Students inspired by workplace day trips during employability week

Bath College students headed out of the classroom into the workplace to visit building sites and factory shop floors during employability week.


Students studying carpentry, engineering, plumbing and stonemasonry took part in the week, organised by the college’s technology department.


They had the chance to meet employers, who visited the college to lead talks, and were offered CV writing, skill building and interview workshops.


A wide range of students studying at different levels gained a valuable insight into the types of tools used in their trades.


In the engineering department, Level 2 students were given a tour of Rotork in Bath and a talk about the company’s apprenticeship programme.


Oct 22 - ROTORK trip GROUP


Engineering and plumbing students spent a day with HMRC volunteers and took part in mock interviews, role-play and team building activities.


For plumbing students, the week included a day with Horstmann Plumbing, when they had the opportunity to handle the latest plumbing components.


Students studying carpentry travelled to Bishops Sutton, where H Mealing & Sons is building five new primary school classrooms.


They also visited Interesting Timbers, a family owned business between Bath and Wells producing air dried and kiln dried English timber.




Level 1 stonemasonry students took a trip to Hayes Wood Quarry, Farleigh Masonry and Wells Cathedral Stonemasons Ltd – based in Cheddar.




Students toured Cirencester Chapel, which is being re-built using traditional methods, as well as the Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet and Avon Canal.


This Autumn, Level 2 stonemasonry students are volunteering at Woodchester Mansions and they continued working there during employability week.


The mansion, in Gloucestershire, is an unfinished Gothic Revival mansion – a Grade I listed building which was abandoned mid-project.


Students are honing their practical skills by undertaking supervised restoration and renovation stonemasonry work set by the trust.


Head of Technology Daisy Walsh said: “Employability week gives students a valuable insight into the world of work.


“In the technology department, we work very closely with local employers to make sure students have the relevant skills and training needed to secure jobs.


“Employability week allows students to meet employers and see what they are looking for in terms of skills, qualifications and work ethic.


“It’s an inspiring time for them which helps them to visualise the kind of place they might work in the future.”




American visitors learn European spa treatments at Bath College


A group of American visitors have travelled to Bath for the first time to learn European spa treatments from staff at Bath College.


The group, from the Healing Arts Institute in Ohio, visited for a three-day course put together by college staff and approved by medical experts in America.


They were taught wrap training, Indian head massage and hot stone massage – spa techniques that are not usually taught in their home state.


Lecturer Diana Rowe, who works in the college’s Hospitality, Hair, Beauty and Spa Industries Department, designed the course especially for the group.


She said: “We have never done this for the Americans before. They are all fully qualified – some have been in the industry for 20 years.


“These techniques are not common in American – they had never heard of an Indian head massage.


“They are regarded as a medical service, so they are not allowed to do these extra things within their training.




“It varies from state to state, but in Ohio they are very strict, they are the strictest medical board next to New York.


“They are a lovely bunch. Our staff have really enjoyed working with them – they have found out how things are done in America.


“It’s been really enlightening and it will help staff advise students who do move on and work abroad.”


Teachers at the Healing Arts Institute in Ohio initially visited Bath to see the Thermae Bath Spa and learn about the city’s history as a spa town.


They began thinking about a course for students after meeting former Bath College students working at the natural thermal spa.




 Ms Rowe said: “Staff at the Thermae Bath Spa kindly pointed them in our direction. They were so impressed with the facilities they thought ‘this is something our students might like to learn’.


“We’re very lucky we have built strong links with the Thermae Bath Spa. We have been offering students work experience there for the last three years and it’s largely staffed by ex-students.


“I think Bath is a very attractive place to study and as a spa venue. The fact that we’re in the middle of this city with all the amazing spa history around us attracts people to study here.


“Our American students want to come back again. Even on the first day they said ‘can you send us dates?’ because they want to come back again.”


American student Trina Lovins qualified as a licensed massage therapist in April and started up her own business in May.


She said: “The stones don’t seem that different – the Indian head massage I have never done before.


“We were thinking about what our favourite thing on the course was last night. None of us had an answer because everything has been great.


“For me, I’m really happy with how friendly everyone is and how excited they are to have us here – as much as we’re excited to be here – which is nice.


