 
Kez confessed when she first took on the role it was scary, “I did not know the scope of the post,” she said. But she soon found her feet, and enjoyed it so much that she stayed for the permitted second year. “You make the job,” she said, having been persuaded to stand by her predecessor. “Having no plans at the end of my photography course, I used it as a gap year.”
 
“You are a governor of the college; you sit on the interview panels for senior staff. I didn’t understand the language that is used in the day-to-day management of the college, especially the financial aspects, so it was a steep learning curve.”
 
Kez said she sometimes finds it difficult to get students to voice their ideas when they are focused on coursework, but used novel methods to get these ideas known.
 
“My last one was to post ideas written on cards shaped like light bulbs, and then hung on a washing line,” she said, adding that the Students’ Union chalkboard is open for students to nominate themselves or colleagues for posts on the student union committee.
 
There are eight students who give time each week to support the president, which is a full-time paid post, four days a week.
 
Passionate about her time at Bath College, Kez praises the tutor from her photography course, who encouraged her. “I wasn’t a good pupil at school” she admits, “when I came to the college I had to re-sit my GCSE English, I didn’t want to go to university. I saw photography as a hobby, not a job, but I grew to love it.”
 
Now with the experience of her course and two years as President, she has a great CV which has led her to youth work. She explains: “Twice a week I am helping as an assistant youth worker in Bath, at the Riverside Youth Hub, and I love it.”
 

 
Now passionate about further education and young people, she hopes to do more work with young people. When she leaves Bath College in the summer, her first commitment will be a four-week summer camp with the National Citizen Service here in Bath. The first week will be a residential away from the area in the Isle of Wight. Kez will be balancing this work alongside work generated by the photography company she has launched.
 
Once elected, new team members, including the president will shadow current student union officers as they learn the role. The college is keen for more students to show an interest in these posts, which help with the running of the college and providing support to students.
 
To find out more about the roles click here.
 

News

Higher education advice: Students meet the careers team at UWE Bristol

 

Students met higher education experts from The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) who came in to lead Why University? sessions.
 
The careers team at UWE Bristol recently won a national award for its work encouraging post-16 students from disadvantaged areas to consider higher education.
 
Students at Bath College attended the sessions in preparation for the UCAS exhibition at the University of Bath on April 3 and April 4.
 
The Bath College Futures team is also holding a higher education event to help students find out about applying for university later this month.
 

 

News

Computing students create learning app for children with diabetes

 

Higher education students are helping the Royal United Hospitals Bath to develop an app for children with diabetes.
 
Alex Bradley, David Forster and Jacky Cheung are leading the project and studying for a BSc in applied computing at Bath College. They are working with senior dietitian Anna Carling to digitise paper tests and adapt these for a functional, working app.
 
Children will be able to learn how much carbohydrate their food contains, and how much insulin they need to take as a result.
 
Alex, David and Jacky are all in the final year of their course. After studying at Bath College for three years, they will be awarded with an honours degree from the University of Bath.
 
Jacky, 22, said: “We’ve built up our skills by applying ourselves to different programming and development techniques through the years.
 
“The app starts off with a menu and, depending on the age of the child, they can pick from different tests. For example, year one pupils will be shown a piece of food and asked if it has carbohydrate, but year six pupils need to work out how much carbohydrate is in the food.
 
“The idea is to help them learn how to manage their diabetes from an early age by using something that is fun and interactive.”
 
Read: IT students design new website for Yeovil Youth Theatre
 

 
The app, which has been in development since January, is currently being tested with young children at local diabetes clinics. After receiving feedback, the group will make final changes and present their findings as part of a college assessment.
 
David, 23, said: “I feel like I’m learning more by working for a client. We’ve been given objectives, which we need to meet, and we’re challenging ourselves as a result.
 
“It’s been good to work as a team, rather than working alone on a job. In the workplace we’ll be working in teams, so those communication skills will benefit us in the future.”
 
Alex, 22, said: “The best thing is the independence, the fact that we’re able to go out and meet the client and get information from them.
 
“We’re working directly with them and organising ourselves, so it’s more like real working life. I’ve really enjoyed it, so I wouldn’t mind working in project management in the future.”
 
Course leader Paul Jackson said: “The team have created an amazing app for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
 
“We really pride ourselves on projects like these. Our applied computing degree courses have a great track record of creating solutions for local industries and organisations.
 
“The students get a lot out of these projects, and actually working with outside clients means our graduates are ready for the modern workplace, with an enviable set of practical skills in a wide variety of software and hardware platforms.”
 

