Strode News

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19/01/15 - Boogie Nights - College Musical Performance starting 12 February
Boogie Nights - College Musical Performance starting 12 February

Brought to you by Strode College Performing Arts

Featuring the pop music of the 1970s, Boogie Nights is a humorous musical about Roddy O'Neil and his dream to become a rock star...

Thursday 12, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 February 2015

Tickets £10.00
Full concessions £8.00
Strode staff & students £6.00

Book at the Strode Theatre box office website, or call: 01458 442846

Written by Jon Conway.
Script associates Shane Ritchie & Terry Morrison.
Musical arrangements by Olly Ashmore.
This Amateur Production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

This is a campus production raising funds for the College’s educational activities.

06/01/15 - Weaving Workshop Inspires Textiles Students
Weaving Workshop Inspires Textiles Students

Forty Strode College A Level Textiles students enjoyed a fantastic weaving workshop recently when professional textiles artist Penny Wheeler visited the college.

Penny Wheeler is a specialist in hand woven textiles. She works from her studio in Bath using a countermarch hand loom and she also teaches at Bath Spa University, where she gained a Degree and Masters Degree.

She gave a presentation to the students about her work, showing her design ideas and examples of her hand woven cloth, before demonstrating the process of weaving using various techniques on a rigid heddle loom - a portable loom often used in countries like Peru. The students particularly enjoyed having a go at weaving under the guidance of an expert.

Penny Wheeler’s particular interest and inspiration is the landscape. She recently made a two meter long blanket inspired by the changing landscape of the Somerset Levels during the floods, incorporating the colours and patters into her woven cloth. This blanket, which was made while working with the `ZTwist` project, supported by Somerset Arts Works, has recently been touring Somerset galleries.

Sue Green, Strode College Textiles teacher said: “We had a fantastic day working with Penny. We all learned so much and we will continue to weave further examples of cloth as part of our A level coursework portfolio's. The workshop provided our students with a fascinating and inspiring insight into the working practices of a professional textiles artist - she was very generous and technically accomplished. We would like to thank to Penny for sharing her knowledge and expertise with us and tSAW and 'inspirED' for supporting the event.”

01/01/15 - Great Fun with Peter Pan
Great Fun with Peter Pan

Over 500 children from local primary schools enjoyed a fun and energetic performance of Drewe and Stiles’ adaption of J. M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ during their last week of term, when Strode College’s Performing Arts students presented their version of this popular tale at Strode Theatre in Street.

The well-known story tells of a boy who lives on the island of Neverland, can fly and who never grows up.

Strode’s first year extended diploma Performing Arts students presented the show as part of their work on children’s theatre and second year students delivered the show as part of their study of musical theatre. Strode’s Performing Arts teacher, Charmaine Bray, said: “The students have enjoyed working on the show and being able to put their own individual stamp on the classic characters. This was an ambitious production as it was a full length musical, but I have been delighted at how brilliantly the team rose to the challenge. It was a lovely way to start the Christmas festivities.”

Children who visited Strode to see the show came from Hindhayes Infant School, Street and Elmhurst Junior School also of Street. The Strode College students also put on a show for parents, grandparents and the general public.

Peter Pan Cast and Hindhayes School

Photo: The cast of Peter Pan with the pupils of Hindhayes School, Street.

23/12/14 - Christmas Card Competition 2014
Christmas Card Competition 2014

Strode College’s Art Department once again held their annual Christmas card competition and this year’s winner saw her design turned into the official college card for 2014.

Chloe Maynard’s design was chosen by the college Principal James Staniforth as the winner from 38 entries and features a mirrored pattern of a reindeer and traditional Christmas imagery of a Christmas tree, snowflakes and holly.

Leah Cannings came second with her design depicting the three wise men and their journey to Bethlehem, and Laura Angus came third with a depiction of a Robin created from letter forms.

Our Level 3 Extended Diploma Art & Design students completed this project as part of their client-led brief for Graphics.

Christmas card winners: Leah Cannings, Chloe Maynard and Laura Angus

From left to right: Leah Cannings, Chloe Maynard and Laura Angus

18/12/14 - Strode College Christmas Concert
Strode College Christmas Concert

Students from across Strode College came together last week to present a range of fantastic musical performances for their annual Christmas concert in Strode Theatre.

The audience were treated to harmony singing from the College Choir, a disco classic from the College Ensemble and a host of more contemporary rock and pop songs from the college’s Extended Diploma Music and Music Technology students.

Another highlight of the evening was the highly accomplished College Jazz Band, who demonstrated an exceptional level of technical and musical ability through their improvised solos.

Matt Holmes, Strode College’s Head of Media, Music and Performing Arts, said: “The Christmas Concert is always a highlight of the academic year and this year’s was no exception. Once again both students and our extremely talented music staff produced a truly festive performance of which we can all be proud!”

Christmas Concert 2014 - Woodwind Christmas Concert 2014 - Singers

Christmas Concert 2014 - Guitar Christmas Concert 2014

17/12/14 - Successful Film Producer Shares Experience with Strode College Film and Media Students
Successful Film Producer Shares Experience with Strode College Film and Media Students

Successful TV and film producer Dan Winch, visited Strode College recently to share his experience of working in the industry with students. He recently produced his first full length film ‘What We Did on Our Holidays’, having previously worked as First Assistant Director on a number of British films and TV dramas.

Dan Winch grew up near Street and went to St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury, so he has visited Strode College many times before. On this occasion however, he visited because he is passionate about helping young people find their way in the TV and film industry.

