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Spring & Summer 2009


intro Welcome to the 5th edition of REACH! If you are new to OCVC, a very warm hello. If you’re an old hand, welcome back! REACH is all about you, the students, the stars, the people who make our college what it is. This issue is bursting with success. Just how we like it. These successes are as varied, vivid and delightful as the students who made them happen. They range from lively charity fundraising to academic brilliance. From Oxford, Banbury and Bicester to Shanghai and Geneva! If variety is the spice of life, REACH is the bazaar selling it. OCVC boasts an enormous pool of talent. Our students are a talented bunch. In the following pages you’ll find dancers, artists, poets, cooks, beauticians, engineers, signers, builders, historians and more. We thank everyone who has contributed and encourage you to keep sending us your news and pictures so we can continue to share and celebrate your success. Cid Carr – Editor Marketing Department or 01865 551856


Reach | Spring & Summer 2009



Unlocking potential, releasing success

Overseeing over eighty entrants has been a demanding task for OCVC Programme Manager Laraine Jones but her enthusiasm’s been rewarded “I’m thrilled that the students have responded to the challenge so positively. It was just such a great opportunity for them to work within the restraints of a tight brief, to get the chance to exhibit in a famous gallery, have their work on permanent display in a public institution and last but not least, earn some valuable prize money!”

This is the motto of Oxfordshire’s Bullingdon Community Prison – and the title of a project devised by its Deputy Governor, Nigel Atkinson in collaboration with Oxford & Cherwell Valley College and the prestigious Modern Art Oxford gallery. The smiling faces here belie the lively debate that ensued when our OCVC Art and Design department grabbed the chance to take part in a competition to create huge artworks to enliven the space and lives of prisoners. The goal was to create uplifting and inspirational images to decorate the massive common areas at the heart of the prison.

The winning designs of Cat Spring, Chloe Bunce and Jack Eden and the works of other shortlisted artists are now on display at the gallery’s cafe until 4th May. Look out for pictures of the final pieces in the next edition of REACH.

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table chic

A student from The Rycotewood Furniture Centre at OCVC has picked up a highly prestigious award from NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts. Given to celebrate ‘creative and fine crafted work’ it enables young talent to produce their own designs. The winner was Dan Durnin, studying for a BA (Hons) in Furniture Design who snapped up the prize for a portfolio of work including the sleek avant garde plywood table and solid American black walnut side board pictured here. Dan was delighted “It’s great to be recognised by NADFAS. I’m proud they chose me and even put me on their website


as it’s valuable publicity with this being my final year.” See other great student work at the renowned New Designers show at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London 16th -19th July 2009 for more information on courses

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


high praise

In the competitive world of high street fashion retailing Oxford & Cherwell Valley College student Crystal Padmorecor, aged 18, from Witney has already got designs on the High Street, literally! A scheme created by fashion course teacher Maria Skoyles, together with accessory buyers at TOPSHOP, encourages students to think about ethical concerns in fashion production and Crystal’s winning design fitted the Fairtrade bill. It was launched at TOPSHOP’s flagship store in Oxford Circus and later sold at OXFAM in Broad Street and St Michael’s Fairtrade shop in Cornmarket. Meanwhile Crystal has successfully finished her BTech National Diploma in Fashion and has embarked on a BA in Fashion at Leeds College of Art & Design. For further information on Fashion @ OCVC contact

| tel: 01865 550 550 | email: |



raise cash

OCVC students raise cash for NSPCC Unhappily, child abuse is a hot topic never long off the pages of the national press. It’s also the type of injustice which young people feel pretty strongly about and it won the vote as the most deserving charitable cause when Oxford & Cherwell Valley College hair and beauty students organised a fundraiser recently. Designed to fulfil part of the Key Skills Working With Others programme, the team organised an energetic sponsored event. A percentage of every hairdo and the proceeds of enthusiastic fundraising activities including cake selling, guessing the name of the owl, tombola, raffle and, the biggest challenge of the lot, a sponsored silence, were totted up


and donated to the world famous children’s charity. Curriculum Manager Carole Nyssen enthused “The girls have shown great flare and determination, liaising with local businesses and drumming up support. It’s also a highly imaginative and commendable way of achieving a useful qualification.” A delighted NSPCC representative Rebecca Steel visited the college and received a cheque for £223.09, commenting “This money will go towards our new nationwide initiative ‘The Child’s Voice’, a campaign to raise 50 million pounds to develop our vitally important free and confidential helplines over the next three years.”

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


we’re motoring ..

