College students welcome coding into the classroom

Students at Bath College are learning to create their own digital worlds as coding is put at the heart of their IT education.


They are being taught how to tell a computer to perform complex tasks to keep up to date with the changing technological world.


The College is dedicated to arming students with the power of coding as today’s job market is dominated by computer software.


Level 2 IT students are being taught that once they know how to code, the only limit on what is possible within computing is their imagination.


It comes as the next generation’s world is predicted to be even more online and digital with more web-controlled devices.


Coding – which is seen as the new language of the world – also develops the students’ maths, problem-solving and logical-thinking skills.


During the first year of their IT courses, Bath College students are using an onsite programme to pick up the basics through a series of activities that increase in difficulty.


The website (code.org) features videos, puzzles, group activities and game designs recommended by the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.


Students are then encouraged to go on to use coding to build useful applications and websites.


Student Amiee Daws, 16, said she liked how coding was incorporated into the course to try to get them ahead in the industry.


She said:  “I didn’t really know a lot about coding but I’m learning in a very hands-on way.


“Learning with the website has demystified coding and broken it down into simple terms for us.


“I think I’ve become a better logical-thinker and I’m hoping I can put what I’ve learnt about coding into practice when I get a job.”


Student Jordan Kent, 18, said coding would help with his future career as he hoped to go on to university then get his dream job at the Government Communications HQ (GCHQ) in Cheltenham.


He said: “It’s great to learn coding as it’s essential for solving problems.


“We’ve covered all the basics of coding by learning how to break things down into more manageable problems.


“The coding puzzles are good fun; it feels like we are playing and learning at the same time.”


Student Kieran Lye, 18, said he’d learnt how code works and how important it is to website development.


He said: “It’s good because you work at your own pace with the online coding puzzles going from easy to complicated very quickly.


“You can direct just about everything through coding; it’s about being logical and learning the importance of commands.


“I hope these new IT skills will help me to get a job after College.”


Two musical showcases to promote student talent

Students at Bath College are out to impress as they showcase their skills to some of the south west’s biggest names in the music industry.


Music students are gearing up for two public events on consecutive nights to try to impress industry leaders as their course draws to an end.


The students have organised the two events themselves to share their talents in areas such as performance, music sequencing, sound recording, acoustics, composition and DJing.


Music Technology students will host an ‘Isotropic’ electronic music and visual exhibition on Thursday, June 11 to network and share their profiles with industry professionals, performers, producers, promoters and record labels.


Then all Music students will come together on Friday June 12 to host the BA1 Records end of year live music show to celebrate their successes and achievements over the last two years. It will see every student performing on stage and promoting their websites, video and EP releases.


Music Lecturer Ginny Saunders said it was going to be a busy week with both the industry showcase and end of year show.


She said:  “The students will be showcasing their music and digital profile alongside live DJs and multi- media visuals.


“Industry professionals, performers, labels, producers, promoters, PRs & agents will be invited to meet our maestros and sample their current catalogues.


“It’s about bringing the industry into the College.”


She added: “We are always loud and proud when it comes to blowing our own trumpet as the College has seen students & ex-students enjoying considerable international success.”


Guests at the events will receive copies of ‘Now that’s What I Call BA1 Music!,’ a CD release featuring the a selection of tracks from second year students.


Bath College’s music department runs a variety of courses in both performance and production and has established itself as the forerunner in music education.


With four in-house studios and renowned DJs and producers among teaching staff, students are encouraged to record and release music, and stage live events and club nights across Bath and Bristol.


Bath College has seen music students and ex-students enjoying international success. For example, Gabrielle Aplin is signed to Parlophone, has toured internationally and secured the Christmas number one in 2013, and singer-songwriter Laura Doggett recently signed a major label deal and performed on the Jools Holland Show.


Meanwhile, Max Goff is on a world tour playing bass for Tom Odell, Lascel Wood made it through as an X-Factor finalist, and house producer/DJ Julio Bashmore is signed to Dirty Bird and has his own Radio 1 show.


Both evening events are open to the public and will be held in Bath College’s Performance Space.


If you would like to book a place at these events or want more information, contact Ginny Saunders on 07712 651679 or saundersg@bathcollege.ac.uk.


Students take impressive first steps on career ladder

Two Bath College students have beaten off competition to earn themselves their dream jobs.


Gracie Bond, 19, has been offered a job with a prestigious florist in Selfridges in London months before she’s even completed her college course.


While one of the College’s own apprentices, Amy Riddle, has gone on to secure a graduate-level job without even going to university.


Level 2 Floristry student Gracie has been selected as a Junior Florist at Phillipa Craddock Flowers, which is the only instore florist in Selfridge’s on Oxford Street.


Phillipa Craddock is an acclaimed international florist, known as ‘a genius in the world of floristry’ for her work at luxury fashion shows, celebrity weddings, product launches and photo shoots.


Gracie, 19, of Bath said: “I used my online portfolio to apply for the job, but I wasn’t even expecting to hear back let alone get an interview.


“It’s very exciting; I still can’t believe I got the job.


“Floristry is more of an art than a skill and it’s going to be a high-pressured and high-profile, but I’m really looking forward to it.”


