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Love2Learn, News, Student Spotlight

Gab Hatter: A Bath College Love2Learn Success Story

 

On Thursday 28th February, Bath College hosted a Wedding Fayre allowing local exhibitors to showcase their wedding accessories, services and stationery. Exhibitors from all over Bath and the surrounding areas came down to showcase the amazing things they offered.

 

Alongside many other exhibitors, Gwenda Bryce, founder of Gab Hatter, attended with a large collection of her hand made wedding hats and fascinators. Gwenda has a very unique relationship with Bath College and we caught up with her to ask her about her journey into Millinery.

 

Gwenda told us that she attends the Ascot Horse Races every single year, and she would always dream of making her own hat to take along with her. Originally from Edinburgh, she found a millinery course to attend there and decided to bite the bullet and attend it. However, at the last minute she decided to look locally and saw that Bath College were offering a Love2Learn leisure course in Millinery. She enrolled on to this course and loved it; so much in fact, she decided to continue studying and enrolled onto more Love2Learn leisure courses, doing 18 months of millinery work on an evening course.

 

Gwenda then went on to train at The British School of Millinery and has also had the opportunity to work with top milliners, such as Bridget Bailey, Ani Townsend and Jane Taylor (whose hats have been worn by members of the Royal family, including The Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Eugenie).

 

Gwenda then started her own business and operates out of her home in Bath. She makes bespoke hats to order, and also has a huge collection of unique hats she has created in her free time. Her business is called Gab Hatter, Gab being her initials and also a likeness to the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.

 

Gwenda absolutely loves what she does and this is apparent when you speak to her. She’s now looking into expanding her skillset into working with leather, and likes to look around her for inspiration for her hats. It’s always fantastic to see our learners achieve great things after their time at College and we couldn’t be more proud that Gwenda is now doing what she loves as a business, what an incredible achievement!

 

Have a look at our Love2Learn Leisure courses to see what you can learn, you never know, you might find your dream business venture just like Gwenda!

 

Apprenticeships, News, Student Spotlight

Apprentice of the Month: February 2019

 

 

 

Our February Apprentice of the Month is Charlotte Wetton. Charlotte is a second year Veterinary Nursing Apprentice working at Orchard Vets and has been nominated by her assessor Naomi.

 

The Veterinary Nursing course is aimed at anyone wanting to start a career as a small animal Veterinary Nurse and has an interest in all aspects of animal health and welfare. This is a great Apprenticeship for anyone looking to become a Veterinary Nurse and can lead to jobs such as Head Veterinary Nurse and also lead on to opportunities to specialise in other areas, such as Animal Welfare and Training.

 

Charlotte’s assessor Naomi told us:

“Charlotte has placed an enormous effort in taking feedback on from assessors and lecturers and applied this into new found knowledge to achieve the best grades she can. Because of this brilliant achievement and extended leap in her learning, Charlotte has been nominated for being a high achiever, the whole of the vet nursing team congratulate Charlotte on being apprentice of the month.”

 

It’s always difficult to select the Apprentice of the month, as they are all so hard working and achieve so much on their Apprenticeship journey. However, this month Charlotte really shone out for her high achievements and so was completely deserving of this award. Well done Charlotte!

 

News, Student Spotlight

Bath Theatre Academy students wow crowds with Bram Stoker’s Dracula performance

 

Bath College’s Performing and Production Arts students put on a breathtaking performance of Dracula at The egg theatre last weekend.
 
The students are all part of The Bath Theatre Academy, a theatre group which is a partnership between Bath College and the Theatre Royal that has recently been awarded with Beacon Standard from the Association of Colleges.
 
The audiences of Bram Stoker’s Dracula were audibly impressed by the talent of the students as everything from the acting to the staging to the production was so professional.
 
The production has has very positive reviews from Bath & Wiltshire Parent and Backstage Bristol (click to read them) as well as the below from a member of the public on Facebook:
 


“Now I’m a huge fan of Bram Stoker and have seen many adaptations of his novel over the years where sadly most fall way short of working but this version at the egg was such a treat.
 
The spin on 4 people playing the Dracula was a wonderful idea as was making Renfield such a pivotal player. Toby Mitchell was such a treat to see perform his tongue twisting script that sprang such wonderful treats for ones ears.
 
