Patisserie expert, Martin Chiffers, wowed a class of catering students from Sussex Coast College Hastings last week, with his sculpture of a rooster made from chocolate.
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20 Level 3 patisserie students spent last Monday (30th) with Martin and his colleague, Chris Zammit, learning key tips and tricks on how to work with and sculpt chocolate.
Martin and Chris, who are both members of the UK pastry team, gave students the opportunity to get stuck in as they helped to create elements of the final display piece, inspired by the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar.
The master piece took 10 hours to create and used approximately 20kgs of chocolate.
Martin Chiffers said: “Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed our day at SCCH. I think it is really important for professional pastry chefs to lead the way for the younger generation of chefs coming through.
I was really impressed with the students, but have to say that the girls out shone the boys. They got stuck in and helped me a lot, so thank you to them for being brave and taking a positive approach on the day.
Doing demonstrations like this is a great way to pass down skills and knowledge, and it gives me great satisfaction knowing I will inspire young chefs to develop and push themselves to be the future leaders.”
The master piece will now be displayed in the college restaurant in a specially made display case, and will last for around 18 months.
Steven Slade said: “To have two of the great names from the world of patisserie visiting us, who represent the UK at the highest level, was an honour and a privilege. For the students to see that high level of skill and detail up close was phenomenal. They now have lots of inspiration and ideas to take forward and to practice in the rest of their studies.”
Sussex Coast College Hastings has been named a ‘Champion School’ by the National Citizen Service (NCS) following the successful graduation of 234 students from the programme.
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A night of celebration was held on Thursday 19th January at Sussex Coast College Hastings to mark the students’ graduation from NCS; a programme aimed at increasing social responsibility, employability and skills. During the programme the teens donated over 7,000 hours of volunteering, and designed social action projects that raised donations and awareness for local charities including Xtrax Young People’s Centre, Seaview, and Shelter.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for 15-17 year olds to make a lasting mark in their local communities, whilst learning first-hand the skills that employers are really looking for. Taking place throughout the autumn term, the programme offered the participating Sussex Coast College Hastings students the opportunity to try their hand at a range of activities, from rock climbing to raft building to developing confidence, business, social and team-working skills.
As part of the programme, the young people went on to examine their local Hastings community to identify requiring improvement, and used their findings to design and implement a social action project to make that improvement; with a focus on utilising the skills learned as part of their college course.
At the ceremony, graduates received a certificate signed by the Prime Minister, and Sussex Coast College Hastings was presented with the highly coveted ‘Champion Schools’ award by Deputy Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Nigel Sinden. The award recognises the college’s dedication to giving back to its local community through the integration of NCS within its curriculum.
Accepting the award, Dan Shelley, Vice Principal of Enterprise, Employment and Skills at Sussex Coast College Hastings commented: “Our achievement of NCS champion status highlights our commitment to developing social action, employability and the wider personal development skills of our students.
“Wherever possible we try to ensure that the social action our students undertake not only helps local causes but enables students to develop employability skills linked to their chosen careers. Be these winter car checks, performed by our Motor Vehicle students, or hair and nail sessions for care home residents, from our hair and beauty students, or construction students repairing the Brick Boat next to the A259, in partnership with the St Leonards Rotary Club, the link between supporting local communities and expanding social and employability skills is important.
“We intend to roll out this programme further in the spring with a diverse range of curriculum areas including A levels, construction and our students with learning difficulties or disabilities included and ensure it becomes an integral part of our offer here at the college so that we can encourage our students to volunteer more and give back to our local community as well as build skills and help with their progress outlining the skills they have developed in UCAS statements or their CV for future employment.”
Councillor Nigel Sinden praised the efforts of the young people involved: “NCS and your social action work really promotes positive outcomes for you as young people. You have shown the ability to develop positive relationships with your local communities and with each other. You have shown commitment, leadership, resilience, determination, and a whole host of other skills that will serve you well in life to come, whatever path you may choose. I thank you for your dedication to supporting and bettering your local community.”
The National Citizen Service is the fastest growing youth movement since the Scouts, with more than 300,000 young people nationwide already having completed the programme, and 5 million hours of voluntary action having been donated through the programme to date.
