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News

Bath College ranked 6th in the country in annual league table

 

This year’s NICDEX rated 172 FE colleges across England in four categories: employer satisfaction, learner satisfaction, 16 to 18 positive progression and adult progression into work.
 
The criteria is based on performance measures published by the Department for Education.
 
Bath College is ranked 6th in the country overall, beating the two previous years’ rankings of 17th and 16th.
 
52% of Bath College’s Adult learners on benefits progressed into work, while 80% of 16-18-year-old learners went onto positive progression, whether this be employment or Higher Education.
 
Employer satisfaction with the College is at 86.6% while Learner satisfaction is at 82.7%.
 
The annual college league table, now in its fourth year, was created by FE Week editor Nick Linford.
 
“The NICDEX was an enjoyable intellectual challenge to create an annual performance table with an overall score, from a mix of key measures,” said Linford.
 
“Most importantly, NICDEX is transparent. The four measures that make up the NICDEX are published by the DfE.”
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College is delighted with the ranking: “We’re really proud to be listed as sixth in the country. This is a brilliant reflection of the passion, commitment and hard work of Bath College staff.
 
“It is great to see that our learners have a positive experience with us and that we aid them to reach their full potential after they leave College.”
 
Read the full report here.
 

News

New Project SEARCH Interns Experience World of Work

 

Ten young people with learning disabilities have started a year-long internship with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
 

It’s the 11th year the council has welcomed interns from Project SEARCH – an initiative led by the council in partnership with Bath College and Virgin Care. The aim of the scheme is to support young adults with learning disabilities into work.
 

Over the next twelve months the interns will work in three placements across the council. The aim is enable the interns to develop skills, gain experience and grow in confidence and independence.
 

Councillor Richard Samuel, cabinet member for Resources, said: “The average employment rate for people with a learning disability in the UK has dropped to just six per cent. We need to address that and increase the opportunities available to young people with learning disabilities. Project SEARCH enables the interns to develop the skills they need to find sustainable employment. Over the years we’ve had huge success with our graduates finding employment through the programme. I’m sure this year’s cohort will benefit enormously from their time with us.”
 

During their time at the council the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care. The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.
 

Following the successful completion of their internships next June all graduates will be presented with certificates at a special ceremony at the Guildhall.
 

For more information about Project SEARCH click here.
 

News

Meet the Tutor – Gabrielle Malcolm (Creative Writing)

 

Gaby is one of our Love2Learn tutors, teaching Creative Writing (Love2Learn courses are Bath College’s extensive range of Leisure Courses). She’s recently had success with her book, ‘There’s something about Darcy’, which looks at the character of Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and is inspired by the ‘I *heart* Darcy’ badges sold in the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.

 

Gaby loves writing, and loves teaching writing during our evening leisure classes. We caught up with her at her book signing to ask about how she got into writing, what we can expect from her book, and what she has planned for her next classes. If you’re interested in a Creative Writing course then you can get a real insight into the lessons, and Gaby’s teaching methods here!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a writer with a background in teaching and lecturing. I have worked in a number of universities in different parts of the world before coming to live in the environs of Bath. I have a great passion for theatre and literature and have been able to make that my life’s work.

 

How did you get into writing?

Through my academic teaching and research career. Once you write a PhD thesis you can safely say ‘I’m a writer’! It was after I had my children that I started to find ways of making it more commercial for me and soon started on scripts and content for web-series and writing for children’s theatre.

 

What drew you to Jane Austen?

That was all thanks to my mother, right from an early age. We had books everywhere and she was a teacher and a children’s author. We would sit for hours talking about literature and my mother’s appreciation for Austen’s wit and humour really got me into her novels.

 

What was the inspiration for your book ‘There’s something about Darcy’?

I was stood at a bus-stop in the city, not long after moving here, about ten years ago. I saw a girl carrying an ‘I Heart Darcy’ tote bag and it amused me and made me curious. Why this character for all the marketing and merchandise that was coming out of the tourist sites? Apart from the obvious reasons that he is handsome and rich, of course! There is more to it, and that’s what I chose to explore. Plus, it’s immense fun reading Austen again and watching all the adaptations!

 

Can you give us any sneaky insights into the content of your book?

A couple… How Darcy is like a superhero, for example. And the connections between a hero like him and an anti-hero like Count Dracula. You also get to read some of the behind-the-scenes stories of the shooting of the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy (there, I’ve mentioned him now!).

 

Where can we pick up copies?

It’s available from 11th November, online and in bookshops, and from the publisher (Endeavour Quill) website. Plus, you can get a signed copy from the Jane Austen Centre bookstore online.

 

How did you get into teaching Creative Writing?

I came onto the Love2Learn programme to teach some leisure literature courses, about Austen and other writers, and as the demand for writing courses grew I stepped in to teach some of the groups and it’s grown from there.

 

How do you structure your Creative Writing courses?

