Samurai Students

Staff and students at Sussex Coast College Hastings were treated to a Japanese themed summer festival at the college last week.

(2 minute read)

The end of year matsuri (the Japanese word for festival) was hosted by Supported Education students on Thursday 29th June to recognise the outstanding achievements of students and celebrate the college’s Autism Accreditation status.

The afternoon featured a lively programme of Japanese music, traditional folk dance performances, a display of samurai inspired skills, a kabuki theatre parasol dance and modern ‘kawaii’ (cute) dancing sushi.

The students showcased their diverse talents in dance, performance, and scenery and prop painting in the manga / anime style. The afternoon was enhanced by some dazzling costumes kindly lent by Julia Bovee and Opera South East.

An exhibition of art and sculpture was also created by students from the STEPS programme that drew inspiration from the culture and history of Japan. The atrium was decorated with 1000 origami paper cranes made by the students, and according to a Japanese legend, whoever makes 1000 cranes will receive good health, happiness and good luck.

The afternoon culminated in a presentation of awards. Lucy Jenion received the ‘Student of the Year’ award in recognition of her personal development, communication and progression in employability skills.

Stephen Dedridge from the National Autistic Society presented Lesley Watson, Supported Education Curriculum Area Manager, with the certificate of Autism Accreditation status; an internationally recognised award for services that meet high standards in understanding autism and in provision for autistic people.

Stephen highlighted the inclusivity of the show and commented on the fantastic achievements of Supported Education at Sussex Coast College.

The college has held Autism Accreditation status since 2011, and became the first department within a General College of Further Education to be awarded the accreditation.

Check out the other photos from a fantastic afternoon here.


From helping you get your perfect job to pursuing a long-held dream we round up the reasons why going back to school can be cool.

For many of us our school days feel like a distant memory but there are plenty of reasons to keep learning as we get older.

Whether it is a step up the ladder to your dream job, turning your passion into a career or just the joy of learning something new, there are plenty of reasons why life-long learning can be fun.

Not only that, but continuing to learn into adulthood can actually improve your health.

Studies have shown adults who keep their brains active are less likely to develop symptoms of dementia and acquiring a new skill or developing an old one can improve mental well-being.

We team up with Sussex Coast College to round-up the top eight reasons why life-long learning can be fun and improve your quality of life.

1. Learning new skills – no matter what your age there is satisfaction in learning a new skill, whether it is dry-point etching or web page development.

2. Meeting like-minded people – taking a course you are passionate about brings you into contact with people who share that passion and could leave you with new life-long friends.

3. Getting back to work – returning to the workplace after a career break can be daunting. Getting up to date with the latest developments in your chosen field will improve your CV and self esteem.

4. Up-skilling for that promotion – make yourself stand out from your co-workers by taking the initiative and improving your skills.

5. Staying young – keeping your mind active and stimulated can improve your mental well-being and improve cognitive function.

6. Building self-confidence – taking the time to invest in yourself can boost your self-esteem. After years of looking after others or working just to pay the bills this is your chance to do something for yourself.

7. Discovering a hidden talent – once you start studying again you could discover a hidden talent in anything from engineering to creating the perfect hair style.

8. Starting out on your own – more people than ever are choosing to start their own business and life-long learning can give you the skills you need to make that leap.

Sussex Coast College launches its year-round part-time courses in July with a week of free taster sessions.

Anyone who signs up by July 31 receives a 10 per cent discount on course fees, subject to terms and conditions.

For more information, visit our adult learning page or call 01424 442222.

Ayami pic warwick

Each week, students from all over the world visit the college to study and explore Hastings and the South East.

(3 minute read)

Back in September we welcomed a group of Japanese students to Hastings to study with us for a year and get a taste of college.

11 students from Kyoto, travelled almost 6,000 miles to Hastings to study General English along with a range of A-Level subjects.

The study year was set up thanks to a newly formed partnership between the college and the Kyoto Gakuen High School in Kyoto.

We caught up with Ayami Nishida to find out how her study year has gone.

“Hi, I’m Ayami and I’m 18, and during my ten months in Hastings I’ve been studying Business, Sociology, and Psychology, as well as General English.”

We study English for 16 hours during the week, generally in the morning, and join our chosen A-Level subjects in the afternoon.

Our teachers in Japan told us about the opportunity to study in the UK and Jeremy (Oughton) came over to our school to tell us about A-Levels and what it is like to study in Hastings. From the pictures and listening to Jeremy, I was really excited about the opportunity, and couldn’t wait to come here.

The flight was really long, but I managed to sleep for most of it. It was the first time that I had been to the UK, and when we arrived in Hastings I remember being amazed by the building and all the facilities at the college.

