Strode News

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27/01/15 - Strode College Loves to Boogie
Strode College Loves to Boogie

For something a little bit groovy this Valentine’s Day you could take your beloved to watch a musical at Strode Theatre. 'Boogie Nights', the 70s-based musical show, is the latest production by Strode College Performing Arts students and you can ‘get down on it’ at Strode Theatre on Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 February, 7.30pm.

The immensely successful West End show tells of the trials and tribulations of young love in Britain’s 1970s and of Roddy Gabriel’s dreams of rock stardom. Musical numbers include plenty of 70s favourites such as ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘Disco Inferno’ and ‘Play That Funky Music’ together with some nods towards popular film and television shows of the time such as Grease, Jaws and Happy Days.

Charmaine Bray, Performing Arts teacher and director of the show, said: “This fast paced, fun show will take you right back to the 70s, and with thirty-two musical numbers you’re bound to hear at least one of your favourite disco tunes! Our students have had an enormous amount of fun putting the show together, and we’re sure some of the audience will enjoy revisiting their youth!”

The production is part of Strode College’s Enrichment programme which means that students from all courses across college can take part. Although mostly Performing Arts students, three of the eight principal characters are from other courses, including A level and Beauty Therapy, with students from other courses also helping out backstage.

Tickets for the show, which cost £10, £8 full concessions and £6 for Strode students and staff, can be booked via the Strode Theatre Box Office: 01458 442846 or

Special offer
Italian restaurant, Tamburinos, Street are offering 25% off food, on the evening of the performance you attend (for those with a ticket for the Thursday or Friday performances only). Contact Tamburinos further information.

27/01/15 - New Higher Education Facilities at Strode College
New Higher Education Facilities at Strode College

HE Experience Day - Tuesday 24 February, 12.00 - 3.00pm

Book your place for this event to find out about our first-class, university-level courses. Meet our lecturers, get a flavour of the courses you're interested in and take a look at our brand new Higher Education facilities. Contact: Wendy Cavill on: 01458 844404 or

For a copy of Strode College’s prospectus for Higher Education courses call 01458 844400 or visit the college website to find out more.

Stay local for a quality, affordable university-level education

If you live in Somerset and are considering university education, you need look no further than Strode College in Street. Recently judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the college also has the highest possible rating for its Higher Education courses and it provides excellent and affordable university-level courses, which are now being taught in brand new facilities dedicated to Higher Education (HE).

New buildingStrode College’s new building offers first-class teaching spaces specific to university programmes, as well as seminar rooms, quiet study areas and a common room, where Higher Education students can meet to work or relax. 

University-level courses taught at Strode College have been designed to link with growth areas in the regional economy. Students benefit not only from new purpose built facilities, fantastic specialist teaching and support and lower study fees, they also gain from great partnerships with industry and commerce as well as other organisations active in the community. As a result, many Higher Education students from Strode College go on to work in businesses across the region.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: “Our investment in new facilities for university-level education reflects the need for high quality and affordable higher education to be provided locally. Not everyone wants to go away from home to study and the additional costs of study fees, accommodation and other living expenses can put higher level study out of reach for many people. Our higher education provision has been awarded the highest possible rating by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). I’m delighted that we are now able to offer such fantastic facilities alongside outstanding, specialist teaching and support.”

You can apply directly to Strode College to study a university-level course and do not need to apply through UCAS (which has already closed for applications). The college is currently accepting applications for the following courses starting in September 2015:

  • History, Heritage and Archaeology - Degree and Foundation Degree
  • Managing in the Public Sector Services - Foundation Degree
  • Computing and Systems Development - HND and HNC
  • Engineering - HND and HNC.

Degree and Foundation Degree courses are run in partnership with Plymouth University. 

Strode College’s 60 full-time and part-time Higher Education students are all delighted with the study environment they now have available. Natasha Paine, who lives in Martock and formerly attended Huish Episcopi School, gained a Foundation Degree in History, Heritage & Archaeology at Strode College last summer and she is now studying a final year to achieve a full BA (Hons) Degree. She said: “The new block has given Strode’s Higher Education students a sense of unity, allowing us to come together, meet new students and support each other with our work. The college has made a fantastic step forward with the progression of Higher Education - the new block and the range of courses are a benefit to the college, its students and our future.”

20/01/15 - Outstanding Oxbridge Success for Outstanding College
Outstanding Oxbridge Success for Outstanding College

Six Strode College A Level students are delighted to have achieved their goal of being offered places to study at Oxford and Cambridge universities next year.

