Displaying 91 to 100 of 249 blog entries
- 13/09/12 - Strode College is Among the Best in the Country for Improving Students' A Level and Vocational Grade
Strode College in Street is one of the very best institutions in the country for improving students' performance in A Levels and vocational qualifications for the second successive year.
Strode is rated in the top five per cent of 1200 state schools and colleges nationally for helping students achieve higher grades than predicted following their GCSE results as measured by the Advanced Level Performance System of ALPS. ALPS are provided with all advanced level exam results by the Department for Education and the system is used by nearly 90% of schools and colleges nationally. ALPS measures the 'added value' provided by schools or colleges, that is the progress that students make at advanced level taking into account their relative performance at GCSE.
ALPS also rates the teaching at Strode as being in the top 5% of all schools and colleges nationally, confirming the judgement in the Ofsted Report of May 2012 that highlighted Strode's outstanding teaching.
James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: "We've had a fantastic year at Strode and we are determined to keep up the momentum. Our students achieved outstanding results in their A Levels and vocational qualifications this summer, we got the highest possible rating from Ofsted when they visited in May, and the government's league tables for advanced level education rated us as the top performing state school or college in Mendip, South Somerset and Sedgemoor and the best college in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.
"The 2012 ALPS reports confirm that our approach to teaching and support is incredibly effective for students who come to us with exceptional GCSE results or minimum entry requirements. 'Value-added' is such an important measure of how we help students maximise their potential. Our top 75 students achieved 100% A*-B grades, but we are equally proud that we gave chances to 33 students that no other school or college in Somerset would have allowed to take A Levels and they achieved 40% A*-B grades with no fails.
"1000 new students joined us in September to study A Levels and vocational qualifications. We will value all of them as individuals and work closely with them to help them reach their full potential. We know that studying at Strode will raise the level of their achievements. It will also increase their future opportunities and improve their chances of going to university or gaining a good job with prospects.
"I would like to encourage year 11 pupils, their parents and carers to visit Strode to find out for themselves why we are such a great option for studying after GCSEs. We have an open evening on Thursday 25 October between 6pm to 8.30pm and another on Thursday 22 November. We also have some 'College Experience Days' for year 11 pupils to try out A Level and vocational subjects before they decide what to do next. These are on Wednesday 28 November and Tuesday 4 December; for more information and to book a place call 01458 844422.
- 13/09/12 - 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 just one and a half days before the project finale - a catwalk show in front of other students and staff.
Some of the students created glamorous costumes such as Rio, Peacock, Bird of Paradise, Angel, Tribal Warrior Bird and Corpse Bride, while others went for a more humorous approach such as Roman Angel, Shakespearian Axeman and Trojan Fish. All of the costumes showed a great deal of thought, imagination and skill.
Duncan Cameron, Strode College's Sculpture Teacher, said: "We always kick of the year with a project to warm up the students' creativity after the summer holidays and to get them working together. They've shown great design and construction skills and created some fantastic costumes using only 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 a 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. Strode also teaches A Level Art and Design and Art and Design Level 2 Diploma. Full details of courses are available in the new Strode College prospectus or on the college website: www.strode-college.ac.uk
- 10/09/12 - Olympic Nail Art
Nail Art has been very popular at the Olympics this summer and Strode College's new Level 2 Beauty Therapy students were quick off the mark last week competing in an Olympic themed Nail Art competition.
Beauty Course Manager Marcie Mickleburgh said: "We organised the competition during the first week at College so that students could have some fun and show us what they can do. It was interesting to see the standard of work at such an early stage and the students were very enthusiastic and competitive. Hannock Chaddock from Sherbourne showed some exceptional skills to win the competition."
Strode's Level 2 Beauty Therapy students study a range of beauty treatments during their one year course. They can then seek employment in the beauty industry or study a higher Level 3 beauty course at Strode. Strode also offers a range of part-time nail art courses for adults. For more information visit: www.strode-college.co.uk or call 01458 844400.