There are 11 of us altogether and each of us studied something slightly different. Some of my friends studied Art and Photography, and some of the others studied Business and Media Studies. That meant we had different lessons, but we were always together in the morning to study English.

Our English tutor, Tom, was really nice and helped us a lot with our spelling and grammar and he also helped us with our speaking and pronunciation. When we first arrived, we were all a little shy and didn’t like to speak much English, but now, we talk to pretty much everyone!

I really enjoyed studying Psychology, Sociology and Business alongside other A-Level students from the UK. Everyone made me feel really welcome and I settled in really quickly. The teachers were all so lovely and always there to help me if I didn’t understand something. It gave me a real taste for what studying in the UK is like, and now I’m hoping to come back to the UK to go to University.

I’m so grateful to the college because they arranged for me to travel up to Warwick University to attend an Open Day so I could find out more about studying medicine.

Outside of college, we had so much fun.

We stayed with host families in Hastings. Two of my friends also stayed with the same family and we all had our own room. It took a little while to settle in, but once we did, it was great. The family were really nice and would always make sure that we were ok and tried to encourage us to make ourselves at home.

We would often all meet up during the weekends to explore Hastings. We loved spending time on the new Pier. During the Christmas period there was a Christmas market on the Pier, which was great for buying little gifts for our families. We also enjoyed drinking hot chocolate and having a go on the mini ski slope.

Some of the other things we liked to do were have a round of Adventure golf, visit the Smugglers Caves and sit on the beach when the sun was out. We went along to some the events during Hastings Carnival Week, we experienced Mardi Gras in February and joined in with Jack in the Green in May. We would often visit Priory Meadow shopping centre and would also walk through the Old Town to get fish and chips or an ice cream.

Hastings is a really pretty town and some of the group were able to take great pictures of the fishing huts, the cliff railway, and the pier, for their art projects.

As it was our first time in the UK, we also planned a trip to Brighton to see the i360 tower, and a trip to London to ride on the London Eye, visit Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and take pictures at Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

It has been a very worthwhile and valuable experience and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time in Hastings. We are heading back to Japan on 21st June, and I hope to return to Warwick University next September after I have finished the rest of my studies.”


With temperatures reaching over 30 degrees Celsius last week, some of the highest we’ve seen in the UK for over 40 years, we’re struggling to stay cool (It’s almost too hot!).

So without fleeing the country to the cooler shores of Spain or Cyprus, we’ve come up with a few tried and tested tips to help beat the heat this summer…

USB desk fan // how much? £5.50 // where can I get it? -

This small (but mighty) little gadget is sure to become your new best friend over the summer, especially if you need to fire up the laptop for any reason. You’ll be able to stay cool while buying your new stationery for college, (or watching Netflix) by simply plugging the fan in and switching it on. This USB desk fan also doubles up as an LED clock, meaning you won’t be late for any social events happening this summer. There’s no reason why you couldn’t plug it into your portable charger and take it to the beach with you either!

Stay Cool Ice Towel // how much? From £10.50 // where can I get it? -

Heading to the beach this summer? Well, while your friends are sizzling away next to you, you can chill with this Stay Cool Ice Towel. Just get it wet, wring out any excess water, shake for 5-10 seconds and, et viola, you have yourself a cool bed of luxury. It’s super light and come in a handy light travel container too.

Sun Cream

A must-have if you are out and about this summer. Not only is applying sun cream super important for your health, but it will save you all that agony of sunburn! But splashing out a small fortune for big brand sun creams is annoying, so we’ve found some bargains on factors 15-50.

However! Make sure you check the bottle for the UVA rating and SPF number. If you don’t see the logo – it won’t offer protection from the sun!

UVA will tell you how much protection the product is giving you from harmful long-wave ultra-violet UVA rays. Make sure, at the very least, that a circle with the letters UVA inside, are on the back of the bottle, as this indicates the minimum level of UVA protection.

SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the number, the greater the level of protection against harmful medium-wave ultra-violet UVB rays. The label should also tell you whether the product provides "low", "medium", "high" or "very high" protection against UVB.

So where can you get your hands on these bargains…

Poundland stocks a range from a brand called Anovia Tropical Sun, which is available for, you guessed it, £1!

B&M Bargains stocks a range from a brand called EAD sunscreen, which should be available in its 400+ stores at £1, possibly reduced to 50p!

