Daily lives are recorded through photos

Adult learners have been using their cameras to capture the highs and lows of their lives.

Older members of the community attended a digital photography course that encouraged them to record what it is like to live in the Chew Valley.

They were taught how to use digital cameras to tell the story of their daily routines in and around their homes.

The pictures captured their daily chores such as the housework, feeding the cat, making meals and looking after the grandchildren.

Learners also used their cameras to voice their concerns and raise issues of interest such as the lack of public transport and fly-tipping.

The seven-week community learning class was run by Bath College’s Adult Community Learning in conjunction with the Age UK B&NES charity.

Each learner built up a documentary style collection of photos in the hope they can be exhibited to show others what it is like to live in the Chew Valley.

Annie Sherborne, 66, said: “The course has changed the way I look at things as I now see how living out in the country is itself a form of art.

“I now love taking pictures and I’m going to try to continue to capture how the farming landscape is changing.”

Pat Howland, 55, added: “I’m really pleased with the photos I’ve taken.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence and I can now show what I’m thinking or doing with the help of a camera.”

The eight learners were taught new camera skills such as composition and lighting, as well as how to store, edit and print images.

They met weekly at the ‘Hub in a Pub’ at the Stoke Inn in Chew Stoke to discuss the photos they had taken that week.

Tutor June Wentland, who is a Bath and North East Somerset’s Reader Development Officer, said the learners were grateful for the chance to express themselves creatively.

She said: “It’s all about people getting in touch with their creative side and telling their own story.

“These people have the chance to record their everyday lives through pictures, it’s life in Chew Valley today.

“Their portfolios are a wonderful recording of daily routines and they depict very personal messages.

“Some people had never used a digital camera before but now they are very interested in photography and want to carry on snapping away.”

The Hub in a Pub is a partnership between Bath College’s Community Learning, The Stoke Inn, Age UK B&NES, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Library Service.

For more information on Adult Community Learning courses run by Bath College, call (01225) 328720 or email courses@bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Adults kept a photo diary of their lives as part of a digital photography community learning course run by Bath College.


Seven students go on to work for the same company

Former Bath College students are playing a crucial role in ensuring families across the south west continue to have an uninterrupted electricity supply.

Seven arboriculture students from the Somer Valley Campus work around-the-clock helping with the trimming and felling of trees to ensure the safety and reliability of power lines.

They are all employed by Hi-Line tree surgeons; which has contracts with Western Power Distribution to keep vegetation clear of its electricity infrastructure.

Hi-Line’s Human Resources and Training Manager Kirsty McNicol said the ex-students worked hard to minimise any potential problems across the south west from Bristol to Dorset to Cornwall.

She said: “We employ 230 people and 80 per cent of our work is for Western Power which means the ex-students play a crucial role in keeping electricity at people’s fingertips.

“We are called out at all hours of the day and night as trees adjacent to overhead power lines can be a public safety risk, especially in severe weather.

“So when we look for new employees it’s crucial we find the best people for the job. We don’t want to start our training from scratch, we want people who know the basics and have that initial qualification.

“Employees who have both the theory and practical experience are invaluable to us; that’s why we know we can rely on Bath College. We’re lucky to have such a good relationship with the College.”

Gary Sims is one of Bath College’s former students now working at Hi-Line having completed his Level 2 NVQ in Arboriculture in 2009.

The 30-year-old from Paulton, who works as a climbing arborist, said: “I’d always wanted to get into arboriculture since I saw a large tree being dismantled in the school grounds. I just remember being impressed with all the harnesses, ropes and chainsaws.

“After school I started working elsewhere doing something completely different, but it was always in the back of my mind, I never forgot what I had seen.

“I decided to go back to College in my 20s and I really enjoyed the course; I learnt so much and couldn’t wait to put it into practice.

“It’s a great job, you cannot beat working outside, the job satisfaction is huge and I get to see lots of new places, often from great heights!”

Ed Clark, 28, has worked for Hi-Line for eight years having completed his NVQ Level 2 in Arboriculture at Bath College in 2004. He has worked his way up from a tree cutter to a team leader to a tree surveyor.

The former student from Radstock said: “I didn’t really know much about the career until I did some work experience with the cutting tree team at the council. That’s how I got into it as I knew I wanted to study it at College.

“Now I travel around setting up the work for the tree cutting team. I have to survey the environment, carry out a risk-assessment and make recommendations, speak to landowners and try to get three metres of clearance.

“It’s hard work and the days can be long, but I just loved being outside; there’s no way I could work in an office.”

Representatives from Hi-Line, including Bath College’s former students, were invited to a breakfast event to celebrate the strong links.

The seven former Bath College students are: Ed Clark, Lewis Gingell, Joel Herbert, Mike Clarke, Ben Flower, Gary Sims and Elliott Bowerman.

