Strode News

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19/01/12 - Acclaimed Authors to Work with Budding Writers at Strode College
Acclaimed Authors to Work with Budding Writers at Strode College

If you're a budding writer and you want to develop your talents, Strode College's new Saturday creative writing workshops will give you the chance to work with two successful and acclaimed local authors, Marian McCann and Liz Williams.

The six one day workshops, which will focus on different aspects of creative writing, will take place at Strode on the following dates:
• Writing the short story - Saturday 4 February
• Starting your novel - 3 March
• Building convincing characters - 10 March
• How to construct gripping plots - 24 March
• Dialogue - 12 May
• Setting - 16 June

Maria McCann is the author of As Meat Loves Salt, which was an Economist Book of the Year (Flamingo, 2001/Fourth Estate, 2011), and The Wilding, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize (Faber, 2010). She has contributed to various anthologies and worked as a Fiction Mentor for the Arvon Foundation. Maria is a reader for the Annette Green Literary Consultancy.

Liz Williams is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Glastonbury. She has published 14 novels including The Ghost Sister (Bantram Spectra) and Empire of Bones (Tor Macmillan), which were nominated for the Philip K Dick Memorial Award, and Banner of Souls (Tor Macmillan), nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award. Liz regularly appears in magazines including Realms of Fantasy and Asimov's, and she teaches creative writing and the history of Science Fiction at Strode College.

To book a place or to find out more about the workshops, which each cost £36, call 01458 844400 or visit click here to enrol with SUE.

16/01/12 - Strode History Lecturer Reveals Bloody but Forgotten story of a French Invasion of England
Strode History Lecturer Reveals Bloody but Forgotten story of a French Invasion of England

A new book by Strode College history lecturer Sean McGlynn was published yesterday.  'Blood Cries Afar' is the first book to reveal details of the bloody but forgotten French invasion of England in 1216, one of the most dramatic but overlooked stories in history, which was almost a second Norman Conquest.

In the book Sean McGlynn offers the first detailed military analysis of this epic struggle for England, describing the sieges, battles and atrocities of the invasion and its colourful leaders, including King John.   

A review in 'The Spectator' magazine said: "McGlynn tells a dashing story with gusto... an entertaining military history of a very exciting reign."

Sean McGlynn teaches Medieval and Early Modern History at Strode College for the University of Plymouth's Foundation Degree in History, Heritage and Archaeology. He is also the author of the acclaimed book 'By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare', which was published in four languages. He has been commissioned to write two more books on medieval history which are due out in late 2012 and early 2013. 

Sean McGlynn is part of a highly knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic history team at Strode College, which also includes Andy Pickering who has published popular and academic history books covering subjects such as witch-hunting in England and Europe, race and American society, and the reign of Elizabeth I.   

In 2011 Strode A Level History students achieved 100% pass rate with 60% A* to B grades and 83% A* to C grades. All of Strode's 2011 Foundation Degree students were successful, with three achieving distinctions. 

'Blood Cries Afar' is available for £20 from all good bookshops, Amazon, The History Press or from Marston Book Services, Tel: 01235 465577.

13/01/12 - Strode Maths Students Achieve Success in National Competition
Strode Maths Students Achieve Success in National Competition

Thirteen high achieving A Level Maths students from Strode College were awarded certificates last week for their success in the UK Maths Trust Senior Maths Challenge.

The challenge is taken by students in colleges and schools across the country each year. They have to solve maths problems which are presented in a completely different way from A level and GCSE maths questions. 

Gold certificates were awarded to Angela Richardson and Torin Dickinson, placing them in the top 7% of candidates nationally; Silver certificates went to Amelia Livingstone, Abigail Pitcher, John O'Rourke, Julia Fletcher and Zoe Foister, placing them in the top 20% of candidates; and Bronze went to Thomas Perry, Lily Blaikie, Joshua Holmes, Andrew Stuart, George Field and Daniel Lockey, placing them in the top 40% of candidates.

Outstanding performances by Angela Richardson and Torin Dickinson, meant that as well as achieving the Best in College award, Angela also qualified for the first round of the British Maths Olympiad, which is available to only the top 1000 students in the country, and Torin qualified for the new Senior Kangaroo competition. These competitions took place in December and results will be announced soon.   

