Truro And Penwith College News June 2015

St Austell - Ship InnTruro and Penwith College launch the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards

Truro and Penwith College is hosting the first ever Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards on the 9th October 2015.

The prestigious event will be a celebration of individual and business achievement within the Cornish business community. The evening will showcase the amazing talent, energy and contribution Apprentices make to the current and future strength of local companies. Tickets for the evening are available and nominations are now open.

David Walrond, Principal of Truro and Penwith College said: “With growing numbers of young people choosing an Apprenticeship as their next step in education, the awards will provide the perfect opportunity to acknowledge their achievements and their crucial role in boosting Cornwall’s socio-economic health and prospects. Truro and Penwith College is passionate about Apprenticeships and working with local businesses to provide apprentices with an outstanding learning experience as they progress along their career paths.”

The awards are supported by Get My First Job, an online recruitment agency that specialises in helping young people find their perfect Apprenticeship. It will include dinner design by The Seafood Restaurant’s Head Chef, Stephane Delourme and prepared by Truro and Penwith College Professional Cookery students.

Truro and Penwith College has a long partnership with the Seafood Restaurant. Rick Stein has supported and engaged with the development of an industry lead hospitality Apprenticeship programme.

Celebrity Chef, Rick Stein, said: “Joining an Apprenticeship scheme in our industry means you will gain a wealth of experience and knowledge; there is no substitute for learning while working because you rapidly develop the skills needed.”

Also supporting the awards are The Cornish Pirates, Cornwall Care and BT.

Peter Wroe, Business Operation Director, BT Cornwall, said: “BT is pleased to sponsor the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards. It’s fantastic to see Cornish employers and training providers offering aspiration, training and employment opportunities to the capable and talented community we have here in Cornwall.”

The latest figures from the National Apprenticeship Service show the number of people starting an Apprenticeship in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly increased by 25% during the period August to December 2014 (when compared with August to December 2013) with training providers seeing this growth trend continuing into 2015. This gives Apprenticeships a growing presence and profile in both education and workplace settings.

Nominations for the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards are now open. To nominate your business or an Apprentice who deserves recognition for their achievement visit and fill out the online form. Nominations are free to submit and will remain open until 17.00 on Wednesday 16th September. For more information on the awards visit or email,

The award categories are:

Apprentice of the year- Hospitality
Apprentice of the Year – Accountancy
Apprentice of the Year – Construction
Apprentice of the Year – Health and Social care and Child care
Apprentice of the Year – Digital and IT
Apprentice of the Year – Management and Marketing

Apprentice of the Year- Business
Apprentice of the Year – Customer service and retail
Apprentice of the Year – Hair and Beauty
Apprentice of the Year – Motor Vehicle
Apprentice of the Year – Engineering
Apprentice – Achiever of the Year
Apprentice of the Year


Back L-R: Beth Jones, Chloe Teague, Danni Burden, Morgan Read-Ferris Front L-R: Chloe James, Amy Francis, Kaitlyn Bridge, Yasmin Burgess, Sian Blatchford, Tyler Scoble

Back L-R: Beth Jones, Chloe Teague, Danni Burden, Morgan Read-Ferris
Front L-R: Chloe James, Amy Francis, Kaitlyn Bridge, Yasmin Burgess, Sian Blatchford, Tyler Scoble

Raising Awareness Of Health Issues

Community Studies students from Truro College participated in a Health Education Week initiative, aimed at educating their fellow students on a range of health topics.

The students on the Extended Diploma in Social Care studied the theories associated with health promotion and then had a month to choose a topic to independently research. They then created displays, leaflets and activities relevant to their issues which were on show for students to view. Subjects covered included mental health, cancer, alcohol, drugs, healthy living, teen pregnancy and sexual health.

The week-long event was a culmination of work spanning over the academic year relating to the Health Education module of their studies. The leaflets, posters and activities were of a high standard and in some cases were of a professional level with factual and informative literature, demonstrating a huge amount of hard work and commitment from the students.

Bonnie Houghton, Deputy Team Leader for Community Studies, said: “As one of their lecturers, I have been very impressed by the innovation, creativity and enthusiasm many of the students have demonstrated.”



The group on the Solheimajökull glacier.

Geography Students Experience The Northern Lights

42 Truro and Penwith College students, all studying either Geography or World Development at A Level or as part of the International Baccalaureate, visited Iceland to investigate the natural formations studied during their course.

The main academic focus of the trip was “living with plate tectonics”, which the group were able to experience within minutes of stepping off the plane by soaking away their travel aches in the world-renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal spa!

Five busy days in this remote sub-Arctic nation afforded the students a kaleidoscope of diverse experiences, including exploring the snowy foot of the notorious Eyjafjallajökull volcano (origin of the 2010 ash cloud), ice hiking on the Solheimajökull glacier, and even a spot of whale watching in Faxaflói bay. An unexpected highlight of the trip for many was, however, good displays of the Aurora Borealis! Callan Hurst, from Penryn, enthused: “What surprised me most was how incredibly the Northern Lights glowed in the night sky, which we saw on two nights.”

The following quotes capture some of the spirit of enthusiasm with which this year’s travellers embraced the experience. Archie Payn, from St Teath, noted that, “Iceland was the most exciting and different place I have ever been to.” Alisha Stone of Truro enjoyed: “taking in the beautiful landscape and breath-taking waterfalls, seeing natural formations and learning how these have affected people and their livelihoods.” Eleanor Goodhead, from Marazion, said she: “would recommend this trip to anyone who loves Geography as it really changes your understanding of the area. It’s one thing to read about Iceland but actually going, experiencing the culture and exploring new places is truly amazing!”

