Students Union

Student Take over – Harry Sylvester

For the second year running we have invited students to ‘takeover the college’ by becoming key members of staff for the day.  Not only is it a great way for students to build skills and confidence.  It also benefits the departments in which they are based to gather some direct leaner feedback on what they do.


One of the positions up for grabs was the Teaching and Learning Manager who is responsible for observing lessons and helping our teaching staff develop.  Harry Sylvester, a Public Services student  took over this role for the day, and here, in his own words is how it went.



Student Takeover Day – Harry Sylvester




On this day, I had the really good opportunity of becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager which meant I was ‘taking over’ Matt Finch’s job.



This day started off with me meeting with Matt and being introduced to the Teaching and Learning Team. I arrived bright and early and packed my bag with lots of special items such as; books, pens and pencils. I also decided to bring a clipboard with me so I could write down all the information that I would need for the entire day. I did some initial preparation for the day, such as creating my own tables for the data I would need to collect, but the exciting thing was, I was given my own desk!


After all the preparation was done I was allowed to go the classrooms with the company of one of team. This was very exciting as it gave me an insight into what English and Maths lessons are like. After this I was released to go into some lessons by myself which was very exciting indeed. These lessons ranged from learning about past exam papers and going all the way to students writing their own stories.


I was invited to come sit with the team in the Shrubbery Restaurant and enjoy a cup of tea with a scone. We then returned to the office to type up the data which I had collected so far.


After, I had typed up the data I went round to observe a few more lessons. I really enjoyed this as it gave me a real sense of what a member of the Teaching and Learning team does. I learnt many skills during this time such as good communication and learning tips so that I could become more effective as the day went on. After that I took my lunch break.


In the afternoon I started to do some research on how I could best present the data I had been collecting using various charts and tables. At about 14:40 I went to some more class rooms and observed some English and Maths classes to see what they were doing there. I managed to get a lot of data from this, which meant that I could start the preparation for my presentation which would be held at 5:00pm.


The presentation included me presenting all my data to the Teaching and Learning team, Stuart King (Head of Department for English and Maths) and Kez Hawkins (Students’ Union President). The feedback from this was very good and they were all very pleased with what I had collected. I felt that during this my confidence was boosted massively as it made me feel more at ease to talk to people. I ended up finishing the day at around 5:30pm.


I really enjoyed the day, it taught me what the Teaching and Learning Team do on a daily basis. It also boosted my confidence quite a lot because it means that I can now communicate better, both in and out of college. I felt quite happy around the college as I felt that I was in charge of something for the whole day.


So, for all I did today, I would like to thank the Teaching and Learning Team for having me there, all the classes I went to and everyone I met, THANK YOU


Harry Sylvester.


Football Academy, News

Women at the Game: Music student to support Bath City FC event


Music student Ruby Donadel is supporting an event at Twerton Park set up to show women why watching football can be great fun.
Bath City FC is encouraging as many women as possible to come along to its match against Hemel Hempstead on Saturday March 11th.
Female fans are invited to a reception before the game where they can get together, chat and enjoy some pre-match refreshments.
The event is part of a national initiative called ‘Women at the Game’ and coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Ruby, who is studying Level 3 music performance at Bath College, will be playing a live acoustic set for guests at the reception.
The 18-year-old is a big football fan and used to play football for a number of local teams, including Yeovil Town Ladies FC.
She said: “I played football for seven years. It’s always been seen as a men’s hobby but it’s getting more popular with women – especially with the success of the England women’s team.
“At the moment you’re outnumbered if you go to watch a game, but I’ve never had a problem with it. If you love the sport, it’s really fun.
“I’m singing at the event because I love the cause, I thought it was a great idea and wanted to help. I’m in the final year of my course, so I’ve done quite a lot of gigs but I’ve never played at a football match before. I’m looking forward to it, it will be a good experience.”
Bath City FC is about to become a community-owned club and is committed to strengthening its links to the local community.
Female fans will be on-hand to guide new visitors to the reception, which starts at 2pm – an hour before the match kick-off. Tickets are available here.


From Bath College to a job in a Michelin-starred restaurant – former student has a bright future ahead


A young chef who started his career training at Bath College has secured a job at a top restaurant with two Michelin stars.

Ollie Dunn, 18, is working under Executive Head Chef Gary Jones at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire.

