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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.
 

Bath Rugby Foundation Bath College Advantage students

Adult Community Learning, News

Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation work with young people to boost confidence and employability skills

 

Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation have been running a Summer course working with unemployed young people to improve their job prospects.
 
The Advantage course is in partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions and Bath Rugby’s charity and is for 18 to 24 year olds who are, or in danger of becoming, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
 
Working with Bath Job Centre, the course was created to not only encourage young people to enrol on college courses or gain the confidence to find job roles, but also to create a peer support group within them in which they could encourage and support each other on their journey.
 
The learners started the course finding it difficult to engage and ended with enthusiasm and a new-found confidence.
 
The opportunities the Advantage students have gained access to have been very broad, with one offered a place on a performing arts course at college; one enrolled on a sports coaching course; one has moved into supported housing after being homeless and sofa surfing; one has created a CV and is volunteering in order to gain experience in a retail environment; one is starting volunteering in a youth drug and alcohol support group with a view to becoming a youth support worker or counsellor, drawing on his own experiences.
 
Leah being filmed at the RecLeah (left), who has just completed the Advantage course said: “I have enrolled on a college course as I have enjoyed this course so much that I want to continue. It has made me feel safe and confident and I have had fun too.”
 
Luke found his confidence while completing the course: “This course has given me something that school and college didn’t manage to. I now know what I want to do and this makes me get up in the morning. I now have self-belief that I can make something of myself and this motivates me to get up.”
 
Joe Aygul, Employability Officer at Bath Rugby Foundation said: “Working in partnership with Bath College this summer has been incredible, we have been able to create a unique and bespoke training course that has without doubt positively impacted the lives of young people in our community.
 
Advantage students on interview day“Watching our students grow in confidence over the past five weeks has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. The journey these young people have been on in this short time has been remarkable, from starting as un-engaged ‘NEETs’ at the beginning of the course to now leaving us with aspirations and opportunities for further education, employment and training.
 
“The future looks bright for these guys and the team at Bath Rugby Foundation look forward to collaborating with Bath College again in the future.”
 
Anna Wheeler, Community Engagement Manager at Bath College said: “The Advantage programme has been so much more than a collaboration between Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation to upskill a group of young people. It has been innovative and dynamic with input from a huge range of local partner organisations and experiences both challenging and exciting.
 
“The group’s confidence has grown alongside new skills and experiences and every member of staff involved has been inspired by the enthusiasm, talent and positivity they have shown”.
 
For more details about the ‘Advantage’ course, visit: www.bathrugbyfoundation.com/advantage
 

Dan SU President

News, Student Spotlight, Students Union

Meet our new Student Union President, Dan Ball

 

We spoke to our brand new SU President, Dan, to find out all about him and his plans for the year.
 
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi my name is Dan Ball. I’m 19 years old. In my spare time I like to meet up with friends and take my dogs out for a walk. My favorite sport is Rugby. I support Bath and England Rugby club.
 
What did you study at Bath College?
I studied Uniformed Public Services for three years. I started at level two and finished level 3 year two.
 
Why did you apply to be the SU President?
I applied for the Student Union President Job role because I would like a future career in pastoral care and applying for this role can give me an insight what it is like.
 
Why do you think the SU is important?
The SU is important as this gives the chance for all students to put forward their suggestions on how the college can improve based on their needs. I also think the SU is important as this students can work as a team.
 
What would you like to achieve during your Presidency?
I would like to achieve in my year as president is to raise money to a chosen charity by the majority of students getting involved into different kinds of fundraising. I would also like to achieve a good outcome towards the campaigns I have created for this year.
 
What vision do you have for the SU at Bath College?
The vison I have for the SU is that the Student Union will be there to support students throughout the year so they can also get involved with us and learn more about what the Student Union does.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Student Union and Participation office on the bottom floor of the Macaulay building in the new Student Union area.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new and returning students?
The words of wisdom I would say to students is to keep a positive mind set to your studies. Have fun and a laugh with friends and staff members and always smile.
 

