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Graduation Joy at Cathedral

Delighted HE grauation students and Shelagh Legrave with Spencer Kelly

Chichester College HE Graduates on the Cathedral stepsIt’s always one of the best days of the year when Chichester College Higher Education students don their gowns and mortar boards and process through the cathedral to celebrate their graduation.
This year’s event dawned cloudy but, as always seems to be the way for Graduation, as the ceremony finished the sun came out.
Students and their guests began to arrive at the cathedral around 10am ready for gowning, which took place in the cathedral. From then on there was a buzz of anticipation and excitement which mounted as more people arrived, including the staff who had taught those graduating, managers and Chichester College HE Graduates in the cathedral groundsinvited guests; these included the TV broadcaster, Spencer Kelly (pictured above in inset), the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, employers and members of the Chamber of Commerce and, of course, family and friends of those graduating. For many, the event marked the end of several years’ hard work; for others, it was a celebration of the end of college life before their next step onto complete their degrees at university. For most students it was the last time they would be together as a group but all had one thing in common - it was a day to celebrate and a day for feeling proud and sharing happiness - and for some relief - that their hard work had paid off.
Inside Chichester Cathedral for the Higher Education Graduation CeremonyThe ceremony began with a procession of staff, including Senior Management, Heads of Learning and other college staff, who then took their seats. The ceremony was introduced by the Principal Shelagh Legrave and then followed the presentation of certificates to the graduates by Spencer Kelly, presenter of BBC ‘s Click technology programme. What started quite sedately was soon livened up with whoops and cheers mainly led by the Performing Arts students.
Andy Green and Julie Sleeman then introduced the special awards which were presented by a number of sponsors. Chair of Governors, John Goble, presented an Honorary Fellowship of the College award to the Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, retired Dean of Chichester Cathedral. The Fellowship was awarded in recognition of the great support given to the College by the Reverend Frayling, who was instrumental in welcoming the College to the cathedral to celebrate occasions from the annual carol concert to graduation. He supported our planning application for additional student accommodation and led on a project to calculate the contribution made to the City by the College and the University. His commendation said he had been ‘a true friend of Chichester College’. Reverend Frayling accepted the Fellowship with thanks and reflected on the great relationship between the cathedral and the College.
Spencer Kelly then addressed the congregation talking about his own student days and how valuable gaining a qualification is; modestly he didn’t mention his qualification is a double first in Computer Science from Cambridge, instead he focussed on becoming a champion marshmallow eater (chubby bunny game), making lifelong friends and the opportunities which can open up as a result of all the hard work studying. He reflected on how lucky he feels he is in his job which takes him from rural India to high tech Japan and to interview people from Bill Gates to NASA staff. He recommended for a successful future you should work hard, make your boss think you are indispensable, make your own luck (don’t wait for it to come to you) make sure you do something you enjoy and be nice. Following his inspirational talk John Goble was invited to make the closing remarks and guests then retired to the marquee area for celebratory drinks and photographs.
Higher Education is a relatively small part of the college’s offer but it is an important part. It offers many students the chance to progress and gain a higher level qualification without having to leave home, at a cheaper price than university but with a much more personal experience with greater support and smaller groups. Enterprise, employability and employer input is something we try hard to include in all courses and again is something which sets us aside from many university courses.
So do take some time to find out about our Higher Education Courses and you too could enjoy a taste of success and feel the same pride felt in the cathedral last week by the graduates, friends, family and staff who taught the class of 2014.

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Some Graduation Success Stories

Graduate Natasha Riggett and familyNatasha Riggett completed her Foundation Degree in Events and Hospitality Management ending a busy two years by scooping the award for the Goodwood Student of the Year.
Natasha was described in the nomination as the ‘perfect student’; she worked hard, was a member of the Student Executive, achieved excellent results, organised successful events and did all this despite being pregnant in her first year, having baby Talia in the summer and returning for her second year the following September. At the same time, Natasha also brought up two and a half year old Noah. Partner, Daniel, said he was really proud of what Natasha has achieved. Natasha says the last two years have been hard work but she has really enjoyed the course, particularly the practical elements and she is now looking forward to completing her third year at Chichester University before working and then ultimately setting up her own business. 

