Strode News

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15/05/14 - An Exciting Programme of Leisure Activities for you to Enjoy 7-17 July
An Exciting Programme of Leisure Activities for you to Enjoy 7-17 July

If you have some free time between Monday 7 July and Thursday 17 July and you would like to spend time doing something interesting, fun, creative and relaxing, then have a look at Strode College’s Summer Workshop courses – new brochure out now. 

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 40 different courses on offer this year including: archery, allotment gardening, book binding, bridge, ‘Cloud’ technology, creative writing, eBay, fabric printing, Indian cookery, jewellery making, song-writing, sculpture, social media, using your i-pad, willow craft, yoga and many more.

This is the fourth year that Strode College has run its Summer Workshops. Summer courses were introduced to extend the number and range of courses offered to adult learners and they are a great way for the college to share its excellent facilities and teachers with the local community.

The courses, which are aimed at adults, will be taught in Strode’s modern specialist classrooms and studios. To find out more or to book a place visit: www.strodetheatre.org.uk or call 01458 442846.

25/04/14 - Strode College Student Awards Celebrating Outstanding Progress and Performance
Strode College Student Awards Celebrating Outstanding Progress and Performance

Strode College in Street celebrated the outstanding progress and performance of twenty nine students from across Somerset at an awards evening held in Strode Theatre this week.

The awards recognised the hard work and achievements of students who completed a wide range of courses at the college last year, including A Levels, vocational qualifications, higher education qualifications, apprenticeships and courses for adults.

An audience of over 350 family, friends and staff heard how each student had worked hard to achieve their goals, showing great commitment to their studies, a tremendous work ethic and an admirable attitude to learning and life.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: “Our awards evening is a fantastic opportunity to congratulate some of our most outstanding students for their achievements and to catch up with them and hear what they are doing now. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the high quality and commitment of our teachers who supported these students.

“At Strode we are determined to help people achieve their potential, academically and personally, so that they can progress in their goals for further study and successful careers. We provide quality learning opportunities for so many people, mostly students aged 16 to 18, but we also teach courses for other ages, levels, abilities and interests. Tonight’s awards highlight the achievements of 29 of the 1500 students who enjoy learning with us each year – we value all of them and take great delight in their success.” 

In 2013 Strode College equalled its best ever results for advanced level 16-18 education, significantly above national benchmarks. The 2014 league tables show that Strode is the best school or college in Somerset for maximising students’ potential at A Level and the best college in Somerset for adding value for advanced vocational courses. Strode is in the top 6% of institutions nationally for maximising students potential by adding value at A Level and for BTEC vocational courses.

Strode College is currently accepting applications for the following courses which begin in September 2014: A Levels, vocational qualifications at level 2 and 3, HNDs, Foundation Degrees and higher level professional qualifications. The college’s new brochure with details of courses for adults starting in September 2014 will be published in May.

 

Details of Strode Student Awards

Overall student of the year 2012/13 - John O'Rourke
Studied:
A Levels: Chemistry A*, Maths A*, Government & Politics A, Biology A and Extended Project A*
Home town:
North Brewham, Bruton
Previous school:
King Arthur's Community School
Where now?
Cardiff University studying Medicine

What makes John stand out is that he is a polymath; he is not just outstanding in one cluster of subjects – his abilities span the divides that we traditionally impose, for example academic vs. practical, arts vs. science.  John was this year’s most nominated student and it is perhaps his personal qualities above all that earned him his accolade; he is polite, calm, well organised, intellectually curious and compassionate.” 

Adult student of the year - Rowena Sheppard
Studied:
Access to HE, Pass
Home town:
Somerton
Where now?
Bournemouth University studying Adult Nursing

Rowena was working as the Deputy Manager of Southlawns Care Home in Street before choosing to return to education. While at Strode, Rowena’s attention to detail, analytical skills, time management and attendance were all noted to be excellent. Her hard work and effort was rewarded when she secured a place on the highly sought after Adult Nursing BSc Hons degree at Bournemouth University, fulfilling her lifetime ambition.”

Apprentice of the year - Jasmine Dalgarno
Studied:
Children & Young People (Intermediate Apprenticeship), Pass
Home town:
Street
Previous school:
Crispin School
Where now?
The Street Children's Centre, Advanced Apprenticeship

Following Jasmine’s work experience placement she knew she wanted to move in to a career within childcare and decided to enrol on an apprenticeship. Jasmine took on her new role at The Street Children’s Centre with vigour, proving herself to be a kind, considerate and caring young woman with a can do attitude. She is now continuing on to her advanced apprenticeship.”