I’m a nuts and bolts, bread and butter kind of writing tutor. I encourage creativity, but I also support potential writers into publication. I look at what’s right for you, what’s your style or preferred genre, and I help you to develop that and find a route into publication or further study. From Love2Learn I’ve had students successfully complete the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, get agents, and get published. So, it’s really up to you how far you want to take it. Be warned – it’s hard work!

 

What do you enjoy about teaching Creative Writing?

The students. The characters I get to meet! I have made some great friends over the years and seen them go from strength to strength. The recent winner of the Creative Writing Love2Learn prize, for example, Teresa Fowler. She is now a published poet. Her collection ‘Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes‘ is amazing – I highly recommend it! It’s rare for poets to get into print and she did it with her first collection! It’s published by BLKDog Books, London, and is available online. We’re a talented bunch on the L2L writing stream!

 

Why do you think Creative Writing and Literature are important?

It’s about communication, the human need for story-telling, and the way that we grow in the world and help to shape it. Literature can open doors, and it offers so much enjoyment and opportunity. There will always be the need for it, to expand our horizons. And, take it from me, print books will never disappear. They are as strong as ever, in tandem with digital tech. There are also more ways of getting published now than at any time in the history of the human race – so be part of it, I am!

 

When can we enrol on the next course?

Courses are open for January and the rest of 2020. I offer 10 weeks of Creative Writing, and also 5 weeks (intense!) courses on Writing for Children, Writing for Publication, and Writing for Theatre. And my wonderful talented colleague Dr Kate Mattacks teaches alongside me on the 10 week course as well as delivering her own course on Writing for Well-Being. This gives you the therapeutic angle on creativity and self-expression.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Persevere, and believe in what you want to do. Rejection is standard. Most of the time, most people, will not want to read what you write. It only takes ONE acceptance, one person saying ‘Yes’ for you to get an agent or a publisher, so keep going!

 

What’s in the works for you for the future?

I am planning more non-fiction, entertaining reads. And I’m working on a novel!

 

If you’re feeling inspired by Gaby you can enrol on one of her courses by clicking here, or you can see our whole range of Love2Learn Leisure courses by clicking here.

 

We wish Gaby the best of luck with her new book, and we’re looking forward to seeing the next novel!

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – International Foundation Year Student of the Year

 

Bath College hosts the University of Bath International Foundation Year. This is a one year full time course which prepares International Students for entry into their chosen course at The University of Bath. The IFY course covers the key principles, theories and practical skills which are the standard entry criteria for the University of Bath, and broadly based on the A-level syllabus.

 

Claudia was our International Foundation Year Student of the Year at our 2019 Celebrating Success Awards. Claudia’s citation from her tutor Larissa was absolutely glowing, and we have no doubt that Claudia was the perfect choice to receive this award, Larissa commented

 

“Claudia was a pleasure to work with in and out of the classroom, as she contributed with happiness and enthusiasm to college life. Some students are, unknowingly, a great asset to teachers, as they set a culture of excellence and academic rigour in the classrooms, the laboratory and in student accommodation.”

 

Claudia is now studying Chemical Engineering at Bath University, and we knew we had to ask her about her time on her IFY course!

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied on the International Foundation Year.

 

Why did you choose to study on the International Foundation Year?

I knew I wanted to go to the University of Bath and the foundation year was a path to do so with my USA high school diploma.

 

What was the most interesting thing you did on the International Foundation Year?

The Labs were really interesting and a great way to solidify knowledge from lectures.

 

What is a typical day like as an IFY student?

Starting at around 9:30 am, we had class until lunch then a break then more class until around 5pm. Most of the week would be a mix of classes around these timings, though it was rare to have a day where the only break was for lunch. I had a lot of free time.

 

What are you doing now?

I am now studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath!

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like to become a Chartered Engineer and to work on solving problems we have today such as fossil fuel alternatives and pollution management.

 

What advice would you give to people looking to start the International Foundation Year?

Work hard but also take some time to explore the city. Bath is beautiful and so nice to just take a walk around. Also, you’ll have a head start on all the freshers in your first year at Uni!

 

How do you feel about winning Bath College’s International Foundation Year Student of the Year?

I am so honored and thankful to be chosen for the award. It was such a nice surprise after so much hard work last year!

 

Claudia has worked so hard, and now she is on her dream course at the University of Bath, we don’t think we can sign off better than Larissa, so we’ll use another one of her quotes:

 

“Claudia has all the attributes for fantastic academic and professional careers, and as a chemical engineer could well effect any one of our lives! We wish her every success for the future!”

 

If you’re interested in what the International Foundation Year can do for you, visit our IFY page here, or get in contact at bathfoundationyear@bathcollege.ac.uk.

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Higher Education Student of the Year

 

Kian started studying Sport with us at Level 1, gradually progressing through the levels until he ended up on the HND (Higher National Diploma) in Sport and Exercise Science. This Level 5 qualification is equivalent to the second year of a Bachelor’s degree.

 

 

Kian has worked so hard to get where he has, and so he was the obvious choice to be the Higher Education Student of the Year. Kian is hoping to pursue a career in Sport, and on completion of his HND in Sport and Exercise Science, has been accepted on to the final year of the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science course at the University of South Wales.