Graduate Julius Caesar with his proud MumNot many college courses can boast alumni to include Julius Caesar but HND Computing was one of those courses. Having worked hard to complete his course, Julius is now going to take a gap year where he will focus on building his skills in web development. He said everything about the course was great and he particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to do real work experience as an IT Technician. This helped develop both his work skills and understanding but also the practical application of his knowledge. He sees his future lying in website design after a final year at university. Julius’s Mum was one of many very proud parents who came to see him graduate.

Performing Arts GraduatesPerforming Arts training at Chichester College has paid off for budding actors Alex and Jeremy as, having successfully graduated, both are now off to develop their talents at renowned drama schools. Other members of their group include Jed Simpson who is off to Portsmouth University to complete his degree in Animation, Ryan Moss who is working at a weekend theatre school and Alisha Dyer- Spence who is teaching at Chichester Youth Theatre.

As well as these stories, other special awards were presented.

These were:

  • Chichester Chamber of Commerce & Industry Award - Student of the Year 2014 Nargis Malik
  • Airborne Interactive Award 2014 Nathan Smith
  • Chichester Jazz Club ‘Band of the Year’ Award 2014 ‘Girl Talk’ Elaine Crouch & Helen MacDougall
  • Chichester College Crew of the Year Award 2014 Katie Ansell, Charles Bentley, Chris Collins, Daniel Donovan, Christopher Hammond, Olivia Lilburn, Adam Price, Grace Smith, Alexander Ward
  • Hilton Avisford Park Award 2014 Kristina Kucerova
  • Goodwood Award 2014 Natasha Riggett
  • Chichester College Computing Award 2014 Graham Challen
  • Chichester College Performing Arts (Acting) Award - Student of the Year 2014 Ryan Moss
  • Chichester College Performing Arts (Dance) Award - Student of the Year 2014 Paige McCabe
  • Chichester College Health & Social Care Award - Student of the Year 2014 Catherine Gray

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Bike Show Raises Over £1000 For Sussex Air Ambulance

Mods and Scooters at Chichester Bike Show 2014Visitors turned out in droves to visit the third annual bike show. By the end of the day, Motor Cycle Lecturer, Peter Scott (Scottie), a key organiser of the event, estimated several thousand people had been to the event.
Scottie says “I know we had 1160 motorcycles on site (980 last year), we had used all 600 programmes by 11 o’clock and the car-park was swamped by 11.30!
There was so much on offer this year for all ages, a very large auto jumble with around 20 stalls selling everything from nuts and bolts to bikes.
There were some amazing bikes on show this year; lots of Harley Davidsons, old bikes and new bikes, scooters and show bikes and even a German Victoria, there are only 3 of these bikes in the whole country. 
A rider of one of the scooters pictured above announced proudly that he was an original Mod and was sporting his original Parker; his coat is very special to him even though he has been offered £6000 to sell it as it had been signed by original members of ‘The Who’ in 1969.
This event always raises money for The Sussex Air Ambulance who offer a vital service in the area, this year they confirmed we raised £1084.59 on the day and donations continued to come in even after the event.
Plans are already underway for next year’s show which will be on Sunday 21st June although a little earlier next year starting at 9am. Principal Shelagh Legrave commended the Motor Cycle team following the event as it is a large event to organise by a small group of enthusiastic and committed staff that is growing in size and success year on year.

More photos and details of next year's Bike Show.

