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Windsor Forest Colleges Group students are having their voices heard!  This week the second round of Student Parliaments concluded with an event at Strode’s College.

Students at each of the Group’s colleges have proved keen to share their thoughts with over 150 attending the Parliaments. Lots of great ideas have been suggested to improve the Colleges which go on to be discussed through the Student Union Executive teams.

An idea currently being explored for Strode’s is to set up a peer-led support system for students who are anxious and have mental health issues. The environment is naturally also high on the student agenda with plans to run an eco-project. This would involve bug houses and planting which have environmental benefits such as lavender for bees and to purify the air.

Over in Langley the College is showing its commitment to student voice with the creation of an office for the Student Union Leadership team to meet in. This positive move, which gives additional prominence to learner voice, follows a successful student campaign to college governors and senior leadership team.

Other areas of concern raised by students are issues around street safety and knife and gang crime. Suggestions from students include an inspiring visiting speaker programme and how we might raise awareness and tackle these issues. These ideas are being taken forward by the College wherever possible.

Commenting on the huge role the Parliaments play at each of the Colleges, Bernadette Joslin, Assistant Principal Student Services said: “At these recent Student Parliaments it was great to see curriculum staff and support managers engaging in detailed discussions with students about how to improve provision in their areas. It is important that we listen carefully to all student views and respond positively where we can as this is a crucial part of their college experience and our journey of quality improvement.”

Join us this week as both Strode’s and Windsor throw open the doors to their recently Ofsted rated “GOOD” colleges. Come and explore the colleges which both impressed the Ofsted inspectors with their quality of teaching, learning environments and achievement of students.

Head over to Strode’s on Tuesday 11 February explore the largest offer of A Levels in north west Surrey, which come alongside a wide range of Level 2 and 3 BTECs. And over in Windsor there will be opportunity to find out about the exciting new additions to the curriculum on Thursday 13 February.

Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb said: “We are proudly opening our doors to prospective learners so they can come and see for themselves how our courses, our expert teaching team and students all drew such high praise from Ofsted. We are particularly pleased with this rating as the new Ofsted framework puts the learner experience at the heart of its inspection process. What is really important about this result is that the inspectors reached their judgements by speaking directly with learners and therefore what is contained in the report is a true reflection of both Strode’s and Windsor Colleges.”

The report rated the group of Colleges as ‘Good’ for overall effectiveness and ‘Good’ in all other inspection areas covering quality, behaviour, personal development, leadership, education for young people, adult learning and apprenticeships.

Ms Webb concludes: “Come and explore either Strode’s and/or Windsor if you’re looking to study either academic or vocational subjects. Both of these colleges offer a vibrant sixth form experience – where students flourish while achieving academic success. Indeed for those who choose to go to university the inspectors noted that progression is good, with students generally getting into their first choice.”

Doors open 4.30pm to 7.00pm.

A Level Law students from Strode’s and Windsor Colleges have been given the inside track on law careers following an interactive Street Law Clinic. The workshop, delivered by Royal Holloway, University of London’s Law Department, was designed to help students plan their futures with a focus on legal career paths and employability options.

Commenting on the value of the Street Law Clinic, Duncan Bunce, Course Leader for Law at Strode's College, said: "This excellent talk really helped students question why they are interested in the subject, the different jobs linked to it and career options available. It really isn't just a binary choice of wanting to become a solicitor or barrister if you do law, with nothing else possible. We saw that law can involve the police, paralegals, legal secretaries, academia, in-house lawyers and a lot more in between.”

The Street Law Clinic is part of the Legal Advice Centre at Royal Holloway. The student volunteering outreach scheme enables the University’s Law students to support the community by providing legal workshops which are delivered under the supervision of qualified legal professionals or academic members of staff. This free advice and information can range from the various legal career paths to specific areas of the law.

Nicola Antoniou, Director of the Legal Advice Centre at the Royal Holloway said: “The Careers in Law workshop provided our Street Law student volunteers with an exciting opportunity to work with the A level students at Strode’s and Windsor Colleges. The interactive workshop was a great way to raise awareness about the various different pathways and professions in law. I was really impressed with the level of enthusiasm and engagement from all students involved!

