Voters at the Natural Stone Show choose stonemasonry competition winners


Students at Bath College made it hard for industry experts to choose the winner of this year’s Lovell Stone Group competition.
A group of 16 full-time and part-time Love2learn stonemasonry students took part in the competition and spent a week creating carvings.
They were given some Hartham Park Bath stone and asked to create a piece of sculpture that best represented the city of Bath.

Company directors chose four designs to put on display at the Natural Stone Show at the ExCeL arena in London, the only UK exhibition and conference dedicated to the natural stone industry.
Students Sam Bradley, Jeni Wood, David Lambard and Josie Baher all had their work displayed for the chance to win a cash prize.
Three-hundred people at the Natural Stone Show voted to choose the winner, with the prize going to Love2learn stone carving student David Lambard.
He said: “It was nice for the college to give us those three days to produce the piece and also to be put under time pressure, so that you had to produce something in that time.

“Before I joined the stone carving class I had no previous experience, but I’m a builder by trade so I am very practical. The class is very sociable and it’s about doing something creative that’s only for me. I’m not producing something for a client, it’s my creation. Having the pieces displayed at The Natural Stone Show was fantastic.”
Jeni, who also had her work displayed, is a sculptor living in Combe Down. Her design, called Respect, was inspired by the area’s mining history.

She said: “It’s a lovely village within the city to live in and there’s a lot of respect for the miners because they were the making of the village.
“It’s just good to have the opportunity to spend the extra time working with the stone and working with a great group of people. In the evenings everyone walks round to talk to people and see what they’re working on.”

Simon Hart, Managing Director, for the Lovell Stone Group, said: “We were really impressed with the response we got for the competition.
“The plan was to shortlist three people, but the quality of the stone carvings presented a real difficulty so we decided to take four peoples’ work to The Natural Stone Show.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking transporting them after the hard work students had put in, we wrapped them up extra carefully, so I’m really pleased they’ve made it back to Bath College safe and sound.
“Three hundred people voted at the show, we had a really good response and a really close result. If it had been a general election, it would have been a hung parliament!
“We’d like to thank all of the students for taking part. The Natural Stone Show takes place every two years, so we’d like to make this a biannual event with the college.”

Stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs and Love2learn tutor Sam Flintham supported the students during the competition.
Paul, who teaches full-time students at the college, said: “We were delighted to be offered the opportunity for students to participate in the stone carving competition sponsored by the Lovell Stone Group.
“The students have worked enthusiastically to showcase their skills with outstanding results.”

Students Union

March – Raise and Give Month


Each year we host a RAG week (Raise and Give week) to raise money for our chosen charity.  These always consist of a number of fun charity events over the week. Our chosen charity this year was Time Is Precious. Time is Precious works with children in hospitals to support them with end of life care. The aim of Time is Precious is to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for the children and their families in the hard times and to help purchase specialist equipment to make their lives more comfortable, because time is precious especially at times like these.


A team meeting was held on the 9th of March where the SU team decided what events they were going to do for the week, to raise money. The final ideas were; a cake sale, gunk the SU, sponsored cycle, pie your teacher and street collections. Then the real planning begun! what days to hold the events and the dreaded risk assessments.


Monday was pie your teacher and this was so much fun, getting revenge for all the course work students have been set.


Tuesday was a mass pool game event, trick shots galore.


Wednesday was the street collection with Peppa and George pig.  This raised the most amount of all the event over the week. Everyone that took part was in fancy dress Mario, Dory the grim reaper and Pikachu joined in to raise money around the streets of Bath.


Thursday was the best day by far, gunk the SU. Depending on how much you raised would decide how bad the gunk was, if you raised the least you were sure to get the nasty bucket.


Friday was the bake sale which was a calm and welcome end to the week.


Overall the week raised over £250 for Time as Precious to add to the fundraising we did last year.




Good luck Eintracht Frankfurt! Music students create song for German football final


Music students at Bath College have been working with football fan Carole Banwell on an unusual and quirky project.
The students are helping Carole, General Manager at Bath City FC, to record a song in German ahead of the country’s FA cup final.
They hope that the song, dedicated to SG Eintracht Frankfurt, will catch the attention of German football fans on social media and wider afield.
Bundesliga club SG Eintracht Frankfurt are playing rivals Borussia Dortmund in the final in Berlin on May 27.
Carole, who was appointed General Manager of Bath City FC in April, was an Eintracht Frankfurt season ticket holder when she lived in Germany in the 90s.
She said: “Eintracht and Bath City both play in black and white stripes and the song is Bath City’s gesture of fan friendship from one black and white striped club to another!”
Level 3 music performance students Harry Cook, Michael Dance, Cameron Webb, Penelope Harris and Arron Francis wore black and white Bath City FC scarves to record the song in the music studio at Bath College.
The lyrics, written by Carole, talk about the team heading to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and how they should feel confident about lifting the trophy.

