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Equine students play crucial role in caring for rescued horses

Students are being given first-hand experience of caring for abandoned and neglected horses to help them get ahead in the equestrian industry.

Equine students at Bath College are being given the chance to turn their love of horses into fulfilling careers with weekly on-the-job experience.

The College’s Somer Valley Campus is working in partnership with HorseWorld in Bristol, which is the UK’s leading charity caring for horses, ponies and donkeys.

Students spend at least one day a week helping to rehabilitate the rescued horses. Each animal has an individual programme of rehabilitation, including veterinary care, dentistry, farriery, as well as handling and training to improve their chances of being re-homed.

Equine lecturer Lil Ough said the students played a hands-on role at HorseWorld to make a real difference to horses in need.

She said: “We’re very lucky to have such a close working relationship with HorseWorld as it greatly benefits the students.

“There are hundreds of horses needing rehabilitation which puts students on the front-line in the equine world.

“The work is hard and varied, but students learn to build up relationships with the horses to improve any fitness and behavioural issues.

“It gives students a real feel to what it’s like to work in the industry. Students get to leave College with the practical skills and knowledge to follow a rewarding career in the equine industry.”

Horse Care students at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus study the anatomy and biology of horses, including handling, feeding, health, welfare and grooming.

The Equine Management course covers stable management, coaching skills and the leisure and tourism-related aspects of the equestrian world.

Students progress into employment within the equine industry, including horse breeding on stud farms, grooming, teaching at riding schools, or in one of the many career opportunities available in the horse racing industry.

Aaron Boniface, a Level 2 Equine Studies student, said he looked forward to working with the rescued horses each week.

The 18-year-old from Chew Magna said: “I’m really enjoying everything that I’m learning. The course combines classroom teaching with practical experience at HorseWorld.

“I’m hoping to go into equine dentistry. It would be great if I could get an apprenticeship to continue my on-the-job experience.”

Level 1 Equine Studies student Ella Boyce, 17, of Bristol said: “I’ve always loved horses, so I’m studying what I love.

“Being at HorseWorld is the best part of the course as it’s so hands-on, you learn while out in the field.

“It’s been great being in a working environment and it’s made me realise I’d like to work in grooming.”

Find out more about Bath College’s Equine courses at its Somer Valley Campus Open Evening at South Hill Park, Westfield. Prospective students are invited along on Thursday, May 14 between 5pm and 8pm to talk to staff and students, tour the facilities and find out which course is right for them.

WEB Students at HorseWorld WEB Sam White with horse WEB Somer Valley at HorseWorld

Pictured above: Equine students from Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus with the rescued horses at HorseWorld.

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Brave students come face-to-face with dangerous reptiles

Students at Bath College have got up close and personal with some of the world’s most dangerous animals.

Animal Care and Animal Management students at the Somer Valley Campus came face-to-face with an alligator and crocodile as part of their course

Around 40 Level 1-3 students got to meet the reptiles and hold them during a visit by Pete Blake of Reptile Zone in Bristol.

Mr Blake showed students how crocodilia can be cared for and kept in captivity.  He has a Dangerous Wild Animals licence and also keeps 50 venomous snakes from across the world.

Animal Care Coordinator Wayne Clarke said the talk was organised to help educate students about animals they wouldn’t normally come into contact with.

He said: “The students really enjoyed the experience, although there were quite a few scared faces when it came to handling the reptiles.

“It’s not everyday students get so close to some of the world’s most dangerous animals so it was a great opportunity for them.

“The information given to them about how to care for these animals will be useful in their future careers.

“There is a widespread misunderstanding about reptiles. Holding the animals has hopefully reduced their fears and given them a better understanding.”

Even Principal Matt Atkinson tried to put on a brave face as he posed for ‘snaps’ with Ali G the baby alligator.

He said: “Seeing an alligator walking around a classroom like a dog was one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.

“When I was asked if I’d like to hold the baby alligator, I initially said ‘no.’

“But then I changed my mind because I wanted to impress the students!”

Bath College runs a range of Animal Care courses giving students the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in the industry. Courses cover the health, welfare, handling and husbandry of animals.

The Animal Care Centre at the Somer Valley Campus is home to a wide range of rodents, reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish and creepy crawlies.

Call the Student Advice Centre on 01225 312191 for more information if you are interested in Animal Care courses.

WEB Principal Matt Atkinson with alligator WEB Animal Care student with alligator WEB student with croc

 It's a snap! Students and Principal Matt Atkinson put on brave faces as they posed with a baby alligator.

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Businesses work together to improve online marketing

Business leaders have come together to share their ideas on how they can reach a wider audience through online marketing.

More than 20 company representatives shared good practice at the latest breakfast business event organised by Bath College.

The networking event saw business leaders from across Bath and North East Somerset learning how to make the most of online marketing.

Engineering, computing, tourism and service industry businesses were represented at the event at Newton Farm Café in Newton St Loe.

Guest speaker Kate Doodson from Cosmic Ethical IT talked about the latest trends, while several businesses shared their own experiences of using websites, social media and videos.

The event was organised as part of a European project called Connect-VET, which aims to develop innovations in the vocational education and training sector.

The on-going project hopes to improve the connections between employers and students during their studies and increase their readiness for entrepreneurship.

Project leader Rosaleen Courtney, who is based at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus, said: “Our guest speaker, Kate Doodson, used everyday language to give practical tips on how to select and apply latest developments.

