Strode News

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11/06/13 - Strode College Summer School for Adults 8-19 July
Strode College Summer School for Adults 8-19 July

If you have some free time between Monday 8 July and Friday 19 July and you would like to spend time doing something interesting, fun, creative and relaxing, then have a look at Strode College's Summer School courses. 

The specially created programme of short courses includes many activities not normally available at the college, taught by talented local teachers and practitioners. 

There are 45 different courses on offer this year including: archery, allotment gardening, book binding, bridge, cake decoration, creative writing, felt making, genealogy research, geology, Indian cookery, jewellery-making, painting, pattern-cutting, singing, sculpture, social networking, song writing, using your i-Pad, willow craft yoga and many more.

This is the third year that Strode College has run a Summer School. Summer courses were introduced to extend the number and range of courses offered to adult learners and they are a great way for the college to share its excellent facilities and teachers with the local community.

The courses, which are aimed at adults, will be taught in Strode’s modern specialist classrooms and studios. To find out more or book on-line visit the Strode College website or call 01458 844400 to find out more.

04/06/13 - Strode College Festival of the Arts
Strode College Festival of the Arts

Strode College’s Festival of the Arts, which runs from Tuesday 11 June to Wednesday 19 June, will celebrate the achievements and hard work of its creative and performing arts students before they move on to university and employment. Arts, design, dance and drama events will be presented during the week at College and at Strode Theatre. 


End of Year Art, Design and Media Show

Tuesday 11 - Wednesday 19 June 2013, 9.30 - 4.30pm (closed at weekend). The exhibition is free and open to the public - maps available from College Reception.

Strode creative arts and media students are known for producing some excellent and innovative work. The show will feature work from 125 students completing art and design courses this summer including painting and drawing, sculpture, textiles, photography, graphics, film and video. This is a great opportunity to take a look at some young and exciting creative talent and to see the diversity and quality of work achieved at Strode.

Students presenting work are studying A level Art, Graphics, Photography, Textiles, Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design, Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and Level 3 Extended Diploma in Broadcast Media.


Jerusalem, by Jez Butterworth

Tuesday 11 June - Wednesday 12 June 2013, 7.30pm. Tickets £6.00, full concessions £5.00, Strode College students £4.00. Ticket prices include a 50p contribution to the Strode Theatre Support Fund. Book through Strode Theatre.

Strode College Performing Arts students present a comic, contemporary, vision of rural life in England's Green and Pleasant Land. On St George’s Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants his dad to take him to the fair, and a motley crew of mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol. 

Students will also present a short contemporary play, 'The man who went insane from money', by Ann Wuehler.


Dance Showcase

Friday 14 June 2013 7.30pm, tickets £6.00, full concessions £5.00, Strode College students £4.00. This production is raising funds for College educational activities. Ticket prices include a 50p contribution to the Strode Theatre Support Fund. Book through Strode Theatre.

Strode College’s A Level Dance and Extended Diploma in Performing Arts students will showcase the best of their performance work including musical theatre, contemporary dance and street dance. The show promises to be full of energy and entertainment.

Book tickets for all performances at Strode Theatre by calling 01458 442846 or online at

21/05/13 - Strode College Teams Up with Job Centre and Waitrose to get Jobseekers into Work
Strode College Teams Up with Job Centre and Waitrose to get Jobseekers into Work

Tessa Munt MP joined forty job seekers at Strode College in Street last week as they graduated from Strode’s retail skills and customer service training and earned themselves a job interview with Waitrose.

A new Waitrose store will open in Wells in July and, with a staff of 140, the store will create many new jobs for local people. All those who successfully completed the training at Strode are guaranteed an interview with Waitrose.

Strode College teamed up with Wells Job Centre and Waitrose to plan and develop the joint scheme designed to get job seekers into work. As well as successfully training forty job seekers, the College will host pre-employment days, open days and activity days. 

