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Items filtered by date: December 2022

Each term our Chair of Governors, Ian Valvona, publishes a newletter covering the events of the past term. 

Click here to read the December update from our chair of Governors, Ian Valvona. 

In November, thirty Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) travel and tourism students travelled to Southbank, London for a sightseeing adventure visiting various tourist attractions on the riverside.

The trip to Southbank was organised for travel and tourism students to have fun and familiarise themselves with local tourist spots.

Students visited Borough Market as well as Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, learning about what brings thousands of visitors to these attractions each month.

At Borough Market, the students were treated to a tour of the area before purchasing some treats for lunch from the local stalls.

Travel and Tourism lecturer Hannah Talabany highlights that “This was a great opportunity for students to become acquainted with the sites that London offers. The students really enjoyed this trip into London and benefitted from finding out more about the major tourist spots along the River Thames”.

Learn more about studying at RuTC here.

Richmond upon Thames College's staff and students had an amazing time at the college’s annual Christmas Fair, organised by both the Student Services and Student Events teams.

The Fair got off to a great start, welcoming gospel choir group ‘Sing Gospel’ in to teach workshops to interested students, introducing some new Christmas songs, as well as singing along to the old classics.

Towards the end of the afternoon, the choir performed in the Atrium getting the whole college involved in a cheery Christmas sing-along.

Supported Learning students contributed by making and selling handmade Christmas tree decorations, cards and cakes.

The Student Events team did a fantastic job decorating the atrium, giving it a Christmassy feel and helping other students get into the spirit of the day.

The team also worked alongside the Catering and Art departments producing and selling cakes, desserts, ceramic and pottery bowls, paperweights and smaller decorations, all money raised from the sale of these items will go towards their end of year prom fund.

Local sexual health charity, Spectra also attended the Fair.

Learn more about studying at RuTC here



On Tuesday and Wednesday this week (7th December) Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Level 3 Dance students took to the stage to perform ‘The Gilded Gala’ in the college’s new state of the art 120 seater auditorium.

£286 was raised from tickets that were sold across the three performances.

RuTC’s Supported Learning department attended along with other students who enjoyed watching their peers’ show.

‘The Gilded Gala’ highlights the importance of supporting one and other through different life struggles

The dancers wore a range of vibrant costumes and performed various dance styles to help spread the key messages.

Many of the pieces were choreographed by the dancers with guidance from their teachers.

A member of the audience commented how “the performance took my breath away and I am in awe of the talent of these students.”

Dance teacher Claire Guntrip added, “I am really looking forward to seeing what the girls can achieve throughout the rest of the year, if this is the standard of performance after only four months of their dance course. They all worked extremely hard and it really paid off in the end. It’s wonderful seeing them come into their own as performers.”

Learn more about studying Dance at RuTC here.


Last month, Level 3 Biomedical Science student Maryn Cardozo won the Jack Petchey award for her incredible academic performance over the past year.

Each term, exceptional students are nominated by their classmates to win a Jack Petchey Award. The winner receives a £300 grant, which can be used for anything that will benefit their class.

This term, Maryn received the reward because of her dedication to her course and willingness to go the extra mile by helping other students that are struggling.

Additionally, she used her summer holidays to complete a unit of work independently before college resumed for this academic year, dedication to her studies demonstrates her desire to achieve excellence.

Maryn is well liked by her peers and teachers who consider her a polite, caring and inspirational individual and a deserving recipient of the award.

The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme recognises the positive contributions, efforts and endeavours of young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. These achievements include being a great role model, volunteering, overcoming personal challenges and supporting others over and above expectations.

Maryn’s teacher Samuel Narth explains that "Maryn has very high attendance and her absence is felt when she is not in lessons as her contribution is phenomenal."

Maryn has decided that her money is going to be spent on taking her class on a day trip either trampolining, ice skating or going to the cinema.

Well done, Maryn!

Learn more about studying Biomedical Science at RuTC here.



At the end of November, Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Supported Learning students held a cake sale to raise money for the charity, Children in Need.

The students were asked to decide on various fundraising ideas and they decided that a cake sale would be perfect as it combines multiple skills they have learnt during the term including handling money, cooking and customer service.

As well as the cake sale, the students created their own Pudsey donation boxes, taking them around the college classrooms and communal areas for contributions.

The students also participated in a ‘dance and balance’ challenge where the group of students set themselves the challenge of dancing & combining balance exercises for an hour. They chose their favourite music & set to the challenge.