News, Student Spotlight

Bath College students celebrate their GCSE results

 

Students across both Bath College campuses have been nervously opening their GCSE results this morning.
 
Harvey has been studying Level 2 Childcare and has passed both his English and Maths, so will be going on to Level 3 Childcare.
 
Students who study at the College often take GCSE Maths and/or English alongside their studies to maximise their employability or future study options.
 
He said: “I was hoping to pass but not expecting to, and I’ve passed both!”
 
Megan, Katie and Luci all came back to college as mature students to take their GCSEs.
 
Megan got a 4 in Maths and 6 in English and can now apply to do an Access Course so she can become a teacher.‬
 
‪Katie got 11 GCSEs and went onto her A-Levels when she was at school but failed her maths so made the decision to come back to college to take it as an adult and got a 4.‬
 
Electrical students Dom and Josh were delighted when they opened their GCSE English results. Dom got a 6 and is now progressing onto the Level 2 and Josh got a 5 and is off to do an Electrical apprenticeship.
 
‪Luci left school at 15 so came to college to do her Maths and English GCSEs in which she got 5 and 8 and is now off to do a Maternity course at Swansea University before training to be a midwife.‬
 
 
Stuart King, Head of English and Maths said: “We are very proud of our learners who have worked so hard for their GCSEs.”
 
“Many of them are studying alongside a full-time course, apprenticeship or full-time job, which can be really tough.”
 
“It’s been fantastic to see so many smiles across our campuses today.”
 
GCSE results day can be a stressful time for many, so Bath College has had careers advisers on hand to talk to anyone who picked up results today to offer them impartial advice about what their next steps are.

 

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Jessica’s Erasmus Catering placement in Seville

 
We spoke to Jessica Porch about her REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Seville.

 

Name: Jessica Porch
Course Name: Catering and Hospitality Level 3
Placement Location: Seville
 
Why did you apply for the placement?
I applied for my placement because I was interested in working abroad.
I was encouraged by my tutors and lectures at college to go as it would be and was a good experience.
I prepared myself by writing a CV and cover letter and also organised my passport, EHIC card, travel money card and budget.
 
Describe your work placement and tasks.
My work placement was joined onto an English Hotel so served English food as well and Spanish tapas food. Some tasks that I carried out were preparing starter dishes, preparing all food that needed to be cooked in advanced and also cleaning down the kitchen after service.
 
What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?
Learning about different cuisine and learning a new language.
 
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?
I think that it will help me in the future as it shows that I have no limit to what I think I can achieve.
 
Jessica in Seville
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?
The city was really beautiful and had lots of amazing attractions that we visited throughout the 3 weeks. I also liked the restaurants and shops we went in and the people were very welcoming. It was also really hot which is always nice when you are not used to it.
 
What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?
Next for me is going into a full time job away from home. And my advice would be don’t get too caught up in missing parents or loved ones as the time goes so fast that you have to enjoy all of your time there and use your days off wisely – go sight seeing or to the beach.
 
 

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her placement experience. If you would like any information about our Catering & Hospitality courses, click here.
 

News

Case Study: Claire Dean – Highways Distance Learning

 

One of our fabulous Distance Learning students graduated from our Level 4 Professional Diploma in Highways Engineering. Highway Engineering is a distance learning package, similar to the way the Open University operates. No attendance at College is necessary, which makes it perfect for anyone anywhere, and you may enrol at any time and study at your own speed at home or work. We did a short Q&A with Claire to find out why she chose Bath College, and why she chose to study Highways.

 

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I moved to Devon over 20 years ago with Balfour Beatty as part of a small team to undertake the design and build of two new bypasses. I started in a secretarial role but over time became interested in the technical side of road construction. I decided to take the plunge as a trainee highways technician. Balfour Beatty supported my ambition to do this and have continued to encourage me to further myself – from this first move from secretary to technician through to my academic studies. I have now been working as a Highways Technician for Balfour Beatty on the A30/A35 in Exeter for 17 years.

 

Why did you choose Highways Distance Learning?