Strode’s involvement in this project is part of their on-going support for unemployed people. They work with the jobcentre on a daily basis and visit each week giving individual interviews and guidance to people who are unemployed.

Shirley Theedom, Deputy Principle at Strode College, said: “This has been a fantastic partnership and a great example of how Strode works with the Job Centre and local employers to train people in skills they need to gain employment. Over the past few years Strode has trained many adults in retail and customer service skills and we have become renowned for our work with people who are unemployed. We are delighted to have helped make such a difference to all those who trained with us and wish them well in their job interviews in the coming weeks.”

Tessa Munt MP for Wells and Street joined the graduation ceremony to celebrate the students’ successes. She said: “I had a brilliant day at Strode College and a huge amount of fun. I welcome this innovative project to help local unemployed people back into work and I congratulate the graduates. Strode really is an inspirational learning centre which I’m proud to have in my patch and I commend all the staff and students there.”

Photo: Tessa Munt MP and Shirley Theedom, Deputy Principal at Strode, with tutors and jobseekers as they graduate from Strode’s retail and customer skills training ahead of interviews with Waitrose.

21/05/13 - Adults Find a lot to Learn at Strode
Adults Find a lot to Learn at Strode

If you want to learn something new, develop a talent or interest, or get a qualification to progress your career, then you should take a look at the new 'Courses for Adult Learners' at Strode College in Street (brochure available from Friday 24 May). 

There is something for everyone, with over 200 courses running at different times and dates throughout the year starting from September.

You may want to improve your career prospects by taking a job-related course, for example in, accountancy, engineering, food hygiene, hair and beauty, marketing and promotion, preparing to teach or counselling.

Or you might want to have a go at something for your personal enjoyment such as learning a language or stained glass, digital photography, jewellery making, upholstery, pottery or yoga. 

And there are a wide range of computer and IT courses available for all abilities, including absolute beginners courses such as how to use e-mail or the internet, and courses for more experienced users leading to qualifications. 

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: "Leaving school, college or work doesn’t mean you have to stop learning or trying new things. Last year around 3000 adults took part-time courses with Strode, showing how important adult learning is for many people in our community. I am delighted that we are able to share our excellent facilities and expert teachers with the local community in this way."

To find out more about Strode’s 'Courses for Adult Learners' call: 01458 844400 or visit:

03/05/13 - Exciting and Challenging Physical Dance
Exciting and Challenging Physical Dance

Our BTEC Performing Arts and A Level Dance students visited the Tacchi Morris Arts Centre in Taunton in April, to watch the EarthFall Dance Company’s exciting new work 'Chelsea Hotel'.

Following the show students took part in a workshop at College led by dancers from the EarthFall dance company. They were introduced to new ways of moving through a challenging, physical and daring workshop. This included a technique class in which students learnt pieces from the 'Chelsea Hotel' work, and trust work which introduced them to new ways of lifting and supporting each other. 

Becky Harvey, Strode's course manager and teacher for A Level Dance said: “The workshop was physically demanding and really exciting. Our students embraced it wholly, pushing themselves at times to their physical limits.”

Georgia Green of Yeovil, who is studying A Level dance at Strode, said: “Working with a professional company has introduced me to the level of physicality and strength required of a professional dancer. I am very thankful for this fantastic opportunity.”

Check out the Strode Dance Facebook page for photos and video footage from the workshop.

Visit the EarthFall website:

02/05/13 - French Beauty Students Visit Strode
French Beauty Students Visit Strode

Five French Beauty Therapy students, from Lomet College in Agen South West France, visited Strode College with their teachers last week as part of an exchange programme between the two colleges.

Strode Beauty students treated their French visitors to a variety of treatments and all the students worked together in the Strode Beauty Salon on waxing, manicures, make-up, massage and eye treatments. 

The students learnt new skills and techniques, they had a great time experiencing life in a bigger college and they enjoyed socialising together, including a trip to Bath and Glastonbury to see local places of interest.

