Strode News

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29/04/13 - Student Follows in Principal's Footsteps to Study History at Cambridge University
Student Follows in Principal's Footsteps to Study History at Cambridge University

Strode College A Level student Lucy Maitland-Cullen, who lives in Street, will be following in her Principal’s footsteps this autumn when she goes to Cambridge University to study history.

Strode Principal, James Staniforth, gained his history degree from Cambridge University and understands just how rigorous the selection process is to gain a place at this prestigious university. He was delighted when Lucy was shortlisted for interview and wanted to help her make the most of the opportunity. 

He said: “It’s great news that Lucy is progressing from Strode to Cambridge University, and particularly pleasing for me that she will be studying a subject so close to my own academic interests. I worked with Lucy in the run up to her Cambridge interviews to extend her knowledge of historical theory and to build her confidence - she obviously did a great job.

“Lucy is one of twenty Strode students to win Oxbridge places in the last four years and in September 2012 67 students progressed to Russell Group universities, including seven who studied BTEC Extended Diplomas. Our A level and advanced level vocational students are 13% more likely to get a place at university than the national average – this is great news for our college and our students.” 

Lucy found the one-to-one teaching with her Principal a great help, she said: “Studying history at Strode has been fantastic; my subject teachers are inspiring and really enthusiastic. The extra support and lessons with James Staniforth definitely extended my knowledge and I felt more confident when it came to answering questions from the lecturers at the Cambridge interviews. I’m really looking forward to studying there and to meeting people who share the same academic interests.” 

Photo: James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, with student Lucy Maitland-Cullen who will be following in his footsteps by studying History at Cambridge University next year.

29/04/13 - Fantastic Night of Acoustic Music - Catch Up on YouTube
Fantastic Night of Acoustic Music - Catch Up on YouTube

Students from Strode College's BTEC Extended Diploma in Music recently organised a fantastic concert of live music and performed to a packed audience in the Holy Trinity Church in Street.

Ex-Strode student and talented performer, Lee Rahn, headlined the all-acoustic event. Strode Music Course Manager Daniel Shaw said: “We were watching a performer communicating perfectly with his spell bound audience. I strongly recommend seeing Lee perform live - he will be appearing at the Godney Gathering this summer - and for those who can’t, he has just released a new ep called 'Scruffy Hair & Ragged Shoes'”. 

Some excellent original work from Strode’s music students was showcased for the first time at the gig: 'The Rusty Lungs' with their quirky 'Autumn Colours' by Yazie MacNeil on piano and vocals, Keiran O'Byrne on bass and Brendan Sweetman on melodica and ukulele; 'Sons of Natives' (Connor Crabb, Lucas Male and Jon Pole) were joined in their contemporary country style by a pedal steel; 'Mr Keep Calm' performed an original number which included a double bass; and 'According to Dave' (Ben Armstrong, Matt Carter, Jake Wareham, Alexis Barker and Aidan Turner) performed an original song which they had arranged for a string quartet, acoustic guitars and glockenspiel.

There was a poignant moment when student Reece Blake’s performance, and the entire concert, was dedicated to the memory of fellow student Mike Norman, who died in a tragic motorcycle crash in March. Reece played 'Alice in her wonderland', a song he had last performed with Mike.

Members of the audience commented on the value for money for a wonderful evening’s entertainment and a terrific atmosphere. Diana Greenfield, pioneer of the parish said: “This building was made to reflect the Glory of God and to enhance acoustic music; it is wonderful to see it used in this way.”

The concert was recorded by Strode’s Music Technology and Broadcast Media students, so if you missed the concert, you can watch some of the highlights on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/StrodeCollege

A Strode College album, showcasing some of the live recordings made at the unplugged concert and the best recordings made in Strode’s studios this year, is due to be released to coincide with the exciting 'Blackstar Showcase' in Strode Theatre on the 30 April.

This event promises to be an electrifying demonstration of the new range by the premier British guitar amp manufacturer, polished off with a wonderful blend of live music from some fantastic local bands. Featuring 'Casimir', 'My Story', 'Awaken the Silence', 'All us Authors', 'According to Dave', 'Tallulah and the Talkbacks' and others, the event is a must see for all guitarists and lovers of music. Check Strode Theatre website for more details: www.strodetheatre.co.uk

Photo: Duncan Almy, who lives in Glastonbury and previously attended St Dunstan’s School, was among the many talented music students to perform at the Strode College unplugged concert.

