Free courses to develop computer literacy skills


Bath College is offering new courses for people who want to develop their computer literacy skills and get up to date with technology.

The courses, run by the Adult Community Learning Team at the Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, are free for people aged nineteen and over.

They are aimed at people who want to improve their chances to find work, support their family or live independently.

The first course, computers for work, is a four-week course covering key computing skills starting on November 2nd.

People can also join workshops in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on November 3rd, November 10th and November 17th.

You can join as many workshops as you like and learn how to make a document, work with data and presentation techniques.

On November 24, there is a Microsoft Outlook course, followed by a one-off workshop on December 9th teaching you how to stay safe online.

The Adult Community Learning Team are also running computer confidence sessions, for people who are complete beginners, in January.

Alex Ewins, 78, has just finished the ‘Get started with iPads’ course so that he can use an iPad with his grandchildren.

He said: “My grandchildren use the iPad. My six-year-old grandson knows more than I do, so I thought it was time to do something about that.

“I’m just beginning to get the hang of it – at least I know how to turn it on and off! It’s a really wonderful course and a friendly group.

“I would recommend it to anyone, in fact I’m keen to find out about the next course for my wife who missed this one.”

All workshops are held during the day. For more information or to enrol, please e-mail lynsey.parsons@bathcollege.ac.uk or call (01225) 328 822


Professional chefs and ex-students return to Bath College for surprise retirement party


Bath College student Liam Targett with Garry Rosser, Micail Swindells, Jon Howe, Claire Wilkins, Stuart Ash, Fred Hall (from Bath College) and Andre Garrett
A top team of six professional chefs helped to turn a six-course gourmet dinner at Bath College into a surprise retirement party.
All six chefs started their careers at Bath College and have gone on to excel in the hospitality and catering industry.
The event, supported by ex-student and Michelin-starred chef Andre Garrett, was held in honour of hospitality and catering lecturer Kean Maslen who has worked at the college for 31 years.
Kean, known as Mas, knew about the event and was ready to help in the kitchen when he was asked to sit down and eat instead.

Andre, executive head chef at Cliveden House, gave up his time to support the event alongside Jon Howe, this year’s winner of AA Restaurant of the Year for England.
The team preparing the dinner included Garry Rosser, from the Scallop Shell, Stuart Ash, from Woods Restaurant, Claire Wilkins, from The Olive Tree, and Micail Swindells.
Micail, who has worked for Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck and TV MasterChef judge John Torode, now works as head chef on a private yacht.
This change of plan came as a complete surprise for Kean, who is retiring next month.
The six chefs worked with current hospitality and catering students at Bath College to create an impressive menu for 70 guests, including Kean’s family and friends.
Kean said: “Being able to teach some truly amazing, ambitious and motivated students has blessed me with a mountain of pride and job satisfaction.
“I have been totally overwhelmed by the commitment the students, staff and professional chefs, put into making the dinner such a success.
“This has been a true showcase for the catering industry.”
For the main course, guests enjoyed hay smoked haunch of fallow deer, with salt baked beetroot, parsnip, braised cabbage and a sauce grand veneur (huntsman’s sauce).

Staff chose to fundraise for the Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, which provides support for Kean’s daughter, and collected over £700.
Guests also listened to a good luck video from Sam Moody, who recently left The Bath Priory to work as head chef at Ballyfin in Ireland.
Bridget Halford, Head of Hospitality and Catering, said: “It was fantastic to see our students working alongside these professionals who have gone on to do exceptional things in the industry.
“They rose to the challenge and we’re very proud of them. I’d like to say a big thank you to the team for their support. We had the chefs in the day before and I thought ‘they will never keep it quiet’, but it was a complete surprise.
“Mas sees the best in all the students. He puts everyone’s happiness first and will do anything for anybody. Sam Moody often called him ‘the legend’ and he’s right about that.
“He’s always the first person to offer his help. If you’ve got an event he will say ‘yes ok, I can help with that’. He’s going to be missed by students and staff.”


Students put through their paces by Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers


Officers from the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME) visited Bath College to put students through their paces with command tasks designed to encourage teamwork and leadership skills.

Students studying motor vehicle maintenance and performing engineering operations took part in a day’s worth of activities at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus based outside and in the classroom.

They were split into different groups and had to work together on a range of scenarios, including getting each member of the team across an invisible river without touching the floor.

Teams were given five minutes to plan and were timed as they made their way across the invisible river using planks, tyres, rope and an ammunition box. At the end they listened to comments and feedback.


Glyn Mountjoy, Automotive and Engineering Learning Coordinator, said: “We’ve put them in mixed class groups, they’re not in the same class group, so that they’re working with students they haven’t worked with before.

“It’s developing their team working skills, developing thinking skills and getting their minds to focus on something that’s completely different to normal college life. It’s improving their processing skills.

“We say to them about having a positive mental attitude, that everyone working together achieves more, and that message is coming out today. We want them to be able to go into the workplace and have that team ethos.”

Sergeant Scott McNamee, from 130 Field Company, said: “At REME we inspect, repair, modify and maintain all army equipment from tanks and helicopters to small rifles and pistols.