Four students, Angela Richardson, Andrew Stuart, Thomas Perry and John O'Rourke also represented the college in the regional maths team challenge. This required them to work together on mathematical problems and develop strategies to maximise the team's potential in three very different rounds. Despite strong opposition the Strode team achieved fourth place out of the thirteen teams who took part.

Strode Maths Subject Leader, Helen Kelsey said: "The maths challenge provides stimulating and interesting problems that require students to use their mathematical knowledge in many different ways and does not restrict them to a specific syllabus. For the first half of term we add optional maths challenge questions to the end of the maths homework and many students enjoy them and spend time discussing the solutions with each other. It encourages them to think laterally and logically and really challenges even the very best mathematicians."

Strode A Level Maths students achieved a 100 per cent pass rate in 2011 with the majority achieving high A* to B grades: 73% in Further Maths and 63% in Maths.

Photo: Strode's high achieving maths students were presented with their certificates by James Staniforth, Principal of the College (left back row), and Helen Kelsey, Head of Maths at Strode (left front row).

11/01/12 - Paris Proves Inspirational for Strode Art and Design Students
Paris Proves Inspirational  for Strode Art and Design Students

A visit to Paris in December proved inspirational for Strode College art and design students who returned to college this week with plenty of new ideas for their 2012 college projects.  

They took in many famous buildings, museums and cultural sites during their five day visit, including the Musee d'Orsay which houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, The Louvre which is the most visited art museum in the world, The House of European Photography, as well as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower at night time, and a boat trip on the Seine. 

Chris Loughran, Strode's Course Manager for the Extended Diploma in Art and Design, said: "This valuable and rewarding visit provided our students with an opportunity to experience original artworks and a wonderfully creative city first hand. Such visits invigorate our students' coursework and we expect to see reference to Paris in their End of Year show this summer."

The 37 students who visited Paris are currently studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design Year 2, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, and A Level Photography.

10/01/12 - New Creative Writing Workshops at Strode
New Creative Writing Workshops at Strode

Strode College is pleased to announce a series of one day creative writing workshops taking place on selected Saturdays from February - June 2012. These will cover specialist advice to the budding writer and utilise the talents of two successful authors, Liz Williams and Maria McCann.

Maria McCann is the author of As Meat Loves Salt (Flamingo, 2001/Fourth Estate, 2011) which was an Economist Book of the Year and The Wilding (Faber, 2010) which was longlisted for the Orange Prize. She has contributed to various anthologies and from February 2011 to January 2012 was a Fiction Mentor for the Arvon Foundation. Maria is a reader for the Annette Green Literary Consultancy.

Liz Williams is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Glastonbury, England. She has been published by Bantam Spectra (US) and Tor Macmillan (UK), also Night Shade Press and appears regularly in Realms of Fantasy, Asimov's and other magazines. She is the secretary of the Milford SF Writers' Workshop, and also teaches creative writing and the history of Science Fiction.

Novels are: THE GHOST SISTER (Bantam Spectra), EMPIRE OF BONES, THE POISON MASTER, NINE LAYERS OF SKY, BANNER OF SOULS (Bantam Spectra - US, Tor Macmillan - UK), DARKLAND, BLOODMIND (Tor Macmillan UK), SNAKE AGENT, THE DEMON AND THE CITY, and PRECIOUS DRAGON (Night Shade Press), WINTERSTRIKE (Tor Macmillan), THE SHADOW PAVILION (Night Shade Press), THE IRON KHAN (Morrigan Books), WORLDSOUL (forthcoming, Prime Books). Her short story collection THE BANQUET OF THE LORDS OF NIGHT is also published by Night Shade Press.

Her novel BANNER OF SOULS has been nominated for the Philip K Dick Memorial Award, along with 3 previous novels, and the Arthur C Clarke Award.

You can browse the list of Saturday workshops via this link.

To enrol, please first register with SUE. Once your account has been set up, log in to SUE and search for the desired workshop using the course code DV0CWF.

10/01/12 - Strode Invites Year 11s to find out why it's the Best at Improving Students Performance
Strode Invites Year 11s to find out why it's the Best at Improving Students Performance

Strode College in Street is inviting all year 11 pupils and their parents to an open evening on Tuesday 17 January, 6-8pm, to find out about the wide choice of A Levels, vocational courses and apprenticeships it offers, and why the College is among the best institutions for improving students' performance after their GCSEs (*ALPS 2011).