Arboriculture Lecturer Martin Palfrey, who has worked at Bath College for 27 years, said it was an excellent example of student progression.

He said: “It’s great to see how so many of our ex-students doing so well with the same company. It’s a real testimony to the course and the College.

“It’s an interesting vocational area to train in and we make our students very employable. Our success rate speaks for itself.”

For more information on Arboriculture courses at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or phone 01225 312191.

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Pictured above: Students who studied arboriculture at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus and now work together at Hi-Line tree surgeons. 


Future engineers fly the flag for their industry

Students at Bath College have taken part in a nationwide project to highlight how refrigeration is one of the least understood but fastest growing industries in the world.

The engineers of the future worked with the Institute of Refrigeration to try to dispel the common misconception that the industry is about ‘nothing more the fridge in your kitchen.’

More than 20 Refrigeration and Air-conditioning students were consulted on how more school-leavers could be encouraged to study the subject or enter the industry as apprentices.

The students put forward ideas on the Institute’s proposals to nationally standardise refrigeration training so that it better connects to the wide-range of job opportunities.

The Institute, which is based in Surrey, is on an 18-month national tour of training facilities to see if they are compatible with the rapidly changing industry.

They are also working to spread the word on the scope of the industry and future developments, including the growth in using fossil fuels for sustainability.

Miriam Rodway, secretary and chief executive of the Institute of Refrigeration, said she was thankful for the input from students and staff at Bath College.

She said: “It’s not a very well-known industry and we are working hard to try to overcome this.

“There are 30,000 engineers in the UK, they are responsible for 10 per cent of all electricity nationally and it’s an industry that is rapidly growing.

“The engineers play crucial roles keeping businesses open but they often work quietly in the background.

“It leaves the majority of people thinking refrigeration is about nothing more than the fridges in people’s kitchens, when in fact, it’s about so much more.

“We want to get the message out there that there’s a huge demand for expertise in the refrigeration industry and so many opportunities for engineers.”

The one-day seminar at Bath College also welcomed national and international industry representatives from all areas of the refrigeration industry, including manufacturers, suppliers, exporters and air-conditioning.

Miriam added: “We want to work with Colleges to help develop the careers of students.

“We want to show them how they can move forward as there are so opportunities to pursue. We’re saying to them: ‘stick with it and you’ll reap the benefits.’”

Refrigeration Lecturer Simon Robinson said it was first time the Institute of Refrigeration had visited Bath College and it was a pleasure to be able to work so closely with the industry’s national body.

He said: “It was great for the students to meet so many industry experts and very interesting to see how the Institute wants to link education to the future of the industry.

“It’s important to raise the profile of refrigeration in order to attract more young people as the engineers of the future.

“Most people come into refrigeration through working in the building services as they don’t know enough about it when they are at school. They just think of fridges rather than the large-scale industrial side of the job.

“It’s such a specialist subject area, we want to help people, especially school-leavers, understand what the industry is all about.”

Industry representatives were from Space Engineering, Cool Concerns, Air Master UK, Climate Centre, Star Refrigeration, Danfoss, CG Mechanical and Harp International.

For more information about Refrigeration courses at Bath College visit the website at www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Bath College’s Refrigeration students working with the Institute of Refrigeration.


Move over whizz kids, this is the age of the silver surfers!

Pensioners are showing the younger generation that their age isn’t holding them back when it comes to learning about the latest technology.

Men and women – some aged in their 80s – are attending weekly community learning classes to find their way around an iPad.

They are taking a four-week iPad course run by Bath College in conjunction with the Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens’ Association (BEMSCA).

Up to ten pensioners are learning how to shop online, send and receive emails and use Skype to communicate with their relatives all over the world.

Retired hospital worker Zubeda Shah, 77, says she’s now a proud iPad user as the course has taught her how to digitally store her knitting designs.

She said: “I wanted to keep up with the world. I’d seen my children on the internet and I wanted to be on there too.

“You can’t just give up and stop doing things when you are old. I’m not just going to start sitting still, I want to keep learning.

“It’s amazing really how everything is now so much faster… it used to take six weeks for a telegram to get from India to Africa, now communication is done at the touch of a button.

“It’s very different from what I’m used to, but fun.”

Joyce Wellington, 72, who attends the classes with her husband Rudolph, 76, said she had enjoyed moving from a laptop to an iPad as “there’s always something to learn.”

She said: “I can email and Skype, research things online, I’m on Facebook too. Using the iPad is great to keep in touch with my family in the West Indies.

“I am catching up with the young ones and proving to them that age is nothing but a number. Relatives ask me questions about the iPad and don’t expect me to know the answers, but I do.

“Even my great grandson had to admit he was impressed and said ‘well done nanny.’ That was nice; he’s only nine years old but thinks he knows everything.”

