Good News Stories 21st December 2016

Six Colleges Named in the Zest Quest Asia Cook Off Final

On 23 November 2016 six colleges battled it out for the 2017 Zest Quest Asia crown. Student teams and their tutors from Colchester Institute, University of Derby, Hackney Community College, Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and University of West London had the opportunity to display their skills in in preparing and presenting classical and contemporary Asian cookery during a live cook-off. Congratulations to three Colchester Institute students, Bruno Walpole, Amy Brown and Josh Richards, who are now through to the finals at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport in February 2017. The Mentor and Lecturer for this competition is Ian Perkins.

Zest Quest Asia, is now in its fourth year, and is the brainchild of Chef Cyrus Todiwala, co-patron with Pervin Todiwala of Café Spice Namaste, in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain. Together they launched the competition to attract young, aspiring chefs into considering a career in Asian cuisine, an industry which is worth nearly £4 billion and growing.

Cyrus Todiwala said: “This year we had an extremely high standard of entries, from all over the UK, but we could only choose six to go forward. The fact that so many colleges entered Zest Quest Asia this year means that we are gaining traction as the student competition for the 21st century, just as people are beginning to realise that Asian food is one of the most viable routes to a career. I am thrilled that more and more heads of school and tutors are encouraging students to compete, and impressed by the outstanding quality of many of the entries.”

Latest News from UCC School of Art

Judith Lunn, just graduated on BA Fine Art is on the shortlist for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, which means her work is now touring the nation with 50 other artists. A real feather in her cap!

Rome International Art Fair

David Money, just embarking on his final year on BA Fine Art as a part-time student was also selected for the Rome International Art Fair. In September 2016, the city of Rome once again had a leading role with a prestigious event, called PREMIO ARTE ROMA, hosting, in the historic archaeological location of Domitian’s Stadium, located in the heart of Rome in Piazza Navona, the greatest exponents of Italian and International art.

Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Photography and Digital Art works were compared with the works of great artists which were present in the side-event “SPIRITO DI ROMA -The Italian Pop Art in the School of Piazza del Popolo”, the theme of which becomes a symbol and character of this edition.

Allocated Orange exhibition at St Martin’s Church

Year 3 Fine Art and BA students held an exhibition 9th to 12th December 2016 at St Martins Church to help raise funds for their end of year show.

National Final of Aspiring Student Chef Competition

Bruno Walpole, Prof Chef, is through to the National Final of the Aspiring Student Chef Competition (Teflon Diamond Standard Awards 2017) which will be held on 25 January 2017 at the Waitrose Cookery School, London. Mentor and Lecturer for this competition is Stephanie Conway.

Thank you to Ransomes Jacobson for new Engineering equipment

We have just taken delivery of a Cylinder Mower kindly donated by Simon Rainger from Ransomes Jacobson of Ipswich.

This superb piece of kit is currently being used for bespoke projects where our level 3 diploma students in the Engineering and Manufacturing department are designing a canopy system to help utilisation in all weathers. The aim is for students to utilise this piece of equipment for future learning whether it be maintenance, manufacture or reverse engineering for our synoptic assessment tasks to gain a more realistic approach to modern manufacturing methods.

Douglas Carswell MP visits Colchester Institute

MP for Clacton and member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Douglas Carswell recently met with international students to discuss their concerns regarding Brexit. Speaking specifically to students studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) the MP welcomed the opportunity to engage with the students and discuss their concerns.

The MP was invited to Colchester Institute following the referendum result and subsequent negativity experienced by the students in recent weeks from members of the public.

40 students from across the EU attended the talk which took place at the College’s Colchester Campus, they were also able to ask the MP questions and share their experiences.

2016 Education Forum for Asia

Two staff members, Carol Middleton and Elizabeth Swift, were recently invited to attend the 2016 Education Forum for Asia to discuss outdoor play/forest schools as national experts in their field.

They had a thoroughly enjoyable time over the October half term in Chengdu, China, coming away with lots of contacts and potential development opportunities for both our staff and students.

CH&FS Roadshows

The CH&FS Roadshow is in full swing with visits being made to most secondary schools in the area. Bookings have been taken right up to March – and these provide a fantastic opportunity for students to find out more about roles – and studies – within the catering industry and see a real Chef in action!

Ed Miliband visits Colchester Institute

On 1st December 2016 Ed Miliband and 80 guests attended a function in the Colne Restaurant.

Thomas Dudley visits the Clacton campus

Year 2 Plumbing students at Clacton (ZT14701) were given a very informative talk by Andy Lovett, when the Thomas Dudley display van was invited to the Clacton Campus. Even though the outside temperature was below freezing the students and staff benefitted from the visit. Thomas Dudley are a major UK manufacturer of sanitary appliances and fixtures which were outlined during the presentation. The display van arrived on site before 8.00am and the students were given 2 one hour presentations. A well-earned breakfast break was had by all part way through the morning when a bacon roll and mug of tea was needed! The students were able to see for themselves how various appliances are installed, and discover what maintenance requirements the appliances may have. The students did themselves and the College proud in their attitude and response to this opportunity. They were able to ask many questions relating to their work experience and jobs.