“Today we have a mixture of regular army staff and part-time reservists leading the command tasks. It’s good personal development for the students and we look for young apprentices, people who want a job in the engineering sector.

“We’re challenging them with leaderless tasks to try and find out who the standout leaders are among the group.”


Students studying motor vehicle maintenance, engineering, stonemasonry, carpentry, plumbing, refrigeration and electrical engineering have all been taking part in employability week at Bath College.

During the week, level 1 students studying motor vehicle maintenance and performing engineering operations met Barry Russell from Bath Audi who spoke to them about what he expects from his apprentices, why maths and English is important and CV writing skills.

Students received a professional card from Halfords, giving them 50 per cent off tools, and met Dan Church – a former Bath College student who is working as an apprentice with Bath Audi.

Motor vehicle student Josh Morris said: “I’m glad they’ve organised this week. I wasn’t sure what the command tasks would be like to start with, but I’m enjoying the tasks. It’s a good feeling when we manage to finish as a team.”


Student success celebrated at special awards ceremony


High achieving students at Bath College enjoyed their moment in the spotlight during a special awards ceremony held to celebrate each individual’s commitment and hard work.
Over 40 students and their families were invited to the annual Celebrating Success Awards Ceremony at the Guildhall after being nominated for awards by their tutors.
Students studying floristry, music and catering and hospitality gave up their time to make the event memorable with colourful table displays, canapés and entertainment.
The ceremony included students from every department and Oscar Marcus, Complementary Therapies Student of the Year, was one of the first students to collect his award.
Oscar achieved over 50 hours of volunteering alongside studying at Bath College and now works at the 5-star Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel as a massage therapist.
The 20-year-old said: “My new job is going really well and I’m learning a lot. It was a complete surprise, but I’m really honoured to be here and to be recommended for this award.
“Being at college, it’s like a big family from the start, we all learned together. Some of us didn’t have any massage experience and now we’re going into work as professionals.”

Oscar with lecturer Diana Rowe
Staff chose Karla Cabot as the Access to Higher Education Student of the Year after she successfully gained a place to study veterinary medicine at the University of Bristol.
Seventy-three students have just started at university after finishing the access programme, which provides students with a nationally recognised qualification allowing them to progress to degree level.
Course leader Carolyn Guy enjoyed catching up with Karla at the ceremony and also stepped onto the stage after being chosen for the B&NES Chairman’s Award for Inspirational Teaching.
She said: “Karla showed a quiet determination throughout the course. She took every opportunity to gain a huge breadth of work experience in different specialities.
“Veterinary medicine is a highly competitive degree and is offered by only seven universities in the UK. This not only a first for the access course at Bath College, but also a very rare achievement for an access student.”
Members of the Step Up Group won the Student Service in the Community award, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Bath, for their work volunteering with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.
The students, who are studying for a Step-Up Diploma, adopted a section of the canal to maintain, working to clear hedgerows and cut back overhanging trees.
The ceremony also recognised the contribution local businesses make to student development, naming ESPA UK, Imperial Cleaning Services, and Hudson Stonemasonry as employers of the year.

Jordan Adams: Media Student of the Year
Managing director Simson Hudson sent his apprentice Alec Curtis to study at Bath College and was named as the Building Services, Construction and Engineering Employer of the Year.
He said: “I’m completely humbled to be chosen for an award. It was very fortunate that Alec’s assessor visited us on quite a few occasions and was impressed with the work we were doing.
“I’m very happy with what he’s done and what he’s learned at the college, with the workshop and the facilities. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Bath College as a training provider.”
Bath College Principal and Chief Executive Laurel Penrose said: “On occasions like tonight it’s really the best part of my job.
“Although tonight’s celebration might seem like a good conclusion for all the hard work that has taken place, in many ways it’s just the start.
“The college is delighted to be part of each student’s life journey. Part of our role as a college is about preparing students for the world of work. As a college, we want to make sure every one of our students achieve and are highly employable.
“Qualifications are important, but our tutors go beyond this remit by fostering opportunities for students in the workplace. All these relationships benefit our learners and ensure they have the best opportunity to fulfil their potential.”


Students at Bath College to open new crèche and gym facilities


Students at Bath College are opening a new crèche and gym facilities offering parents affordable childcare and the opportunity to develop their health and fitness.
Organised by level 2 childcare and sport students, the new project will allow parents to drop off their children at the crèche and visit the college gym, which is open to the public for the first time.
Students on Bath College’s level 2 fitness study programme will be on hand to offer training advice during gym sessions from November 7 on Monday and Wednesday mornings.
Kate Hobbs, Interim Head of Department for Sport, Leisure and Care, said: “At Bath College, we place a strong emphasis on employability skills.
“Many of our students work in the community undertaking valuable work experience placements at local schools and nurseries.
“The gym and the crèche will provide students with another opportunity to experience a real working environment, supporting many aspects of their programme of study.
“Students working in both areas will develop their skills under supervision from their tutors and with the support of our second year childcare students.
“They will be working with people on a regular basis, as well as providing a service, giving them the opportunity to become more employable and experts in their own sector.”
Childcare students at the crèche are planning an exciting range of activities, including arts and crafts, messy play, sensory exploration and story times.
As part of the launch, the crèche and the gym are free for parents until the end of December, when affordable prices will be introduced.
Lecturer in early years Abigail Holt said: “The team have been working hard over the summer to transform the crèche. We have been painting and sourcing resources to make the space stimulating and enjoyable for the children.
“The room is bright and spacious, and we’re looking forward to seeing it in action. I’m looking forward to seeing the students develop into skilled practitioners using their classroom knowledge in practice.”
The crèche and gym, at Bath College’s city centre campus, will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 11am. This is available on an advance booking basis and is subject to availability.
There will be up to 13 level 2 childcare students managing each session, with space available for 12 children (from six weeks to five-year-olds).
To book call (01225) 328649 or email gymandcreche@bathcollege.ac.uk