 

We caught up with Kian to ask about his time at College.

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied the Higher National Diploma course in Sport and Exercise Science, which is a level 5 course.

 

What courses have you previously studied at Bath College?

I have studied sport at all levels, from level 1 to level 5.

 

What did you enjoy about your course?

The thing I enjoyed most about is the interaction between lecturers and students and the many different styles of teaching that the lecturers provided. This could be interactive lessons or group study sessions. I also made many friends throughout my courses.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

A family member had attended the college and had told me about how good the teachers and lessons were and that they had a good rating from OFSTED.

 

What do you want to do after College?

I am thinking about pursuing a career either in Sports Psychology or potentially teaching at further education level as a lecturer. I have since been accepted on to the final year of Sport and Exercise Science at The University of South Wales.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to study at Bath College?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling that’s what the lecturers are here for; to help you to achieve your best self

 

If you’re interested in studying a Degree Level course like Kian and seeing where we can take you, then you can view all our Higher Education courses here. We also do Access to Higher Education courses, which can help you get on to Degree Level courses.

 

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Love2Learn Student of the Year

 

Love2Learn courses are our extensive range of Leisure Courses, which cover a vast array of topics, including Languages, Arts and Carpentry.

 

Gwyn was the recipient of our Love2Learn Student of the Year Award at our annual Celebrating Success Awards. Gwyn has done courses in Ceramics and Sculpture, with her plates being featured on an Episode of The Great British Menu, displaying Top Chef, Gordon Jones‘, food. (You can read about this separately here).

 

Gwyn enjoyed her Love2Learn courses so much, she is now undertaking a Part Time Art & Design Foundation Course. We caught up with Gwyn to ask about how she found her courses, and how she felt about winning the Love2Learn Student of the Year.

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied Sculpture and Ceramics.

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your course?

The most enjoyable part was learning to use different materials, as well as developing and experimenting with new techniques. You surprise yourself at the things you can make.

 

What did you do on your courses that you felt was most valuable?

I think gaining the confidence to try new ideas and make bigger and better objects has been the most valuable lesson.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

I hadn’t done anything for years, and after visiting some galleries in Madrid I knew I had to do something in Art! So I applied.

 

What are you doing now?

I am now doing an Art and Design Foundation course part time over the next two years.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students’ looking to enrol on a leisure course?

Just give it a go! It opens up a Pandora’s box of wonders to learn and delight you!

 

How do you feel about winning the Love2Learn Student of the Year Award?

I am absolutely over the moon about it! I never imagined I could reach such dizzy heights!

 

If you feel inspired by Gwyn’s journey you can view our range of Love2Learn courses here and open up your own Pandora’s box!

 

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Distance Learning Student of the Year

 

Last week we held our annual Celebrating Success Awards, celebrating amazing results and contributions from our students across all aspects of the College. The Awards are broken down into ‘Students of the Year’, with each discipline being able to nominate their chosen student of the year.

 

Peter King was the nomination for Distance Learning Student of the Year. Peter has been studying a BTEC Diploma in Highway Engineering to support progression in his role as a Trainee Technician for North Somerset Council. He is now a Principal Engineer in the Highways Operations Team, responsible for a range of Highway Maintenance Projects.

 

On the night of Celebrating Success, Peter was presented with two awards. Not only did he win the Distance Learning Student of the Year for his hard work and dedication, but his project on his Diploma was awarded the ‘Institute of Highway Engineers’ Best Project Award 2019′ by IHE (Institute of Highway Engineers).

 

“The IHE’s Best Project Award acknowledges the considerable hard work and dedication the learner has made over a sustained period of their studies. The IHE sees Bath College as a key partner in providing the knowledge and skills the highway engineering sector so desperately needs in these challenging times.” – Richard Hayes

 

We caught up with Peter to find out how he found completing his Diploma with us and how he felt about winning our Distance Learning Student of the Year.

 

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I left a small construction company working on the tools to start a new opportunity as a Trainee Technician for North Somerset Council. I was encouraged to take on the Professional Diploma in Highway Engineering by my employer to enable me to develop my career. Five years later and I am now a Principal Engineer in the Highways Operations Team, with responsibility for the delivery of a wide range of highway maintenance projects across North Somerset.

 

Why did you choose to study the BTEC Professional Diploma in Highway Engineering?

It was recommended to me as part of my Trainee Programme with North Somerset Council. They funded my course, with an expectation that I would dedicate my time to complete it. I chose this course over a generic engineering qualification as I wanted to focus my career in Highways engineering.

 

On your course, what has been most valuable to you?

  • The ability to fit my studies around my home and work life
  • The knowledge I have gained to support my practical experience within the industry
  • The knowledge I have gained to support others in my team, helping them to develop their careers
  • The support and opportunities I received from my employer, North Somerset council

 

What made you choose Bath College?

As far as I am aware it was the only college offering a Highways-specific qualification. The course was relevant to my current job and benefited both myself and my employer.

