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01/05/12 - Sports Students Focus on Future Careers
Sports Students Focus on Future Careers

Three former Strode College sports students returned to college recently to give advice and guidance to current students on how to build a successful career in the sports industry.

The sports careers day was organised by Strode's Sports Lecturers to inspire students and help them focus on positive ways to achieve their ambitions.  Students were advised about the variety of careers paths available and the qualifications and experiences they would need to succeed in these careers.

Lydia Cracknell, who left Strode in 2007, is now a self-employed gymnastics, acrobatics and trampoline coach.  She challenged the students in an acrobatics session which tested their balance and core strength skills.

After leaving the college in 2006, Alan Barnard went to work in the leisure industry in North Devon and now works as a Personal Trainer based at a gym in Wells.  He put the students through their paces during a boot camp sessi

Dale Bond talked to students about his career since completing his National Diploma in Sport at Strode in 2004.  He spoke candidly about the lessons he has learnt and the things that he would have done differently.  After Strode Dale went on to study Sports Coaching at Hartbury College, part of the University of the West of England.  He is currently working as a self-employed strength and conditioning coach before taking up a full time position as a Sports Biomechanist.

Jason Jones, Course Manager for Strode's Extended Diploma in Sport said: 'It has been an important day for our students.  Our Sports Diploma opens up a range of career pathways including coaching, sports development, fitness instructing, sports therapy, teaching and facility operations to name a few.   It's important for students to reflect on all the possibilities for their future careers and put in place now all the pieces of the jigsaw that will contribute to their success."

Jean Marchant, Course Manager for Strode's Level 2 Diploma in Sport said: 'The students had fun today but they have also heard first-hand from people who were in their position just a few years ago, about how they achieved their success and what else they will need to do to compete in the competitive jobs market, as well as succeeding on their current course."

Photo: Sports Coach and former Strode student Lydia Cracknell helps students with their balance and core strength, during the Strode sports careers day.

24/04/12 - Tessa Munt MP Discusses Politics with Students
Tessa Munt MP Discusses Politics with Students

Tessa Munt MP visited Strode College in March 2012 to speak to our A Level Government & Politics students as part of their studies. She explained the work she does as an MP, answered the students' questions about working in politics and areas of government policy.

She said: "I was very pleased to return to Strode College and to speak to the A Level students about the work I do, and politics in general. I was happy to answer their questions on any number of subjects and I hope it was a helpful and interesting morning for the students. I certainly enjoyed it!. I am delighted that I have been able to offer work experience opportunities to so many school and college students since the general election in 2010. This gives students an insight into the work I do day-to-day. I will continue to do this, and look forward to visiting more local schools and colleges in the future."

This visit was part of a series of talks organised by tutor Stephen Page to help his students understand modern government and politics. Previous speakers include Sir Graham Watson MEP who visited Strode to talk about his work as a Member of the European Parliament, current developments within the European Union, economic prospects for young people and his views on the UK Coalition Government. BBC Journalists and leaders of local pressure groups have also talked with our students.

A Level Government & Politics has been running at Strode College for over ten years and enjoyed a 100% pass rate with 64% A*-B grades in 2011. Many of our students choose to study politics and related subjects at a range of top universities including Russell League Universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, Manchester, Nottingham, Queen's Belfast, Southampton and York. It is one of over 40 A level subjects offered at Strode College.

24/04/12 - Strode College Honours Students at Awards Evening
Strode College Honours Students at Awards Evening

Strode College in Street celebrated the achievements of a group of outstanding students at the college's inaugural awards evening in Strode Theatre last night.

Thirty students who completed courses at Strode last year were honoured with awards, as an audience of former students, family, friends and staff heard how they had demonstrated high achievement in their subjects, great commitment to their studies, and for some, success against the odds.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: "Tonight has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the exceptional hard work and commitment of our students. These students have worked hard for their success and we are delighted and proud to honour them for their achievements.

"Like all of our students, the award winners owe a great deal to their teachers who are some of the most talented and committed professionals you could hope to meet. The applause from students and their families for the contribution of their teachers demonstrated how highly valued their input has been.

"One of the greatest things about Strode, and further education in general, is that we provide such a wide range of learning opportunities for so many people from across the region.

