Strode News

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05/03/15 - Rocking at The Red Brick for Red Nose Day
Rocking at The Red Brick for Red Nose Day

Strode College Music Technology students are presenting a fantastic night of live music at the Red Brick Building, Glastonbury on Thursday 12 March from 8pm-11pm. ‘Rock for Red Nose Day’ will see local bands performing live to raise money for Comic Relief.

Acts on the night are Mr Keep Calm & the Cancelled Cheques, Missart, Karma Llama, Billy Shinbone and Jonti. The entry fee will be a donation to the charity.

Strode College students Sofie Hunter from Shepton Mallet and Theo Ainley from Marston Magna are organising the fundraiser as part of their college coursework. Sofie said: “This gig is just one of many events organised by Strode Live to promote local talent and give Strode College students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the live events industry. It's going to be awesome!”

Since its opening, The Red Brick Building has built up a solid reputation as the place to see the very best in local music talent, with regular gigs being held on Thursday nights, organised by Glastonbury FM.

Find out more about studying Music Technology A Level and Music Technology Extended Diploma at Strode

26/02/15 - Strode College Student Takes Charge in Mountain Rescue
Strode College Student Takes Charge in Mountain Rescue

When Strode College Public Service students returned from a successful ski trip in the Italian mountains recently, one student received special praise from his teacher for taking charge of a medical emergency involving a student from another school.

Dan Humphrey from Frome, a former pupil of Ansford Academy, is studying for an Extended Diploma in Public Services at Strode College. Students on the course learn about incident management, leadership and teamwork. This is exactly what Dan demonstrated when he witnessed a freak accident in which a snowboarder suffered a potentially serious back injury.

Using his training, Dan confidently took charge of the situation. He offered immediate medical assistance and stabilised the patient; organised the casualty’s young friends making sure the ski slope was secured to prevent further danger; and he sought help from Mountain Rescue.

Strode student Dan Humphrey and ski instructorDan relinquished control of the area when the groups snowboard instructor and the mountain police arrived, but he remained talking with the patient until the medical team took him to the rescue helicopter.

The Interski snowboard instructor who was in charge of the party at the time, said: “I was amazed to watch Dan in action; he was so professional in his approach, calm and in control throughout, he was a real asset during the emergency and a credit to the college”

Maurice Holdstock, Public Services Course Manager at Strode College said: “This is the response that I would expect from our students. Dan put what he has learned into practice with good effect and I am so proud of him. Our courses are designed to prepare students for a role in the public services or to take on a supervisory or management position in any area of work. This incident demonstrates how effective the course is in developing our students’ personal skills and their ability to take charge of situations. ”

More information about Strode College’s Public Services First Diploma, Public Services Extended Diploma and Foundation Degree.

Public Services ski trip  Public Services ski trip

Public Services ski trip  Public Services ski trip

20/02/15 - Free Courses to Develop Your Skills as a Business Team Leader
Free Courses to Develop Your Skills as a Business Team Leader

From March to June 2015, Strode College's Business Development Unit will be running a programme of training courses for team leaders and supervisors employed in retail, hospitality, care, manufacturing, construction, facilities management and many other sectors.

Develop your skills as a leader and have the tools and the techniques to help you lead work teams with confidence. Understand current thinking on Health & Safety and Equality & Diversity to help you run your business efficiently and safely.

In most instances training will be free of charge if you are aged 19 and over and employed for a minimum of 8 hours per week. Call us on 01458 844457 or email us on to find out if you are eligible for free training under this programme.

Session Dates and Times

  Morning Session, 09:00am - 1:00pm Afternoon Session 2:00pm - 5:00pm
March 13 Developing Yourself as a Team Leader Health and Safety
March 27 Maintaining a Healthy and Safe Working Environment First Aid
April 10 Leading Your Work Team Health and Safety
April 24 Providing Quality to Customers First Aid
May 8 Leading Your Work Team  
May 22 Developing Yourself as a Team Leader Health and Safety
June 5 Maintaining a Healthy and Safe Working Environment First Aid
June 19 Diversity in the Workplace Health and Safety
July 3 Providing Quality to Customers First Aid


18/02/15 - Historical Prague Inspires Budding Artists
Historical Prague Inspires Budding Artists

Forty-five Strode College Art and Design students visited Prague this month to seek inspiration for their work from the culture of this vibrant and historical city.

Head of Art and Design and trip leader Petrina Rochester 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 more receptive to new ideas. I’m sure we’ll see Prague references in the students’ work in the End of Year show this June.”