Beauty Therapy student of the year - Kasia Wisniewski
Studied:
Beauty Therapy Level 3 Diploma (NVQ) Pass
Home town:
Compton Dundon
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi Academy
Where now?
Beauty Therapist with Steiner Cruise Liners

Kasia was an outstanding student with a professional approach to learning, coupled with a very self-motivated nature. Hard working, conscientious and constantly striving to do better, Kasia’s professionalism, drive and ambition ensured that, following a highly competitive selection process, she was successful in securing full-time employment as a beauty therapist with Steiner Cruise Liners.” 

John Lewis Award for Biology and Environmental Sciences student of the year - Lucy Corfield
Studied:
A Levels: Biology A*, Psychology A*, Maths A* and Chemistry A
Home town:
Butleigh
Previous school:
St Dunstan's School
Where now?
University of Bristol studying Biology

Lucy was a very able and hardworking student, showing a natural flair for Biology, and was always willing to push the boundaries of the A level specification to enhance her understanding. Lucy’s work ethic was outstanding, with her becoming one of the few students who achieved more marks for her A2 modules than at AS, scoring 279 out of a possible 300.”

Business student of the year - Reece Williams
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business, Triple Distinction* and Maths A Level
Home town:
Walton
Previous school:
Crispin School
Where now?
University of the West of England studying Accounting and Finance

Reece proved to be an outstanding student from the very beginning; committed, mature and conscientious, he excelled at his course showing innovation and enthusiasm in all areas. He was interviewed by and then selected to appear on the HTV News. Both articulate and confident, he presented himself extremely well and was an excellent role model for other students.”

Engineering and Technology student of the year - Jack Boddington
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Bourton Gillingham
Where now?
Agusta Westland, Apprentice Aerospace Engineer

Jack always aimed high and was motivated, only happy with distinction level achievement in his work.  He displayed excellent interpersonal qualities including a pleasant, positive attitude and a cheerful manner. Jack was an exemplary team player.” 

English student of the year - Alice Murray (also received the Social Sciences award)
Studied:
A Levels: English Language A, History A, Biology B and Sociology A*
Home town:
Catcott
Previous school:
Crispin School
Where now?
University College London, Russian Studies

What marked Alice out was the maturity of her approach, her powers of analysis and the way she communicated verbally and in writing.  She was able to analyse language accurately, seemingly without effort and with a fantastic grasp of linguistic subtleties and context.  In addition to this, she also gained the best overall mark at AS level in the whole cohort.”

Foundation student of the year - Amy Charles
Studied:
Foundation Learning, Pass
Home town:
Shepton Mallet
Previous school:
Whitstone School
Where now?
Working in a family shop and at Greencore in Evercreech

Amy has not always found academic work easy, however this year she is taking part in the ‘Six Book Challenge’ and reading as much as she can to achieve her goal of passing her Functional Skills exams.  She will also achieve her NOCN Diploma at the end of this academic year. Amy recently started to learn to drive and was told that she had excellent reaction skills - one of the best the driving instructor had seen!”

Hairdressing student of the year - Amanda Dunk
Studied:
Hairdressing Level 3
Home town:
Evercreech
Previous school:
Ansford Academy
Where now?
Stylist, Karen Christensen Hair and Beauty

Amanda displayed excellent personal qualities including a pleasant, caring and cheerful manner both at college and in her salon placement with Karen Christensen. Clients often requested her on their return.  She was an excellent team player, with an ability to motivate others to achieve in both theory and practical lessons. Amanda was the worthy winner of the Worldskills UK and Institute for Learning Vocational Masterclass Competition held at Strode College. She was always willing to help and always with a positive attitude and a smile.” 

Health and Care student of the year - Jodie Alford
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Evercreech
Previous school:
Ansford Academy
Where now?
Gap year working with older people before studying Nursing at either Bournemouth University or the University of the West of England, Bristol

Jodie has a strong sense of social justice and is always keen to stand up for other’s rights. She showed the qualities of courage and commitment and will make a caring, confident nurse who will always make sure that people are looked after properly and treated with respect and dignity. Jodie’s educational journey shows that persistence and motivation can enable a person to achieve their goals.”

