Strode News

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07/03/14 - National Radio Programme Recorded at Strode College
National Radio Programme Recorded at Strode College

The founders of local audio production company Audio Factory returned to their former college recently to make a programme for BBC radio with the help of Strode College music and media teachers.

The children’s programme, one in a series called Poppy’s Play Dates, was aired on CBeebies Radio in February and it is available on the BBC website until 5 April.

In the series, Poppy, played by local school girl Ruby, is joined by other children and their families for play date activities, including a musical play date recorded in the Strode College music studios.

With the help of Dan Shaw, one of Strode’s music teachers, Poppy and her friends learn about different musical instruments and work together to make the sounds of a space rocket taking off. Strode’s Broadcast Media teacher Mell Turford was also on hand to assist with recording.

The series was created for the BBC by Arran Dutton of Glastonbury, who also co-wrote and produced the series with Dave Perry and Stuart Packer of Street. Arran and Dave chose to record the programme at Strode because they were inspired by their teachers to pursue media careers and they knew they would get great support at the college.

Arran said: "Strode’s Film Studies teacher Ben Boydell ignited my interest in a media career and Dave studied Music Technology at Strode which included audio production. We approached Dan Shaw to help with the programme because we admire his musical and teaching talents, his passion for encouraging young musicians and his work in the community. Mell Turford’s input in the voiceover sessions was invaluable.

"This has been an exciting project for Audio Factory and we were delighted to be able to produce a programme for the BBC right on our doorstep - there’s wonderful talent in our area and the enthusiasm shown by the local community during production was overwhelming."

To listen to the music episode of Poppy’s Play Dates visit the BBC website.

Photo: Strode College teachers Dan Shaw (Music) and Mell Turford (Broadcast Media) in the Strode College recording studios where they helped produce the CBeebies radio programme.

07/03/14 - Courses and careers in Music Technology 12 March 2014
Courses and careers in Music Technology 12 March 2014

Come and find out about courses and careers in Music Technology

Open Evening – Wednesday 12 March 2014  

Venue: Music Technology Suite (Room C2)

Session Times: 5.30pm - 6.50pm and 7.00pm - 8.20pm

We are holding an information and practical skills evening for secondary school pupils who are interested in studying A Level or BTEC Music Technology when they leave school.  There will be a short presentation followed by a practical 'hands on' session to give pupils a real taste of what they will do on each course and find out whether they have the necessary skills to do well in this field.  

Parents can find out more about the subject, the course options and future opportunities for employment and further study.

The first session will start at 5.30pm and it will be repeated at 7.00pm.

For more information and to book a place, contact:
Adrian Smith, Music Technology Course Manager:
Phone: 01458 844400

04/03/14 - Beauty on the Box
Beauty on the Box

Strode College Level 2 Beauty students learnt a lot when Lisa Want, a professional make-up artist who has worked for the BBC, films and adverts, visited college recently.

Lisa showed the students some advanced make-up techniques which greatly extended their skills and they were extremely motivated by her experience and careers advice.

Marcie Mickleburgh, Manager for Strode's Level 2 Beauty Therapy course said: "This was a great opportunity for the students to gain first hand advice and guidance on how to achieve wonderful career goals. The students enjoyed watching the demonstrations and practicing the new techniques with Lisa’s help."

27/02/14 - Performing Arts Students cast 'Godspell' over Strode Theatre
Performing Arts Students cast 'Godspell' over Strode Theatre

Our Performing Arts students will be presenting the rock opera 'Godspell' at Strode Theatre on Tuesday 4 to Friday 7 March, 7.30pm. 

This immensely successful rock opera was first produced on Broadway in 1971, breaking new ground in its staging of the Gospel According to St Matthew. Covering the last days of Jesus’ life, it includes dramatised versions of several well-known parables. And yet it is something more - a religious experience, a demonstration of joy, and a celebration of the family of man. The cast improvise scenery and costumes, and use many theatrical devices including pantomime, vaudeville and varied musical styles to interpret one of humanity's greatest events.

Tickets which cost £10, £8 full concessions and £6 for students and staff, can be booked via Strode Theatre Box Office.

21/02/14 - Judo Gold Medal for Strode Student
Judo Gold Medal for Strode Student

Seventeen year old Corrine Foot, who studies A Levels at Strode College, recently won the gold medal in the British Schools Judo Qualifier competition in London, securing her place in the finals which take place in Sheffield on 8 March.

Students from schools and colleges across the UK competed in the qualifier competition with Corrine facing five other competitors in her age group. 

Corrine, who lives in Castle Cary and previously attended King Arthur’s School, is a member of the Shepton Mallet Judo Club where she has trained since she was aged five. She was delighted with her win: “I am thrilled to have won the gold medal. I have been competing for five years and due to the experience I have gained, I found this competition a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’m now looking forward to the finals in Sheffield and I am in training for the Dutch Cup in Amsterdam.”