Music tutor Tim Goode said: “Studying music at Bath College is all about engaging in industry and learning how to work to industry briefs. The students were asked to create a high-quality product in a short amount of time, which is what you have to provide in industry every day.
“It’s been a great experience for them and they have worked hard to complete the project. My knowledge of German football is limited, but I wish Eintracht Frankfurt all the best in the final. I have a writing credit, so if it all goes well you may see me on my private island in the Bahamas!”
Carole said: “Eintracht Frankfurt are my German team, so I was delighted when they made it to the final of the competition. Bath City FC has been doing quite a bit of engagement work with the college recently and we hope to continue this as the club settles into its new position as a community-owned club and looks to engage with the wider community.”


Dorothy House ‘Before I Die’ wall inspires students to write down their life goals


Students, staff and celebrity visitors added their hopes and dreams to Dorothy House’s Before I Die wall for Dying Matters Week and Mental Health and Awareness Week.

Olympic champion Amy Williams and James Moore, Acting Head of Creative Learning at the Theatre Royal Bath, were among the first to write on the wall on Tuesday May 9th.

The team from Dorothy House set up the wall, a four-sided chalk board, just outside the entrance to the college.

Life goals written on the board included humorous and profound thoughts, shedding a light on peoples’ life goals:

• Live the life I choose
• Hold a panda
• Become a meme
• Have the power to give peace to the world
• Write a book
• Sail the Whitsundays in Australia
• Make pancakes for everyone

The wall was popular at lunchtime, with people gathering to read, photograph and discuss what others had written.

Dorothy House, based in Winsley, near Bath, offers end of life care to patients and support for their families.


Before I Die walls were inspired by Candy Chang, a New Orleans artist who created the “Before I Die…” wall concept.

After losing a close friend, she channelled her grief and began working on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood. She covered the crumbling house with chalkboard paint and stencilled it with the prompt, “Before I die I want to…”

Dying Matters Week aims to get people talking about death, which can be a taboo subject, and to make it easier for people to talk about end of life care.


Amy Williams, Olympic Skeleton Champion and TV sports presenter, who left her own mark on the wall, said: “I always like to encourage young people to follow their dreams and set life goals, that’s why I’m glad to support Dorothy House’s ‘Before I Die…’Wall event and meet the students and staff at Bath College. The subject of death and dying is too often ignored by society so any effort to bring it into normal conversation has to be a good thing.”

Laurel Penrose, Principal of Bath College, said: “We are delighted to invite the local hospice, Dorothy House, to come and meet our students to help them understand why it’s important to talk about death and dying.”

Stephen Dale, Head of Community Partnerships at Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: “Our ‘Before I Die’ wall aims to encourage everyone to focus on living life to the full and exploring their dreams and hopes for the future.

“It also helps to start a conversation around death and dying with young people and helps to normalise the subject as part of everyday life. This event provides an opportunity for the college community to come together and focus on their life goals and how they want to make their mark on the world.”


Erasmus trip: Students spend a month living and working in Greece


Students got a taste of what it’s like to live and work abroad during an Erasmus trip to Crete.

Twenty students studying beauty, spa and complementary therapy spent a month on the island completing work experience.

Within days of their arrival, at Rethymnon, they were trained and working on paying clients at local hotels and salons.


Spa therapy students had the chance to work at a five-star hotel and beauty students gained experience using high tech laser therapy equipment.

Erasmus is a European Union programme offering opportunities for students to study, work and train abroad.

Students stayed in self-catered apartments, within walking distance of most placements. Some even hired cars and bikes in order to see the island, visiting Milli Gorge, nature parks and the beach.

Lecturer Lucy Baughan said: “All the students made friends with their employers and colleagues, socialising outside the workplace with them.


“The hotels offered all the students jobs if they ever want to return and were very sad to let them go. The students did extremely well representing the high teaching standards we have at Bath College.

