WelcomeFest 2015 #gettingahead

Our new students starting in September enjoyed an amazing day at WelcomeFest 2015 in July. The morning was dedicated to exploring subject areas through workshops and talks while the afternoon was more relaxed watching talented current students perform for a chance to play at Butserfest. Optional #gettingahead summer work now available here.

Alton College’s next intake of school leavers enjoyed another amazing and unique ‘welcome’ day when staff and current students turned the campus into a festival for the day last week. WelcomeFest, now an annual event in the College’s calendar, culminated with Glastonbury performer and World Champion Beatboxer (and former astrophysicist) Shlomo giving an interactive show followed by a student Battle-of-the-Bands where the talented musicians fought to win a place on a ButserFest stage.

Guests were treated to an array of amazing talks and interactive activities during the morning in subjects areas including; Chemistry for Chocoholics, 101 slides in 10 minutes: From Abstract Art to Donald Duck with Frank Lampard In Between! Getting an Ology, The Psychology of Love, Creative Writing, The Economic Consequences of Drinking plus plenty of activities from a Public Services Incident Investigation, Engineering Machine Demos and getting hands on with babies and toddlers. There was also the opportunity for new students to participate in a Media Skills Workshop hosted by Eagle Radio, attend a talk by Alton College STEM Ambassador Dawn Elson, Business Transformation Leader at Gatwick Airport on Career Choices in STEM, learn How to get a job in the Media by Alton College former student Henry Ascoli, editor of New Life Magazine Group plus try out for College sport teams for the year ahead. Students had the chance to explore the College’s facilities and speak to subject staff before enjoying a BBQ lunch and ice-cream provided by on-site caterers Caterlink.

The Battle-of-the-Bands participants were all Alton College students, many of them studying Music, including Harry Baker, previously at Weydon School, performing a solo guitar and vocal set, followed by Ollie West, previously at Bohunt School, playing solo piano and vocals. The two bands were North Bound and Nanking. After much deliberation the judging panel made up of John Geoghegan from EHDC, Mike Goncalvas from ButserFest, Tom Chapman Alton College SU President and Sara Russell Alton College Senior Vice-Principal, decided that Nanking were the worthy winners. Tom Chapman said: ‘It's a privilege to see such amazing, talented and diverse musicians from the College perform. Everyone did a fantastic job and made our position as judges hard. A huge congratulations to Nanking for winning and a big thank you to everyone else who played, you were all brilliant.’

The student run Alternative Magazine was also on campus finding out what the new students thought of the day. Editor Tom Brailey, previously at The Petersfield School said: ‘It was such a successful event that welcomed new pupils to the exciting life of a student here at Alton College. The year 11’s got a real taste of the amazing atmosphere here’. Students from The Petersfield School deemed the event to be ‘excellent,’ saying that it was ‘lovely to get to know the students we will be with next year.’ Bohunt leavers said that there was ‘nothing to improve’ and that ‘the staff and pupils were really approachable.’

Principal Jane Machell said: ‘It was a fantastic welcome for our new students starting here in September. Our enthusiastic and very experienced staff gave all students a brilliant taste of the unique atmosphere on our modern university-like campus. Subject areas were buzzing during the talks and activities morning sessions and the music afternoon complimented the day perfectly.’