“I’ve started my own business. It’s in a salon and the person who owns the salon, she was really excited about me going on this course.”



Open days taking place at Bath College campuses in November


Bath College is opening its doors for students to discover more about its full-time, part-time, university level and professional courses.


We’re hosting two open evenings to help you find the best way to achieve your goals through study.


All are welcome to pop in to meet staff and students at the Somer Valley Campus on Wednesday November 4, or the City Centre Campus on Thursday November 12 from 4pm to 7pm.


Open days are the ideal opportunity for students to take a tour around the campuses and try some taster activities.


Students can talk to tutors to find out more about learning and progression opportunities, or discuss your options with careers advisors.


Information about financial assistance, learning support and extra-curricular activities will also be available.


Open Evening (2)


Apprenticeship talks will take place at each campus, providing more information about learning while earning with some of the region’s biggest employers.


Principal Matt Atkinson said the open evenings would give prospective students more information on where new skills could take them.


He said: “Our open evenings are a great place to start the next part of your learning journey. Everyone is invited to come along to take a look at our first-class facilities and learn more about what we can offer.


“There will be lots to see and do and the open evenings will give you a real flavour of what goes on.”




For the Somer Valley Campus event visit the CAM building in South Hill Park, Wells Road, Radstock, between 4pm and 7pm on Wednesday November 4.


For the City Centre Campus event call into the college’s Roper Building, on the corner of Avon Street and St James Street West, between 4pm and 7pm on Thursday November 12.


If you cannot attend the open evening but want to find out more information about courses, you can visit the Student Advice Centre. The team can help you with any queries about courses or arrange for you to see a careers advisor.


For further information or to pre-register online go to www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191.


Bath College’s English Language School hosts International Food Sharing Festival

Students studying English as a foreign language shared exotic dishes from their home country at Bath College’s International Food Sharing Festival.


The college’s English Language School hosts the festival every year, giving students the chance to sample new flavours from different cultures.


Students from over 30 nationalities are studying English at the college this year and the festival included dishes from all over the world.


In the European room, students had the chance to try Butterkuchen, Wiener Schnitzel and Frikadellen – German fried meat patties.



They also filled their plates with Chinese dumplings, Japanese omurice, rice pudding and Columbian three milk pudding.


Staff from the English Language School baked a number of British delicacies, including Grasmere gingerbread, Bara Brith and banana loaf.




Elizabeth Mallender, head of the English Language School, said the festival was a favourite with everyone in the department.


She said: “We always get a huge variety – there are all sorts of fabulous things.


“Everyone loves talking about food and it’s a subject close to peoples’ hearts in many cultures. It’s a wonderful way for students to learn and use English.




“We get a lot of visitors from other departments and it raises awareness of our department within the college.


“A lot of students, if they are coming over here, they still eat their own food so now they get to try British delicacies as well. Some of them have put in a real effort with what they have produced.”


Every dish had a card next to it with a basic recipe, so students could learn about its origin and how it was made.


Zoya Ali, originally from Pakistan, lives in Bath with her husband and made chicken biryani for the festival.


She said: “It’s my mum’s recipe. The recipe is hard, there are so many ingredients, so my teacher asked me to shorten it for people to read.”




Asuka Kittaka, from Japan, is studying at Bath College and living in England for the first time.


She said: “The students have made them, so it’s different from restaurant food, you can feel the effort that they have put into it.


“Bath is a really nice place – it’s a small area, but there are a lot of shops and people. The teachers are really kind and helpful.”



Learning support tutor launches children's picture book inspired by the legend of Prince Bladud

Artist and writer Jane Samson has bought a Bath legend to life in a new children’s picture book.


Mrs Samson, who works at Bath College, was inspired by the story of Prince Bladud, who was cured of leprosy by bathing in the hot mud around Bath’s springs.


Her book has been picked up by bookshops around Bath, including The Roman Baths Gift Shop, Topping & Company and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.


This week, she will be entertaining children at Bath Central Library with an interactive storytelling session, to include dressing up and a craft activity.


Mrs Samson, 57, said: “It’s got my own little embellishments.