Many of the pensioners who attend community learning classes at Fairfield House in Newbridge have progressed from learning how to use a computer, then a laptop and now an iPad. The ‘Getting Started With iPads’ and ‘Moving On With iPads’ courses are both run by tutor David Kingston.

BEMSCA Project Co-ordinator Pauline Swaby-Wallace said she was proud of the pensioners for keeping up with the latest technology and admitted: “They know more than me.”

She said: “Five years ago the word iPad wasn’t even in their vocabulary, now they are using them to keep in touch.

“They’ve replaced writing letters with Skype, and it’s wonderful to see them using the internet as a day-to-day tool.

“We try to address the needs of the community with these courses and you can really see how much these people are enjoying developing their iPad skills.

“Our members are always looking for something new to do, they always want to learn, which is so good for them as they can be lonely and feel isolated.”

Bath College and BEMSCA have worked together for many years offering a wide-range of courses including arts and crafts, flower arranging, mosaic making and sugarcraft.

The College’s Adult Community Learning programme, which is responsive to the community’s needs, also includes courses in food hygiene, money management, and basic skills in English and Maths.

For more information on Adult Community Learning courses run by Bath College, call (01225) 328720 or email courses@bathcollege.ac.uk

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Pictured above: Pensioners learning how to use iPads at the Bath College community learning course at BEMSCA.


Find out about new courses at Peasedown Party in the Park

Bath College will be heading to Peasedown St John’s biggest annual event to help the community find something they’d love to learn.

The College, which has campuses in Bath and Somer Valley, is an official event partner at Peasedown Party in the Park on Saturday, June 13.

Staff will be at the all-day music festival as part of the launch of the new range of Love2learn courses at the Somer Valley Campus in Westfield (formerly Norton Radstock College).

The wide-range of one-day and short courses encourage people of all ages to learn something new. Courses on offer include art, printmaking, dog grooming, creative writing and an introduction to horticulture.

The merger of Bath College and Norton Radstock College opens up many opportunities to people across Bath and North East Somerset, with an even wider range of courses in more subjects.

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “We pride ourselves on being a College at the heart of the community as we are very responsive to the communities we serve.

“Peasedown Party in the Park is a popular summer event known to bring the community together, so it’s the perfect place to launch our Love2learn provision at Somer Valley.

“We have lots of part-time courses starting in September, many of them in the evening and at weekends to fit around people’s busy lifestyles.

“With so much live music and entertainment, Peasedown Party in the Park is a great family day-out for the people of Peasedown and beyond.

“We’re proud to be supporting an event that is getting bigger and better each year and we’re very much looking forward to helping to strengthen the community spirit on the big day. We’ll see you there!”

Peasedown Party in the Park attracts up to 3,000 people and is now in its 7th year.

The village’s festival includes seven and a half hours of live music, including Bath Spa Brass Band, The Rockerteers and ex Bath College music students Too Much Lipstick.

There will also be lots of family attractions, quad bikes, a gladiator joust, food and drinks, stalls and Peasedown’s first Great Village Bake Off with celebrity baker Richard Bertinet, inspired by the BBC’s popular Great British Bake Off.

The festival’s chairman, Nathan Hartley, said: “Every year we have some of the very best organisations sponsoring and supporting our Peasedown festival – and this year is no different.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Bath College, which now runs courses in the Somer Valley as well as the city of bath, is a big part of our 7th festival.

“The festival team is extremely grateful for Matt Atkinson and the rest of the College’s support. I hope this new partnership will last long into the future.”

Everyone is invited to Peasedown Party in the Park on Beacon Field on Saturday, June 13, from 11.30am to 7pm.

For more information on Bath College’s Love2learn courses, call 01225 312191 or visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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The new programme of Bath College's part-time leisure Love2learn courses will be launched at Peasedown Party in the Park on Saturday, June 13.


Health-wise Bath College is commended

Bath College has been officially recognised for its dedication to promoting the health and well-being of students.

The College is celebrating after being awarded the Director of Public Health Award from Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The prestigious award commends the wide-ranging work carried out to instil healthy living among those who attend the College.

The College had to meet rigorous criteria to prove its co-ordinated approach between the Students’ Union, College nurse, the NHS, the council and other health-related stakeholders.

Student Support and Engagement Manager Rob Heyes said the new ‘Healthy FE’ status acknowledges many of the events and activities that the College has staged over the last two years.

He said: “We’re very pleased we’ve been recognised for all our hard work. It’s a great achievement to have engaged so many students in so many health initiatives.

“But we’re not complacent; our health and well-being work is on-going as we continue to set ourselves new targets and work towards new outcomes.

