Stars of Reaseheath College

Students and staff from Reaseheath College’s Animal Management department started the festive season off with a kick. They dressed up donkeys, ponies and goats in festive decoration to spread Christmas cheer around campus and to raise money for The Donkey Sanctuary.

Offerings from the festive parade included chocolates and non-alcoholic mulled wine whilst playing Christmas music in return for donations. The animals included Frankie the Miniature Shetland pony, Cassie the Welsh Mountain Pony, donkeys Percy and Berty, and Alfie, Fergie andphoto 3.JPG Misty the Golden Guernsey Goats.

The students were Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management Year 1 Animal Training Group and KS4 Level 2 students. Course Manager, Kerri Robson said, “It was a huge success. The animals were little stars and so well-behaved. The students were amazing and made a huge effort!”

All departments were extremely generous, raising £76 for The Donkey Sanctuary!





Success of Reaseheath scheme key to MEA conference

Reaseheath’s successful scheme for training dairy engineers of the future was discussed when the Milking Equipment Association (MEA) held their Autumn conference at the Motor Heritage Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The aim of the conference was to update representatives on the MEALTA qualification or Parloursafe (as it is now known). This qualification is delivered only by Reaseheath. Currently 412 students are registered on the scheme, with programme leader Mike Cullen delivering the modules at Reaseheath and in the workplace.

The training uniquely bring together engineering, food manufacturing and farming and is aimed at engineers who service and maintain milking parlours  across the country.

Mike himself addressed a capacity audience of nearly 100 delegates at the conference, describing the Parloursafe qualification and how it is assessed at all four levels. MEA Chief Executive Officer Roger Lane Nott reported on the progress of the association. Other speakers included Alistair Taylor, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers and Peter Huijsmans, who spoke about a similar scheme and its success over the last decade in the Netherlands.

Representing the Red Tractor Scheme, Emma Surman highlighted current recommendations and how the scheme and farm assurance will be working closely in the future. The event was chaired by David O’Hare, current chairman of the MEA.

A round of question followed in an open forum, where it was shown that the industry is providing a strong backing to the scheme. Reaseheath’s programme is already proving extremely successful, with 27 Level 2 graduates progressing onto a new Level 3 programme which is starting in the New Year.


Farm and dairy herd brings in the cream

Our farm staff were over the mooooooon last week after receiving one of the most prestigious awards in the Cheshire County Farms competition.

We won the category for best farm over 500 acres, a tremendous accolade as we were judged against some of the best commercial farms in the county. The farm was judged as a whole, with the judges inspecting our dairy herd, pig unit, sheep flock and arable and growing crops.

Awards in this competition are particularly welcome, as the judging panel are made up of farmers who really know the industry.

Reaseheath Holsteins were awarded third place in three categories: premier dairy herd, in calf heifers and maiden heifers.

Farm Manager Mark Yearsley said: “gaining these awards against competition with the best shows what a great farm and great staff we have. We were delighted to win the awards and I’d like to thank the team for all the hard work they put in to make it happen.”

The awards, which were handed over at a dinner at the Civic Hall, Nantwich,  also included a new category ‘Competent Young Person in Agriculture’ which is sponsored by Reaseheath.

This is open to young people aged between 16 and 24 who work on a Cheshire farm. Marks are awarded for enthusiasm, passion, competence, responsibilities and future aspirations. The applicants are judged at their workplace as they carry out their job.

All the young people in the top four places were trained at Reaseheath. The winner, David Marrow, completed his agricultural apprenticeship with us as did second placed Andrew Dodgson and equal third Richard Venables. Will Mansell, also equal third, is a current Level 3 student.


Grass track racer in pole position

Reaseheath College motor vehicle  student Aidan Arrowsmith certainly hasn’t been allowing the grass to grow under his wheels.

The 17 year-old is one of the UK’s most  promising young grass track racers and he’s just finished a successful year in sixth position in the British Autograss series. He was also third in the North of England championships.

Aidan, who lives in Wem and attended the town’s Thomas Adams School , has been racing autograss cars in the Junior Special class since he was 12 years old. He’s now looking forward to handing over his race car to his 13 year-old brother, Jordan, and is moving on to his first season in Class 1 racing a Mini Cooper.

Thanks to the support of his parents Alan and Katrina, both boys compete at UK wide meetings every weekend during the March to November season.

Aidan’s also been first off the grid in choosing Reaseheath College in Nantwich for his future career. Reaseheath’s motor vehicle department has just undergone a substantial refurbishment and offers top of the range automotive workshops, kitted out with cutting edge diagnostic equipment.