18/04/13 - Strode College Student Awards Celebrate Outstanding Achievements
Strode College Student Awards Celebrate Outstanding Achievements

Strode College in Street celebrated the achievements of thirty outstanding students from across Somerset, and the breadth of learning opportunities at the College, at an awards evening held in Strode Theatre this week.

The students, who completed courses at Strode College last year, were honoured with awards in front of around 350 family, friends and staff. They heard how each student had demonstrated high achievement in their subject and great commitment to their studies.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College said: "2012 was another enormously successful year for the students on all of our courses, who consistently achieve some of the very best results nationally before progressing on to a wide range of exciting higher education courses and careers.

"Our awards evening is a wonderful opportunity to congratulate some of our most outstanding students for their hard work and achievements. It is also a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the high quality and commitment of our teachers who supported these students during their time at Strode.

"One of the greatest things about Strode is that we provide such a broad range of quality learning opportunities for so many people. Most of our students are aged 16 to 18 and study A Levels and advanced level vocational courses, but we have a course for almost everyone, 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 these awards reflect the breadth of their success."

In 2012 Strode College achieved its best ever results for advanced level 16-18 education, significantly above national benchmarks. It is the best performing college in the South West for A Levels; the second best state school or college in Somerset for all advanced level qualifications, including A Levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas (Department of Education Performance Tables); and it is in the top 5% of 1251 school and colleges nationally for improving students’ performance after their GCSEs (Ofsted QAA inspection and ALPS 2012).

 

Details of awards and successful students

Outstanding Students Group

1. Overall student of the year 2011/12 - Rosie Billenness
Studied:
A Levels: Biology A*, Chemistry A*, Maths A* and Geography A*
Home town:
Somerton
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi Academy
Where now?
Enjoying a range of work placements in the UK and overseas before taking her place at either Nottingham or Liverpool University to study Veterinary Science in 2013

2. Outstanding contribution - Joel Nichols (also Media Student of the Year)
Studied:
BTEC Extended Diploma in Broadcast Media, Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Yeovil
Previous school:
Westfield Academy
Where now?
Running his own business providing a professional audio service for live events, equipment hire and recording service.

3. Adult student of the year - Paul Wren
Studied:
Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector
Home town:
Burtle, Bridgwater
Where now?
Working in a teaching and training role in the gas fitting industry

4. Apprentice of the year - Helen Edwards
Studied:
Level 4 Accounting Apprenticeship
Home town:
Somerton
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi School
Where now?
Working for Accounting Angels in Somerton

5. Beauty and complimentary therapies student of the year - Sophie Penny
Studied:
National Diploma, Complimentary Therapies, Level 3
Home town:
Henstridge nr Sherbourne
Previous school:
King Arthur’s Community School
Where now?
Working for a beauty salon in Gillingham, Dorset

6. Biology and environmental science student of the year - Laura Bentley
Studied:
A Levels: Biology A*, Chemistry A*, Maths A*, Extended Project A* and AS Human Biology A
Home town:
Castle Cary
Previous school:
Ansford Academy
Where now?
Cambridge University studying Natural Sciences

7. Business student of the year - Sophie James
Studied:
Extended Diploma in Business, Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Norton Sub Hamdon nr Yeovil
Previous school:
Stanchester Academy
Where now?
Exeter University studying Business and Management

8. Engineering and Technology student of the year - Luke Brine
Studied:
Extended Diploma Engineering, Level 3, Triple Distinction
Home town:
Evercreech
Previous school:
Ansford Academy
Where now?
Self-employed constructing and manufacturing green oak buildings, and also in discussions with an engineering company about employment opportunities.