“It’s set in the Iron Age. The prince is thrown out of his kingdom because he gets leprosy – he’s banished from the kingdom and ends up being a swineherd.

A kind old woman gave him some pigs


“I first heard the story nearly 40 years ago when I first arrived in Bath. Somebody told me that story and it just stuck in my head – it’s been a little acorn in my mind for a long time.


“I wanted to write a story book and it was a ready-made story. I thought ‘that would be a perfect story for a children’s book’.


“When you see pictures of Bladud, they are always embedded in tomes of text, but this is supposed to be for children.”


Mrs Samson came to Bath to study at the Bath Academy of Art, in Corsham, and now works at the college as a member of the learning support team.


It took her two years to create The Story of Prince Bladud – a Tale of Bath.


At the start of the creative process she signed up to an illustration course at Bath College, led by artist Sholto Walker, and later she joined a Photoshop class.

Adobe Photoshop PDF


Learning Photoshop helped Mrs Samson to move her images around the page, to make sure her book had the best possible layout.


She said: “The illustration course was really good, I took on board everything he said, and it was also good being with people who had the same interests.


“Three of us got together in the evenings and odd days and kept it going – we started a little group to keep us motivated.


“The college was really useful. I used to work as a full-time teacher in a secondary school. I just decided I would cut my hours and make sure I had enough time to do my own work.


“I was burning the midnight oil, so working in the college has helped with that.


“Then I started providing support in media classes and for the first time I had to get to grips with Photoshop and InDesign. I went to an evening course to continue learning Photoshop.


“It’s a labour of love because you don’t know if it’s going to be successful. It’s in the early stages of marketing, but I have had a lot of positive feedback.”


Mrs Samson will be at Bath Central Library on Tuesday October 27 at 10.30am.


She is also holding a book signing at the Bath Christmas Market on Thursday December 3.



Art and Design


Saturday courses prove popular with students looking to try something new

Budding artists, bakers and beauticians got to grips with the basics of portraiture, bread making and body massages at Bath College last weekend.


There was a buzz in the air when people arrived to take part in a Saturday course, as part of the college’s part-time Love2learn programme.


Attendees chose from 11 different courses across the college departments, opting for lessons in finance, ceramics and the history of fashion design.


At the college’s Department of Hospitality, Hair, Beauty and Spa Industries, there were also body massage, holistic treatments and beauty courses on offer.


Ceramics is a popular course at the college and a new BBC2 show from the Great British Bake Off team– Britain’s Best Potter – is set to generate extra interest in the subject.


Art and design lecturer Julia Warin teaches ceramics and showed beginners how to handle clay, as well as some basic techniques.


She said: “They get the feel of the clay first – beginning by making some smaller things, but moving on to making bigger things, either functional or sculptural.


“Many are surprised at what can be achieved in a short time.


“Five of them had never done it before and I had one who is one of my of my regulars – she came because she wanted some extra time.


“Usually they just want to try it out and see what it’s like. Sometimes it’s in preparation to think about joining a longer course.


“Complete beginners always get tuition in the basic techniques when they first start and after a while they become more independent.


“At least two of the people who came will be signing up for a ten week course. It’s very addictive. My students, once they are hooked, they don’t want to stop.”


Bath College offers over 500 adult leisure courses as part of its part-time Love2learn programme, including courses in animal care, cookery, computing and creative writing.


As well as courses in the daytime and evening, the Love2learn programme provides a number of Saturday courses throughout the year.


Director of student services Karen Fraser said: “We are pleased to be able to extend our services and facilities to adult students for day courses such as these.


“It is well documented that learning something new helps to promote health and well-being and we are well placed to be able to provide such an opportunity for local people.


“Our Love2learn students develop new skills, creative or otherwise, and add to the rich diversity of the College’s learning community.


The next date for Saturday courses is Saturday December 5. Courses on this date include papermaking, aromatherapy, pattern cutting and print making.


There will be a number of festive courses available, from a floristry Christmas workshop to speciality bread and festive cake decoration.


BBC Introducing champions music created by former student Louis Sterling

A former student at Bath College has been tipped as a rising star by music experts at the BBC just months after finishing his course.