Plus there are still a few bargains to be had on high street and big brand products. We’ve found…

Garnier Ambre Solaire moisturising milk SPF 30, 200ml & Nivea Sun moisturising sun protect & moisture SPF 30, 200ml - £4.50 each in the two for £9 offer at Asda

Piz Buin 1-day-long lotion SPF 30, 100ml - £4.99 at B&M Bargains

Boots Soltan kids SPF 30, 200ml - £4

Superdrug Solait SPF 30, 200ml - £3.37 in the buy one get one half price offer

Asda Protect SPF 50, 200ml - £3 each in the two for £6 offer

Morrisons Sun spray SPF 15, 200ml - £3

Aldi Lacura sun spray SPF30, 200ml - £2.79

Di Polas’ Ice Cream

If you’re anything like us, the best way to cool down in this hot weather is with an ice cream! One of our favourite places to grab an ice cream in Hastings has to be Di Polas. Offering fine Italian ice cream, Di Polas servers up all the traditional gelato flavours, as well as creative seasonal delights. You’ll find them on the seafront, opposite Hastings Adventure Golf. Single scoops start from £2.20 and it’s just £1 per scoop after that.



So the days are hot, and it seems that the nights are even hotter! But we’ve got a cool little tip to help you catch some well needed sleep!

Grab yourself a large plastic bag, fold up your bed sheets and pillow cases and stick them in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed.


If none of the above work – then take a dip in the sea!

 Ashley Chapman presents Connie Baker with her certificate web

A teenager who has raised more than £2,000 for charity has been named the Outstanding Young Person of the Month.

Thirteen year old Connie Baker has produced homemade jewellery to sell and undertaken fun runs and a bike ride from Hastings to Icklesham to benefit both St Michael’s Hospice and Cancer Research UK.

Connie lives in Rye and attends Rye College. Her parents, Claire and David, nominated her for the award, and said: “Connie lost both her beloved grandma and uncle to cancer five years ago and since then she has thought up and carried out her own charity events.

“In May, she ran with her dad from our house in Hastings to her grandad, Derrick Baker’s, home in Icklesham, raising nearly £1,000. Her grandad has also raised money for Breast Cancer Research, St Michael’s Hospice and MacMillan nurses, as well as the local church in Icklesham. Connie is obviously taking after him and we are so proud of her positive and productive approach.”

The Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award is sponsored by Sussex Coast College Hastings and the Hastings Observer Series.

The award is presented to someone aged 18 and under who has excelled in some way. This could be in sport, their academic studies, or if they have performed an important role on a voluntary basis in their own home or the wider community.

Ashley Chapman, Marketing and Communications Executive at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “Connie’s fundraising efforts are fantastic. She has taken her grief and turned it into something positive by raising money to help others. I’m sure St Michael’s Hospice and Cancer Research were both delighted to receive Connie’s contributions.”

As part of her award, Connie will receive a complimentary meal for two and a £100 donation will be made to Cancer Research UK.

To nominate someone for the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of who you are nominating and the reasons why.

 France Trip 2017 web

A group of students from Sussex Coast College have recently returned home from a two week work experience programme in Northern France, after helping to renovate a chateau.

(2 minute read)

Budding chefs and carpenters travelled to France back in May to start their two week project. The carpenters were set the task to build a wooden outhouse and lend a hand with joinery tasks, while the chefs were in charge of creating daily menus, sourcing local ingredients, and cooking for the group.

The students worked Monday to Friday and were free to explore the area at the weekend. The catering students worked split shifts, cooking and preparing breakfast and lunch in the morning, and then preparing and cooking dinner in the evening. Their afternoons were spent visiting local markets to find fresh, local produce to include in their daily menu.

The students stayed in a 6 bedroom gîte, near the town of Flers, which was about half an hour way from the chateau in Tinchebray-Bocage. Students cooked and ate together and enjoyed some leisure time, with table tennis and crazy golf to keep them amused.

During the weekends, students had the chance to hold snails at a snail farm, milk goats, tour around a biscuit factory, and visit a Camembert museum. They also visited one of France’s most recognisable landmarks, Le Mont Saint-Michel.

On the last Friday of the trip, the students invited a number of special guests for dinner. They cooked a three course meal, including a terrine, Duck a l'orange, tarte tatin and profiteroles.

It is the second time that students have been to France to assist in the renovation of the chateau, which is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus project, helping to provide students with experience opportunities abroad.

Jeff Jordan, Hospitality and Catering Lecturer said: “The students had a fantastic time in Tinchebray-Bocage. It was great to see them getting fully involved with the experience and having a great time. It was noticeable to see that they got a lot out of the experience, not only practising their cookery and construction skills, but also becoming more independent. The students have really grown in confidence and gained a lot of enthusiasm for their studies, which they can also take into their future careers.”

Check out the rest of the pictures from the trip on our Facebook page

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