Displaying 1 to 10 of 159 blog entries
- 19/09/14 - Strode College Leads Teaching of Chinese in Somerset
Students from across the county are being given a unique opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese. This exciting initiative, which will see the language made available in state education across Mendip and South Somerset, is being led by Strode College with the support of the Confucius Institute based at the University of Southampton.
Students at Strode College now have the option to learn this important world language as a free enrichment activity and, at the same time, pupils in seven different secondary schools and five local primaries are also beginning courses in Mandarin, culminating in a range of qualifications including GCSE.
Lessons will be led by two well-qualified and experienced Chinese teachers, who have been specially selected to come to the UK to deliver this programme. As well as receiving language tuition from these enthusiastic native speakers, students will also consider modern-day life in this globally significant society and gain a deeper understanding of China’s rich heritage through a range of cultural activities.
This major development takes place within the context of the extensive link between Somerset and the southern Chinese city of Yueyang (Hunan), which now involves over 40 educational establishments in addition to engaging actively with the wider community in both areas.
This exciting venture saw a group of students from Strode College and local schools travel to China this summer. Further reciprocal visits involving Head Teachers and other staff will be taking place in October 2014, against a broad agenda for future joint activity in schools, colleges and the business sector.
Adrian Ash, Higher Education and International Manager at Strode College, said: “At a time when Chinese influence is growing in our region through investments at Hinkley Point C and the diverse employment prospects this is set to offer, the chance for local students to get to know the country and obtain some proficiency in its language is of utmost value to our young people. This ambitious project is not, however, limited to those in full-time education, as Strode College
will also be providing evening classes in Mandarin Chinese through its adult education programme to ensure that everyone in Somerset can benefit from this fascinating linguistic and cultural experience. “
If you would like more information about this project or to find out about Mandarin evening classes at Strode College, call 01458 844400 or view our Mandarin classes on the Strode Website.
Photo: Central South Technical College, Yueyang, China, welcomes students and staff from its UK partner Strode College, as well as those from Crispin School and Ansford Academy during a fully-funded two-week visit to China in July.
- 12/09/14 - Cardboard Couture comes to College Catwalk
Art and Design students at Strode College showed impressive skill and creativity in their first week at college, making cardboard couture costumes for the college catwalk.
Students worked together in small groups to create sturdy but stylish cardboard costumes in less than two days before the project finale which was a catwalk show in front of other students and staff.
Students created costumes such as King of the Sea, The Steam Queens, Dragon Hearts, The Mad Hattress, Circolion and Equinox. All of the costumes showed a great deal of thought, imagination and skill, with some groups using further props to support their creation such as bubbles and ‘smoke’ - which was made from a combination of talcum powder and glitter.
Duncan Cameron, Strode College’s Foundation Art and Design course manager, said: “We always kick off the year with a project to warm up the students’ creativity after the summer holidays and to get them working together in small groups – we want them to hit the ground running with this fun induction! They’ve shown great design and construction skills and created some fantastic costumes in only 48 hours, using recycled cardboard, brown tape, paper and string. We’ve had a great time working with them - watching their ideas develop and their confidence grow. I think we’re in for another great year of art and design at Strode.”
Students who worked on the cardboard costumes are studying Art and Design Level 3 Extended Diploma and Art and Design Foundation pre-degree Diploma.
Sam Copsey is from Langport and was previously a student at Huish Episcopi Academy. He is currently studying Art and Design L3 Extended Diploma and worked with the team that created ‘Circolion’. He also modelled the cardboard creation for the catwalk. Sam said: “The idea was that the lion had escaped from the circus and was now exacting his revenge on his captors.” Circolion wears a tailcoat, a bowtie and clown shoes, carries a lion tamer’s whip and has a broken chain around his wrist. “It took about two and half days in total to make this outfit,” said Sam, “I took some of it home and worked on it there.
“I really enjoyed working on this project - everyone is so friendly at here at Strode. It was really good fun – it’s a brilliant art department.” Sam plans to go on to Falmouth University when he finishes his studies at Strode.