Strode College students can study A Levels in Film Studies and Media Studies and an Extended Diploma in Broadcast Media. This was a great opportunity for those students, as well as others interested in a career in film and media production, to learn and be inspired by a successful media professional.

What we did on our holiday, posterFilm Studies teacher and subject leader, Ben Boydell, said ‘We were delighted to welcome a visitor of Dan’s experience. His enthusiasm is infectious and he is an inspirational speaker. Dan provided students with the kind of inside information that is invaluable in making sense of career prospects in the creative industries. We are privileged that he has taken time out of his busy work schedule, and we look forward very much to seeing him again.”

Photo: Film Producer Dan Winch (middle front row) with some of the Strode College Film and Media students who enjoyed hearing about his work and how to get on in the film and TV industry.

16/12/14 - Music for a Good Cause
Music for a Good Cause

Strode College students and staff had a great time helping to make 'Oxjam Glastonbury & Street 2014' a huge success. 

£1,686 was raised for Oxfam through donations and gigs during the three-week charity music event, which included eight live music events featuring over 40 music acts. 

Oxjam Glastonbury & Street 2014 was organised by Gary Smith, who is the Manager of Strode College’s Learning Centre, and Daniel Shaw, who is Music Course Manager and Teacher at Strode. 

Fifteen Strode students and seven Strode staff performed during the events which took place at venues across the local area.


Gary Smith  Rosie Whitten  Harry Carpenter

Photos (left to right): Organiser Gary Smith, Strode Music L3 Extended Diploma students Rosie Whitten from Bruton and Harry Carpenter from Street. Credit: Marc Hughes Photography.

12/12/14 - Education and Business Minister Finds out about the 'Outstanding' opportunities at Strode College
Education and Business Minister Finds out about the 'Outstanding' opportunities at Strode College

Education and Business Minister Nick Boles MP visited Strode College in Street yesterday. 

Strode College was recently judged `Outstanding` by Ofsted.  Nick Boles wanted to find out about the extensive opportunities offered at the college and why Strode’s approach to sixth form education is so successful, giving young people the best possible foundations for future success.

The Minister met with Strode College Principal James Staniforth to discuss the challenges faced by young people and how best to prepare them for the future.  He was particularly interested in how the college nurtures and inspires students and how they are helped to develop the skills they will need for a range of working environments.

James Staniforth, Principal of Strode College, explained to the Minister how the quality of teaching, support and guidance at the college delivers such outstanding outcomes for students.  He also took the opportunity to highlight areas within the current education system that could be improved to ensure all young people have the best opportunities to achieve their potential. 

He said: “Young people need the best careers education and advice to make sure they are aware of all the opportunities available to them and how best to make the most of their skills, abilities and ambitions.  While schools are currently required to provide impartial information and advice to their pupils, this does not happen across the board and there is no funding to make sure this happens.”

“Also, as young people are now legally required to remain in education until the age of 18, there is a need to ensure affordable and accessible transport for these young people, so that college students have similar rights to those of school children.  Young people should be able to choose the courses and college that will help them succeed; the cost of transport should not stop them from getting the best education.   

“Going forward, we are also looking to the next Government to work with employers and colleges to help ensure a better take-up of Apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds.”

Nick Boles was accompanied by James Heappey, the Conservative Party candidate for Wells.  They met A Level Government and Politics students who had been researching pressure groups and think tanks. Nick Boles discussed the student’s individual findings with them, before he and James Heappey answered questions, including which party the Conservatives would form a coalition with in the event of another hung parliament.

Photo: Education and Business Minister Nick Boles (second from right), with (left to right): Shirley Theedom (Strode College Deputy Principal), James Heappey (Conservative candidate for Wells), Stephen Bower (Student Governor and President of the Strode College Students Association) and James Staniforth (Strode College Principal).

11/12/14 - Mid Somerset CND visits Strode College
Mid Somerset CND visits Strode College

Our AS Level Government & Politics students enjoyed a visit from the Mid Somerset CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and Peace Group recently. Twenty three students learned about the pressure group’s campaigning strategies, resources and local tactics. They made the most of the opportunity, asking a range of perceptive questions which helped them understand current issues in politics and current affairs.

Pictured: Bevin Miller with some of Strode College’s AS Government & Politics students.

14/11/14 - Media Studies Students Experience Game Show in the Making
Media Studies Students Experience Game Show in the Making

Twenty three of our A level Media students traveled to Maidstone Studios in Kent recently to watch the filming of the popular ITV game show 'Catchphrase'.

Kev Cook, Subject Leader for Media Studies, said: “Seeing a show recorded live is a useful way for Media students to truly appreciate the artificial, 'constructed' nature of a programme; the number of people involved, how much time it takes and the amount of equipment involved in the studio. As well as watching the main show being filmed, students also experienced the 'warm-up' comedian getting the crowd ready; the floor manager telling the audience when to clap, laugh and 'ooh'; and the host re-recording several lines he fluffed, as well as several ad-lib jokes that were a bit to risque for the final cut!” 

On Catchphrase setThe students had a great time and learnt a great deal about how TV programmes are made. Student Ollie Marsh said: "The trip was great, I had an awesome time and learnt a lot of 'TV secrets', I also got a selfie with a famous person!"

Top: A Level Media students Jennie Stokes, of Tintinhull (formerly at Huish Academy) and Abby Corbett, of Curry Rivel (formerly at Huish Academy) in the audience waiting for Catchphrase to start.
Above: A Level Media student Ollie Marsh, of Yeovil (formerly at Westfield Academy) took a selfie with Catchphrase host Stephen Mulhern.

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