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Construction Awards Evening 2014

Construction ended their year in the new G block with their prize giving ceremony. The prize-giving room resembled a small DIY store with the event and prizes sponsored by Howden’s, Covers, Dulux Decorator Centre, WL West and Sons, Beaver Tool Hire, Morgan Contract Furniture, Monument Tools Ltd, Travis Perkins, Porter Valmic, Osbornes and Hamilton Acorn.  Over 100 guests attended, including some very proud families and students. Banners promoting the trade areas covered one wall; three plasma screens were scrolling pictures of the prize winners performing their trade, whilst music was played and guests were welcomed with a drink. It was lovely to see so many support staff and SMT attending to show their support and join in the celebrations.
David Little with his Graham Pellatt Achievement AwardOnce all of the guests and prize winners had arrived, Head of Learning for Construction, John Bradbury, opened by welcoming everyone to the evening and our new G block. Julie Sleeman, Chief Operating Officer, proceeded to give a welcoming speech, covering many of Construction’s achievements over the year; including Skill build and World skills competition successes as well as a group of Brickwork, Carpentry and Joinery students who had recently been working in France to help restore a Chateau in Tinchebray.
24 Students received awards including David Little who was the proud recipient of the newly established “Graham Pellatt achievement award”. This award has been named after Lecturer Graham Pellatt who passed away earlier this year. Graham’s widow and son attended the ceremony which made the event even more special for staff and students.
This was a fantastic evening of celebration for students and for the staff who have worked hard and tirelessly over the year to ensure Chichester College is the first choice for students of the future.

Do you want to be a part of the celebrations next year? Browse our many Construction Courses or talk to an Admissions Advisor on 01243 786321.

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Furniture Open Evening Triumph

Desk made by Chichester College Furniture studentBespoke sideboard on display at Furniture ShowStaff from the Chichester College Furniture Area worked through the night setting up the magnificent display of furniture in time for the 2014 Furniture Open Evening that took place at the end of term.
Parents, friends, families and other visitors, who had the privilege to attend the opening evening reception, were impressed with the range and the quality of the furniture produced. There were some stunning upholstery pieces, impressive tables, sideboards, cupboards and a lovely desk and trunk and many other noteworthy pieces.
Table on display at Furniture Open EveningSpread over three floors, visitors were clearly impressed with the amount of work created by the students. There were lots of compliments and interest shown in resident apprentice furniture maker Alex Hopkins' work.
George Callow with some of his competition piecesChristian Notley paid tribute to the staff who had made the show happen as well as taking students to develop their skills through the European Teach Me Wood project. He also paid tribute to George Callow and the students off to compete in Wales to try and earn their own places in World Skills the following Week. Shelagh also thanked Christian for his work and congratulations went to George Callow for his World Skills success and British Empire Medal. 

Stop Press! Latest news from the Furniture Team is that we have just had official confirmation that Steve Pickton and Edward (Woody) Harringman from Furniture have been selected to train with Squad UK for WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015.
We hope either Steve or Woody will be successful in following in George Callow, Luke Griffiths and Chris Wallis’s footsteps and be selected as the UK representative to represent the UK (and Chichester College) in Brazil. Well done to Christian Notley and the Furniture Team for producing more potential world beating craftsmen.

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Floristry Fragrance at Festival of Flowers

Brinsbury Floristry Department display at Chichester Cathedral Festival of FlowersBrinsbury florists were asked to get involved in created part of the decorations at the Festival of Flowers held in Chichester Cathedral each year.
Over the years the florists have created many displays using different flowers. This year the flowers they used were predominantly white which were used with green foliage and decorative twigs to create some stunning displays which were much admired. Jose Pound, Flower Festival Organiser at the Cathedral wrote to express her thanks:


Dear Dee and Vicki, I would just like to say a big thank you to you and your students for the wonderful floristry that you did at Chichester Cathedral Flower festival. They were admired by everyone. You are all very talented florists.