Susan Omeara, who teaches Beauty Therapy at Strode said: “This was a great exchange visit and both groups of students are looking forward to Strode beauty students visiting Lomet College next year. The French students were impressed by the size of our college and our facilities and by the variety of courses that we offer. This was their first visit to England and we made sure they felt very welcome.”

Photo: Back row, Strode beauty students (left to right): Sophie Sartin, Frankie Silcox, Hannah Chaddock, Lauren Coe, Charlotte Burletson, Ellie White, Lily Sandford and Sophie Palmer
Front row French beauty students (left to right): Charline Vico, Océane Dos Santos, Fanny Leal, Ophélie Dejouy and Océane Ferry.

02/05/13 - Media Industry Full of Opportunities for Students
Media Industry Full of Opportunities for Students

Strode College film and media students had an inspiring day recently finding out from industry professionals about the diverse and interesting careers they could pursue in the media - one of the fastest growing industries in the UK.

Guest speakers at Strode’s Media Day included a film pyrotechnics expert from the team behind numerous blockbusters such as the The Dark Knight, Sherlock and Skyfall, and a texture artist and animator who worked on Harry Potter and Wrath of the Titan. There were talks from an advertising executive, a music blogger, two radio news journalists and a live satellite link up with a TV runner in Australia.

Students gained valuable insight into the production of a wide range of media, with behind the scenes footage, entertaining anecdotes and a lot of sound advice. 

They also heard from lecturers at the University of the West of England, Bristol, about opportunities to study Film and Media at university.

The day finished with a presentation from two former Strode A Level Film and Media students, Jack and Boris Thompson-Roylance, who since leaving Strode have set up their own film company Deadbeat Films and worked on numerous projects for Secret Cinema and UKF music. Jack, who was slightly jetlagged having just flown back from Miami where he had been working on a music video, said that he was happy to ‘champion the cause’ and ‘come back to where it had all started’. He said: “I remember sitting in the front row of Strode Theatre at the College’s previous Media Day event, watching this and taking it all in. To be able to come back and try to inspire the next generation is fantastic.”

Kev Cook, Subject Leader for A-level Media at Strode was extremely grateful to all those who came to speak with the students. He said: “It’s a big ask of these people who are working to tight deadlines to give up their time to speak with our students. Seeing and

hearing from the people who make the media that fills our everyday lives is revealing and enlightening and I hope that we have inspired more of our students to pursue a career in what is one of the UK’s fastest growing industries.

“To say that studying film or media won’t get you a job is a complete myth – the creative industries account for six per cent of GDP and employ over two million people in this country. Working in the media is more than being a TV presenter. There are a vast range of career opportunities out there and I hope today we have shed light on some of them.” 

29/04/13 - Parisian Beauty!
Parisian Beauty!

Strode College beauty students recently visited Lancôme in Paris for a seminar and demonstration of the latest skincare and cosmetics products.

It was an exciting experience for the Level 2 and 3 beauty students who learnt new techniques from international Lancôme therapists, gained an insight into the company and took inspiration for their own studies and careers.

The students were complimented by Lancôme on their personal presentation and professional behaviour, and one student was selected as a model for the skin care and make-up demonstration. (Photo caption: Level 3 Beauty Therapy student, Tash Watson from Shepton Mallet, helps the Lancome beauty therapist with her make-up demonstration.)

The students also had a great time seeing the sights of Paris, visiting the Disneyland Parks and spending their evenings at the Planet Hollywood and Rainforest restaurants.

29/04/13 - Student Follows in Principal's Footsteps to Study History at Cambridge University
Student Follows in Principal's Footsteps to Study History at Cambridge University

Strode College A Level student Lucy Maitland-Cullen, who lives in Street, will be following in her Principal’s footsteps this autumn when she goes to Cambridge University to study history.

Strode Principal, James Staniforth, gained his history degree from Cambridge University and understands just how rigorous the selection process is to gain a place at this prestigious university. He was delighted when Lucy was shortlisted for interview and wanted to help her make the most of the opportunity. 

