Strode News

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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.

26/11/12 - Great Expectations for Student's Project
Great Expectations for Student's Project

Strode College A Level student Katie Thick is delighted - she has just completed her Extended Project which was inspired by the fascinating Dickens character Miss Havisham, and a new film version of her favourite novel 'Great Expectations' will be released this month.

After extensive research, planning and hard work, Katie has produced her own version of Miss Havisham's iconic dress made from text taken from the book 'Great Expectations'. Katie's version of the dress is much simpler than the gothic costume worn by Helena Bonham-Carter in the new film, but it captures the essence of Miss Havisham and has been made with a great deal of thought and attention to detail.

To gain the Level 3 Extended Project qualification students have to produce a piece of work of their own choosing, either practical of theoretical, showing evidence of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working. The project can be linked to other subjects they are studying or it can explore a different area of interest.

Katie, who is in her final year at Strode, has been studying for the Extended Project alongside her A Levels in English Literature, Textiles and Geography. For the project she combined her love of literature and of 'Great Expectations' in particular, with her interest in textiles.

Katie said: "Great Expectations is my favourite novel. There have been so many different film and TV versions with different interpretations of Miss Havisham and I've seen them all. In the book Miss Havisham's dress is described as a 'bridal dress, looking like earthy paper' and I chose to represent this in my project.

"The Extended Project qualification has allowed me to expand my passion and interest in textiles and literature. It has also given me an insight into what it is like to do independent research and it has tested my organisation and commitment - key skills I will need to study at a higher level next year."

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, said: "The Extended Project is a great way for our students to show their commitment to a particular interest or activity in a way that extends their study skills and knowledge, increases their university UCAS points, and helps prepare them for higher education. Katie has shown fantastic commitment and enthusiasm for her subject and I'm delighted with her work. We encourage our students to study for this additional qualification because we know it can make a significant difference to their learning and future success, and we provide additional teaching and personal support for them as they do so."

26/11/12 - Expect Great Things from Strode College Performers
Expect Great Things from Strode College Performers

If you are in the mood for a Dickensian drama, full of mystery and intrigue, with complex, strange and sinister characters, then the Strode College production of 'Great Expectations' will get your December off to a fantastic start.

Strode's BTEC Level 3 Performing Arts Students will be presenting their version of this popular Dickens story at Strode Theatre on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December, at 7.30pm.

The story tells how young Pip's life takes a surprising turn after a frightening encounter with the mysterious Magwitch on the Romney Marshes. He finds himself moving away from his old life with the blacksmith, Jo Gargery, to a life in London as a gentleman with great expectations. What part of this transformation is due to the sinister Miss Havisham, and is Pip really intended as the husband of her beautiful niece Estella?

Director and Strode Drama Teacher, John Oram, said: "We will be presenting a fast-moving production in which characters emerge from the strangest of places with frequent nods to the gothic horror genre. Our interesting theatrical version of 'Great Expectations' will complement the newly released film version wonderfully. We're looking forward to telling this dark tale live on stage at Strode Theatre, which will be a fantastic experience for our students and an entertaining evening for our audience."

"Our Level 3 Performing Arts students work is of a very high standard. All of those who completed their course this summer gained high grades, with some choosing to study at a higher level at acting school or university, including Bath Spa, Exeter and De Montford.

You can book a ticket online via the Strode Theatre box office: or call the box office on 01458 442846 (Monday to Saturday 10am-2pm).

19/11/12 - Children in Need
Children in Need

Strode College students and staff raised around £500 for Children in Need last Friday, showing just what can be done with a little effort and imagination.

Events around college included a cracker eating contest, a fancy dress collection, music students performing and collecting, a raffle, cake sale and guess the name of the bear competition. In addition to the sports staff held an all-day sportathon and beauty therapy students did a sponsored walk up Glastonbury Tor, in fancy dress.

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