Photo: The winning Olympic nails by new student Hannah Chaddock.
- 06/09/12 - 1000 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 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 and new friendships in the air as the students looked around the 40 stands displayed by College clubs and services, outside agencies offering information and advice, and interest groups wanting 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. We have more A Level students than all the school sixth forms put together in Mendip and East Somerset and many more studying vocational courses. Strode is going from strength to strength and we know we can have a really positive impact on the lives of these young people. 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 20 different sports activities, choir and music groups, cooking, creative writing, theatre groups, languages, debating, photography, film club, Bridge club 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, YMCA, Mind, Chlamydia Screening Service, NHS Stop Smoking Service, Somerset Road Safety, Somerset Rural Youth Project and the National Blood and Transplant Service.
- 23/08/12 - Strode College Helps Young People Tackle Community Project
A group of young people from the National Citizenship Service (NCS) programme at Strode College have been developing a garden in South Horrington for local charity Heads Up.
The NCS programme, run by Strode College in partnership with Petroc, is a four-week programme for young people from all backgrounds. It is designed to equip them with new skills, encourage them to take on new challenges and to make a difference through volunteering in local communities.
Twenty four 15-17 year olds from the Somerset area, including many local Mendip schools and colleges, heard a speaker from the Heads Up charity during the second week of the NCS programme. As a result two of the three teams working with Strode College pledged to help Heads Up by redeveloping the garden for the use of the clients, and also to raising money and awareness for the charity.
Rosie, aged 17, said: "We felt it was important to help a local charity which lacked the funding of larger organisations. From our project we now know how important it is for people suffering with mental health problems to have the support provided by organisations such as Heads Up."
In the garden the teams have created a large herb garden, a decorative flowerbed and raised beds, and they have also tackled the more inaccessible areas of the site.
The team members, who previously didn't know each other, enjoyed a week's residential in Minehead, undertaking outdoor activities; a further week based at Bridgwater College's Cannington Centre learning about communities and new skills; followed by a week planning a social action project which gave them the skills and confidence they needed to make their final week's project a success.
Heads Up works with people across Somerset to support those with mental illness, physical disabilities and learning difficulties. Their aim is to help their clients pick up skills they would not otherwise be able to acquire, improving motivation and a sense of positive well-being in a friendly and comfortable environment. They offer opportunities to take part in a varied programme of workshops and activities such as; pottery, woodwork, IT skills and horticulture.
The charity works with a lot of volunteers and benefits greatly from the support of local businesses. The young people's garden project has been supported with donations from Timber Snows & CRS, Compost from Viridor, and bark and gravel from Rainbow Eco Products.
Bridget Harvey, Manger of Heads Up, said: "Before this week the garden was just abandoned, left for many years to overgrow. I jumped at the opportunity when I heard from Strode College about their NCS programme. I could see this would give our garden a big step forward, not having the man power or time to do this ourselves."
For more information about the National Citizen Service young people being delivered by Strode College contact Shonagh Butler 01458 844543 or go to http://www.strode-college.ac.uk/myncs
- 20/08/12 - Law Student Wins Sponsorship - Guaranteed Employment and University Degree
April Tassell from Yeovil, who formerly attended Preston School, has had a successful year. She got great A Level grades in August 2012: Law A, Physics A and Maths B, and she started work as a legal assistant with the Bristol law firm who will be sponsoring her through university.
While studying at Strode she was told about the sponsorship opportunity and supported through the application process. Following two interviews she won a sponsorship package which guarantees employment and pays her university fees. She will be working and studying alternate years until her law degree is completed.
April said: "I was genuinely amazed to get this position and sponsorship as there were so many applicants. I feel so relieved to have the certainty of employment and a degree over the next six years, particularly because of the current job market."
Philippa Piper, Assistant Principal and Head of A Levels at Strode, said: "It is gratifying to know that our students can succeed in such a competitive process, particularly when, in spite of her outstanding talent, April had considered a university education potentially unaffordable."