The rest of the cast were a treat but the one actor that stood out for us over all was Tabby Langridge playing the wonderful Lucy.
Her performance was really quite special and so incredibly believable. She stole the play for us and I hope that one day we will see her on tv, or in film, or playing the stage as she did so well on Saturday. A career for sure awaits her.
 
A fantastic night out and thank you also to the staff at the egg for looking after me due to my disability.
We will for sure be coming back to see other plays put on by your students.”

 

 
James Moore, Head of Creative Learning & Course Leader for the Bath Theatre Academy said: “We’re obviously very pleased with the great response the production has had, and as Course Tutor I couldn’t be more proud that the students’ hard work has been recognised. Although our course is still relatively new, we are gaining national recognition of being a lead in theatre education.
 
“We are committed to offering young performers and theatre makers a route into the industry, equipping them with the complex skills necessary to navigate the industry. Allowing students to work on high quality productions enables them to progress in a way that mirrors the working world; developing skills in creative problem solving, resilience and innovation.”
 
Applications are now open for September 2019, for more information about the Bath Theatre Academy and course, click here or contact James.Moore@theatreroyal.org.uk
 
Photos by: Mark Dawson Design by: April Dalton
 

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Complementary Therapy – Malgorzata Glapiak

 

 

 

One of our talented Complementary Therapy students, Malgorzata has secured a place working in Aegeo Spa in Crete. Malgorzata took part in the Erasmus exchange programme, along with 20 other Complementary and Spa Therapy students. They spent a month living and working on the beautiful island of Crete at a Greek Spa called Aegeo Spa. By the end of the month were so impressed with Malgorzata’s work that they offered her a job. We caught up with her to ask about her time at College and what she thought of the Complementary and Spa Therapy courses at Bath College.

 

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied Level 3 Complementary Therapies

 

When did you study at Bath College?

2017-2018

 

What was the most valuable part of the College course?

The course was very practical and client heavy; it really prepares you to work in the industry. I also loved that it offered Erasmus opportunities and work placements.

 

What made you apply in the first place?

My mum actually did the course 8 years ago and recommended it to me. The staff are very experienced and the College is in an amazing location. I also did my A-levels at Bath college and I got to know Di and Sharon- they were very helpful and kind.

 

How did you get your job in Crete?

I applied and took part in the Erasmus Exchange in Crete working for Aegeo Spa. They offered me a job that I could take on completion of my course.

 

Describe a typical day in your day job.

I start by greeting guests and recommending appropriate services and products; I then perform face and body treatments. I also help to maintain hygiene in the staff and treatment rooms as well as storing and maintaining necessary documentation and client files. I have lunch with other members of staff, attend training and meetings at work.

 

What piece of advice would you give to those who are interested in working in a spa/studying complementary therapies or similar?

The course offers you the necessary skills and knowledge in order to work in a spa. Working in a spa teaches you a lot of important skills, such as time management, problem solving in the team and hygienic practice. It also improves your communication skills and client care. The course provides invaluable experience for those who wish to become self-employed in the future and it also offers you knowledge about different treatments and products and their suitability so you become much more confident as an individual.

 

Awards, News, Student Spotlight

Bath College Young Enterprise Group Scoops Award at St Nicholas Market

 

‘Candles for Occasions’ wins ‘Best Customer Service’ Award at St Nicholas Market in Bristol

 

On the 1st of December two Young Enterprise groups from Bath College went to St Nicholas Market in Bristol. Each group had a stall and were selling their products to the public. This was the first opportunity for each team to start selling to the public, and the first time either team had experienced market selling.

 

The two teams were BathHB and Candles for Occasions. BathHB were selling unique handmade soaps will small prizes inside; these are to encourage hygienic habits in children. Candles for Occasions were selling eco-friendly scented candles, where everything from the box to the wick is environmentally friendly.

 

Products being sold by each team

 

Each team spent the day chatting and selling to members of the public, getting a sense for public facing selling in a busy market environment. Across the course of the day there were ‘Mystery Shoppers’ who were sent to test each teams’ customer service skills. There was also a group of Young Enterprise judges who would quiz each team in detail about their products and business, so they had to know exactly what they were talking about inside and out to win them over!