Truro and Penwith College intends to run the trip again for the 7th consecutive year in March 2016. Interested students will be able to sign up in September 2015.


Setting Sail For Japan

Student Niamh O’Neill not only has to balance the workload of studying four A Level subjects, but also has the exciting privilege of representing her country as part of the Great Britain Sailing team.

Niamh has recently been selected to represent Great Britain at the International 420 Championships in Japan this July with Penwith College student Rebecca Stephens, following the duo’s success in a cold and windy qualifier in Leicester and their subsequent participation in the Youth National Championships. Theirs is the only South West ladies boat to be chosen, out of the seven selected to attend.

Niamh, from Ponsanooth and formerly of Richard Lander School, currently studies English Language & Literature, French, History and Anthropology A Levels at Truro College. Her late father, a keen sailor, taught her to sail and she first got into the sport at summer sailing camps with her sister. Niamh now trains regularly at Restronguet Sailing Club in Mylor or at Penzance Sailing Club of which her sailing partner Rebecca is a member. Niamh is also a keen participant of Truro College’s Netball Academy, which helps maintain her overall fitness.

Niamh said: “Both Becca and I were thrilled to be chosen for the GB team and will start training hard when our exams are over. We have previously been to a World Championship in Ireland, but as individuals rather than being selected as part of team GBR, so this is a very exciting opportunity for us.”

In order to represent Team GBR at the World Championships in July, Niamh needs to attract sponsorship and funding to cover the costs of her participation, which includes specialist coaching, travel expenses, accommodation and equipment. In addition to a Crowdfunder campaign and requests for sponsorship to local companies, a fundraising day will take place at Truro College at the beginning of June to get Niamh closer to her £5000 target so she can have the opportunity to represent Team GBR in Japan.


L-R: Mark Wardle – Director of Curriculum, Greg Wallis, William Dash and Jimi Harrold.

L-R: Mark Wardle – Director of Curriculum, Greg Wallis, William Dash and Jimi Harrold.

Revolution Pi

Three Truro College students won an award at a national Raspberry Pi competition, supported by PA Consulting Group, for their pioneering project. The project was designed and created by William Dash, Jimi Harrold and Greg Wallis who are all part of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) at Truro and Penwith College.

Team ‘Revolution Pi’ won the Sixth Form and College Award at the grand final, which was held at the Science Museum in London, and were recently presented with their £1000 prize money towards the development of their project by Mark Wardle, Director of Curriculum at Truro and Penwith College.

Team ‘Revolution Pi’, worked together on a project using relatively low powered computing hardware and other low cost resources in order to create an innovative solution for the health industry. Revolution Pi is a new and unique way to control your computer. Using a small camera situated in an easy to mount case, it can track your eye movement and consequently relay this to your computer screen. It allows you to move the mouse anywhere just by looking.

Within this project they decided to take a learning based approach to face and eye detection, based on the work of the Voila Jones and Adaboost algorithm. Their aim was to train a program to define what a face looks like and what features make it distinguishing from other arbitrary objects and colours. The results from this extensive data analysis proved to have insight into exactly how faces can be detected; something that humans take for granted. However once the face had been isolated several additional techniques were used in identifying the eyes, most notable of which being edge detection primarily using the colour gradients of the input images.

Although concepts already exist implementing similar principals, they have only been done using powerful, high end computing hardware and been extremely expensive. However this implementation of eye tracking uses cheap compact hardware instead, only using more power in creating the algorithm. This means that Revolution Pi provides reliability using very affordable hardware with a minimalist design.

Colin Bacon, Programme Team Leader for Maths, Computing and IT commented: “The Raspberry Pi has become an integral part of some of the courses we offer here at Truro and Penwith College. We constantly look to use the Pi in our lessons and Computing Academy, including the interfacing of robotic arms, controlling robotic vehicles and environmental monitoring, which also plays a major part in our near space mission.

It is great to see team Revolution Pi taking the use of the device to another level and their innovative idea is most impressive, with a realistic practical use. The judges felt the team had taken the Raspberry Pi to its limit and beyond, and that every team member showed great passion and ambition. The College was proud to support the students in this venture and congratulate them emphatically on their success.”

For more information:


The group of volunteers on Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth. Image with thanks to Fixers.

The group of volunteers on Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth. Image with thanks to Fixers.

Free Hugs In Falmouth

Hugs and high fives were abundant as International Baccalaureate students got involved with the National Good Gestures Day activities in Falmouth.

11 IB students from Truro College took part in the event to support the Creavity, Action and Service (CAS) element of their studies. The campaign was created by Stephen Sutton, who wanted to inspire young people to spread happiness in their communities through simple acts of kindness. Stephen sadly passed a few days after holding a National Good Gestures Day through charity Fixers across several locations across the UK last year, and it was his wish for Fixers to make this an annual event.

The group joined other volunteers on Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth to share hugs, high fives and general goodwill with the people of Falmouth in Stephen’s memory.

James Sanders, from Fixers, said: “The group were amazing. They really got involved in the spirit of the Good Gestures event. Their enthusiasm was unstoppable throughout the four hours. The day was a complete success with good gestures warmly received by the shoppers in Falmouth.”