- 20/08/12 - A College Course Could Make all the Difference
GCSE results are announced today and Somerset's top performing college, Strode College in Street, is calling young people to get in touch and find out how studying A levels or a vocational course at Strode could make a real difference to their future success.
James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: "Some young people may be undecided about what to do next, particularly those who did not get the GCSEs they were hoping for, those who have just left school or who haven't really enjoyed their education so far, and those who are worried about money. It can be a confusing time but we know we can make a positive difference.
"This summer Ofsted awarded Strode the highest possible rating and highlighted our outstanding teaching, the excellent progress students make with us after their GCSEs, our high pass rates and the proportion of high grades we achieve. They also noted that we provide excellent individual support for our students which we know helps them achieve success. We have just announced our best ever A Level and vocational results, which are significantly above the national average, confirming Ofsted's judgement and demonstrating that our approach to learning and support really does work. Also, our wide range of social, sports and enrichment activities add to the vibrant atmosphere around college which our students enjoy so much.
"With 41 A levels, 30 vocational courses and 18 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 you have achieved ten GCSEs at grade A* or you haven't got any GCSEs, we will have the right course for you and we will help you achieve your potential.
"If you're unsure about what to do next, if you would like some help and advice or want to come to Strode, call us on 01458 844400 or look at our website: www.strode-college.ac.uk. "
- 16/08/12 - Strode Results Confirm Ofsted Judgement
Strode College is celebrating outstanding A Level and vocational results just three months after receiving the highest possible ratings from Ofsted. The May 2012 inspection praised the outstanding teaching, excellent progress of students, the high pass rates and the proportion of students achieving the top grades. This judgement has been further validated today with the college achieving the best A Level and vocational results in the college's history for the second consecutive year.
This year the A Level pass rate was 99.3% with 56% of student entries achieving a high grade of A*, A or B, and 81% graded C or higher. All these results are significantly above the national averages. 36 out of the 40 A level subjects achieved a 100% pass rate.
Outstanding individual performances were led by Rosie Billenness of Somerton and Luke Godfrey of Frome, both of whom achieved four A* grades. Rosie is taking a gap year before going to university to study veterinary science whilst Luke will be studying engineering at the University of Cambridge. Amy Livingstone of Baltonsborough and James Paterson of Catcott gained three A* grades and a grade A. Amy is working at engineering firm Knorr-Bremse in Wiltshire in their innovations department as part of a gap year before taking up her place to study engineering at the University of Cambridge. James is also studying engineering at Southampton. Laura Bentley of Castle Cary gained three A* grades and will read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and Lily Parkinson of Street gained three A* grades and will read Law at Exeter.
Rosie Billenness, who is from Somerton and previously attended Huish Episcopi School, achieved four A* grades in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Geography. She said: "I feel brilliant. I've had such a good experience at Strode College, it really has been the best educational experience of my whole life by far. I loved the teaching and the freedom I was given which motivated me to have such strong will power to learn. The support I got was brilliant. I'm taking a gap year before going to university to study veterinary science. I will be working with lots of animals and getting lots of experience and then next Spring I'm going to South Africa before starting university."
Amy Livingstone, who is from Baltonsborough and previously studied at Farleigh College, achieved three A* grades in Physics, Maths and Electronics and grade A in Computing. She said: "I'm very pleased with my results and looking forward to studying Engineering at Cambridge after my year working in the industry. I checked the website at 6.30am this morning. My mum started crying when I told her, but I was too busy grinning to cry." Amy's mum said: "I am so thrilled. Strode has been brilliant for Amy. It provided her with all the knowledge, skills and support she needed; we couldn't have asked for more."
Lily Parkinson, who previously attended Millfield School, achieved three A* grades in Law, Psychology and Art History. She said: "I woke up every hour through the night but waited until 7am to check my results online. I ran into my mum and we both cried. I've enjoyed being at Strode and I think their approach to learning helped me a lot. I was encouraged to be more independent and this helped me learn well. After school I realised I had to knuckle down and do my best, whatever that would be, because I didn't want to finish college knowing that I could have done better. I really liked Exeter University and I'm really excited about going there to study Law."