DJ Mary Anne Hobbs was impressed with music technology student Louis Sterling’s work after he submitted his tracks to the BBC Introducing team.

The 18-year-old’s music has been played on BBC Radio Music 6 and last Saturday he was given a 20 minute guest mix slot on BBC Introducing in the West.

BBC Introducing in the West supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar artists in the West of England by giving their music airtime.

Louis, an experimental electronic musician, was interviewed by presenter Richard Pitt, who was given a guided tour of the college’s music department.

Bath College has seen a number of music students and ex-students enjoy success, including singer-songwriters Gabrielle Aplin and Laura Doggett.

Louis, known as Auxx to music fans, was 16-years-old when he came to Bath College, where he spent two years learning from tutors and industry professionals.

He said: “The facilities here are fantastic. I’m glad I spent two years on this course because it definitely got me musically to a different place.

“I remember when I first started, on the production side of things I wasn’t as great, everything was quite basic, and then over time I started exploring different sounds.

“The teachers are people who have been in the industry. They really know what they were doing and that was definitely a different thing to get taught by those guys.

“While I was here I met a lot of musicians. For years I was by myself making beats – I was on a solo one-man mission – it’s incredible to meet people that are on the same wave length and musically interesting.”

Louis’ music grabbed the attention of the team at BBC Introducing, who listen to hundreds of songs submitted by aspiring musicians every week.

Presenter Richard Pitt said:  “We listen to absolutely everything, so you need something special to grab your attention.

“I thought it would be good to speak to Louis in his own environment, to see what inspired him.

“We just walked up the stairs when we first arrived and the staircases were full of students going to their next lesson and talking about software.

It’s not the be all and end all of it, but anywhere where people are making music, to have an inspiring environment helps – it’s the creative juices that flow.

“You can see why people come to music college here, it’s a fantastic place.”

Louis, who lives in Odd Down, is taking a gap year to concentrate on his music.

He said: “I will probably end up developing my music further, as well as submitting to other music labels. To end up getting picked, especially by BBC Introducing, was like ‘wow this might end up being a job’.

“When you’ve been making music for a certain amount of time you think ‘it would be awesome to do this more often’.”

Mark Smithers, learning co-ordinator for music technology, said: “We’re really proud to have impressive links with industry

“We have employed industry practitioners, who are practicing music producers, and this has allowed us to facilitate the development of students’ production portfolios – to the point where they are making music which is good enough to go on the radio.

“It goes to show that hard work and dedication can result in impressive things. Louis is tipped as a rising star at the BBC and I am sure we will see more from him very soon”.

Click here to listen to Louis on the radio.



Students to run community sports day at the Recreation Ground

First year students at Bath College are running a free community sports day at the Bath Recreation Ground next weekend.


The day will help students, who are studying for a Level 3 sports qualification at the college, complete their National Citizen Service.


Fifty students have volunteered to run sports skills and games sessions for children aged 7 to 14-years-old.


Families can have a go at dodgeball, rugby, netball and cricket from 10am to 1pm on Saturday October 24.


Students will be offering football, basketball, rounders and a mini Olympics session from 1.30pm to 4pm.


Teenagers aged 16 to 17-years-old need to complete 30 hours of volunteering to receive their National Citizen Service Award.


Careers and Employability Manager Louise Croft said: “We are hoping that it is going to be very popular at the start of the half-term holidays.


“The students are offering a range of turn up and play sessions for a variety of sports, as well as coaching skills sessions.


“If you have children aged seven to 14 this is an ideal event to come along to. It’s free and in a great location just behind the sports centre at Bath Recreation ground.”



Students pack hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes for Mercy in Action

Students and staff at Bath College have been hard at work packing hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes for children in the Philippines.


Over 200 shoeboxes have been packed at the college for the Bath-based charity Mercy in Action, who will ship the boxes abroad on Friday.


They will be added to 700 boxes put together by community groups across the city to help make Christmas special for children living in poverty.


Charity founders John and Allison Todd set up Mercy in Action in 1995 to offer food and education to vulnerable children living on the street.


They were moved to start the charity after a trip to the Philippines where they met five boys who were begging on the street and hadn’t eaten in days.