 

 

Candles for Occasions were commended for their ‘clear pricing’, being ‘very friendly and approachable’ and having a ‘nice product’. The team was headed up by Managing Director Clarice Izatt, and consisted of Paddy O’Regan, Oscar Grimes, Tamzin Kirkman, Tyler Robson, Andrew Stokes, Jess Wood, Harry Edward and Sam Bax. As a result, they won an award for having the best customer service over the day, and out of all the teams from 11 other Colleges and Schools Candles for Occasions placed third overall, an achievement they should be incredibly proud of!

 

 

If you’re interested in a Business Course you can find one here

 

Apprenticeships, News, Student Spotlight

Case study: Ellie Selway, Electrical Apprentice

 

This week is Apprenticeship takeover week and we thought we’d kick it off by looking at the success of one of our current Apprentices, Ellie Selway.

 

 

Ellie is a current Electrical Apprentice; she started off her journey on the Access to Building Services course and moved more towards electrics from there.

 

Currently she is working with a company called Bridges, giving her valuable on the job experience and training, a key aspect of Apprenticeships.

 

We caught up with her for a short Q&A about her experience at College and on the Apprenticeship.

 

 

 

What course do you study at Bath College?

“1st year I did Access to building services to get a taster of a few different construction courses as I had no previous experience and knew I’d like to do something in construction but not what specific trade.2nd year I did electrical installation. 3rd year I started working for bridges doing the level 3 electrical apprenticeship and currently have just began my 2nd year in the apprenticeship, making it my 4th year at the college.”

 

What’s the most enjoyable aspect of your course?

“My current lecturer has excellent knowledge of the course content and I feel like I come away from every lesson with a stronger understanding of what we’re learning. It’s nice to come into college and be able to socialise with other apprentices your own age and in the same position as you.”

 

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

“Health and safety and learning about the electrical regulations as I will always have to follow these throughout my career and I feel these are most important.”

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

“Bath college is the most local college to me with a good reputation, providing a wide range of construction courses and their application process is simple and well organised.”

 

What do you want to after College?

“After college I would like to stay with the company I am currently with for a couple of years to gain more on site experience within the field and then to go on to start my own business eventually with the possibility of going on to higher level courses as well to gain further knowledge.”

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to study an Apprenticeship?

“Personally, from my experience this is the best route to go down you get paid whilst you’re learning and get a variety of hands on work and theory, an apprenticeship offers a lot of opportunities for progression and as long as you have the right attitude and make the most of what is being offered it can take you far.”

 

 

If you’re interested in applying for an Apprenticeship you can check our Apprenticeship vacancies here

 

If you’re an employer interested in taking on an Apprentice we have all the information here

 

Chandler next to SkillFridge poster

Construction & Engineering, News, Student Spotlight

Four Bath College students make WorldSkills UK competition final

 

Bath College have four students who are competing in WorldSkills UK live, the home of the UK National Finals of more than 70 WorldSkills UK Competitions, giving the most talented apprentices and students the chance to be named as the UK’s best in their chosen skill.
 
The competitions challenge and assess an individual’s applied knowledge, technical ability and employability skills against a set of performance criteria, with finalists competing for gold, silver and bronze medals and the opportunity to be selected to join Squad UK to train for future international competitions.
 
Two Refrigeration students, Chandler and Kevin, have made the top six for SkillFRIDGE as well as two Stonemasonry students who have made the top eight for Stonemasonry in SkillBuild.
 
Bath College is the only training provider in the 2018 SkillFRIDGE competition to see two of its students make the top six: Chandler Davison and Kevin Ballantine.
 
Chandler (pictured above), who has topped the national rankings and will be the recipient of the SkillFRIDGE National Winner accolade, is employed by Thermocold Ltd – a family-run business working in and around the South West region – and is set to complete his four year apprenticeship course in September.
 
Speaking on what led him into the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, Chandler said: “It was a great apprenticeship programme to enter at college and was a subject that I was interested in, especially due to the fact that my Dad has worked in the industry his entire life.”
 
Kevin spent fifteen years in other trades before pursuing a career in RACHP (refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump systems), after his elder brother asked him to partner with him and start their own company; TKB Air Conditioning.
 