“Our Street Law student volunteers really look forward to delivering more workshops to the Windsor Forest Colleges Group.”

Over 45 students across both colleges attended the clinic with Strode's student Sophia Nevin commenting: "The talk was educational and interactive and showed that the law has many dimensions and isn't just writing and one-sided. The Clinic has helped me know which field of law to now go down." 

Strode’s and Windsor Colleges have long enjoyed a close working relationship with Royal Holloway, University of London. The Colleges and University curriculum departments regularly collaborate with guest lectures and access to each venue. The University also provides support with the Strode’s Aspire Programme, university applications and delivers a number of talks on the UCAS process.

To discover more about studying Law at either Strode’s or Windsor colleges, please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/courses.

Langley College is all set to shine a light on work-based learning as part of the 2020 National Apprenticeship Week. The College, which is one of the region’s largest providers of apprenticeships, will be offering employer and student clinic sessions for the duration of the national awareness campaign which is running from 3 – 7 February 2020. The College’s expert apprenticeship team will be on hand to offer advice and guidance and are available for informal chats:

Monday 3 February, 3.00-5.00pm – Student Workshop

Tuesday 4 February, 3.00-5.00pm – Employer Workshop

Wednesday 5 February, 12.00-2.00pm – Student Workshop

Friday 7 February, 10.00am-12.00pm – Employer Workshop

Now in its 13th week, National Apprenticeship Week is the flagship event for apprenticeships. Commenting on the gold-standard in work-based learning, Kate Webb, Group Principal and CEO said: “Apprenticeships are growing in popularity as increasing numbers of school leavers and young people are opting to achieve a recognised qualification alongside relevant work-based experience. We are opening our doors during National Apprenticeship Week and look forward to meeting both prospective learners and employers who would like to find out more about the exciting opportunities available.”

The theme for 2020 is ‘Look Beyond’ which the National Apprenticeship Service is describing as a rally cry to showcase the diversity in apprenticeships. This year it is calling on young people to ‘look beyond’ traditional routes to employment, exploring instead options open to them through an apprenticeship. Employers too are urged to ‘look beyond’ their traditional methods of recruitment and shout about the value they see from employing apprentices. And finally, parents and teachers are requested to ‘look beyond’ their preconceptions around apprenticeships.

Langley College has over 40 years of experience in delivering high-quality training to SMEs and multinationals across a wide range of industries. A number of specialist apprenticeship programmes are available through the College including Business and Accounting, Computing, Construction, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Hospitality and Catering Motor Vehicle.

Those who cannot attend any of the clinic sessions can contact the apprenticeship team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01753 443855.

Cooper, Freddie and Scamp, drug detection dogs recently spent the day at Langley College as part of a positive educational drive to remind students about the consequence of poor decision making around drugs. The dogs and their handlers from specialist canine provider ICTS worked with students to raise awareness and to ensure the College environment is a safe and pleasant space for students.

Kicking the day off with ICTS led assemblies students saw how the dogs worked and were able to ask questions about the training involved and even how to become a dog handler! The dogs and their handlers then visited classrooms and offices to meet both students and staff who, while patting the dogs, could have their questions answered about the College’s drugs education programme.

The dogs were a big hit with students overwhelmingly supportive and thoroughly enjoying the workshops. One student commented: ‘I really enjoyed the dogs and learnt that I need to be more cautious about who I hang around with’ and another commented: ‘It was great meeting Freddie! It makes me feel safer and more aware of the problems drugs can bring to your life. I also discovered they can detect money, mobile phones, weapons as well as drugs if trained.”

Kate Webb Windsor Forest Colleges Group CEO and Group Principal said: 'It was wonderful to welcome the team and the dogs to the College. We all share a common concern of the dangers that drugs can present to young people. As a college we play an important role, alongside parents and the wider community in educating and preventing our young people from falling victims to drug misuse. We believe that this initiative will strengthen our ability to safeguard our students.'

The team will shortly also visit the Group’s two other colleges and will be returning to Langley on a regular basis.

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