He met Mr Jones two years ago as a student at Bath College during the college’s annual Chef v Chef Competition.


The competition, organised by Bath College and Catering Services International, is judged by a panel of professional chefs.

Ollie was one of the finalists for the competition, and was offered work experience at Le Manoir – which kindled an ambition to work there in the future.
He finished studying at Bath College last year and worked at The Royal Crescent Hotel for six months before securing a job at Le Manoir.

Ollie said: “I love working at Le Manoir. It’s always busy and I love waking up knowing you’re going to learn something new.

“It’s quite a daunting kitchen to work in at first. There’s 40 chefs at Le Manoir so that’s the first thing you have to get used to – the size of it.

“You have to adapt to working with people who speak different languages. The best thing about cooking is getting to express myself, I’m quite artistic so I enjoy plating up.”

Ollie, who is working as a commis chef, completed a two-day trial at Le Manoir, working 9am to 10pm before he was offered the job.

He was proud to help with the judging for this year’s Chef v Chef Competition alongside Mr Jones, just after finishing his three-month probation.


Ollie said: “Coming to Bath College definitely helped to set me up in my career. It’s had a massive impact on my life and I have made so many connections.

“My advice would be to listen to what your tutors are saying to you, take it on the chin and use it. Even if things go badly, keeping going because you’re learning and you’re progressing.

“Think about what you want in your career and don’t sit around waiting for something to happen. It depends on how much you want to learn and push yourself, but I’m quite ambitious.”

Executive Head Chef Gary Jones, who is supporting and mentoring Ollie, said: “Ollie epitomises what the Chef v Chef competition is about.

“It’s brave to stand up and put yourself forward to compete against your peers. It was clear to see Ollie wanted to improve his skills. He has made a concentrated effort to learn his craft in a great kitchen.

“We’re training the next generation of young chefs and in turn, UK restaurants are improving their standards. I’m very proud of Ollie, he has a great attitude to learning and development.

“He’s just passed his three-month probation and if he keeps going the way he’s going, he’ll become an exceptional young chef. It’s vitally important for young chefs to position themselves in the very best kitchens, and to hone and develop their craft for the future.

“I am always impressed by Steve Benison and the team at Bath College, who, year on year, provide this great opportunity to the students and chefs in Bath to shine. Long may it continue.”


Applying for university: advice on student finance for parents


Students had the opportunity to meet HE Adviser Richard Wiltshire, from Cardiff Met University, this week.
Richard is a specialist on student funding for people applying to university. He spoke to students (including Level 3 students) about tuition and living cost loans, bursaries and scholarships and extra help  they can apply for prior to starting their degrees in September.

Parents who have students applying for university can find some useful information here:
Frequently asked questions by parents – when to apply, evidence and payment
How your child applies and gets paid – what your child can get, how student finance works and repayment
Myths and facts about student finance.
For more information contact our Futures team.



Bath College backs AoC campaign to secure fair funding for colleges


Bath College is backing a national campaign calling for fairer funding for colleges ahead of the Government’s spring budget in March.
The college is a member of the Association of Colleges (AoC) which has published 16 recommendations for spending on further education.
At the moment, education funding for 16 to 18-year-olds is 22 per cent lower than funding for younger learners and the recommendations seek to address this imbalance.
Bath College provides full-time and part-time education for over 6,000 students, including 2,000 16 to 18-year-olds who study with the college full-time.
Across the country, 2.7 million students are taught at a further education or sixth form college providing academic, professional and technical training.
A day of action for the fairer funding campaign takes place on February 22 and Bath College is supporting a Thunderclap set up by the AoC on social media.
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose will also be writing to local MPs to make them aware of the importance of funding for current and future students.
She said: “It is becoming increasingly acknowledged that skills shortages affect local, regional and national economies.

“Further education colleges have the expertise to provide students with new skills or upskill current practitioners, but a fair funding regime is required.

“A skilled workforce will be the backbone of this country’s future economic success and further education colleges are key to making this a reality.”

Bath College is supporting each of the AoC’s recommendations.