OCVC student Vikki Glen is one of just eleven new apprentices from over 500 applicants to be taken on by the Banbury based world class motorsport specialist, Prodrive. And the first female. Leaving Didcot Girls School with three AS levels, Vikki has embarked on a three year advanced apprenticeship in motorsport at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College’s new Performance Engineering Centre at Bicester.

Meanwhile, at the Shanghai Grand Prix, three former OCVC apprentices from Red Bull Racing, Honda Williams and Force India paid tribute to our college lecturer and Motorsports Development Manager, Evers Pearce, who died tragically and unexpectedly in September. It was their way of thanking a dedicated and inspirational teacher.

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Step up ..

The street comes to campus Body popping, Capoeira, air flairs, windmills, if you know what we’re talking about you’re probably one of the following: young, hip, interested in street culture, a student of Music and the Performing Arts, or all of the above. Marcus Maurice, one of our ex students is just such a man.


Passionate about dance since studying a National Diploma in Performing Arts here, his energy is spinning into the community and beyond. Teaching evening classes at the OCVC Oxford campus, running dance workshops in community centres and breakdancing all over with his troupe the Flaw‘R tists, Marcus is also known by his B Boy name Mile High, earned we were relieved to hear for his high jumping ability! But not to fear if you don’t know your baby freezes from your battle rocks, there are plenty of other courses to pursue in media and performing arts.

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


racing ahead

A Formula One treat was the reward for three OCVC young plumbers. Looking pretty chirpy in front of some Lewis Hamilton gear are Steve Kilby (21), Dean Wasilewski (20) and James Capewell (18) together with their Assessor and Trainer Brian Jones, who organised the trip to Silverstone’s Formula One Testing Day in June 2008, to congratulate the guys for completing their full framework three months ahead of target.

Accompanied by Andrew Appleby, Programme Manager of Plumbing & Gas, Brian and the lads mingled with ex-racers, rubber-necked in the VIP Club House and watched all the hurly burly of the trackside race build up. But the greatest success story is the Plumbing Department itself. This year the Level 2 Students qualified with 92% Timely Apprenticeship Framework achievement – a stonking result which students and teachers in partnership have worked really hard to reach. The standards set are high, the team is determined to maintain them and, not surprisingly, the lads are fired up to push for success in the final leg of their training.

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‘A’ grade success for legal eagles OCVC A Level law students achieved truly excellent results this year, outperforming the nation’s average attainment by a whopping margin. With eight out of ten scoring an ‘A’ grade, this is an 80% success rate, compared with a national average of just 13%! In recognition, a special awards ceremony was held at the Banbury campus of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College to celebrate. The event was sponsored by Brethertons LLP 10

Solicitors and the awards were presented by Diana Bagnell, Chair of North Oxon Magistrates Court. Shaun Jardine, Partner and Head of Commercial Litigation at Brethertons, one of the region’s fastest growing practices, said “We have recruited several former OCVC law students in recent years and were delighted to be asked to support the college and its Law department. It ensures that we maintain an excellent pool of local talent which in turn will benefit the community. The standard the students achieved was commendable”.

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


into work

We’re always happy to hear of those who step straight from college into the workforce, which is exactly what ICT student Andrew Tovey did.

When recruiting for a Junior Support Engineer, David Dack, the Managing Director of Banbury based Software Consultancy, Zafire, took the inspired initiative to contact OCVC. And, given that Zafire is an expert in developing IT solutions to manage the delivery of time-critical services in the aviation and business sectors, Andrew now has daily contact with a variety of clients including all the major airports in Australia and the National Repair Centre of Vodafone. So whilst about 60% of students who’ve studied Diplomas in ICT here at OCVC go on to University, Andrew has demonstrated that, with expert guidance from his tutors Jill Carr and Dion Van Overdijk and the help of an enterprising employer, nothing stopped him from launching his career. In fact we hear that an early salary increase has already been secured in recognition of good work and he has agreed to participate in a college programme that promotes the benefits and rewards of conscientious study to current students.

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In a brilliantly appropriate way, students from Health, Social, Childcare and Counselling planned and executed a lively fundraiser for November’s BBC Children in Need. Dressed in the most eye-catching assortment of costume and makeup, the girls went on a friendly rampage from the Oxford campus to Temple Cowley shopping centre and back, with their specially decorated collection buckets and persuaded the great British public to part with £276.03.


They even cajoled BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Oxford television news to cover their activities, an overall effort which Child Care and Education Course leader Denise Warnock described as “terrifically apt and determined and a fine example to the rest of the college”.

