Arndale Centre

Construction students from Sussex Coast College Hastings had the opportunity to gain an insight into a £50million pound building development earlier this year.

Students who study carpentry, bricklaying, plumbing, and painting and decorating were able to visit the new Arndale shopping centre development, The Beacon, in Eastbourne to get an understanding of everything that goes into such a large and complex development.

The students met with Senior Project Manager, Alan Quigley, who gave them an overview of the project and discussed some of the challenges that construction company Kier has faced during the design and build. The students were able to see virtual representation of the finished shopping centre, before getting the chance to look around the live build site.

Arndale Centre Site

Student, James Maryan said: “Our morning at the Arndale centre was very educational. We were able to tour around the construction site and get a glimpse of what the shopping centre and car park will look like once the work is finished.”

“It was fascinating to find out that the project has a 24-month time scale and it is expected to cost around £50 million pounds to complete. We were also able to get an insight into Kier, the construction company responsible for the build. They have around 225 people working on the project and recycle 97% of materials to help control costs.”

Arndale Centre Crane

Freyan Eames, Curriculum Area Manager for Construction, said: “Visits to working sites like the Arndale are brilliant for our students. They get a real insight into the world of work and a sense of the true scale of modern construction projects. All students on construction courses at SCCH can access work experience placements with building companies during their time at college. This helps them to become better prepared and ready to start work once they have their qualification.”


As we say goodbye to a snowy March (what was that all about?) we thought we’d look ahead to April.

Our Top 5 this month is dedicated to just one day in April, April Fool’s Day. The one day of the year dedicated to jokes and pranks. It has been around for ages, but we were wondering, how and when did it actually start?

There are a number of theories out there, but we’re not sure how true they actually are…

Fool’s Errand

Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote a poem in 1561 about a nobleman who hatched a plan to send his servant back and forth on absurd errands on April 1st. However, the servant soon realised that he was the subject of a joke. In the poem the servant is quoted as saying "I am afraid... that you are trying to make me run a fool's errand." However, there is no real indication to why the nobleman sent the servant on pointless tasks.

April Fish Day

A theory that dates back hundreds of year in France suggests that April Fool’s Day originated because of the abundance of fish that can be found in French streams and rivers during early April. Newly hatched fish were easy to fool with a hook and lure, and therefore, the French called them 'Poisson d'Avril' or 'April Fish.' Soon it became customary to fool people on April 1st.

Change in Calendars

The most popular theory about the origin of April Fool's Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century. In 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1st. Those who failed to keep up with the change, and celebrated the old calendar system, were made fun of and had jokes played on them.


British folklore links April Fool's Day to the town of Gotham in Nottinghamshire. In the 13th Century, it was tradition for any road that the King placed his foot on to become public property. So when the good people of Gotham heard that the King was planning a visit, they pretended to be lunatics and engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish or attempting to catch birds in roofless cages. The King fell for their act and declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment, therefore ‘saving’ their road and stating a new tradition.

Renewal Festival

Ancient festivals to celebrate the end of winter and the return of spring, also known as "Renewal Festivals" were often celebrated with forms of mayhem and misrule. People would often wear disguises and play pranks on friends and strangers, but just like April Fool’s day today, this only lasted until midday, when order would be restored.

So just like us, you’re probably still left with more questions than answers. So we’ve given up trying to find out how and why, and we’re happy to go along with this weird tradition.

Host families needed

Sussex Coast College Hastings is looking for local families to help host international students over the summer.

Every year the college welcomes hundreds of international students to the town to study English language courses and get a taste of studying in the UK.

The success of these programmes depends on the excellent care that the college’s network of local host families provide.

“Hastings has a great reputation internationally for attracting overseas students and our international programmes run across the year contributing a six figure sum into the local economy as well as providing a vibrancy to the town.” said International Director, Mark Allen.

Satty Chies, who works at the college, has been welcoming students into her home in Hastings for a number of years.

“We really enjoy hosting international students. It’s really good fun and the students are a welcome addition to the family,” said Satty. “We have students from all over the world staying with us, sometimes for a couple of weeks and on other occasions a few months. But however long they’re here, my husband and I really enjoy getting to know them and learning about their cultures.”

“The students we’ve had have all been extremely polite and respectful of the house rules. They always ask if they can help around the house, and occasionally offer to cook dinner for the family.”