“By the end of the event, people were buzzing with bright ideas.”

Celia Gay, who runs the Newton Farm shop and café, explained how the business used its website and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for marketing purposes.

Celia said: “We recently produced a video of the farm to show the range of products and facilities we offer as we see video as an increasingly important way to attract customers.”

Mike Owen and Grant McMinn, students at Bath Spa University, also explained how they had helped to develop branding, video and a website for Bath City Community Sports Foundation as part of their course.

Further discussion followed on how the University and Bath College can help local businesses through work placements and apprenticeships.

The importance of superfast broadband and business clusters was also discussed with Chris Head, Director of the West of England Rural Network and local businessman, David Bland providing information on progress in the area.

Bath College, formerly Norton Radstock College, has been working alongside the West of England Rural Network, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Bath Spa University on the Connect-VET project for almost two years.

The group shares good practice with partners across seven different countries, including Finland, Italy, Spain and Estonia.\

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Pictured above: Employers from across Bath & North East Somerset shared online marketing opportunities at a Bath College business event at Newton Farm Café. 

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Hair & Beauty students impress judges with their creativity

Hair and Beauty students at Bath College have put their creative and practical skills to the test in an industry-standard competition.

The annual challenge at the Somer Valley Campus saw more than 25 Level 2 and 3 students showcasing their talents under timed conditions.

They had to impress a panel of professional judges by demonstrating their ability to work under pressure.

The competition, which counts towards the students’ coursework portfolio, aims to boost their confidence and creativity skills.

Jayne Withers, senior curriculum leader for hair and beauty, said the competition encouraged students to show their talents and inspire others.

She said: “The College’s annual hair and beauty competition is a fantastic showcase for our students to demonstrate the skills they learn at College.

“Working under timed competition conditions, it’s not easy, but the students once again impressed judges with their high standards and creativity.”

Level 3 Make-up Artistry students had to create a character based on the fantasy theme ‘Out of this World’. They used make-up, face and body art to come up with eye-catching designs such as space maids and sea life creatures.

Level 3 Hair students created the ‘total look’ with a colour, cut and finish, while Level 2 Hair students tackled a ‘long hair up’ style that was commercial and fashionable.

Level 2 Beauty students had just 45 minutes to use nail art techniques with an Easter theme.

Gemma Olsen was the winner of the ‘long hair up’ category after she put her 15-year-old daughter Karym’s hair in a French roll in the 60 minute timeframe.

The Level 2 Hair student decided on a career change and returned to College to train as a hairdresser after having four children.

Gemma of Chilcompton said: “It was awesome to hear my name being read out, this was my first big win.

“It’s given me even more motivation to go on to do my Level 3 Hairdressing then work in a salon.

“I’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser since I left school but I’ve been working in childcare as the hours fitted in with my own children.

“But now my children are 15, 12, 7 and 6 and all at school, I’m determined to work hard at College to get my dream job.”

The competition culminated in family and friends being invited to a prize giving ceremony at the Centurion Hotel.

The judges were Scott Green, who owns the ACU Hair Salon in Devizes, James Christopher, who owns JC Hairdressing in Midsomer Norton, Mark Hanock, of Gilmor Hair Supplies, and Mel Broom of The Body Painting Company.

Scott said: “This is the 13th year I’ve been invited to judge this competition and it’s been fantastic every year.

“This year was a very closely contested competition. We have had to make some difficult decisions as the talent has been so high.

“The students put so much hard work into their entries, it’s the pinnacle of their year.”

For more information on Hair and Beauty courses at Bath College, call 01225 312191.
WEB Make up artistry entries

WEB Hair & Beauty comp entries WEB Hair entries

Pictured above: Students at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus with their entries in the annual Hair and Beauty competition.

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Bath College is launched

Bath College launches today to mark the start of a new chapter of further education for Bath and North East Somerset.

The new multi-campus college comes into operation today (April 7) to give students more choice, greater opportunities and a wider range of facilities.

The ‘bigger and better’ college has been formed by the merger of Bath College and Norton Radstock College.

Bath College has the City Centre Campus in Avon Street, Bath, and the Somer Valley Campus in South Hill Park, Westfield.

The scale and influence of the new college, as well as its combined expertise, is expected to provide a real stimulus for economic growth.

Its focus will be work-ready skills to ensure students are able to meet the demands of the local labour market.

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said the new college would be taking further education in Bath and North East Somerset from good to excellent.

He said: “This is an exciting time for us all with both students and employers reaping the benefits.

“The new college opens up so many opportunities; we now offer an even wider range of vocational and academic courses, in an even greater range of subjects.

“We are building on the strengths of the two colleges and moving forward to deliver outstanding learning and progression opportunities.”

He added: “As a merged college we will continue to be responsive to the communities we serve.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to make the people of Bath and North East Somerset proud of their new college.”

Bath College provides vocational and educational training for more than 3,000 full-time students and around 10,000 part-time students across the broadest range of subjects.

The merger has been completed in 18 weeks after the Department for Business Innovation and Skills identified it as the best possible option following Norton Radstock College’s inadequate Ofsted inspection.

Matt thanked staff, students, governors and community partners for working hard to keep the merger on schedule, and explained that today was ‘just the beginning.’

He said: “Today is the first day of our new college, a new college which marks the start of bigger and better things.

“Today is the start of a new future.”

For more information on Bath College, visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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