A further nineteen students gained 3 or more grade A or A* at A Level
Alexandra Bearman of Compton Dundon, Hoi Ching Woo of Street, Charles Dunlop of Street, Jade Evans of Ashcott, Julia Fletcher of Street, Louise Gurowich of Shepton Mallet, Tommy Lewis of Milborne Port, Henry Sawdon-Smith of Street, Charlotte Wiltshire of Baltonsborough, Kathryn Ball of Glastonbury, George Bright of Castle Cary, Lilian Chapman of Baltonsborough, Archie Churchill-Moss of Butleigh, Craig Davidson of Glastonbury, Emma Deacon of Street, Sophia Dearborn-Bloom of Glastonbury, George Field of West Lydford, Andrew Stuart of Shepton Mallet and Abbey Thomas of Baltonsborough.
Tommy Lewis, who is from Milborne Port and previously attended King Arthur's School, gained an A* in ICT and two A grades in Computing and Film Studies. He said: "I'm really pleased and a bit surprised about the A* in ICT. Only a few people get A* in this subject each year, so I knew it would be hard to achieve. My teacher and I had talked about it and we decided to go for it and try to get the A* but I wasn't sure I'd done it. Strode has been brilliant and one of the main reasons I got such good results. I'm really excited about studying Computer Science at Kings College in London."
In the AS examinations, thirteen students achieved 4 Grade As
David Bevan of Croscombe, Christy Lance of Westbury, Carole Chippett of Baltonsbrough, Charlotte Cooper of Yeovil, Torin Dickinson of Glastonbury, Jacob Green of Wookey, Megan Hart of Street, Kate Holmes of Limington, John O'Rourke of Bruton, Thomas Perry of Queen Camel, Laura Quinlan of Kingsdon, Joseph Saffer of Castle Cary, and Oliver Williams of Shapwick.
A further fifteen students achieved 3 or more Grade A passes:
Megan Angell of Castle Cary, Katherine Brown of Yeovil, Esther Clarke of Wells, Madeleine Cobbin of Evercreech, Lucy Corfield of Butleigh, Sorcha Floyd of Othery, Daniel Green of Yeovil, Poppy Haddigan of Yeovil, Joshua Holmes of Castle Cary, Lucy Maitland-Cullen of Street, Alice Murray of Catcott, Elizabeth Randall of Somerton, Skye Redman of Pedwell, Catherine Vickers of Moorlynch and Ashley Whiskerd of Street.
Philippa Piper, Head of A Level Studies said: "Whether we are celebrating the success of Team GB or these excellent AS and A Level results gained by Strode students I think it's a privilege to have such talented and hardworking young people in our country. We are very fortunate".
Advanced Vocational Courses
Record results were also achieved in vocational courses with 36 students achieving the new highest grade of triple distinction*, the equivalent of three A* grades at A Level. 94 students or 50% achieved triple distinctions or better (the equivalent of 3 grade As at A level or better) and 152 or 81% achieved high grades, results way in excess of the national averages of 34% and 68%.
Triple * Distinction (D*D*D*) students are listed by course below.
Art and Design
Kimberley Robinson of Wells
Charlie Hagley of Yeovil, Sophie James of Norton-Sub-Hamdon, Jed Martin of London, Alex Newton of Martock and Peggy Spackman of Wells.
Daisy Appleton of Baltonsborough, Nicole Bundy of Wincanton, Amy Green of Evercreech, Christina Wall of Coxley and Jodie White of Shepton Mallet.
Will Willcox of Street.
Hannah Chick of Glastonbury.
Jo Alexander of Stoke St Michael, Adam Earney of Shepton Mallet, Tom Hampson of Glastonbury, Chris Kightley of Wincanton, Dan Lawford of Shepton Mallet, Adam Lumber of Shepton Mallet and James Ollier of Coxley.