Clara Mumford-Turner lives in Wookey Hole and was home educated. She is currently studying the Art and Design Foundation pre-degree diploma. She was on the team that created ‘Chinese Dragonballs’. “We wanted to create something that was large and impressive – something ambitious. The head alone took two days to make.
“Strode is such a friendly college. I love the independence you get here as a student. The teachers treat us like adults and are always on hand to help. I would say it’s the best Art Foundation course in the area.” Clara plans to go on to study at either Falmouth or Edinburgh University.
Other exciting outfits included Gift Horse, The Mice, The Little Mermaid, Snakey, Chinese Fireballs, Dave the Dinosaur, Wings, Jackel 5, and Dragon.
Strode also teaches A Level Art and Design and Art and Design Level 2 Diploma. For full details of courses available and for more photos of the cardboard creations visit the college website: www.strode-college.ac.uk
- 10/09/14 - Business Skills Funding Gives Boost to Local Economy
Strode College has grants and bursaries available for local businesses that want to up-skill and reskill their workforce, linked to a range of forward-thinking finance initiatives, including the Hinkley C Development.
These grants are available through the college’s Business Development Team, which provides a variety of business-focussed training to regional and national companies.
Graeme Tucker, Head of the Strode College’s Business Development Team said: “I’m delighted that we have been given the opportunity through the European Social Fund (ESF) to support businesses in the region to get ready to be part of the Hinkley C Development. The ESF supports Member States’ employment and skills policies. We have access to funding right now which means we can offer grants right now to local businesses who want to upskill or reskill their workforce in readiness to become part of the Hinkley supply chain”.
Local eligible businesses can also benefit from other targeted training funds held by Strode College - typically small to medium sized companies employing up to 250 people.
Graeme Tucker said: “Companies employing fewer than 250 people are in the majority in the South West. In an increasingly competitive environment operational considerations tend to take priority and it can difficult to find the funds to support employee training, including those who want to develop higher level skills. However, developing a strong and talented workforce will ultimately help a business grow and we have some targeted funding available to support local businesses to do this.”
Strode’s Business Development team also offer a range of scheduled business-focussed training courses at the college and more flexible training such as leadership and management development that can be delivered outside of college.
Whatever sector of industry you operate in - food manufacturing, retail, care, advanced engineering, hospitality - whether you are an employer or an employee, the Strode College Business Development team will help you find a solution to your companies’ training needs and advise you on what funding is available.
For further information about exciting funding opportunities for businesses and Strode College’s other services for business, contact the Strode College Business Development team on: 01458 844457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 04/09/14 - A Thousand New Students Welcomed to Vibrant Strode College
A thousand new students began studying A Levels and vocational courses at Strode College this week, but before they got down to some hard work they had fun at the College Fresher’s Fair finding out about the many clubs, activities and interests they can enjoy while at Strode.
There was a buzz of excitement in the air as the students looked around the 39 stands displayed by College clubs and services, outside agencies offering information and advice, and interest groups inviting students to get involved.
James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: “This is an exciting time for our new students and we want them to get the most out of their time with us. With 800 A Level students we have more A Levels students than all the school sixth forms in Mendip and East Somerset put together, as well as 700 studying our vocational courses. Strode is going from strength to strength with year on year exceptional value-added performance and we know that we have a really positive impact on the lives of young people; students who should get As and A* do so, but students who should get Bs get As, and students who should get Cs get Bs. We encourage our students to work hard and to become independent and motivated learners, and we also encourage them to take part in other activities and to develop other interests. We provide a vibrant and varied mix of activities at Strode and our Fresher’s Fair is a great way to show our new students what’s out there for them.”
Strode students can choose from over 30 different sports activities, as well as choir, music, dance and theatre groups, cooking, creative writing, languages, debating, photography, employability skills and charity fundraising, including the College Gambia Project.
College staff were on hand at the Fresher’s Fair to talk about the services available to students such as academic and personal support, transport, housing, finances, careers, higher education and counselling. A wide range of outside agencies also attended including the Samaritans, RAISE (Racial Awareness, Inclusion, Support & Education), Mind, Chlamydia Screening Service, Somerset Road Safety, Somerset Rural Youth Project, Terrace Higgins Trust, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the National Blood Service.
