Strode News

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20/03/13 - Putting on a Good Show
Putting on a Good Show

Every year we stage a college musical production in the wonderful Strode Theatre, with students performing or working back stage to make the event a great success. In 2013 the show was 'Miss Saigon', based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, which tells the story of a doomed romance in 1970s Saigon between a Vietnamese bar girl and an American lieutenant serving in the Vietnam War. 

The annual musical is a cross college production which is open to all students as an enrichment activity.  Students and staff work really hard to deliver a quality production and in the process they have a lot of fun and make some great friends.

View the Photo gallery

20/03/13 - Gravit8 Represents Strode College at 'Spring Forward'
Gravit8 Represents Strode College at 'Spring Forward'

Gravit8 Dance Company’ will be representing Strode College on Friday 22 March as part of ‘Spring Forward’ Take Art’s Youth Dance Platform. They will be performing amongst 30 groups with over 500 young people over the four nights. They will be premiering our new work ‘Fragments of the Mind’ which explores self-perception, image and Identity.

They will also be performing at the same event at the Octagon Theatre on 21 May.

To purchase tickets please contact: Tacchi Morris Arts Centre box office on 01823 414141 or online: Tickets cost: £7 / £5.50 concessions / £4.50 Students.

The Octagon Theatre box office on 01935 422884. Or online: Tickets cost: £7 / £6 concessions / £5 children, students, footlights.

19/03/13 - A Level Dance Sharing 2013
A Level Dance Sharing 2013

A truly inspiring and creative evening of contemporary dance featuring AS and A level students exam work was presented in Strode Collegeís Dance Studio Theatre on Wednesday 13 March.†

The evening was a blend of solos, group performance pieces and group choreography. Themes and starting points ranged from exploring poetry by Leonard Cohan, work by land artist Richard Shilling, exploration of Commedia dellí arte characters, to hard hitting, emotive themes of the holocaust, 9/11 bombing and Hiroshima.†

The evening was a credit to the students who had worked so hard to prepare for their practical exams.

18/03/13 - Strode Students Learn to Manage their Money
Strode Students Learn to Manage their Money

Students at Strode College have been learning how to manage their money during the College's Money Management Awareness Week which coincided with the end of their qualification in 'Managing Personal Finances'.

Strode College specialises in teaching students aged 16-18 and College Principal, James Staniforth, believes a good understanding of personal finance is an essential part of his students wider education. 

He said: "Learning to manage your personal finances effectively is an important lesson for young people as they become increasingly independent. We provide a wide range of opportunities to broaden our students' education, including the personal finance course. Our students like the fact that we treat them like young adults, and this course gives them the knowledge and confidence to take responsibility for their finances as they prepare to go onto university or into employment."

All of Strode's A Level and advanced vocational students take the 'Managing Personal Finances' course at Strode. It covers a range of topics including student finance, income and expenditure, starting work, borrowing money, card and internet fraud, banks, building societies and savings accounts. The course is taught during student tutorials and through the College's e-learning facilities, with students assessed by a final test before they gain their qualification.

Photo: Learning to manage a budget, including money for food and drink, will set these Strode students in good stead for the future. Pictured here (left to right) are: Kath Wall, Catering Assistant at Strode, and A Level students Minowa Norton, Laurie Griffiths and Hannah Halway

18/03/13 - Archaeology Students Get to Grips with Forensic Anthropology
Archaeology Students Get to Grips with Forensic Anthropology

Archaeology A Level and Degree students at Strode College spent the day being Forensic Anthropologists recently, identifying the sex, age and height of individuals by examining their bones and considering the possible causes of their death.

Archaeology uses the same techniques as Forensic Anthropology in the analysis of human remains. It is an important element of the AS Archaeology course and post excavation analysis which is taught as part of Strode’s History, Heritage and Archaeology degree.

The hands-on workshop was taught by Forensic Anthropologist Dany Rafferty of Sherlock Bone, who brought along some human skeletons for students to work with.