Joel Nichols of Yeovil.
David McSparron of Martock and Martin Sheills of Glastonbury.
Thomas Cory of Wells.
Ellen George of Coleford and Joseph Sawdon-Smith of Street.
Cindy Gaillard of Wookey, Megan Johnston of Street, Adam Riley of Taunton, Faye Graham of Shepton Mallet, Ben Pugsley of Wincanton, Luke Redman of Wedmore and George Stuckey of Somerton.
Jamie McCabe of Shepton Mallet, Charlotte Smith of Marston Magna and William West of Shepton Mallet.
CACHE Childcare & Education course
2 students achieved an A grade diploma, Charlotte Moreton of Evercreech and Charlotte Partridge of Merriott.
Art Foundation Diploma
8 students achieved an overall distinction. Alana Bullock of Axbridge, Oliver Dickson of Pilton, Lucy Fleming of Keinton Mandeville, Thomas Haddon of Fivehead, Rebecca Holmes of Shepton Mallett, William Lyall of Yeovil, Olivia Orr of Frome, Jean Stevens of Keinton Mandeville.
Nicole Bundy, who is from Wincanton and previously attended King Arthur's school, gained a triple star distinction for her Level 3 National Diploma in Health and Social Care. She said: "I'm very pleased with my results and very happy. I knew that I'd done well because we were advised of our grade in the summer, but I got my unconditional offer today from Bournemouth University where I'm going to study midwifery. I'm a bit nervous about going to university but also looking forward to it and I've already met some of the people who will be starting at the same time as me. The teachers at Strode have been really supportive and always made time for us when we needed their help."
Level 2 vocational courses
First Diploma students also excelled with another set of results that were the best ever. 31 students achieved an overall distinction or distinction* in their First Diploma courses, the equivalent to 4 As or 4 A*s at GCSE and in total 66 students achieved a high grade, which at 86% was 30% above the national average.
Art and Design First Diploma
Samuel Loader (D*) of Glastonbury and Isobel Low (D*) of Wells.
Business and IT Practitioners
Business Certificate - Ashley Champion-Smith (D) of Stoke St Michael.
IT Certificate - Matt Brailey (D) of Street, Ashley Champion Smith (D*) of Stoke St Michael, Callum Coombes (D*) of Upper Coxley, Laura Sulley (D*) of Glastonbury and Gavin Wright (D*) of Bruton.
Jack Arnold (D*) of Bruton, Jonathan Gudge (D*) of Bruton, Daniel Heyward (D*) of Ivybridge in Devon, Justin Martin (D*) of Bruton, Denzel Mvenge (D*) of Yeovil and Jordan Smith (D*) of Somerton.
Health and Social Care
Georgina Chapman (D*) of Glastonbury, Joanna Collins (D*) of Bridgwater, Samantha Cox (D) of Shepton Mallet, Stacey Harmon (D*) of Glastonbury, Tiffany Hawkins (D) of Street, Amanda Pattinson (D) of Wells, Toni Paull (D) of Somerton, Jade Targett (D) of Wells.
Zen Quinn (D*) of Shepton Mallet.
Archie Kingsley (D*) of Sherborne.
Scott Godley (D) of Street, Natasha Green (D*) of Street, Reece Lynham (D*) of Street, Levi Miller (D*) of Street, Jess Moreton (D*) of Evercreech, Shani Need (D*) of Brean, Jodie Taylor (D*) of Radstock.
Charlotte Davis (D*) of Bruton, Joe Morgan (D*) of Chewton Mendip and Jordan Scriven (D) of Glastonbury.
CACHE Level 2 Diploma
Two students achieved an A grade diploma. Lisa-Marie Petty of Wells and Shona Weeks of Shepton Mallet.
Jill Deakin, Assistant Principal, Vocational Studies Team said: "It's fantastic to see students taking vocational qualifications performing at the very highest level and receiving grades on a par with the best A levels. These students have worked hard to achieve skills and qualifications in subject areas that will prepare them not only for university and higher education, but for the world of work as well".