“We are looking to the future and will continue to provide year-round healthy activities at both our City Centre and Somer Valley Campuses. It’s important we carry on informing students how to lead healthier lifestyles.”

The full DPH award is a culmination of the self-reviewed Healthy Certificate and the Healthy Outcomes Certificate which focused on two college-wide case studies.

The College’s innovative smoking prevention campaign encouraged students to question the assumption that most of their peers smoke. The well-publicised campaign smashed its specific targets of reducing the perceptions of smoking by 10 per cent and encouraging 15 students to give up smoking.

Healthy eating was also tackled with more than 33 per cent of students starting to eat breakfast and 25 per cent of students cooking healthy meals for themselves. The outcomes were met by showing students healthy cooking options in lessons and giving out recipe cards.

Other initiatives run by the College include sexual health tutorials, drop-in nurse sessions and a college-wide health survey.

Rob and Vice Principal Quality & Students Judy Lye-Forster were presented with the accolade at the Director of Public Health Awards at Bath’s Hilton Hotel.

Music students from Bath College performed at the celebration event, which was attended by up to 10 other primary and secondary schools from across the region.

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Pictured above: Bath College’s Vice Principal Judy Lye-Forster and Student Support and Engagement Manager Rob Heyes being awarded the Director of Public Health Award from Bath and North East Somerset Council.


Bath College students help to welcome tourists to Spain

A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work in Spain has put Bath College students on the front line of the tourism industry.

The 13 students were selected for an all-expenses-paid six-week internship with some of the biggest travel companies in the heart of Seville.

They are welcoming the city’s hundreds of thousands of visitors in high-profile jobs such as tour operators, walking tour guides, and receptionists at youth hostels.

It is the first time the College has benefitted from the ERASMUS Plus funding for students to work in the Travel & Tourism industry in Spain with flights, accommodation, food and weekly allowances covered.

The 12 Travel and Tourism students and one Business student are staying with host families from April 20 to June 1 as they work a variety of shifts for about 30 hours a week.

Kate Hobbs, Deputy Head of the Travel & Tourism department at Bath College, said: “This is the perfect opportunity to develop the employability of our students and to encourage cultural enrichment.

“They are experiencing what it’s like to work in another country while living within a different culture and using a different language.

“They are all working very hard in customer-facing roles and gaining a broad range of work-ready skills.”

Each of the 2nd year Level 3 students went through a robust process to apply for the internship, including creating a CV, filling in an application form and being put on the spot in an interview.

The students also had to undergo an intensive six-week Spanish language course at Bath College and are continuing to take weekly Spanish lessons with Third Sector International in Seville.

They also have to keep up-to-date with their coursework so that they aren’t behind when they return to College, which includes emailed assignments and Skype tutorials.

Kate added: “I’m so proud of how well they are coping; it’s been a steep learning curve as they’ve completely stepped outside of their comfort zones.

“Some of the cultural differences can be challenging, it’s the first time they’ve been away from home for so long and they can be outside in the heat for long periods.

“But they are working so hard and have been very positive about new and exciting experiences.

“This will look great on their CVs and some of the students are already keen to apply for seasonal jobs overseas.”

The students have named themselves the ‘Seville Squad’ and are sharing their experiences on Twitter and via blogs on Tumblr.

To find out more about Travel and Tourism courses at Bath College visit the website at www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191.

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Pictured above: Bath College’s Travel & Tourism and Business students on their six-week work experience in Seville.


Students gain international outlook with trip to China

Computing students at Bath College have spent three weeks in China developing an international outlook on their chosen career.


The Bsc (Hons) Applied Computing students have been inspired to work overseas after gaining first-hand knowledge of the opportunities available in East Asia.


Seven students spent three weeks in Shanghai, as part of Bath College’s exchange partnership with the Shanghai Technical Institute of Electronics and Information (STIEI).


The College has been sharing good teaching practice with STIEI for about three years but this was the first visit for students.


The Computing students were joined on the China trip by three engineering apprentices from Bath-based company Rotork and the College’s Learning Development Coach Gwyn Chamberlain.


They spent two weeks living in university halls of residence and attending lectures while carrying out a research project into the domestic use of ‘the internet of things.’


This was followed by a week’s work experience in Shanghai’s Rotork office, which included helping with day-to-day jobs in the sales department and IT department.


Student Jodie Collier, 22, said: “I’d never been away for that long before and I was completely out of my comfort zone, so it really increased my confidence.


“If it wasn’t for the College, I would never have had an opportunity like this. I want to work in software development or project management and now I find myself considering further travel.”


Student Chris Mulgrew, 21, said: “The trip taught me how to adapt to a completely different environment. The software was obviously in Chinese and there were huge cultural differences, but whatever happened, you learned to fit in.


“I’m now looking at teaching English or IT abroad. I loved everything about China and it’s made the world feel like a smaller place.”


