Apprentice Greenkeeper Awards Success

We’re delighted to announce that we have an incredible five BCA apprentices who have made it to the Regional Finals of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards this year.

They each have the opportunity to be one of only six to make it to the National Final to potentially win the Toro Scholarship, which includes a six-week residential Turf Management course at the University of Massachusetts, a trip to the Golf Industry Show and a visit to the Toro factory.

Wishing our brilliant greenkeeping apprentices Sophie, Gemma, Jonathon, Ross and Aaron, the best of luck in this fantastic competition:

GCSE English – ‘Perfect Piece’ Awards

Recently, our GCSE English students had their second opportunity to enter a fantastic College-led creative writing competition called the ‘Perfect Piece’

Huge congratulations must go to the three winners; Johnathan, Megan and Keira, whose judge’s comments are below:

1st Place: Johnathan North

Johnathan’s article called “Game Over for Video Games? Are they really that bad for you? “ is fluent, controlled and sophisticated. It contains an impressive range of ideas and persuasive techniques which explore the topic beyond a student’s perspective. He considered the impact imagery and font has on the reader and as a result, created a highly engaging piece. A very worthy winner!

Read Johnathan’s winning piece here.


2nd Place: Megan McMahon

Megan’s article on Animal Trophy Hunting has considered both the points for and against the argument topic and developed a sustained and emotional piece in support of banning hunting animals for the purposes of sport.

3rd Place: Keira Chambers 

Chosen because her piece on Social Media offered a cohesive structure and it is clear that Kiera has applied her revision and editing skills during lessons.

Well done to everyone who entered!

FdSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare Awards Day

Last week, our second-year degree students studying our FdSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare programme, presented their animal behaviour and welfare research at our 4th Annual Student Animal Welfare Higher Education Conference. Guest speakers also attended the event from the University of Sussex and the University of Southampton to showcase their own research.

We would like to thank all presenters in enriching staff and student knowledge about the behaviour and welfare of different species of captive and wild animals and huge congratulations to all our HE students that were winners of our in house ‘Centre for Animal Welfare Research’ awards. All demonstrated passion in the discipline of animal behaviour and welfare, achievement and Higher Education academic development.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our FdSc in Animal Welfare and Behaviour, amongst our other HE courses, please visit:

Students’ Protest for Climate Change Awareness

Last Wednesday, a number of our students joined a peaceful protest on campus, organised by staff members from across the College. With a planned march and demonstration on the agenda, it was clear that a large number of the young adults who attended are no longer willing to sit back and say nothing on a subject close to their hearts, many saying they were inspired to join in by the recent climate change demonstrations taking place in London and across the globe.

It was a real team effort, with the staff and students from our Creative Media departments helping
to make placards and props to go along with those produced by the protesting students themselves. It created quite the spectacle on campus.

Louis Wright, Sustainability Officer at BCA explains “Recent polling of our students demonstrates a
growing climate conscience. Overall, our students viewed climate change as a priority, with 61%
saying it was a highly important topic for them. 59% of our students want to do more recycling and produce less waste. Wednesday’s student protest against climate change proves how important it is and why colleges and schools, like ourselves, need to help raise the profile of the debate and ensure we also reduce our own environmental impacts, where possible. As a College, we are already hard at work reviewing our recycling programme, engaging with our catering and waste partners and listening to our students to eliminate waste and improve our environmental performance.

As a College, we purchase the majority of our electricity from a wind energy supplier and also grow and use our own biomass fuel on site, to avoid the use of fossil fuels wherever possible but we’re always looking to the next solution.”

One of the key protest organisers was Animal Management Lecturer, Dr Richard Sands. Reflecting on the success of the day he noted: “It’s great to see the student community coming together to express their concern for the environment and raising awareness of some of the environmental issues they would like resolved”.

All in all, a great experience for all involved.

Level 2 Apprenticeship Success

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that against national achievement rates for Level 2 apprenticeships, BCA is forging ahead. Our overall achievement rate was 77% with the national average sitting at 72.9%

We’re planning for further success as we move forward with our apprenticeship provision, all of which you can find out more about at:

GCSE Creative Writing Awards

Recently, our GCSE English students had the opportunity to enter a fantastic creative writing competition which was judged for a first, second and third place by esteemed London-based poet and educator, Rachel Piercey.

Rachel, an English Literature graduate of St Hugh’s College in Oxford, kindly gave her time and expertise to read a class-load of short stories, in order to whittle it down to her favourite three – no easy task as all the entries were fantastic.

Huge congratulations must go to the three winners, Joseph, Chloe and Mhari whose stories you can read below, along with the judges’ comments.

1st Place: Joseph Bourke-Smith – Studying Level 2 Animal Care
Judges Comments:

I was really impressed by the pace of this story, how the author draws us into the transformation from human brain to werewolf brain. Joseph narrates the stages of the transformation in gripping detail: first the speaker’s body changes, then his vision, then his movement. Then he loses his sense of fear, then his sense of time, and finally his human morality. There are lots of vivid verbs (swiping, bombarding, gush, flickered, sprouting, plunged, slamming) and powerful phrases such as “spheres of gold which glowed in the shadows”, “bark that looked like it had been chiselled by time itself” and “reckless rampage”. I really like how the village flips from a place of safety to a place of vulnerability – a chilling way to end the story.

Read Joseph’s story here.

2nd Place: Chloe Horne – Studying Level 2 Animal Care
Judges Comments:

I really enjoyed the humour of this story and the finely balanced mix of imaginative detail and vividly realistic characters. The different personalities are very well drawn and their conversation feels very believable: I like the contrast between Dr Snarfa’s urgent, knowledgeable tone and the Captain’s dismissive, informal language. I hugely enjoyed Chloe’s quirky and entertaining extra-terrestrial inventions: the probe ship following the meteor, “the Federation of United Planets”, space pirates being back in fashion, the Captain absorbing his drink through his head… I also admired the way the wry, chatty fourth paragraph is interrupted by Dr Snarfa’s forceful speech, it really enhances the atmosphere of imminent danger.

Read Chloe’s story here.

3rd Place: Mhari Lochhead – Studying Level 2 Agriculture
Judges Comments:

I was really impressed by how Mhairi creates an atmospheric sense of the ancient world but with warmly relatable characters. The story is funny and tense both at once – the brothers have a humorous sibling dynamic but the stakes are incredibly high. Mhairi uses powerful language and imagery to get across the sense of danger: “dominant, ever-looming doors”, “a limp, lifeless, shuddering corpse”, “as if I was a grain of rice in a wheat field”, “glistening dagger teeth”. The story has a clear structure and packs a lot of well-paced action into a short form. I was very glad that Matei and Mytus got a happy ending!

Read Mhari’s story here.

Weather Update – 5:40pm 31/1/19

As we stand this evening, the College is fully gritted and we are prepared to be open as usual tomorrow. However, if something changes overnight and the difficult decision is made to close our facilities, notifications will be made on here before 7 am.
Please keep an eye out for early morning updates.