"Most of our students study A Levels and advanced level vocational courses, but we have a course for almost everyone at Strode, including Foundation Degrees, part-time leisure courses and apprenticeships. We have outstanding academic students and we have those who need extra support with their learning. We value all of them and we are delighted to offer them different pathways to success. These awards reflect the breadth of that success.

"In 2011 we achieved our best ever results for advanced level 16-18 education, significantly above national benchmarks for students achievements in A Levels and vocational courses. We were the top performing state school or college in the Mendips, South Somerset and Sedgmoor,

and the third highest in the whole of Somerset. We were the second highest performing college in the South West and we were rated in the top 7% of 1200 school and colleges nationally for improving students' performance after their GCSEs.

"Our students play a significant part in helping us to achieve this success. I am delighted that they respond so well to our approach to teaching and support; they deserve their awards."

Watch video of the Awards Evening


Details of Awards and Successful Students

1. Overall student of the year 2010/11 - Laura Parry (see profile)
Studied:  A Levels: English Literature A*, History A*and Maths A*
Home town:  Bruton
Previous school:  King Arthur's Community College
Where now?  University of Warwick studying English Literature BA (Hons)

2. Outstanding contribution - Scott McDonald
Studied:  ICT Practitioners Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Street
Where now?  Studying HND Computing at a local college

3. Adult student of the year - Tom West
Studied:  Access to Higher Education, Level 3 Diploma
Home town:  Street
Where now?  Salford University studying Civil Engineering

4. Apprentice of the year - Emily Chiffers
Studied:  Barbering Level 2 Diploma
Home town:  Wells
Previous school:  The Blue School
Where now?  Studying Level 3 Hairdressing at Strode, working at Karen Christensen in Wells

5. Beauty and complimentary therapies student of the year - Naomi Laver
Studied:  Beauty Therapy, Level 3 National Diploma
Home town:  Stoke Sub Hamdon
Previous school:  Stanchester Academy
Where now?  Working at the Summer Lodge Hotel and Spa in Dorset

6. Biology and environmental science student of the year - Tegan Sonvico Christov
Studied:  A Levels: Environmental Studies A, Psychology B and English Language C
Home town:  Glastonbury
Previous school:  St Dunstan's School
Where now?  Gap year then studying Environmental Studies and Media at the University of Brighton

7. Business student of the year - Chelsey Seymour
Studied:  Business, Level 2 National Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Pilton, Shepton Mallet
Previous school:  Whitstone School
Where now?  Employed as a Trainee Accountant at Old Mill Accountants

8. Care student of the year - Charlotte Serpis
Studied:  Health and Social Care, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Wells
Previous school:  The Blue School
Where now?  Working during her gap year before studying Social Work at university

9. Engineering and Technology student of the year - Kristoff Wasenczuk
Studied:  Engineering, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Was in Castle Cary but has returned to Canada
Previous school:  In Canada

10. English student of the year - Sophia Orchard
Studied:  A Levels: English Literature A*, History A* and Physics D
Home town:  Glastonbury
Previous school:  Crispin School
Where now?  Southampton University studying English Literature

11. Foundation student of the year - Lorraine Thompson
Studied:  Level 1 Hairdressing, having previously studied one day a week at Strode whilst at school
Home town:  Shepton Mallet
Previous school:  Whitstone School
Where now?  Working as a Hairdressing apprentice at Images Salon in Shepton Mallet whilst studying at Strode

12. Hairdressing student of the year - Tanya Cook
Studied:  Hairdressing, Level 2 Diploma
Home town:  Somerton
Previous school:  Huish Episcopi
Where now?  Working as an apprentice at Victoria's Hair Designs in Somerton while studying Level 3 Hairdressing at Strode

13. Health and Social Care student of the year - Emma Hawkins
Studied:  Health and Social Care, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Binegar, Nr Radstock
Previous school:  Whitstone School
Where now?  On a gap year before training to be a  teacher

14. Higher education student of the year - Mark Roberts
Studied:  History, Heritage and Archaeology Foundation Degree
Previous school:  Esher Sixth Form College
Where now?  Studying the final year of the History Heritage and Archaeology Degree (BA Hons) at the University of Plymouth

15. Hospitality and Catering student of the year - Alison Smith
Studied:  Hospitality and Catering, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Farrington Gurney
Previous school:  The Blue School
Where now?  Studying Hospitality at Gloucester University