 

What do you plan to do with the knowledge you have gained from studying for the Professional Diploma in Highway Engineering?

Since completion of my course with Bath College, I have moved onto an ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification. In conjunction with the ILM course, I hope to use the technical knowledge I have gained from the Highways Distance Learning course to assist me in developing junior members of the team. I will also use my knowledge to deliver larger projects.

 

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

  • Understand your learning style, it will stand you in good stead for your course.
  • Work with your tutors and ask for help if you get stuck. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience from which you can learn and are always happy to assist you. It’s not always easy if you don’t have classmates or a face to face tutor to talk things over with. I was fortunate to have great employers and tutors who were dedicated to helping me to achieve my goals.
  • Engage and ensure you have ‘buy-in’ from your employer, it makes your life much easier. The support and learning opportunities I received from my employer made a real difference.
  • Think positively, stay motivated and enjoy it!

 

How do you feel about receiving the Institute of Highway Engineers’ Best Project Award 2019 as well as Bath College’s Distance Learning Student of the Year 2019 Award?

It’s a great feeling. It was such an honour to not only be recognised by Bath College but also by the IHE, the experts in my field.

 

 

The Distance Learning courses at Bath College cover a broad spectrum. You can pick from CPD courses across a variety of professional subjects, such as Administration or Counselling, or our more specific Highways Specialist courses. Distance Learning is a unique way of learning; you learn at your own pace in your own time, with the option of communicating with your assigned tutor if you get stuck or need any help. You complete a range of online modules over a varying period of time, these modules are how you are assessed.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about our Distance Learning courses, you can find them by clicking here. Alternatively you can contact our Distance Learning team by emailing DistanceLearning@bathcollege.ac.uk or highways@bathcollege.ac.uk.

 

News

Jake Cover – Case Study – Sport and Exercise Science

 

Jake Cover is one of our amazing year 1 Sport and Exercise Science students, who, alongside his studies, trains hard at sprint hurdles with Team Bath.

 

We caught up with Jake to ask how he go into Athletics, how he balances College work and training, and how he is finding his course.

 

How did you get into Athletics?

When a started secondary school I had the opportunity to try athletics and I was chosen to go to Bath University for a school athletics event. I did well and as a result started to train with Team Bath Athletics Club. I was very keen on sprint hurdles and eventually gained a place on the sprint hurdles squad.

 

What is your favourite aspect of competing?

I enjoy all aspects of competing including the camaraderie between athletes and having the opportunity to improve my times.

 

What is the highest level you have competed at?

National level including English Schools and Youth Development League National Finals.

 

What events have you got in the near future?

It is currently off season, however, I am training for the forthcoming (Jan) indoor season.

 

What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?

I enjoy all aspects of sports and wanted a course which I enjoyed and had an interest in. So the Sport and Exercise Science course was perfect for me!

 

How do you balance college/training?

I primarily train in the evenings and weekends, so this is removed from College anyway. So far College has not impacted on my training, and my course tutor has been very supportive and talked to me about how the College will support me if any training and events may impact on my College work.

 

How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?

So far the course has helped me with my mindset and understanding of sport.

 

What are your aspirations after finishing College?

I hope that I will be able to compete professionally in Athletics. I also hope I will be able to work in the sports industry.

 

News

Bath College to host Preparing for Adulthood Fair

 
On Thursday 14th November from 4-8pm Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus will be hosting the event supporting teenagers with special needs to prepare for adulthood.

 

A collaboration of Bath and NE Somerset’s special schools, Fosse Way, Three Ways and Bath College will allow parents, carers and young people to explore services in the local area. This brings together employment, healthcare, community and independent living options which have previously been exhibited separately.
 
The fair will give the opportunity for young people and their carers to chat to providers about what is best for each individual and how to access the services. Stand holders include Curo Independent Living Service, Dimensions HealthCare, The Life Project and Mencap Supported Employment Team.
 
Jo Stoaling, Head teacher at Three Ways School comments that “Knowing what your choices are and who is able to support you through a time of transition is vital. At Three Ways, we aim to support the young people and their carers through transitions and give as many relevant options as possible.
 
“The fair showcases some of the options local to our families and gives a chance to start thinking about ideas.”
 
Julie Knight from the Bath & NE Somerset Inclusion Team says “We want to start as early as possible to explore independent living options and pathways to employment, as well as the support and healthcare the young people will have available as they move into adulthood.”
 
Sally Eaton, Head of Inclusion at Bath College says “We are delighted to invite so many different providers to Wellow House, the new SEND Centre at our Somer Valley Campus at Bath College. It will be a great opportunity for young people with SEND and their families in B&NES to see what is on offer so they can start to make plans for their future.”
 
The event is free and fully accessible with plenty of parking and refreshments on offer and open to the public from 4-8pm.
 

News

Case Study: Sport and Exercise – Rhiannon Bowen

 

Rhiannon is one of our star Sport and Exercise Science students, currently on target to achieve 3 D*s (Distinction) in her studies. She also will be taking part in the British Olympic Trials in June, for which she is training incredibly hard alongside her lessons and coursework. We caught up with Rhiannon to ask her about her passion for swimming and how she manages to balance her training alongside her studies to be on track for such fantastic grades!