Offers from Oxford University have gone to:

  • Georgia Corrigan to study Modern Foreign Languages, French and Russian (she lives in Glastonbury and formerly attended St Dunston’s School);
  • Myfanwy Craigie to study Modern Foreign Languages, German and Spanish (she lives in Bruton and formerly attended Sexeys School);
  • Amber Pavey to study Earth Sciences (she lives in Ilchester and formerly attended Stanchester School); and
  • Altair Brandon-Salmon to study History of Art (he lives in Ston Easton and was formerly Home Educated).

Offers from Cambridge University have gone to:

  • Edward Beaty to study Maths (he lives in Walton and formerly attended Crispin School); and
  • William Orchard to study Natural Sciences (he lives in Glastonbury and formerly attended Crispin School).

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said:

We have high expectations of our students and the outstanding teaching and support they receive at Strode is totally focused on helping each student to achieve their potential and a successful future.

“I am delighted that our A Level students consistently achieve high academic standards. They achieve success across a broad range of subjects and I am delighted that this is reflected in successful Oxbridge applications for mathematicians, physical scientists, biological scientists, geologists, and French, German and Spanish linguists, following previous success in History, Archaeology, Engineering and Computing. I am also excited that Altair is the first Strode student to win a place at Oxford to study History of Art”.

“We support all students with their university applications and those aiming to join a competitive university get additional support to ensure they are fully prepared to compete at the highest level. These students are a credit to themselves and their families and former schools, as well as the fantastic teachers and support staff at Strode College.

“Our approach to nurturing high aspirations and achievements through outstanding teaching and support was praised by Ofsted in October 2014, when they judged Strode as `Outstanding` - this success is part of being outstanding for our students every day.”

Strode College is the only `Outstanding` sixth form in Mendip and South Somerset and the only school or college sixth form in Somerset to achieve this highest possible rating since tougher inspection criteria were introduced in 2010.

Students at Strode College progress more than those at other schools and colleges in Somerset and Strode is in the top five % of schools and colleges nationally for improving students grades based on those predicted following their GCSE results (League Tables and ALPS 2014).

Amber Pavey, who will be studying Earth Sciences at Oxford said:

Being at Oxford University for an interview was an incredible experience and I learnt a lot. The support from college made the whole experience much easier.”

Altair Brandon-Salmon, who will be studying History or Art at Oxford University, said:

The support from Strode College through the whole application process has been fantastic, assisting me every step of the way from application to preparation for interview.”

19/01/15 - Boogie Nights - College Musical Performance starting 12 February
Boogie Nights - College Musical Performance starting 12 February

Brought to you by Strode College Performing Arts

Featuring the pop music of the 1970s, Boogie Nights is a humorous musical about Roddy O'Neil and his dream to become a rock star...

Thursday 12, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 February 2015

Tickets £10.00
Full concessions £8.00
Strode staff & students £6.00

Book at the Strode Theatre box office website, or call: 01458 442846

Written by Jon Conway.
Script associates Shane Ritchie & Terry Morrison.
Musical arrangements by Olly Ashmore.
This Amateur Production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

This is a campus production raising funds for the College’s educational activities.

06/01/15 - Weaving Workshop Inspires Textiles Students
Weaving Workshop Inspires Textiles Students

Forty Strode College A Level Textiles students enjoyed a fantastic weaving workshop recently when professional textiles artist Penny Wheeler visited the college.

Penny Wheeler is a specialist in hand woven textiles. She works from her studio in Bath using a countermarch hand loom and she also teaches at Bath Spa University, where she gained a Degree and Masters Degree.

She gave a presentation to the students about her work, showing her design ideas and examples of her hand woven cloth, before demonstrating the process of weaving using various techniques on a rigid heddle loom - a portable loom often used in countries like Peru. The students particularly enjoyed having a go at weaving under the guidance of an expert.

Penny Wheeler’s particular interest and inspiration is the landscape. She recently made a two meter long blanket inspired by the changing landscape of the Somerset Levels during the floods, incorporating the colours and patters into her woven cloth. This blanket, which was made while working with the `ZTwist` project, supported by Somerset Arts Works, has recently been touring Somerset galleries.

Sue Green, Strode College Textiles teacher said: “We had a fantastic day working with Penny. We all learned so much and we will continue to weave further examples of cloth as part of our A level coursework portfolio's. The workshop provided our students with a fascinating and inspiring insight into the working practices of a professional textiles artist - she was very generous and technically accomplished. We would like to thank to Penny for sharing her knowledge and expertise with us and tSAW and 'inspirED' for supporting the event.”

01/01/15 - Great Fun with Peter Pan
Great Fun with Peter Pan

Over 500 children from local primary schools enjoyed a fun and energetic performance of Drewe and Stiles’ adaption of J. M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ during their last week of term, when Strode College’s Performing Arts students presented their version of this popular tale at Strode Theatre in Street.

