Strode News

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22/01/14 - Strode Student Wins Place on German Pupil Course and is Selected as UK-German Youth Ambassador
Strode Student Wins Place on German Pupil Course and is Selected as UK-German Youth Ambassador

Strode A Level student Grace Bentham, who lives in Stathe near Bridgwater and previously attended Huish Episcopi School, is one of only 12 young British students who gained a place on an exciting UK-German Connection Pupil Course last year. Since her return she has been selected as one of fifty UK-German Youth Ambassadors and has been working with pupils at Walton Primary School, introducing pupils to German language and culture.

The UK-German Connection (, which is supported and partly funded by the British Council and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (Educational Exchange Service), aims to strengthen connections between German and British young people and to promote German language and culture throughout the UK.

As part of the Pupil Course, Grace spent two weeks in Germany staying with a host family, taking part in school lessons and visiting locations of interest. Through her work at Walton Primary School she is now sharing her knowledge and love of the language and culture with local children. 

Grace has worked on three projects with the Year 6 pupils at Walton Primary School: finding out about Germany and learning some basic words; writing autumn poems in German and exchanging home-made Christmas cards with the pupils from Astrid-Lindgren Primary School in Lower Saxony. Next, Grace will help the children exchange hand-made postcards from Somerset with their new German friends.

Grace really enjoyed her time in Germany and gained a lot from the experience. She said: “I returned from Birkenwerder near Berlin feeling enriched, having had so many new experiences which I will always remember. Before this course I had never stayed with a German family and had only spent a few days in Germany. I was overjoyed to be chosen.

“My host family warmly welcomed me and I had many interesting conversations in German about politics, the news and history, which helped me gain confidence, more fluency and cultural awareness. My language skills have really improved and, having been immersed in German culture, I have more knowledge of German history, which will no doubt help with my A Level course. I have made some really good friends, both British and German, and would urge other German language students to apply to the course – it’s a great opportunity!”

“We went on various trips to Berlin, Potsdam (Sanssouci Park and castle tour), Babelsburg Filmpark, and Hohenschönhausen Stasi Prison, which was both disturbing and of historical importance and gave me an insight into what life was like during the war.

“We took German lessons on a range of topics at an inclusive Gesamtschule called Regine Hildebrandt Schule. Due to my interest in education and special educational needs, I particularly enjoyed undertaking a project on inclusive education. It was also interesting, albeit confusing, to experience a French lesson in German with my host partner!

“We went to Claerchen’s Ballhaus in Berlin and I tried ballroom style dancing to celebrate the birthday of my host’s grandma. I particularly enjoyed seeing paintings by some German artists at the Old National Gallery; I admired Berlin’s impressive architecture during a boat trip on the Spree and saw the Berliner Dom where I enjoyed a Bach concert and an incredible atmosphere. I also visited the Bundeskanzleramt and the buildings where Angela Merkel is based.”

Strode’s A Level German Teacher Marian Jones, told Grace about the opportunity and supported her with her application. She said: “We are always pleased to take our students on exchanges and study visits, but an individual project like this shows real initiative. Grace gained so much linguistically and personally from the travel experience and from working on a joint project with young people from Germany. This will be useful in her university language studies and is bound to impress future employers.’ 

Strode College is now accepting applications to study A Levels in German, French and Spanish, starting in September 2014. Former Strode language students are currently studying at some of our top universities, including Oxford, Warwick and Bristol. Some pursue the language they studied at A Level and others choose a new challenge, such as Mandarin or Japanese.

18/12/13 - Year 11 Pupil Records EP at Strode
Year 11 Pupil Records EP at Strode

A year 11 pupil from Crispin School, Lauren Cooper, has released a new EP recorded at Strode College Studios by Daniel Shaw, Course Manager for Strode College’s  Music Extended Diploma.

This was her prize for coming first in the ‘Celebration of Youth’ event held in Glastonbury Town hall in September, an initiative from the Glastonbury Mayor.

Olly Richens, Audio Technician at Strode College, plays drums on the EP and Daniel Shaw plays Double Bass.

The EP is available as a download form all the usual digital partners including iTunes/Amazon.

13/12/13 - Strode College Concert Proves to be a Winter Wonder
Strode College Concert Proves to be a Winter Wonder

At their annual Christmas concert last week, Strode College music students delivered a feast of musical entertainment with some outstanding group and individual contributions in a programme that catered for a range of musical tastes.

The marvellously staged seamless production started with the elegance of a string quartet playing a Schubert minuet, a fantastic choral rendition of seasonal music and a belting rendition of '`Mack the Knife'. The college jazz group played a wonderfully cool set including Herbie Hancock’s `Chameleon` demonstrating some exciting emerging improvisatory talent, most notable the guitar playing of second year A level music student Joe Armer (of Street) A fantastic folk-rock trio 'Archie and the Dictators' did full justice to the rhythmic syncopations of Richard Thomson’s 'Stuck on a Treadmill'.