16. Humanities student of the year - Alex Fallows
Studied:  A Levels: Archaeology A, History A, English Literature B and Geography B
Home town:  Street
Previous school:  Crispin School
Where now?  Cardiff University studying Archaeology

17. IT student of the year - Josh Wintersgill (see profile)
Studied:  IT Practitioners, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Wells
Previous school:  The Blue School
Where now?  University of West of England studying IT and Management for Business

18. Maths (Brian Jefferson cup) - Li Rui Zhang
Studied:  A Levels Maths A* and Further Maths A, AS Level Physics A, Chemistry B and Chinese A
Home town:  Street
Previous school:  International student
Where now?  At Strode completing further A Levels before progressing to university

19. Media student of the year - Jack Warman (see profile)
Studied:  Media Production, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Galhampton, nr Castle Cary
Previous school:  Ansford Academy
Where now?  University of Wales, studying Advertising Design

20. Modern foreign languages (Richard Frapwell cup) - Hollie Roper (see profile)
Studied:  A Levels: French A, German A and English Language A
Home town:  Shepton Mallet
Previous school:  Whitstone School
Where now?  Oxford University studying German

21. Music student of the year - Chris Holmes (see profile)
Studied:  A Levels: Music A, Music Technology A and Physics A
Home town:  Limington nr Yeovil
Previous school:  Huish Episcopi
Where now?  Studying Acoustics at Salford University

22. Performing Arts student of the year - Sophie Heyes
Studied:  Performing Arts, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Templecombe
Previous school:  Bruton School for Girls
Where now?  Gap year then to Exeter University to study Drama

23. Physical science student of the year - Aquila Brandon-Salmon
Studied:  A Levels: Maths (Mechanics) A*, Further Maths A, Physics A and Chemistry B
Home town:  Ston Easton
Previous school:  Home educated
Where now?  University of Bristol studying Physics

24. Psychology student of the year - Helen Callaby
Studied:  A Levels: Psychology A, Maths (Statistics) A*, Biology A and Chemistry A
Home town:  Babcary nr Somerton
Previous school:  Ansford Academy
Where now?  Brighton and Sussex Medical School studying Medicine

25. Skills for life (Rachel House award) - Margaret Archer (see profile)
Studied:  Level 2 Literacy
Home town:  Frome
Where now?  Studying ICT at Strode

26. Sport and public services student of the year - Tiana De Martin
Studied:  Sport (Development, Coaching and Fitness), Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Street
Previous school:  Crispin School
Where now?  Management trainee

27. Social sciences student of the year - Connor Billing (see profile)
Studied:  A Level Government and Politics, A. (He gained other A Levels at school, but needed this subject to gain a place on his chosen university course.)
Home town:  Wells
Previous school:  Wells Cathedral School
Where now?  Studying Politics and International Relations at York University

28. Success against the odds - Rosanna Mawby
Studied:  A Levels: Communications and Culture A*, and in 2010 Communications and Culture A, Textiles A and Photography B
Home town:  Wedmore
Previous school:  Kings of Wessex Community School
Where now?  Gap year

29. Success against the odds - Hope Hayward
Studied:  Art and Design Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Glastonbury
Previous school:  Millfield School
Where now?  Hope was in the Under 18s national squad for Dressarge and planned to concentrate on competing professionally and at a national level.

30. Visual arts 3D student of the year - Tara Hemmings (see profile)
Studied:  Art and Design National, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction
Home town:  Shapwick, Nr Bridgwater
Previous school:  Crispin School
Where now?  Studying Textile Design at Falmouth University

31. Visual arts 2D student of the year - Megan Hill (see profile)
Studied:  A Levels: Art A*, Geology A*, Maths A* and Physics B
Home town:  Street
Previous school:  Millfield School
Where now?  Cardiff University, Architectural Studies

19/04/12 - Strode College Students Support the Homeless
Strode College Students Support the Homeless

Public Services students from Strode College in Street raised £360 for the Yeovil Night Shelter recently by spending a night sleeping rough in the college grounds.    

Eleven students from Strode's Public Services Extended Diploma course gave up their home comforts for the night and raised the money through sponsorships and donations as part of their 'Working with others' qualification. 