These include:
Increasing spending on education and training from 4.3 per cent to 5 per cent of GDP in order to introduce fair funding for colleges.
• Increasing funding for 16 to 18-year-olds to match Key Stage 4 funding and extending pupil premium above the age of 16.
• Financial support to help students choose the best education possible – irrespective of transport costs and other needs such as childcare.
• Replace the English and maths condition of funding with rules that rely on the professional judgement of college leaders.
• Introducing a new English Social Fund to replace the European Social Fund which is likely to end when Britain leaves the EU.
• Review the Adult Education Budget to make sure there are opportunities for those aged 19 and over.
• Guarantee apprenticeship spending between 2017 and 2020 regardless of spending generated by the new apprenticeship levy.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: “Colleges already support nearly three million people nationally, but there are more people who want to improve their skills and the investment by Government is insufficient.
“They are at the forefront of delivering technical and professional education and training, and they can do more with the right investment. Fair funding for colleges is essential for every community and for employers who need skilled people to be successful.”
To see the full list of recommendations, visit the AoC website.


Apprentice of the month: Sophie Coupe from B Hairdressing


Sophie Coupe is a Level 2 hairdressing apprentice working at B Hairdressing and studying at Bath College. She has been working at the new salon in Widcombe for four months.
What’s the best thing about your apprenticeship?
My boss is part of a group of people working for Paul Mitchell, they go round different companies leading demonstrations and doing shows.
It’s great because she’s able to pass all of this down to me. I’m learning different styles and I’m practicing blow drys on regular customers. I work at the reception desk and answer phone calls, as well as booking appointments and taking payments.
At the moment we’re a small team, we’re looking for other stylists but because there’s only three of us we do everything together. It’s great to see the business growing, we have targets to grow how much we’re earning and you can see those going up – it’s nice to see that I have contributed and that I’m helping my boss.
Can you tell us a bit about why you chose a hairdressing apprenticeship?
I’m glad I chose an apprenticeship because it’s hands-on. For my GCSEs, I did well in the creative subjects but I had to work hard to achieve academically.
I have loved hairdressing ever since I was young, I like making people feel a million dollars. It’s a really good trade, you can work as a hairdresser at home, you can set up as a mobile hairdresser or you can do haircuts for your family.
When you’re in a hairdressing environment, you don’t get a lot of free time but it’s nice because your clients become your friends – they talk to you as a friend and you have a real relationship with them.
Do you enjoy your time studying at Bath College?
I looked at studying here and Trowbridge and as soon as I came here I feel in love with it. I thought I would do the full-time course and work on my days off, but then I found out about the apprenticeships and I thought it would suit me better. You still get a qualification, you get an NVQ, but it’s a different route.
It’s nice coming into college because I can talk to my tutor about things and if I want to try something new she helps me. If she knows it’s not going to work, she can tell me why and it’s good to see what other apprentices are doing.
Do you feel you’ve improved since you started your apprenticeship?
When I first started it was really nerve wracking because you’re stood there thinking ‘this is an actual client’. You learn things at work you don’t learn in college. When you’re at work and the phone rings, and your boss is busy, you have to take it into your own hands. You’re put under a bit of pressure and there were times I stumbled on the phone, but now I just pick it up.
It’s tough but it’s having the right attitude. You have to work the hours, but then you’re earning money at the same time. No matter how hard it is, you know that something good will come of it. I thrive on the fact that I am constantly improving.
Do you have any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?
You have to work at it and you have to learn from experience. When you see a problem, look at how people handle the situation. Work your way up and make sure people get to know you so you make a good name for yourself. It’s important to have a good reputation with clients.
Any work experience you can get helps. I have worked in quite a few salons and I can see how I’ve improved. I started off as a Saturday girl earning £25 an hour and now I’m in Bath with access to the best hairdressing training I can get.


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.



Judges turn up the heat for Chef V Chef Competition

A panel of judges searching for new culinary talent helped to turn up the heat in the kitchens at Bath College for the Chef V Chef Competition.
Students and professional chefs worked hard to show off their cookery skills during the day-long competition testing all aspects of food preparation and presentation.
The competition, organised by Bath College and Catering Services International, took on an exciting new format this year.
As part of this, students completed a team cooking challenge and took part in knife skills, napkin folding, table layout and wine pairing tests.