The students enjoyed a full and varied itinerary and highlights for the students included a Charlie Hebdo retrospective which prompted an in-depth discussion on imagery and artists’ responsibility and the Warhol exhibition where they had the opportunity to screen print a design on a bag.

Other visits included a trip on the funicular railway to view the city from the top of Petrin Hill, a coach trip to visit the Bone Ossuary (a chapel decorated 40,000 skeletons) and Royal Mint, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice at the National Theatre, Prague Castle and St Vitus's Cathedral, the Toy Museum and the Mucha, Dali and Warhol Museum.

Lucy Brown, from Glastonbury and previously at St Dunstan’s School, is studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design. She said: “I’ll be using architectural references from Prague for my final major project in my set design models. It was also fantastic to visit the National Theatre and attend a ballet performance as I’ve applied to study Stage and Performance Design at degree level next year.”

Previous Art and Design trips have included visits to Florence, Barcelona, New York and Washington, and Paris. Next year’s trip is already being planned. Petrina added: “We are currently considering Berlin but will give students a choice between New York and two European cities.

Find out more about studying Art & Design A Level, Art & Design Extended Diploma, Art & Design First Diploma and Art & Design Foundation Diploma (Pre-Degree) at Strode.

Photo: Strode College Art and Design students standing on Charles Bridge in Prague.

17/02/15 - Boogie Nights gets its Groove On
Boogie Nights gets its Groove On

Strode College’s latest musical offering ‘Boogie Nights’ certainly lived up to its name. From the opening song ‘Celebration’ to the finale ‘mega-mix’, which incorporated ‘Can You Feel the Force’, ‘Instant Replay’, Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’, ‘Disco Inferno’ and ‘We Are Family’, the audience at Strode Theatre lapped up the 70s vibe, singing and clapping along to the toe-tapping classics which were delivered in abundance.

The Strode College Theatre Company gives students from across the college the opportunity to perform as part of their enrichment activities. Both male and female principal roles were played by A Level students, featuring strong performances by Matt Zagni as rockstar wannabe Roddy, who demonstrated his many talents whilst on stage - including football - and Francesca Fallows as girlfriend Debs, whose sublime delivery of ‘Yesterday Once More’ was one of the highlights of the show.

Medallion man and DJ Dean was played by Performing Arts student Dru Derbidge, who delivered a strong performance at all times with his convincing swagger and charm.

Noah Heathcote (Performing Arts) played the slightly sinister role of Spencer admirably and the wardrobe department should be congratulated on his outfits – especially his black patent platforms, which were so very in keeping with the fashions of the day.

The comedy element was carried off to perfection by Matt Blake (Performing Arts), whose portrayal of Terry was spot on - especially the drunk scene and his solo rendition of ‘Sugar Baby Love’.

Patrick Olliffe (Performing Arts) played the controversial role of Roddy’s father Eamon estimably; his solo of ‘You Were Always On My Mind’ was brilliant and the scene that featured him heart-broken over the death of Elvis very touching.

Beauty Therapy student Katie Davies played the supporting role of Debs’ best friend and Terry’s girlfriend Trish perfectly, and clearly loved taking to the stage.

Megan Edmunds (Performing Arts) played the singer in the band and Spencer’s girlfriend with attitude and charisma; her character was the catalyst for the majority of the drama. Her delivery of ‘Enough is Enough’, a duet with Debs, was very strong.

In addition to the thirty-two 70s songs, there were also some great spoken references to the era, including nods to teen-favourite retailer ‘Chelsea Girl’, ‘Clean Up TV’ social activist Mary Whitehouse and the then-Radio One DJ Simon Bates’ ‘Our Tune’. There was also a nice local reference, with a mention of ‘Orchard FM’, too.

The dancing was provided by students Jess Johnson, Emily Langthorpe, Leah White, Emily Davis and Charlotte Gardiner.

Other members of the ensemble were students Bethan Blackburn, Emily Hucker, Andy Jones, Ben King, Harry Roberts, Ellie Walpole, Chloe Yates, Martha Hale, Catherine Pratt, Danielle Blake and Hayley Chidzey.

Course Manager for Performing Arts, Charmaine Bray, directed the show. Head of Performing Arts, Matt Holmes, was Musical Director and keyboard player, and the band featured students Jake Wild on guitar, Alex Willsher on bass and Alex Hurr on drums. Dance teacher Rebecca Harvey was choreographer.

Find out more about studying Performing Arts Extended Diploma, Performing Arts First Diploma and Dance A Level at Strode College.

Photo (top): Debs (Francesca Fallows) and Lorraine (Megan Edmunds) fight for Roddy’s (Matt Zagni) affection.

