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27/05/16 - Questions for MP from Government & Politics students
Questions for MP from Government & Politics students

James Heappey, MP for Wells, recently visited Strode College for a seminar with twenty of our AS Level Government & Politics students.

The students enjoyed his presentation about life as a MP both in Parliament and in the constituency and then enjoyed asking a range of interesting on a variety of topics including political ideology, the refugee crisis, the 2016 EU referendum and the likely next Conservative Party leader.

Government and Politics students have enjoyed some lively political discussion and debate recently, with this latest session following closely from the recent EU debate in Strode Theatre, where they were able to hear Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg argue the case for leaving the EU and former Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt put the case for remaining.  These debates prove why studying Government and Politics is such an interesting, stimulating and important subject. 

26/05/16 - Students Enjoy Lively Debate on EU Referendum
Students Enjoy Lively Debate on EU Referendum

Students and staff at Strode College enjoyed a lively and interesting debate on the EU Referendum last week, organised by student Patrick Olliffe, who is acting President of the Strode College Students Association and a Student Governor.

The debate was held in Strode Theatre in front of a full audience who were keen to hear the different sides of the argument about whether to stay in Europe or to leave.

It was not surprising that the debate was enjoyable as well as informative, as it featured prominent Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg who is known for his debating prowess in the House of Commons. Mr Rees-Mogg was joined by former Strode student Altair Brandon-Salmon to put the case for leaving the EU. Altair is now studying at Oxford University where he sits on the committee of the student’s Conservative Party. 

EU Debate 2016Putting forward the case for staying in the EU was Tessa Munt, former MP for Wells and Private Secretary to Vince Cable when he was Secretary of State for Business; and Anthony Smallwood a former European and British diplomat who lives in Somerset.

Questions from the students were put to the speakers by Patrick Oliffe who chaired the debate. A wide range of issues were discussed including trade, workers’ rights, terrorism, sovereignty, the difference between the EU and being European, and whether Boris Johnson would be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Patrick said: “When I was elected to be Strode College Student Governor, one of my main aims was to find ways to engage students in politics by making it more relevant to young people. I think it’s brilliant that we have engaged so many students in the biggest constitutional question of our time. Also, I had fun organising and chairing the debate.“ 

23/05/16 - Students to Perform Live Music to Film at Red Brick Building
Students to Perform Live Music to Film at Red Brick Building

A group of students, staff, musicians and producers from Strode College are performing a live soundtrack to a silent film at the Red Brick Building on Thursday, 26th May at 8pm.

Decasia is an artful collage of pre-1950 footage, shot on a cellulose-nitrate base and most of it in advanced stages of decay. The footage is slowed down to allow a greater appreciation of the effect and character of the visual damage to the original films, which include newsreel footage; wildlife documentaries; fragments of silent melodramas; ethnographic studies; and travelogues. Music Technology students from Strode College will accompany this hypnotic film with their own live soundtrack, combining electronics, MIDI controllers, computer software and live instruments to create a compelling audio-visual experience.

Strode College teacher Adrian Smith said: “This is an exciting and challenging project and the students have come up with some great music.”

Decasia premiered as a live event in 2001, and has enjoyed numerous high profile performances globally over the past 15 years, collaborating with some of the world's top conductors and orchestras. The film’s the film’s score, by composer Michael Gordon, is integral to the film, and producer Bill Morrison has given special permission to the students to use a new live soundtrack.

Tickets are priced at £3 and will be available on the door. 

13/05/16 - Alternative bus arrangements for students who normally use Webber Bus
Alternative bus arrangements for students who normally use Webber Bus

We have been informed by Somerset County Council that WebberBus ceased to operate on Thursday 12 May.

While this does affect some of the bus services used by our students, Somerset County Council have reassured us that alternative arrangements are in place, all of which will accept the County Ticket.

Please go to somersetnewsroom.com for details of alternative services.