Gracie is freelancing for the company at weekends until she starts work full-time at the end of her course in July.


She puts her job success down to what she has learnt at Bath College and having work experience at the Tallulah Rose Flower Shop in Milsom Street.


Gracie said: “I read Phillipa Craddock’s style reports on floristry blogs and now I’m going to be working for her.


“As a florist, she has her own natural style and does a lot of fashion shows and runways.


“I eventually want my own business so this is going to be great experience.”


Amy worked in the College’s International department for four years, studying for her Level 2 then Level 3 Apprenticeships in Business and Administration.


She now works as an International Relations Assistant at Bath Spa University.


The 21-year-old of Radstock said: “I saw the job advert said it was a graduate’s job but it just seemed so perfect to me.


“I’m so glad I was pro-active and took a chance by applying for the job. My on-the-job experience ended up counting for more than a degree.”


She added: “I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to others, look where it got me!”


Amy, who studied GCSEs and A-Levels at Norton Hill School, heard about apprenticeships through a careers advisor.


She said: “I just wasn’t convinced about going to university as I didn’t really know what to study. I also wasn’t really struck on leaving university with so much debt.


“I decided to become an apprentice instead because studying and working is the best of both worlds.


“But I never really felt like an apprentice, I was always treated as one of the team. I was given lots of responsibility and was allowed to make important decisions.”


Bath College has a focus on teaching work-ready skills to ensure students are able to meet the demand of the labour market.


Gracie Bond floristry student


Do you want to work with animals?

Students at Bath College want to tell you about their course that covers the health, welfare, handling and husbandry of animals.

They are keen to share their stories about why they chose to study Animal Care at the Somer Valley Campus.

All the students share a love of animals and name the practical side of caring for the College’s 380 animals as a course highlight. This includes 100 different species of pets and exotic reptiles, such as Stuart Little the bearded dragon and Elvis the Californian king snake.

Courses are very hands-on to give students the industry skills they need to go on to work in a wide range of animal environments. Career options include farming, game keeper, pet shop worker and veterinary nurse.

Students also gain vital on-the-job experience with weekly work placements at places such as HorseWorld, Noah’s Ark Farm and Grimsby Farm.

For more information on Bath College’s Animal Care courses, which start in September, look at the course information on the website at www.bathcollege.co.uk or call 01225 312191


Maisie Vanmeir, 18, of Bristol

BTEC Level 2 Animal Care

“I love animals; it’s as simple as that. I’ve liked being around animals since I was young and now I’m older, nothing’s changed.

“The course is great; I’d definitely recommend it as it’s so hands-on. You spend a lot of time with the animals, learning how to handle them, care for them and cleaning them out.

“I want to go on to find a job caring for animals around the clock. My dream job would be with the RSPCA so I can help neglected animals get back to good health.”


Katie Hell, 18, of Midsomer Norton

BTEC Level 2 Animal Care

“I’ve always been interested in animals. I grew up always having a lot of pets; over the years I’ve had cats, dogs, hamsters and fish. As a child I also remember loving going to the zoo with my grandparents.

“That’s why Animal Care was the obvious choice of course for me, there wasn’t really any other option. The course focuses on the College’s many animals; it’s a lot of fun.

“I really want a career working with big cats, I just think they are really unique animals, they show their emotions and are more predictable than smaller animals.

“I’d love to work in a safari park, that’s my plan.”


Charlotte Arnold, 17, of Midsomer Norton

BTEC Level 2 Animal Care

“I’ve grown up around animals so I always knew what I wanted to do at College. I remember coming to look around the College, seeing all the animals and applying straight away.

“I love being around animals and learning about the way they behave.

“I’d tell others thinking about the course to go for it. The animals are on site and the lessons are very practical.

“I want to go on to work with animals. I’m particularly interested in grooming.”


Farrah Williams, 18, of Frome

BTEC Level 2 Animal Care

“Even when I was at school, I knew I wanted to work with animals. I went to a College Open Evening and really liked what I saw.

“I was used to being around animals as I’ve grown up with cats, dogs, fish, hamsters and bearded dragon lizards.

“I’m really enjoying the course; I like the practical side of learning. I thought I already knew a lot about animals, but I’ve learnt even more.

“I’d like to put what I’ve learnt to good use and work in a pet shop or at kennels.”


Branden Higgins, 16, of Bath

BTEC Level 1 Animal Care

“I wanted to come to this College as my sister and cousins came here, it’s a family thing.

“I like the practical side of the course because I can never spend too much time with the animals.

“I really enjoy looking after animals, feeding them and cleaning them out.

“I’m looking forward to staying on at College to do Level 2 Animal Care. Then it would be great to travel with my love of animals.

“I want to go to Australia to study and take photos of wild animals. I’d be in the middle of nowhere with just the animals.”


Lizzy White, 16, of Bristol

BTEC Level 1 Animal Care

“I knew I wanted to do an Animal Care course and there were no other Colleges nearby offering anything similar.

“Being with the animals at College is like being out in the country as you forget where you are sometimes.

“I just love being around animals, I own my own pony and I have five chickens and four cats

“I want to come back to College in September to do my Level 2 Animal Care. Then I want to end up working with animals.”