Overall, the students raised an impressive £314 for the charity.

Suzanne Rodrigues, Supported Learning teacher, was delighted with the amount raised as well as the students’ hard work, saying “All the students and staff involved have worked especially hard to make these fundraising activities for Children in Need so successful. We have had many generous supporters along the way and thanks to this we were able to raise £314”.

Learn more about joining our Supported Learning department here


In November, a documentary film crew from Japan arrived at Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) to film and interview alumnus music student, Michael Howell, and current music student, Okan Kosanoglu, for a documentary ‘Who I Am Life’ which looks at Michael’s life and career.

‘Who I Am Life’ is a documentary series looking at a diverse line up of artists, musicians, creators who are actively involved in the entertainment world. The show started in 2016, portraying outstanding athletes with physical or mental disability / divergence.

Since then, it has grown in popularity and in the lead-up to the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2021 it received multiple international awards.

This year's new season builds on the original series in expanding its ambit from athletes to notable personalities from other spheres of society and culture.

The series will take an in-depth look at the life of three individuals, from around the world, including bionic pop artist Victoria Modesta, deaf and transgender artist Chela Mann and RuTC alumni, autistic music composer, Michael Howell.

Michael studied Performing Arts Level 3 diploma at Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) and during his time at the college featured in an extensive article on the BBC website, BBC London News and the ‘i’ national newspaper.

Michael, who has high functioning autism, is an incredibly talented musician who is able to create symphonies in his head. From 11, Micheal has taught himself composing by

listening to classical music and opera on YouTube and from this can translate the pieces by ear.

Michael attracted public attention in 2017 when he published his piece “Great Is The Grief', as well as featuring in the BBC series "Amazing Humans."

Michael is delighted and honoured to have a documentary dedicated to his life so far and career, explaining “My experience working with an international broadcasting company, Wowow, Japan has been an invaluable and enjoyable period of my career.

It has given me the opportunity to show to the world who I am, as a person and musician. I hope to inspire and raise awareness, being a black autistic classical composer and musician.”

The synopsis of the documentary is summarised by Hubert Hunger (Director); “We meet Michael Howell at a crucial stage of his life. About to graduate, he is set to launch his career as a composer in earnest.

“Starting with his final days as an undergraduate student, the program will introduce Michael and his life on campus, including teaching sessions, singing lessons, rehearsals for his upcoming performance of his first ensemble composition, and finally his graduation crowning his four years at Royal Holloway.

“The summer after graduation is a challenging yet promising time. With future projects already on the horizon and others still developing, we follow Michael's budding career.”

The skilled crew from Japan who came to film the documentary on Michael, included director, Herbert Hunger (Editor of BBC Storyville) and cameraman Sam Mitchell, (cinematographer on The Last Man Standing: Suge Knight & the Murders of Biggie & Tupac).

Peter Garvey, Music teacher to both Michael and Okan is delighted to see how well Michael is getting on, gushing “It was heart-warming to see Michael again and to see him still pursuing his highly individual musical style.

“We talked about his time at RUTC, his development and challenges since then and how he can pursue his career.

“His very fruitful collaboration with our current student Okan has been a great success and there is another current student who we hope can work with Michael as well.

“The film company are flying Michael out to Japan to perform at the premiere of the documentary, which is great news.”

Whilst filming, Michael and Okan performed their song ‘I Feel So Down’ to much acclaim.

Once filming wrapped, the film crew hosted a Q&A session with interested RuTC Creative Media students which both inspired and intrigued curious students.

The series will air early 2023 in Japan.

Learn more about studying Music Performance and Production at RuTC here 

This week, ten Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) Level 3 Dance students are preparing for their performance of ‘The Gilded Gala’.

Three performances are taking place across Tuesday and Wednesday in the college’s 120 seat auditorium.

The dancers are a combination of first and second year Level 3 Dance students who have self-choreographed many of the pieces they are performing.

The dance styles that are being showcased vary from Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz and Hip hop.

‘The Gilded Gala’ explores how in society today, our presentation of ourselves can be misleading of our true emotions. The performances illustrate the struggle people feel putting on a façade each day.

The show highlights the importance of supporting friends and family and looking after one and other in times of need.

RuTC Dance teacher Claire Guntrip explains that “The girls have worked amazingly together and they are so hardworking. I am proud of what they have achieved since September”.

Learn more about studying Level 3 Dance at Richmond upon Thames College here

Book your tickets to the performances here 

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