 

How did you get into swimming?

Whilst at junior school, I participated in every sport available. I realised I was good at sport and enjoyed winning and competing to try and become better than everyone else. By the time I went to secondary school, I has narrowed my sports down to focus on swimming and athletics, achieving high levels in both. I decided to cut down to only swimming as the athlete pathway was better, meaning I had the freedom to achieve more. I now compete regularly at the British Championships and have been abroad with England to compete and train.

 

What is your favourite aspect of competing?

I have quite a few aspects of competing that I love, however my favourite would simply be the thrill of racing. It is like a rush of energy and confidence as I go through my procedures leading up to my race. This is because I know how hard I have worked in training beforehand and the outcome of my performance will be the result of that, which will push me to try even harder.

 

What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise Science course at Bath College?

College provided a better balance for my education and swimming to ensure I get the best result out of both. It was a big change to school life, pushing me to become more independent. I felt like college would give me a good set-up of how university runs. The Sport and Exercise Science course interested me because there are more relevant units to learn compared to A-levels which apply to the sporting world. I particularly find physiology, psychology and nutrition interesting, which I was eager to learn about. Rather than having long exams at the end of the two years, I preferred the on-going assessments which include coursework, presentations and practical elements. This helps me understand where I am with my final grade and knowledge of each unit, due to the constant feedback and progressions in my work.

 

How do you balance college/training?

As I have been participating in swimming at a high level for such a long time, I am able to manage my time and deadlines efficiently for the best result. I swim early mornings, starting at six, and return later to do an evening session after college. Creating my own timetables to set when to recover and complete coursework has really helped me, as well as still having enough free time to pursue other hobbies and socialising.

 

How do you feel your course at the college has helped you?

I have been able to apply the knowledge learnt through the course into my swimming and gym sessions to help me improve. Due to there being a wide range of teaching and learning methods, my confidence and self-management has improved, which positively affects my training and lifestyle.

 

What are your aspirations after finishing college?

After college, I wish to continue to study Sport and Exercise Science at University, whilst still participating at a high level in swimming. This would involve competing at BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) events with the university team and training to medal at the British Championships. I hope to apply and receive sporting scholarships to support my sport and education.

 

We wish Rhiannon all the best with both her studies and her swimming, and maybe we’ll see her on TV for Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024!

 

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Emily Bryan, Sport and Exercise Science Student

 

We spoke to Emily Bryan, a passionate Irish dancer who is currently studying Bath College’s new Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science course.
 
 

How did you get into Dancing?
When I was in year 1 (5 years old) there was an after school club for Irish dancing and I really liked the sound of it so I went to it and haven’t stopped since.
 
What is your favourite aspect of competing?
My favourite aspect of competing is performing in front of the judges and showing them how much I love to dance. I also love travelling and meeting lots of people. Its also an amazing feeling when I do well at competitions as it tells me that all the hard work I put into dance is worth it.
 
What is the highest level you have competed at?
International. I qualified for the world championships in November 2018 and attended the worlds this April in North Carolina.
 
What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?
P.E. was always my favorite subject for GCSE as I found it very interesting so when I saw what the sport and exercise science course consisted of I knew that’s what I wanted to do as I knew I was going to enjoy it and find it interesting.
 
How do you balance college/training?
I can find this difficult sometimes, especially leading up to bigger competitions. But whenever I’m not dancing I just do any college work I have and make sure I still have time to do it even when I have dance a lot of the time. When I do not have training I usually do any college work I have then practise dance at home after.
 
How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?
In the future, I know that doing this course will benefit me a lot and give me an option of pathways that interest me.
 
What are your aspirations after finishing College?
My biggest aspiration when I leave college is to travel the world in a dance show. However I also love the idea of being a physio or something along those lines. I would also love to become a qualified dance teacher one day as I like teaching others how to dance.
 
 
For more information about the Sport & Exercise Science courses, click here.
 

News

Sally Wilson, Bath College’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor

 
Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

Sally, Care Academy Co-Ordinators at Bath College, is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors.

 

Mental Health is not something we should take lightly, and by having qualified Mental Health First Aiders in places of work or education, we can begin to remove the stigma surrounding discussing Mental Health. It’s just as important as physical health, and should be taken just as seriously. Sally will be specialising in Youth Mental Health First Aid, which makes her courses ideal for those working in Education, or directly with Young People.

 

We had a chat with Sally to find out why she’s decided to become a Youth Mental Health First Aider, and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is important, scroll down to see her answers!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As well as being a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, I also work as Bath College Care Academy Co-Ordinator. I work in partnership with health and social care employers and practitioners to develop employability skills for the current and future health and social care workforce.

I have worked for the careers service, as a playworker, a teacher overseas and an Inclusion manager for a secondary school; working with children and young people experiencing crisis.