Higher Education student of the year - John McLoughlin
Studied:
Managing in the Public Services Foundation Degree, Distinction
Home town:
Stembridge
Where now?
Runs his own business, the Rusty Axe Inn near Martock, and works in maritime security

"As a working adult with a family, John managed his time between family, studies and work to reach the pinnacle of success in his course. He was an enthusiastic learner, ever willing to engage in sound, critical and reasoned discussions. John’s literary skills and the quality of his work were praised by the external examiner responsible for this course. John’s sheer determination was remarkable."

Hospitality student of the year - Katy Bond
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Hospitality, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Ashcott, Bridgwater
Previous school:
Crispin School
Where now?
Working for Crew Clothing while seeking a management position

"Katy showed what can be done if you are determined to succeed. Her excellent time management meant that she could hold down three part-time jobs as well as finding time to produce distinction grade work in all assignments. An enthusiastic, helpful and popular student, Katy was a fantastic ambassador for Strode. She also performed a solo dance in front of approximately 400 staff and students of the South Central China Technical College! An amazing achievement."

Humanities student of the year - Michael Vimalanathan
Studied:
A Level Archaeology A*
Home town:
Mark, Highbridge
Previous school:
Mark College
Where now?
Strode College studying History and Media Studies A Levels

"Michael produced some excellent coursework on the archaeology of World War Two defences in Somerset, a topic which he thoroughly enjoyed. He was an enthusiastic participant in all of the archaeology events including carrying out forensic analysis of real human remains. Michael is always a delight to teach and is also peer mentoring a first year Archaeology student in his free time."

IT student of the year - Ben Buckley
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT Practitioners, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan's School
Where now?
Kings College University, London, studying Computer Science

"Ben came to Strode as a home tutored student and worked hard to complete his course, attacking every unit with determination and drive. During his course Ben also produced a website for the charity ‘Heads Up’. A conscientious student, Ben was particularly skilful at meeting deadlines, producing distinction standard work in both technical and written solutions. Ben completed his journey from Strode College to a top Russell Group University."

Brian Jefferson Cup for Maths - Tom Perry
Studied:
A Levels: Maths A*, Further Maths A* and Chemistry A
Home town:
Queen Camel
Previous school:
Ansford Academy
Where now?
Jesus College, Oxford University, studying Maths

"Tom impressed his tutors from the very beginning of the course with his enthusiasm and interest in mathematics. He took on every challenge presented to him and completed, unaided, mathematical proofs that few of his contemporaries had any idea how to start. Furthermore, Tom was prepared to explain his ideas to the rest of the class. His ability to approach problems in unusual ways and explain his ideas to others made him an invaluable member of the Senior Maths Challenge team at Strode."

Media student of the year - Willow Leonard-Clarke
Studied:
A Levels Film Studies A*, Sociology A*, Psychology A* and English Literature A
Home town:
Wells
Previous school:
St Dunstan's School
Where now?
Gap year before studying Social Sciences at Exeter or Cardiff University

"Willow was a genuinely outstanding student of film and the work she produced demonstrated integrity and originality. Willow achieved the highest mark of her year group in both her first and second year coursework portfolios. Willow’s sophisticated engagement with film criticism and theory was also evident in her exam performance where she scored 97 out of 100, one of the best results in the country."

Richard Frapwell Cup for Modern Foreign Languages - Ashley Whiskerd
Studied:
A Levels: French A, Spanish A, History B and Psychology A*
Home town:
Street
Previous school:
Millfield School
Where now?
Working in a school in Argentina before going to Durham University to study Spanish and Italian

"Ashley proved to be a natural and committed linguist working very hard to grasp new structures and vocabulary and was soon speaking and writing Spanish and French of exceptional quality. Ashley demonstrated serious commitment through the research she chose to carry out for her cultural topic unearthing obscure primary sources on the Internet for which no translations were available to help."

Music student of the year - David Bevan
Studied:
A Levels: Music A, Maths A and Chemistry B
Home town:
Croscombe, Wells
Previous school:
St Gregory's Catholic School
Where now?
University of Bristol studying Music

"The combination of ability, enthusiasm, versatility and supportiveness are the factors that made David stand out, even in such a high achieving year group with so many outstanding musicians. He was equally capable when performing ‘classical music’ on the French horn, ‘choral music’ as a singer, ‘jazz’ on the drum kit or piano and ‘rock music’ in his own project bands. David also supported the College choir, the jazz group and played in the pit orchestras for College shows."