Tessa Munt was also on hand to answer any of the students’ questions regarding voting: “Strode’s Fresher’s Fair is a brilliant place to come and speak with young people. I talk to the students about their options when it comes to voting for the first time. I’m here to give information and to help with any queries such as how to register and where to go.”
Andrew Wilson, Health Promotion Manager (Sexual Health) at Somerset County Council said: “Strode’s Fresher’s Fair is one of the best in the county, in our opinion. It’s really interactive and the students are always happy to engage.”
Oliver Godwin lives in Mark and previously attended Kings of Wessex Academy. He is studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music.
I came to Strode because of the facilities it offers - the music department is just amazing and the Sports Hall is very impressive too. My dreams for the future are here at the Fresher’s Fair – the navy or the police – it’s been really interesting speaking to them today. I plan to join up with the basketball team and the Gambia Project for my Enrichment activities.
Emily Davis lives in Bruton and was formerly a pupil at Sexey’s School. She is studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts:
Strode was the right choice for me as it offered more options. There’s so much enthusiasm here and lots of information. I didn’t realise how much choice there was for Enrichment activities – I’m going to join the choir and dancing groups, as they tie in nicely with my studies.
Bill Brandt lives in Hambridge and previously attended Huish Episcopi Academy. He has come to Strode to study A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry:
I decided to come to Strode because it has the best reputation and was the best choice for me. I’m really impressed by the Enrichment opportunities too, especially the range of sports available – I’m planning to sign up for badminton and hockey.
Kathryn Jones is from Evercreech and previously attended Whitstone Academy. She is studying A levels in Psychology, Law, Archaeology and Sociology:
I chose Strode because it’s a really good college and it has the most options; I also really enjoyed the College Experience Day. The staff are friendly and there is a lot of information, help and support here. I’m planning on signing up for Cooking on a Budget for my Enrichment activity.
- 20/08/14 - Hairdressing Apprenticeships Available now in Salons across Somerset
Strode College is looking for school leavers to sign up for hairdressing apprenticeships at top salons in Somerset, starting this September.
If you fancy yourself as a budding Vidal Sassoon and are keen to get hands-on experience in the field, while earning a wage, then an apprenticeship in a high quality salon might be for you. Entry requirements include commitment, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.
Current vacancies include Sense in Coxley, Karen Christensen in Wells and Tranquillity in Street, with opportunities also available in other salons in the area including Street, Wells, Castle Cary and South Petherton.
Hairdressing apprentices can expect to spend one day a week at college and then four or five days in the salon, with the average apprenticeship lasting around eighteen months.
Angie Cinicola, Head of Hair and Beauty at Strode College said: ‘If you are interested in a career in hairdressing, but may not want to study full time, then one of our apprenticeships could be the route for you. As an apprentice you will learn on the job, acquiring hands-on work experience and a nationally recognised qualification. You will be doing a real job and being paid a wage while you are training.’
For more on hairdressing apprenticeship opportunities available at Strode College call: 01458 844405.
- 19/08/14 - Donít Panic if GCSE Results arenít as Good as you Hoped
You can Achieve Much More than you Might Expect at Strode College
GCSE results are announced this week (Thursday 21 August) and Strode College in Street is advising young people not to panic if they don’t get the results they want or if they are undecided about what to do next.
There are still plenty of great opportunities available at Strode, whether it’s A levels, vocational courses or Apprenticeships, and the college has a fantastic track record for helping young people to achieve more than they might expect following their GCSE results.
James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said:
“Some young people may be undecided about what to do next, particularly those who do not get the GCSEs they are hoping for. There will be others who may be unsure about continuing in education, as they may not have enjoyed their education so far. A fresh start at college or an apprenticeship could be the answer.
“We have an outstanding track record for helping young people to progress after their GCSEs and for helping them to reach their full potential. The 2014 league tables show that our students progress more than those at other schools or colleges in Somerset; they achieve significantly higher grades than expected based on their GCSE results. And, in 2012, Ofsted judged that our outstanding teaching, support and guidance helps students to achieve their full potential and excellent results.
