One of the country’s most successful specialist colleges, Reaseheath College in Nantwich continues to notch up record student enrolments and achievements. The college’s annual awards ceremony, held over two days last week, celebrated the success of 1251 Further Education (FE) students who have achieved industry recognised qualifications and skills this year.
Foundation students have been gaining valuable employability skills by working towards their John Muir environmental award. The students carried out conservation tasks across three reserves in a work experience programme, delivered by Shropshire Wildlife Trust, which is aimed at giving young people the skills and confidence to enter a career in the countryside industry.
Reaseheath College equine students were riding high after winning a hotly contested inter college team competition. Katie Gibbins, Lucy Lloyd-Brown, Nieve Dillon, Lucy Lunt-Bell, Emily Hassell and Cerys Calcutt, who are studying for their Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management at the Nantwich college, competed against teams from four other leading land-based colleges.
Our floristry students have continued to prove they are among the nation’s best by taking top awards at this week’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s most prestigious flower show.
One of the country’s most successful specialist colleges, Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, continues to notch up record student enrolments and achievements.
The college’s annual awards ceremony, held over two days last week, celebrated the success of 1235 Further Education (FE) students who have achieved industry recognised qualifications and skills this year.
Reaseheath College gave Sophie, Countess of Wessex, a right royal welcome when she visited the college’s award winning stand at the Cheshire Show earlier this week (June 23 and 24)
Her Royal Highness, who is Cheshire Show President, spent 20 minutes chatting to staff and students and inspecting the stand’s activities. She particularly admired Reaseheath’s mechanical horse and a pizza oven built by construction students and was keen to find out more about apprenticeships.
Stand organiser Stephanie Owen said: “The Countess seemed to be very knowledgeable and supportive of landbased industries and asked a lot of pertinent questions about our work with rural businesses. She seemed very natural and was obviously enjoying carrying out her duties at the show.”
The Nantwich college’s visitor friendly stand had earlier taken the top award in the education section, with judge Marie Birkenhead paying tribute to the range of activities on offer and the enthusiastic and well informed staff.
Mrs Birkenhead said: “Reaseheath College’s stand was far and away the best exhibit in its section and really met the criteria, which is to educate and inform visitors about the countryside. We were impressed with the attractive display offering activities for all ages, but what was most outstanding was the wonderful welcome which all visitors received when they went on the stand.”
Top crowd puller on the stand was a Caterpillar digger which gave visitors the chance to operate the controls. Apart from riding the mechanical horse, families were able to have a go on a climbing wall and try milking a model cow. Other activities, under the banner ‘Do Something Different’, included a display of the latest horticultural technology and a chance to make floral buttonholes and beaded dragonflies. Animals from the college’s zoo and a scarecrow from this summer’s ‘Superhero’ maize maze were also on display.
Reaseheath agriculture students took part in breed showing and young handler classes in the cattle show ring with heifers and a cow in milk from the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd. The student team were awarded first place in the ‘tidy lines’ competition.
Deputy Marketing Manager Faye Thomson-Butt said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the range of vocational courses we offer. We are very proud of the success of our students and coming to the Cheshire Show each year gives us a great platform to show the public what we can do.”
Caption: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, joins Stephanie Owen and agricultural lecturer Mark Walton on Reaseheath College’s stand at the Cheshire Show.
An inspirational mother of four who travelled from Luton to Reaseheath weekly to study for a new career has been recognised for her outstanding commitment.
Damaris Kuria received a £500 Open College Network West Midlands Region (OCNWMR) ‘Access to Higher Education’ Learner Award after being nominated by her tutors.
The former finance assistant, who used our Access to Higher Education Diploma to boost her knowledge in farming, is now studying for a BSc Business Management (International Food and Agri-Business) at the Royal Agricultural University. She hopes to return to her native Kenya to run her own farm and to use her expertise in business finance and agriculture to work with African farmers.
Damaris, a mature student who returned to education after redundancy, chose agriculture as she felt it offered a fulfilling career with plenty of opportunities. She made the hard choice to leave her husband and young family at home because she felt studying at Reaseheath would prepare her best for her degree. Despite her family commitments, she achieved exceptionally high marks and an attendance record of nearly 100%.
Said Damaris: “While I was at Reaseheath I learned a lot about 21st century farming and I’m enjoying studying it in greater depth.
“Although adjusting to the college environment, being with new people and living in student accommodation was a challenge at first, I was hugely supported by my partner, the college staff and fellow students. Everyone went out of their way to make me feel at home. My degree studies are going well and I’m enjoying every part of the course.”
Our Access to Higher Education Diploma prepares mature students for degree level study.
Find out more information about studying for a degree at Reaseheath here.
Reaseheath florist Anna Eite is officially the most talented student florist in Britain after winning gold at the WorldSkills UK national finals this weekend.
Anna took the top title in the advanced section against strong competition from the best students from colleges and training providers nationwide. The taxing competition was held over three days in front of thousands of visitors to The Skills Show in Birmingham, the country’s biggest showcase of vocational skills and careers.