9. English student of the year - Brigit Smith
Studied:
A Levels: English Language A*, Psychology A*, French B and Maths C
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan’s Community School
Where now?
Gap year before going to York University in 2013 to study English Language and Linguistics

10. Foundation student of the year - Cheryl Noble
Studied:
Diploma, Personal Social Development, Level 1
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
Avalon School
Where now?
Will study BTEC First Diploma in Hospitality, Level 2, at Strode in 2013

11. Hairdressing student of the year - George Webber
Studied:
Barbering Apprenticeship, NVQ Level 2
Home town:
Wellington
Previous school:
Courtfields Community School
Where now?
Working at Manny’s Barber Shop in Wellington

12. Health and Care student of the year - Christina Wall
Studied:
Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care, Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Coxley, Wells
Previous school:
The Blue School
Where now?
University of the West of England, Bristol, studying Adult Nursing

13. Higher Education student of the year - Ellen Watson
Studied:
History, Heritage and Archaeology Foundation Degree
Home town:
Wincanton
Where now?
Studying the final year of the Archaeology Degree at Bristol University

14. Hospitality student of the year - Hannah Chick
Studied:
BTEC Extended Diploma in Hospitality, Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
Crispin School
Where now?
Employed in a pub restaurant in Glastonbury

15. Humanities student of the year - Laura Dibble
Studied:
A Levels: Geography A, History A, English Literature B, and Business Studies B
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan’s Community School
Where now?
Plymouth University studying Primary Education (Humanities)

16. IT student of the year - Tommy Lewis
Studied:
A Levels: ICT A*, Computing A and Film Studies A
Home town:
Milbourne Port nr Sherbourne
Previous school:
King Arthur’s Academy
Where now?
Kings College University, London, studying Computing Science

17. Maths (Brian Jefferson cup) - John Gay
Studied:
A Levels Maths A*, Further Maths B and English Language B
Home town:
Somerton
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi Academy
Where now?
Liverpool University studying Maths

18. Media student of the year - Joel Nichols (also Outstanding Contribution award)
Studied:
BTEC Extended Diploma Broadcast Media, Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Yeovil
Previous school:
Westfiled Academy
Where now?
Running his own business (see 2 above)

19. Modern foreign languages (Richard Frapwell cup) - Fay Evans
Studied:
A Levels: French A, German A and Maths A
Home town:
Shepton Mallet
Previous school:
Whitstone School
Where now?
Bristol University studying French and German

20. Music student of the year - David McSparron
Studied:
BTEC Extended Diploma in Music, Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Martock
Previous school:
Richard Huish Sixth Form College
Where now?
Newport University studying Creative Music

21. Performing Arts student of the year - Joe Sawdon-Smith
Studied:
Performing Arts, Level 3 Extended Diploma, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Street
Previous school:
Home educated
Where now?
Will be joining Bristol University to study drama in 2013

22. Physical science student of the year - James Paterson
Studied:
A Levels: Physics A*, Maths A*, Further Maths A* and Computing A
Home town:
Catcott nr Bridgwater
Previous school:
Crispin
Where now?
Year in Industry placement with EDF Energy before going to the University of Southampton to study Mechanical Engineering

23. Psychology student of the year - Becky Horobin
Studied:
A Levels: Psychology A, Archaeology A, English Literature B and AS Human Biology B
Home town:
Street
Previous school:
Stanwell Comprehensive
Where now?
University of Sussex studying Anthropology

24. Social Sciences student of the year - Sophie Dearborne-Bloom
Studied:
A Levels: Business A, Government and Politics A, Law B and Maths B
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan’s Community School
Where now?
Cardiff University studying Business Studies

25. University of the West of England Law School Prize - Ffion Jones
Studied:
A Levels: Law A*, English Language A, AS Psychology A and AS History of Art B
Home town:
Glastonbury
Previous school:
Crispin
Where now?
At Strode College studying Psychology and History of Art A Levels before studying History or Art at the Courtold Institute

26. Skills for life (Rachel House award) - Stephen Haeckel
Studied:
Since 2007 Entry Level 3, Level 1 Literacy and Level 1 English Functional Skill, Entry Level 3 Numeracy and Level 1 ICT Functional Skill.
Home town:
Frome

27. Sport and public services student of the year - William West
Studied:
Extended Diploma in Sports (Development, Coaching and Fitness), Level 3, Triple Distinction*
Home town:
Charlton Lodge, Shepton Mallet
Previous school:
Sexey’s School
Where now?
Southampton Solent University studying Sports Journalism

28. Success against the odds/Greatest progress - Anetka Kruk
Studied:
BTEC Extended Diploma in Public Services, Level 3, Triple Distinction
Home town:
Shepton Mallet
Previous school:
Whitsone Academy
Where now?
University of West London studying Business Management