Performing Arts student of the year - Gabrielle O'Connell
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts, Double Distinction* and Distinction
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
Home educated
Where now?
Working and planning to study European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford Drama College

"When Gabi joined Strode she demonstrated a sensitivity and wisdom way beyond her years, performing with great maturity in all areas. In all performance projects she enhanced the quality of the production through her use of energy, concentration, commitment and skilfulness. She successfully tackled a variety of roles to an excellent standard and she was able to hold the focus of an audience. Her analytical and communication skills along with her written work had good detail and clarity of thought. She is a talented performer and was always committed to what was best for the production as a whole."

Physical Sciences student of the year - Dom Phippen
Studied:
A Levels: Physics A, Chemistry A, Biology A, Maths A, French A and Extended Project B
Home town:
Charlton Adam, Somerton
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi Academy
Where now?
University of Birmingham studying Natural Sciences

"Never afraid of hard work, Dom threw himself into this challenging program of five subjects with great enthusiasm. Being very musical, Dom also joined the College ensemble and participated in many extra-curricular music activities. He ended up with five full A levels at A Grade plus the Extended Project Qualification, a fantastic achievement and testament to his determination. As well as being extremely intelligent, Dom’s teachers consider him to be one of the kindest, calmest and most polite students they have ever met."

Psychology student of the year - Jessie Bolam
Studied:
A Levels: Psychology A*, Sociology A* and Health & Social Care A
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan's School
Where now?
Exeter University studying Applied Clinical Psychology

"Throughout her time studying Psychology, Jessie showed herself to be an exceptionally hardworking and conscientious student. Jessie’s quiet demeanour belies an extremely determined, creative and highly motivated young woman. Jessie is a shining example of how much a student can achieve if they have sufficient desire and motivation. In her final exam she achieved an outstanding 96/100 UMS marks."

Social Sciences student of the year - Alice Murray
Studied:
A Levels: Sociology A*, English Language A, History A and Biology B
Home town:
Catcott
Previous school:
Crispin School
Where now?
University College, London, studying Russia Studies

"Alice was an absolute pleasure to teach. She clearly enjoyed learning for learning's sake and was happy to work independently or with other students. Her grasp of the sociological perspectives and conceptual language was exceptional as was her persistence with developing sociological skills."

University of the West of England Bristol Law School Prize - Hannah Gane
Studying:
A Levels in Law, Business Studies and Maths
Home town:
Street
Previous school:
St Dunstan's
Where now?
At Strode College completing her A Levels and she has won a highly sought after Cameron McKenna bursary to study law at university.

“Hannah was selected by the College as she has excelled academically and in the study of Law. Hannah has been a dedicated and committed student. Her approach to learning has been relentless and Hannah has continuously strived to improve her own performance. Hannah has demonstrated an overwhelming enthusiasm to follow a legal career and has independently identified and undertaken the necessary steps that will enable her to do this. Hannah’s success in gaining the CMS Cameron McKenna bursary, whilst competing against students from across the country is indicative of her ability to excel.”

Rachel House Award for Skills for life - Ladislav (Laci) Podlucky
Studied:
ESOL
Home town:
Glastonbury
Where now?
Volunteers at the RSPCA shop in Street

“Laci came to Strode from Slovakia in 2009.  Since then he has studied English language, showing commitment to his learning – which has not always been easy for him. He is a most pleasant and reliable member of the class and very supportive of other students. He is adept at making conversation with a variety of people and is a lively and positive presence in the class.”  

Sport and Public Services student of the year - Hannah Brown
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Public Services, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan's School
Where now?
Strode College studying Foundation Degree Managing in Public Sector Services

“Hannah consistently performed at the highest level on her course and was an inspiration to other students. Her caring nature and wish to help in the community was at its best when she encouraged other students to sleep rough for a night to raise money for a local homeless charity.  She also willingly supported her teachers at open evenings and gave 100% on her course no matter what the activity – always with a genuine smile and a superb sense of humour.  Hannah sees the positive in everything. Due to her extremely determined nature obstacles never became barriers: she would always find a solution, never giving up on anything. Hannah stood out because she was so committed. She made a first-rate contribution to the course, college and community.” 

