27th November 2017
York College is celebrating ten years of learning at its Sim Balk Lane campus. To mark the occasion, a cake made by Level 3 Pastry and Confectionery students, chefs and hospitality tutors, replicating the state-of–the-art building, was served to staff, students, prospective students and their families at the York College Open Morning event on Saturday 25th November.
The delicious fruit cake incorporating ten 8” cakes, gave students a whopping recipe to follow: 4kg butter, 4kg sugar, 2kg mixed peel, 2kg almonds, 18kg dried fruits, 2kg cherries, 20 eggs, 500g mixed spice. Students made the celebration cake during a three hour practical class, then baked each section for a further three hours. Finally, 12 hours were spent intricately decorating the cake to resemble the College building.
A staff photograph taken in the College atrium commemorates the College’s ten year anniversary at Sim Balk Lane. During the Open Event the photograph was put on display alongside the staff photograph taken in September 2007, when the College building first opened and Principal, Mike Galloway led the move to one site.
York College’s history goes back 190 years in the city of York, in varying guises and locations, starting with the opening of the Mechanics Institute in Bedern in 1827 and the founding of the School of Art & Design in Little Blake Street in 1842. Over the years the College has played a significant role in the economic and social development of the city, providing education and training to thousands of people locally and regionally.
Susannah Bentley, a former Access to Healthcare student in 2007, attended the Open Morning with her daughter and family. Susannah said: “I remember being very impressed with the new building when I studied here ten years ago, and now my daughter, who is at Millthorpe School, is excited to start studying A Levels at the Collge – it’s surreal! My own studies have enabled me to further my passion for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and I’m very pleased that my daughter will study A Levels here in September, including A Level Law, which will help her to decide if she wants to study the subject at university.”
The last ten years have seen many changes in the further education sector and Principal Dr Alison Birkinshaw is proud that York College has thrived during this time. She says: “The past ten years have seen a significant amount of change at the College with a very clear focus on students and their achievements. In 2013 we were judged to be Outstanding by Ofsted and have retained outstanding financial health throughout this period. Our students’ achievements have improved significantly, and 2017 saw the very best results ever, with nearly 60% high grades at A Level, well over half vocational students achieving the equivalent of three As at A Level, improved numbers of top grades in our Higher Education and very strong performances in our apprenticeship provision. I am very proud of the achievements of our College, which are down to the hard work of our staff and students. I am confident that we have the support of our local and regional communities and am grateful for this, and I am equally confident that our students bring significant benefits to national businesses and the national and regional economy. It continues to be a privilege to work with talented students and staff and to be principal of such an important College, and an important asset to York and North Yorkshire.”