Next generation motor vehicle technicians learn their skills on a wide range of modern road cars including performance and off road vehicles. They also gain highly relevant work experience at local garages and during workshop sessions at college when they deal with real life scenarios.

Aidan is an IMIAL Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles student. He is planning to progress to Level 3 and eventually wants to build race cars, possibly eventually joining an F1 team.

As part of his course Aidan has enjoyed study trips to RAF Cosford, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, Deeside Karting circuit and the World Rally Championships. He’s now looking forward to his next  trip to the Autosport show at the NEC in January.

He says: “We looked round local colleges and decided that Reaseheath was definitely the best place to study. The workshops are very modern and the staff have all worked in the industry so they really know what they’re talking about. The classroom sessions are good too, because you learn how things work before you go into the workshops.

“But the best thing is that the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. We work hard but we all have a good laugh too.”


Reaseheath Vehicle Technology reaches into the future

Reaseheath College at the Forefront of Hybrid Technology

Our Motor Vehicle Technology team have taken steps into the future of motor vehicle training with the purchase of a Toyota Prius Hybrid. The car has come from Toyota RRG Stockport and will support our learning programme for level 2 and 3 Vehicle Technology students.

Motor Vehicle PriusThe purchase of such an advanced car gives us an exciting opportunity to take forward out vision – to provide vehicle technology training of the highest technical level in Cheshire and North West of England and to become a centre of excellence in the region and the centre of choice for current and prospective motor vehicle students.

We will become the only FE College in the area able to offer students a combination of Hybrid Vehicle, Oscilloscope training, electronic fault diagnosis, digital 4 wheel alignment and F-Gas (Air Conditioning) certification that will support their main programme of learning and Functional Skills. Our learners will gain more from training here at Reaseheath than the local competitors. Together with our brand new practical workshops, links with motorsport, and action packed study trips to science and industry venues and motorsport events, we offer a programme of learning that is very attractive to learners.

Motor Vehicle at reaseheathFuture course development work will include delivering training to mature learners at Level 4 (Master Technician). We’re also hoping to increase our income generation by providing training in F Gas Certification, Advanced Diagnostics and Hybrid technology to local and national repair establishments.

Sales of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles have increased significantly over the past three years. The purchase rate of these vehicles continues to gather pace year on year. Renault, Nissan and BMW have entered the full electric vehicle market with vehicles capable of more than 100 miles driving range on one charge at the cost of approximately £1. Tesla offers a vehicle that can drive from London to Paris and back again on one charge. Charging times for these vehicles have dramatically reduced as charging technology improves. The role out of the national recharging network continues to spread north offering the opportunity to charge your vehicle away from home.  Because of this Reaseheath College must keep pace with industry and purchasing the Hybrid Vehicle has helped us towards meeting our future objectives.

Students gaining experience of this high level technology will be increasingly more employable over those trained by our competitors.

Expect this new vehicle and the new technology and equipment to be making a presence at many of the shows and events that the marketing team attends.  The vehicle will also act as a marketing tool in its own right, as it will be used to replace hire vehicles for assessor and lecturer visits by the Engineering team to industry.

The future is bright and full of technology. Would you want your training from anyone else?


Talented James is Apprentice of the Month

Talented Crewe Alex Under 18s captain James Jones has been selected as apprentice of the month in a national competition ‘The 11’ run by the Football Education (LFE).

James was chosen over entrants from clubs nationwide for the excellent progress he has made in both his sport and academic studies and for making a positive contribution to his football club.

James, 17, will be one of 11 football apprentices to go head to head in a national final at the end of the season. He was put forward for the competition by Reaseheath College Lecturers in Sports Performance Nina Ross and Louise Finney,  Head of Education at Crewe Alex Dave Whiteside and regional officer for the LFE Keith Leighton, all of whom were impressed with his all round abilities.

Apart from captaining the Crewe Youth Team James, who lives in Winsford, has played a number of fixtures for the Under 21 reserves. He also coaches the under 12 and under 10 age groups at the Crewe Alex Football Academy two evenings a week.

Apart from his sporting excellence, James is a triple distinction student at Reaseheath College in Nantwich, where he and fellow apprentice study for one and a half days each week.

A former pupil at Hartford High School, James joined Crewe Alex straight from school and is in the second and final year of his scholarship. He is hoping for a professional contract when he completes.

He said: “This competition is a really good thing to be associated with.  It reflects well on me and the club, and particularly on the education the apprentices get.”

Nina Ross added: “We selected James because of his all round achievement and ability to do well. His general conduct and attitude is outstanding in both his academic work at college and in his football training.  And he’s proved through his coaching that he’s willing to put himself out for the sport.”