Student Lewis Hack, 20, added: “This trip is a real CV boost, it will hopefully open up job opportunities for us all.”


The Computing students became close friends with STIEI students and are likely to be remembered for their on-stage rendition of Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ at a karaoke night.


They also got to squeeze in some sightseeing, visiting the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Museum, as well as gardens and Temples.


Jodie said: “It’s a huge and very busy city; it’s completely different out there. There’s always a sea of people around you.


“But everyone is very welcoming, friendly and extremely accommodating. They couldn’t do enough to help us.”


Lewis added: “We were guests in their country and they really looked after us. At times it felt like we were celebrities!”


Bath College’s Higher Education Lecturer John Curry said the experience had helped students prepare for the international workplace.


He said: “The exchange visit has been a great learning experience for the students. They’ve been introduced to one of the places the working world could take them.


“I hope the two institutions can continue to work together and future Computing students can benefit from similar trips.”


Four staff exchanges between Bath College and STIEI have taken place. Staff from STIEI were in Bath for three weeks in the summer last year and Bath College’s Level 3 Business students will visit Shanghai in October this year.


The College also has links with Shanghai SIPO Polytechnic and Shanghai Jiguang Polytechnic College.


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Pictured above: Bath College’s BSc (Hons) Applied Computing students on an exchange trip to Shanghai.


Students find out where their future career could take them

Students have been given an insight into the latest technology developments in the refrigeration industry.

The 15 Refrigeration VRQ2 students from Bath College have enjoyed a site visit to show them how the industry is rapidly changing.

They toured Space Engineering’s plant manufacturing facility in Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, to find out more about refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

It is hoped that the visit will inspire students to take advantage of the highly-skilled opportunities in one of country’s fastest growing industries.

Plant Manufacturing Director Tony Mills explained the production process, talked about innovative designs and answered students’ questions regarding future developments.

The visit also gave students the chance to see the evolution of refrigeration plant technologies and how this is driven by the customer, mainly the big supermarkets.

Students also got to grips with the scale and application of systems used in the industry and the constant strive for a greener economical way of utilising heat energy.

Student Chandler Davison said: “The visit to Space Engineering was enlightening and brought into realisation how fast the industry in which I want to be part of is changing and adapting to new rules and regulations.

“It was great to be shown round the whole factory learning the more advanced ways of refrigerating and cooling products and how using non-harmful gases to the environment is the future.

“The sheer scale of the refrigeration equipment used was great to see and walking around gave us a wider perspective on the jobs available to us in the industry.”

Student Brad Jefferies added: “The visit was very educational and taught me a load of things about both space engineering and refrigeration in general.”

Refrigeration Lecturer Simon Robinson said:  “The students came away very inspired and keen to understand more about complex refrigeration systems in a very specialist area of Building Services Engineering.

“Space Engineering has used Bath College to train their refrigeration apprentices for a long time, and we want to continue to help assist their training needs in the future.”

Space Engineering Services provides refrigeration, mechanical and electrical services to a wide range of UK customers across the retail, public, industrial and commercial sectors.

The company specialises in greener refrigeration systems that operate using the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide.

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Pictured above: Refrigeration students from Bath College touring the facilities at Space Engineering. 


Company donation aids student learning

An overseas company has donated hundreds of pounds worth of equipment to help students gain the practical know-how needed for the world of work.

Refrigeration students at Bath College now have some of the latest controllers at their fingertips, thanks to the generous donation from Eliwell.

The company, which is based in Italy, has donated 20 high-tech refrigeration controllers, which cost about £50 each.

Simon Robinson, Refrigeration Learning Coordinator, presented the Level 2 Refrigeration students with the new controllers and asked them to install them as part of the lesson.

The students have to build a small refrigeration system, incorporating a control panel, and the controllers will make this as realistic as possible for them.

Level 2 Refrigeration student Jacob Cooper, 28, of Bristol said the controllers would really help with the practical side of their learning through electrical installations.

He said: “A controller is a crucial component as it pretty much controls the whole of the refrigeration cycle. It can be set to monitor the temperature to make sure it remains stable.

“These new controllers are a lot easier to use and will be a lot more reliable in giving us exact measurements.

“It’s brilliant to be able to use controllers like this as they are just what is used in the industry. It means we are using the latest technology.”

Simon had emailed the company’s headquarters in Belluno, Italy, to tell them about the practical learning of students.

Business Development Manager Alessandro Padrin said he would be pleased to donate 20 of the latest controller models to the College.

The College plans to continue to work in partnership with Eliwell to help create a realistic learning and training experience for students.

Eliwell has operated for more than 30 years and offers products, control systems and services for refrigeration units, both commercial and industrial, and for air conditioning.

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Pictured above: Refrigeration students put the new controllers to good use.