29. Visual arts 2D student of the year - Sophie Pitt
Studied:
A Levels: Photography A and Art and Design B
Home town:
Meare nr Glastonbury
Previous school:
St Dunstan’s Community School
Where now?
Working and building her photography portfolio and aiming to join the police force as a forensic photographer

30. Visual arts 3D student of the year - Lucy Rose Andrews
Studied:
Extended Diploma in Art and Design, Level 3, Distinction* and Double Distinction
Home town:
Priddy, Wells
Previous school:
The Blue School
Where now?
University of Derby studying Creative Expressive Therapies (Art)

12/04/13 - Student Blogger’s Passion for Music Pays Off
Student Blogger’s Passion for Music Pays Off

An aspiring music journalist who is studying A Levels at Strode College in Street, Rhys Buchanan, 17 from Street, had a mind-blowing experience when he was asked along to review the finals of Glastonbury Festival’s unsigned band competition, ‘The Emerging Talent Competition’, last weekend. Held in the Pilton Working Men’s Club, the event featured live performances by the eight finalists who made it through from eight thousand entries.

Rhys, who contributes to local publications 'The Basis' and 'The Fix', was asked to go along and write the review by magazine owner Arran Dutton.

When Glastonbury’s ‘ETC’ organiser Sue Wheeler - who also works for Strode College - read Rhys’ review, she was so impressed that she immediately ‘tweeted’ a link to it from Strode’s Twitter account. Glastonbury Festivals, who have a huge following of almost 300,000 on Twitter, the social networking site, then ‘retweeted’ it.

“It was one of the biggest moments of my life”, said Rhys. “To have my work shared to that many people, by something as iconic as Glastonbury Festival. It’s the kind of thing that drives me to do more. It gives me an incredible buzz”.

Rhys had an impressive 650 hits to his music blogsite ‘Charming Man Music’ within days of writing his review, due mainly to the ETC bands ‘sharing’ it on their Facebook pages, and he is now in talks with some of the country’s more established music bloggers such as Neon Filler and Play Pause Rewind.

In his second year at Strode studying Photography, Media and English, Rhys has also just been accepted for a week of work experience later this year by the renowned music magazine NME in their London offices, which for Rhys is a dream come true. He then plans to return to Strode for a third year or possibly take a specialist course in Music Journalism.

Photo: Strode student Rhys Buchanan has had a fantastic week as his passion for music and his talent for writing about it has really paid off - exciting time ahead!

02/04/13 - Top Fashion Designer Tutors Textiles Students
Top Fashion Designer Tutors Textiles Students

Students studying textiles at Strode College got the opportunity to work with a world-class designer recently when Julian Roberts, who also lecturers on the prestigious MA Textiles course at the Royal College of Arts in London, presented his pattern cutting master-class at the College.

Julian Roberts travels around the world teaching his unique and pioneering method of pattern cutting and garment construction, which also encourages a no waste approach to fashion. He works with top fashion designers and industry experts as well as students and is internationally recognised as one of the most highly skilled designer technicians behind some of the big designer names.

He took to the stage at Strode Theatre to explain his 'subtraction pattern-cutting' technique to 85 students from Strode’s A Level textiles, Art Foundation and BTEC Art and Design courses.

After the presentation 42 textiles students got the chance to work with Julian Roberts in a practical workshop, trying out his pattern cutting technique to create their own dresses. 

Strode College’s textiles course leader and teacher, Sue Green, organised the event. She said: “It’s important to challenge our students to think creatively and to develop their own work in new and innovative directions. Working with a professional designer like Julian Roberts gave our students a great opportunity to build on their skills, knowledge and confidence. We are now planning to hold an end of year catwalk show in June and some of the dresses made with Julian will be featured in the show.”

In 2012 Strode College’s A Level Textiles course achieved a 100 pass rate with 88 per cent of students achieving high A* to B grades compared to 46 per cent nationally. Strode’s A Level and AS Level Textiles courses are in the top ten per cent nationally for helping students achieve higher grades at advanced level than predicted after their GCSE results (Advanced Level Performance Systems, 2012).

Photo: World-class designer Julian Roberts congratulating Strode textiles students on the quality of the dresses they produced using his innovative no waste pattern cutting technique.

27/03/13 - Strode Dance Student Selected for National Youth Dance Company
Strode Dance Student Selected for National Youth Dance Company

Strode A Level dance student, Rose Hadfield, has been selected to join the National Youth Dance Company.