Success Against the Odds - Amy Doyle
Studied:
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Hospitality, Distinction, Distinction and Merit
Home town:
Meare, Glastonbury
Previous school:
Kings of Wessex
Where now?
Working at Café Nero in Street

"Making the transition to College was a daunting prospect for Amy. She worked well and as her confidence and self-belief grew so did the quality of her work. After some self-questioning regarding whether a step up in level was right for her Amy decided to give the course a go. She worked hard and started to really enjoy her time studying. Her whole demeanour blossomed. Amy went from a student about whom we were initially concerned, to one who completed her course with a high grade outcome. Amy has severe hearing difficulties, which affected the speed of her learning throughout her school life. When arriving at Strode she was several years behind in her educational progress. To us though she is just Amy, a young woman with a drive to succeed!"

Visual Arts (2D) student of the year - Charlotte Cooper
Studied:
A Levels: Graphics A*, Photography A, Psychology A and Maths A.
Home town:
Yeovil
Previous school:
Ansford Academy
Where now?
University of Brighton studying Interior Architecture

“Charlotte proved herself to be able, diligent, thorough and methodical. She was able to develop creative ideas, leading to professionally finished designs.  She was a quietly confident student who took on board advice and listened to feedback. In Photography, Charlotte was also noted for being keen, hardworking and well organised, gaining A grades consistently. It was no surprise that she achieved her ambition and Charlotte is now studying BA Hons Interior Architecture at the University of Brighton.”

Visual Arts (3D) student of the year - Liz Moseley
Studied:
Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Distinction
Home town:
Curry Rivel, Langport
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi Academy
Where now?
Falmouth University studying Contemporary Crafts

“As an Art Foundation student Lizzie’s ideas were contemporary and well informed and she worked closely with staff to ensure that she benefitted from critical debate and guidance. She demonstrated a willingness to tackle new skills and to experiment broadly. In an assignment on the theme of ‘News’ Lizzie chose to make work in response to a news story surrounding an abuse scandal in a care home. Lizzie produced a series of hand-stitched photographic stills from the covert TV film footage and produced a wonderful appliqued blanket laden with effective messages without being obvious or heavy handed. This notion of care and support was taken into her ambitious ‘Care’ themed final major project. The body of work was so innovative that it was selected for a Strode Award at the End of Year Show in 2013.”

24/04/14 - Students Meet Famous Psychologist
Students Meet Famous Psychologist

Forty A Level Psychology students met the famous psychologist and author of the renowned Stanford Prison study, Dr Philip Zimbardo, when they attended a series of talks from famous psychologists in London recently.

In 1971, Dr Zimbardo, with the help of his wife and other researchers, conducted a piece of research in the basement of Stanford University that would change the face of social psychology forever. 

He wanted to answer the question: 'what happens when you put good people in an evil place?' To do this he gave participants the role of either prisoner or guard. The experiment, which was supposed to last for two weeks, was stopped after only five days by Dr Zimbaro's wife because of the horrific treatment Dr Zimbardo and other 'guards' were inflicting on those taking the role of 'prisoners'.

Following this study Dr Zimbardo conducted research into `evil` and he is now studying acts of heroism.

Strode’s Psychology teacher and subject leader, Charlotte Hide, said: “The students had a fantastic experience at the conference - they found the day thought-provoking and inspiring. They said that hearing Zimbardo talk about his study helped them develop a greater understanding that just isn’t possible from websites and documentaries. They were also were delighted to come away with signed books and photographs with such a prominent researcher in psychology.”

For more information about the Stanford Prison experiment and Dr Zimbardo’s recent work visit: www.prisonexp.org and www.heroicimagination.org

Photo: Strode College Psychology students and teachers with the famous psychologist Dr Zimbardo, who conducted the renowned Stanford Prison study in 1971.

23/04/14 - Master Class from Music Technology Royalty
Master Class from Music Technology Royalty

Fifty Music Technology students had a fantastic and inspiring day when music producers and other industry professionals joined them for a day of production demonstrations and talks.

The highlight of the day was a music recording and mixing master class with Paul White and Hugh Robjohns from Sound on Sound magazine, which is widely celebrated as the fountain of all knowledge for music producers. Fresh from the international 'Musikmesse' in Frankfurt, they answered questions and gave students some great tips on how to make better music.

Adrian Smith, Strode’s BTEC Music Technology teacher and course manager said: “We were all very excited having Paul and Hugh visit - they are music technology royalty! We bumped into Paul when we visited the UK Music Production show at the end of last year; he was very interested in sharing his knowledge with our students so we arranged the visit. There was a great buzz in the room and our students learnt a lot.”

