Strode News

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11/01/13 - Strode Maths Students go for Gold in National Competition
Strode Maths Students go for Gold in National Competition

Twelve high achieving A Level Maths students from Strode College recently won awards for their success in the UK Maths Trust Senior Maths Challenge.

The annual challenge is open to students from colleges and schools across the country. This year over 19,000 schools and colleges entered the competition with over 98,000 pupils competing. The top 10% of students received a gold certificate, the next 20% were awarded silver and the next 30% were awarded bronze.

Four Strode students were awarded gold certificates: Tom Perry (from Queens Camel, near Yeovil), Riley Dickinson (from Glastonbury), John O'Rourke (from Bruton) and Lauren Wittleton (from Glastonbury). Three students received silver: Jacob Green (from Wookey), Michael Brook (from Sherbourne) and Rebekah Botterill (from Glastonbury), and five were awarded bronze: Daisy Watkins (from Street), Megan Hart (from Street), Dan Lockey (from Sherbourne), Luke Webb (from Shepton Mallet) and Adam Murgatroyd (from Yeovil). 

Around 4000 of the top achieving students from across the UK were invited to take part in follow on competitions. Strode's Tom Perry qualified for the British Maths Olympiad Round 1 and the other gold award students qualified for the Senior Kangaroo competition - results will be announced in January. 

Strode Maths Subject Leader and Teacher, Helen Kelsey, said: "At college students study a specific syllabus to achieve their Maths A Levels, but in this competition they have to solve maths problems that are presented in a completely different way to A level and GCSE maths questions. The maths challenge poses stimulating and interesting problems that require students to use their mathematical knowledge differently and it encourages them to think laterally and logically. We help our students prepare for the maths challenge by adding optional questions to their homework. Students enjoy working on these problems and spend time discussing the solutions with each other."

Maths is one of the most popular A level subjects at Strode College and in 2012 high grades of A*, A and B were achieved by 67% of students in Maths and 69% of students in Further Maths. In 2012 Sixteen Strode students went on to study degree courses in maths, accounting, finance or engineering at universities across the country including Cambridge, Leeds and Exeter, and 29 students are now studying degrees that include some mathematical content.

Photo: Maths students from Strode College won gold, silver and bronze at the UK maths competition, where they competed with 98,000 students and solved maths problems that would challenge even the best mathematicians. Left to right back row: John O'Rourke, Michael Brooks, Daniel Lockey, Jacob Green and Riley Dickenson. Front row: Adam Murgatroyd, Rebekah Botterill, Thomas Perry, Lauren Wittleton and Megan Hart.

11/01/13 - Students Compete for Place in Professional Competition
Students Compete for Place in Professional Competition

Hairdressing students at Strode College recently took part in a college hairdressing competition to win the chance to compete in the regional heats of the Wella Exposure 2013 competition.

The students had to create a commercial colour, cut and style on a model. The top five students will be entered into the next round of the Wella competition, with Wella choosing 80 competitors from all the entries to go through to a regional heat in the south west this April. Five competitors from each region will then be selected for the final at Wella Professionals world studio in London in June.

The Strode students who won the chance to progress to the next stage of the competition, from first to fifth, are Lorna Moule (from Bridgwater), Amanda Dunk (from Yeovil), Georgia Oliver (from Yeovil), Sophie Chappell (from Yeovil) and Lucy Reynolds (from Castle Cary). (See photo of models below).

Angie Cinicola, Head judge and Head of Hairdressing, Beauty and Complementary Therapies at Strode, said: "The judges were impressed with the high standard of technical and artistic skills displayed by the students, along with their detailed knowledge of the techniques used when questioned."

Sandra Hellier, Hairdressing Tutor at Strode College, organised the competition. She said: "We encourage our students to take part in competitions because they are a great way to showcase skills, broaden experience and stretch abilities. The students worked really hard and are looking forward to the next stage of the competition."