Photo: Strode’s A Level Archaeology students found the forensic anthropology work-shop fascinating. Pictured left to right: Ashleigh Chamberlain, Will Davies, Jack Reading, Will Dunisthorpe, Lucy Kitching and Chloe Mott

09/03/13 - Beautiful Make-Up
Beautiful Make-Up

Professional trainers from the Jane Iredale Make-up company visited Strode College recently to train Level 3 Beauty Therapy students in advanced make-up techniques. Level 2 beauty students got the chance to increase their knowledge of the Jane Iredale Make-up range by learning about ingredients used in the company’s products. Students particularly enjoyed the practical session where they got to apply the make-up and practice their skills with the guidance of the make-up artist.

Beauty Therapy Course Manager, Marcie Mickleburgh, said: ‘The extra training sessions we put on throughout our Level 2 and Level 3 beauty courses really enhance the students skills and help make them more confident when carrying out treatments here at Strode College”.

Pictured is Frankie Silcox from Yeovil with the Jane Iredale Make-up artist.

08/03/13 - Apprenticeships Deliver for Local Businesses - Nutmeg Restaurant
Apprenticeships Deliver for Local Businesses - Nutmeg Restaurant

One of the key assets to any business is its staff, and modern apprenticeship schemes are a cost effective way for employers to recruit and train staff who will become a real asset for the future. 

The Nutmeg Restaurant in Bridgwater is a great example of a local company that has embraced the scheme and found real benefits for the business and their apprentice.

With the help of Strode College in Street, the restaurant employed local girl Jade Edwards as a trainee chef. She completed her intermediate apprenticeship and is now training for her advanced apprenticeship in professional cookery. The restaurant has a qualified, motivated and increasingly skilled chef and Jade has a career with excellent prospects. 

Strode College in Street offers a wide range of apprenticeships and also sets up new apprenticeships to meet the needs of local businesses.

To find out how apprenticeships can benefit your business, call Strode’s apprenticeship team on 01458 844553.

Photo: Apprentice Chef Jade Edwards works at the Nutmeg House Restaurant in Bridgwater and also trains at Strode College in Street; she’s pictured here with Manager Sue Nolan

08/03/13 - Strode Live and Unplugged - Evening of Acoustic Music not be to Missed
Strode Live and Unplugged - Evening of Acoustic Music not be to Missed

On Tuesday 19 March, final year students from Strode College’s BTEC Extended Diploma in Music will host a fantastic evening of acoustic music at Holy Trinity Church in Street. Performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are £3 from the College shop or on the door.

The venue, which has wonderful acoustics, is the perfect place to present some of the area’s best new musical talent.

Last year’s unplugged concert featured eclectic and sublime original music and innovative covers and this year you can expect a similarly exciting programme of musical delights featuring ukulele’s, mandolins, pedal steels, double bass and eclectic percussion.

Somerset based musician Lee Rahn, a former Strode student, will perform some of his songs, along with Strode College performers, including acoustic versions of local bands ‘According to Dave’, ‘Sons of Natives’, ‘Lost in Existence’ and ‘Tallulah & the Talkbacks’. Solo performers include Yazie MacNeil, Henry Wacey and Theya Fowler amongst many others.

As well as providing a great evening’s entertainment, the students – known as the production company ‘Strode Live’ – are supporting the local music scene and encouraging musicians to get out there and perform.

Proceeds from the gig will go to two excellent local projects. The Red Brick Building in Glastonbury, which is being renovated by volunteers to cater for many local events, and Dianna Greenfield’s Scrap Store, which is located at the Red Brick Building and provides craft materials to community groups.

Eloise Balian, one of last year’s performers, spoke positively about the event, saying, ‘unplugged was an experience - the atmosphere in the church was magnificent, it was packed and it was a good audience.”

08/03/13 - A Picture for World Book Day
A Picture for World Book Day

Strode student Gabriel Niedojadlo enjoys a good read to celebrate 'World Book Day' in March. Gabriel’s twin brother Robin came up with the idea for the photo and their friend James Doney took the shot. The three students are studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Broadcast Media.

07/03/13 - Apprenticeships Deliver for Local Businesses and Young People
Apprenticeships Deliver for Local Businesses and Young People

Employer: Party Packs (Westbury Sub-Mendip)

If you’ve organised a party or a special event and you’ve looked online for decorations and novelties to add some fun and colour, then you’ve probably visited the Party Packs website: 

Party Packs specialises in themed party paraphernalia including decorations, costumes and fancy dress, tableware and novelties. The company operates from a small business park in the village of Westbury-sub-Mendip, between Wells and Cheddar.

