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Access to HE, News

Access to HE student wins Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement

 

We are delighted to hear that one of our Access to Higher Education students, James Kean, has achieved the Ascentis Access Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement.

 

The excellence awards (formerly known as the DJ Moore Award) have been in existence for over 20 years. This year Ascentis received a total of 21 nominations from centres all over the country.

 

James Kean – Centre

 

 

James was nominated for this award by his Lecturer John Barry who commended his high work ethic and consistently high grades. In support of the nomination, John forwarded two of James’ assignments, together with supplementary evidence detailing why he was nominated.

 

In his citation, John explained that James,

“Has been a thoroughly impressive student throughout this year. He has achieved Distinctions for all fifteen graded units for a total of 45 credits at Distinction. He has also studied A Level Maths alongside the Access course in order to prepare for a degree in Economics and is expected to achieve an A grade. The Applied ICT assignment showed real depth of understanding of how ICT has impacted on society and how it will impact in the future. A major element of the assessment was a 15-minute presentation on how ICT affects the world of work. James produced an excellently researched and engaging presentation on how technology has influenced employment and work from the days of the industrial revolution through to the future impacts of ICT…. It was the best presentation that I have had in Applied ICT over the five years that I have taught that unit.”

 

James had spent several years in Hong Kong and moved here on his own to do the Access course and has done impressively well. As well as the demands of the Access course and the Maths A-Level he has been helpful and supportive to other students and contributed well to the academic endeavours of each class he has been in.

 

James, who will receive £400 prize money, has a place at Bristol University to study Economics, told us that “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you [lecturer John Barry] and the other Access to HE course staff at Bath College.”

 

The Access to Higher Education course provides students with a nationally recognised qualification and an alternative career pathway for those who want to study at university.

 

The course prepares students to pursue a degree or diploma at university. Working with a supportive tutor, students develop skills and confidence to enable them to embark on a successful higher education career. Access to Higher Education qualification is a QAA-recognised entry qualification for degree or diploma level studies at all universities in the UK, for a wide range of subjects. On this HE course, students study English, Maths and study skills together with subjects related to their degree choice.

 

This is a full-time HE course completed over one year. If you would prefer to study part-time and spread the course over two years, we now offer a part-time Access to Higher Education course.

 

News

Exam success for dedicated Adult Community Learning Student

 

When Sandie, shown here second from left with some of her ACL classmates,  came for an initial assessment of her English skills in April 2017 her confidence was quite low. She joined an ACL group but didn’t manage to stay – life got in the way

 

However, she didn’t give up, and neither did the ACL team. Sandie was encouraged to join a new English group in September, and she flourished.  ACL offer Ascentis Certificates in English and Maths;  the qualification is broken down into small achievable Awards,  6 in total for English, learners take the qualification when they feel ready for it and their confidence grows with each assessment they pass.

 

Sandie passed the full Level 2 English Certificate ; the next step was Functional Skills. This is a bigger challenge for many adult learners, the exams are more formal, and bring back negative memories of school. Sandie was worried about failure and was adamant that she would start on Level 1. However, within a few weeks she agreed to move up to Level 2.

 

Sandie, along with the rest of her group, worked incredibly hard to get to grips with the unfamiliar terminology and exam strategies required for Functional Skills. One of her biggest fears was giving a presentation, but with a supportive group of learners around her, she succeeded. Her writing skills developed and she began to understand what was required to pass the reading exam.  The result? Sandie has achieved the highest mark in Level 2 writing in the entire college: 28/30. If ever we needed evidence of how important self-confidence and a supportive atmosphere is to learning, we only have to look to Sandie.

 

 

Bath College Adult Community Learning provides a wide range of courses intended for those who want to improve their chances to find work, support their families or live independently. The Adult Community Learning courses are a fantastic way to build your confidence, and you can make some great friends, find a supportive community and learn new skills along the way. There is such a vast range of courses, from short courses in confidence building, computer skills or CV workshops; to Community Love2Learn Vocational courses, aimed at providing a foundation for a career change, such as Bricklaying, Plastering and Stonemasonry.  They are also free, provided you are eligible. You can find out more about Bath College’s Adult Community Learning provision by clicking here. You can sign up to receive the Adult Community learning monthly newsletter, which contains the details of new courses, by clicking here.