I have also worked in partnership with many agencies, in a wide range of settings, supporting young people’s personal, social and emotional development.

I am a qualified Youth Worker, Lecturer and Assessor and have taught and assessed youth work study programmes.

I love working with young people, developing projects from scratch, sunshine, travelling and cake!

 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid is about having the practical skills and confidence to spot the triggers and signs of a range of mental health issues. You will then be confident to step in, reassure and support a person in distress using the Mental Health First Aid action plan.

Just as in Physical First Aid, people are trained to use an action plan to support those whose safety is at risk. Mental Health First Aid does the same, but with the person’s mental wellbeing at its centre.

 

Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

Looking after our mental health has so often been overlooked, and stigma and misinformation around mental health conditions has not helped.

Having worked with vulnerable young people in crisis for many years, I have always felt there has been a great need for this. Last year alone, the Samaritans offered tailored support to schools and colleges with 185 suicides or suicide attempts.

It is imperative that more and more of us feel confident enough to approach and offer support to those experiencing crises, as well as to develop further awareness of how we can all look after our mental health.

 

How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

I have always loved facilitating training courses, there is always so much more to learn from everyone who participates.

The instructor training course was a great way to learn more about a range of mental health issues from many practitioners, as well as from young people who were experiencing mental health issues and what they had found helpful. This was an ideal opportunity for me to explore mental health issues in more depth and has inspired me to keep up to date with research around this topic.

As part of our training we are also offered a range of continual professional development opportunities to ensure we remain accredited trainers.

Mental health is of great interest to so many people. It is fascinating. Being an instructor helps me to equip others with the confidence and skills to both support others, and to look after themselves.

 

Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

I would say all of us. It is about helping to build larger communities where people feel able to support young people experiencing mental health issues. It helps us to tackle stigma and open up conversations, to help others to help themselves.

 

What’s different about Youth Mental Health First Aid?

 Youth Mental Health First Aid is based around working with children and young people aged 8-18. Adolescence is a period of huge transition – socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.  It presents so many challenges, even for those for who do not experience trauma. Many recent studies have highlighted how lonely young people can feel.

Within this course you learn about the potential impact of adolescent development on young people’s behaviour as well as the work that targeted services can do to support young people.

 

Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

Meeting and working with the group! As with every training course, each of us brings a wealth of experience, from our personal and professional lives. There are always such a range of people with different job roles from parents/carers to youth workers, teaching assistants and advisers. All of whom are keen to learn more about mental health and to support others. It is a difficult but interesting subject, and the sessions are enjoyable and stimulating!

 

 

If you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course, you can find them by clicking here. Our first Youth course starts on the 30th October, but we have more running throughout the year.

 

 

Molly Cook SU Equality & Diversity Officer

News, Students Union

Meet our new SU Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly Cook

 

We spoke to our brand new Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly, who got elected onto the Students’ Union after running a successful campaign at the end of last academic year.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Molly Cook and I have autism. I love to socialise with different people. I like to make new friends and get to know people. I love music and I like to chat to people about things. I love to be out and about with people and on my own. I go to clubs outside of college. I am a lovely person. I just love chatting to people to get to know them.
 
What course are you doing at Bath College?
I am doing the LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) course at Bath College at Somer Valley Campus.
 
Why did you apply to be Equality & Diversity Officer?
I applied to be Equality and Diversity Officer because I want to make a difference around the college and make college a better place. And I want to share my personal experience of autism and raise awareness of other disabilities and make college a more equal place.
 
What would you like to achieve during your time on the Students’ Union?
To make college a better place and to make people aware that I am the same as everybody else in college including all of my college friends. And I want to plan some events about different things. I’m looking forward to starting my campaigns.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Wellow Building at Somer Valley Campus.
 

Group Photo - Agricultural Mechanics Alumni

News

Agricultural Mechanics students return to College after 50 years

 

Nine ex-students of Norton Radstock College returned to what is now the Somer Valley Campus of Bath College to have a 50-year reunion.

 

They studied Agricultural Mechanics from 1967-69 and decided to meet up to catch up with each other, share memories and see if the course itself led to the paths they took with their careers.
 

The alumni had a tour of Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, where they spoke to lecturers from a range of disciplines including carpentry & joinery, bricklaying, refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, animal care, stonemasonry, engineering and motor vehicle.
 

Stuart King, Head of English & Maths at Bath College, led the tour and gave the group a brief overview of how College has changed since they left. He said: “it’s been fantastic having the alumni with us. Hearing their stories of 50 years ago and how successful they have gone on to be is really heart-warming.”
 

The ex-students very much enjoyed their tour of the College before heading off to a reunion lunch at a local pub.
 

Steve Crowe said: “Years ago when we studied here it was far more based on mechanical and hand-skills. Now I get the impression it’s much more diverse focusing on many different skills. I’ve been so impressed, especially with the stonemasonry workshop which is a real unique selling point.”
 

Mike Church said: “Coming back to the College has shown an incredible change. Like everything, including all the people here today, everything has moved on. I have been very impressed seeing the broad curriculum that is taught here, it has really opened my eyes.”
 