Following a year on the tools, Kevin opted for a course with Bath College. He notes: “We decided it would be beneficial for me to get a qualification in the industry to help us progress further.
 
“I signed up to a two-year apprenticeship with a possibility of doing a third after. I’ve just completed my first year and it’s all going well so far.”
 
Josh and Hartaj, by Skillbuild poster
Josh Underwood and Hartaj Hunjan (pictured above) came first and second in the regional heats of the SkillBuild Stonemasonry competition in the stonemasonry workshop at the Somer Valley Campus and have now made it to the final at WorldSkills UK live.
 
Hartaj is delighted to have made the final: “I was quite surprised to finish where I did as I tried last year and didn’t quite make it. It’s great to see how much I’ve improved in a year.”
 
Hartaj has just finished the Stonemasonry course at Bath College and is an apprentice at A F Jones Stonemasons Ltd.
 
“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as they are enabling me to hone my skills. It’s a great way to learn and improve, as eventually I would like to go self-employed.”
 
Josh is also doing an apprenticeship at a Stonemasonry business, his is with Phidias Neo Classical, based in Bristol. After his apprenticeship finishes he would also like to start a business.
 
Paul Maggs, Stonemasonry lecturer at Bath College is very impressed with his students: “We are incredibly proud of Josh and Hartaj who worked so hard for the competition.
 
“To have our only two competitors enter the final is a real testament to their talent.”
 
WorldSkills UK live takes place on 15th-17th November at the NEC Birmingham.
 

Elisa Rossetto with plastic bag balloon

Events, News, Student Spotlight

Thank you to our Student Volunteers at Forest of Imagination

 

Last weekend saw Forest of Imagination return to the streets of Bath. The series of creative, family friendly art installations and events were helped by a group of Bath College student volunteers.
 

Elisa Rossetto (pictured above) volunteered all weekend helping on both the maze and also managing Kingsmead Square.
 

Elisa is an International student from Italy, studying English as a Second Language at Bath College as well as Photography and Graphic Design and is gearing up for her CIE exam.
 

“The best bit of Forest of Imagination was working with the giant balloon made of plastic bags.
 

“It was great to be in the middle of the square with so many people and so many activities taking place.”
 
Rhys Evans with college Forest of Imagination display
Rhys Evans, (pictured above) who is studying Level 3 Performing and Production Arts was also volunteering across the weekend, stewarding and keeping an eye on all the activities.
 

He said: “The thing about this weekend I enjoyed most was being able to work as part of a team and building my teamwork skills.
 

“I thought the best was the performances going on at the riverside, they were really good fun.”
 
Yehee volunteering
Yehee Kim (pictured above) is currently studying the University of Bath International Foundation Year course at Bath College. She volunteered as she saw it as a great opportunity to be drawn into the Bath community.
 
“One of the most memorable activities was the Confuserphones. It is a headphone connected with a twisted tunnel that fakes the place of where the sound is coming from. The principle is easy but I was so amazed about it.
 
“I was also at the Forest Den at the Kingsmead Square. I really loved it because it was a nice place to read books while stewarding. Many books with different genres were equipped on the shelves and there were log chairs that anyone could come in, grab a book and read it. I have never imagined a den library at a crowded city. Frankly, I felt like I was in a fairly tale.
 
“I do really recommend other students to volunteer for social activities held in Bath.”
 
Bath College are delighted to have been involved again with Forest of Imagination and were collecting crisp packets and plastic bags in reception to add to the installations. The Willow tree outside Roper Reception was transformed into a forest spectacle as well.
 

A big thank you to all of our student volunteers for all your hard work.
 

Access HE NHS students

News, Student Spotlight

Students find Bath College Access to HE course perfect pathway to NHS Careers

Future medical professionals are finding the Access to Higher Education course at Bath College a fantastic way to achieve their career ambitions.
 
Hopeful physiotherapists, optometrists, midwives, paramedics, midwives and paediatricians are among students who are about to progress from the College onto their next steps.
 
Stephanie has a place at UWE to study Physiotherapy in September.
 
She said: “The access course has given me the skills needed to go to university. Before I never thought it’d be possible.
 
“As I’m older and have been out of education for a long time, the idea of writing an essay was really daunting! The Access Course has built up my skills and confidence in doing that.
 