The boxes will be handed out to children living in the province of Cebu and for many it will be the only present they receive at Christmas time.


Each box contains a small toy or gift, as well as tins of meat and fish, toothpaste, soap, pens, paper and crayons.


Travel and tourism students at Bath College were keen to help after packing boxes at Mercy in Action’s warehouse on Lower Bristol Road last year.


Student engagement officer Scarlett Mosnier said they had been inspired to volunteer after hearing John and Allison’s story.


She said: “They met these little boys, they fed them and the next time they came along with a couple of their friends who also hadn’t eaten for a couple of days.


“It’s nice to be part of something that you know is going to help people – I’m really impressed with the travel and tourism students.


“This is the second year we have worked with Mercy in Action. Last year we packed boxes at their warehouse and this year we decided to pack in-house.


“Doing it in-house means that a lot more students and staff can get involved.”


Beth Hockley, from Mercy in Action, will be travelling out to Cebu to hand out the boxes at Christmas time.


She said: “It’s nice that the students can show some empathy and think about people the other side of the world- we need any help we can get.


“It will be a lot of the children’s only Christmas present and they will share whatever is in the box with their entire family.


“A lot of them have only the clothes they are wearing and nothing else, so this will be life changing for them. They will be really excited about their bar of soap and shower gel – they are luxury items.


“We have links with other NGOs so any boxes we don’t use for our own project will go to partners out there who don’t have the support we have.”


Visit www.mercyinaction.org.uk.



Bath College students prepare food for area's top chefs

Catering and Hospitality students from Bath College recently prepared canapés for top chefs under the expert eyes of Hywel Jones, Executive Chef at Lucknam Park. The Chefs’ Forum event began with a Nyetimber and canapé reception prepared with the help of students from the College.


Chefs from Bath and the Cotwolds went on to show off their physical skills, as well as their cooking skills at the September meeting of The Chefs’ Forum. Guests at the event, which was held at the beautiful Lucknam Park Hotel near Colerne, had the chance to try their hand at axe throwing and archery, alongside the rather more genteel activity of tea tasting, and a tour of the hotel’s kitchen garden.


Hywel said: “Thanks to the students for all their help, and thanks also to the sponsors and all those who supplied the ingredients.”


Bridget Halford, Head of Department for Hospitality, Hair, Beauty and Spa at Bath College, spoke about how The Chefs’ Forum events benefit the students. She said “We are lucky to be able to work with key figures in the hospitality and catering industry. This opportunity at Lucknam Park has given our students key skills which will help their employability longer term.”



October – Elections Season

It’s been another busy month with a real focus on learner voice, starting with the SU elections. We have elected new members to the Students’ Union at city campus and a whole new team over at Somer Valley campus.


New members elected for city campus are:

Ann-Marie Harding – Open Portfolio

Lawrence Allen – Open Portfolio

Danny Basson – Media & Promotions

Mohamed Bourhfir – International Officer


The new team at Somer Valley are:

Briony Morris – Vice President

Alice Green- Events Officer

Roxy Vinning – Sports and societies Officer

Louie Richardson- equality and diversity Officer

Emma stellijes – Open Portfolio Officer

Tevin Mdoinya- Open Portfolio Officer

Henry Pratt – Media and Promo Officer


I would like to say a big well done to those who won the elections and are now Bath College Students’ Union 2015/16! I look forward to getting to know you all and sharing this experience with you.


Over the month I have chaired the first round of course rep training and meetings, it went really well. It was all new to me as well as the new reps, so it was great to get stuck in and hear what you think.  We have changed the way we go about the meetings this year to make them more student led, now the students set the agenda and run the meeting. The students had some great points across the departments and I will now be working to try and make some of these happen.


Over the month I have been doing Students’ Union tutorials across college to raise the profile of the SU and to make sure that students understand how the SU and Participation team can benefit them in many ways.  Hopefully I have been around to see you group but if not let me know.


Finally we also ran our first Question of the Month of the year.  It’s a great way for us to get a quick bit of feedback and gives me a good opportunity to get around and talk to as many students as possible.


Click HERE to see the results





Your Wishlist