James Staniforth, Principal said: "This is an outstanding set of results which are testimony to the hard work of the students and their teachers. This group of students was set the challenge of exceeding the achievements of their predecessors and they have risen to the challenge and produced an outstanding set of results. I am delighted that regardless of whether a student studies an A level programme or a vocational course they are able to achieve fantastic results. These results also confirm Strode College's status as one of the leading colleges in the country."
- 26/07/12 - Strode Summer School a Great Success
Strode College welcomed almost 400 people to its Summer School this July for an extremely productive and enjoyable couple of weeks.
Following the success of Strode's first Summer School last year, the College extended the range of courses on offer this year, with more than 50 workshops available.
The courses, which were taught by talented local teachers and practitioners, included cake decorating, song writing and production, jazz, Wordpress web design, digital photography, sculpture, willow craft, felt scarf making, yoga, bridge and genealogy.
Lynda Rose, Deputy Principal of Strode College said: "We've had some great feedback about our Summer School, including many requests for more of the same and some excellent comments about our teachers and facilities. Our Summer School and part-time courses are a great way for local people to try something new, or develop an interest, in a friendly and supportive group. They are also a great way for us to share our excellent facilities and expert teachers with the local community. Last year over 3000 adults took part-time courses at Strode, showing how important adult learning is for many people in our community. Our Summer School has allowed us to offer even more courses for adult learners."
The two day sculpture workshop was taught by Duncan Cameron, who teaches at Strode and works as a professional sculptor and illustrator. One student said: "Many thanks for a wonderful course taught by a fantastic teacher in a lovely atmosphere. I really enjoyed it; wonderful fun."
Another student, who learned how to create an online website and blog under the guidance of Strode's A Level Media teacher Kevin Cook, commented: "Quite exciting! It's certainly set me on course and opened up a myriad of possibilities."
The two day jazz workshop was taught by Adrian Smith, who teaches Music and Music Technology at Strode and runs the College jazz group. He also plays double bass in a number of jazz groups. One of his students said: "The workshop met and exceeded my expectations and it was brilliantly taught. It was a lovely atmosphere in which to learn and play. When is the next one?!"
Another student who created a willow craft dragonfly under the guidance of horticulturalist and garden designer Angela Morley said: "An excellent workshop - friendly, enjoyable, great morning. I look forward to booking again next year."
From September Strode College will be running its new programme of daytime and evening courses for adults, so anyone who missed out on the Summer School has another chance to book onto a course. And, those who enjoyed a summer course at Strode can return to develop their interest further or maybe to try something new. For more information, visit www.strode-college.ac.uk or call 01458 844400.
Photo: Strode Summer School students proudly wearing the soft and luxurious felt cobweb scarves they made using the finest merino wool.
- 25/07/12 - Strode College Personal Trainers put School Children Through their Paces
Newly qualified Personal Trainers from Strode College put their skills to good use recently when they put a group of children from St Dunstan's school in Glastonbury through their paces.
Twenty four enthusiastic year tens visited Strode Sports Hall for the fitness session which included a variety of unusual exercises including tractor tyre flipping, tug of war, box jumps and Turkish get ups.
The session, which introduced the school pupils to some fun and effective new exercises, also gave Strode's new Personal Trainers the chance to develop and hone their newly acquired expertise.
Julian Grundy, Course Manager for the part-time CYQ Level 3 Personal Training course at Strode, said: "Everyone who took part in the event thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This was valuable practice for our students as it got them working with real people which helps build the confidence they need to instruct. The St Dunstan's pupils were great; they really embraced the prospect of some hard exercise!"
Strode College currently runs two part-time programmes leading to qualifications in the Fitness Industry - CYQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor and CYQ Level 3 Personal Trainer. Anyone who has a passion for health, fitness and exercise and is interested in a career in this area should call Strode on 01458 844436.
Photo: Pupils from St Dunstans School with some of Strode's newly qualified Personal Trainers who put them through their paces.
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