Rose, who lives in Norton Sub-Hamdon and previously attended Stanchester Academy in Yeovil, is one of only thirty young dancers selected from the hundreds who auditioned. 

She will train with the company in London during the April and May College breaks before performing in a tour of major theatres around the country during the summer. 

Rose said: “I’m so pleased and grateful for the opportunity. We’re going to be working with the famous contemporary choreographer Jasmin Vardimon and I know I’m going to learn so much. Selection was hard work with two day-long auditions, but I enjoyed the dancing and I met some really interesting people from across the country.”

Becky Harvey Strode’s course manager and teacher for A Level Dance said: “I am very proud of Rose, this is an amazing opportunity and I know she will rise to the challenge. Rose is a dedicated, talented dancer who will flourish studying under the direction of a professional choreographer. I am very much looking forward to seeing the work when it comes to Bristol in July.”

Rose also trains with the Somerset Youth Dance Company who are based in Yeovil and Taunton.

20/03/13 - Putting on a Good Show
Putting on a Good Show

Every year we stage a college musical production in the wonderful Strode Theatre, with students performing or working back stage to make the event a great success. In 2013 the show was 'Miss Saigon', based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, which tells the story of a doomed romance in 1970s Saigon between a Vietnamese bar girl and an American lieutenant serving in the Vietnam War. 

The annual musical is a cross college production which is open to all students as an enrichment activity.  Students and staff work really hard to deliver a quality production and in the process they have a lot of fun and make some great friends.

View the Photo gallery

20/03/13 - Gravit8 Represents Strode College at 'Spring Forward'
Gravit8 Represents Strode College at 'Spring Forward'

Gravit8 Dance Company’ will be representing Strode College on Friday 22 March as part of ‘Spring Forward’ Take Art’s Youth Dance Platform. They will be performing amongst 30 groups with over 500 young people over the four nights. They will be premiering our new work ‘Fragments of the Mind’ which explores self-perception, image and Identity.

They will also be performing at the same event at the Octagon Theatre on 21 May.

To purchase tickets please contact: Tacchi Morris Arts Centre box office on 01823 414141 or online: http://www.tacchi-morris.com/whats-on/shows/dance-somerset/spring-forward-2013.html. Tickets cost: £7 / £5.50 concessions / £4.50 Students.

The Octagon Theatre box office on 01935 422884. Or online: http://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/ Tickets cost: £7 / £6 concessions / £5 children, students, footlights.

19/03/13 - A Level Dance Sharing 2013
A Level Dance Sharing 2013

A truly inspiring and creative evening of contemporary dance featuring AS and A level students exam work was presented in Strode College’s Dance Studio Theatre on Wednesday 13 March. 

The evening was a blend of solos, group performance pieces and group choreography. Themes and starting points ranged from exploring poetry by Leonard Cohan, work by land artist Richard Shilling, exploration of Commedia dell’ arte characters, to hard hitting, emotive themes of the holocaust, 9/11 bombing and Hiroshima. 

The evening was a credit to the students who had worked so hard to prepare for their practical exams.

18/03/13 - Strode Students Learn to Manage their Money
Strode Students Learn to Manage their Money

Students at Strode College have been learning how to manage their money during the College's Money Management Awareness Week which coincided with the end of their qualification in 'Managing Personal Finances'.

Strode College specialises in teaching students aged 16-18 and College Principal, James Staniforth, believes a good understanding of personal finance is an essential part of his students wider education. 

He said: "Learning to manage your personal finances effectively is an important lesson for young people as they become increasingly independent. We provide a wide range of opportunities to broaden our students' education, including the personal finance course. Our students like the fact that we treat them like young adults, and this course gives them the knowledge and confidence to take responsibility for their finances as they prepare to go onto university or into employment."

All of Strode's A Level and advanced vocational students take the 'Managing Personal Finances' course at Strode. It covers a range of topics including student finance, income and expenditure, starting work, borrowing money, card and internet fraud, banks, building societies and savings accounts. The course is taught during student tutorials and through the College's e-learning facilities, with students assessed by a final test before they gain their qualification.

Photo: Learning to manage a budget, including money for food and drink, will set these Strode students in good stead for the future. Pictured here (left to right) are: Kath Wall, Catering Assistant at Strode, and A Level students Minowa Norton, Laurie Griffiths and Hannah Halway

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