News

Preparing to succeed: Eleven tips for the night before and the day of your exam

 

You’ve spent months studying for your exam and now it’s the day before. Now is the time to show what you’ve learned, so keep focused and read our tips to help you do your best. Good luck to everyone sitting exams this year – we hope it goes well. 
 
1. Check the venue and time of the exam the day before to make sure that you have not confused the day/time/venue.
 
2. Get a good night’s sleep. Feeling refreshed and awake will help you more than a last minute, all night revision cramming session
 

 
3. Have a balanced breakfast and eat nothing risky (probably not the best day to have a super-hot curry!)
 
4. Before leaving home, check that you have everything that you will need – ID, stationery, calculator, etc.
 
5. Head to the exam with plenty of time. A lot of unexpected events can happen on your way there and you do not want to be late!
 
6. Read all the instructions and questions carefully at least twice before starting and plan how much time to allocate to each.
 

 
7. Start answering the questions that you feel most confident about. There is no need to answer the questions in order.
 
8. Don’t spend more time than you planned on a particular section/question or you might run out of time to answer other questions and gain those extra marks
 
9. Use every minute of the exam and if you have time left, review your answers before handing back the paper.
 
10. Stay calm and think positive, you have done your revision and have nothing to fear!
 
11. Reward yourself. If you have more exams to complete, spend some time relaxing before you hit the revision books again.
 

 

News

James McMurtrie’s parlour: Carpentry students build new display at Radstock Museum

 

Carpentry students from Bath College have built a new display at Radstock Museum to help tell the story of mining engineer James McMurtrie.
 
James McMurtrie has a historic connection with Bath College, as he lived at South Hill House, built on the grounds of the college’s Somer Valley Campus.
 
Students William Minty, Tyler Bryant, Daniel White and Samuel Watts have been volunteering at the museum to help staff create the new display, called James McMurtrie’s parlour.
 
Painting and decorating students will put the finishing touches to the parlour walls, and level 1 carpentry and joinery students have built five plinths for the museum to use for displays.
 
Who was James McMurtrie?
 

Born in Ayrshire in 1840, James McMurtrie moved to Somerset to become the manager at Newbury Colliery in Coleford. He made many improvements and, as a result, was hired by Countess Waldegrave as Under Manager at Middle Pit in Radstock.

 

Countess Waldegrave inherited estates in Somerset, Essex and London after the death of her second husband (the 7th Earl Waldegrave) in 1846, and owned all the mines in Radstock at this time.
 
She paid for South Hill House as a thank you for James McMurtrie’s hard work. This was demolished in the 1950s and Radstock Technical College was built, which merged with Bath College in April 2015.
 
Carpentry lecturer Adrian Drake said: “It was good for the students to participate in a volunteering project that helps to develop their employability skills.
 
“It was quite a technical job, because the museum has a sloping roof. They also had to negotiate with the museum, to let them know when they were coming and how noisy the work would be.”
 

News

Deliver quality apprenticeships: Eight things you need to cover as an employer taking on an apprentice

 

The government is changing the way apprenticeships are funded and delivered, and employers are facing new costs now that the apprenticeship levy has come into force. If you’re taking on a new apprentice, you’ll need to follow the government’s funding and performance management rules. To help you stay up to date, we’ve put together a quick guide with some important tips.
 
1. You need a specific contract of employment
This contract should be different to a standard contract and mention the type of apprenticeship offered, including start and end dates.
 
2. Apprentices must be employed until they finish their course
Apprenticeship contracts have a time limit, but sometimes apprentices are unable to complete their studies within this time. Employers should continue to support their apprentice until they complete their training.
 

 
3. Apprenticeships need a job role to move into
Apprentices are a valuable asset for companies for many years to come. However, if you’re not able to provide a permanent job role, you should help your apprentice with their search for alternative employment.
 
4. Allow 20 per cent of working time for training
Apprentices need 20 per cent of their working time away from their desk to learn and train on the job. This can include attending college, attending in-work training and study time.
 
5. Give an opportunity for English and maths qualifications
Apprentices should have the opportunity to study for GCSE maths and English qualifications if they haven’t achieved a C grade.
 
6. Employers choose the end point assessment
You have the final say on the assessments your apprentice needs to pass in order to achieve their qualification. This can be developed in connection with your chosen training provider.
 
7. You can train existing employees as apprentices
If you currently run training programmes for your staff, you could convert these into apprenticeship programmes in order to use part of your apprenticeship levy.
 