Boogie Nights dance  Boogie Nights Eamon as Elvis

Above left: Katie Davies leads the dancers. Above right: Patrick Olliffe as Eamon (as Elvis Presley).

Boogie Nights YMCA dance  Boogie Nights Francesca Fallows and

Above left: Andy Jones, Matt Zagni, Noah Heathcote, Dru Derbidge and Matt Blake perform YMCA.
Above right: Francesca Fallows and Megan Edmunds.

13/02/15 - Grants Now Available Towards Advanced Hair and Beauty Management Qualification
Grants Now Available Towards Advanced Hair and Beauty Management Qualification

If you’re currently working over eight hours a week and either a hair or beauty salon owner, a volunteer or employed as a hair stylist or beautician, you may be interested in an exciting new opportunity to study a selection of awards towards the City and Guilds Level 4 Diploma in Management Practice and Advanced Techniques in the Hair and Beauty Sector at no cost to yourself.

Funding has been made available to Strode College by the European Social Fund through Somerset Skills and Learning and, because it is a grant, is not repayable by the learner. 

The qualification is designed to help grow business and increase profits. Following completion of all four units you will then be offered the opportunity to study the remaining awards to make up the diploma qualification. Progression from this course leads to the ILM Level 5 in Management qualification.

The four funded units available are:

  • Quality Management of Client Care in the hair and beauty sector
  • Sales Management in the hair and beauty sector
  • Public Relations in the hair and beauty sector
  • Marketing in the hair and beauty sector

The 12 week course will run every Monday at Strode College’s Bridgwater Training Centre from 9 March until 22 June, 2015 from 9.00am - 1.00pm for theoretical input. Students then have the option to continue studying from 2.00pm - 6.00pm if they wish.

For further information or advice please contact Sandra Hellier, Strode College Course Manager on 01278 457629/01458 844593 or email:

Photo: Emily Chiffers, pictured here at Strode College’s recent ‘Industry Day’, is currently studying the Level 4 Diploma in Management Practice and Advanced Techniques in the Hair and Beauty Sector.

10/02/15 - Great Chemistry for Somerset Primary Schools
Great Chemistry for Somerset Primary Schools

Almost 400 students from nine primary schools across the county had an explosive time when they visited Strode College on Wednesday February 4, to see the team from the University of Bristol’s ‘ChemLabS’ put on an exciting Chemistry demonstration sponsored by EDF Energy.

Most of the schools that attended on the day have link schools in Yueyang, China, and Strode, as the hub of the Somerset-Yueyang partnership, works closely with them, delivering regular Mandarin tuition and supporting collaborative activities with their Chinese partner schools.

Dr Alison Rivett of ‘ChemLabS’ said of the day: "The audience of enthusiastic primary school children at Strode were great today, they really enjoyed the experience – especially when there were loud bangs and flames! We were pleased to have the opportunity to deliver our 'Gases In The Air' Chemistry demonstration in an excellent theatre venue.”

Science is the main focus of the joint curriculum projects being undertaken between Somerset schools and their Chinese partners in 2015 and the presentation had the aim of contributing to this collaborative work, as well as developing an enhanced appreciation of science amongst local primary school pupils.

Tom Thayer, Inspire Education Programme Advisor at EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project, said: “The chemistry demo was a really great project to sponsor. We would especially like to thank Adrian Ash, HE & International Manager at Strode College, for facilitating the day and we look forward to working with Strode on many more projects to come!”

Strode College is also involved with EDF Energy’s Inspire Education Programme, which has run over 400 activities with 100 schools in Somerset – helping more students think about benefits of studying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects (STEM) at GCSE.

06/02/15 - Professionals Inspire Strode College Hair and Beauty Students
Professionals Inspire Strode College Hair and Beauty Students

Professionals from across the hair and beauty sector visited Strode College for its ‘Industry Day’ on Monday 2 February, to share their tips and expertise with over 200 hair, beauty, nails and barbering students. Talks and demonstrations were held at Strode’s specialist salons throughout the day and students had the opportunity to see different techniques and meet and ask the industry experts questions. Many of the professionals originally trained at Strode.

Sandra Hellier, Hairdressing and Barbering Course Manager at Strode College, organised the day. She said: “The aim is for the students to keep up-to-date with the current industry trends; products and techniques; and to gain business and careers advice from the industry representatives today. One of our students has already been offered a work experience placement by Martyn Jessop from ‘XY Barbers’ in Glastonbury.”

