Awards ceremony recognises English and maths achievements for adult learners


Students returning to college to study English and maths had their achievements recognised during a special awards ceremony.
The ceremony, at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant, was a proud moment for students who are working hard to improve their qualifications.
Through the Adult Community Learning team, students can start at entry level and progress to a Level 2 qualification. From there, they have the option to study English and maths at GCSE level.

Student Thomas Watson has worked in general administration at the Post Office for 10 years and has just achieved a Level 1 in maths.
He said: “I’m 46 and this is the first thing I’ve ever achieved. I left school at 15 with no qualifications, so to get something like this definitely gives you a sense of achievement.
“It’s something I would recommend. Now I’ve learned these skills, I’ve adapted things at work to make my job easier. You don’t have to sit a big test, you can tick a module off and go onto the next one.”
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose handed students their maths and English certificates at the ceremony on Monday December 4.
Students also enjoyed the chance to catch up with classmates and tutors before Christmas, as well as musical entertainment and refreshments.

English and maths student Kieran Fry said: “I’ve taken the courses because I want to better myself. I started at entry level and now I have my Level 1 qualifications.
“My friends and family are immensely proud. It’s not an easy task, but I hope to progress and to have the chance to do my GCSEs soon.”
Entry level English student Lesley Hillier hopes to continue learning so that she can enrol to study bereavement counselling in the future.
She said: “It really means a lot, taking this qualification pushes you forward all the time and means I can do what I really want to do – I can follow my dream.”
Community Engagement Manager Anna Wheeler said: “This event was an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of just some of our brilliant learners.
“For many people, school isn’t the right time or place to gain their qualifications, so it is really important that there are opportunities to develop skills at a later point.
“Our learners work extremely hard, fitting their studies around responsibilities and challenges in their everyday life in order to attend class.
“We are immensely proud of the effort and dedication they have shown, and of our skilled English and maths tutors who have contributed to their success by guiding them through.”


IT students step up to present in front of Bath Rotary Club members


IT students had the chance to develop their public speaking skills as part of a challenge set by members of the Bath Rotary Club.

The Level 1 and Level 2 students were asked to choose from a range of projects to research, prepare and present.

All speakers were given ten minutes and were marked by judges looking for logical, coherent and enthusiastic presentations.


The winning team

The judging panel included Richard Bush and John Harney, from the Bath Rotary Club, and Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College.

Presentations ranged from looking at public transport in Bath to helping the elderly, homelessness and playing equipment for young children.

George Booth and Zachary Thomas were chosen as the winners after producing a new idea for a flat pack climbing frame.

Students also received feedback on their presentation skills from judges, including making eye contact and selling their ideas.

IT lecturer David Wills said: “The students gained experience and confidence in speaking in front of an audience, overcoming barriers such as shyness and stepping outside of their comfort zone.”

Rotarian Donald Gorrie said: “We wanted to work with students in the college to get them up in front of an audience speaking and presenting, just to give them a chance to express themselves.

“The Bath Rotary Club is a broad church in terms of the young people that we work with, but we’re keen to go into the local community and pass on our knowledge and skills. It’s what the Rotary Club is all about.”


Students challenged to think about accessible design by creating new products


Product design students are working with a Bath-based charity on a project to get them thinking about accessible design.

The Level 3 students are developing products to make daily life easier for people with a variety of needs and disabilities.

They will pitch their designs to Rob Hanson, from the charity Designability, which works with people, carers and health professionals to create new life-changing products.


Students have met three end users as part of the project, in order to understand some of the challenges they face.

James Onyett decided to design a bottle opener after meeting Peter Hinchley, who has been severely affected by a stroke and wanted a product to help with movement and dexterity.

He tested a number of options before settling on a 3D printed mould, which can be used one-handed and fits on top of a new bottle making it easier to break the seal.

Above: Peter tests the new bottle opener

James, who is applying to study sustainable design at Falmouth University, said: “I appreciated the fact that he came in to speak to us about his daily routine.

“Being able to speak to a real person is important, it’s much better than trying to guess what people need.