8. Employers need to sign a contract with their training provider
You can choose your training provider, but you’ll need to sign a contract with them. For apprentices aged 15 to 17, you’ll also need a signature from their parent or guardian.
 
Bath College is a registered training provider and our apprenticeship team is available to offer expert advice.
 
At Bath College, we work with businesses to help them develop apprenticeship programmes in line with their training needs. Our priority is to help your company grow and make sure you maximise the return on your investment.
 
To find out more about how our team could help your business visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk call Stacey Harper on 01225 328729 or 07805 042830 or e-mail apprenticeships@bathcollege.ac.uk
 

News

New exhibition: Snap and Stroll photographers capture Radstock scenery

 

The chance to learn photography has led to new friendships for students taking part in the Snap and Stroll project in Radstock.
 

Participants have spent eight weeks exploring the town, taking photographs and meeting people who share the same interests. Their work will go on show at the Swallow Community Café, at St Nicholas Church Centre, Church Street, on Tuesday April 11.
 

Picture by Peter
 

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

The project follows on from a successful pilot project in Bath last year and another exhibition on show at the Civic Centre, Keynsham, until April 8.
 

It is a collaboration between Bath College, Creativity Works and the Wellbeing College, and includes those who are experiencing or in recovery from anxiety, depression and mental health challenges.
 

Picture by Irene
 

Kathleen Maitland, from Radstock, has been taking part in the project. She said: “I enjoyed the course from day one. Sally has been amazing, she’s very patient and has gone into as much depth allowed within the time.
 

“When I’m out walking I view things so differently. It’s made me more aware of my surroundings. We get along well as a group, there’s a lot of laughter and encouragement – it’s important to encourage each other.
 

“I’m going through a difficult period in life, and this course has helped me to meet people so I don’t feel isolated. When you’re taking photographs, you get out and about and you see life going on.”
 

Katie Constantine, from Bath College, is helping curate the exhibition, which will feature some well-known scenes, as well as fresh perspectives on everyday places.
 

Picture by Kazvan 
 

Sally, who set up In the Picture Participatory Photography in 2015, said: “I have been delighted and very impressed by how far the participants have come with their photography. We’ve put together a cracking exhibition. I’ve had so much fun facilitating these sessions and will miss my weekly visits to Radstock.”
 

The exhibition opens with a reception on Tuesday April 11th from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. It will be open at the Swallow Community Café until April 28th (between 11am to 3pm).
 

News

College competition: Students show they have plenty of creativity

 

Students studying media makeup, beauty, spa therapy, hairdressing and barbering took part in a day of internal college competitions. They created some brilliant designs and worked very hard – well done to everyone involved. See below for the full list of winners. 
 

Winners for media makeup
 

Level 2: Avant-garde
 

First: Yasmin Hi
Second: Jodi Lord
Third: Megan Douglas
 

Level 3: Woodland characters
 

First: Meg Cottle
Highly commended: Emily Wallace
Best mood board: Freya Harmer
 

Thank you to the judges: Issy Carmody (former student) Gemma Avent (makeup artist) Melanie Crump (Principle of the Bath Academy of Media Makeup) and Jessica Page (from Charlton House).
 


 

Winners for beauty
 

Manicure winner: Megan Palmer
Make up winner: Bethany Thompson
Overall beauty winner: Bethany Thompson
 

Bethany won a spa day for two donated by Center Parcs. Thank you to judges Kayde English (Spa manager at Center Parcs) and Emily Desborough (Emily is a former Bath College student working at Center Parcs).
 

Winners for spa therapy
 

Well done to the winners: Jade Glover, Carly Harris and Dorota Popowska (who also won the overall achievement award and a trophy donated by the Bath Thermae Spa). Thank you to the Bath Thermae Spa, the Royal Crescent, Lush, and Lucknam Park for helping with the judging and/or donating prizes.
 


 

Winners for hairdressing
 

Class one: Fairy tale
First: Abi Fry
Second: Sophie Coupe
Third: Georgia Puckett
 

Class two: Commercial barbers cut
First: Sam Lloyd
Second: Billy Lewis
 

Class three: Ladies commercial cut
First: Chloe Newton
 

Class four: Prom culture/prom
First: Katie Nelmes
Second: Bonita Kitchen
Third: Maisey Sprake
 


 

Class 4a: Pop culture/prom
First: Tiegan Marsh
Second: Maria Vaughan
Third: Megan Parson Box
 

Class five: Avant-garde/Disney

First: Aisha Wright
Second: Sophie Thomas
Third: Cerys Mears
 

Class six: Avant-garde/Disney

First: Chloe Jones
Second: Hannah Yeatman
Third: Danielle Dayman-Johns
 

Class seven: Photoshoot (Level 3)

First: Danielle Dayman-Johns
Second: Aisha Wright
 

Class eight: Photoshoot (barbering)
First: John Adams
Second: Ricmark Dela Isla
 

News

Chefs’ Forum: Students work with Soyful Alom at The Mint Room

 

Pictures by Faydit Food Photography 
 
Executive chef Soyful Alom gave students at Bath College a lesson in Indian cuisine at the latest Chefs’ Forum event.
 