Balfour Beatty are really supportive when it comes to upskilling and believe in having experts in the business. As a full time employee, I needed a way to work and study simultaneously. My goal was to develop in my role at the same as progressing academically. This, however, meant finding a course which I could do outside of working hours – the Highways Distance Learning course allowed me to do just that!

 

Which courses have you completed via Highways Distance Learning?

I have completed; Highways Maintenance, Highways Technology, Highways Legislation and Administration, Highways Materials and Testing and produced a project on current drainage challenge on the Balfour Beatty joint venture project on the A30/A35 in Devon and Dorset.

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your courses?

Similarly to my work with Balfour Beatty, I feel my strength lies in projects – I found producing in-depth, high quality coursework as part of my course one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things about academic study. Likewise, I love learning from others, whether in my role at Balfour Beatty or with my tutors. The insights and interactions I had with my tutors reminded me how much I love the highways sector.

 

What has been most valuable to you?

Everything I have learnt I can apply to my work. I feel I can contribute an expertise and understanding of highways projects which benefits my professional progression, but which can also help others in my team. Just like the Balfour Beatty values; I am a trusted expert in my field, and this is recognised by the business and my peers and colleagues. I put this down to the constant support from all my tutors and the administrative team for the feedback on my marked assignments. These comments meant a lot and gave me the confidence to continue.

 

What made you choose Bath College?

I was specifically looking for a distance learning course and Bath College not only provided what I required but had a Highways Distance Learning course in Highway Engineering. I do not come from an engineering background but I did bring practical experience from a live project environment and I was glad they recognised the value of this. I was pleased to see that there was a great range of course covering all the main topics and my areas of interest, so I knew I’d be gaining a well-rounded education there. The college was also very helpful in all aspects of my enrolment.

 

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

The knowledge that I have gained has already benefited me in my current role – Balfour Beatty believe in having expert, trusted employees delivering their projects so I feel I can contribute and support the business even better than before. Whilst studying, I consolidated my knowledge of the practical skills I learn of the job with an academic understanding. I now feel equipped and confident and aim to progress to a managerial position with Balfour Beatty.

 

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

Don’t keep thinking about it, do it! It was the best decision I made, and I know it has provided me with new skills and experiences to reach my goals and strive to progress professionally and personally. As a mature student, in full-time employment, attending college and stepping so far out of my comfort zone was a scary thought and difficult to balance but I have truly reaped the rewards. If you have an employer who supports you the way Balfour Beatty supported me, it is possible to have the best of both worlds; work and study.

 

Claire is right, don’t keep thinking about it, do it! You can enrol on one of our numerous Distance Learning courses, or Highways Distance Learning courses. We also offer Love2Learn leisure courses for those looking to learn something new in a more leisurely capacity.

 

Congratulations Claire, we hope you’ll be back to study with us again and we hope you had a fabulous Graduation Day!

 

Callum Morris in Prague

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Callum’s Erasmus IT placement in Prague

 

We spoke to Callum Morris about his REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Prague.
 
Name: Callum Morris
Course: Computing & IT Level 3
Placement Location: Prague, Czech Republic
 
Why did you apply for the placement?

I applied for the placement for a few reasons. One was just because I wanted to be able to live in Prague for a short time. I’ve always really enjoyed travelling abroad and Prague seemed like a really nice place to stay. Being able to stay there for an entire 6 weeks (which was also during college time and not holiday time) was a very attractive offer.
 
The work was the other main reason I wanted to do this placement. I really wanted to work with a real IT company doing programming. It was made clear to us that we might not be doing exactly what we specifically wanted to do on our placements with our companies, but I was okay with doing anything IT related really – programming was just my preference.
 
Describe your work placement and tasks.

I had the pleasure of being able to do exactly what I wanted to do with my company. My specific role was a back-end developer for a web application. This job was absolutely perfect for me, which is why I am very thankful that I was the one chosen to do it. My main job was to write modules that would perform various tasks on the back-end. I would be given this tasks in the form of online tickets and when completed I would mark these tickets for testing and push the modules I had developed to a remote repository using GIT. Each of the modules were written using python – this was also perfect for me as python is my best language.
 