Photo: Strode student Corrine Foot, is thrilled with her gold medal and she is hoping to repeat her success at the British Schools Judo Finals in March.

21/02/14 - Bringing Learning to Life in Berlin
Bringing Learning to Life in Berlin

Strode College A Level Music and German students enjoyed an outstanding educational visit to Berlin in February, designed by their teachers to complement and enhance their studies.

The Music students were enthralled and inspired by four world-class professional concerts. A flute recital given by Jelka Weber showcased some exciting early 20th century repertoire by Lili Boulanger, while a contemporary jazz quintet played some dynamic new material by Swiss lead-tenor sax player Tobias Meinhart. The students also enjoyed a night at the opera to see a deeply emotive performance of 'Salome' by Richard Strauss and the week was brought to a stirring climax with a performance of two symphonies (Hindemith and Berlioz) by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Strode's A Level German students used their time to discover the history and culture of the fascinating city Berlin. A visit to the Stasi Museum opened their eyes to life behind the Berlin Wall and they visited the Olympic Stadium, scene not just of the 1936 Olympics, but also of some of Hitler’s major pre-war rallies. A stroll along the East Side Gallery allowed the students to see some of the remaining parts of the wall, now covered in artworks by artists from all over the world.

The wonderful music combined with visits to the historic sights of the city made for a memorable visit which, in the words of student Jerome Moore, was "simply amazing".

Photo: Strode’s A Level Music and German students at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, just one of the sights and experiences that made the visit so 'amazing'.

07/02/14 - The Power of Pampering at Strode Hair and Beauty Salon
The Power of Pampering at Strode Hair and Beauty Salon

Returning to everyday life after mental illness is a difficult challenge that requires a great deal of support and encouragement. Mental health problems can make everyday experiences, such as getting a hair cut or going out in public, hugely stressful. 

As part of its work within the local community and also the first ever 'Time to Talk Day' (Thursday 6 February) Strode College Hair and Beauty Salon held a pamper day for 15 women who are recovering from mental illness. 

The event was organised in partnership with 'Heads Up', a mental health day centre in South Horrington, Wells, which helps people recover their lives after mental illness. The group enjoyed a range of treatments including aromatherapy massage, facials, manicures and pedicures. 

Laura Griffiths, Strode Hair and Beauty Salon Receptionist said: “The pamper day was a great way for the college to support the wider community. It was also a great opportunity for our students to gain experience of working in a professional salon, developing their confidence and social skills. Our salon is always open to the public, but for this event it was particularly important for students to understand and be sensitive to the client’s needs. They will be assessed on their work for the event. We ran a similar pamper day last year and I’m delighted that a number of clients in the past have enjoyed the experience so much that they now return for regular treatments.“ 

Bridget Harvey, Manager of Heads Up, near Wells, was delighted with the event. She said: “These women got so much out of the pamper day. I am sure it will help build their confidence and self-esteem, which will in turn help them on the road to recovery. The students and staff at Strode were fantastic. They were aware of our clients’ treatment requirements and, more importantly, they were aware of their emotional needs too. We

found the students to be professional, sensitive and caring and they took great effort to put everyone at ease. What was potentially a stressful experience was turned into a relaxing, enjoyable and positive one.”

Strode College, in conjunction with Heads Up, will be organising a similar pamper event for men later in the year. A pamper day is also planned for carers.

Strode’s Hair and Beauty Salon offers discounted haircuts and beauty treatments to the public during term times. For details and prices call 01458 844420 or visit the Hair and Beauty Salon webpage.

31/01/14 - Strode Students Jazz it Up
Strode Students Jazz it Up

The Strode College student jazz group enjoyed a fantastic night out in Bristol this week when they went to a gig by the James Gardiner-Bateman Quintet and were treated to a surprise guest appearance from the acclaimed pianist Jason Rebello.

The Jazz Group, one of many enrichment activities offered at Strode College, gives students the chance to play, listen to and appreciate a wide range of jazz music. Six students went along to the gig with Strode College's Music Teacher Adrian Smith.

The James Gardiner-Bateman Quintet is made up of some of the UK’s leading jazz musicians. James Gardiner Bateman is an alto sax player who in recent times has found himself on some very big stages, playing horn for the likes of Beverley Knight and Mica Paris. He has established himself at a very young age as one of Bristol’s very finest jazz musicians. Playing with him at the gig was Josh Arcoleo on tenor sax, Matt Robinson on piano, Chris Hyson on bass and Ed Richardson on drums.

The night was made even more exciting when they announced that Jason Rebello would be performing. He is a well-known and highly respected pianist in his own right as well as playing and touring with Sting, Jeff Beck, Chaka Khan, Mica Paris, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel.

Strode's Music Teacher Adrian Smith said: “The gig was amazing. We got there early so managed to get front row seats; the students were sitting just a few feet away from the band. We all came away buzzing from the experience. Jazz doesn’t get much better than this. Seeing music performed live to such a high standard has definitely been an enriching experience for our students.”