Music producer and former Strode student Angus Rankine, aka 'Anugoo', also gave the students some production tips and tricks using a range of software plugins and a hardware synthesizer. After Strode Angus went on to study music production with Hedflux, one of the big names in psychedelic bass music and he has since had commercial releases on Broken Records.

Current Strode students also got the chance to show off their skills, with Archie Burlton, aka 'Dharmonk', showing the audience how to use a vinyl deck and Akai MPC sampler to create and edit beats. Archie is in the final year of his BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Technology and he will be taking his hip hop production workshop out to local schools.

A number of former Strode students took time out of work and university to take part in the music production day, including: Daniel Hayes, who is in a successful band with deals in Europe and the USA; Shelly Peters, who was able to ask the Sound on Sound producers questions relating to her dissertation; and Josh Gray, who is currently studying Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University.

Sound On Sound magazine website

Strode Music Technology blog

Hedflux website

Photo: Strode Music Technology students and teachers with Hugh Robjohns and Paul White from Sound on Sound magazine - the fount of all knowledge for music producers.

22/04/14 - Watching Award Winning Films in Berlin
Watching Award Winning Films in Berlin

Where better to watch and appreciate a good film than at a film festival; even better if they are award winning films and the film festival is in Berlin? 

A group of Strode College A Level Film Studies students got the chance to do just that recently when they visited the celebrated 'Berlinale' - the Berlin Film Festival.

They watched eight films in four days and also found time to explore the city’s cultural and historic sights.

Strode’s Film Studies teacher Ben Boydell organised the visit; he said: “We saw a great range of films in Berlin, including two that won 'Bear' awards. By studying a wide range of films our students develop their skills of observation, analysis and reflection and this deepens their understanding and appreciation of film. Film Studies is a valuable subject for students who are interested in media and communication or those studying English Literature. Our visit to Berlin was really enjoyable and it has greatly enhanced our students learning.”

Photo: Strode Film studies students at the East Side Gallery in Berlin during their visit to the Berlin Film Festival.

14/04/14 - Strode Students help take South West Team to Victory at British Colleges Sport National Finals
Strode Students help take South West Team to Victory at British Colleges Sport National Finals

Two Strode students helped take the South West team to victory at the recently held British Colleges Sport National Championships, which is the longest running student competition and one of the largest annual sporting events in the UK.

Jenny Naylor, who’s 18, from Wincanton and formerly studied at King Arthur’s School, and Jake Krige, also 18, from Crewkerne and who previously attended Wadham Community School, are both currently studying A levels at Strode including Physical Education.

The Wilkinson Sword, which is given to the region with the most points accumulated overall, was won comfortably by the South West team this year, with 36 points separating them and the South East who took second place.

Jenny won the South West BCS Regional Badminton Championships (singles) in November last year before going on to represent the South West badminton team at the BCS National Championships.

Jake represented the South West team in trampolining. The team went on to achieve a silver medal overall at the event.

The championships, which were held at Bath University on 4th – 6th April this year, saw around 1700 students from colleges across England, Scotland and Wales compete. Other colleges in the South West Team are Bicton, Bridgwater, Cornwall, Exeter, Petroc, Richard Huish, SGS, Somerset, South Devon, Truro & Penwith, Weston and Yeovil.

28/03/14 - Formula 1 in Schools - Students Winning Car Secures Success at National Finals
Formula 1 in Schools - Students Winning Car Secures Success at National Finals

A team of A Level students from Strode College have built on their recent success at the regional finals of the 'F1 in Schools' competition by winning `Best Rookie Team` at the national finals in Birmingham on 14-15 March.

'F1 in Schools' is a global competition which requires teams to use CAD and CAM software to design, analyse, manufacture and race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood F1 cars. Teams have to raise their own sponsorship and manage their budget to fund research travel and accommodation.

Strode College's team 'Venom' won 'Best Rookie Team' at the nationals, adding to the three awards they had already won at the regional finals for 'Best Engineered Car', 'Best Team Sponsorship and Marketing' and 'Best Rookie Team'.

Team members are Alex Willsher (from Westhay), James Proud and Daniel Rolls (from Glastonbury), Danny Betts (from Stone) and Alexander Hurr (from Wells).

They are studying a wide range of A Levels at Strode including Physics, Maths, DT, Computing, Business, English, French, Geology, History, Music and Music Technology, giving them a winning combination of knowledge and skills.