The flavour of the event then shifted towards popular music with first year Music Extended Diploma students playing a spirit lifting version of a Peter Gabriel classic, a lively original Christmas song by Ben Tubridy (of Babcary, Somerton) and a sing-along Sufan Stevens number.

The second half of the show started with a fantastic surge of energy from Strode’s Extended Diploma second year students with a crisp and punchy cover of Black Keys’ 'Gold on the Ceiling' and a goose bump inducing performance of Beyoncé’s 'If Were a Boy' sung by Zelah Van-Gowler (of Bridgwater). Not to be out done, the Beach Boy style male close harmony singing in the peace number `California Dayz` supported Connor Crabb’s (of Yeovil) dreamy vocal rendition beautifully.

Close harmony featured again with a flawless and sparkling 'Andrew Sisters' tribute featuring A Level students Lizzy Bevan (of Wells), Charlotte Wisniewski (of Compton Dundon) and Sophie Mansergh (of Sherborne) driven by some fantastic playing by the college ensemble in a rendition of the 'Ferry Boat Serenade'. The house lights went up and the audience joined in with a festive closing number to round of a wonderful evening of entertainment.

13/12/13 - Strode Students Enter the World of Beauty, Fashion and Celebrity
Strode Students Enter the World of Beauty, Fashion and Celebrity

Strode College Beauty Therapy students visited the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham NEC recently, where they gained valuable insight into the world of beauty, make-up and fashion, and they got to meet some celebrities!

Strode’s Level 2 Beauty Therapy Course Manager, Marcie Mickleburgh, said: "The catwalk show gave the students the chance to see the latest make-up and fashion trends.  It was a very successful and enjoyable trip."

Photo (below, right): Strode College Level 2 Beauty Therapy student Naomi Stanley, from Yeovil, with celebrity Amy Childs, who became famous when she appeared on ITVs 'The Only Way is Essex' and has since launched her own beauty and fashion ranges.

  Naomi Stanley with Amy Childs

13/12/13 - Success for Strode Maths Students in National Competition
Success for Strode Maths Students in National Competition

Twelve high achieving A Level Maths students from Strode College have 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 74,000 pupils competing. The top 10% of students received a gold certificate, the next 20% were awarded silver and the next 30% were awarded bronze.

Three Strode students were awarded gold certificates: Edward Beaty (Walton), Andrew Bryer (Walton) and Rebekah Botterill (Glastonbury). Eight achieved silver: Lauren Wittleton (Glastonbury) Matthew Bearman (Street) Alannah Brannagan-Fuller (Martock), Sam Taylor (Stawell), Clare Gollop (Charlton Adam), Ben Crawford (Radstock), Harry Dunlop (Street), and Elizabeth Down (Pedwell). Veyndan Stuart (Shepton Mallet) was awarded a bronze certificate.

Around 4000 of the top achieving students from across the UK were invited to take part in follow on competitions. Strode’s Edward Beaty (Walton) and Andrew Bryer (Walton) qualified for the Senior Kangaroo competition - results will be announced in January. 

Four students (Ben Crawford, Lauren Wittleton, Andrew Bryer and Edward Beaty) competed in the Team challenge in November at University of West of England in Bristol against teams from schools and colleges around the Bristol area. Competition was tough and the team’s third place was very well deserved.

Strode Maths Subject Leader and Teacher, Helen Kelsey, said: “Our students study a specific syllabus for their Maths A Levels, but this competition poses stimulating and interesting problems that require students to use their mathematical knowledge differently; it encourages them to think laterally and logically. We help our students prepare for the maths challenge by adding optional questions to their homework. They 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 2013 high grades of A*, A and B were achieved by 64% of students in Maths and 77% of students in Further Maths. In 2013 one Strode student went on to study mathematics at Oxford and over twenty Strode students went on to study degree courses that required maths A level at universities around the country.

Photo: Maths students from Strode College won gold, silver and bronze at the UK maths competition, where they competed with 74,000 students and solved maths problems that would challenge even the best mathematicians. Left to right back row: Rebekah Botterill (gold), Andrew Bryer (gold), Lauren Wittleton (silver), Lizzie Down (silver), James Staniforth (Strode Principal), Veyndan Stuart (bronze), Sam Taylor (silver), Harry Dunlop (silver) and Edward Beaty (gold). Left to right front row: Matthew Bearman (silver), Clare Gollop (silver), Allanah Brannagan-Fuller (silver), Ben Crawford (silver).

13/12/13 - Free Advice for Construction Companies
Free Advice for Construction Companies

Strode College Business Development team has joined forces with Old Mill accountants and financial planners and Train4All, a local construction company, to provide free information and advice for construction employers. 