He said: “It’s great news that Lucy is progressing from Strode to Cambridge University, and particularly pleasing for me that she will be studying a subject so close to my own academic interests. I worked with Lucy in the run up to her Cambridge interviews to extend her knowledge of historical theory and to build her confidence - she obviously did a great job.

“Lucy is one of twenty Strode students to win Oxbridge places in the last four years and in September 2012 67 students progressed to Russell Group universities, including seven who studied BTEC Extended Diplomas. Our A level and advanced level vocational students are 13% more likely to get a place at university than the national average – this is great news for our college and our students.” 

Lucy found the one-to-one teaching with her Principal a great help, she said: “Studying history at Strode has been fantastic; my subject teachers are inspiring and really enthusiastic. The extra support and lessons with James Staniforth definitely extended my knowledge and I felt more confident when it came to answering questions from the lecturers at the Cambridge interviews. I’m really looking forward to studying there and to meeting people who share the same academic interests.” 

Photo: James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, with student Lucy Maitland-Cullen who will be following in his footsteps by studying History at Cambridge University next year.

29/04/13 - Fantastic Night of Acoustic Music - Catch Up on YouTube
Fantastic Night of Acoustic Music - Catch Up on YouTube

Students from Strode College's BTEC Extended Diploma in Music recently organised a fantastic concert of live music and performed to a packed audience in the Holy Trinity Church in Street.

Ex-Strode student and talented performer, Lee Rahn, headlined the all-acoustic event. Strode Music Course Manager Daniel Shaw said: “We were watching a performer communicating perfectly with his spell bound audience. I strongly recommend seeing Lee perform live - he will be appearing at the Godney Gathering this summer - and for those who can’t, he has just released a new ep called 'Scruffy Hair & Ragged Shoes'”. 

Some excellent original work from Strode’s music students was showcased for the first time at the gig: 'The Rusty Lungs' with their quirky 'Autumn Colours' by Yazie MacNeil on piano and vocals, Keiran O'Byrne on bass and Brendan Sweetman on melodica and ukulele; 'Sons of Natives' (Connor Crabb, Lucas Male and Jon Pole) were joined in their contemporary country style by a pedal steel; 'Mr Keep Calm' performed an original number which included a double bass; and 'According to Dave' (Ben Armstrong, Matt Carter, Jake Wareham, Alexis Barker and Aidan Turner) performed an original song which they had arranged for a string quartet, acoustic guitars and glockenspiel.

There was a poignant moment when student Reece Blake’s performance, and the entire concert, was dedicated to the memory of fellow student Mike Norman, who died in a tragic motorcycle crash in March. Reece played 'Alice in her wonderland', a song he had last performed with Mike.

Members of the audience commented on the value for money for a wonderful evening’s entertainment and a terrific atmosphere. Diana Greenfield, pioneer of the parish said: “This building was made to reflect the Glory of God and to enhance acoustic music; it is wonderful to see it used in this way.”

The concert was recorded by Strode’s Music Technology and Broadcast Media students, so if you missed the concert, you can watch some of the highlights on YouTube:

A Strode College album, showcasing some of the live recordings made at the unplugged concert and the best recordings made in Strode’s studios this year, is due to be released to coincide with the exciting 'Blackstar Showcase' in Strode Theatre on the 30 April.

This event promises to be an electrifying demonstration of the new range by the premier British guitar amp manufacturer, polished off with a wonderful blend of live music from some fantastic local bands. Featuring 'Casimir', 'My Story', 'Awaken the Silence', 'All us Authors', 'According to Dave', 'Tallulah and the Talkbacks' and others, the event is a must see for all guitarists and lovers of music. Check Strode Theatre website for more details:

Photo: Duncan Almy, who lives in Glastonbury and previously attended St Dunstan’s School, was among the many talented music students to perform at the Strode College unplugged concert.

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