Students learn from industry leaders

The best way to find out about the vital tools used in the refrigeration industry is to ask the specialists.

That’s why Level 2 and 3 Air-conditioning and Refrigeration students were keen to ask questions when one of the world’s biggest distributors of air-conditioning pumps came to visit.

Mike Davies, account manager at Aspen Pumps, was invited to Bath College as a guest speaker.

His talk and question and answer session not only gave students first-hand knowledge of the industry, but also inspired them on their future career paths.

Students learnt about condensate removal and how pumps are used in different scenarios across the industry in over 100 countries worldwide, from Europe and America to the Middle East and Australasia.

They also found about the latest pump technology, which includes anti vibration and silencing, voltage variations and how pumps can be installed when space is limited.

Simon Robinson, Refrigeration Learning Coordinator, said: “Students at Level 2 and 3 thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed but very interesting talk.

“Mike gave a very enthusiastic and comprehensive talk on the product including definitions, type selection and maintenance.

“This is exceptionally valuable to the up and coming engineers of the future.”

Simon added: “Speaking to the students after gave me a great sense of satisfaction and awareness of the importance of this training day, as questions that can’t always be answered were answered by the specialists.”

Level 2 Refrigeration student Kieran Hall said: “It was really good to be able to install the pumps discussed on the training board and to actually take time to see how they should be installed and how the pumps work.”

Aspen Pumps, which is based in East Sussex, is the worldwide distributor of condensate pumps with 95% of the worldwide market and believe in educating the users of their products to extend quality and innovation.

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Pictured above: Students learn about the vital tools used in the refrigeration industry.


Take a look at Bath College’s new Somer Valley Campus

ind out what the newly merged Bath College can offer you with its increased range of full-time, part-time, university level and professional courses.

The College is opening the doors of its Somer Valley Campus for the first time to show prospective students how they can achieve their goals through study.

All are welcome at the Open Evening at the College on Wells Road, Westfield, on Thursday, May 14th from 5pm to 8pm.

It is the ideal opportunity for people to take a tour around the former Norton Radstock College and to see the fantastic facilities.

Somer Valley staff are committed to preparing students for a growing range of exciting careers in the great outdoors. Courses include Animal Care, Aboriculture, Horticulture, Equine Care and Veterinary Nursing.

The long-term focus for the campus is to meet the demands of the local labour market through vocational training, including manufacturing, engineering and construction.

The Open Evening will feature a range of taster activities and visitors will be able to talk to teachers and careers advisors about learning and progression opportunities.

Current students will also be on hand to answer questions and talk about how the college has helped them.

Principal Matt Atkinson said: “This is our first Open Evening at Somer Valley and we invite everyone to come along.

“We want to show you what Bath College can offer you and where gaining new skills could take you.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the courses we offer and to get a real feel for College life.

“As a College, we remain focused on making students work-ready by providing education and training to meet the needs of the region.”

A bigger and better Bath College was launched last month with the merger of Bath College and Norton Radstock College.

The College now provides vocational and educational training for more than 3,000 full-time students and around 10,000 part-time students across the broadest range of subjects.

Find out more at the Somer Valley Campus Open Evening on Thursday May 14th, from 5pm to 8pm.

Pre-register for the Open Evening online at
www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191 for more information.

Bath College’s City Centre Campus will have its own Open Evening on Thursday June 11th from 4pm to 7pm.

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 Pictured above: Animal Care students currently studying at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus; Katie Hell,18, and Maisie Vanmeir, 18.


Equine students play crucial role in caring for rescued horses

Students are being given first-hand experience of caring for abandoned and neglected horses to help them get ahead in the equestrian industry.

Equine students at Bath College are being given the chance to turn their love of horses into fulfilling careers with weekly on-the-job experience.

The College’s Somer Valley Campus is working in partnership with HorseWorld in Bristol, which is the UK’s leading charity caring for horses, ponies and donkeys.

Students spend at least one day a week helping to rehabilitate the rescued horses. Each animal has an individual programme of rehabilitation, including veterinary care, dentistry, farriery, as well as handling and training to improve their chances of being re-homed.

Equine lecturer Lil Ough said the students played a hands-on role at HorseWorld to make a real difference to horses in need.

She said: “We’re very lucky to have such a close working relationship with HorseWorld as it greatly benefits the students.

“There are hundreds of horses needing rehabilitation which puts students on the front-line in the equine world.

“The work is hard and varied, but students learn to build up relationships with the horses to improve any fitness and behavioural issues.

“It gives students a real feel to what it’s like to work in the industry. Students get to leave College with the practical skills and knowledge to follow a rewarding career in the equine industry.”

Horse Care students at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus study the anatomy and biology of horses, including handling, feeding, health, welfare and grooming.