“After that, it was easy to get an idea for a product that might help Peter and his reaction to the product was really good.

“I enjoy product design because it’s about solving problems and inventing. If you’re able to create new products, you can contribute to society.”

Students also worked on a range of designs for two end users who find it difficult to walk, creating a design for a walking stick to make it easier to climb up and down stairs.

Young designer Oriana Viall has been developing a handbag storage compartment with moveable sections to carry and manage pain relief.

Product design lecturer James Purslow said: “This is a really good unit for us to explore. It challenges the students’ perception of design and makes them focus on the needs of the user, rather than their own interests.

“They get to meet members of the public they wouldn’t normally meet, and learn how to communicate with them as a designer.

“The students also have to pitch their concept to their mentor from Designability. Wherever they progress onto, being able to consider the requirements of clients and end users will give them a clear advantage over their peers.”


Outstanding students chosen as winners at the Believe in Somerset Awards


Outstanding students Joshua Underwood and Oliver Takhar have been chosen as winners at the Believe in Somerset Awards.

Their success comes just weeks after the SkillBuild 2017 UK National Final, where both students did exceptionally well in their categories.

After a tough three-day competition, Joshua won a silver medal in stonemasonry and painting and decorating student Oliver was selected to train with the WorldSkills UK squad.

Joshua and Oliver’s success has led to local recognition of the important part colleges play in developing construction skills.

Josh and Ollie with Bath College lecturers Graham Walmsley and Ray Sumner

Judges for the Believe in Somerset Awards were impressed with their hard work, as well as their dedication and commitment to their trade.

They chose Joshua for the Apprentice of the Year Award and Oliver for the Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award.

Josh, an apprentice at Architectural Stone in Cardiff, said: “Quite a lot has happened for me this year, which has made it go really quickly.

“I didn’t expect to win at the SkillBuild final or to win this award as a result. I’ve just been focusing on getting my head down and working hard.

“Every student should get involved with the skills competitions, you’ve got nothing to lose so you might as well give it a go.

“If you put the effort in it’s a good way to improve and get better at masonry, because you’re under pressure and you have to work quickly.

“It teaches you to work quickly and accurately, which is what you need to do in industry in order to secure a job.”


The Believe in Somerset Awards are organised by the Somerset Guardian to celebrate and recognise local community achievements.

Finalists were invited for dinner at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford.

This gave nominees the chance to meet, and to hear about each other’s work as fundraisers, volunteers, teachers and community heroes.

Painting and decorating tutor Graham Walmsley said: “Some of the award entries were quite humbling, especially the winner for the Child of Courage Award.

“They did stress the fact that we have a wealth of talent in Somerset, and the awards ceremony was about celebrating that.

“I think we as a college strive to develop students, to realise their potential by giving them opportunities and making lessons as challenging as possible.

“As students, Ollie and Josh are outstanding. They have done well repeatedly and we have put a lot of time and effort into developing their confidence.

“It’s great to get recognition for the work that we do, and recognition for the quality of work our students produce.”


Apprentice of the month: Malisa Kelly from ESPA UK


Malisa Kelly is a Level 2 business administration apprentice studying at Bath College and working at the European Student Placement Agency (ESPA UK).
Based in Bath, ESPA UK provides six-month work placements for EU undergraduates, linking them with companies throughout the UK. During their placements, students undertake a variety of project based work, with companies benefiting from their language skills, knowledge of different cultures and enthusiasm for new experiences.
What do you do in your job as an apprentice at ESPA?
I started as a general administration assistant registering students on placements, as well as responding to e-mails and phone calls. This was a big step for me, as it was the first time I was picking up the phone and speaking to people on a regular basis.
In April, I joined the accommodation team housing students coming to the UK on placements, and since October I’ve been able to manage this without anyone else in the team.
The number of students waiting for accommodation varies (and also the timescale before their arrival). Sometimes I’m planning for students arriving a month in advance, and sometimes it’s a couple of weeks. I have a contact list of landlords who I’ve built up a working relationship with and who I can call upon (sometimes at short notice).
The period coming up to Christmas has been especially busy, and because I’m busy the time I’ve spent as an apprentice has flown by – it’s been amazing

Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?
As much as I love learning, I like to be doing something practical and this apprenticeship has proved that I can learn on the job. When I interviewed for my apprenticeship, I said I wanted an apprenticeship that would give me an insight into the business world. I’ve definitely fulfilled that wish, and having this apprenticeship on my CV is a great starting point.
I have a lot of university friends who seem stressed with academic work, and then they have to find jobs afterwards, whereas I already have a job. I think it has helped me mature and build my confidence. I would say that university isn’t your only option, you need to be open-minded and look at different career paths.
What have you learned as an apprentice?
I used to work in retail and although I had to communicate with customers, I found this hard. I’ve faced my confidence issues head on and now I speak to different people every day. In an office job like this you have to deal with so many different situations, and you have to think on your feet to resolve issues. I deal with a lot of second language speakers and I have to be careful to make sure they understand communications.
I enjoyed the chance to go into Bath College and study, as you’re given time to get on with your coursework and you’re given pointers for the mandatory units. You get to meet people and realise that you’re not alone in feeling that you’re nervous about what you’re doing.

Hear from ESPA apprentices Lauren and Tom
What’s the best thing about your apprenticeship?
When I’ve placed a student in accommodation, and they come back and say they’ve had a great experience. That gives me a big sense of satisfaction. I also enjoy the challenge of communicating with landlords and sorting out the finances. We have a lot of interns every six months, so you’re getting to know different people all the time. I have so many people I can visit, who live in different places and countries.
What do you hope to do in the future?
I finish my apprenticeship on December 27th and after this I’ll be employed full-time. I feel so lucky to have been placed somewhere like this. I feel like I fit into the family and everyone has been amazing. I want to stay working here for a while, but my big dream is to go into the fashion industry (as a PA for a fashion company). It’s an industry that’s fast-paced, so being in a business like this has been the ideal experience.
What advice do you have for someone looking for an apprenticeship?
Research your options and think about what you want to do, because there are lots of opportunities available. Talk to different companies or someone you know. Make sure that you do your application in time and don’t leave things to the last minute, because it will stress you out. Be open to where you could go and what you could do, and listen to what your parents are saying (because they’re trying to help and give advice).


Hospitality and catering newsletter: A busy start for students serving at top industry events


We’ve kept our hospitality and catering students busy since September, with students of all levels taking part in a range of events at the college and in the community.
Students started with the Bath Good Food Awards, held at the new Apex City of Bath Hotel just a stone’s throw from the college. They had to be on top form, working alongside several head chefs in the kitchen, including the new Head Chef at the Apex Hotel, Ben Abercrombie. Students on front of house duties were serving restaurant owners, food critics and industry experts, as well as Michelin-starred chefs Nathan Outlaw and Angela Hartnett. All students were a credit to the college and were given a standing ovation for their work at the end of the awards ceremony.

Our Deputy Head of Hospitality and Catering Ryan Hanson has also been busy visiting restaurants shortlisted for the Bristol Good Food Awards. Ryan is a judge for this year’s awards, and is working alongside a number of familiar faces. These include Rupert Taylor, Head Chef at the Abbey Hotel in Bath, who spent his early days studying at Bath College. Ryan is doing a great job networking, representing the college and has been able to enjoy some fantastic food so far!
Taking part in events gives students the chance to meet local chefs, experience working under pressure to a busy schedule and rise to the challenge. Over the last couple of months, students have had some great opportunities to develop their employability skills. These include:
• Serving industry professionals at a charity polo day raising over £50,000 for Hospitality Action. The event was a chance to work alongside chefs from the Calcot Spa Hotel, Cliveden House, Lucknam Park Hotel, Whatley Manor, The Manor House in Castle Combe and the Abbey Hotel in Bath.