12/05/16 - Famous Bassist Visits Music Students to Talk Music Careers
Famous Bassist Visits Music Students to Talk Music Careers

Paul Gray, former bassist with the band `The Damned`, joined Strode College music students recently, to share his knowledge of the music industry to help them with their course and their future careers..

Paul Gray has made his living as a musician for most of his life, having played bass guitar for a number of high profile rock and punk bands, most notably 'The Damned', 'Eddie and the Hotrods' and ‘UFO’.  He is also regional officer for the Musicians Union in Wales and the South West. 

The students gained valuable information and advice for their coursework and for their own development as music producers, musicians and song writers. They discussed issues such as copyright, music contracts, licensing and selling music, instrument insurance and public liability cover.  They also asked Paul Gray questions relating to their own music production projects, events and performances.

Adrian Smith, course manager for Strode’s BTEC Music Technology courses, said: 'Paul Gray's visit has given our students an important insight into the many pitfalls in the industry and how important it is to get the right advice and guidance early on. Our music industry continues to thrive and to attract many young people who want to combine their love of music with a career.  We want our music students to develop a good understanding of the industry alongside their creative skills and talent, because we know it will help them achieve their ambitions and succeed in the future.”

Strode College offers A Levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas in both Music and Music Technology.  Previous music students have gone on to study a range of subjects at university including Creative Music Technology and Commercial Music at Bath Spa University, Audio and Music Technology and Marketing at the University of West of England, and Creative Events Management at University College Falmouth.

12/05/16 - History Students Discover Somerset Link with the Colosseum!
History Students Discover Somerset Link with the Colosseum!

During a recent visit to the most iconic of all Roman buildings - the incredible Colosseum amphitheatre in Rome - students studying for a degree in History, Heritage and Archaeology at Strode College in Street were surprised to learn that its builder had a significant Somerset connection.

The Colosseum was constructed between AD 72 and AD 80 under the command of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. Many years before he became emperor in AD 69, Vespasian was the most celebrated general during the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43. The greatest resistance was met in the tribal territories of the Durotriges whose lands covered the whole of Dorset and much of Somerset, stretching north as far as Glastonbury.

Here Vespasian besieged a number of the great Durotrigan hillforts including Hod Hill on Cranborne Chase and Maiden Castle near Dorchester. No doubt some of those he captured were sent back to Rome to be displayed in Emperor Claudius’ victory parades. The most impressive of the Durotrigan hillforts in Somerset is at South Cadbury - quite as magnificent in its own way as, and three times larger than, the Colosseum. It is most famous for being, reputedly, the site of the legendary Camelot - the court of King Arthur.

Strode College runs two degree programmes in History, Heritage and Archaeology - a Foundation Degree and a BA (Honours) Degree, both of which are awarded by Plymouth University. The Romans and King Arthur are among the many topics studied.

There are places still available on these courses starting this September. They require college based study either two days a week full-time or one day a week part-time and costs are significantly lower than most universities. Find out more about our History, Heritage and Archaeology Foundation Degree and Degree or contact the Course Manager Andrew Pickering: 01458 844400.

Photo: Strode College Degree students discover a Somerset link with the Coloseum in Rome. (Left to right: Cameron Fewell (from Street), Evie Francis (from Bristol), Dave East (from Glastonbury), Keri Vigars (from Glastonbury), and Matt Timmins (from Bridgwater).

11/05/16 - Public Services Mosque Visit
Public Services Mosque Visit

Students who are in the first year of our Extended Diploma Public Services  course enjoyed an interesting visit to a Bristol Mosque recently to help them with their course unit on `citizenship, diversity and the public services`. This study topic requires students to explore diversity in Britain and how this effects the public services in the UK, so the visit was a great way enhance their classroom learning. 

04/05/16 - Creative Berlin Inspires Budding Artists
Creative Berlin Inspires Budding Artists

Twenty-five Strode College Art and Design students visited Berlin recently to seek inspiration for their work from the vibrancy and creativity of the city.