“During their stay they had to live independently, including cooking, travelling and time keeping. They all supported each other as a group, putting messages on Facebook if they were going out somewhere to eat and inviting others to join them.
“Everyone returned home happy and grateful for experience, with several students hoping to repeat it next year. We are in discussion with the hotel chain who would like to send therapists to us for training and to visit our local spas.”

Care Academy, News

Preparing for employment: Students take part in hundreds of mock interviews


Students from across Bath College have been preparing for employment with a series of mock interview sessions.
The college’s Futures Team organised 137 interviews over two days for students who will finish their courses in the summer.
Students studying sport, performing arts, business and travel and tourism got a taste of what it’s like to face scrutiny in an interview situation.
A wide variety of businesses offered to help on the day, including the Bath Building Society, Barclays, ESPA UK and solicitors Lyons Davidson.

Employability adviser Lucy Beattie said: “This was an invaluable experience for students. To have employers who they hadn’t met conduct real interviews and give feedback will hugely help them when they come to job and further education interviews.
“The interviews helped them learn how to answer standard interview questions, and to see their CVs from an employers’ point of view.
“The feedback has been hugely positive, with at least three employers wanting to see candidates again to interview for real jobs and work experience being offered on the spot.”
Health and social care students also took part in a day of interviews with industry professionals as part of the Bath College Care Academy.

Employers visiting the college included Creative Youth Network, St Monica Trust, Way Ahead Care, Dimensions, Youth Connect and the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
Freya Game, 19, is a first year student studying Level 3 health and social care, and took part in the Dimensions group interview.
She said: “It was really helpful talking to them and being able to give us tips. It wasn’t as intimidating as I expected and I’d feel a bit more confident going into this kind of interview situation now.
“I’m not sure what area of care I want to go into yet, but I would consider working with Dimensions because this has been really interesting.”
Nick French, recruitment manager for St Monica Trust, is looking for 100 care workers for Keynsham’s Chocolate Quarter.
He said: “It’s just nice to get that connection with people who are at the beginning of their careers.
“I understand how difficult it is when people are starting out in their careers. It’s a catch 22 situation: it’s difficult to get the job without experience, and it’s difficult to get the experience.
“It’s about seeing what people can bring to the role, and from my point of view, what you can do to improve the recruitment process as an employer.”

Motor vehicle students studying for a Level 2 diploma were part of interview sessions with Mon Motors on Thursday April 4.
HR manager Sally Wade, dealer’s personal assistant Toni Preston and sales manager Barry Russell gave up their time to meet the students.
They prepared feedback, assessing students on the way they answered questions and how they prepared for the interview.
Lecturer Glyn Mountjoy said: “It gives them that experience of being interviewed by professionals in the motor industry. Some of the students were nervous because it’s the first time they have been put in front of anybody in an interview situation.
“The course is there to progress them into employment and this is part of it. The feedback will show how they can improve on their interview skills.”


Apprentice of the month: Hajraah Qureshi from the University of Bath


Hajraah Qureshi is a Level 3 business administration student studying at Bath College and working within the Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath. At the moment, the University of Bath has three apprentices working onsite, including Hajraah.
When did you start as an apprentice at the University of Bath?
I started a Level 2 apprenticeship in January last year and finished this in December. I’m now studying for a Level 3 apprenticeship, which will finish in June 2018.
When I first started, I had just finished my GCSEs. I started my A-levels, but I didn’t finish them because this opportunity came up and an apprenticeship was my first choice.
For my Level 2 qualification, I moved around different offices within the university. I started work in the undergraduate office, which gave me a basic understanding of the university and the services it offers. For my Level 3 qualification, I’m doing longer placements. I have been working in the Marketing office since December and will stay on till April.