Students served a three-course meal at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant for Seafood Week. The event, supported by the Billingsgate Seafood School, tested students’ skills in preparing and serving seafood, including lobster, seabass and haddock.
• We’ve called on the skills and expertise of our catering and hospitality students at a number of college events, including our annual Celebrating Success Awards. They did us proud on the evening, serving hand-made snacks and drinks to special guests and award winners.
• Hywel Jones, Executive Chef at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, stepped out of his kitchen to work with students in November. Under his guidance, students prepared a gourmet four-course menu for guests at the Shrubbery Restaurant.
• In the run-up to Christmas, we’ve been busy with Christmas lunches serving up to a 100 covers per day. We hope you’ve enjoyed the chance to relax and enjoy a traditional three-course lunch designed to get you in the festive spirit!

Students have a busy new year ahead of them in January, as employability week starts the first week in January. They’ll be working with an exciting list of local chefs and industry professionals from the Pig near Bath, the Abbey House Hotel and the Scallop Shell. We’re also very excited to welcome Mark Tilling, winner of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème in 2016, who will be leading a chocolate masterclass.

Keep an eye on our website and social media channels, as we have several lunches planned from January. On January 18th, we’re collaborating with The Pig near Bath. Look forward to an exciting menu inspired by British garden food. Chefs at The Pig use produce from their extensive vegetable and fruit beds, and go to a special effort to make sure that their menu is sourced locally.
Members of the public can book tickets for meals inspired by Mardi Gras, St David’s Day, the Caribbean and a great British summer gourmet dinner throughout the new year. The Shrubbery Restaurant is open for lunch Monday to Friday during term time, so do pop in to see us!


Football Academy, News

Bath City Football Academy round-up: News from head coach Billy Clark


We’ve had a great start to the academic year at the Bath City Football Academy. Read our progress report, written by former Bristol Rovers player Billy Clark who is head coach at the academy.
This year has brought together a strong group of players, formed from a mixture of first and second year students studying sport at Bath College.
After a disappointing FA Youth Cup exit in the final qualifying round to Clevedon Town, we have been unbeaten in the South West Counties Youth League.

Billy Clark
We are currently at the top of that league, two points ahead of the Bristol Academy, although they still have games in hand. We have played them once this season in the league, which resulted in a 2-2 draw at their Filton College campus. This was probably our best performance of the season to date, and I believe one of us will win the league this year.
To date, we have only lost one match, away at Bridgewater. Of the 10 league matches, we have won six:
5-2 against Cirencester
2-0 against Salisbury
6-0 against Poole Town
6-4 against BC Saints FC
And twice against New College Swindon (3-2 and 10-1).
We are fortunate to be blessed with goal scorers this year. James Ollies, Louis Britton and Shea Bennington Mannings have all scored nine league goals to date, while Zak Drew and Charlie Saunders have four each.
These statistics are encouraging, but the end goal for us is to be able to feed youth players into the first team environment. The Somerset Cup offers and opportunity for our strongest players to be able to step up and play alongside the first team players.
In the first round, academy players Charlie Saunders, Nick Pulman, James Ollis, Zak Drew, Adam Forster and Maz Courtier seized their chance in the fixture at Cheddar.
The experience that these players gain from playing alongside the likes of Dan Ball is immeasurable. The result was a 2-1 win that saw the club progress to the second round against Keynsham Town FC.
Both Adam Forster and James Ollis were unused subs in that match, but Sean Bird, who a player at the University of Bath came on in the first half and played admirably alongside some of the senior first team players in a strong Bath City side. Several members of the group have trained regularly with the first team and are gaining in confidence all the time.
There’s a lot to be proud of in this group of players. They work consistently at a high level despite the commitments that they have in keeping up to speed with their studies at Bath College, where the staff support myself and the players every step of the way.

Charlie Saunders
Our most recent success story is that Charlie Saunders has been selected for the ECFA national squad, an outstanding achievement. Charlie will travel to St George’s Park to train with the squad in December in preparation for their tournament in Italy in 2018. We’re also proud of James Ollis, who signed for Bath City FC’s first team in November.
We are starting to look ahead to our recruitment for next season. If you or anyone that you know would be interested in studying at Bath College and playing for the Bath City Academy under 18s, please get in touch by e-mailing bclarkwilliam@gmail.com.

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