Students Union

October – Elections

So its elections month again, they always seem to come around so fast! We have been on the search for more team members to join the Students’ Union. A big thanks to all those that put themselves forward to run in the elections and also to all those that voted.


The votes have now been counted… so congratulations to Tesh, Zane, James and Jess who are the new members of the team! Visit the meet the team page to see who they are and what roles they have.


This month was also filled with lots of Course Rep training and meetings which were very positive. Your course rep will let us know how things are going in your course, so be sure to check out what was said with them or ask your tutor if you don’t know who it is.

Finally Media and Promo Officer, Dan, has been running two very popular societies; Anime and Dungeons and Dragons. They are proving very popular so please visit us in the Crib if you want to be part of it.


Award-winning chefs return to head up autumn gourmet dinner

Picture: Catering students Callum, George, Marta and Kit with Ryan Hanson and Kean Maslan

Students at Bath College are preparing for the return of two award-winning chefs who are heading up a special six-course gourmet dinner with an autumn theme.
Michelin-starred chef Andre Garrett started his career at Bath College and is executive head chef at Cliveden House, a 5-star country house hotel in Berkshire.
Jon Howe, chef proprietor for the Lumière Restaurant in Cheltenham, is also a former student at the college and is still celebrating after winning AA Restaurant of the Year for England this month.
Both chefs are returning to their old college on October 20 to work alongside current students and make the evening at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant a big success.
Mr Garrett, who was born in Bath, said: “I’m really looking forward to coming back to the college and cooking with the students.
“It has been 23 years since I left college and I would like to make it a special event for them. I am bringing some great produce, including wild locally shot venison.
“I’m hoping that we can give the students a taste of the great trade they have in front of them and encourage them to go forward.”
The evening starts at 6.30pm with a welcome drink and canapés. Tickets are £49 per person and include a small wine flight. Managers from the Pig Hotel will help supervise the service.
Former students Gary Rosser, from the Scallop Shell, Stuart Ash, from Woods Restaurant and Claire Wilkins, from The Olive Tree are also offering their support on the night.
Lecturer Ryan Hanson, from Bath College, said: “Catering at Bath College is all about developing talent for a competitive, creative and ever expanding industry.
“This evening will showcase three decades of talent that has come through our doors and progressed on to some of the finest eateries in the country.
“To have these chefs back gives the department an enormous sense of pride and will prove a great inspiration for our current students, who we hope will also progress onto bigger and better things.”
Mr Howe, from the Lumière Restaurant, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with, and hopefully inspire, the next generation of young, up-coming chefs.
“Bath College has played such a pivotal role in my career, so it will be lovely to give a little back.”
To book tickets e-mail Ryan.Hanson@bathcollege.ac.uk


Music student picked to play at the Royal Albert Hall in London


A student at Bath College has been offered the chance to perform at one of London’s best classical music venues just weeks into his new course.
Multi-instrumentalist Kenan Broadway has been picked to play at this year’s Music for Youth Proms at the world-famous Royal Albert Hall.
The Bath College music student will be part of a mass ensemble bringing together members of Gloucestershire Music, Bath & North East Somerset Music Hub and South Gloucestershire Music Hub.
Musicians across the three counties are joining together to celebrate the life of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death with a new piece of music from conductor and composer Philip Harper.
It will be Kenan’s first visit to the Royal Albert Hall and he will play the double bass or the bassoon as part of a 140-piece wind band backed by an impressive choir of 450 singers.
Kenan, 16, started playing the piano at the age of 11 and also plays the cello, double bass, viola, violin, guitar and bassoon.
He said: “I love solo pieces. I started on the piano and then I heard the Bach Cello Suites and thought ‘I want to be able to do that’. Over time I have started collecting all the instruments I can.
“I’m feeling very excited and lucky to be playing at the Royal Albert Hall. Ten people could show up and I’d still be happy because it’s such an amazing venue – it’s going to sound brilliant with the acoustics in there.
“It’s likely that there’ll be a double bass part and if not, I’ll be playing the bassoon. I started playing the double bass in January and got myself up to scratch very quickly because I’ve learnt the cello before.
“It’s going to be nerve-wracking, but to say I’ve performed at the Royal Albert hall, that’s a great thing for university. It’s my dream to go to music college.”
Kenan, from Midsomer Norton, was at secondary school when he heard one of his teachers playing the album I Giorni, by the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, and was inspired to start playing the piano.
He will be playing at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday November 14.
Kenan said: “I love it at Bath College, it’s so different to school. I love the people and the course and what it’s teaching me. It’s great being surrounded by like-minded people and people you can connect with.
“I went straight to college from GCSEs. I did have the option to do sixth form, but I knew what I wanted to do already. I have two years in college and the next five to six years of my life will be in music education – I’ve never been happier.”
To book tickets for the concert at the Royal Albert Hall click here.