Construction employers are invited to a free event at Strode College on Thursday 9 January, 6.00 - 7.15pm

They will be able to get advice about tax planning; business planning and finance; CIS, payroll and Real time guidance; commercial vehicles; and grants available.

For more information about the free event and services available to construction employers, contact the Strode College Business Development team: 01458 844457 or

09/12/13 - West End Musical Workshop
West End Musical Workshop

Strode College Performing Arts and Dance students got the opportunity to learn from a West-end professional last week when Richard Murphy visited and delivered an inspiring musical theatre workshop.

Richard was trained to the highest level in musical theatre at Doreen Bird College in Kent before going on to enjoy tremendous success performing in acclaimed shows including; Chicago, We Will Rock you, Wizard of Oz and many more.

The workshop gave Strode students the chance to learn from the very best. They learnt repertoire and audition pieces from two hit West-End shows Chicago and Matilda and thoroughly enjoyed the session.

Students were in awe of Richard’s phenomenal ability and enthusiasm saying: “The workshop was amazing! So much fun and incredibly inspiring, we loved it!”

Richard commented on how impressed he was with the professionalism and hardworking attitude of Strode students saying: “They have been an absolute pleasure to teach”.

Strode College is now taking applications for A Levels, vocational qualifications and higher education courses. The college teaches A Levels in Dance and in Drama and Theatre Studies; it offers a Level 3 Extended Diploma and Level 2 Diploma in Performing Arts, as well as a Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts (Acting).

Photo: Strode College Performing Arts and Dance students learn from the best with West End musical performer Richard Murphy (centre).

06/12/13 - Students Raise Funds to Help Those in Need
Students Raise Funds to Help Those in Need

Student fundraising for the Philippines

Our Level 2 Hairdressing Diploma students held a cake sale at college and raised over £100 for the Red Cross appeal  to help people in the Philippines affected by the recent typhoon.


Children in Need

Staff and students joined in the fun for Children in Need with students raising over £150 through a cake sale and music event in the college refectory. Also, sports Students Shane Roche and Dan Berkeley had their heads shaved and staff and students bravely took part in an "It's a Knockout" style assault course!

Head shave  Live music Assault Course  Assault Course

03/12/13 - Somerset County Council Supports Sports at Strode College
Somerset County Council Supports Sports at Strode College

Somerset County Councillors for Street and Glastonbury, Alan Gloak and Terry Napper, presented £5,000 to Strode College last week which will be used to build a 'Trim Trail' around the college’s sports grounds.

The Trim Trail, which is due to be in place for Spring 2014, will consist of a range of wooden exercise equipment placed around the college’s extensive sports fields to form a fitness and exercise circuit.

In addition to the £5,000 provided by Somerset County Council from the health and well-being budget, Strode College will contribute £1,000 to the project, Crispin School will contribute £500 and Councillor Gloak’s charity TS5C will also contribute £500.

Councillor Alan Gloak said: “The Trim Trail will be a great way for students to get fit and local residents will benefit too. I am glad to see that Crispin School is also involved as obesity is a hidden problem and we must act to combat it by educating young people about the importance of staying fit and healthy; this trail will help”

Councillor Terry Napper said: “We are lucky to have such an excellent college providing fantastic facilities for our local young people and the wider community. This project is a great example of how people are benefitting from Street and Glastonbury joining together.”

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from Somerset County Council. The Trim Trail will be a valuable addition to our sports facilities which are used by Strode students for their studies and their sports activities as well as by pupils from Crispin School. The local community also make good use of our facilities for a range of clubs, classes and individual activities; I look forward to seeing people enjoying this new equipment in the Spring.”

03/12/13 - Strode Celebrates its First Videogame Day with Charity Screening of Top Documentary
Strode Celebrates its First Videogame Day with Charity Screening of Top Documentary

Strode College is holding its first video game day on Friday 13 December at Strode Theatre.

The day starts with a screening of the much lauded documentary King Of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters, which is open to the public as well as Strode students for just £2 per person; profits will go to the college charity, The Gambia Project.

The documentary, rated PG, features the gripping but unlikely story of a tussle between two opposing, larger than life characters to become the world's champion at the classic arcade game Donkey Kong. The film is rated 96% on respected review site Rotten Tomatoes and will provide laughs and drama for non-lovers and fans of gaming alike.

After the film Strode Students will enjoy a series of talks on a range of subjects and careers related to video gaming, from some famous names and local successes Britain's highly respected video game world.

Film tickets are bookable via the Strode Theatre website at £2 plus booking fee or in person at the Strode Theatre box office.

The Film starts at 9.10am and runs for approximately 1 hour 30 mins. The film is helping to fund the event and profits go the The Gambia Project, the College's charity. 

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