Later this month, Sussex Coast College Hastings will welcome patisserie expert, Martin Chiffers to the college to give a masterclass in chocolate.
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Martin, who is the current Great Britain Pastry Team captain, and also a consultant on the BBC 2 programme, Crème de la Crème, will be visiting the college on Monday 30th of January to give Level 3 Patisserie students top tips on working with chocolate and creating patisserie showpieces.
During his 7 hour masterclass, he will teach students advanced techniques on how to carve, cast, mould, finish, colour and present chocolate sculptures. Martin will use up to 20kgs of chocolate to create a sculpture that will be kept on display at the college.
Steven Slade, Catering Lecturer, said: “I’m delighted that Martin is able to come down and give a masterclass to our student. It will be a really exciting day, and to have such an experienced patisserie professional passing on his knowledge to the students is priceless.”
Health and Social Care students at Sussex Coast College Hastings had a memorable start to their first term at college when they spent a week away on the Isle of Wight.
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50 first year Level 2 and Level 3 students were invited to join a National Citizenship Service project to encourage them to care more about the community in which they live. The project would take them out of their comfort zone, teach them new skills and require them to complete a social action project to make a difference.
The group stayed at the Kings Wood campsite in Bembridge, making themselves at home in wooden lodges. Throughout the week they took part in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, and assault courses, and even became familiar with bush craft techniques.
Once the group had returned to Hastings they began to work on their social action projects. The Level 2 students were then split into groups of 11, creating two teams in the class. Both teams had 8 weeks to plan and deliver a project that would benefit or improve something in the town.
The groups held meetings to generate a range of social issues they felt passionate about, and from there they narrowed down the ideas until they were left with a realistic and achievable goal. One group made winter survival kits for the homeless and the other put together food hampers to donate to a local charity.
The students held a number of fundraising activities to raise money to help them buy the food, hats, scarves, gloves and sleeping bags they would need to fill their boxes.
From bake sales, jumble sales, and the generosity of staff and fellow students, the groups were able to collect between £70 and £90 to spend on items for their donations.
The survival kits were donated to the Snowflake Shelter, and the food hampers were donated to Surviving Christmas before the Christmas break.
Morgan Ives said: “We were all very passionate about doing something that would help somebody during winter. Knowing that we were helping somebody else gave us a great team spirit and everybody pitched in when we were delegating the tasks.
We managed to raise enough money to put together 10 survival kits, and I hope that they were useful to those who needed them.”
The annual Supported Education Christmas show treated everyone to a grand stand end to the year as the students performed classic Christmas songs.
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Supported Education students took the college on a Christmassy journey to New York with a big band performance of Christmas songs.
The group performed a medley of seasonal classics to an audience of staff, students and parents in the atrium at Station Plaza.
The students had spent the weeks leading up to the show by planning their song choices, dance routines and creating the set, as well as making musical props including trumpets, a trombone and a piano.
Lesley Watson said: “Our students brought the festive spirit to everyone in the college and brought the atrium to life with a wonderful performance. Congratulations to all our students and to our fantastic staff team.”
Students and staff at Sussex Coast College Hastings have helped to spread some Christmas cheer by donating gifts, clothes and food to two local Hastings Charities.
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The LRCs at Station Plaza and Ore Valley Campus have been welcoming donations of toys, tinned foods, clothes and winter essentials since the beginning of November, to donate to Surviving Christmas and the Snowflake Night Shelter.
Students and staff certainly showed their generosity during the season of goodwill, as both LRCs received an overwhelming amount of gifts.
Lauren Moxey, LRC Assistant said: “The generosity of staff and students has been absolutely amazing. It is very heart-warming to know that so many people have pulled together to help the families of Hastings this Christmas.”
The college also put together Christmas hampers for Surviving Christmas, who will be delivering them to the families they work with.
Lauren continued: “We have received hundreds of toys, and enough food to fill dozens of hampers. It hasn’t stopped there either; people are still bringing in items and donating their loose change to our collection box.”
“We’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the collection and helped to make somebody’s Christmas a lot happier.”
The college will continue to collect money for the Snowflake Night Shelter throughout January and collection boxes will be in both LRCs.