Photo: Strode hairdressing tutor Sandra Hellier (far right) with the models who were styled by Strode College hairdressing students for the first stage of the Wella Exposure Hairdressing competition. Left to right styled by: Kerri-ann Burt (Bridgwater), Amanda Dunk (Yeovil) 2nd place, Kira Renenhan (Bridgwater), Georgia Oliver (Yeovil) 3rd place, Lucy Reynolds (Castle Cary) 5th place, Lorna Moule (Bridgwater) 1st place and Sophie Chappell (Yeovil) 4th place.

18/12/12 - Festive Dance for Christmas Shoppers
Festive Dance for Christmas Shoppers

Christmas shoppers at Clarks Village were entertained by Strode College Performing Arts students this week, when they performed a flash mob style dance to Dean Martin's 'Let it Snow'.  Dressed in woolly hats, gloves and coats to keep out the chill, the Strode dancers soon warmed up and so did the moods of the busy shoppers who stopped to enjoy some festive good cheer.

Strode College Dance Department Facebook Page

18/12/12 - Strode Trampolinists to Represent the Region
Strode Trampolinists to Represent the Region

Strode College hosted the South West Colleges trampoline competition in December, with six Strode students progressing to the next stage, the British Colleges Sport National finals at Bath University in March 2013.

The top six male and female students from the South West will go to the national competition, with half of the squad coming from Strode College. At the nationals they will compete with other regional groups to try to be the best across a range of sports including trampolining, golf, swimming, basketball and volleyball.

In the South West Colleges competition trampolinists performed two routines consisting of ten moves - a 'compulsory routine' and a 'voluntary routine' in which the students could showcase their more advanced skills. Students were marked for neatness and for the difficulty of their routines.

Strode students who will represent the South West are:

  • Ladies squad: Charlotte Male, Hannah Gratton, and Alex Grenter
  • Mens squad: Owen Spender, Henry Carpenter and Ross Shirley
18/12/12 - Student Designs College Christmas Card
Student Designs College Christmas Card

Leah Cowley of Martock is the winner of Strode's art and design competition to design the College Christmas card. Leah is in the first year of her Art and Design Level 3 Extended Diploma. She created the design by painting an image of an ivy leaf using water colour, which she then digitally manipulated and duplicated in Photoshop before placing the design onto a black background.

Photo: Strode College Christmas card design winner Leah Cowley (centre) with runners up Jo Powell (left, 2nd place) and Louise Watson (3rd place)

13/12/12 - From Strode to Spielberg - Former Student Tells about his Career in Visual Effects
From Strode to Spielberg - Former Student Tells about his Career in Visual Effects

A former Strode College Broadcast Media student, who now works as a visual effects coordinator for major film companies including Disney, Universal and 20th Century Fox, returned to College recently to tell current students about his work and to meet up with his old teacher.

Joe Carhart, who lived in Wells whilst studying at Strode, has worked on some big films including 'X-men: First Class', 'Snow White and the Huntsman', 'Angels and Demons' and Ridley Scott's 'Robin Hood'. He is about to start work on a new Stephen Spielberg film.

Joe left Strode College in 2004 with a National Diploma in Media Production (now a BTEC Extended Diploma in Broadcast Media). He went on to complete a degree in Video Production at the University of Gloucestershire, before beginning his successful career. And now, with a lot of hard work and experience under his belt, he is working with the most successful film companies and directors in the industry. 

Strode's current Broadcast Media students were delighted to hear about his career, the exciting world he works in, and how he manages his workload on these multi-million pound films. 

Joe Carhart believes that studying Broadcast Media at Strode and the quality of teaching played a significant part in helping him achieve such a great career. He said: "When I left Strode I first went to Sheffield University but found that I'd learnt everything at Strode already. I changed to a more practical video production course at the University of Gloucestershire and after that I went straight into a job at The Moving Picture Company in London. The skills and work ethic I learnt from Mell Turford, Strode's Broadcast Media teacher, helped me move up the career path quickly. Mell encouraged me to be open to doing new things, he taught me to multi task, and he helped me understand the importance of networking. This has helped me get access to the top people in the industry and to some fantastic projects.