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Pictured above: Animal Care students look after the 380 animals at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.


Stroke survivors express themselves through art

Stroke survivors are being encouraged to pick up a paintbrush and learn how to use art to express themselves.

Bath College works closely with The Stroke Association to run a 14-week community learning course covering the basics of art.

The introductory art course teaches learners, many of them pensioners, how to use art to help ease the frustration of not always being able to communicate.

It is the first time many of the learners have painted since leaving school and they talk about the enjoyment of ‘finding their focus,’ ‘increasing their confidence’ and ‘feeling included.’

Around 12 people attend the weekly sessions which are usually held at the Bath Bowling Club. Learners also recently enjoyed a visit to the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath where they got to learn in a fitting setting surrounded by the professionals!

Retired music teacher Jenny Walker had a stroke eight years ago and spent 10 days in hospital unable to speak.

The 83-year-old of Batheaston said: “It’s been a difficult journey of recovery and I still have eye sight and communication problems, but I now appreciate how every day is precious.

“This is why learning is so important to me. I may be getting slower but I’m enjoying life even more!”

Jenny said she loved trying new things and she enjoyed the social side of learning with a group of people who had become friends.

She said: “I still can’t believe I’m painting for the first time since I was at school aged about 15.

“It feels really exciting to be learning. I really enjoy painting and I’d love to paint a picture to go on the wall at home.”

Course tutor Liz Bennington said: “People are getting the chance to go somewhere different and to try something different.

“Many of them now have a new appreciation of art and they have been given the confidence to express themselves.

“The course works really well as people also enjoy the social side and the weekly classes give them more independence.”

For more information on these courses, which are held throughout the year, contact Bath College on 01225 328822 or visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Adult learners taking the ‘Basics of Art’ course run by Bath College’s Community Learning in conjunction with The Stroke Association. They are pictured on a visit to Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery.


Manager looks to recruit from her old college course

Former student Sonya Fanson has returned to Bath College to look for new recruits for an international cosmetics and spa company.

The 36-year-old said it felt like she was “turning back the clock” as she re-visited the classrooms where her career started.

Sonya, who is now the Global Spa Recruitment Manager at LUSH, talked to the College’s Complementary Therapy students about her rapid progression from a student into management.

She told students what employers were looking for, shared interview tips with them and encouraged them to: “show bags of enthusiasm” and “reach for the top.”

Sonya said: “These are just the types of people who could be working for LUSH in the very near future.

“We are always looking for therapists and it’s great to see so much enthusiasm from Bath College students. It’s easy to see how passionate they are about the industry.

“Having completed the course myself, I know they have the right skills. They could be just what the company is looking for.”

Sonya left school and worked in management consultancy for nine years before deciding to return to College at the age of 27.

She “followed her dream” and studied Complementary Therapy at Bath College from 2006 to 2007 which she described as “a completely new challenge.”

Sonya worked as store and spa manager at the LUSH spa in Poole, Dorset, for four years before setting up the company’s People Support department with a specialist interest in recruitment. She is based at the company’s headquarters in Poole but travels to LUSH’s 800 stores in 51 countries.

LUSH currently has seven spas across the UK and is set to open its seventh underneath Bath’s Union Street store on June 1st.

Sonya said: “I got the job at LUSH because of the Bath College qualification that I had.

“I wanted to come back to inspire current students and show them a possible career path.”

Sonya will also be one of the judges at the South West’s Complementary Therapy competition, which takes place at Bath College’s Academy Spa on June 23.

Training and professional therapists are encouraged to enter before Friday (May 22) in the categories of Aromatherapy, Body Massage or Reflexology.

For more information about Complementary Therapy courses or next month’s competition, email Diana Rowe at rowed@bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 328538.

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Pictured above: Former student Sonya Fanson (second from left) with Bath College’s Complementary Therapy Lecturer Diana Rowe and students.


Daily lives are recorded through photos

Adult learners have been using their cameras to capture the highs and lows of their lives.

Older members of the community attended a digital photography course that encouraged them to record what it is like to live in the Chew Valley.

They were taught how to use digital cameras to tell the story of their daily routines in and around their homes.

The pictures captured their daily chores such as the housework, feeding the cat, making meals and looking after the grandchildren.

Learners also used their cameras to voice their concerns and raise issues of interest such as the lack of public transport and fly-tipping.

The seven-week community learning class was run by Bath College’s Adult Community Learning in conjunction with the Age UK B&NES charity.

Each learner built up a documentary style collection of photos in the hope they can be exhibited to show others what it is like to live in the Chew Valley.

Annie Sherborne, 66, said: “The course has changed the way I look at things as I now see how living out in the country is itself a form of art.

“I now love taking pictures and I’m going to try to continue to capture how the farming landscape is changing.”

Pat Howland, 55, added: “I’m really pleased with the photos I’ve taken.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence and I can now show what I’m thinking or doing with the help of a camera.”

The eight learners were taught new camera skills such as composition and lighting, as well as how to store, edit and print images.

They met weekly at the ‘Hub in a Pub’ at the Stoke Inn in Chew Stoke to discuss the photos they had taken that week.

