The chance to visit another country and learn about its cuisine from professionals – one of the highlights for contestants on TV series Masterchef – is a dream for any aspiring chef. So when 11 catering students from Lewisham Southwark College were invited to spend two weeks in Italy on a work placement, they grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

The students arrived in Italy on 10 February, and are now immersing themselves in every aspect of Italian cookery. After visiting a trade fair featuring local food, they spent a day in Venice where they sampled Venetian delicacies and enjoyed a tour of the city provided by teachers at the host school.

It was then ‘down to work’ as the students joined Italian students in traditional working kitchens where they have learnt how to use unfamiliar ingredients and prepare classic dishes such as Sacha Torte, biscotti, plaice Millanaise, monkfish wrapped in San Danielle ham, and risotto with a medley of seafood.

The work placement has been funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme.

David Harrild, Head of Service Industries at Lewisham Southwark College, said: “Coming to Italy, the home of some of Europe’s most famous dishes, and working in authentic Italian kitchens using traditional methods of cooking has been a wonderful opportunity for our catering students, and one they will never forget.

“The students have risen to the challenge and learnt a huge amount despite the language barrier. Stepping out of their comfort zone to work in a very different environment to the one they’re used to will stand them in great stead when they begin their professional careers.”


Our florists regularly have the chance to get involved in exciting enrichment activities, and the beginning of 2017 has been no exception.

Students were invited to create flower displays for the glitzy annual cover party for Radio Times – the best-selling TV magazine – at London’s famous Claridge’s Hotel on 31 January. The brief was challenging to say the least: using a bronze, navy blue and ivory colour scheme, students had to develop both large displays and a huge 14ft floral arch which was positioned in the hotel’s ballroom as a show-stopping centrepiece.

The florists rose to the challenge, and their beautiful displays were much-appreciated. Following the event, the client wrote: “I just wanted to thank your amazing team and students for the gorgeous flowers last week. I hope they enjoyed doing the flowers as much as we loved looking at them!”

Our floristry students are also looking forward to the return of an inspiring guest speaker, Sacha Ansell of Cherry Blossom UK, who will visit the College on 6 March. A floristry employer, entrepreneur and inventor of new floristry products stocked in retailers such as Hobby Craft, Sacha is also in the process of creating her own TV programme and is keen to share her experiences with our students.

Tutor Louise Roffey says: “We’re delighted to be able to offer our floristry learners such a diverse range of experiences. The chance to work at high profile events, and to hear speakers like Sacha who have such valuable industry experience, really complements what they learn in the classroom.” 

Lewisham Southwark College’s Technical Theatre students are reaching out to schools and highlighting an exciting backstage job opportunity – costume design. The students recently took their ‘Costume Challenge’ workshop to Deptford Green Secondary School where they challenged school students to create costumes for famous characters using just brown paper and parcel tape.

Run as an after-school activity, the workshop not only gave school students the chance to try their hand at a practical task, but also encouraged them to use essential employability skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving, leadership and working to a tight deadline.

Our Technical Theatre students, who facilitated the workshop, demonstrated strong leadership skills in managing and delivering the workshops to industry-level expectations.

Tutor Ian Shillito says: “Our students’ enthusiasm for Technical Theatre was infectious, and the children were inspired to produce some really creative designs. This was a great opportunity both to showcase our course and to get school students thinking about a career in the industry.”

There are now plans to roll the workshop out across other local schools this term.

The College’s Technical Theatre courses cover the many different disciplines that come together to support a performance – set design, sound and lighting, stage management, costumes and make-up – preparing students for successful careers with major production companies and on national and international tours.



A kind act, word or compliment can brighten a person’s day or even change their life for the better. That’s why we’re supporting international Random Acts of Kindness Week on 12 to 18 February – culminating with Random Acts of Kindness Day on 17 February – at Lewisham Southwark College.

On this day and week, people are encouraged to perform small acts of kindness for the people around them – whether that’s a friend, loved one, or total stranger. An act of kindness can be anything from ‘paying it forward’ in your favourite coffee shop (buying a cup of tea or coffee for a future customer), to leaving a nice comment on someone’s blog or Facebook group.

Here in the College we’ll be celebrating with a ‘Wall of Kindness’ where students and staff can leave kind comments and quotes about their friends, families and teachers on colourful sticky notes. The walls will be displayed at both our Lewisham Way and Southwark campuses for two weeks, from 6 to 17 February. We’ll also be setting up a ‘Free Table’ where people can freecycle things they no longer need, and supporting the week online with fun activities including quizzes and some surprises! 

With Random Acts of Kindness Week about to begin, it’s time to think about how you can make someone’s life better with a simple kind act. To get inspired, follow the hashtags #GetKind and #RandomActs to see what other people and organisations are up to. You can also share your acts of kindness with us on social media using these hashtags and we’ll like, favourite, and share the ones we like best. 

You can find some of our favourite acts of kindness, as well as links to other ‘Kindness’ resources, on our official Random Acts webpage: 



Our Technical Theatre students got one step closer to their dream of winning the Royal Opera House Design Challenge – a hugely prestigious national competition for budding set and costume designers – when they exhibited their work at a special event in College on 7 February.

The talented students are hoping to repeat the success of two years ago, when a Lewisham Southwark College Tech Theatre student was awarded as winner.

The design competition is run by the Royal Opera House in partnership with Creative and Cultural Skills, and challenges each student to take on the role of either set designer or costume designer. This year, entrants had to decide on a director’s vision of the classic 19th century opera Madame Butterfly, developing ideas for the re-imagining of the opera in a time or location well known to us today. The work forms part of the Level 3 Technical Theatre Arts UAL Diploma course.

The students’ entries, which tutor Ian Shillito describes as “current and clever”, will now be judged internally and a shortlist (one applicant from each discipline) will be put forward for the next stage of judging at the Royal Opera House.

The overall winners in each category will get the chance to exhibit their work and attend a special day at the Royal Opera House, including a backstage tour and performance.



Upcoming Events

Post-16 Opportunities Fair

01 Mar 2017

Goldsmiths, University of London, London

We will be at the Post 16 Opportunities event on Wednesday 1 March. Our staff will be available talk to you about:
All the courses we offer Support you can get as a student Which courses are ...

National Apprenticeship Show

06 Mar 2017

Sandown Park, Esher

The National Apprenticeship Show takes place at the Sandown Park on 6-7 March 2017 and will bring together employers, colleges and providers with those wanting to find out more about what apprenti ...

National Apprenticeship Show

07 Mar 2017

Sandown Park, Esher

The National Apprenticeship Show takes place at the Sandown Park on 6-7 March 2017 and will bring together employers, colleges and providers with those wanting to find out more about what apprenti ...

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