The Mint Room in Bath has become a popular foodie destination, offering a culinary tour of India without the need for a visa. Soyful has developed his menu with Michelin-starred chef Hrishkesh Desai and was keen to speak to the students about his food.
 
Students helped Soyful prepare and serve colourful Indian canapés for 70 industry professionals at lunchtime.
 

He said: “I didn’t realise that the students would be so fascinated by Indian cuisine. I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.”
 
Bridget Halford, Head of Hospitality at Bath College, said: “It has been really inspiration 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.”
 
Students from Gloucestershire College also attended the event and were part of a samosa making competition, won by 17-year-old Bath College student Kyle Lucas.
 
He said: “I am really excited to have won a day in the kitchen with Soyful. Having worked as a waiter in a local Indian restaurant, I am no stranger to Indian cuisine.
 
“However, today’s event has inspired me to experiment further in the kitchen actually cooking Indian food. I am really chuffed to have won the competition today.”
 

 
Another highlight of the day was a wine and pairing session, led by Bristol-based Averys wine merchants. Jack Cook, from Walter Rose, butchered a whole lamb – demonstrating how to make use of the whole carcass.
 
Soyful chose to make Tawa Duck, a roast duck dish with a korma base and Indian spices, for his cookery demonstration. He will be working with students at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant to serve canapés and a two-course meal on April 25th at 12pm.
 
Tickets are available for the meal, which is open to the public. To book call (01225) 328502 or e-mail shrubberyrestaurant@bathcollege.ac.uk
 
The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath and Cotswolds area, and 36 chef events per year nationally. Contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com
 

News

Apprentice of the month: Matt Rose from TH White (refrigeration)

 

Refrigeration apprentice Matt Rose was 18 when he started studying Level 2 refrigeration at Bath College. After working for five years (and training a few apprentices of his own) he returned to college to study for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
 

You work at TH White, what does your job role include?
 

At TH White, we do everything from security to construction, but I work in the dairy department. I’m fixing, installing, decommissioning and repairing milking equipment.
 

I like a challenge. You get a phone call saying ‘I have a break-down,’ but often there’s not a lot of information before you go out on the job. You need to think ‘what do I need to take on this job?’ I’m not stuck in an office, it’s nice to see the countryside – you end up having your lunch break in a different place every day.
 


 

How did you start out in the refrigeration industry?
 

I wanted to do a trade and find a decent job and I thought ‘why not try the foundation course?’ That was at Bath College, and after that I got a Level 2 apprenticeship for myself with TH White.
 

Even coming back to college now, I’m learning a lot. The Level 3 course is an in-depth course focusing on specific subjects which are relevant to you. It’s valuable coming into the college, at the end of this I will have a Level 3 diploma in air conditioning and refrigeration. It will give me a better foothold and more leverage when it comes to the chance for a promotion and a pay rise.
 

How do you feel you’ve improved since starting out as an apprentice in the early days of your career?
 

I’ve had four apprentices since I finished the level 2 course. It was daunting teaching the apprentices to start with but I learned a lot from teaching them. When they ask questions, it makes you think. You don’t realise how much you’ve learned until you have to answer their questions.
 

What’s the best thing about being in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry?
 

Air conditioning and refrigeration is everywhere, so there’s a demand for jobs. You can go to any place that has air conditioning and refrigeration and ask them who does their service and maintenance, and then you can ask that company for a job. It’s about using your initiative.
 

What advice do you have for someone starting out in the trade?
 

I would say the best thing you can do is find yourself a decent apprenticeship and get yourself enrolled on a course. With the foundation course, you don’t have to have an apprenticeship but you have to get on the course and to be able to pay for it.
 

What I say to my apprentices is that ‘yes the wage is lower but you don’t have the knowledge yet’. I would highly recommend an apprenticeship. It’s been a good route for me – If I wasn’t doing this I don’t know what I would be doing, but now I have a trade for life.
 

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