Kate Turner set up the business in 1986 using her experience of promoting events for breweries; she now employs 25 staff including three apprentices. In 2012 Kate decided she needed more staff to help grow the business, but she thought it would be unwise in the current economic climate to take on another full-time, fully-paid member of the team. She contacted Strode College to find out about apprenticeships.

In Spring 2012, Party Packs employed two 17 year old apprentices, Naomi and John, on the Advanced Business Administration scheme. Kate is so pleased with the outcomes that she’s just employed a third apprentice, Megan.

She said: “I was not too sure about the scheme to start with as I was concerned that it was just a way for employers to get cheap labour, but seeing how much both the company and the apprentices have benefitted from the scheme, I am now hugely enthusiastic about it. 

“Naomi and John have learnt a huge amount already. At work they are on a three week rolling programme working in our sales and IT team, our buying and accounts team, and our warehouse team. They also get in-house training from the full-time staff in various aspects of the business such as Photo-shop and digital printing. At Strode they gain a wide range of knowledge to help them thrive in the business world such as business communication skills, time management, health and safety, professional development and working relationships.

“Apprenticeships are a cost effective way to employ staff who are eager to learn and contribute to the business, but equally important is the great opportunity these schemes are providing for young people, who, without work experience, would find it very tough to compete against the many older and more experienced people who are also looking for jobs. They will be in a much stronger position to get a permanent fully-paid job having worked and learnt with us and Strode.”


Apprentice: Naomi Spearey (age 17 and lives in Draycott), Advanced Business Administration

Naomi Spearey did well at Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar, but she knows that she is much better suited to hands-on learning. This led her to an apprenticeship, where her skills, confidence and future prospects have grown a great deal in a short time.

“I started thinking about working in business when I was 16 because the skills and knowledge you learn in business can open so many doors and you don’t have to decide early on which type of business to go into. 

“The Party Packs job looked perfect – it covered every aspect of business and it was close to home. I love being in a real business environment and putting my knowledge into practice in the workplace. I’ve learnt so much about how business works. I get involved in many different aspects of the company including processing orders, making products, sales and customer service. I also go to Strode College every fortnight and Strode’s assessors visit us at work. The College resources such as books from the library, computers, training and the online work portfolio are really helpful.

“After my apprenticeship I’d like to find a job in a company where I can work my way into a higher level and gain more knowledge of how business works.”


Apprentice: John Moulton (lives in Coxley, Wells), Advanced Business Administration

John Moulton did well at school, but he was ready to move on from full-time education. When his friend Naomi got an apprenticeship with Party Packs he decided this might be the right path for him also. Another apprenticeship vacancy came up at Party Packs and John applied.

“After years of education I wanted to do something more active and involving and the apprenticeship scheme is a valuable way to get hands–on experience and qualifications. The practical nature of it helps to impart knowledge and skills for people with different learning styles. It’s a pleasure to work with like-minded people and to see how academic knowledge is applied in the working world. 

“I enjoy working in the different roles at Party Packs and I know this experience will give me a better chance of finding a good job in the future. I am learning new skills and how to apply them in different business situations so I am adaptable. When my apprenticeship finishes I plan to continue expanding my business skills and experience by working for another local company.

“The apprenticeship staff at Strode have been incredibly professional and helpful in guiding me through the new systems and requirements that go with starting a completely new course.” 

Apprentice: Megan Morgan (age 17, lives in Street), Advanced Business Administration

Megan enjoyed her time at Crispin School and liked learning, but increasingly she felt that it made more sense to be out doing business instead of sitting in a classroom and studying business.

She did begin a business course at college, but at the same time she was working in a bakery and found she was enjoying working more than studying. She joined a work skills course at Strode College where she got information and advice with a range of work related topics such as writing a CV, interview skills, health and safety at work, rights and responsibilities. She also got help researching job opportunities, including on the national apprenticeship website:

After a few job applications Megan successfully applied to Party Packs and became the company’s third apprentice in January this year. Megan said: “It’s really good here, I’ve learnt so much already. The apprentices are on a rolling rota of work which means that no one is doing the same thing all the time and we get to learn a lot of different tasks. Even though I know there’s no guarantee of a job at the end of my apprenticeship I think this is a great training scheme and I’m happy that other young people will get the same opportunity that I have once I move on.”

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