Hospitality students to serve guests at the launch of the Bath Soup Project


If you live in Bath & North East Somerset and you have an idea to improve your local community you can sign up to be part of a new crowd-funding event called the Bath Soup Project.
Charities, community organisations and Bath & North East Somerset residents have until next week (October 14) to apply to be part of the launch of the Bath Soup Project on November 3.
The first event takes place at the Shrubbery Restaurant, Bath College.
How it works:
-Everyone in attendance pays a minimum of £5 and the purpose of the evening is to watch five people pitch an idea to improve their local community.
-Once the ideas have been pitched, everyone gets a bowl of soup courtesy of Bath College, plus a chance to chat and mull over the pitch they want to vote for. When the votes have been counted, the project with the most votes receives all the cash raised on the night to start their project.
-The event aims to bring together people who share a desire for a better community. The added advantage is they also get to meet people and share ideas and resources. New connections are made and it brings the community closer together.
Julie Poll, Business Connector for B&NES, is working on the project with Lucy Beattie, from Bath College, Mike Plows, from the B&NES Volunteer Centre, and volunteer Simon Brand.
The group are looking for support from local people and businesses to attend on the evening and be part of making a positive difference to the community.
They would also love to hear from anyone who is able to donate additional resources or services to ensure future sustainability of the project.
Doors open at the college at 6pm and the presentations will start at 6.30pm.
Hospitality and catering students from Bath College will serve bread and soup to people in the college’s Shrubbery Restaurant at 7.30pm.
Julie Poll, Business Connector for B&NES, said: “Bath Soup Project is an opportunity to develop partnerships for local communities and businesses, and fully demonstrate the themes I focus on in my role: education, employability, enterprise and community.
“More importantly, this is an opportunity to bring together people in B&NES who share a desire for a better community. It’s exciting to bring this project, originating from Detroit, to B&NES and will be even more exciting to hear new ideas benefitting the local community.
“I am most grateful to Bath College, Mailboxes Etc, Morgan Brinkhurst Consultancy, The Thoughtful Bread Company, The Business Exchange and MP Ben Howlett for their support.
“Thanks should also go to my colleagues Lucy, Mike and Simon for their on-going commitment, enthusiasm and determination to ensure the future success of the project.”
The deadline to apply to pitch at the event is October 14. To apply click here.
To attend the event register via Eventbrite.


Apprentice of the month: Brett Burnell from St Fagans National History Museum


Brett Burnell is a stonemasonry apprentice studying at Bath College and working at St Fagans in Wales – an open-air museum in Cardiff celebrating Welsh history and culture.
Bath College is one of the few colleges offering a qualification in stonemasonry and the course attracts apprentices from Wales and the South West.

What made you decide to sign up as an apprentice?
I spotted the advert for an apprenticeship while scanning through jobs on the internet. I have wanted to become a stonemason for many years, and worked at St Fagans as a labourer, but never had the opportunity until now.
What do you do in a normal week as an apprentice?
Three days a week I’m working onsite at the museum on a variety of projects. This includes building rubble lime walling, recreating a Celtic village, and carving and fixing stonework. I’ve worked on many listed buildings.
Two days a week, I attend Bath College where I improve my banker (construction) skills and precision while learning the theory behind stonemasonry.
What responsibilities do you have at St Fagan’s?
I work with a team, including one other apprentice stonemason and three masons who have been in the trade all their life and help and guide us.
The other apprentice is on the same course and level as me, which helps as we’re both experiencing the same thing and can work together. My responsibilities are to work safely as part of the team onsite to perform to Bath College’s high standards.
What’s the best thing about being an apprentice?
As a 37-year-old man with family and bills to pay, going back to college seemed almost impossible. The apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to keep earning and gain the qualifications I need to further my career and better myself. I would say go for it, it’s hard work but it’s worth it.
Has being an apprentice changed life for the better?
Definitely. I have gained more knowledge in the past two years on this course at Bath College than I have working onsite as a labourer for ten years. It gives me a massive sense of pride being able to see what I’m capable of achieving.
What’s your plan for the future?
I hope to complete my Level 3 NVQ and diploma in stonemasonry. When I’m qualified I’d like to stay working at St Fagans. It’s a beautiful place to work and I like knowing that what I’ve produced will be there long after I am.


Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!




What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?


Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.



Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.

You begin paid employment through the programme.



Students network at the launch of the Bath College Academy of Business


Students had the chance to network with top employers at the launch of the Bath College Academy of Business.


The academy is a new venture set up to get students ready for working in business by giving them access to industry experts.


A number of companies have already signed up to offer work placements, company visits, student mentoring and business talks.

The launch event, held in the Futures Hub at Bath College, was a chance for employers to meet students studying business first-hand.