Anna had to complete five tasks which included designing a floral hat, belt and chair, making up a planted container and taking part in a team project.
Anna, 21, is a Level 3 Diploma in Floristry student and has been supported and trained by Programme Leader for Floristry Sue Poole. Said Sue: “This was a fantastic result and we are all so proud of Anna. She was a wonderful representative for Reaseheath and for the floristry department.”
Unfortunately Anna will be over the 22 years age limit for the WorldSkills final in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and will not be considered for the WorldSkills GB team for Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015 as this squad has already been selected.
Anna will represent us at the Chelsea Flower Show 2015, however, as she was on the student team which won the RHS Tatton Park Floristry College of the Year Competition this summer. This title made us eligible for the national final at Chelsea.
Our horticulture department was also proud to support Richard Carden as he battled it out in the WorldSkills UK garden landscape finals. Although Richard, a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture student, didn’t win a medal he was one of just six students to be selected for the national finals. He met the challenge to build a 2m x 6m garden designed by award winning designer Alexandra Froggatt.
Course Manager Tracy Walker said: “Richard did a fantastic job considering the pressure he was under to perform at the very highest level.”
Agriculture graduate Caroline Jellicoe took the plunge and moved to Cumbria to manage her own own sheep farm having completed her degree at Reaseheath.
Caroline was inspired back to education after visiting the Nantwich campus with her children during lambing season back in 2010.
Coming from a background in zoo keeping, Caroline has worked with a range of exotic animals in her career so far, but was keen to expand her knowledge of the farming industry.
Caroline prepared for her degree by completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma at Reaseheath, where she found her passion for sheep farming.
During the second year of her degree, Caroline bought an acre of land along with six zwartbles shearling pedigree sheep and a ram called Mr Gibbs. The 27th February 2014 saw the ewes give birth to Caroline’s first flock of lambs.
She commented, “It was a long road to get to the of point of having my own flock of sheep – but it was all worth it.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the support of the Farm Manager Mark Yearsley and other staff, along with the opportunity to gain experience working on the College farm during my time at Reaseheath. This all helped me on my way to achieve my dream of owning my own sheep flock.”
On looking to the future Caroline said, “I am always looking for more land. I only wanted a few sheep at first, but since I visited a friend’s farm in Yorkshire and falling in love with it, I decided I would dream BIG – I am aiming for 1,000 sheep now. In one year I have gone from no sheep to 40 and I intend to grow and grow.”
With her experience working with exotic animals, Caroline is also the proud owner of an eagle owl, barn owl, tortoise, bearded dragons and goats. As a diversification programme to her flock business, she has set up a new enterprise ‘The Three Wise Shepherds’, a programme of educational talks with her variety of animals. She has also begun to take the animals to children’s parties for petting along with ‘meet and greet’ experiences for children and adults of all ages.
Caroline has graduated from Reaseheath in 2014 with a Distinction in her Foundation Degree and celebrated her success along with fellow classmates at our graduation ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Nantwich. In December 2014 Caroline moved to a fell farm in Cumbria, where she now manages 200 herdwick ewes plus her own zwartbles flock.
If you would like to find out more about Caroline and her growing business ‘The Three Wise Shepherds’, follow her twitter handle @sheepstudent.
What a great Nantwich Show it proved to be this year! It was great to meet up with so many industry partners and current and ex students at our local show. Our stand which was awarded second in the Trade Stand Competition, was really busy with visitors.
Pictured to the left is Alumni Officer Katie Burt with Ian Bates, a student in the 1970s who now runs his own feed supplements business, Stock-Pride Nutrition Ltd.
We were delighted to be awarded two awards in the Nantwich International Cheese Show. Our Cheshire cheese took silver in a highly contested class for Novice Cheesemakers and our Derby cheese was awarded bronze in the specialist cheesemaker section. Both cheeses were made by our Year 2 Eden students and weighed 20kg.
This was a great accolade for our students, as this show is truly the best of the best, with 4,400 cheeses entered from 23 countries! Staff from our Food Centre stewarded for the judges.
Here’s Food Technologists Andrea Winkler, Jane Gilman and Penny Masters with our award winning cheeses.
Three of our Bakery and Patisserie students had a great experience assisting celebrity chefs James Martin, Will Holland, Jonathan Harrison and Sean Wilson during their cooking demonstrations. Cedric Mandaya and Jordan Slawinski have just finished their Level 3 course and are off to find jobs while Aaron Dixon is moving onto Level 3 from Level 2 in September.
Here they are with James Martin.
We also had success showing youngstock from the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd – our students came away with five rosettes!
Kirsty Taylor won a heifer class with Reaseheath Fever Marissa and Liberty Turner with Reaseheath Fever Livorno came second.
Becky Harper won the handler class (21 -26 yrs) while Kirsty took second and Liberty was third in the handler class (17 – 20 yrs)
We also showed three lambs in the butchers lamb class.
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