Tutor June Wentland, who is a Bath and North East Somerset’s Reader Development Officer, said the learners were grateful for the chance to express themselves creatively.

She said: “It’s all about people getting in touch with their creative side and telling their own story.

“These people have the chance to record their everyday lives through pictures, it’s life in Chew Valley today.

“Their portfolios are a wonderful recording of daily routines and they depict very personal messages.

“Some people had never used a digital camera before but now they are very interested in photography and want to carry on snapping away.”

The Hub in a Pub is a partnership between Bath College’s Community Learning, The Stoke Inn, Age UK B&NES, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Library Service.

For more information on Adult Community Learning courses run by Bath College, call (01225) 328720 or email courses@bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Adults kept a photo diary of their lives as part of a digital photography community learning course run by Bath College.


Seven students go on to work for the same company

Former Bath College students are playing a crucial role in ensuring families across the south west continue to have an uninterrupted electricity supply.

Seven arboriculture students from the Somer Valley Campus work around-the-clock helping with the trimming and felling of trees to ensure the safety and reliability of power lines.

They are all employed by Hi-Line tree surgeons; which has contracts with Western Power Distribution to keep vegetation clear of its electricity infrastructure.

Hi-Line’s Human Resources and Training Manager Kirsty McNicol said the ex-students worked hard to minimise any potential problems across the south west from Bristol to Dorset to Cornwall.

She said: “We employ 230 people and 80 per cent of our work is for Western Power which means the ex-students play a crucial role in keeping electricity at people’s fingertips.

“We are called out at all hours of the day and night as trees adjacent to overhead power lines can be a public safety risk, especially in severe weather.

“So when we look for new employees it’s crucial we find the best people for the job. We don’t want to start our training from scratch, we want people who know the basics and have that initial qualification.

“Employees who have both the theory and practical experience are invaluable to us; that’s why we know we can rely on Bath College. We’re lucky to have such a good relationship with the College.”

Gary Sims is one of Bath College’s former students now working at Hi-Line having completed his Level 2 NVQ in Arboriculture in 2009.

The 30-year-old from Paulton, who works as a climbing arborist, said: “I’d always wanted to get into arboriculture since I saw a large tree being dismantled in the school grounds. I just remember being impressed with all the harnesses, ropes and chainsaws.

“After school I started working elsewhere doing something completely different, but it was always in the back of my mind, I never forgot what I had seen.

“I decided to go back to College in my 20s and I really enjoyed the course; I learnt so much and couldn’t wait to put it into practice.

“It’s a great job, you cannot beat working outside, the job satisfaction is huge and I get to see lots of new places, often from great heights!”

Ed Clark, 28, has worked for Hi-Line for eight years having completed his NVQ Level 2 in Arboriculture at Bath College in 2004. He has worked his way up from a tree cutter to a team leader to a tree surveyor.

The former student from Radstock said: “I didn’t really know much about the career until I did some work experience with the cutting tree team at the council. That’s how I got into it as I knew I wanted to study it at College.

“Now I travel around setting up the work for the tree cutting team. I have to survey the environment, carry out a risk-assessment and make recommendations, speak to landowners and try to get three metres of clearance.

“It’s hard work and the days can be long, but I just loved being outside; there’s no way I could work in an office.”

Representatives from Hi-Line, including Bath College’s former students, were invited to a breakfast event to celebrate the strong links.

The seven former Bath College students are: Ed Clark, Lewis Gingell, Joel Herbert, Mike Clarke, Ben Flower, Gary Sims and Elliott Bowerman.

Arboriculture Lecturer Martin Palfrey, who has worked at Bath College for 27 years, said it was an excellent example of student progression.

He said: “It’s great to see how so many of our ex-students doing so well with the same company. It’s a real testimony to the course and the College.

“It’s an interesting vocational area to train in and we make our students very employable. Our success rate speaks for itself.”

For more information on Arboriculture courses at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or phone 01225 312191.

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Pictured above: Students who studied arboriculture at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus and now work together at Hi-Line tree surgeons. 


Future engineers fly the flag for their industry

Students at Bath College have taken part in a nationwide project to highlight how refrigeration is one of the least understood but fastest growing industries in the world.

The engineers of the future worked with the Institute of Refrigeration to try to dispel the common misconception that the industry is about ‘nothing more the fridge in your kitchen.’

More than 20 Refrigeration and Air-conditioning students were consulted on how more school-leavers could be encouraged to study the subject or enter the industry as apprentices.

The students put forward ideas on the Institute’s proposals to nationally standardise refrigeration training so that it better connects to the wide-range of job opportunities.

The Institute, which is based in Surrey, is on an 18-month national tour of training facilities to see if they are compatible with the rapidly changing industry.

They are also working to spread the word on the scope of the industry and future developments, including the growth in using fossil fuels for sustainability.

Miriam Rodway, secretary and chief executive of the Institute of Refrigeration, said she was thankful for the input from students and staff at Bath College.

She said: “It’s not a very well-known industry and we are working hard to try to overcome this.

“There are 30,000 engineers in the UK, they are responsible for 10 per cent of all electricity nationally and it’s an industry that is rapidly growing.