Judges included Gary Jones, who is executive head chef at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.
Former Bath College students Stuart Ash, from Woods Restaurant, and Scott Lucas, from the Craft Guild of Chefs for Bristol, gave up their time to judge the competition alongside Stuart Mcleod, from Zuidam and Jonathan Newberry, from The Valley Smokehouse in Bristol.
Judges also included Sarah Holden, from The Pig near Bath, events manager Sue Godding, Kean Maslen, a former lecturer at the college, and ex-student Ollie Dunn.
Ollie is working as a commis chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons after spending six months at The Royal Crescent Hotel.

Photo above by Joe Wooltorton
He met executive head chef Gary Jones and secured work experience with him after competing in the Chef V Chef Competition at Bath College two years ago.
Mr Jones said: “Ollie epitomises what this competition is about. It’s brave to stand up and put yourself forward. You can see he wanted to get better, he was keen to improve and has the will to improve himself.
“We’re training the next generation of young chefs and in turn, restaurants in the UK will raise their standards. I’m very proud of him. He’s just passed his three-month probation and if he keeps going the way he’s going, he’ll do well.”
The winners of the professional chef competition were Daniel Vosper, from the King William Pub (who won gold), Simon Mealing, from The Garrick’s Head, and Fraser Jones from the Best Western Plus Centurion Hotel.

Students Lucas Fellender, Maria Parker-Cook and Joshua Yoell were awarded first prize for their two-course menu in the team challenge competition.
First year Bath College student Benjamin Colley said: “The competition was brilliant. It’s a good way to see how far you have come in a year.
“I knew it was a competition, but I didn’t know how competitive it would be. I’m really happy with how I have done.”

Photo above by Dan Pedigrew
Competition judge Scott Lucas said: “The standard was extremely high – it was very close. For the team competition, the students were all within a percentage of each other which makes it difficult for the judges.
“It’s good to be back at Bath College, which is where I trained, so I know how it feels to be starting out as a student.
“I think it’s important that people from the industry put something back into training and supporting colleges. I think it’s something everyone should be doing.”

Students Union

January – Motivation

Hello 2017!


The Students’ Union decided to theme January as Motivation month. For this  we handed out motivational quotes around the college, to students, with the aim to make their day better!  

We have also spoken a little about New Year’s Resolutions and if students were to set a resolution for the college what would it be? What are your new year’s resolutions? Comment your answers below!

Much of January for me was delivering tutorials across the college, my aim was to try and reach those I don’t get to see as much. I spoke about our new website ‘Change It’ , our Takeover week in Feb, Course Reps, the new Activities program and finally the Students’ Union elections. Already our time as SU officers is nearly up so we are recruiting for new students to take our place.


The SU team have been really busy this month, Tesh and Aaron have started up 5 aside football on Wednesdays 4.30-5.30 at Bath Sports centre. Paul has been creating more videos for the YouTube page. James has been working towards a Bath College talent show and lastly Katie has been prepping for an online mentoring service. To top it off the team made a decision of our RAG (Raise and Give) charity this year. We are happy to announce that we will be supporting Time Is Precious for a second year running.


Hayley and I worked very closely with Childcare level 1 students in their assignment to make a positive impact on our community. Each group set up a fundraising event for Time is Precious. We went on a 14 mile walk from SVC campus to CCC campus.  Other groups dressed up as Micky and Mini Mouse and went around town collecting money. The other groups held cake and sweet sales. They raised an amazing £650!!!


The Participation Team have worked really hard on the 8ft by 12ft post it wall. This is where we asked students to write positive quotes on post it notes. It was amazing. They also did an activity called float your hopes where they got helium balloons and got students to write their hopes on a balloon and let it go.


Finally Question of the month results show that out of all the services at college the Students’ Union are known by more students!!! Go Team 16/17. They have been working so hard and deserve this recognition. I am looking forward to the final months in the Students’ Union!



Engineering apprentices design new impact testing machine


Engineering students at Bath College have designed and created an impact testing machine to measure the shock loading resistance of materials used in manufacturing.

The students, who are apprentices studying for a Level 3 diploma in engineering, were asked to make the machine as part of their final year project and engineering design modules.

Shock loading resistance is an important consideration for engineers and comparing material properties allows them to choose the right material for the right working environment.

The machine includes a hammer which swings downwards to hit the test material.

After the impact, the shock loading or force is recorded by a pointer on an energy scale. The amount of energy absorbed in fracturing the material specimen is a measure of the material’s shock loading resistance properties.

