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The run up to Christmas is a peak period in the floristry industry, and our floristry learners are getting a real taste of what working life is like at this hectic time of year. Students from all levels have been given the chance to work at top London floristry business Hayford and Rhodes over the next six weeks – and have already made a great impression at the company.

This is the first time Hayford and Rhodes has opened its doors to trainees – usually it only employs senior florists – making it a new experience for both our students and the company. Based near the Shard, Hayford and Rhodes is the oldest family florist business in London and has won numerous awards for its stunning floral work.

The first group of students working at the company are focused on producing bespoke Christmas floral decorations, and full of enthusiasm about the experience. “Watching the florists working is very inspiring,” they say. “We have had fun working together, and I think this experience is turning us into a real team.”

Hayford and Rhodes’ Managing Director Joanna Rhodes says, “The students have been amazing this week. My whole team have been seriously impressed, and I would welcome all these girls back any time! They have supported all areas, including events, conditioning flowers and helping with packing designs for delivery. They have also helped at a wedding at Two Temple.”

Course tutor Louise Roffey says, “This is a fantastic experience for our students as they’re really seeing how demanding but exciting it can be to work in floristry at this busy time of year.”

Performing at a glitzy awards ceremony and receiving an unprecedented Distinction grade are just two of the recent achievements of our Level 3 music learners.

A talented and highly enthusiastic group of students, they have provided the music at over 20 College events – including the Goldsmiths progression event – while students at other London colleges generally participate in around three to five music performances each year.

Our Level 3 music performers also won a national ‘call out’ by Creative & Cultural Skills for colleges to submit audition pieces for the chance to perform at its Awards Dinner. Judged the winners, our students played live at the glamorous event, which was hosted by MOBO Awards founder Kanya King, as well as claiming £250 prize money and a recording session.

Our music learners have also performed at an exceptionally high level academically. Not only were their final projects selected by the examining body to be used on the UAL website as excellent examples of work, student Amira Haddad also managed to complete her Extended Project to such a high level she was awarded an unprecedented Level 4 Distinction grade (equivalent to a Foundation degree). Joshua Philips, who started at the College as an entry level student over five years ago, proved what can be achieved with hard work and good support when he was awarded a Merit grade in his Extended Diploma in Music Performance & Production.

Course team leader Christopher Baker says, “I think our learners are doing well because there’s a high level of expectancy of them and they’re in an environment where they’re allowed to flourish. In their project work they have the freedom to direct their own learning and access to a wide range of resources, with plenty of support and help from staff to enable them to deliver.”



Annie Dehaney-Steven, Lecturer in Maths, Functional Skills and GCSE at the College, showed a different side when she and her band Indigo Shades provided the music at a hugely successful ‘Pink Gin’ event held in aid of charity Shelter Box. The event raised £3,000 – three times the original target – which will provide relief for people in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.

Singer Annie and her three bandmates played a selection of jazz numbers at the outdoor event on 4 September, organised by Rotary Club Putney. Guests, who paid a door fee, enjoyed an afternoon of great music, delicious Middle Eastern food and, of course, pink gin! The venue, food, drink, music and items for a special auction were donated by local businesses and individuals.

Shelter Box is a British charity that provides boxes of essentials specifically designed to protect a maximum of 16 people against the sudden onset of extreme conditions such as toxic threat and flooding.

Annie says, “The plan was to raise £1,000 – enough to buy one Shelter Box. The event actually raised enough money to buy three! I’m delighted to have been able to contribute to such a great afternoon and support the besieged residents of Aleppo.”


The College is holding a special event to introduce a new free online training resource for anyone interested in learning about English, Turkish or Italian cuisine.

The launch of SNACKS (Short Non-Accredited Catering Knowledge and Skills) – a web-based learning hub aimed at chefs and trainee chefs – will take place at the Blended Learning Centre, Lewisham campus on 25th October from 3 to 5pm. Around 60 guests from local colleges, schools, hotels and restaurants will gather to hear a presentation on the new resource by our Head of Learning Technology Patricia Forrest while enjoying some nibbles created by our Hospitality students.

The new resource offers a range of interactive courses which are mainly aimed at Level 2 learners but with some dishes and local specialities from other levels. Each course includes videos and quizzes and is available in English, Turkish and Italian, with a leading chef from each country providing the recipes.

SNACKS is an Erasmus plus funded project developed in partnership with Italy and Turkey. To find out more about SNACKS, visit

Want to come to the opening event? Just register here:

Learners on our BTEC Business Level 3 Extended Diploma showed off their selling, marketing and organisational skills when taking part in the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on 3rd October.

The team of students worked tirelessly to organise the coffee morning, which took place in the foyer of Southwark campus, and succeeded in raising £120 for Macmillan – a charity which supports people with cancer.

As well as getting staff, friends and family to donate home baked and mouth-watering treats that even Mary Berry would have been proud of, the Business students were meticulous in their organisation of the event, putting into practice the business theories that they learnt in their ‘Managing a Business Event’ unit. This included publicising the event in advance through a poster campaign, liaising with Estate staff, and convincing other students and staff to donate cakes!

Course Lecturer Rahman Abdullah said, “We are very proud of our students, who really put their learning into action to stage this event. The money they have raised is going to a great cause and we’d like to thank all students and staff for their generous donations on the day.”





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