Horticulture industry professionals visit Reaseheath

On Saturday 30th November the College welcomed leading professional horticulturists from the Institute of Horticulture. The Institute, which has recently been granted a Royal Charter by The Queen, came to see for themselves the award-winning work of our horticulture department.

ioh 2The group were welcomed by Curriculum Area Manager for Horticulture Iain Clarke, who delivered a presentation on our successes at events such as RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, the wide range of programmes we run, and also on the exciting future plans for the department with the investment of £8million in a National Centre for Food Futures and Environment which will provide cutting edge horticultural production, environment management and design facilities for our students.

Horticulture lecturer Harry Delaney conducted a tour of Reaseheath’s historic landscape, which was followed by a tour of the College’s state of the art anaerobic digestion facility by farm manager Mark Yearsley.

Susan Nicholas, who is the Chairman of the Institute’s North West and North Wales Branch commented on: “An excellent visit to Reaseheath, Harry Delaney wowed us with his knowledge and history of trees, and Mark Yearsley gave us an insight into the workings of the college’s anaerobic digestion plant. A big thank you to all college staff involved for an interesting and informative day”.

Speaking about the day, horticulture lecturer Craig Bailey said: “It was a privilege to host the visit, and we have extended an invitation to the Institute to visit Reaseheath again when our new centre is completed in 2015”.

The Institute of Horticulture organises the prestigious Young Horticulturist of the Year competition, which all our horticulture students have the opportunity to enter each year.


Students help to bring cheer to disadvantaged children

Reaseheath College students have been helping to spread festive spirit by filling shoeboxes with toys and treats for Operation Christmas Child.

Students from all departments at the Nantwich college prepared 40 boxes which were delivered to St Mary’s Church in the town’s centre by College Chaplain Drew Walker. Teams of equine and construction students were particularly enthusiastic in collecting gifts.

The boxes will join a larger collection in Crewe and be sent out to less fortunate children throughout the world in the two weeks before Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project and is run by the Christian charity Samaritans Purse. The charity has brought Christmas joy to over 100 million children in over 130 countries since its establishment in 1990.

Said Drew: “Forty lives have been changed thanks to the students’ kindness. There are so many disadvantaged children throughout the world who would otherwise not receive anything on Christmas morning.”


Reaseheath Florists decorate Arley Hall for Christmas

Arley Hall decorated by floristry students for christmas 1

On Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November, Level 2 and 3 Floristry students at Reaseheath College decorated the grand Gallery at Arley Hall near Northwich in preparation for Arley Hall’s Christmas Floral Extravaganza.

Students put together many arrangements they had previously designed and chose the flowers for the event. Designs were hung over the marble fire place and scattered amongst the antique furniture. In prize place was the 15ft Christmas tree; also decorated by students. Helen Robinson, Events Manager at Arley commented that the finished Christmas tree in the Gallery is the best they’ve ever had. Lady Ashbrook herself personally thanked the students for their wonderful Christmas tree display.

Arley Hall decorated by floristry students for christmas 2

The standard of work by students at Arley Hall was recognised to be very high and has received fantastic feedback. So much so that Reaseheath Floristry Department have already been asked to be involved in this fantastic event again next year.





Reaseheath bake-off competition hots up

Entries are streaming in for Reaseheath College’s Year 9 Schools Bake Off Competition.

The first heat of the cooking challenge is well under way, with teams of pupils from 42 secondary schools throughout Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Wirral and mid Wales making final touches to their tasty treats before submitting their ideas before the December 6 deadline. Kings Grove School, Crewe, and Sandbach High School are among local schools who are actively involved.

The schools can enter up to three teams of pupils which must produce a savoury or sweet cake or pastry with a Royal theme. The pupils must put forward their concept on a mood board, backed up by photos of the finished product. Their work will be judged by a panel of Reaseheath food technologists, with marks awarded for presentation and appearance.

The semi finalists will have to reproduce their product in school early in the New Year under the watchful eye of another Reaseheath panel. The finalists will be invited into the college’s specialist  Food Centre on March 20 to recreate their dishes once more in front of a panel of celebrity judges.

The winning team will receive £100 in cash plus two tablets pcs for their school. The second and third prizewinners will receive cash.

Julie Bent, Reaseheath’s Food Training and Communications Co-ordinator, explained: “We invited schools to take part in this challenge, partly because home baking has become so popular and partly to encourage pupils to look seriously at careers in the wider food industry. We’ve had an amazing response. Although many entries have come from food technology departments, in some cases pupils from the whole year have become involved.

“We’re looking forward to judging some amazing entries.”