“The engineers play crucial roles keeping businesses open but they often work quietly in the background.

“It leaves the majority of people thinking refrigeration is about nothing more than the fridges in people’s kitchens, when in fact, it’s about so much more.

“We want to get the message out there that there’s a huge demand for expertise in the refrigeration industry and so many opportunities for engineers.”

The one-day seminar at Bath College also welcomed national and international industry representatives from all areas of the refrigeration industry, including manufacturers, suppliers, exporters and air-conditioning.

Miriam added: “We want to work with Colleges to help develop the careers of students.

“We want to show them how they can move forward as there are so opportunities to pursue. We’re saying to them: ‘stick with it and you’ll reap the benefits.’”

Refrigeration Lecturer Simon Robinson said it was first time the Institute of Refrigeration had visited Bath College and it was a pleasure to be able to work so closely with the industry’s national body.

He said: “It was great for the students to meet so many industry experts and very interesting to see how the Institute wants to link education to the future of the industry.

“It’s important to raise the profile of refrigeration in order to attract more young people as the engineers of the future.

“Most people come into refrigeration through working in the building services as they don’t know enough about it when they are at school. They just think of fridges rather than the large-scale industrial side of the job.

“It’s such a specialist subject area, we want to help people, especially school-leavers, understand what the industry is all about.”

Industry representatives were from Space Engineering, Cool Concerns, Air Master UK, Climate Centre, Star Refrigeration, Danfoss, CG Mechanical and Harp International.

For more information about Refrigeration courses at Bath College visit the website at www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Bath College’s Refrigeration students working with the Institute of Refrigeration.


Move over whizz kids, this is the age of the silver surfers!

Pensioners are showing the younger generation that their age isn’t holding them back when it comes to learning about the latest technology.

Men and women – some aged in their 80s – are attending weekly community learning classes to find their way around an iPad.

They are taking a four-week iPad course run by Bath College in conjunction with the Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens’ Association (BEMSCA).

Up to ten pensioners are learning how to shop online, send and receive emails and use Skype to communicate with their relatives all over the world.

Retired hospital worker Zubeda Shah, 77, says she’s now a proud iPad user as the course has taught her how to digitally store her knitting designs.

She said: “I wanted to keep up with the world. I’d seen my children on the internet and I wanted to be on there too.

“You can’t just give up and stop doing things when you are old. I’m not just going to start sitting still, I want to keep learning.

“It’s amazing really how everything is now so much faster… it used to take six weeks for a telegram to get from India to Africa, now communication is done at the touch of a button.

“It’s very different from what I’m used to, but fun.”

Joyce Wellington, 72, who attends the classes with her husband Rudolph, 76, said she had enjoyed moving from a laptop to an iPad as “there’s always something to learn.”

She said: “I can email and Skype, research things online, I’m on Facebook too. Using the iPad is great to keep in touch with my family in the West Indies.

“I am catching up with the young ones and proving to them that age is nothing but a number. Relatives ask me questions about the iPad and don’t expect me to know the answers, but I do.

“Even my great grandson had to admit he was impressed and said ‘well done nanny.’ That was nice; he’s only nine years old but thinks he knows everything.”

Many of the pensioners who attend community learning classes at Fairfield House in Newbridge have progressed from learning how to use a computer, then a laptop and now an iPad. The ‘Getting Started With iPads’ and ‘Moving On With iPads’ courses are both run by tutor David Kingston.

BEMSCA Project Co-ordinator Pauline Swaby-Wallace said she was proud of the pensioners for keeping up with the latest technology and admitted: “They know more than me.”

She said: “Five years ago the word iPad wasn’t even in their vocabulary, now they are using them to keep in touch.

“They’ve replaced writing letters with Skype, and it’s wonderful to see them using the internet as a day-to-day tool.

“We try to address the needs of the community with these courses and you can really see how much these people are enjoying developing their iPad skills.

“Our members are always looking for something new to do, they always want to learn, which is so good for them as they can be lonely and feel isolated.”

Bath College and BEMSCA have worked together for many years offering a wide-range of courses including arts and crafts, flower arranging, mosaic making and sugarcraft.

The College’s Adult Community Learning programme, which is responsive to the community’s needs, also includes courses in food hygiene, money management, and basic skills in English and Maths.

For more information on Adult Community Learning courses run by Bath College, call (01225) 328720 or email courses@bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Pensioners learning how to use iPads at the Bath College community learning course at BEMSCA.


Find out about new courses at Peasedown Party in the Park

Bath College will be heading to Peasedown St John’s biggest annual event to help the community find something they’d love to learn.

The College, which has campuses in Bath and Somer Valley, is an official event partner at Peasedown Party in the Park on Saturday, June 13.

Staff will be at the all-day music festival as part of the launch of the new range of Love2learn courses at the Somer Valley Campus in Westfield (formerly Norton Radstock College).

The wide-range of one-day and short courses encourage people of all ages to learn something new. Courses on offer include art, printmaking, dog grooming, creative writing and an introduction to horticulture.

The merger of Bath College and Norton Radstock College opens up many opportunities to people across Bath and North East Somerset, with an even wider range of courses in more subjects.

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “We pride ourselves on being a College at the heart of the community as we are very responsive to the communities we serve.