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

On Thursday 1st December, Dr Mark Bellis accompanied students from the BA Music Education course to attend an Education Matinee of Verdi’s opera ‘Il Trovatore’ at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Famous as having one of the most absurd plots in opera (no mean achievement!) involving Azucena, the old gypsy woman, burning the ‘wrong’ baby before the opera has even started, and mercilessly lampooned in the Marx Brothers’ immortal ‘A Night at The Opera’.

This was a really spectacular production, which included a huge and very alarming-looking (real) fire on stage at the end (how do they do this without setting off the fire alarms?) The cast was terrific, and the whole event was a great deal for the students – the seats where we were sitting are normally £84.00, but the students got in for £7.50 – what a memorable day!

International students meet the Mayor

On 7th November a group of ESOL and EFL students attended an evening at the Town Hall in the company of the Mayor. This is an annual occasion organised by Colchester Rotary Club, whereby international students from both the college and Essex University have a chance to meet other students, have a tour of the Town Hall and also meet the Mayor and various members of the council.

It is always a great success and this year was no different. Our students had a fantastic time finding out about our town and asking the Mayor questions about her role. Most of the group were from evening classes and were very enthusiastic about the occasion. Many have said that it was one of the highlights of their studies here so far. We would like to thank the Mayor and the Rotary Club, as well as ESOL tutor Michelle Gibbons, who gave an excellent speech on behalf of our students and the college!

Operation Christmas Child

Stepping Up ESOL students worked really hard this year to fill 7 shoeboxes with presents to be sent to children overseas by Operation Christmas Child.

They made cakes, which they sold, bought the gifts, wrapped the boxes and filled them.

What a rewarding way to prepare for Christmas!

Engineering Manufacture Employer Forum and Breakfast Meeting

This event was well received with 19 Employers attending. The purpose of the event was to talk about the new STEM building at the Braintree campus and to discuss how the college can better support local employers – in particular those in engineering and technology. The feedback provided in the meeting will help to inform the equipment and resources that will be installed in the centre – which provides the first Engineering training resources in the Braintree district.

Motor Vehicle Forum

We were delighted to welcome The Institute of Motor Vehicle (IMI) to our Colchester campus to aid talks to employers on changes to MOT testing. 16 Employers attended with good feedback received.

Latest news on Work Experience and work preparation opportunities

Gert suit sessions with students in Colchester and Braintree – Replicating symptoms of conditions that often come with old age, and a Dementia Awareness workshop. Three students were clearly impressed by our guest speaker and they all said they wanted to work with older people with dementia as a result of hearing him speak and having the session as a whole.

PARC Christmas Grotto, Level 1 and 2 Art and Design and Level 2 Photography students from Braintree are making items for the PARC Christmas Grotto.

First Site – Student engagement in apprenticeships. STEM school students had the opportunity of making cardboard houses with CI staff. They had to look at a CAD design of a house in 3D, to see all aspects of the house and replicate it in cardboard, in groups. Fun was had by all. Thank you to Tristan Edwards for creating such an energising experience.

University Preparation Day

This was another successful event in its fifth year run by the Health and Social Care Team with Early Years, preparing students for their University interviews. This year we were joined by staff and students from the whole Faculty.

Prior to the day, all students take English and Maths tests to ensure they are working at Level 2 and above. This mirrors the tests many University applicants are given.

Students then attend a day off site at The Minories, during which they participate in ‘speed dating’ style interviews, observed group discussions, a written task and a final panel interview. These are all techniques used by the Universities our students apply to. The day is designed to give them the opportunity to practice their skills. The feedback from the students reinforced the valuable contribution our University Prep Days give them. The Day was supported by the whole Faculty, including admin staff, and the Minories provided an excellent off-site venue. Previous students have specifically requested panel interviews and we are delighted to have been able to offer them this time. “The students were all incredibly passionate about their subjects, eager to learn and approached the entire day with a level of professionalism which will serve them well in their chosen careers.”

And finally…

Latest news from Business and Services

  • Business students doing an “Elevator pitch”
  • Business students visit Tages group in London
  • William Leisk has developed his entrepreneur skills as a ‘ceramic collector extraordinaire’.
    William is studying on the Subsidiary Diploma in Business at Colchester Institute. He has brilliantly developed a hobby into a business and successfully achieved an eight-week internship at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama which has the best collection of Wedgewood outside the UK.
  • Wonderful experience for Computing students who visited Microsoft head office in London.
    The visit was part of the annual Capital Experience trip which includes the Student Convention at the Dominion Theatre with motivational speakers such as Action Jackson, as well as the visit to an employer in the afternoon.  It was a brilliant day, as students spent some time during our visit to Microsoft doing some coding!