They were also supported in the competition by the DT department at St Dunstan’s School, where four of the team previously studied.

Overall success at the nationals would have led to the international competition, with the chance to travel to another country to compete against students from around the world. The F1 in Schools World Champions win university scholarships to City University London. Maybe next year!

Photo: Strode A Level students Alexandre Hurr, James Proud and Alex Willsher won a place in the national finals of the F1 in Schools competition.

27/03/14 - College and Employer Delighted with their Apprentice of the Year
College and Employer Delighted with their Apprentice of the Year

Somerset’s Apprentice of the Year (Intermediate category) is seventeen year old Oliver Baker, who lives in Shepton Mallet, works at The George Inn, Croscombe, and trains with Strode College in Street.

Oliver, a former pupil of Whitsone School, works as an assistant to the chef and owners of the CAMRA and Good Pub Guide award-winning George Inn. He helps with food preparation and service in the restaurant and works hard to maintain the high standards required to be successful in the food and hospitality industry.

Additional training and support for his apprenticeship is provided by Strode College - Hospitality and Catering is one of many apprenticeships schemes supported by the college. 

Oliver first worked at The George Inn on a work experience placement while studying for his Level 2 Diploma in Hospitality and Catering. The owners were so impressed with Oliver that they decided to employ him as an apprentice. He has made outstanding progress in the role, culminating in this award which recognises his hard work and achievements.

Strode College Apprenticeship Manager, Cheryl Macriner, said: “Oliver is so positive and he is always looking to stretch and challenge himself. His employers really appreciate his work ethic, skills and teamwork in the kitchen, and the enthusiastic contribution he has made to the business - this has led to new recipes, greater choice and revamped menus, which has helped increase public interest and customer numbers.”

Oliver has now completed his intermediate apprenticeship and progressed to the advanced apprentice in Catering and Professional Cookery. Oliver’s ultimate goal is to one day run his own place, but in the near future he’s very happy to progress at George Inn.

Strode College currently has 20 apprenticeship vacancies in Somerset. If you are interested in becoming an apprentice, or if you are thinking of employing and apprentice, visit the Strode College website to find out more: www.strode-college.ac.uk or call the Strode apprenticeship team: 01458 844 553.

Photo: Somerset Apprentice of the Year Oliver Baker, with James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, and Peter and Veryan Graham, owners of The George Inn at Croscombe.

27/03/14 - Students Make a Difference in The Gambia
Students Make a Difference in The Gambia

Six students from Strode College have raised a total of £3,500 to support some of the poorest people in rural Gambia and they recently visited the country to meet those they are helping.

The students raised the money as part of the college’s Gambia Project which supports some of the poorest people in the village of Tujereng. It is paying for 50 children to go to nursery school this year and a further 30 children will be funded for four years from September. It will also pay for a new teacher for four years starting in September; for older students to sit entrance exams for high school; and it will be used to buy new equipment for the village youth centre.

Strode College’s Gambia Project was set up nine years ago and in that time students have raised £43,000 and made a real difference to the lives of people in the village. The money has paid for a youth centre to be built, with an internet café and an outdoor hard court for sports, provided equipment for the village schools and supported and contributed to the rebuilding of a Women’s Business Skills Center in the village.

The students who raised this most contribution to the project are: Zoe Butler, Bonnie Buckley and Freyja Hawkins from Street; Anna Trott from Yeovil; and Molly Harvey and Ashleigh Edwards from Somerton.

During their visit to the Gambia they gained great insight to what life is like living in the village and they enjoyed a wide range of activities as they got to know the people they were supporting. 

They met families, the village Imam and the elders; they learnt the tribal language and tried their hand at tie dye, screen printing and batik; they spent time work shadowing; they visited a nature reserve, took part in a village netball tournament and attended a family naming ceremony; and they helped out at the nursery school playing games, teaching art and starting work on a garden.

Photo: (left to right) Strode students Freyja Hawkins and Anna Trott teaching the hokey cokey to Gambian nursery children and their head teacher Lamin Bojang.

25/03/14 - Lets all do the Conga for Sport Relief
Lets all do the Conga for Sport Relief

Sport Relief can get people doing things they wouldn’t normally do, which is why students and staff did a giant conga around college last week. Approximately £300 was raised for Sport Relief thanks to the conga, a sponsored all day hockey match, cake sales and a raffle. Looking forward to next big fundraising event!

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