Has it been useful to work in different offices – where are you based now?
Yes, I’ve gained a lot of experience in different areas, so for my Level 2 coursework I was able to choose from a range of different units. Moving around helped me to realise how different departments are connected and also helped me to give useful information to students (because I’d worked in those different places). At the moment, I’m based within the marketing team, working on news articles, blogs and social media in general.
Why was it important for you to study as an apprentice?
It feels more professional when you’re working as an apprentice and it’s helped me with my independence, because I commute to work.
The most important thing was having the opportunity to be paid while I learn. When I was looking for an apprenticeship I asked advice from family and friends. They said ‘these days people value experience’. My cousin did an apprenticeship and she was telling me how much she enjoyed it and how she found it better than A-levels.
You still get a qualification which is the equivalent of your a-levels, and it seemed more fun to go out and learn about things. Being here is like being on a work placement, you’re meeting new people all the time. It’s nice going into work in the morning knowing you have projects to be working on and people to be talking to.
What are you working on within the marketing team?
A typical day is quite busy. I ask students to write blogs about their experiences and I’ve just finished an Instagram competition. I’ll be looking at whether this content made any different and how many followers we’ve gained.
At the moment, we’re transitioning to new website software, so I’m moving content and writing up newer, updated articles. One of my projects is to write guidelines for e-mail communications with students, so there are many projects that pop up. I always leave time to do my coursework at the end of the day too.

Do you feel as though you’ve grown in confidence since starting your apprenticeship?
Yes, definitely. Some of my friends are still doing their A-levels and then they will go to university so I do feel as though I have a head start in terms of gaining experience.
When we have meetings I put forward my opinion and they say ‘we can do that’. My team values my opinion and I feel comfortable telling them what I think.
I always try to use things I have learnt from other offices to help my new team. The university is a really comfortable place to be working in. I was expecting it to be really strict coming here, but it’s easy to relax and everyone is really friendly.
What are your plans for the future?
I definitely want to get as many qualifications as possible.
Hopefully I’ll be able to complete my level 3 apprenticeship and progress to level 4. I’ve had a lot of different options to do training at the university, I’ve been on general training programmes and university specific ones. For example, mental health and first aid.
It’s good to get as much experience as you can and make the most of your apprenticeship programme before you get a job
Do you have any advice for someone looking for an apprenticeship?
Ask for help with your application, there are lots of people around who will be able to support you. I asked my career adviser whilst I was at school. And when you start your apprenticeship, don’t be afraid to ask questions because you’re there to learn.
Try and get some experience, which will help you when you apply. When I was in year six, I worked in the reception office. I also tried some teaching at a local mosque and did some work experience at the MoD, which was a very different environment. That experience helped me to get my apprenticeship.


Students win four medals at the South West SkillBuild regional heat


Students at Bath College beat some tough competition to win four medals at this year’s South West SkillBuild regional heat.
SkillBuild is the UK’s largest construction skills competition, designed to test the ability of promising young students going into industry.
This year, over 1,000 young people will compete in 15 regional heats across the country to win a place in the SkillBuild National Final.

Students studying carpentry and painting and decorating travelled to South Devon to take part in their nearest regional heat.
First year students Shannon Symes, Dean Hale and Ollie Takhar took part in the new entrant and senior entrant categories for painting and decorating.
Alex Franklin entered the bench joinery competition as a senior competitor, and Jacob Lower and Ryan Cottle were entered for site carpentry.
All students worked well under pressure, but judges were particularly impressed by Dean, Ollie, Alex and Jacob who won four silver medals.
Alex, an apprentice at Hawker Joinery, said: “It was a brilliant opportunity to test my ability against a diverse group of people.
“The support I got leading up to the competition, from both the college and my employer, helped me prepare myself for the task and contributed towards my second place finish. I hope to have the opportunity to go back next year and aim for first place.”

For Dean, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year, coming second in his heat has boosted his confidence.
The 23-year-old said: “I wasn’t very well, so coming to Bath College to do this course has helped me turn my life around. It gives me confidence to know that I came second because I’m forever doubting myself.
“People tell me that I’m good at what I do, but when you enter a competition like this you can really test yourself. It’s down to our tutor Graham really, because he has helped us to get prepared.”
Ollie, 18, said: “I was a bit nervous, because I didn’t know what it would be like, but I got on with it and it turned out well. We started practising a couple of months ago, if we hadn’t prepared for the competition it wouldn’t have gone as well. I’m looking forward to entering again next year.”

Painting and decorating students are now getting ready for the Johnstone’s Young Painter of the Year competition in Bournemouth on May 17th.
Tutor Graham Walmsley, who teaches painting and decorating, said: “I’m very proud of our students. This is our second year of entering the competition, last year we didn’t get any medals but this year we did.
“It’s a great way to build their confidence, because it tests them against all the other painters and decorators in the South West.
“Shannon did really well. She needed another half an hour to complete her work and then she would have been challenging for a place.
“Ollie was a first year student in the senior category competing against a previous winner. We’re very pleased with the effort they put in.”

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