Strode News

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13/05/16 - Alternative bus arrangements for students who normally use Webber Bus
Alternative bus arrangements for students who normally use Webber Bus

We have been informed by Somerset County Council that WebberBus ceased to operate on Thursday 12 May.

While this does affect some of the bus services used by our students, Somerset County Council have reassured us that alternative arrangements are in place, all of which will accept the County Ticket.

Please go to for details of alternative services.

12/05/16 - Famous Bassist Visits Music Students to Talk Music Careers
Famous Bassist Visits Music Students to Talk Music Careers

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..

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.  They also asked 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 the many pitfalls in the industry and how important it is to get the right advice and guidance early on. Our music industry continues to thrive and to attract many young people who want to combine their love of music with a career.  We want our music students to develop a good understanding of the industry alongside their creative skills and talent, because we know it will help them achieve their ambitions and succeed in the future.”

Strode College offers A Levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas in both Music and Music Technology.  Previous music students have gone on to study a range of subjects at university including Creative Music Technology and Commercial Music at Bath Spa University, Audio and Music Technology and Marketing at the University of West of England, and Creative Events Management at University College Falmouth.

12/05/16 - History Students Discover Somerset Link with the Colosseum!
History Students Discover Somerset Link with the Colosseum!

During a recent visit to the most iconic of all Roman buildings - the incredible Colosseum amphitheatre in Rome - students studying for a degree in History, Heritage and Archaeology at Strode College in Street were surprised to learn that its builder had a significant Somerset connection.

The Colosseum was constructed between AD 72 and AD 80 under the command of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. Many years before he became emperor in AD 69, Vespasian was the most celebrated general during the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43. The greatest resistance was met in the tribal territories of the Durotriges whose lands covered the whole of Dorset and much of Somerset, stretching north as far as Glastonbury.

Here Vespasian besieged a number of the great Durotrigan hillforts including Hod Hill on Cranborne Chase and Maiden Castle near Dorchester. No doubt some of those he captured were sent back to Rome to be displayed in Emperor Claudius’ victory parades. The most impressive of the Durotrigan hillforts in Somerset is at South Cadbury - quite as magnificent in its own way as, and three times larger than, the Colosseum. It is most famous for being, reputedly, the site of the legendary Camelot - the court of King Arthur.

Strode College runs two degree programmes in History, Heritage and Archaeology - a Foundation Degree and a BA (Honours) Degree, both of which are awarded by Plymouth University. The Romans and King Arthur are among the many topics studied.

There are places still available on these courses starting this September. They require college based study either two days a week full-time or one day a week part-time and costs are significantly lower than most universities. Find out more about our History, Heritage and Archaeology Foundation Degree and Degree or contact the Course Manager Andrew Pickering: 01458 844400.

Photo: Strode College Degree students discover a Somerset link with the Coloseum in Rome. (Left to right: Cameron Fewell (from Street), Evie Francis (from Bristol), Dave East (from Glastonbury), Keri Vigars (from Glastonbury), and Matt Timmins (from Bridgwater).

11/05/16 - Public Services Mosque Visit
Public Services Mosque Visit

Students who are in the first year of our Extended Diploma Public Services  course enjoyed an interesting visit to a Bristol Mosque recently to help them with their course unit on `citizenship, diversity and the public services`. This study topic requires students to explore diversity in Britain and how this effects the public services in the UK, so the visit was a great way enhance their classroom learning. 

04/05/16 - Creative Berlin Inspires Budding Artists
Creative Berlin Inspires Budding Artists

Twenty-five Strode College Art and Design students visited Berlin recently to seek inspiration for their work from the vibrancy and creativity of the city.

Foundation course manager and trip leader Duncan Cameron explained: “The educational visits we offer to students make a clear and positive impact on their work, in terms of vision and ambition. Following these exciting trips, the quality of work generated by students shows that they’ve become receptive to new imagery and concepts. I’m sure we’ll see Berlin references in the students’ work in the End of Year show, which opens 13th – 22nd June.”