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


price of ‘bling’

Can jewellery be designed and made ethically? We’re all slowly having our conscience pricked with increasing awareness of issues such as so-called ‘blood diamonds’, where the desperate plight of mineworkers is pitted against the celebrity status of mega bucks ‘bling’. Which is exactly the kind of issue challenged by the Ethical Jewellery Design competition, organised by NiceFuture, a non-profit organisation promoting sustainability and Transparence S.A. a network of jewellery designers and retailers producing jewellery from ethically mined minerals and metals. Former OCVC student and artist jewellery technician Tamsin Leighton-Boyce was

selected as one of just eleven designers from across Europe to compete in the recent finals in Geneva. Her winning piece was a brooch made from ‘clean gold’, mined without the use of toxic chemicals like mercury, cyanide and arsenic. Now studying for her Masters in Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Products at Birmingham City University, Tamsin reasoned “If destroying the environment and human life is a by-product of jewellery, then surely we have to reconsider our working practice.”

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How old do you have to be to start at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College?


Well these enthusiastic Hospitality & Catering students joined in 2006 on the 14-16 Student Vocational Provision programme and are now full time students, embarked on their training as professional chefs! Joining us from Year 10, with understandably limited catering skills, they came to college for just one day a week over two years. Given sound basic training, the students particularly enjoyed the really practical challenges, including organising coffee mornings for school teachers and college staff and preparing and serving a three course meal for their parents and carers. It’s events like these which have inspired them to train for a career in the industry. Reach | Spring & Summer 2009



When former OCVC student and current OCVC teacher Chris Gould successfully completed his CertEd to become a teacher in 2008, it signalled an extraordinary achievement, as Chris is profoundly deaf. He won’t thank REACH magazine for trumpeting this, being extremely modest, but we discovered that from the eight of his deaf colleagues who embarked on the training across the UK, Chris was the only one to complete and pass! Less than a year later the first crop of his own students have passed their British Sign Language exams with 100% pass rate. Pictured here with Tina Huyghe, Programme Manager for Part Time Adult Learning, the students received their certificates at Helen & Douglas House, where they will use their new skills to help deaf people spending time there. We think this is a fitting tribute to Chris himself and the team at our college Assistive Resources Centre, or ARC, who help scores of students with special training requirements. | tel: 01865 550 550 | email: |


If I were


OCVC students on the New Directions Course have been improving their English skills in a project of particular local interest. This year Banbury has celebrated the 400th anniversary of its Banbury Charter, awarded to the town by King James 1 and granting a number of rights. Since 1608 entitlements enshrined in law, thanks to the charter, have been varied and practical, from the posting of a Mayor to the provision of a gaol and gallows for hanging unruly citizens!


After researching its history, which included a trip to Banbury Museum, the group decided to update the Charter to reflect some more current and personal concerns. Unlike some of the original edicts which included the “power to punish all drunkards and others of immoderate behaviour” the suggestions of our students were generally more merciful and ranged from the creation of a new hospital to “free ice cream for everybody”.

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009

Skill building

towards calgary

We’re so proud that OCVC has no less than three construction students who have battled their way through the renowned ‘Skill Build’ heats towards the nationwide finals. It’s a boast but no other college in the UK has achieved this! Designed to showcase excellence in vocational training, the competition, formerly known as the ‘Skills Olympics’ has its international final in Calgary, Canada in Summer 2009. And this is not just a bit of trowelling and woodworking! Joinery students, Adam Bushnell, 18, and Beau Hewlett, 20, together with bricklaying student, Tom Coppock, 21, have displayed exceptional levels of skill, commitment, planning and the potential to achieve world class standards, whilst competing with hundreds of students across the UK.

As we go to press Adam, Beau and Tom, pictured here with delighted principal Sally Dicketts, are immersed in the final weeks of training, one of which is hosted at our Blackbird Leys campus. The tasks are getting harder and the temperature’s rising. By mid June we’ll know if anyone’s got a ticket to Calgary and we all have our fingers crossed since this is quite an achievement, neatly summed up by Barrie Roe MBE of World Skills “These young men are the future David Beckhams of the building world!”. Contact Steve Capewell

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Knife Crime Poem Well I’m a rapper from Bicester known as MC YUNGSTAR Aka Danny Morrell I’m currently in college studying performing arts first diploma In the future I would like to get into the music industry as a rapper. I’ve performed locally i.e. The big umbrella, been on local radio BBC Oxford and at the Oxford Playhouse. I’ve also done some work with the Thames Valley Police to fight against knife crime and keep knives off our streets in our society today. This is lyrics I wrote whilst looking out the window on the bus to college. it’s called Lost the fight.