Jon Domaille, Head of Department for Business, Media, Music and Performing Arts, said: “The evening was a massive success and we are delighted with the support and interest that we have received from local organisations.


“It was so exciting to see our students already mixing so confidently with employers at the launch event.


“The students are certainly excited about the opportunities that the academy will present them with and they were inspired by the evening.


“The event was exactly what we want the academy to be about – employers and students communicating and working together.”


Students are already working with Bath-based predictive people analytics software company Cognisess.


The company, whose software provides analytics for recruiters and companies, will be measuring students’ personal development throughout their time at college.


CEO and founder Chris Butt said: “Job retention is a big issue for both employers and job seekers alike. The cost of not finding the right job or career is significant for all parties.


“The primary aim of the college is to develop the talents of its students in order to help them achieve successful and fulfilling careers.


“To fulfil this vision, Bath College is developing deeper and more strategic links with over 30 local partners who are all essential to ensuring students have the best chance of finding the right path into employment.


“As a strategic partner, and using our Cognisess Deep Learn software, we will work with students to raise self-awareness and improve employability skills by providing sophisticated career and job matching tools.”


Professor Georgina Andrews, Head of the Bath Business School at Bath Spa University, attended the launch evening and also spoke to business students volunteering at the event.


She said: “I think it’s a great idea benefitting both groups of students. Students at Bath College will learn from our university students, and they will benefit from sharing their skills and experience.


“Bath Spa University is already a partner with the college, so this is a good way we can extend that link.”


To offer your support with the Bath College Academy of Business e-mail Lucy.Beattie@bathcollege.ac.uk.



Bath College chaplain Rob Popejoy to appear on Songs of Praise


To watch Rob on Songs of Praise (on BBC iPlayer) click here.
Famous for his religious tattoos, Bath College chaplain Rob Popejoy has caught the eye of the Songs of Praise production team and is due to feature on the BBC One television programme on Sunday.
Chaplain Rob is part of the student participation team at Bath College and works to give students pastoral support through one to one mentoring sessions, as well as larger lessons and tutorials.
He has tattoos covering most of his body, including a picture of Jesus on his chest, and made the headlines back in 2014 when he was photographed bare-chested for a student project.
Called the ‘holy hipster’ and a ‘tattoo-loving vicar’, Rob was filmed by the Songs of Praise team last week for a short feature in which he talks about his tattoos and shares how he became a Christian.
Rob said: “My testimony came out, I talked about that and there was a lot of discussion about the church and how it’s represented in the secular world. One of the things I was asked is ‘are you trying to make God cool?’
“My tattoos are part of my personality. I’ve been getting tattoos ever since I had an active faith. Generally I have stuff that points towards a benchmark in my life, like being baptised and the year I came back to church.
“For my first tattoo I chose the words ‘for glory’ on my left arm. That was me stating what my life should be and what God wants me to be about.
“I didn’t choose to get tattooed to make myself cooler as a chaplain and I don’t do it to be a Christian witness to people, but it does happen to be a good by product of this – it’s a good conversation starter.”
Rob, who leads the Remembrance Day service and the Christmas carol concert at Bath College, also works as a youth pastor at St Michael’s in Twerton.
He had his tattoos filmed by the Songs of Praise team and was also filmed leading a tutorial for Bath College media students.
Rob said: “I think there should be a chaplain in every educational establishment. Even if you take religion out of it, I think there’s a need to provide pastoral support.
“I offer pastoral support to students and staff, mainly students, and promote awareness of other faiths to encourage an active dialogue around religion and faith – to challenge people into a deeper thought process.
“I’m both nervous and excited to see how I’m portrayed as a chaplain on Songs of Praise. In the Christian church world there are so many denominations, but you’ll find that we’re all believers.
“Yes, the crew came to film me, but if you go to another ‘young’ church, for example in London, there are other people like me with beards and tattoos. The difference is that they don’t have a job that gives them the same profile.”


Life at Bath College: Music student and SU team member Katie


If you’re in the last year of your GCSEs you’ll be thinking about where to study next. Perhaps you’ve picked up a prospectus for Bath College, browsed our website online or added the date of our next open day to your calendar. All of this will give you a good idea of what it’s like to study at Bath College, but what do our students think?
Over the course of the year, we’ll be interviewing current students about their time at Bath College and finding out what student life is like. Our first interview is with Katie, a Level 3 student studying music performance. Katie has just returned to college as a second year student and is volunteering as equality and diversity officer as part of the Students’ Union team.

Do you remember coming into college as a first year – what was it like?

It was quite daunting, mainly because a lot of people on my course knew each other. A big group of them came from the same secondary school. I thought it was going to be quite hard to make friends but it was a lot easier than in secondary school.
I did a year of A-levels and I didn’t get on with it at all. It’s hard to motivate yourself if you don’t enjoy what you do. I found this course at Bath College and it suited me better.
It’s a lot better at college because you’re treated your age. Unless you misbehave, you’re going to get treated as an adult. Your tutor will help you if you’re struggling, but you have to ask for help – which makes you a lot more independent. After a while you start to learn quicker because you’re learning independently.
What’s the best thing about returning to college – what are you looking forward to this year?