The students enjoyed a full and varied itinerary and highlights for the students included the Story of Berlin museum, The Medical History Museum and the Berlin Wall, all providing a social historical perspective on Berlin and the development of the city.

Other visits included a trip to The Holocaust memorial at the Brandenburg Gate, contemporary art galleries and museums, including a fantastic collection of classical artefacts from Ancient Greece and Rome in the Altes Museum and the Pergamon.

Jamie Rochford, from Bruton and studying Foundation Art & Design said: “This was a really great trip. Berlin offered a wealth of material, from classical collections through to modern art. I found the visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp both fascinating and thought provoking. The Natural History Museum was a particularly enjoyable venue because of the breadth of the collection. It gave me many opportunities to draw and gather material for my art work.”

Isadora Carter, from Wells and studying Level 3 Art & Design, said: “The Berlin trip gave us days packed with exciting venues. I found the contemporary art at Museum Hamburger Bahnhof and the many galleries at Museum Island particularly enjoyable and it gave me a chance to draw from the exhibits.”

Previous Art and Design trips have included visits to Florence, Barcelona, New York and Washington, Paris and Prague and next year’s trip is already in the planning stages. Duncan added: “We are currently considering New York as our destination for 2017.”

03/05/16 - World Book Night
World Book Night

On 22 April, Strode College Learning Centre staff shared their love of reading and joined over 8000 volunteers around the country handing out books in celebration of World Book Night. The event is sponsored by the charity, The Reading Agency , and since World Book Night began in 2011 over 2.25 million books have been handed out to inspire people to become confident and enthusiastic readers.

Learning Centre staff were delighted to be chosen to give away books, staff said it was a “real feel good event” and the students quickly snapped up the books. The college gave away two popular fiction titles, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne and the non-fiction book Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, a memoire about coping with depression and coming out the other side which has received rave reviews from the likes of Stephen Fry, Jo Brand and Joanna Lumley.

In addition to just handing out the books, the Strode College Learning Centre is running a competition for those students who collected a book and will award an Amazon voucher to the student whose book has been read the most and another for the book that travels the furthest by 1 June 2016. All the books have been logged on the website and Learning Centre staff will track their progress as they travel around Somerset (and the world!)

Every book has a unique number, if you are given one to read, find one lying on a park bench or in a coffee shop – it has been left especially for you to find. All you need to do is logon to, enter the unique Book Crossing ID number, make a quick journal entry, read it and release it back out into the community. Help our students books travel far and wide, get reading and get sharing. Let’s see how far they can go!

29/04/16 - Strode College Summer Workshops for Adults 11-22 July
Strode College Summer Workshops for Adults 11-22 July

If you have some free time between Monday 11 July and Friday 22 July and would like to spend time doing something interesting, fun, creative or relaxing, then have a look at Strode College’s Summer Workshop courses for adults. The specially created programme of short courses includes many activities not normally available at the college, taught by talented local teachers and practitioners. 

There are over 60 different courses on offer over the two weeks - and places are selling fast. Workshops include: acrylic etching, bread-making, creative writing, jewellery-making, quilting, social media, Thai cookery and many more.

To find out more or to book a place via the Strode Theatre website, visit: or call 01458 844448.

This is the sixth year that Strode College has run its Summer Workshops, which were introduced to extend the number and range of courses offered to adult learners and are taught in Strode’s modern specialist classrooms and studios, and they are a great way for the college to share its excellent facilities and teachers with the local community.

27/04/16 - Public Services Students Practice with Professional Equipment
Public Services Students Practice with Professional Equipment

Our Public Services students gain the skills and knowledge they need to work in a range of public services including the armed forces, the prison service and security services. Practical learning is a key feature of these courses so that students learn the skills they will need in their future careers. 

Thanks to a donation of professional body armour and security equipment by SafeGuard Armour, we can now demonstrate to our students the type of equipment they are likely to come across if they choose to pursue a career in the uniformed public services.