“With the widest choice of A levels alongside our excellent vocational courses and apprenticeships, we can help young people find the right course or mix of subjects to help them win places at university or get great jobs when they leave us. So, whether students have achieved ten GCSEs at grade A* or haven’t got any GCSEs, we will have the right course and we will help them to succeed.”
Declan Bell-Evans, from Glastonbury and formerly at St Dunstan’s School
Declan gained three A Levels last week (14 August): Archaeology B, Biology B and Psychology B. He is about to start a gap year in Australia before studying Archaeology and Anthropology at Bristol University (a Russell Group university). Declan said:
“When I joined Strode College I was predicted D and E grades for my A Levels based on my GCSE results. I ended up with three grade Bs at A Level and a place at a Russell Group university, so I’m really happy. Strode really encouraged me to develop a good work ethic. From the start the teachers were aware of how I was doing and they motivated me to do well. I also thoroughly enjoyed the sports opportunities at Strode – I played hockey, rugby and football.”
Ben Buckley, from Glastonbury and formerly home tutored
Ben came to Strode without the necessary qualifications to study a level 3 vocational course or A Levels, so instead he studied Level 2 IT Diploma over one year. He gained a Distinction Star (equivalent to four grade A* at GCSE) as well as GCSE Maths grade A and English Language grade C, which meant he could progress to the Level 3 IT Diploma. Once again, Ben achieved the top mark of Triple Distinction Star (equivalent to three grade A* at A Level) and he has just finished his first year at Kings College University, London (a Russell Group university), where he is studying Computer Science. Ben was Strode’s IT student of the year in 2014.
If you’re unsure about what to do next, if you would like some help and advice or want to visit Strode, call 01458 844400 or visit our School Leavers section.
- 14/08/14 - Strode Students Celebrate Excellent Results
Strode College in Street is celebrating another set of excellent results for A Levels and advanced level vocational qualifications across the breadth of subjects taught at the college. This follows on from the college’s outstanding performance in the 2014 League Tables, where Strode was ranked as the best performing school or college in Somerset for student progress and the ninth best college nationally.
Nationally the overall pass rate for A Levels has fallen for the first time in 30 years, but Strode’s A Level pass rate has improved slightly to 99.5%. Students achieved excellent results in core A Levels such as Maths, the sciences, English, humanities and Modern Languages; in the many creative and performing arts subjects taught at the college; and in the college’s more specialist subjects such as History of Art and Design and Technology. Twenty-one students gained three grade As or better, with Ellie Gore being the highest achieving student, gaining three A*s and a grade A.
Strode’s advanced level vocational results show a similarly positive picture with a 99% pass rate; 61 students have achieved a Triple *Distinction result, the equivalent of 3 A* at A Level.
The AS results were also outstanding. Thirty-six students gained three or more A grades, with an astonishing four former Crispin School students sharing the mantle of best AS performance gaining five A grades at AS: Edward Beaty of Walton, Andrew Bryer and Harry Dunlop of Street, and William Orchard of Glastonbury. All four students are studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and Chemistry; three are also taking Biology while Edward is also studying History.
James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, is delighted by the results and by the positive impact they will have on the students' future plans and ambitions. He said:
“Great results ensure that our students can take up their places at university and progress into careers with great prospects. We have more than 120 students with Russell Group university offers this year, a new college record, including students from a range of A Levels and vocational courses like Art, Engineering and Health and Social Care. Many more will progress to other excellent universities and specialist colleges across the country.”
“Our excellent results in core A Level subjects such as maths and sciences mean that our students will go on to university to study subjects such as Medicine, Dentistry, Genetics, Natural Sciences, Physics, Computing, Maths and Engineering. Our students have also achieved strong results in other facilitating A Level subjects including English, History, Languages and Geography; in specialist arts and design subjects; and in social science subjects Psychology, Law, Sociology and Business. I am also pleased that our performing arts courses like Dance and Drama are now performing at the same high level as our creative arts subjects.
“Strode offers the widest choice of A Levels in Somerset alongside vocational courses and this breadth allows students to specialise and develop skills and knowledge which enable them to achieve at the very highest level.
“One of the most satisfying parts of my job is knowing that we have helped our students to achieve their potential and that we have equipped them with the qualifications, skills and attributes they will need in their lives after college. I am proud of their achievements and wish them every success in the future.”