“Peasedown Party in the Park is a popular summer event known to bring the community together, so it’s the perfect place to launch our Love2learn provision at Somer Valley.

“We have lots of part-time courses starting in September, many of them in the evening and at weekends to fit around people’s busy lifestyles.

“With so much live music and entertainment, Peasedown Party in the Park is a great family day-out for the people of Peasedown and beyond.

“We’re proud to be supporting an event that is getting bigger and better each year and we’re very much looking forward to helping to strengthen the community spirit on the big day. We’ll see you there!”

Peasedown Party in the Park attracts up to 3,000 people and is now in its 7th year.

The village’s festival includes seven and a half hours of live music, including Bath Spa Brass Band, The Rockerteers and ex Bath College music students Too Much Lipstick.

There will also be lots of family attractions, quad bikes, a gladiator joust, food and drinks, stalls and Peasedown’s first Great Village Bake Off with celebrity baker Richard Bertinet, inspired by the BBC’s popular Great British Bake Off.

The festival’s chairman, Nathan Hartley, said: “Every year we have some of the very best organisations sponsoring and supporting our Peasedown festival – and this year is no different.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Bath College, which now runs courses in the Somer Valley as well as the city of bath, is a big part of our 7th festival.

“The festival team is extremely grateful for Matt Atkinson and the rest of the College’s support. I hope this new partnership will last long into the future.”

Everyone is invited to Peasedown Party in the Park on Beacon Field on Saturday, June 13, from 11.30am to 7pm.

For more information on Bath College’s Love2learn courses, call 01225 312191 or visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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The new programme of Bath College's part-time leisure Love2learn courses will be launched at Peasedown Party in the Park on Saturday, June 13.


Health-wise Bath College is commended

Bath College has been officially recognised for its dedication to promoting the health and well-being of students.

The College is celebrating after being awarded the Director of Public Health Award from Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The prestigious award commends the wide-ranging work carried out to instil healthy living among those who attend the College.

The College had to meet rigorous criteria to prove its co-ordinated approach between the Students’ Union, College nurse, the NHS, the council and other health-related stakeholders.

Student Support and Engagement Manager Rob Heyes said the new ‘Healthy FE’ status acknowledges many of the events and activities that the College has staged over the last two years.

He said: “We’re very pleased we’ve been recognised for all our hard work. It’s a great achievement to have engaged so many students in so many health initiatives.

“But we’re not complacent; our health and well-being work is on-going as we continue to set ourselves new targets and work towards new outcomes.

“We are looking to the future and will continue to provide year-round healthy activities at both our City Centre and Somer Valley Campuses. It’s important we carry on informing students how to lead healthier lifestyles.”

The full DPH award is a culmination of the self-reviewed Healthy Certificate and the Healthy Outcomes Certificate which focused on two college-wide case studies.

The College’s innovative smoking prevention campaign encouraged students to question the assumption that most of their peers smoke. The well-publicised campaign smashed its specific targets of reducing the perceptions of smoking by 10 per cent and encouraging 15 students to give up smoking.

Healthy eating was also tackled with more than 33 per cent of students starting to eat breakfast and 25 per cent of students cooking healthy meals for themselves. The outcomes were met by showing students healthy cooking options in lessons and giving out recipe cards.

Other initiatives run by the College include sexual health tutorials, drop-in nurse sessions and a college-wide health survey.

Rob and Vice Principal Quality & Students Judy Lye-Forster were presented with the accolade at the Director of Public Health Awards at Bath’s Hilton Hotel.

Music students from Bath College performed at the celebration event, which was attended by up to 10 other primary and secondary schools from across the region.

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Pictured above: Bath College’s Vice Principal Judy Lye-Forster and Student Support and Engagement Manager Rob Heyes being awarded the Director of Public Health Award from Bath and North East Somerset Council.


Bath College students help to welcome tourists to Spain

A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work in Spain has put Bath College students on the front line of the tourism industry.

The 13 students were selected for an all-expenses-paid six-week internship with some of the biggest travel companies in the heart of Seville.

They are welcoming the city’s hundreds of thousands of visitors in high-profile jobs such as tour operators, walking tour guides, and receptionists at youth hostels.

It is the first time the College has benefitted from the ERASMUS Plus funding for students to work in the Travel & Tourism industry in Spain with flights, accommodation, food and weekly allowances covered.

The 12 Travel and Tourism students and one Business student are staying with host families from April 20 to June 1 as they work a variety of shifts for about 30 hours a week.

Kate Hobbs, Deputy Head of the Travel & Tourism department at Bath College, said: “This is the perfect opportunity to develop the employability of our students and to encourage cultural enrichment.

“They are experiencing what it’s like to work in another country while living within a different culture and using a different language.

“They are all working very hard in customer-facing roles and gaining a broad range of work-ready skills.”

Each of the 2nd year Level 3 students went through a robust process to apply for the internship, including creating a CV, filling in an application form and being put on the spot in an interview.

The students also had to undergo an intensive six-week Spanish language course at Bath College and are continuing to take weekly Spanish lessons with Third Sector International in Seville.