Chris Gibbons, Manager of the Yeovil Night Shelter Project, said: "I'm extremely impressed with the efforts of the Strode Uniformed Public Services students. They've put themselves out, to help us help people in real need."

Student Ollie Burden from Wincanton, formerly a pupil of King Arthur's School, said: "Although it was only for one night, it has made me appreciate some of the difficulties that homeless people face on a daily basis." 

Course tutor Kevin Bushby praised those taking part, saying: "These young people are looking to pursue a career in the Uniformed Public Services.  They have demonstrated their social awareness by identifying a local charity and then doing something practical to raise funds to help local people in less fortunate circumstances than themselves."

Photo: (top to bottom) Strode students Jacob Czerny from Wells and Ollie Burden from Wincanton get an early morning call after their night sleeping out to raise funds for Yeovil Night Shelter.

17/04/12 - Spring Online - Learn How to Use a Computer and the Internet for Free
Spring Online - Learn How to Use a Computer and the Internet for Free

Strode College in Street is running some free 'Spring Online' computer sessions during April and May for people who want to find out how computers and the internet can make life easier, cheaper and more enjoyable.  

Spring Online for complete beginners, Wednesday 25 April 12.30 - 2.30pm
There are still many people who are completely new to using a computer.  This session will get you started with understanding how computers and laptops can be of benefit in day to day tasks. 

Spring Online with your digital camera, Friday 27 April 2 - 4pm
In this session you can use your digital camera or try the college cameras to take a picture, and find out how to upload and organise your photographs on a computer.  

Spring Online and search for the perfect holiday, Wednesday 2 May 12.30 - 2.30pm
Using the internet you will learn how to search and plan your holiday, finding the latest travel and holiday deals.  You will also look at how to complete online forms and bookmark your favourite destinations. 

Spring Online and stay in touch using Skype, Friday 4 May 2 - 4pm
Find out how to use Skype for your telephone conversations with family and friends locally and worldwide and see them at the same time as speaking to them.

To find out more about each session and to book a place call 01458 844480.

28/03/12 - Big Names to Play Alongside new Musical Talent at Strode College Concert
Big Names to Play Alongside new Musical Talent  at Strode College Concert

Paul Winterhart of Kula Shaker and his band Black Casino and the Ghost are among former and current Strode students who will play at the Strode Live Retrospective, in Strode Theatre on Friday 20 April.

International touring artist Nick Parker is also confirmed for the line-up, and some other exciting former students from a hugely successful band are also hoping to perform, depending on their other commitments.

The show will also feature some great up-coming acts such as Reinstate Sarah and The Floor Below, who gave such fantastic acoustic performances at the recent Strode Live gig in Street Parish Church. Visit the Strode College Music & Broadcast Media YouTube channel to see more.

Not only are the Strode Live team looking at the past and present, they are also casting their eyes towards future musical talent by including a new young band in the show. They recently invited secondary school pupils from across the area to send in recordings of their bands or songs, with the top prize being a slot at the Strode Live Retrospective. The lucky winners were Feedback, a five piece covers band made up pupils from Wadham School in Crewkerne.

Daniel Shaw, Strode's Music Lecturer, said: "This fantastic event will celebrate the successes of past and present musicians that Strode College has produced. The concert is being organised by second year students from our Extended Music Diploma course. They are extremely talented musicians with a love of music and an enthusiasm for encouraging local talent. The concert will be great and I hope that loads of people come along to support our students, the big names and the emerging talent."

The show starts at 7:30pm on Friday 20 April in Strode Theatre. Tickets are available from Strode Theatre Box Office on 01458 442846; they costs £6, £5 concessions and £4 for Strode students.

23/03/12 - Strode College Principal Urges Young People Not to Give Up on Education and Training
Strode College Principal Urges Young People Not to Give Up on Education and Training

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College in Street, is urging young people not to give up on education and training, and reminding them that there might be a lot more great courses and opportunities available to them than they realise.    

With concerns about the rising number of young people in Somerset who are currently not in employment, education or training (NEETs), and with year 11 pupils currently deciding what to do after GCSEs, James Staniforth wants to be sure that young people across the region are fully informed and well advised about the variety of courses they can choose from at Strode College as well as at school, in particular the wide range of vocational courses on offer.