The well-known story tells of a boy who lives on the island of Neverland, can fly and who never grows up.

Strode’s first year extended diploma Performing Arts students presented the show as part of their work on children’s theatre and second year students delivered the show as part of their study of musical theatre. Strode’s Performing Arts teacher, Charmaine Bray, said: “The students have enjoyed working on the show and being able to put their own individual stamp on the classic characters. This was an ambitious production as it was a full length musical, but I have been delighted at how brilliantly the team rose to the challenge. It was a lovely way to start the Christmas festivities.”

Children who visited Strode to see the show came from Hindhayes Infant School, Street and Elmhurst Junior School also of Street. The Strode College students also put on a show for parents, grandparents and the general public.

Peter Pan Cast and Hindhayes School

Photo: The cast of Peter Pan with the pupils of Hindhayes School, Street.

23/12/14 - Christmas Card Competition 2014
Christmas Card Competition 2014

Strode College’s Art Department once again held their annual Christmas card competition and this year’s winner saw her design turned into the official college card for 2014.

Chloe Maynard’s design was chosen by the college Principal James Staniforth as the winner from 38 entries and features a mirrored pattern of a reindeer and traditional Christmas imagery of a Christmas tree, snowflakes and holly.

Leah Cannings came second with her design depicting the three wise men and their journey to Bethlehem, and Laura Angus came third with a depiction of a Robin created from letter forms.

Our Level 3 Extended Diploma Art & Design students completed this project as part of their client-led brief for Graphics.

Christmas card winners: Leah Cannings, Chloe Maynard and Laura Angus

From left to right: Leah Cannings, Chloe Maynard and Laura Angus

18/12/14 - Strode College Christmas Concert
Strode College Christmas Concert

Students from across Strode College came together last week to present a range of fantastic musical performances for their annual Christmas concert in Strode Theatre.

The audience were treated to harmony singing from the College Choir, a disco classic from the College Ensemble and a host of more contemporary rock and pop songs from the college’s Extended Diploma Music and Music Technology students.

Another highlight of the evening was the highly accomplished College Jazz Band, who demonstrated an exceptional level of technical and musical ability through their improvised solos.

Matt Holmes, Strode College’s Head of Media, Music and Performing Arts, said: “The Christmas Concert is always a highlight of the academic year and this year’s was no exception. Once again both students and our extremely talented music staff produced a truly festive performance of which we can all be proud!”

Christmas Concert 2014 - Woodwind Christmas Concert 2014 - Singers

Christmas Concert 2014 - Guitar Christmas Concert 2014

17/12/14 - Successful Film Producer Shares Experience with Strode College Film and Media Students
Successful Film Producer Shares Experience with Strode College Film and Media Students

Successful TV and film producer Dan Winch, visited Strode College recently to share his experience of working in the industry with students. He recently produced his first full length film ‘What We Did on Our Holidays’, having previously worked as First Assistant Director on a number of British films and TV dramas.

Dan Winch grew up near Street and went to St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury, so he has visited Strode College many times before. On this occasion however, he visited because he is passionate about helping young people find their way in the TV and film industry.

Strode College students can study A Levels in Film Studies and Media Studies and an Extended Diploma in Broadcast Media. This was a great opportunity for those students, as well as others interested in a career in film and media production, to learn and be inspired by a successful media professional.

What we did on our holiday, posterFilm Studies teacher and subject leader, Ben Boydell, said ‘We were delighted to welcome a visitor of Dan’s experience. His enthusiasm is infectious and he is an inspirational speaker. Dan provided students with the kind of inside information that is invaluable in making sense of career prospects in the creative industries. We are privileged that he has taken time out of his busy work schedule, and we look forward very much to seeing him again.”

Photo: Film Producer Dan Winch (middle front row) with some of the Strode College Film and Media students who enjoyed hearing about his work and how to get on in the film and TV industry.

16/12/14 - Music for a Good Cause
Music for a Good Cause

Strode College students and staff had a great time helping to make 'Oxjam Glastonbury & Street 2014' a huge success. 

£1,686 was raised for Oxfam through donations and gigs during the three-week charity music event, which included eight live music events featuring over 40 music acts. 

Oxjam Glastonbury & Street 2014 was organised by Gary Smith, who is the Manager of Strode College’s Learning Centre, and Daniel Shaw, who is Music Course Manager and Teacher at Strode. 

Fifteen Strode students and seven Strode staff performed during the events which took place at venues across the local area.


Gary Smith  Rosie Whitten  Harry Carpenter

Photos (left to right): Organiser Gary Smith, Strode Music L3 Extended Diploma students Rosie Whitten from Bruton and Harry Carpenter from Street. Credit: Marc Hughes Photography.

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