Kevin Bushby, Course Manager for Uniformed Public Services at Strode said: “As part of our on-going commitment to students and their educational experiences, we are pleased to be working with SafeGuard Armour, an international manufacturer and distributor of body armour. This donation is of particular use to our Public Services students as it will provide them with hands-on learning and allow them first-hand technical knowledge of the equipment with industry standard information. The body armour provided will be used in role-play and technical analysis.”

Photo: Public Service student Zak Wheeler practices personal search techniques whilst wearing a protective vest provided by Safeguard Armour.

19/04/16 - The Wiz Review
The Wiz Review

If you missed the recent production of Strode College’s ‘The Wiz’, you may well have missed the opportunity to catch some stars of the future.  

From the opening bars of the overture, skilfully played by the 16-piece Strode College ensemble, the young team brought a vibrant energy to the familiar tale of Dorothy and her friends on their quest for happiness. The updated score, a fusion of disco, soul and Motown, got the audience toe-tapping from the outset as they were led through an Oz occupied by weird and wonderful creatures and the odd witch or two!

Having found herself in a strange place after being caught in a tornado, Dorothy, played by Emily Roberts, from Yeovil, is given a pair of silver slippers and sent to consult the Wiz by the sassy Addaperle, played by Sam Crane, from Cheddar.  Emily complimented strong acting with excellent vocals throughout, especially for the emotional ballad ‘Home’ to finish the show.  On her journey Dorothy meets The Scarecrow, played by Greg Maple from Martock; the Tinman, played by Noah Chant, from South Petherton; and the Lion, played by Shane Bustos, from Street.  All three students made the well-known characters their own. Greg and Shane made excellent use of movement to bring out the comedy of their roles, while Noah’s strong characterisation brought some lovely pathos.  His rendition of ‘If I Could Feel’, pulled on the heartstrings of the audience to great effect.

Dani Gore, from Norton Sub Hamdon and studying Performing Arts, as Evilene, displayed a strong rock vocal and provided some lovely comic moments with her ‘righthand man’ played by Patrick Olliffe from Frome.

The good witch Glinda, played by ably by Beth Irving, from Street, eventually reveals the secret of the silver slippers allowing Dorothy to click her heels and return to Kansas.

The enthusiasm of the entire cast was infectious, their energy filling the stage.  Dance numbers were polished and slick, and the ensemble singing was strong and joyful.  Smaller roles were all played convincingly well.

Charmaine Bray, Strode College Performing Arts teacher, said: “Our annual musical production is an enormously popular enrichment activity at the college, and provides fantastic opportunities for performing arts, drama, dance and music students, as well as opportunities for students from other courses to perform and work behind the scenes. A huge well done to all the students who took part in yet another stunning Strode College production.”

15/04/16 - Beauty Therapy students inspired in Iceland
Beauty Therapy students inspired in Iceland

Our Beauty Therapy students recently returned from an amazing trip to Iceland where they experienced the unique and inspiring facilities of the Blue Lagoon Spa. 

Among its extensive facilities, the Spa includes a dramatic natural lagoon with warm geothermal heated waters in the middle of black lava field in a volcanic landscape. The high natural levels of silica and minerals give the lagoon its rich blue colour.

The students enjoyed a full day at the Spa, with a guided tour and a careers seminar allowing them to see how the Spa manages to mix luxury with the finely balanced eco-system.  They had full use of the facilities including the sauna, the steam room and the lagoon where they relaxed in the 39˚C. heated waters.

A trip to Iceland would not be complete without taking in some other wonderful natural sights, so the students also visited the Gullfloss waterfall, geysers, 

the National Park and the Northern Lights, as well as enjoying some shopping in Reykjavik.

Susan O’Meara, Strode’s Level 3 Beauty Therapy Course Manager said: ‘All of the students agreed that they had some wonderful experiences in Iceland and this was definitely THE spa trip of a lifetime.’

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