24/01/14 - New Mindfulness Course Starts February
New Mindfulness Course Starts February

Start dates: 5 Feb or 23 April (eight evening 2.5 hour sessions and a one all-day Saturday session)

"Mindfulness is about learning to pay attention to the present moment, in a particular way, without judgement" Jon Kabat-Zinn

Often we live our lives on automatic pilot, preoccupied with the future or the past, frequently 'swept away' by the current of thoughts and feelings, pressures and worries that have nothing to do with the present; wanting things to be different from how they are right now. This can be exhausting and draining.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) offers a way to reduce stress anxiety and depression leading to increased well-being, creativity and resilience. Mindfulness can lead us to choose a more useful way of responding to difficulties, rather than going round in circles in the same old way, we can learn to be present with these experiences in a conscious and compassionate way.

Mindfulness is not just a quick fix, but participants report significant changes in how they experience themselves and the world; the benefits can be felt immediately and can be real and lasting. Evidence based research shows MBSR to be effective in helping in a range of mental and physical illnesses.

During the course you will be guided through mindfulness practices and there will also be group discussion and reflection. Participants are encouraged to practice daily the mindfulness skills taught on the course in order to establish the foundations for a daily practice. A course work book and CDs are provided to help with this.

Course dates

Spring 2014, Wednesdays 6.30 pm to 9 pm (plus one Saturday)
5/2/14, 12/2/14, 26/2/14, 5/3/14, 12/3/14, 19/3/14, 26/3/14, 2/4/14, plus all day Saturday 15/3/14. Cost: £180.00

Summer 2014, Wednesdays 6.30 pm to 9 pm (plus one Saturday)
23/4/14, 30/4/14, 7/5/14, 14/5/14, 21/5/14, 4/6/14, 11/6/13, 18/6/13, plus all day Saturday 24/5/14. Cost: £180.00

Please contact Strode College on 01458 844468 to arrange a telephone interview before enrolling.

23/01/14 - Students Make Most Progress at Strode
Students Make Most Progress at Strode

The Government’s advanced level league tables, announced yesterday, show that A Level students progress more at Strode College than at any other school or college in Somerset. 

Strode is also ranked as the best performing college in Somerset for A Levels and the fourth best performing school or college in Somerset, using the measure for average points scored per A Level entry.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, is delighted that this year’s league tables show how well students perform and progress at the college. He said: "Our students consistently gain outstanding results and high grades; these new league tables reflect this excellent performance and the positive impact of our teaching and support on these results.

"This is the first year that the league tables have published 'added value' information alongside the raw data for average points scored per exam entry. Value-added scores are really important because they tell people about the quality of teaching at a school or college, rather than whether a school or college simply recruits students who have performed well at GCSE. Value-added scores reflect the difference between what a student should have achieved based on their GCSEs and what they did achieve.

"We are by far the best school or college in Somerset for adding value to advanced level students, adding twice as much value as the next best institution in the county. And, although we teach many outstanding academic students, we do not rely on those good students to get good results. We rely on excellent teaching, support and guidance; it’s fantastic that the league tables now make it easier for people to see the positive difference we make as well as the great results our students achieve.

Strode is also the the best performing college in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, North Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and BANES, for both A Level achievement per student entry and for adding value. Nationally, Strode has the eleventh best A Level results in terms of achievement per entry, moving up the to ninth best when looking at adding value.

Strode students also gained excellent results for advanced level vocational qualifications in 2013 and the league tables show a similarly positive picture. Strode is the best college in Somerset for improving performance on vocational courses and the second best performing college in the South West, based on both average points per exam entry and value-added performance.

Examples of students who joined Strode College after their GCSEs and achieved higher A Level grades than anticipated based on their GCSE results.

Jessie from Glastonbury
A Level grades achieved: A*, A* and A
Predicted grades after GCSEs: C, C, and C
Where now? Exeter University studying Applied Psychology

Tom from Queen Camel
A Level grades achieved: A*, A* and A
Predicted grades after GCSEs: B, B and C
Where now? Oxford University studying Maths

Amy from Wells
A Level grades achieved: A, A and B
Predicted grades after GCSEs: B,B and B
Where now? Loughborough University studying Sports and Exercise Science

George from Compton Dundon
A Level grades achieved: A, A, A
Predicted grades after GCSEs: B, B and C
Where now? Reading University studying Business and Management

Katie from Street
A Level grades achieved: A*, B and B
Predicted grades after GCSEs: B, C and C
Where now? Exeter University studying Geography

Katie from Yeovil
A Level grades achieved: A, A and B
Predicted grades after GCSEs: C, D and D
Where now? Southampton University studying Biology

Sorcha from Othery
A Level grades achieved: A, A, A and B
Predicted grades after GCSEs: B, B, B and B
Where now? Manchester University studying History


View the 2014 League Tables
Read the 2013 Results Day press release

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