 

News

Case Study: Julianne Mackrell – Distance Learning

 

We caught up with Julianne, one of our Distance Learning students, to ask about her Distance Learning journey. Julianne has been working hard, undertaking not one, or two, but five Distance Learning courses! Julianne fancied a change of career and decided to retrain with us, and found that Distance Learning was the best option for her.

 

Distance Learning courses are courses you can undertake in your spare time, they do have a set deadline, but you can do as much or as little as you like per day, and you take charge of your own learning. They’re ideal as CPD, or to aid with a change of career, or even as a stepping stone into a career. The flexibility allows you to fit around your life, you don’t need to commit to coming in to College (although if you would like to come in to talk to the friendly Distance Learning team you can). If you would like to look at our range of Distance Learning courses you can find out more info by clicking here.

 

We asked Julianne a series of questions about how she found the Distance Learning courses, read on to find out what she thought.

 

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

After a 25-year career in estate agency in Bath I decided it was time for change. I found that I was facing the same challenges as that of a young person, not having the right experience in the field I was hoping to move into. So it became obvious that my best option would be to re-train. With this thought in mind I went back to Bath College, where I had completed my A-levels some years prior.

 

Why did you choose Distance Learning?

Distance learning was the perfect for me to study alongside my job in order to get some knowledge and understanding of the new area of employment I wished to move into.

 

Which courses have you completed via Distance Learning?

I have completed courses which would compliment my move into education, relating to autism and education

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your courses?

For me the best part about the distance learning courses was the ability to be able to train at your own speed, so if you had spare time you could do lots of work and vice versa. The flexibility of the training has made it less difficult.

 

What has been most valuable to you?

Being able to undertake the courses at my own pace allowed me to transition into my new career and I am delighted that I have started working as a teaching assistant in the last five weeks. So the course has been invaluable in providing me access to a new career path for the next 25 years.

 

What made you choose Bath College?

I was a pupil at Bath College over 25 years ago and have returned on an off for various evening classes. I’ve always found Bath College facilitates courses well and provides a good standard of education. The site in Bath is easy for me to access so I can pop in if I have any queries, but I have found that most of the information is available in the material provided.

 

What do you plan to do with your new found knowledge?

I have actually developed a huge interest in autism and have always had an interest in education, culture and language acquisition. I am considering looking at ways to see if these areas overlap in any way to study an MSc (Master of Science Degree).

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to enrol on a Distance Learning course?

If you are self-motivated, determined, and know which direction that you wish to go in then this is the course for you. Before you embark on your course, do speak to some of the helpful staff at Bath College who will be able to help and advise on a course to best suit you. In order to do well at a Distance Learning course, I would say you would need to be self-disciplined, as you are not required to attend classes. Distance learning is very much about wanting to achieve the qualification, and working at your own pace. It does still need to be completed within a maximum timeframe however, so it is important to understand you are committing to completing the task.

 

We’re so thrilled to see Distance Learning having a great impact on someone, and we’re so happy for Julianne finding a new career she is passionate about. Hopefully we’ll hear more from her and her journey!

 

Graduation 2019

News

Congratulations to Bath College Higher Education Graduates

 

Higher Education graduates from Bath College celebrated their success at their Graduation Ceremony on Thursday.
 
More than 60 students dressed in mortar boards and gowns gathered at The Assembly Rooms to collect their certificates.
 
The students have all completed degree level and higher education courses, including programmes validated by the University of Bath and The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) among others.
 
The ceremony opened with an impressive Civic Procession made up of the Senior Management Team of the College, Heads of Departments, academic staff, Governors, and The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Gerry Curran, led by the City Sword-Bearer and two Mace-Bearers.
 
Once everyone was seated, guests were welcomed by Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College, and certificates were handed out to graduates from Carole Stott, the Chair of Governors.
 

Keynote speaker, Professor Sue Rigby, Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University, inspired the crowds with her words: “Reading through the graduation programme I realised your degrees are an exact list of the skills that are needed in this region.
 