What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?

It’s difficult to choose one experience during the placement that was the biggest for me overall. I would say that the placement as a whole was the biggest learning experience for me. The work that I did, places I saw and people I met all contributed to a massive learning experience for me that has taught me a lot.
 
As for my biggest achievement, that would definitely be being offered a job by the company that I worked with. This was a huge achievement for me as it showed that they were very impressed with my work and wanted to continue working with me.
 
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?

Without a shadow of a doubt this placement has and will help me in my professional future. It has helped me already, in that I now have a job in IT because of it. It is also sure to help me in the future as well though and this is for many reasons: it looks great on a CV, I have learned a huge amount about my field during the placement and it gave me a great insight into how IT companies operate.
 
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?

Prague is a brilliant city. The public transport is amazing – you can get where ever you need to in the city with ease thanks to the high quality public transport system. Plus you cannot get lost in Prague, because there is always a tram stop nearby and locals are almost always happy to give you directions.
 
The local people in Prague are super nice and the majority of the younger locals speak really good English. I was honestly quite surprised by how kind the locals are there.
 
Prague as a city is also absolutely beautiful. There are so many huge parks around Prague that are great fun to visit and explore. The buildings there have a very interesting style; many are very old and historic, while others were very modern. It made for a very nice contrasting appearance around the city.
 

What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?

I will be continuing my work with the company from my placement shortly, which I am very much looking forward to. I am hoping that continuing to work with them part-time will evolve into a full-time position in time or perhaps lead to a job with another company in the UK. Either way it’s likely that working with this company will jumpstart my career in IT.
 
My advice to future participants would be the following:
• Work hard in the placement and show initiative with the company you end up with, because it could end up in a job for you.
• Don’t go in with massive expectations for your placement – while the company I had was great, others were disappointed with the companies they had to work with because they expected more. You should treat the placement as a learning experience and not a dream job in a foreign country – the best parts of the placement are made by you and your friends.
• Travel around and explore the country you visit – don’t just visit some monuments or go to the same places over and over. The most fun thing to do is just walk in one direction with friends and see what happens.
• Learn some basic phases and pronunciation in the language before starting the placement – it helps more than you expect.
 
 
Thanks to Callum for sharing his placement experience. If you would like any information about our Computing and IT courses, click here.
 

Events, Hair & Beauty, News

Complementary Therapies, Spa and Media Make-up students pamper Glastonbury Festival Glampers

 

Our Complementary Therapies, Spa and Media Make-up students worked at an off-site glamping site located close to Glastonbury Festival this year. Under supervision from Bath College and Bath Priory staff, the girls delivered top class massage treatments to guests as well as getting them festival-ready with glitter make-up. They were professional and hard-working, representing the college well.

 

Throughout the year there are opportunities for students to get industry experience at high-profile events such as this one.

 

If you would like any info on any of our Hair, Beauty and Complementary Therapies courses, click here.

 

Below is the gallery from the weekend.

 

 

News

Bath College makes commitment to support students and staff with their mental health and wellbeing

 

Bath College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter – created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.
 
The 11-point document includes commitments to:
• Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
• Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
• Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate
 
Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year – including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means Bath College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its 8,000 students and 450 staff.
 
Bath College staff at their mental health training
Laurel Penrose, Principal & CEO of Bath College, said: “Mental Health is something we take very seriously at Bath College. We ensure that we have designated youth mental health first aiders who are trained by Mental Health First Aid England. We have now equipped a wide range of departments with the tools to support our students and staff when required.”
 
Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like Bath College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”
 
Clare Stafford, CEO of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, said: “We passionately believe that mental health support of the highest standard should be available to all young people and college staff. The launch of the Charter further enhances the Association of College’s long-standing commitment to this.
 
“As a charity, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is delighted to be working in collaboration with AoC and fully endorses the principles and intentions of this important new Charter.”
 

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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