Katie Morse from ‘Pure’ in Street delivered three hair workshops, demonstrating different trends, styles and methods to students. Katie opened her salon late last year, following 12 years working in Karen Christensen’s salons in Wells and Castle Cary. Previously a student at St Dunstan’s school, she then took an Apprenticeship with Strode College at John Banks’ hair salon in Street and has also worked on the styling team at the L’Oreal Colour Trophy.

Todd Kellett is currently taking a Level 2 Barbering Apprenticeship with Strode at ‘Sheer Class’ in Langport: “It’s been a brilliant day and we’ve all learnt so much. It’s been so informative and I’ve picked up a lot of tips. It’s really good to see how other barbers do things and I really enjoyed watching the wet shaves, as I had never seen that before - it’s definitely something that I want to try in the future.”

Experts from the industry who gave talks and demonstrations included:

Idris Can from ‘The Gentleman’s Room’ in Bridgwater - Wet shaves

Jess Mullett from ‘Tranquility’ in Street - Hair techniques

Martyn Jessop from ‘XY Barbers’ in Glastonbury - Barbering techniques

James Taylor from ‘The Gentleman’s Room’ in Bridgwater - Barbering techniques

Katie Morse from ‘Pure’ salon in Street - Hair techniques and trends

Kadey English from ‘Aqua Sana’ Centre Parcs spa - Spa demonstrations

Sarah Hitch from ‘The Sanctuary’ beauty salon in Sherborne - ‘Skinbreeze’ demonstrations

Michelle Mahony ‘Shared Beauty Secrets’ - Lava facial demo

Sarah Davey - Theatrical Make-up demonstration

Jenna Bostock from ‘OPI’ - talk and demonstration

Emma Hawkes from ‘Bio Seaweed Gel’ - talk and demonstration

Craig Hope from ‘Balmain Hair’ - hair demonstration

Jennifer Edwards, ‘Jane Iredale/Environ’ - seminar

Emily Chiffers from ‘Karen Christensen’ in Wells - hair demonstration

Charlene Lock, Level 4 Management in Advanced Hair and Beauty student at Strode, formerly of Chilton Trinity school - Dread extensions demonstration

Lynne Thorn from ‘L’Oreal’ - Career talk

Lisa Marsh from ‘In Harmony’ in Street - Career talk

Judith Baker, Business Development Consultant at Strode College

Find out more about studying Hair, Barbering, Beauty and Complementary Therapies at Strode College.


Hair and Beauty Industry Day 15      Hair and Beauty Industry Day 15

 Above left: Idris Can from ‘The Gentleman’s Room’ in Bridgwater. Above right: Martyn Jessop from ‘XY Barbers’ in Glastonbury

Hair and Beauty Industry Day 15      Hair and Beauty Industry Day 15

Above left: Kadey English from ‘Aqua Sana’ Centre Parcs spa. Above right: Katie Morse from ‘Pure’ salon in Street

30/01/15 - Gold Medal Trampoline Team
Gold Medal Trampoline Team

The Strode College male trampoline team bounced into gold medal position at the Southern Zonal Schools Regional Finals this month. Their well-earned win takes them through to the national finals in Birmingham on 14 March, where they will compete against teams from across the UK.

Jenny Stevens, Strode College trampoline coach, said: “The boys were simply amazing! They bounced with great confidence to beat off other teams from schools and colleges across the south of England. We will be training hard in the coming weeks as we look forward to the nationals in March.”

The boys also gained strong positions in the individual competition with Tom Coburn from Shepton Mallet achieving 4th place, Jake Krige from Crewkerne finishing 6th and Will Hayne from Bridgwater finishing in 9th position.

Trampolining is just one of over 30 sports offered to Strode College students as part of the college’s programme of enrichment activities.

Photo: Strode College male trampoline team show off the gold medals they won at the Southern Schools Regional Competition. Left to right: Jake Krige from Crewkerne, Will Hayne from Bridgwater and Tom Coburn from Shepton Mallet.

29/01/15 - Beauty Therapy Students visit Aqua Sana Spa
Beauty Therapy Students visit Aqua Sana Spa

Our Beauty Therapy students enjoyed a fantastic day at the Aqua Sana Spa, Center Parcs at Longleat this week as part of their Level 3 Beauty Therapy Diploma. After a tour of the spa and its facilities, the staff delivered a careers talk which covered many aspects of working at a spa, including: working conditions, benefits of the job, rates of pay, treatments and training. Students also had the opportunity to experience the relaxing spa environment first hand.

Susan O’Meara, Level 3 Beauty Therapy Manager, said: “Some of the students have never visited a spa before today. We’ve all been very impressed - some students are now seriously considering working in a spa in the future.”

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