Engineering lecturer Fred Bumford said: “This project has tested students’ team working, design, project management and their manufacturing skills.

“It’s always interesting to set students a project and see what they come up with. They have learned a lot about each other by allocating jobs and dividing up the labour.

“They had to choose the right kind of materials and used some interesting techniques to create the finished product. We asked them for a professional standard report at the end of it and a presentation in front of an audience.

“These are all good marketable skills required by industry. They have done really well.”


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.



Harmonie-Rose visits Bath College to thank students for fundraising project


Students at Bath College welcomed three special visitors into their classroom to mark the end of a fundraising project for the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal.
Three-year-old Harmonie-Rose visited the college’s Somer Valley Campus to meet students along with her parents Freya Hall and Ross Allen.
The Hope 4 Harmonie appeal was set up to help Harmonie-Rose, from Bath, who fell ill and was rushed into hospital with meningitis B at just 10-months old.
To save her life, doctors at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children had to operate, and the appeal is helping Harmonie-Rose adapt to life as a quadruple amputee.
Somer Valley Foundation Learning students raised £150 for the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal through an event selling hand-made cakes, bird boxes and planters.
VAP Construction students also made a clothes chest and a bed for Harmonie-Rose’s doll Rebecca, a special “lookalike” doll which comes with its own prosthetic limbs.
Student Aaron Connor knows Harmonie-Rose and her family, and was keen to suggest the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal for the fundraising project.
During the visit, student Jordan Jones gave a short presentation to Harmonie-Rose, Freya and Ross to show them how students had fundraised.
He said: “It was very nice to meet Harmonie-Rose, I thought she was cool. It was nice to see her face light up when she saw what we’d made. I’d like to do something like this to fundraise again.”
Harmonie-Rose’s mum Freya said: “She will love the bed and the clothes chest – she loves anything that she can open and close.
“She has quite a few clothes for Rebecca, people have made her matching clothes, and we need somewhere to put them so this is really useful.
“My brother is friends with Aaron, he has been a close friend of the family for years. To see people go out of their way to help you, it’s so selfless. It’s lovely to see that people are continuing to fundraise for Hope 4 Harmonie.”
Ashleigh Taylor, Deputy Head of Foundation Learning at Bath College, said: “This was a student-led, student-organised and student-driven event.
“I am so proud of how they worked together for a common cause and having Harmonie-Rose and her parents visit was just fantastic.
“Foundation students undertake a number of projects over the year, and for their final project they will work together to fundraise for an end of the year celebratory trip.”


Bath College media student Charlotte wins national film competition


A film created by a media student at Bath College has won a national competition.
First-year student Charlotte Nind created the winning film with school friends Jacob Bacon and Josh Stone.
Together, they entered their work for the Kendal Mountain Festival’s Film Active competition and were chosen as the best entry in the 16 to 18-year-old category.
The winning film, created at Brown’s Folly in Bathford, was inspired by this year’s competition title, ‘adventures on your doorstep’.
Charlotte, 17, said: “The three of us filmed it over a weekend spending one day climbing and the other caving. We edited it in the weeks after.
“It was a shock to all of us to win and I’m really glad they liked the film.”

The Film Active competition is open to young filmmakers from across the country and was set up to encourage youngsters to share their outdoor adventures online.
Charlotte and her friends spent time filming the old stone quarry at Brown’s Folly and climbing in the woods nearby. Their winning film, called Up and Under, is a documentary tracking their progress.
To celebrate their win, the teenagers were invited to a screening of their film at the Kendal Mountain Festival and an awards ceremony.
Charlotte, from Bath, studied at The Corsham School before attending Bath College and Jacob and Josh are studying at the school’s sixth form.
She said: “I’m enjoying college, it’s a lot more practical which is what I was looking for. The course focuses on making films rather than analysing them, which I prefer.
“I’m definitely looking for a career in filmmaking. At the start I plan to focus on making promotional videos (because that’s the way to earn a salary) but I will continue to make short films on the side.
“Eventually I hope to make feature films. Filmmaking is the most visual form of storytelling. This film was a documentary, but I like the fact that there’s no limitation as to what you film or where this can take you.”
Charlotte, Jacob and Josh have set up their own film company called DVA Films. You can find more of their films here.

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