Nick Dee Shapland, who organised the reunion added: “We couldn’t have asked for more this morning, what an enterprising college! Each lecturer has really given us an insight.”
 

News

Paula Power, Bath College’s new Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor

 

Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

 

Paula is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors, specialising in Adult Mental Health First Aid. We did a short Q&A with her to find out why she chose to become an instructor and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is so important.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the business owner of My White Dog and facilitator for the 1 and 2-day adult and youth courses. I am a MHFA Instructor, NLP Practitioner, Mountain Leader, with Business Studies, Further Education Certificate and Social Science at the Open University.
I started out in a corporate environment, but always enjoyed adventure and outdoor space, climbing, mountaineering and sailing. When I realised the positive impact of my own wellbeing in this space, I went onto develop skills in education and mountaineering and led groups in the outdoors including expeditions to Africa and Asia. A rewarding role watching students age 13-18 develop latent and new skills when stretched, build resilience, team and leadership skills. I went onto explore other personal challenges when selected to take part in the first all women expedition to the geographic North Pole in 1997. 20 women relaying in teams of 4 across the arctic over 3 months. We went onto become Guinness book record holders.
I ocassionally work in partnership with Wiltshire MIND and am affiliated with Mental Health First Aid England on raising mental health awareness, reducing stigma and how to improve wellbeing in work schools and communities.

 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health is part of our overall health, physical and mental wellbeing. Mental Health First Aid approach is similar to physical first aid, in preserving life and preventing a condition worsening, promoting recovery; however, as mental health is not easy to identify, it can be more complex to recognise, we teach the skills to recognise signs and symptoms. We explore language stigma, listening skills, and then how to signpost in order to help and provide hope for the future. We also explore strategies and coping strategies for our own wellbeing. Our approach is interactive engaging using group activities, various mediums, video and plenary speakers (lived experiences).

 

Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

Currently, 1 in 4 adults will experience some form of mental health issue in their lifetime. The economic cost of mental health issues in England are estimated at £105 billion each year. In addition, 10% of primary school children suffer from a low sense of wellbeing and about 13% of young people aged 5-19 meet clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. Mental health first aid is a great early intervention towards professional help, for example, people can fully recovery from their first episode of psychosis if they receive the appropriate help.

 

How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

From my own personal experience of mental illness within my family – I recognise the impact of early intervention and an opportunity to close a significant gap within the Mental Health support system.

 

Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

Everyone will benefit as it opens channels of communication, it empowers others to reduce stigma and discrimination and raises awareness in the workplace, communities and schools.

 

Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

Thought provoking and light bulb moments. Many people have come to me at the end of a course realising that awareness is the ‘tip of the iceberg’, but they feel confident going forward. It’s a journey and learning takes place in a safe and inclusive environment – many delegates go on to become advocates within work and communities

 

 

If Paula has inspired you and you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course you can find them by clicking here.

Football Academy, News

Bath College secures funding for women’s futsal team

 

Bath College is delighted to have been selected as one of thirty colleges to receive English Colleges FA Growth Funding to support the formation of a new women’s futsal team.
 

The college was chosen out of 100 applicants to receive the funding which will help establish a sustainable futsal team over the next 3 years, allowing new and existing students to participate and therefore creating a more inclusive extra-curricular offer.
 

The money will help provide qualified and licensed coaches, referees and kit to help the futsal team improve their skills and abilities, and give them a positive and enjoyable experience of futsal whilst studying at college.
 

Bath College is extremely passionate about ensuring their students are able to join a sporting community to keep them physically active and positively impact their mental wellbeing.
 

Shaun Mullen, who will be head of futsal provision, is a UEFA B licence futsal coach and FA Tutor.
 

Shaun reflected on how the funding would help the college by saying that this would: “Increase the participation rates among not just sports students but also the wider student community of the college. This will give students an opportunity in potentially a new sport to learn core values and skills and create a new social group within a team environment.”
 

Callum Cocks unveiling the stone seat for Ralph Allen Mine Project

News

Historic stone wall restored and made into bench in Combe Down

 
A Bath College Stonemasonry student has been restoring part of a historic wall as part of the Ralph Allen stone mine project by the Museum of Bath Stone, B&NES Council and the UNESCO World Heritage Enhancement Fund.

 

The shaft wall, where Combe Down freestone used to be hauled out, has been turned into a seat, which has been supported by many locals who have crowd-funded the project and came out to see the finished result.
 
Callum working on the stoneCallum Cocks, Stonemasonry student at Bath College, said: “I’ve been working on the lettering on the coping stone that sits on top of the remaining wall.
 
“The things I most enjoyed about this project were working the stone and seeing the remarkable result of how it looked when it was finished.”
 
The stone reads: “Rebuilt in 2018 site of access shaft to Ralph Allen stone minesthe stone that built Bath”.
 
Callum’s tutor, Joe Leber, Stonemasonry lecturer at Bath College said: “Callum came to the college in 2017 age 16, he has been a pleasure to teach, improving his skills year on year.
 