The Equine Management course covers stable management, coaching skills and the leisure and tourism-related aspects of the equestrian world.

Students progress into employment within the equine industry, including horse breeding on stud farms, grooming, teaching at riding schools, or in one of the many career opportunities available in the horse racing industry.

Aaron Boniface, a Level 2 Equine Studies student, said he looked forward to working with the rescued horses each week.

The 18-year-old from Chew Magna said: “I’m really enjoying everything that I’m learning. The course combines classroom teaching with practical experience at HorseWorld.

“I’m hoping to go into equine dentistry. It would be great if I could get an apprenticeship to continue my on-the-job experience.”

Level 1 Equine Studies student Ella Boyce, 17, of Bristol said: “I’ve always loved horses, so I’m studying what I love.

“Being at HorseWorld is the best part of the course as it’s so hands-on, you learn while out in the field.

“It’s been great being in a working environment and it’s made me realise I’d like to work in grooming.”

Find out more about Bath College’s Equine courses at its Somer Valley Campus Open Evening at South Hill Park, Westfield. Prospective students are invited along on Thursday, May 14 between 5pm and 8pm to talk to staff and students, tour the facilities and find out which course is right for them.

WEB Students at HorseWorld WEB Sam White with horse WEB Somer Valley at HorseWorld

Pictured above: Equine students from Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus with the rescued horses at HorseWorld.


Brave students come face-to-face with dangerous reptiles

Students at Bath College have got up close and personal with some of the world’s most dangerous animals.

Animal Care and Animal Management students at the Somer Valley Campus came face-to-face with an alligator and crocodile as part of their course

Around 40 Level 1-3 students got to meet the reptiles and hold them during a visit by Pete Blake of Reptile Zone in Bristol.

Mr Blake showed students how crocodilia can be cared for and kept in captivity.  He has a Dangerous Wild Animals licence and also keeps 50 venomous snakes from across the world.

Animal Care Coordinator Wayne Clarke said the talk was organised to help educate students about animals they wouldn’t normally come into contact with.

He said: “The students really enjoyed the experience, although there were quite a few scared faces when it came to handling the reptiles.

“It’s not everyday students get so close to some of the world’s most dangerous animals so it was a great opportunity for them.

“The information given to them about how to care for these animals will be useful in their future careers.

“There is a widespread misunderstanding about reptiles. Holding the animals has hopefully reduced their fears and given them a better understanding.”

Even Principal Matt Atkinson tried to put on a brave face as he posed for ‘snaps’ with Ali G the baby alligator.

He said: “Seeing an alligator walking around a classroom like a dog was one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.

“When I was asked if I’d like to hold the baby alligator, I initially said ‘no.’

“But then I changed my mind because I wanted to impress the students!”

Bath College runs a range of Animal Care courses giving students the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in the industry. Courses cover the health, welfare, handling and husbandry of animals.

The Animal Care Centre at the Somer Valley Campus is home to a wide range of rodents, reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish and creepy crawlies.

Call the Student Advice Centre on 01225 312191 for more information if you are interested in Animal Care courses.

WEB Principal Matt Atkinson with alligator WEB Animal Care student with alligator WEB student with croc

 It's a snap! Students and Principal Matt Atkinson put on brave faces as they posed with a baby alligator.


Businesses work together to improve online marketing

Business leaders have come together to share their ideas on how they can reach a wider audience through online marketing.

More than 20 company representatives shared good practice at the latest breakfast business event organised by Bath College.

The networking event saw business leaders from across Bath and North East Somerset learning how to make the most of online marketing.

Engineering, computing, tourism and service industry businesses were represented at the event at Newton Farm Café in Newton St Loe.

Guest speaker Kate Doodson from Cosmic Ethical IT talked about the latest trends, while several businesses shared their own experiences of using websites, social media and videos.

The event was organised as part of a European project called Connect-VET, which aims to develop innovations in the vocational education and training sector.

The on-going project hopes to improve the connections between employers and students during their studies and increase their readiness for entrepreneurship.

Project leader Rosaleen Courtney, who is based at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus, said: “Our guest speaker, Kate Doodson, used everyday language to give practical tips on how to select and apply latest developments.

“By the end of the event, people were buzzing with bright ideas.”

Celia Gay, who runs the Newton Farm shop and café, explained how the business used its website and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for marketing purposes.

Celia said: “We recently produced a video of the farm to show the range of products and facilities we offer as we see video as an increasingly important way to attract customers.”

Mike Owen and Grant McMinn, students at Bath Spa University, also explained how they had helped to develop branding, video and a website for Bath City Community Sports Foundation as part of their course.

Further discussion followed on how the University and Bath College can help local businesses through work placements and apprenticeships.

The importance of superfast broadband and business clusters was also discussed with Chris Head, Director of the West of England Rural Network and local businessman, David Bland providing information on progress in the area.