“I completed an A-level in Biology when I was in college at 18 with a poor grade, as I found it so difficult to wrap my head around the content, but the Access Course at Bath College has made it a lot easier to understand and I am now getting distinctions throughout science.”
 
The Access to Higher Education course is for anyone 19 or older and lasts a year. On the course they study core subjects of English, Maths and study skills, together with subjects related to the degree choice.
 
Jasmine is studying Psychology, Sociology and Biology alongside the core subjects. She has a place to study Child’s nursing at Cardiff University.
 
“Before I came on this course I had just come back from traveling a wide range of countries and before that I worked as a Toddler Room Leader at a Nursery, particularly working 1:1 with a little boy with disabilities.
 
“I am now looking forward to the fact in 3 years’ time I will be a qualified children’s nurse and be able to begin my dream job for life, helping young people.”
 
Bath College Principal, Laurel Penrose, encourages parents to study at the College because staff can support students:
 
“We believe that by continuing in education and training and developing higher level skills, you are putting yourself in a very strong position to improve your life chances. For some that will mean improving career prospects and for others it will mean expanding skills and knowledge.”
 
Samantha has a three-year-old son and took the Access course to become a midwife, something that she was nervous about juggling before starting: “Luckily, I have a very supportive family who will care for my son when I need time for my assignments.
 
“College help part-fund my son’s pre-school hours every week to ensure I can commit to college. This means I have more time at college to do work and ensure I can attend all my lessons.
 
“The Access Course has really helped boost my confidence, it’s supported me to receive offers from universities for competitive courses I would never have been able to achieve on my own.
 
“It’s also allowed me to improve my academic knowledge and set me up for university whilst making great supportive friends who are also going through the same process for their goals.”
 
If you would like more information about Bath College’s Access to Higher Education course click here.
 

Wiktor on his plcaement

News, Student Spotlight

Case study: Wiktor’s Erasmus Business Placement in Prague

 
Wiktor Blaszczyk took part in an Erasmus+ placement in Prague earlier this year, at an organisation called called Recola, a bicycle rental company. We heard from Wiktor about his month-long placement to find out all the benefits it had.

 

Completing a work placement is a requirement on my Business course. So I thought, why not do one abroad! My tutors had shared the opportunity with me but the desire to travel, meet new people and throw myself into a completely new environment, made me motivate myself to work hard and earn a place to go to Prague for 4 weeks.
 
I began researching the company that I would be working with beforehand, and discovered that it was looking to expand internationally into European markets. I read up about some of these in advance, and greatly impressed my employers with my insight during my first week on the job!
 
Getting to see how a business works internally was a great benefit. My area was in sales for the company’s bicycle-renting project, and my main role was in identifying and making international contacts, in order to introduce the project into cities across Europe. I used my initiative to develop a communication guide from the company’s existing documents, suited to the individual countries which I had to interact with. My confidence, inter-personal skills and problem-solving ability were greatly boosted through this experience.
 Wiktor and his colleagues
 
Living away from home in a foreign country in an apartment full of other students, gave me a taste of independence and responsibility, which I would not have had otherwise. Prague is a haven for delicious food, beautiful architecture, museums and general activities, so there is always something to do! The host organisation even organised an evening at an escape room which the whole team enjoyed! Our in-country contact helped us to sort any issues which we might have and would always reply to our messages immediately. He even brought food for us on our first night there when we arrived from the airport, which was much appreciated!
 
A moment to remember in the local community, was when an elderly Czech gentleman heard me speaking English to some other students on a tram, and turned to greet us warmly. He even stepped off the tram at our stop to point us to a restaurant he recommended, before he boarded again to continue his own journey home.
My efforts throughout the placement earned me the praise of my boss who asked me to continue working with the company once I returned home, and I gladly agreed! I am still carrying out my tasks whilst completing my Business Course at Bath College, and I know this will look great on my CV when I apply for a job after. The placement made me realise that I prefer developing my skills in an actual workplace.
 
My advice for future participants is to stay focussed on what you are doing and your goals to make the most of the experience. Be flexible and always look for solutions. It was a great experience for me from which I gained a lot of life lessons and skills. Thank you to Erasmus+!
 

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