"I like to come back to Strode now and again to meet up with Mell and meet the current students, because Strode's Broadcast Media course is a really valuable course and gives students the skills, knowledge and ideas they need to work in the industry."

Photo: Some of Strode's Broadcast Media students who enjoyed hearing about former student Joe Carhart's visual effects work for major film companies and directors including Steven Speilberg

11/12/12 - World Famous Dance Company Teaches Strode Students
World Famous Dance Company Teaches Strode Students

Dance students at Strode College recently welcomed one of the UK's leading dance companies - the world renowned Rambert Dance Company.

A Level dance students took part in a technique class similar to those which Rambert dancers take part in daily. They were taught sections of the Rambert repertoire from the pieces 'A Linha Curve',' Hush' and 'Labyrinth of Love'. They also had the opportunity to develop their creative skills through a series of creative tasks.

Watch the video on YouTube

Prior to the dance class students had visited the Theatre Royal in Bath to see the Rambert Dance Company perform their show. 

Becky Harvey, Strode's Dance Teacher, said: "Seeing the Rambert dancers perform at Bath Theater was really inspiring for our students, so having a professional dancer from the company teaching at college was fantastic. The students learnt such a lot about technique and they really rose to the challenge. They were inspired by the experience and it has given some of them a real desire to pursue dance further."

Previous Strode College Dance students have gone on to study at specialist institutions and universities across the country including the Royal Academy of Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Dartington College of Arts, Stella Mann College of Performing Arts, Laine Theatre Arts, Bath Spa University and Middlesex University.

Strode College Dance Department Facebook Page

06/12/12 - Students Gain Insight into the Music Industry from 'The Damned' Guitarist
Students Gain Insight into the Music Industry from 'The Damned' Guitarist

Paul Gray, former bassist with the band 'The Damned', joined Strode College music students recently, to share his knowledge of the music industry to help them with their course and their future careers.

Music courses are popular at Strode and forty students from the college's Extended Diplomas in Music and Music Technology enjoyed the visit from Paul Gray. 

Paul Gray has made his living as a musician for most of his life, having played bass guitar for a number of high profile rock and punk bands, most notably 'The Damned', 'Eddie and the Hotrods' and "UFO". He is also regional officer for the Musicians Union in Wales and the South West. 

The students gained valuable information and advice for their coursework and for their own development as music producers, musicians and song writers. They discussed issues such as copyright, music contracts, licensing and selling music, instrument insurance and public liability cover. And, they were able to ask Paul Gray questions relating to their own music production projects, events and performances.

Adrian Smith, course manager for Strode's BTEC Music Technology courses said. 'Paul Gray's visit has given our students an important insight into some of the pitfalls in the industry and how important it is to get the right advice and guidance early on. We make sure our music students develop a good understanding of the industry alongside their creative skills."

Strode College offers A Levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas in Music and Music Technology. Previous music students have gone on to study a range of subjects including Creative Music Technology, Commercial Music, Audio and Music Technology, Marketing and Creative Events Management.

Students can get a substantial discount on annual membership of The Musicians Union which includes free equipment insurance and free legal advice. For more information visit:

06/12/12 - Growth in Apprenticeships Changes Young Peoples Lives and Brings 1 Million to Somerset Businesses
Growth in Apprenticeships Changes Young Peoples Lives and Brings 1 Million to Somerset Businesses

Over 700 new apprenticeships have been created since the 'Grow Somerset Talent' campaign began at the end of August this year, changing hundreds of people's lives and bringing around £1 million of grants into the Somerset economy.

Strode College worked on the 100 day campaign with the National Apprenticeship Service, Somerset County Council and other colleges and training providers from across the region. 

The campaign aimed to maximise apprenticeship recruitment in Somerset, particularly for people aged 16 to 24, for whom businesses can get a £1,500 apprenticeship grant. 

Graham Knight, Head of Business Development at Strode College, led the campaign and he is delighted with the outcome. He said: "This year's campaign has been a revelation; we have exceeded the previous apprenticeship campaign record by more than 185 new apprentices. 