Bath College, formerly Norton Radstock College, has been working alongside the West of England Rural Network, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Bath Spa University on the Connect-VET project for almost two years.

The group shares good practice with partners across seven different countries, including Finland, Italy, Spain and Estonia.\


Pictured above: Employers from across Bath & North East Somerset shared online marketing opportunities at a Bath College business event at Newton Farm Café. 


Hair & Beauty students impress judges with their creativity

Hair and Beauty students at Bath College have put their creative and practical skills to the test in an industry-standard competition.

The annual challenge at the Somer Valley Campus saw more than 25 Level 2 and 3 students showcasing their talents under timed conditions.

They had to impress a panel of professional judges by demonstrating their ability to work under pressure.

The competition, which counts towards the students’ coursework portfolio, aims to boost their confidence and creativity skills.

Jayne Withers, senior curriculum leader for hair and beauty, said the competition encouraged students to show their talents and inspire others.

She said: “The College’s annual hair and beauty competition is a fantastic showcase for our students to demonstrate the skills they learn at College.

“Working under timed competition conditions, it’s not easy, but the students once again impressed judges with their high standards and creativity.”

Level 3 Make-up Artistry students had to create a character based on the fantasy theme ‘Out of this World’. They used make-up, face and body art to come up with eye-catching designs such as space maids and sea life creatures.

Level 3 Hair students created the ‘total look’ with a colour, cut and finish, while Level 2 Hair students tackled a ‘long hair up’ style that was commercial and fashionable.

Level 2 Beauty students had just 45 minutes to use nail art techniques with an Easter theme.

Gemma Olsen was the winner of the ‘long hair up’ category after she put her 15-year-old daughter Karym’s hair in a French roll in the 60 minute timeframe.

The Level 2 Hair student decided on a career change and returned to College to train as a hairdresser after having four children.

Gemma of Chilcompton said: “It was awesome to hear my name being read out, this was my first big win.

“It’s given me even more motivation to go on to do my Level 3 Hairdressing then work in a salon.

“I’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser since I left school but I’ve been working in childcare as the hours fitted in with my own children.

“But now my children are 15, 12, 7 and 6 and all at school, I’m determined to work hard at College to get my dream job.”

The competition culminated in family and friends being invited to a prize giving ceremony at the Centurion Hotel.

The judges were Scott Green, who owns the ACU Hair Salon in Devizes, James Christopher, who owns JC Hairdressing in Midsomer Norton, Mark Hanock, of Gilmor Hair Supplies, and Mel Broom of The Body Painting Company.

Scott said: “This is the 13th year I’ve been invited to judge this competition and it’s been fantastic every year.

“This year was a very closely contested competition. We have had to make some difficult decisions as the talent has been so high.

“The students put so much hard work into their entries, it’s the pinnacle of their year.”

For more information on Hair and Beauty courses at Bath College, call 01225 312191.
WEB Make up artistry entries

WEB Hair & Beauty comp entries WEB Hair entries

Pictured above: Students at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus with their entries in the annual Hair and Beauty competition.


Bath College is launched

Bath College launches today to mark the start of a new chapter of further education for Bath and North East Somerset.

The new multi-campus college comes into operation today (April 7) to give students more choice, greater opportunities and a wider range of facilities.

The ‘bigger and better’ college has been formed by the merger of Bath College and Norton Radstock College.

Bath College has the City Centre Campus in Avon Street, Bath, and the Somer Valley Campus in South Hill Park, Westfield.

The scale and influence of the new college, as well as its combined expertise, is expected to provide a real stimulus for economic growth.

Its focus will be work-ready skills to ensure students are able to meet the demands of the local labour market.

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said the new college would be taking further education in Bath and North East Somerset from good to excellent.

He said: “This is an exciting time for us all with both students and employers reaping the benefits.

“The new college opens up so many opportunities; we now offer an even wider range of vocational and academic courses, in an even greater range of subjects.

“We are building on the strengths of the two colleges and moving forward to deliver outstanding learning and progression opportunities.”

He added: “As a merged college we will continue to be responsive to the communities we serve.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to make the people of Bath and North East Somerset proud of their new college.”

Bath College provides vocational and educational training for more than 3,000 full-time students and around 10,000 part-time students across the broadest range of subjects.

The merger has been completed in 18 weeks after the Department for Business Innovation and Skills identified it as the best possible option following Norton Radstock College’s inadequate Ofsted inspection.

Matt thanked staff, students, governors and community partners for working hard to keep the merger on schedule, and explained that today was ‘just the beginning.’

He said: “Today is the first day of our new college, a new college which marks the start of bigger and better things.

“Today is the start of a new future.”

For more information on Bath College, visit www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk

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