View the Strode College Roll of Honour 2014.
The best performing student was scientist Ellie Gore of Babcary and a former pupil of Ansford Academy. Ellie achieved three A*s and a grade A and is taking a gap year before studying Medicine at university. Ellie achieved an A* in Archaeology, a subject she studied because she enjoyed the different intellectual challenge, but one which also enabled her to demonstrate the breadth and communication skills required for Medicine.
Ellie Gore, from Babcary near Somerton, formerly at Ansford Academy
Where next? Gap year working and travelling before studying Medicine at university.
A Level results: Biology A*, Maths A*, Archaeology A* and Chemistry A.
“I’m chuffed; over the moon; I didn’t think I would do this well. Strode is a great place to learn; there’s so much support, the atmosphere is friendly and there are so many great people here. I am taking a gap year before going to university to study Medicine. I will be working as a care assistant in a dementia home for a few months before volunteering overseas, firstly working with elephants in Sri Lanka and then in India with children who have learning disabilities.”
Although the number of students studying languages nationally has fallen and many schools and colleges have cut one or more A Level languages from their curriculum, students are able to study three languages at Strode. Grace Bentham of Stathe near Bridgwater and a former pupil of Huish Academy, gained grade A in German, French and Spanish, which she started from scratch at Strode. She will be studying French, German and Spanish at Durham University
Grace Bentham, from Bridgwater, formerly at Huish Episcopi School
A Level results: French A, German A and Spanish A
Where next? Durham University to study French, German and Spanish
“I am elated! I was awake at 4am and checked my results as soon as I could at 6am. My parents are relieved and really proud. I would not have been able to study all three language A Levels anywhere else and I was able to study Spanish from scratch at Strode. My teachers have been wonderful and I’m really grateful for the extra support they gave me and for the extra opportunities I have had to help me learn more.”
Josh Teasdale, of Frome and a former pupil of Whitstone School, gained A*s in History and History of Art and an A in English Literature. Josh will be studying History at Worcester College, Oxford, but despite being an outstanding historian, Josh felt that the interviewing tutors were particularly interested in the insight into history he had gained from studying History of Art at Strode.
Josh Teasdale, from Frome, formerly at Whitstone School
Where next? Oxford University to study History
A Level results: History A*, History of Art A* and English Literature A
“I’m really pleased with my results – they are an unexpected surprise. What did it for me was the teaching and the amount of one-to-one time I was given academically and the emotional support I received too. The teachers are the unsung heroes; they do so much behind the scenes to help. Looking back I know that the extra support I received helped me to do so well in the exams. Also, the one-to-one tutorials with the Principal James Staniforth, who studied History at Cambridge University, really helped to prepare me for the Oxford University interviews and for the challenging learning environment of a top university. “
This year Strode’s largest ever number of English A Level students achieved the college’s best ever grades in English Literature. Louella Berryman, from Stoke Sub-Hambdon and a former pupil of Stanchester Academy, was one of the students who achieved an A* in English Literature, comfortably meeting her offer of AAA to study English at Kings College London.
Louella Berryman, from Stoke Sub-Hambdon, formerly at pupil of Stanchester Academy
Where next: Kings College University, London to study English
A Level results: English Literature A*, Psychology A and History A
“I’m really pleased and quite surprised. I slept quite badly last night and got up early, but it was worth it because it was such good news. I think the regular one-to-one tutorials with teachers at Strode helped me stay on track to achieve these results.”
Hannah Gane, from Street, formerly at St Dunstan’s Academy
Where next? Bristol University to study Law, with a bursary and mentoring support from CMS Cameron McKenna, Europe’s largest law firm.
A Level results: Law A, Maths A and Business Studies B.
“I am thrilled with my results, over the moon! Strode has been brilliant and my Law teacher Liz Skinner is the best teacher I have ever had. The support she gave me was amazing. She also put me forward for the law bursary with Cameron McKenna and helped me prepare for the application process. I’m one of only four students to get the bursary in the UK – while at university I’ll get £2,500 a year, mentoring support from a professional solicitor and work experience. I hope to become a trainee lawyer with the firm when I finish my degree.”