“We have two small children and they get on really well with the students. My son likes to talk about and play football with the boys, and my daughter often has nail painting evenings with the girls, which is great and almost like they have older brothers and sisters to look up to.”

“Of course there is the financial benefit which is nice, but we also really enjoy having the students stay with us because we get to know them and develop a nice bond. By the end of their stay, we’re actually sad to see them go.”

Over the next few months groups of students from Brazil, Italy, China, and Japan will be heading to the UK to join the college, and during this time, the college will be looking for host families to help accommodate them.

The college will be able to pay £125 per student, per week, or £103 per student per week if they are sharing a room, towards the cost of providing half board occupancy.

You will need to be living in the Hastings and St. Leonards area, and the students will be aged 14 and above.

If would like to find out more, or would like to become a host family, please get in touch with the International Department at Sussex Coast College on: 01424 458577 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Libby Styling Hair

A hairdressing student from Sussex Coast College Hastings was recently given the opportunity to have her work featured in a local magazine.

The Wealden Times, a lifestyle magazine for Kent and Sussex, enlisted the help of Libby Meech to produce two different hairstyles for a photo shoot, one of which was for a wedding shoot.

Libby, who is studying on the Level 2 Hairdressing course, welcomed two models into the Plaza Hair and Beauty Salon at the college, so that she could style their hair before they headed off to the photo shoot location.

The first style was back-combed to give volume, and featured in a clothing advert. For the second style, Libby loosely curled the hair to create an elegant, wavy look, which she then finished with lavender and a purple ribbon.

Libbys Hair Style

Libby said: “I have always loved doing hair. From a young age I was always doing my friends hair and knew that I wanted to have a career in hairdressing.”

“I was quite nervous to be honest, because it was the first time that I had styled hair, that wasn’t just for fun. The magazine told me how they wanted each shoot to look, and they challenged me to come up with the styles that would fit the theme.”

“I was able to be quite creative with the styles, and the magazine editors were really happy with what I came up with. It has been a great experience and I’m now able to use the styles in my portfolio.”

Year 10 students from across Hastings, Rother, and Bexhill will have the opportunity to explore their college options during an Open Evening at Sussex Coast College Hastings later this month.

The college will open its doors on Thursday 22nd March, from 5pm until 7pm, to give students the chance to find out more about their options after secondary school. The open evening is a great opportunity to take a look around the building and talk to subject tutors, while taking part in a number of fun ‘fearless’ challenges.

Open Evening 2017

Subject areas from across the college will put on a number of themed fearless challenges. Catering lectures will put on a ‘bush tucker trial’, Public Service lecturers will set up a ‘live’ crime scene, Health and Social Care lecturers will challenge your coordination, Sport lecturers will be dissecting a heart, and Jaws and Claws will be visiting with their family of reptiles.

Heart Dissecting

Principal, Clive Cooke, said: “We really enjoy hosting these open evenings and always look forward to welcoming students and their families in to the college to see what we have on offer. It is always a very informative and useful evening, but we also aim to make it enjoyable and memorable.”

“Our fearless challenges are designed to get students to step out of the crowd and have a go at something they might not have tried before – which is just like college. Stepping out of the crowd and trying new things could open lots of learning opportunities and give you a rewarding time at college.”

They say that we perform best when we’re under pressure. You’re motivated to knuckle down and work hard. But this isn’t always the case. Pressure can affect us in many different ways.

If you find that revision and exams get the better of you; then you’ll need to read on.

We asked a selection of students, past and present, as well as tutors and advisors to help us put together a list of the best tried and tested tips to help you get on top of your exam and revision stresses.

Exam pressure tips 1

Olly is a current A-Level student, Lucy is the Student President, and Lydia is an Intensive Personal Advisor.

Exam pressure tips 2

Emily is a current Hairdressing student, Jeff is a Catering Lecturer, Richard is a Personal Trainer, and Shona is the Manager of Coast Coffee.

Exam pressure tips 3

Emily is a current A-Level student, Kyle is an IT student, Richard is a Personal Trainer, and Loy is a current Business student.

Exam pressure tips 4

Nick is a Cabin Crew student, George is a current Personal Training student, Becky is a current Beauty student, and Richard is a Personal Trainer.

Exam pressure tips 5

Victoria is a current Business student, Lorna is the college's Exam Officer, Emilia is a former A-Level student, Hannah is the college's Student Services Manager.

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Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College have merged. We are now both part of the East Sussex College Group.

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