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Adult Learners' Week a Hit

Dawn Gracie at Adult Learners' WeekAdult Learners’ Week is coordinated by NIACE and is supported by the European Social Fund, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Edge Foundation. NIACE says “Adult Learners’ Week is a campaign designed to promote and celebrate lifelong learning. We know that adults who continue to learn throughout their lives are healthier, happier and have greater self-confidence and self-esteem. In short, Adult Learners’ Week is the best time to show how adult learning improves and enhances social cohesion, economic vitality and social mobility”.
Chichester College recognises that learning is valuable at all levels and in all contexts and made the most of this occasion by offering a range of Free Talks for our local community. The Talks were held throughout the week (16-20 June) by various Guest Speakers, who very kindly gave up their free time to present highly interesting topics.
Topics covered included ‘The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media’, ‘Secrets of a Style Guru’, ‘From Inspiration to Publication’, ‘Discovering EFT’ and ‘Business Booster’.
Over a hundred people attended the talks during the week and all were well received, generating feedback such as: “ It was a wonderful event”, “ thank you so much for organising it” and “Well worth attending”.

A huge thank you to our Guest Speakers; Jen Smith, Gay Richardson, Kate Henwood, Gabrielle Kimm, Susan Cowe, Dawn Gracie, Emma Weatherstone and Theresa Truscott.

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Construction Students On Location In France

Chichester College Construction Team in TinchebrayA group of Carpentry and Brickwork students from the Construction department have recently returned from working on an eco renovation project to a chateau and outbuildings in Tinchebray, Normandy in France.
They carried out renovation work assisting in the conversion of the chateau into an eco, sustainable, carbon neutral hotel, which will provide opportunities for learning and holiday stays for all members of society within the european community. The students, Sean Pritchard, Josh Courtnage, Shane Roddis, Tom Couzens, Ryan Evison, Mantas Skruodis, Jack Banting, Nathan Sparshott & Liam Luck, accompanied by lecturers Glen Smith and Neil Redman, spent two weeks in June on the work placement which was organised through the Leonardo Lifelong Learning programme and supported by the European Union. The aim of the programme is to encourage student mobility and skills exchanges between projects in member countries. 
Neil said the project required a great team effort from the students on the tasks which involved practical construction work as well as trips to the local builders merchants and preparation for the installation of timber joists, studwork and the jointing in.
Construction Team off-dutyAs well as practical work there was also time to see local sights such as visiting a D Day Commemoration event, visiting the landing beaches and wartime cemeteries as well as spending time on leisure activities, such as kayaking and watching the World Cup. They also met members of the local community and were able to tell them about the renovation work they have done by using pictures and explaining where they were from and how much they were enjoying the experience of working in Normandy.
The students completed all the tasks that had been set for them to achieve as part of the project, had a great time and also, along the way, picked up and demonstrated many skills which included: determination, teamwork, communication, effort, language skills, numeracy, safe working practices, enjoyment, preparation.

A blog was kept during the visit and there are some great photos of the work the students completed at different stages of the project. Check out:

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Passing Out!

Chichester Detachment Passing Out 2014

This was the first Passing Out Parade held at Chichester College and the staff involved were very proud of their cadets. In attendance were Capt. Bill Welsh & Major David Burberry.

2 of the Chichester Detachment cadets who Passed Out

Chichester is the only Detachment connected to a college, so we are unique.
As part of the course, the group attended a week at Crowborough, where they lived as Service personnel for one week, experiencing everything from making their beds and cleaning their boots through to Parade, operating and firing a weapon and, of course, the inevitable and extremely challenging obstacle course. Some of this year’s recruits have applied for roles in the Services and some have already enrolled back with us next year to progress to the next level.
Mark Bonar commented “It was tremendous to see how the group developed from raw recruits through to competent young men and women”. 

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SEN Students Celebrate

The annual Celebration of Achievement is an awards evening held to celebrate the achievements of Foundation SEN students at the College. Each year parents, carers and other family members come to the event to support and cheer on their young people who have travelled their own personal journeys, often making amazing progress on the way. 
Here are just a handful of this year's success stories...