Art and Design
Bethany Sugg, from Keinton Mandeville, formerly at Ansford Academy
What next? Manchester University to study Fashion Marketing
A Level results: Art and Design Textiles A*, Psychology A* and Biology A
“I’m really happy. I didn’t think I would do this well! I couldn’t have asked for more supportive teachers – they really want you to progress. Strode suits my style of learning – the people are really friendly, the atmosphere is so supportive and you are encouraged to work hard but in your own way. The art facilities at Strode are great ”
Scott Mullins, from Street, formerly at Crispin Academy
Where next? Cardiff Metropolitan University to study for a degree in PE and Sport
Vocational results: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, Triple Distinction*
“I really enjoyed my course and am proud of my results. The quality of the teaching and facilities at Strode definitely contributed to my results today; the teachers at Strode are really supportive. “
Childcare and Education
Ellice Greenhill, from Kingweston near Somerton, formerly at Millfiled
Where next? Working in Jabberwocky Nursery in Street and plans to go on to Bath Spa University study Early Years Teaching in Primary Education.
Vocational results: Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education, grade A
“I’m really happy – this is just what I wanted. My teachers at Strode really encouraged me to aim higher; they’ve really helped me get the grades that I wanted.”
Megan Ward, from Shepton Mallet, formerly at Whitstone Academy
Where next? Nottingham Trent University to study Youth Justice and planning to become a Youth Offending Officer.
Vocational results: Public Services (Uniformed) Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction*
“I am so happy with my results today- they are better than I expected, so I’m really chuffed. I really loved it at Strode College. The teachers really know what they’re doing and everyone is really easy to get on with.”
- 11/08/14 - Hairdressing Students' Level 2 and Level 3 End of Year Showcases
Strode’s Level 2 and Level 3 VRQ Diploma in Womens Hairdressing students once again showed off their creative talents at their latest end of year showcases. The Level 3 theme was a Black and White Ball with an avant-garde bent, and both full and part-time students were tasked with creating an entire look. The event, which took place in Strode Theatre’s foyer, saw models take to the floor to parade the flamboyant creations. The Level 2 students completed a total look in an era of their choice, ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s. The full-time and part-time students created a ‘mood book’ which comprised findings from research into their chosen period in time, including hair styles, make-up, fashion and politics. The catwalk show, which took place in the college salon, was enjoyed by an audience made up of friends, family and members of staff.
- 09/07/14 - Apprentice Chef Fundraising for St Margaret's Hospice
February might seem a long way off for most of us, but it's very much at the forefront of Apprentice Chef Megan O'Callaghan's mind – she will be setting sail across the Atlantic Ocean on 28 February to raise funds for St Margaret's Hospice.
Megan who lives in Wincanton, works as an Apprentice Chef at the Montague Inn (Wincanton) and trains at Strode College (Intermediate Apprenticeship Professional Cookery). Her 21 day voyage will cover 2140 nautical miles across the Atlantic before coming to an end in the Azores.
Megan is a great supporter of St Margaret's Hopsice. She said: "My auntie works at St Margaret's Hospice and I think it's a nice place where people can die in peace. I watched my grandma deteriorate and die within three days of being rushed into hospital and I really wish that she could have had a choice to die in a more peaceful place. I feel very strongly about St Margaret's Hospice and think they are important for Somerset."
For more details about 'Challenge of a Lifetime' follow the link: www.challengeofalifetime.org.uk
If you would like to sponsor Megan's voyage to raise funds for St Margarets Hospice visit: virginmoneygiving.com/MeganOCallaghan
- 04/07/14 - Children from Chernobyl enjoy visit to Strode
A group of children from Chernobyl visited Strode College this week during their trip to Somerset which has been organised by the Wells based charity Children of Chernobyl Fund.
The boys enjoyed a range of sports with Strode Sports coaches, including football and badminton, while the girls got their hair and nails done in the college beauty salon and tried out some hair styling techniques on each other under the guidance of Strode’s hair tutors.
John Price from the charity said: “Thanks so much for organising activities for the children - they had a great time. Three cheers to Strode College.”
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