Strode staff and students will be on hand to talk about courses, college life, future career and study options, and to provide information and advice on finances, transport and enrichment activities.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: "The new year brings with it some important challenges for year eleven students as they begin preparations for summer exams, and they also face a big decision about what to do next."

"Our excellent results, our commitment to valuing and supporting individuals, and our proven success at maximising all students' potential, make us the right choice for many year 11 students as they continue their studies.  Our January open evening will give people the chance to look around the college and, most importantly, to meet and talk to staff about our courses and where these can lead in the future."

"Over 1400 people visited Strode in November and we've had some great feedback, so we know that visiting the college and talking to us makes a real and positive difference.  We're looking forward to welcoming many more people in January."

If you would like to visit Strode on Tuesday 17 January, you can turn up on the night or pre-register for 'Express Check-in' by visiting Strode College website:

14/12/11 - Advanced Acrylic Nail Extensions
Advanced Acrylic Nail Extensions

This advanced course in acrylic nail extensions is suitable for nail technicians currently working in industry who would like to update and develop their skills. Includes application of pink and white acrylic and coloured acrylic as well as advanced techniques such as cut outs, embedding and nail piercing. Candidates will need to have a basic qualification in acrylic nails.

This is a 11 week course which will run on a Wednesday from 9:00am - 1:00pm from 11/01/2012 - 28/03/2012.

Cost is £240.00 plus £25.00 material fees, payable in installments.

See course details

14/12/11 - Feel Good Concert Celebrates 'The Power of Love'
Feel Good Concert Celebrates 'The Power of Love'

At their annual Christmas concert last week, Strode College music students warmed everyone's hearts and spirits with a programme of music packed with upbeat titles.

The concert opened with a tribute to music student Dave Hart who died tragically in November, highlighting the posthumous release of his single 'Home' on I-Tunes. It was fitting that the choir followed, singing some gently uplifting seasonal songs beautifully. 

The jazz group played a wonderfully cool set demonstrating some excellent emerging improvisatory talent. Then, with double bass, drums and driving rhythms a blaze, the rock band 'Losing Alice' certainly did wish the audience a merry Christmas. The first half of the concert was rounded off by first year music students playing four superb renditions of songs sharing the title 'The Power Of Love' in all their rock, soul, power-ballad and Motown glory.  

The second half of the show saw A Level Music students performing a Kate Bush classic with subtle strings, piano, French horn and crystal clear voices charming the audience. Second year musicians joined forces with the college ensemble and choir to perform in close harmony 'The Devil went Down to Georgia' and 'Mr Blue Sky' bringing the evening to a fabulous conclusion. The perfect start to the festive season!

The show raised funds for College educational activities.

Photo: Strode music students Alex Brian and Martin Sheills front the finale to the College's fabulous Christmas concert.

09/12/11 - Strode Students work hard at Conservation
Strode Students work hard at Conservation

Foundation Learning students from Strode College visited Exmoor recently and helped National Trust rangers with their conservation work around the beautiful North Devon coastal path.

They worked hard clearing gorse from the headland around Mortehoe near Woolacombe, and there was a great sense of achievement at the end of the day when they returned to the Exmoor Bunkhouse where they stayed during their trip.

Photo: Strode students and tutors enjoyed working alongside National Trust rangers to conserve the stunning North Devon headland.

08/12/11 - Can we be 'Good' in a 'Bad' Society?
Can we be 'Good' in a 'Bad' Society?

Performing Arts students from Strode College showed off their acting skills last week, performing the Bertolt Brecht play 'The Good Person of Szechwan' in the College's studio theatre. 

Charmaine Bray, Strode's Performing Arts Lecturer said: "Although written in the 1940's the play had some relevant messages for today in that it asks if it is possible to lead a 'good' life in a 'bad' society.  We presented the play in true Brechtian style with performers narrating the actions of other actors, like an eye-witness who is aware of the audience. The cast were on stage throughout and the setting was minimal, with some students playing several roles including dress and furniture! Our students did a great job performing in this style which is different to anything they have done before."

Photo: Good acting from Strode performers Josh Robinson of Wells, Ellen Ramsay of Wookey, Billie Cureton and Lewis Edge of Wincanton and Sophie Coombes of Wells.

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