"This is the beginning of a career for each one of those 702 people. I think we have to remember that these individuals are the future skilled work force of Somerset and it's great for Strode College to be involved in a campaign that gives these people a chance to fulfil their potential.

"As well as changing individual lives and futures, the campaign has introduced around £1 million of grants into the Somerset economy. A £1,500 government grant is available to most businesses who employ an apprentice aged 16 - 24, so 702 new apprentices translates into a lot of money for business. I'd like to remind people that although the 'Grow Somerset Talent' campaign has officially drawn to a close these apprenticeship grants are still available, and there will be new initiatives in the new year. So, if any employer wants to know more about how they might benefit from employing an apprentice they should get in touch with Strode College on 01458 844400."

05/12/12 - Strode Students Inspired by Visit to China
Strode Students Inspired by Visit to China

A group of hospitality and engineering students from Strode College in Street recently returned from a 'life changing' visit to China which gave them a wealth of new experiences and inspiration for the future.

Strode College is part of the East Somerset Partnership (ESP) which works to build relationships between colleges and schools in East Somerset and Yueyang Province in South China. Strode is the first member of the ESP to organise a student visit to China, following a visit from Chinese students to Strode in May and a visit by heads of Chinese schools in October.

Eleven Strode students took the opportunity to visit China, accompanied by Strode's Student Services Manager Mandie Holloway and Strode's Hospitality Course Manager Ian Thomas.

They took in many famous tourist sites such as the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Ti'anmen Square and Beijing, and they spent much of their time enjoying activities at Strode's partner college, the Central South Industrial School, and experiencing authentic Chinese life with the families they stayed with.

The Strode students enjoyed a fantastic welcome to the Central South Industrial School. After the cheering and flag waving had subsided, an audience of about 200 people watched a welcome concert to showcase Chinese and English culture. Chinese students performed some traditional dances, singing and acrobatics, while the Strode students shared some Somerset culture by singing a Worzels' song, Katie Bond of Ashcott performed a contemporary dance, and Matt Jamieson of Hosington near Wincanton played the keyboard.

Katie Bond said the welcome they received was a definite highlight: "The show they organised to welcome us was a massive event. I thought it would be a little party but they didn't hold back at all. I enjoyed dancing in the show and it was nice that the student newspaper described my performance as a 'graceful, elegant, English dance.' I've never done any travelling before. Visiting China has given me a better understanding of the Chinese culture and opened my eyes to how many interesting places and cultures there are around the world that I would love to see."

Many of the Strode students said their highlight of the visit was staying with Chinese students and their families and spending time with them.

Ryan Cox of Shepton Mallet is studying Hospitality BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma. He said: "Living with the family gave me a real idea of how Chinese people live. I saw what they do on a daily basis - the food they eat and how they prepare it; how they spend their time, like playing the game Majong which is harder than it looks. I've become friends with one of the students and I'm planning to go back to China on an exchange next year. After college I plan to study at university and then I'd like to get a work visa and spend some time working in China."

For Jake Staples of Shepton Mallet, who is also studying hospitality at Strode, the trip to China was a dream come true. He said: "It's been my dream to go to China. I'm really interested in food and experiencing authentic Chinese food first hand was a real highlight. It tasted so different to Chinese food we eat in this country; so full of flavour. We prepared and ate food with the family, we enjoyed a huge choice of food at the school, and we ate in a top restaurant, although none of us were keen on the 'stinky tofu' which was Chairman Mao's favourite dish. Getting a greater understanding of another culture in this way has been a life changing experience for me."

Mandie Hollaway, Strode's Student Services Manager said: "Our Chinese hosts were wonderful. They made such a fuss of us; we were overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of their welcome. Our students experienced so much on the visit. They have returned home with new friends and loads of amazing memories and ideas about China and about how our lives can be enriched by understanding different cultures and different ways of doing things. They really have been inspired by what they've seen and learnt."

Photo: Strode students share a Worzels song with their Chinese hosts at the welcome concert.

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