“We [Bath Spa University] really value the relationship we have with the college. You are a fantastic college. You are an asset to your city.”
 
After the Ceremony the graduates gathered outside the Assembly Rooms and threw their hats in the air to the cheers of guests and passers-by.
 
A drinks and canapé reception was held at Woods restaurant where the graduates and their families continued their celebration.
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College said that: “It has been a wonderful day.
 
“Behind each graduate, I’m sure, is a dream. One that is full of hope and one that is borne of ambition, aspiration.
 
“Our students remind us that success comes to those who work – and I know the extra work they have undertaken through their studies will, at times, have been difficult and gruelling, but they have made it through and we are incredibly proud.”
 
Click here to see the Facebook album.
 

Jacob Rees-Mogg with Bath College staff, Jon Domaille and Tim Goode

News

Bath College representatives meet Jacob Rees-Mogg MP to save BTEC qualifications

 

• Bath College leaders hold a special meeting in Parliament with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.
• Attendees raised concerns about government plans to drop BTECs and Applied Generals from curriculum.
• Government has consulted on defunding the qualification in favor of the new, more limited, T-Levels – rather than letting them exist simultaneously.

 

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP took part in a special meeting with Bath College representatives on Wednesday 17th July, to hear directly the vital, positive impact BTECs and Applied General qualifications have on the life chances of young people and adults in Somerset after the government announced it is considering dropping the qualifications.
 
The meeting was attended by leaders from Bath College, including Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise, Jon Domaille and Music Performance Learning Coordinator, Tim Goode.
 
A significant amount of learners at Bath College are currently studying for BTEC and Applied Generals qualifications which are a mixed part-vocational part-academic qualification that offers an alternative, less academic focused 16 – 19 education than A-Levels.
 
BTECs are equivalent to A-Levels and are taken by young people and adults across the country who want academic qualifications as well as preparation for the workplace and employment. The government is considering withdrawing funding from August 2020 despite the fact 90% of BTEC students are employed full-time after university graduation.
 
Jon Domaille, Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise at Bath College, said: “I am completely open and willing to being held accountable to ensuring our provision meets the needs of local employers and industry and wholly understand the need to work closely with employers in the provision of quality, vocational training whilst meeting local needs and employment priorities. I know this to be a value that Bath College holds dear, as do many other colleges across the country.
 
“We do though, truly believe that the provision of choice for learners at such an early age in their careers is vital, and Applied General qualification still have a part to play in providing learners with choice, freedom and flexibility to discover their own pathway in this ever changing world.”
 

Xavier Theobald

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Xavier Theobald, Level 2 Art & Design student

 

Xavier, who has progressed through three Bath College courses, spoke to us about his time at College, the skills he has gained and what he’s enjoyed the most about studying here.
 
What skills have you gained whilst at Bath College?
The L2 Art & Design course has given me the confidence to speak to members of the public and I now know how to put on exhibitions and speak about my artwork. College has given me so many opportunities this year, it’s been amazing. Before, I thought opportunities were a myth, now I know they are real if you work hard.
 
Being at Bath College has helped me decide what I really want to do. I have really enjoyed learning about printing techniques this year. I may wish to look at job doing surface pattern design in the future.
 
Tell us about your journey through College?
I started on the LILS course (Life and Independent Living Skills) and then progressed to L1 Art & Design before moving onto the L2 Art & Design course this year. As I have progressed from course to course I have got a better understanding of art and feel I have more freedom to find my own style.
 
Tell us about your course?
I have had a really good time, there’s great support from the tutors who have given me ideas and suggestions on what to change or how to improve my work. Being part of the end of year Art Exhibition has given me an insight into how an exhibition works and allowed me to speak to people about my work and I gained a lot of confidence doing that.
 
On the course I also designed my own t-shirts which I now sell online and I also used a laser cutter to design my own phone cover.
 
I never thought I’d be given the opportunity to be a case study for Bath College, it has really boosted my confidence.
 

Ethan Conlon, stonemasonry apprentice at Bath College

News

Bath College stonemason Ethan Conlon to compete in Russia at WorldSkills 2019

 

Bath College apprentice, Ethan Conlon, has been travelling around the world preparing to demonstrate his stonemasonry skills against the world’s best.
 
