Floristry students rubbed shoulders with world-famous garden designers when they helped build one of the stunning features at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Attended this year by patron the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as well as a host of celebrities, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the most prestigious horticultural shows in the world, attracting over 150,000 visitors. Lewisham Southwark College students were invited to help construct the HM royal arch, a magnificent floral arch designed by Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH the Prince of Wales florist Shane Connelly to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The team of students, who were from all levels of floristry as well as from day and evening groups, spent two days at the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds, working around the clock to ensure that the arch was perfect for the first visitors as the show opened its gates. Before the final two-day stint installing and decorating the arch, the students also took part in a making and preparation session run by Shane Connelly and spent time at New Covent Garden flower market conditioning a wide range of British grown flowers which were donated by various flower suppliers.

Lecturer Louise Roffey says, “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience the pressures and excitement of working at one of the most iconic flower shows in the world. They showed real artistry, attention to detail and great commitment throughout the preparations – even during the gruelling overnight shift – and I’m very proud of what they achieved.”

Former Lewisham Southwark College student Stephen MacLellan – who now works for Yamaha Music London – recently visited the college for a special workshop for our music learners. Students got the low-down on what it’s like to study music at university, and how to turn their love of music into an exciting career!

Since completing his BTEC National Diploma in Music Practice seven years ago, Stephen went on to do a degree in popular music studies at the University of Liverpool and is now Business Development Executive at Yamaha Music London.

In the workshop, he talked about the degree programme he studied, which was a mix of musicology, audio visual, performance technology and composition. He also gave some useful tips on handling university life – from dealing with student loans to getting the right balance between partying and work.

Students got the chance to discuss their ambitions and ask Stephen questions like how they could develop particular skills, what career direction they should take and what it takes to be successful in the music business.

“It wasn’t a ‘go to university’ talk,” says Stephen, “it was more: how do you get from A to B?  It’s really key that students know what path they need to follow to get where they want to go. Things like turning up on time, answering your emails, being on it, being sharp…these are the kind of life skills that will give you a head start wherever you go next.”

Students found the workshop valuable and some have since said they are now reconsidering the possibility of going to university.



Level 3 first year dancers under the tuition of Course Leader Emily Phelps, are participating in the Rambert Elements performance competition, which ‘gives schools and colleges across the UK the chance to create and perform an original dance piece inspired by a leading choreographer associated with Rambert.

And now, we’re delighted to hear from Emily that they’ve gone through to the finals, having competed against 36 pieces across six regional platforms!

“This is such good news and attributable to Emily’s excellent choreography and training,” said Karla Ptáček, Head of Performing Arts at Lewisham Southwark College. “The students have had to work phenomenally hard to get to this stay and and we can’t wait to see how they get on in the final platform.”

Emily Phelps, Course Leader for Dance, said: “The group are demonstrating exceptional focus and drive in this competition. I’m very proud of their progress so far and they should feel really happy with their achievement.”

The final platform will be held at the Peacock Theatre on Tuesday 28 June 2016.

Why not discover our dance programmes?

Some of our media and music learners recently got to work alongside the BBC Introducing project, designed to ‘support unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians’.

The BBC will send up to four different up-and-coming artists/acts, with label or management support, to perform their music to camera at Waterloo. We recently had our first shoot with Kyko.

Our Level 3 media students then filmed their performances as part of a multi-camera TV studio setup, and conducted interviews with the artists whilst our music foundation degree learners acted as audio engineers.

The finished video and audio was broadcast via their website and radio, with possible links being forged for work experience at the BBC.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for our students to get first-hand insight, and soak up more about the industry,” said Jack Thrush, Music & Media Technician at Lewisham Southwark College. “The final results were excellent and they should feel proud with their efforts.”

The first shoot took place with artist Kyko, and the project will run until Easter with three other artists or bands coming in to film.

Why not discover our media and music programmes?

Above: picture of the plaque being awarded. David Harrild - Head of Department, Goran Milovanovic – Head Chef and the Chair of the accreditation panel who awarded the plaque Sean Wheeler, Director of People Development, Starwood Capital.


The Phoenix Restaurant, based at London’s Lewisham Southwark College, has been awarded an AA College Rosette in recognition of the high standard of food and service.

The plaque was formally given on 9th March at the Hilton Hotel in Greenwich, after an initial winning announcement in February.

Head of the College’s Service Industries, David Harrild, reflected: “It’s wonderful to have received such an acknowledgement, and our students should feel very proud of their hard work. Our catering and hospitality students prepare food and serve it at The Phoenix Restaurant so this is an amazing achievement for everyone involved.”

The Phoenix is the only college training restaurant in London to have been awarded an AA Rosette and demonstrates how our students are being trained to excellent industry standards.

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