They also have to keep up-to-date with their coursework so that they aren’t behind when they return to College, which includes emailed assignments and Skype tutorials.

Kate added: “I’m so proud of how well they are coping; it’s been a steep learning curve as they’ve completely stepped outside of their comfort zones.

“Some of the cultural differences can be challenging, it’s the first time they’ve been away from home for so long and they can be outside in the heat for long periods.

“But they are working so hard and have been very positive about new and exciting experiences.

“This will look great on their CVs and some of the students are already keen to apply for seasonal jobs overseas.”

The students have named themselves the ‘Seville Squad’ and are sharing their experiences on Twitter and via blogs on Tumblr.

To find out more about Travel and Tourism courses at Bath College visit the website at www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191.

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Pictured above: Bath College’s Travel & Tourism and Business students on their six-week work experience in Seville.


Students gain international outlook with trip to China

Computing students at Bath College have spent three weeks in China developing an international outlook on their chosen career.


The Bsc (Hons) Applied Computing students have been inspired to work overseas after gaining first-hand knowledge of the opportunities available in East Asia.


Seven students spent three weeks in Shanghai, as part of Bath College’s exchange partnership with the Shanghai Technical Institute of Electronics and Information (STIEI).


The College has been sharing good teaching practice with STIEI for about three years but this was the first visit for students.


The Computing students were joined on the China trip by three engineering apprentices from Bath-based company Rotork and the College’s Learning Development Coach Gwyn Chamberlain.


They spent two weeks living in university halls of residence and attending lectures while carrying out a research project into the domestic use of ‘the internet of things.’


This was followed by a week’s work experience in Shanghai’s Rotork office, which included helping with day-to-day jobs in the sales department and IT department.


Student Jodie Collier, 22, said: “I’d never been away for that long before and I was completely out of my comfort zone, so it really increased my confidence.


“If it wasn’t for the College, I would never have had an opportunity like this. I want to work in software development or project management and now I find myself considering further travel.”


Student Chris Mulgrew, 21, said: “The trip taught me how to adapt to a completely different environment. The software was obviously in Chinese and there were huge cultural differences, but whatever happened, you learned to fit in.


“I’m now looking at teaching English or IT abroad. I loved everything about China and it’s made the world feel like a smaller place.”


Student Lewis Hack, 20, added: “This trip is a real CV boost, it will hopefully open up job opportunities for us all.”


The Computing students became close friends with STIEI students and are likely to be remembered for their on-stage rendition of Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ at a karaoke night.


They also got to squeeze in some sightseeing, visiting the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Museum, as well as gardens and Temples.


Jodie said: “It’s a huge and very busy city; it’s completely different out there. There’s always a sea of people around you.


“But everyone is very welcoming, friendly and extremely accommodating. They couldn’t do enough to help us.”


Lewis added: “We were guests in their country and they really looked after us. At times it felt like we were celebrities!”


Bath College’s Higher Education Lecturer John Curry said the experience had helped students prepare for the international workplace.


He said: “The exchange visit has been a great learning experience for the students. They’ve been introduced to one of the places the working world could take them.


“I hope the two institutions can continue to work together and future Computing students can benefit from similar trips.”


Four staff exchanges between Bath College and STIEI have taken place. Staff from STIEI were in Bath for three weeks in the summer last year and Bath College’s Level 3 Business students will visit Shanghai in October this year.


The College also has links with Shanghai SIPO Polytechnic and Shanghai Jiguang Polytechnic College.


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Pictured above: Bath College’s BSc (Hons) Applied Computing students on an exchange trip to Shanghai.


Students find out where their future career could take them

Students have been given an insight into the latest technology developments in the refrigeration industry.

The 15 Refrigeration VRQ2 students from Bath College have enjoyed a site visit to show them how the industry is rapidly changing.

They toured Space Engineering’s plant manufacturing facility in Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, to find out more about refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

It is hoped that the visit will inspire students to take advantage of the highly-skilled opportunities in one of country’s fastest growing industries.

Plant Manufacturing Director Tony Mills explained the production process, talked about innovative designs and answered students’ questions regarding future developments.

The visit also gave students the chance to see the evolution of refrigeration plant technologies and how this is driven by the customer, mainly the big supermarkets.

Students also got to grips with the scale and application of systems used in the industry and the constant strive for a greener economical way of utilising heat energy.

Student Chandler Davison said: “The visit to Space Engineering was enlightening and brought into realisation how fast the industry in which I want to be part of is changing and adapting to new rules and regulations.

“It was great to be shown round the whole factory learning the more advanced ways of refrigerating and cooling products and how using non-harmful gases to the environment is the future.

“The sheer scale of the refrigeration equipment used was great to see and walking around gave us a wider perspective on the jobs available to us in the industry.”

Student Brad Jefferies added: “The visit was very educational and taught me a load of things about both space engineering and refrigeration in general.”

Refrigeration Lecturer Simon Robinson said:  “The students came away very inspired and keen to understand more about complex refrigeration systems in a very specialist area of Building Services Engineering.

“Space Engineering has used Bath College to train their refrigeration apprentices for a long time, and we want to continue to help assist their training needs in the future.”