He said: "Staying in education or training after the age of 16 makes a real difference to a person's future success and happiness. But young people need to be given a range of opportunities to succeed and to reach their potential, and this means offering high quality practical and vocational courses alongside A Levels. 

"Good vocational courses focus on teaching practical skills and knowledge for a particular line of work or a specific job role. For example, a student might be taught the theory of running a business and then asked to create a business using the knowledge and skills they have been taught. Vocational qualifications can give people a head start in a career or prepare them for further vocational study or university. Our students achieve excellent results in both A Levels and vocational qualifications. 

"Schools and colleges should be trying their utmost to help young people choose the right course for them and the right place to study for them. If they make the wrong choice now there is a strong possibility that they will not finish the course they are on and then give up on education entirely.

"I would like to encourage all young people who are taking exams this summer, and those who are currently not in education, employment or training, to be sure that they have found out about all the opportunities available to them, and if they are unsure what to do next, then come and talk to us. We will endeavour to help them make the right choice.  

"This is not a time to be giving up on education and training, but it is the time to get good advice and information about what and where to continue learning."

Young people who do not want to study A Levels but do want to continue learning can study vocational courses at Strode in Art and Design, Business, ICT, Childcare and Education, Health and Social Care, Engineering, Music and Music Technology, Performing Arts, Hair and Beauty, Hospitality, Public services and Sport.  

In 2011, thirty six per cent of Strode's Level 3 Diploma students achieved a triple distinction for their course, which is the highest set of grades possible and equivalent to three A levels at grade A. More than half the students gained at least one grade A equivalent. These students have progressed to university courses, including Russell Group universities, or have progressed to further study at Strode College, as well as into employment in areas like accountancy, care, early years, hair and beauty salons, media and telecommunications.

For information about vocational courses at Strode and for advice about education and employment options for the future, call 01458 844444 or look on the Strode College website.

23/03/12 - Beauty Students Learn from the Professionals
Beauty Students Learn from the Professionals

Whether it's lovely lashes you're after or a new look using mineral make-up, Strode College beauty students know how to help, thanks to some excellent training from the professionals.

Students on Strode's Level 2 and 3 NVQ Diplomas in Beauty Therapy learnt a lot about mineral make-up when a make-up artist from Jane Iredale visited the college recently. They learnt about the product range and were shown how to use new skills and techniques to create different looks.

The Level 3 students also learnt about advanced eye make-up techniques, and at another session with a LashFX professional trainer, they learnt how to apply permanent individual eye lashes.   

The students thoroughly enjoyed their training and were keen to try out their new skills on each other. They are now looking forward to the college make-up competition when they will be able to put their new skills into practice.

Photo: Laura Holt, from South Petherton, applies new eye lashes to fellow Strode beauty student under the guidance on LashFx trainer Tracy Butt. When she completes her Level 3 Beauty Therapy Diploma Laura plans to study Nail Services at Strode.

14/03/12 - Strode Students to Get Help with Bus Fares
Strode Students to Get Help with Bus Fares

To apply for the County Ticket please download the form from the Somerset County Council website.

From September, all students travelling by bus to study at Strode College in Street will get £100 towards the cost of the County Ticket, and students whose family income is below £25,000 will get a total of £300 towards their bus fares.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, said: "We currently have 1500 students aged 16-18 studying A Levels and vocational courses with us. That is 1500 young people who are gaining enormously from learning at Strode. Last year our results made us the second best performing college in the South West and one of the top 80 out of 1,200 schools and colleges nationally for adding value by improving students' performance after their GCSE results."

"Most of our students travel to college by bus as we are well served by a number of bus routes. They come from across the region, many from as far away as Yeovil, Frome, Bridgwater, Taunton, Cheddar and Bruton, because they like Strode and can see that our approach to learning and support achieves excellent results both academically and personally."

"We recognise that transport costs are a real concern and could prevent some young people from furthering their education with us. We do not want them to miss out on their education because they can't afford the bus fare, which is why we will be helping with the cost of the bus ticket."

Strode College's Travel Bursary Scheme was set up last year to support new students following the government cutting the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for new first year students. The College is now extending the travel bursary to cover all students.

In addition to the travel bursary, Strode students will be able to apply for a discretionary bursary to support other costs of studying.

More information about Strode's Travel Bursary Scheme is now available on the college website.

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