I worked a lot in the summer, so I was looking forward to coming back to college and getting on with things. It’s been good to catch up with friends.
I’m looking forward to my Final Major Project. You can do whatever you like, as long as it’s a large project. Most people do an EP launch but I’m going to try and do a big student party. Kez (Students’ Union President) wanted to do an SU party and a lot of people will use it to launch their EPs.
This year, we’re doing a lot of community work. After my course finishes, I’d like to study music therapy. It’s good to get things to put on your CV to show what you’re interested in.
What have you started to do in class?

We’re doing music and film, which takes a lot of patience. We’ve been given a silent film clip and we have to put sound effects in. Getting it perfect is painstaking. The aim at the end is to have a 30 second film clip with sound and we have to compose our own music.
We’re also doing song writing lessons once a week. We get given a different genre to explore. The first one is hip-hop! It’s going to be a challenge, especially because we have to record it ourselves, but I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun when we get in to it. It’s good because it widens your appreciation for music.
Can you tell me about being part of the SU – what are you planning for this year?

My position is equality and diversity officer. My job is to make sure everything is available to everyone and to be a point of contact for people. I’ll be doing quite a bit round anti-bullying week and mental health awareness week.
I’m hoping to set up a peer support group, but it might take a bit of time because there isn’t one at the moment. Having something run by students might make people more comfortable talking about issues. At my secondary school we didn’t have anything like that and I would have benefitted from it.
What was the freshers’ fair like?

Freshers’ fair was a success compared to last year. It was busier than last year and we have a few more people signed up who are looking to join the SU. Hopefully another girl will be interested because Kez and I are a bit outnumbered in the office – we need a bit more girl power!
At first it was quite hard to coax people in to talk to you. But once you got a group talking to you, other people saw it was ok. Hopefully the NUS card numbers will go up as well. There are really good places like Apple who will take the discounts. And it’s really cheap – it’s £12 for the year. You don’t realise how much you can save until you have it.
Do you have any tips for new students?

Just to do as much as possible. If someone asks you to do something say ‘yes’ because a lot of things only come up once a year and in the 2nd year you’ll be a lot busier.
Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know. Getting involved in things that aren’t course related is really good fun. We have an Airhop trip coming up in October and there will be more trips like that throughout the year. I can’t wait – the foam pits should be interesting!


Students’ Union President Kez attends launch of new teenage chill out room


Local charity Time is Precious invited fundraisers to the launch of a new sensory room and teenage chill out room at Bath RUH on Friday.
Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins received an invite to the launch, as a thank you to students at Bath College who have been fundraising for the charity.
Kez was part of a team of fundraisers who collected sponsorship by abseiling down the side of Bath College’s Macaulay building in July.


Students chose Time is Precious as their charity of the year and worked hard to fundraise, collecting over £2,000 for the teenage chill out room.
The room will give teenagers in hospital a space of their own, complete with £4,000 worth of IT equipment, TV monitors and wifi.
Time is Precious has also bought an Xbox and PlayStation to take into hospital wards, to be used by teenagers recovering in their beds.
The charity was set up by Nicky and Neil Halford in memory of their son Ben to help families facing long stays in hospital with terminally ill children.
As part of this, Time is Precious has opened a sensory room with lights, sounds and games for younger children at Bath RUH.
Nicky said: “It will make a big difference for families. From my point of view, being in hospital myself, I know how stressful and hard it is. We don’t get paid for the charity work we do, we just like to see the money being used and to be helpful.
“We never expected to fund big projects like the sensory room and the chill out room when we set up five years ago in memory of our son Ben. To see the charity grow has been amazing. Thank you for all your help and support.”
Kez with charity patron Will Thorp
As well as the charity abseil, students fundraised for Time is Precious through bucket collections, cake sales and a lunchtime ‘Gunk the SU’ event.
Kez said: “It was really nice to see the end product after fundraising for Time is Precious. All the time and effort students have put in, we have seen that it’s going to make a difference – it’s such a great space.
“The reason we chose to fundraise for Time is Precious and the chill out room is because we represent the college and students. At any point a student could end up in hospital (or someone close to them). If this happens, the chill out room could help them through a difficult time.”

Students Union

September – Here we go again




Kez here, back again as Student Union President for my second year.  I’m hoping we can hit the ground running in this year and get much more happening.  We have an awesome team who are all ready to make change.  Our job is to make your experience at the college even better.


September is always a hectic month but it’s always great to see all the new faces  and to get around meeting you all in the induction (still as scary as ever) and tutorials.  Make sure you check out what we have planned for the year and get involved where you can.





Companies invited to the launch of the Bath Academy of Business


Bath College is launching a new business academy to give students valuable industry experience at top companies in the South West.

Over 30 companies have been invited to attend the launch of the Bath Academy of Business at Bath College on September 29th.

The evening will bring together potential partners and students who will hear about the college’s vision for the academy.

Companies are being asked to support students to gain experience in legal practice, HR, event management, retail, business administration, management and finance.

In turn, the Bath Academy of Business will boost the local economy in Bath by creating a talent pipeline for companies to recruit from.

Jon Domaille, Head of Department for Business, Media, Music and Performing Arts, said: “We are incredibly excited about this venture.