Some 2014 SEN Award winners

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2 Catering and Hospitality Innovations

Professional Cookery Master Classes

Atik Miah's Master ClassOn Thursday 19th June, the Level 2 Professional Cookery students were treated to a master class in authentic Bangladeshi cuisine with Guest Chef, Atik Miah (pictured left).
Then, on Wednesday 25th June, Michelin Award winning Chef, Martin Hadden, from Historic Sussex Hotels which include Bailiffscourt, Ockenden Manor and The Spread Eagle Hotel, also came to demonstrate his creative culinary skills.
After the master class demos the students were able to recreate what they had seen prepared and, afterwards, sit down and enjoy the food with invited guests which was a great learning experience. 

Great 'Taster' for New Students and Parents

L3 Hospitality 'Taster' Event for prospective students and their parentsCongratulations to Level 3 Hospitality students who organised a superb, informative and inspirational ‘taster’ event for prospective students, who have applied to join the Level 3 course in September.
Together with their parents, they were invited to find out more about the course and to start to learn some of the practical skills they will need.
From flambé to napkin folding, silver service skills or the great omelette challenge, parents and students were equally involved. They had the opportunity to talk to staff and to students and meet other potential students too.
One young man was greeting visitors on arrival and his confidence and enthusiastic and genuine approach made visitors feel relaxed and welcome right from the start. Apparently, he had begun as a school truant and had very poor self esteem but his appearance and his confidence had developed throughout the course and he proved himself a real credit to the college and his industry and a great role model for future students.
The evening was a great success and provided a great opportunity for students to show off what they have learned and for new students to meet them and talk with them in a less formal setting.

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Beautiful Brinsbury Blooms for External Events

Each year Brinsbury florists create beautiful arrangements for a number of different events; one of these is the South of England Show. This year's displays received great praise as the following feedback from Iain Nicol, the Chief Executive Officer of the South of England Show demonstrates.

Brinsbury Floristry Arrangement for the South of England ShowYou and your team did a truly fabulous job which lifted the ambience of every area that your floral creations adorned. We have received so many complimentary comments about the flowers this year, so please pass on my congratulations and thanks to all your students. They are a credit to you and the College. I hope you all enjoyed the experience and took some valuable learning away.


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WorldSkills Successes for Beauty Students

Two areas in the College consistently excel at World Skills competitions and these are Furniture and Beauty Therapy.
The four successful WorldSkills Beauty Therapy studentsThis year, four students from a range of beauty therapy disciplines were selected to compete in the Regional Skills competitions which were held at Highbury College. The students were selected for their high level of skill, concentration and professionalism. There was tough competition but the girls persevered and emerged with some very creditable results which were as follows:

  • Aromatherapy Competition (students coached by Julie McFadden)
    1st Place was taken by Nasreen Baluch.
    Off the record one of the judges indicated that this student is likely to be in the national final as her standards/points were very high.
  • Advanced Beauty Therapy (trained by Caroline Townsend-Vagg and Clare Burgess)
    This year’s competition saw Emily Gilks achieve a 3rd place. Emily is a second year BTEC Beauty Therapy student.
  • Reflexology (also trained by Julie McFadden)
    Julie’s students did well at the competition with 2nd place being taken by Sophie Penfold and 3rd place by Jade Seeley

We have to wait now until we hear whether Nasreen has indeed been successful in reaching the national final but well done to all the girls and the staff who trained and supported them. 

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Beach Rugby Tournament Filmed by Cee-Cee Productions

Another truly successful beach rubgy tournament was held at West Wittering in June. Watch the event, filmed in a joint student venture by Cee-Cee Productions.

Beach Rugby Tournament 2014

Chichester College Sports

Our Sports students were filmed at the June 2014 Beach Rugby Tournament by Cee-Cee Productions, our Student Enterprise Video Production Company.

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