“Last academic year he achieved his level 2 diploma and his NVQ ahead of time and got involved in designing and building a garden for the special educational needs centre.
 
“He also set out and produced the lettering for the Ralph Allen stone mine project with some help from Stephen Shute our technician. He is now working towards his level 3 Stonemasonry diploma and his NVQ level 3 here at Bath College.
 
“We are all very proud of Calum and are expecting him to achieve more stretch and challenge tasks at the college after completing his diploma with us.”
 
For more details about stonemasonry at Bath College, click here.
 

News

Bath College and Bath & North East Somerset Council are hosting “Have a Go” as part of the nationwide Festival of Learning

 

• Bath College offers local communities the chance to try and learn a new skill
• 30th September 2019 10am till 12pm at the Roman Baths
 
As part of the 2019 Festival of Learning, Bath College and B&NES Council are inviting local residents to small taster sessions i.e. try their hand at a range of new skills or take part in a taster session.
 
Festival of Learning, led by Learning and Work Institute, invites organisations and communities to take part in adult learning activities to showcase the wide range of opportunities and resources available to adults hoping to continue or resume their education. The Festival recognises the inspiring achievements of adult learners nationwide.
 
**At the “Have a Go” visitors will have the opportunity to try and experience an Art Class, Mindfulness, Health and Wellbeing **
 
Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning and Work Institute, commented: “The Festival of Learning helps people to learn and to discover the wide range of opportunities there are to gain new skills, expand their abilities and transform their lives.
 
“I hope that people take advantage of this exciting event at the Roman Baths and recognise that you’re never too old to learn.”
 
For more information about the event click here.
 

Apprenticeships, News

Meet the new Head of Apprenticeships, Business & Community at Bath College

 

Bath College has appointed a new Head of Apprenticeships, Business & Community.

 

Paul Gilmore has worked at Bath College for 16 years, starting as a lecturer in joinery before progressing to Head of Technology in 2018 and into his new role this Spring.

 

His new remit is to oversee the development of Apprenticeships, Love2Learn leisure courses, free courses and Adult Community Learning.

 
Bath College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in B&NES, so Paul’s first objective is to work with local businesses to develop the apprenticeship provision to suit local demands.
 


How do you plan to improve quality of delivery of apprenticeships?

By ensuring the apprenticeship is tailored accordingly to suit the needs of the employers and the individual, the apprenticeship will be planned in a partnership with the employer to make sure that a high level of training take place at college and whilst the apprentice is in the workplace. The progress of the apprentice will be closely tracked and monitored by the assessment team to ensure the development and skills of the apprentices meet employer’s needs and the training needs of the apprentice. The college is also committed to providing high quality facilities for all college based training which is complimented by highly qualified staff who undertake regular continuous professional updating.
 

How do you plan to improve communication with employers?

We aim to provide an effective and timely recruitment service to our employers to meet their requirements and organisational needs, communication with the employer will take place frequently as part of the apprentice’s progress reviews meetings. We value input from our employers as this helps shape and develop our apprenticeship offer.
 

How is Bath College meeting employers’ needs?

The college will continue to review its apprenticeship offer in collaboration with our employer network to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets our local, regional and national economic needs and skills shortages. As a college we are aware the changing landscape in the workforce and we remain committed to training and upskilling employees and apprentices that benefits our employers and the relevant sectors.
 


What benefits do apprentices get from their Bath College apprenticeships?

Any Bath College apprentice will be fully supported and guided through their apprenticeship programme which will encourage the individual to take ownership over their own development and career progression. The additional advantages of being an apprentice ranges from earning whilst being trained and receiving a national recognised qualification at the end of apprenticeship programme.
 
To find out more about apprenticeships at Bath College, click here.
 

Project SEARCH interns in the Guildhall

News

New Project SEARCH interns start the year with afternoon tea

 

Last week the new Project SEARCH interns gathered in the Guildhall to meet their coursemates for the first time over a cup of tea.
 
Project SEARCH is an employability programme in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Virgin Care, which helps young adults with learning disabilities gain the skills they need to become employed.
 
The students have a mix of classroom based learning and workplace experience within one of the B&NES departments, with placements varying from working in a kitchen to working in a museum.
 
Laurel Penrose and Alice Honey
Alice Honey (right), who has been through the project SEARCH programme, came to chat to the new interns about what a positive impact the programme can have.
 
She said: “I found Project SEARCH really encouraging. It was good because I learnt the skills to get a job and now I am working 16 hours at Action on Hearing Loss which is great because I live so close. I really enjoy my job, it’s pretty good.”
 
Laurel Penrose (left), Principal CEO gave an informal welcome to the new group: “Project SEARCH is very close to our hearts. It’s amazing to see how much students change and grow in confidence from the beginning to the end.
 
“Sometimes the course will be hard, so please talk to us, everybody needs some help sometimes. It’s a lovely course, you’ll get some really good employment opportunities and experience.”
 
For more information or to apply for Project SEARCH, click here.
 

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