He will compete with finalists from 60 countries at WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan in Russia next month.
 

The 18-year-old will compete in the architectural stonemasonry category after triumphing over stonemasons from across the country earlier this year.
 

Ethan, who studies at Bath College and is also an apprentice with APS Stonemasonry in Oxford, was selected for the college’s shortlist for WorldSkills back in early 2018 after impressing lecturers with his natural ability and commitment.
 
Ethan Conlon at workHe was invited to compete for a place in Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions.
 
After taking part in a four-day competition, he was chosen to join Team UK. He received 10 weeks of specialist training and is now off to Kazan as Team UK’s only stonemason in the squad of 30.
 

Joe Leber, Stonemasonry Lecturer at Bath College said: “We are delighted that Ethan is off to compete at world skills in Kazan 2019, we are very proud of him and wish him the very best of luck! He is a fantastic young mason.”
 

Ahead of the competition, which takes place from 22nd – 27th August, the teenager has built up his experience by travelling to competitions in Russia and Brazil for final preparation.
 

WorldSkills UK is responsible for selecting, developing and training the team for the WorldSkills Competition. A partnership between business, education and governments, WorldSkills UK runs skills competitions for thousands of young people every year in key economic skill areas, boosting the technical skills, mindset and employability skills of young people.
 

Visit worldskills2019.com for more information.
 

News

College students experience being a Student Nurse for a day at University of the West of England

 
Seven students from the Bath College Care Academy spent the day in Bristol at the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences Department of University of the West of England (UWE).
 
During the day they were paired with current first and second year Nursing Students and attended lectures and seminars with them.
 

 
They were able to find out more about Nursing study programmes and about student life. One student said “I learnt lots from the students, I asked lots of questions, they were very nice and they tried to answer all my questions.”
 
During lunch there was a reflective practice session where students were able to speak to both students and lecturers to find out further information.
 
The students really enjoyed the day. One student said  “It makes thinking about going to University less overwhelming, and I now have an understanding of the process”
 

News

Frome volunteers named as Finalists in National Cat Awards 2019

 

Volunteers from Cats Protection’s Frome & District Branch are celebrating after being announced as finalists in the National Cat Awards 2019

The team is one of three contenders in the Star Team award, recognising the dedication of volunteers that helps improve feline welfare.

 

The volunteers were nominated after organising an innovative new collaboration with Bath College to increase the number of cats they can help.

 

Previously, cats in the branch’s care were all looked after by volunteers in their own homes before they found a new owner. But after exploring ways to increase capacity, the branch approached staff at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.

 

After months of planning and training, volunteers have now positioned a four-pen Cats Protection unit at the college, with students from Animal Care courses providing day-to-day care.

 

Cats Protection’s Frome & District Branch Homing and Welfare Officer Mandy Wescott said:

 

“We’re always looking for ways to help more cats and one of our volunteers had the idea to approach Bath College, which teaches a number of Animal Care courses. It took a lot of planning and hard work, but we now have a fully-fledged cattery at the college where up to eight cats can be cared for until they find new homes. We provide on-going training and guidance, as well as organising admissions, vet checks and rehoming. The students provide the daily hands-on cat care, under the supervision of their teachers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone – we’re able to help more cats and the cats themselves enjoy plenty of care and attention from a large number of capable students. The students themselves benefit not only from the experience of providing hands-on care, but also from working with Cats Protection on feline welfare.”

 

The team now needs to wait until Thursday 8 August when winners will be announced and trophies presented at an awards ceremony at London’s Savoy, an event attended by celebrities including entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, former England goalkeeper David Seaman and his wife, Dancing on Ice star Frankie Seaman.

 

Cats Protection’s awards organiser Kate Bunting said:

 

“The commitment of our volunteers is truly inspiring and has a hugely positive, long-lasting impact on cat welfare. It’s a privilege to hear their stories and celebrate such amazing achievements.”

 

Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards, organised by the UK’s largest cat charity and sponsored by PURINA®, is an annual celebration of the real-life stories of heroism, loyalty and companionship in the feline world. You can vote in the National Cat Awards, and read the feline testimonials by clicking here

 

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