“Throughout the last two years, we have significantly developed our engagement as a department with the world of business, enhancing our student experience significantly.

“The academy is the next step for us. It will offer a unique environment for learners to study business within a challenging, competitive, innovative and aspirational setting.

“It is an invaluable opportunity for staff to engage with industry, ensuring that we are providing our learners with up to date and relevant skills that employers want and need.”

Companies attending the launch include: Sirona Care & Health, Curo, Royds Withy King and the Bath Spa School of Business.

There will be time for networking in the Futures Hub and a short talk outlining the college’s vision for the Bath Academy of Business.

Bath-based company Cognisess has already signed up to support the academy, and as part of this, will provide online games for students to play to improve their cognitive skills throughout their course.

Chris Butt, Founder and CEO at Cognisess, said: “Cognisess is very excited to be partnering with Bath College and supporting the launch of the Bath Academy of Business.

“It is a truly innovative step in supporting students throughout their time at the college with both personal and employability skills needed for the workplace.

“Our platform will work with students to understand, track and improve these skills so when they complete their course they will be able to compete in the jobs market.

“Each student will receive a Cognisess profile showcasing their talent and potential – helping employers find the right person.”

Employability Adviser Lucy Beattie works with the Futures Team to create employability opportunities for students at Bath College.

She said: “We’re looking for employers to give students an insight into what it’s like to work for them by offering work placements, company visits and student mentoring.

“Some businesses might come in once a year to offer their expertise and others might take people on a rolling placement, developing a long-term relationship with students.

“We will be working to make the partnership suit the business and develop our students’ full potential.”

The launch of the Bath Academy of Business begins at 5.30pm on September 29 in the Futures Hub, Roper Building, Bath College, Avon Street. To attend please e-mail Lucy.Beattie@bathcollege.ac.uk.


Students work alongside Michelin-starred chefs at charity polo day


Students from Bath College worked alongside Michelin-starred chefs at a fundraising feast in aid of Hospitality Action.
Twelve Level 3 catering and hospitality students were part of a charity polo day at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire on September 11.
The day raised £50,000 to help Hospitality Action with its work supporting employees in the hospitality and catering industry.
Students at Bath College worked alongside seven award-winning South West chefs, who have six Michelin stars between them.
The team included Michael Bedford, from the Painswick Hotel, Martin Burge, from Whatley Manor, Josh Eggleton, from the Pony & Trap and Hywel Jones, from Lucknam Park.
Students also served food created by Sam Moody, from the Bath Priory, Richard Picard-Edwards, from Lords of the Manor Hotel, and Richard Bertinet, from The Bertinet Kitchen and Bakery.
The event began with a champagne and canapé reception, followed by a three-course lunch and an afternoon cream tea.
Catering and hospitality students acted as front of house staff and were joined by service professionals from The Abbey Hotel, Bath Priory, Calcot Manor, Lucknam Park, The Pig, and Whatley Manor.
This is the third time students at Bath College have attended Hospitality Action’s charity polo day to help with front of house.
Bridget Halford, head of department for hospitality, hair, beauty and spa industries, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for our students.
“Students really benefit from working closely with Michelin-starred chefs and service professionals from top hotels in the region.
“They’re gaining first-hand experience of catering for large numbers at a high-end event raising money for a worthwhile cause.”
Penny Moore, chief executive at Hospitality Action, said: “Tickets to the polo day sold out almost instantly, a true testament to the hard work everyone puts in.
“We’re set to spend a record breaking amount of money supporting those in need this year and it is events such as this that enable us to do so.”


Apprentice of the month: Jordan Griffiths from Weiss Technik UK

Bath College is one of a handful of colleges in the UK offering air conditioning and refrigeration qualifications from Level 1 to Level 3. All students studying air conditioning and refrigeration are apprentices, who are sponsored by their employers. Here we speak to Jordan who travels to Bath from Wales to study.


Why did you decide to study for an apprenticeship?
I was in college in Wales studying electronics and trying to get into work. I went on work experience with Weiss Technik UK and they offered me an apprenticeship. I didn’t know anything about refrigeration, but I had a go and I started to enjoy it – it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
I thought an apprenticeship would be a better alternative than university, because I would earn and learn at the same time. At the end of the course you come out with a trade and a skill.
What do you do on a day to day basis at work?
I work four days a week and I come into Bath College once a week. I work on climatic chambers. Car manufacturers need to test cars in low temperatures, to see how durable the car is. We produce refrigeration systems which allow storage rooms to be set to temperatures as low as minus 60 °C.
We build the refrigeration system in the factory, test it to make sure everything is fine, take it to the customer, and install it. One day I might be working on a job in the factory and another day I might travel to work onsite.
We go away for the week, stay in hotels and do the work. The company is contracted for work abroad, in places like China and Brazil, so I might get that opportunity once I’m qualified.
Why did you want to study this course at Bath College?
Weiss Technik UK is based in the Ebbw Vale, so I travel into study at Bath College. This is the only Level 3 course I could find, it’s a very specialised subject and not every college offers a Level 3 qualification.
I find refrigeration is more hands-on and it’s more specialised. When I was doing electronics there were three courses and there were 60 students studying the course. There’s just a few of us in this refrigeration class, so I get more time with the teacher and it’s easier to find a job afterwards. Companies are crying out for refrigeration engineers.
What does Bath College do to support you in the workplace?
I have site visitors from the college, they come to see me working to make sure I know my trade and I know what I’m doing. I also have trained engineers at my workplace who show me what to do. It’s just good to get stuck in and work with my hands. I’m not just sat at a desk and it’s not just theory – you’re actually doing something. It’s prepared me for work.
What’s your dream for the future?
I want to move abroad and work. I want to get a job and set up my own company in America or Australia and employ other people (maybe other apprentices). We’ve had a lot of people come in as quest speakers telling us what they have done. When I talk to people who have gone on to own their own company I think ‘I could do that’. This is just the start of my journey.


Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!




What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?


Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.



Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.

You begin paid employment through the programme.



Bath College student picked to represent Great Britain in the European Championships


Gymnast and Bath College student Tia Collins has been picked to represent Great Britain in the European Championships.

Miss Collins, who is starting her second year at Bath College studying Level 3 nails, will compete with TeamGym GB at the European Championships in October.

She was initially picked as a reserve and earned a place on the senior women’s team after months of intensive training with the team gymnastics squad.

Being part of the European Championships is a dream come true for the 17-year-old who started out as a gymnast 12 years ago and trains at Majestic Gymnastics in Bristol.

Miss Collins said: “This has been my dream since I was four years old. I have worked for two years to earn a place on the GB team.

“When I found out I was a reserve I was happy, but not happy enough. I worked my hardest each training session to prove I should be part of the team.

“My goal in gymnastics was to represent my country and now I finally get to do this. I’ve worked so hard and believed in myself, and now I have the opportunity of a lifetime.”


Miss Collins will perform in front of thousands of people at the championships in Slovenia, which take place from October 12 to October 16.

Over the summer, she has been training with TeamGym GB in Crew and Nantwich, spending eight hours a day Monday to Thursday learning new skills and techniques.

Miss Collins said: “We had a selection event where the top judges came in and watched us perform to see if we would get a score high enough to go to the Europeans.

“Training with TeamGym GB has been the most amazing experience of my life. The support from the coaches and other gymnasts has inspired me to become better.

“Sometimes training was tough and muscles were sore but having the mind set to carry on has got me where I wanted to be!

I’m looking forward to going out with my team and showing everyone what we can do.”

Miss Collin’s family continue to support her with her gymnastics career and her coach Michelle George, from Majestic Gymnastics, has set up a crowdfunding page to help send her to the championships.

Mum Zena Collins said: “TeamGym is not a funded discipline in the UK and Tia doesn’t get any sponsorship.

“This is the biggest accolade in the Team Gym competition calendar and to be selected to represent Team GB is a proud moment for Tia, her family and Majestic Gymnastics.

“Please show your support however you can.”

To visit Tia’s crowdfunding page click here.


Photo technician to take part in Top Gear inspired fundraiser


Photo technician Joseph Wooltorton is taking part in the South West Stint this month. Good luck Joseph, we hope the fundraiser goes well!

A Top Gear inspired fundraiser will see seven friends set off on a 750-mile drive around the South West in budget cars.
The South West Stint is raising money for the RNLI and the Will Cross Fund, in memory of 17-year-old Will Lashenko Cross.
Will, who went to Kingswood School in Bath, was a talented musician who passed away following a severe case of hydrocephalus.
He was days away from performing in the London finals of a national music competition and the Will Cross Fund is helping young people to fulfil their dreams in his memory.
Will’s cousins Sam and Katie Lashenko, from Midsomer Norton, are taking part in the South West Stint from September 8 to September 12.
They will be driving alongside old school friends Tom George, George Bridges, Sophie McGarvey, Amelia Burgess and Joseph Wooltorton.
Mr Wooltorton, a photo technician at Bath College, will be driving a Hyundai Accent which he bought for £70 and has modified to make it roadworthy.
He said: “It needed a bit of work on it, but that was the whole idea. I called in a couple of favours and lots of people have donated things along the way.
“It’s a bright looking car. The idea was to make it look as stupid as possible to get more attention. We have the website and the hashtag on the car.
“We’re a close group of friends and we all love Cornwall, that’s one of the reasons we’re fundraising for the RNLI because we all love surfing.
“The Will Cross Fund is a charity that’s very close to our hearts and helps young people to achieve their ambitions and dreams.”
The team of drivers plan to stop at more than 50 places in five days, and will have to fix their own cars if they break down.
Their route starts in Cheddar and will take them all the way from Minehead, Newquay and Penzance to Plymouth, Torquay, Weymouth and Bournemouth.
They have raised £2,450 already and have attracted sponsorship from South West companies Honeystone, Xpedite, Daily Bread and Stellasoft.
Mr Wooltorton said: “The support we’ve had from people has been overwhelming and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.
“We have been planning it for several months now. We’ve been doing photo shoots and we have the cars ready to go so we’re looking forward to it.
“There are barely any motorways – it’s all little B roads. We’re all having bets on whose car is going to break down first, but we hope to get through it.”
For more information and to donate click here.

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