Lost the Fight I’ve lost trying to put Things right I’ve lost the war And fight Now it’s just me Trying to survive Don’t matter how Hard I try I got to try and earn My stripes it won’t Be giving to you on A plate You can have good days Or bad days Locked in the system Lost in the maze You can have life


Full of hope and dismay So I look to the sky And just pray That I would get Found don’t matter What I do I will be Placed back in my hometown So I think is it worth it Living my life perfect Living my life with no mistakes Cause in life there’s always Risks to take Make the right choice Cause you could end up Dead in the ditch We all want to Be famous we all Want to be rich Don’t matter what What way the penny flips Just don’t let your Lifeline slip It’s your chance don’t let It fall like a Avalanche Think before you Take the knife to the dance Cause next think Your be locked behind Bars By MC Yungstar

Reach | Spring & Summer 2009



Twilight Love

Seeing her heart torn away

He walks away

He begins to see

She watches him go

What she always felt for him

Once they danced

Wanting to be free

In heavenly snow Now their souls shine away Dreams or reality

All throughout the bitter night

All is illusion

She can finally feel

To stop all this pain

Never ending love in twilight

To end his confusion By Byllie Spencer Snow falls in her heart She sleeps soft and sound All thoughts fading now On cold unloving ground He looks behind to see The boy fallen in tears Running towards him Realizing his true fears

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chefs today

Fresh, delicious, innovative, affordable food! Everyone welcome Booking essential Lunches every day during Term and Dinner Thursday evenings @ Oxford & Cherwell Valley College


Waterside Restaurant Oxford

01865 551549

Cherwell Restaurant Banbury

01865 551651 Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


train tots

Bringing on footie juniors Becoming volunteer coaches at Oxford’s youth football club, the Summertown Stars, is proving to be an on and off pitch winner for OCVC students. “Teaming up with the Football Association and local clubs is the best way to grow practical skills” says Des Buckingham, head of our college Football Development

Centre. “By coaching this four day soccer course for 7 to 11 year old boys and girls in the half term, they’re powering their way through coaching modules and hugely improving their chances of a career in the game.”

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What does the Students’ Union offer? OCVC has a brilliant Students’ Union, overseen by Students’ Union Liaison Officers, Queenie Goudie in Banbury and Bicester and Aaron Blessing in Oxford and Blackbird Leys. Not just a friendly place to hang out, we develop strong links between students and staff. The officers act as a referral point.

We help you. Come to us for support, guidance and confidential and impartial advice. We understand how important it is to have someone to talk to, someone your own age, experiencing real life as a student. We’re pretty sociable too, with a diary of events, clubs and parties. Contact us any time and come and join us!

Contact: Aaron C. Blessing on or Queenie Goudie on

Officer role

Oxford campus

Banbury campus


Cara Bennett

Ruth Wilson

Vice President

Kim Robinson

Siobhan Anderson

Club & Societies

Andrew Taylor Doyle

Ben Stacey


Stephanie Punter

Pasqualina Marcucci


Curt Pacson

Bexy Raven


Lewis Cadey

Alice Taylor


Danielle Howard

Rhys Roberts & Ed Smith


Kawasuraz Zaman

Charlotte Stacey


Gareth Smith

Harry Davies



Stephen Simmons


Reach | Spring & Summer 2009


Apple Crumble

Don’t do cooking? This cracking crumble is simplicity itself. Try it! Serves 4 FILLING Cooking Bramley Apples Demerara sugar Ground cinnamon Whole cloves Lemon Sultanas

2 50g a few pinches 1 ¼ 40g

TOPPING Plain flour Castor sugar Butter Demerara sugar for topping

125g 80g 80g 1 tablespoon

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

peeled, cored and roughly diced

zest only washed

Place all the filling ingredients into a pie dish, mix well and press it flat and evenly into the bottom of the pie dish Combine the topping ingredients in a ceramic bowl and rub together with the fingers as if making pastry Continue rubbing in beyond the `breadcrumb` stage, until small round balls of paste start to form Sprinkle the topping evenly onto the filling, taking care not to press the topping down Sprinkle with Demerara sugar for extra crunchiness Bake in a moderate oven 180°C for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on top Serve with cream, ice cream or custard

Any fruit crumble can be made like this. Go wild with fruits and spices!

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Reach Spring/Summer 2009  

OCVCs student life magazine