Foundation course manager and trip leader Duncan Cameron explained: “The educational visits we offer to students make a clear and positive impact on their work, in terms of vision and ambition. Following these exciting trips, the quality of work generated by students shows that they’ve become receptive to new imagery and concepts. I’m sure we’ll see Berlin references in the students’ work in the End of Year show, which opens 13th – 22nd June.”

The students enjoyed a full and varied itinerary and highlights for the students included the Story of Berlin museum, The Medical History Museum and the Berlin Wall, all providing a social historical perspective on Berlin and the development of the city.

Other visits included a trip to The Holocaust memorial at the Brandenburg Gate, contemporary art galleries and museums, including a fantastic collection of classical artefacts from Ancient Greece and Rome in the Altes Museum and the Pergamon.

Jamie Rochford, from Bruton and studying Foundation Art & Design said: “This was a really great trip. Berlin offered a wealth of material, from classical collections through to modern art. I found the visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp both fascinating and thought provoking. The Natural History Museum was a particularly enjoyable venue because of the breadth of the collection. It gave me many opportunities to draw and gather material for my art work.”

Isadora Carter, from Wells and studying Level 3 Art & Design, said: “The Berlin trip gave us days packed with exciting venues. I found the contemporary art at Museum Hamburger Bahnhof and the many galleries at Museum Island particularly enjoyable and it gave me a chance to draw from the exhibits.”

Previous Art and Design trips have included visits to Florence, Barcelona, New York and Washington, Paris and Prague and next year’s trip is already in the planning stages. Duncan added: “We are currently considering New York as our destination for 2017.”

03/05/16 - World Book Night
World Book Night

On 22 April, Strode College Learning Centre staff shared their love of reading and joined over 8000 volunteers around the country handing out books in celebration of World Book Night. The event is sponsored by the charity, The Reading Agency , and since World Book Night began in 2011 over 2.25 million books have been handed out to inspire people to become confident and enthusiastic readers.

Learning Centre staff were delighted to be chosen to give away books, staff said it was a “real feel good event” and the students quickly snapped up the books. The college gave away two popular fiction titles, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne and the non-fiction book Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, a memoire about coping with depression and coming out the other side which has received rave reviews from the likes of Stephen Fry, Jo Brand and Joanna Lumley.

In addition to just handing out the books, the Strode College Learning Centre is running a competition for those students who collected a book and will award an Amazon voucher to the student whose book has been read the most and another for the book that travels the furthest by 1 June 2016. All the books have been logged on the website www.bookcrossing.com and Learning Centre staff will track their progress as they travel around Somerset (and the world!)

Every book has a unique number, if you are given one to read, find one lying on a park bench or in a coffee shop – it has been left especially for you to find. All you need to do is logon to bookcrossing.com, enter the unique Book Crossing ID number, make a quick journal entry, read it and release it back out into the community. Help our students books travel far and wide, get reading and get sharing. Let’s see how far they can go!

http://www.bookcrossing.com/press

29/04/16 - Strode College Summer Workshops for Adults 11-22 July
Strode College Summer Workshops for Adults 11-22 July

If you have some free time between Monday 11 July and Friday 22 July and would like to spend time doing something interesting, fun, creative or relaxing, then have a look at Strode College’s Summer Workshop courses for adults. The specially created programme of short courses includes many activities not normally available at the college, taught by talented local teachers and practitioners. 

There are over 60 different courses on offer over the two weeks - and places are selling fast. Workshops include: acrylic etching, bread-making, creative writing, jewellery-making, quilting, social media, Thai cookery and many more.

To find out more or to book a place via the Strode Theatre website, visit: www.strodetheatre.org.uk or call 01458 844448.

This is the sixth year that Strode College has run its Summer Workshops, which were introduced to extend the number and range of courses offered to adult learners and are taught in Strode’s modern specialist classrooms and studios, and they are a great way for the college to share its excellent facilities and teachers with the local community.

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