Space Engineering Services provides refrigeration, mechanical and electrical services to a wide range of UK customers across the retail, public, industrial and commercial sectors.

The company specialises in greener refrigeration systems that operate using the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide.

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Pictured above: Refrigeration students from Bath College touring the facilities at Space Engineering. 


Company donation aids student learning

An overseas company has donated hundreds of pounds worth of equipment to help students gain the practical know-how needed for the world of work.

Refrigeration students at Bath College now have some of the latest controllers at their fingertips, thanks to the generous donation from Eliwell.

The company, which is based in Italy, has donated 20 high-tech refrigeration controllers, which cost about £50 each.

Simon Robinson, Refrigeration Learning Coordinator, presented the Level 2 Refrigeration students with the new controllers and asked them to install them as part of the lesson.

The students have to build a small refrigeration system, incorporating a control panel, and the controllers will make this as realistic as possible for them.

Level 2 Refrigeration student Jacob Cooper, 28, of Bristol said the controllers would really help with the practical side of their learning through electrical installations.

He said: “A controller is a crucial component as it pretty much controls the whole of the refrigeration cycle. It can be set to monitor the temperature to make sure it remains stable.

“These new controllers are a lot easier to use and will be a lot more reliable in giving us exact measurements.

“It’s brilliant to be able to use controllers like this as they are just what is used in the industry. It means we are using the latest technology.”

Simon had emailed the company’s headquarters in Belluno, Italy, to tell them about the practical learning of students.

Business Development Manager Alessandro Padrin said he would be pleased to donate 20 of the latest controller models to the College.

The College plans to continue to work in partnership with Eliwell to help create a realistic learning and training experience for students.

Eliwell has operated for more than 30 years and offers products, control systems and services for refrigeration units, both commercial and industrial, and for air conditioning.

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Pictured above: Refrigeration students put the new controllers to good use.



Students learn from industry leaders

The best way to find out about the vital tools used in the refrigeration industry is to ask the specialists.

That’s why Level 2 and 3 Air-conditioning and Refrigeration students were keen to ask questions when one of the world’s biggest distributors of air-conditioning pumps came to visit.

Mike Davies, account manager at Aspen Pumps, was invited to Bath College as a guest speaker.

His talk and question and answer session not only gave students first-hand knowledge of the industry, but also inspired them on their future career paths.

Students learnt about condensate removal and how pumps are used in different scenarios across the industry in over 100 countries worldwide, from Europe and America to the Middle East and Australasia.

They also found about the latest pump technology, which includes anti vibration and silencing, voltage variations and how pumps can be installed when space is limited.

Simon Robinson, Refrigeration Learning Coordinator, said: “Students at Level 2 and 3 thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed but very interesting talk.

“Mike gave a very enthusiastic and comprehensive talk on the product including definitions, type selection and maintenance.

“This is exceptionally valuable to the up and coming engineers of the future.”

Simon added: “Speaking to the students after gave me a great sense of satisfaction and awareness of the importance of this training day, as questions that can’t always be answered were answered by the specialists.”

Level 2 Refrigeration student Kieran Hall said: “It was really good to be able to install the pumps discussed on the training board and to actually take time to see how they should be installed and how the pumps work.”

Aspen Pumps, which is based in East Sussex, is the worldwide distributor of condensate pumps with 95% of the worldwide market and believe in educating the users of their products to extend quality and innovation.

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Pictured above: Students learn about the vital tools used in the refrigeration industry.


Take a look at Bath College’s new Somer Valley Campus

ind out what the newly merged Bath College can offer you with its increased range of full-time, part-time, university level and professional courses.

The College is opening the doors of its Somer Valley Campus for the first time to show prospective students how they can achieve their goals through study.

All are welcome at the Open Evening at the College on Wells Road, Westfield, on Thursday, May 14th from 5pm to 8pm.

It is the ideal opportunity for people to take a tour around the former Norton Radstock College and to see the fantastic facilities.

Somer Valley staff are committed to preparing students for a growing range of exciting careers in the great outdoors. Courses include Animal Care, Aboriculture, Horticulture, Equine Care and Veterinary Nursing.

The long-term focus for the campus is to meet the demands of the local labour market through vocational training, including manufacturing, engineering and construction.

The Open Evening will feature a range of taster activities and visitors will be able to talk to teachers and careers advisors about learning and progression opportunities.

Current students will also be on hand to answer questions and talk about how the college has helped them.

Principal Matt Atkinson said: “This is our first Open Evening at Somer Valley and we invite everyone to come along.

“We want to show you what Bath College can offer you and where gaining new skills could take you.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the courses we offer and to get a real feel for College life.

“As a College, we remain focused on making students work-ready by providing education and training to meet the needs of the region.”

A bigger and better Bath College was launched last month with the merger of Bath College and Norton Radstock College.

The College now 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.

Find out more at the Somer Valley Campus Open Evening on Thursday May 14th, from 5pm to 8pm.

Pre-register for the Open Evening online at
www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191 for more information.

Bath College’s City Centre Campus will have its own Open Evening on Thursday June 11th from 4pm to 7pm.

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 Pictured above: Animal Care students currently studying at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus; Katie Hell,18, and Maisie Vanmeir, 18.

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