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The Windsor Forest Colleges Group is celebrating its second birthday. Staff and students gathered last week to mark the merger between Strode’s College and East Berkshire College to form the Group which is now ranked 7th in the UK national league tables*.

Since the merger in 2017, the three colleges in the Group - Langley, Strode’s and Windsor have all seen a huge shift in the quality of both teaching provision and student outcomes. Strode’s College celebrated record-breaking A Level results in 2018, both Strode’s and Windsor achieved 100% pass rate for all BTEC courses and 41% of Langley College Level 3 students now progress to university.

Kate Webb, Group Principal and CEO said: “Two years ago, two wonderful colleges came together – East Berkshire College and Strode’s College. Today we have three incredible campuses. Windsor and Strode’s deliver a fantastic sixth form education and Langley delivers a progressive technical education. Together we are better and stronger and over the last two years thousands of students have benefitted from the new college group.”

By bringing the extensive vocational and technical expertise together with Strode’s sixth form experience the College’s Group has strengthened all aspects of its provision. During the last two years there has been significant curriculum development, improved student results, improving Ofsted reports and recent Matrix re-accreditation in recognition of the Colleges high standards of advice and support service.

Ms Webb concluded: “We’ve come a long way in two years and as a committed team we’ve delivered some incredible achievements. Our sum of expertise is definitely greater than our individual parts and I am excited to see what the next two years bring.”

Windsor College Performing Arts students took their incredible play Chaos to the bright lights of London as part of Connections, the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Their performance at the historic Albany theatre in Deptford follows sell out shows at Windsor’s Old Court of the play written by Laura Lomas, one of ten commissioned by the National Theatre for the festival.

Commenting on the opportunity of taking part in a national festival Natalie Jones Performing Arts Lecturer at Windsor College said: “While the Chaos set was loaded, our students took part in a drama workshop run by one of the youth directors from the theatre before performing in the beautiful 250 seater Albany auditorium. The students were brilliant, absolute professionals throughout this process, bringing so many creative ideas to the project and giving a fantastic performance on the night. The National Theatre directors who attended their show in both Windsor and at the Albany, were really impressed by their performances and professionalism.”

Playwright Laura Lomas wrote Chaos to embrace and celebrate the unpredictable energy, trouble and beauty of chaos. She commented: “I didn’t want it to always make sense, but I did want it to feel very alive – all the ways I remember feeling as a teenager”. The play is a symphony of dislocated and interconnected scenes. A series of characters searching for meaning in a complicated and unstable world. Bouncing through physics, the cosmos, love and violence, they find order in the disorder of each other.

This performance is just one of a number of outstanding shows presented by the students this year – including the hilarious and somewhat controversial, Avenue Q, which was performed at the College’s home theatre – the Old Court in Windsor.

The college offers a range of performing arts courses from Level 2 right up the HND and is one of the only colleges in the area to offer performing arts to professional standards. Shows are publicised on social media - Facebook @WindorForestColleges Twitter @WindsorForestCG instangram @windsorforestcg and @p.arts_windsorcollege.

For more information about studying performing arts or to apply for a course for September visit windsor-forest.ac.uk

Enjoy reading about the latest successes and developments at our three colleges - Langley College, Strode's College and Windsor College.
 
Find out what’s new, what our students have been up to and how we deliver a rich sixth form and college experience.

With exam preparation in full flow, Langley College is making sure Year 11 students who are still undecided about their next steps, can talk to expert careers advisers at its last Open Day of the academic year on Thursday 9 May 2019. The College’s team of careers advice and guidance specialists and expert tutors will be on hand to help students navigate their way through career pathways as well as signposting them to subject tutors to find out more about the wide range of course options on offer.

Rowan Cookson, Principal explains further: “With our outstanding facilities and the latest industry-specific equipment, Langley College is a centre of expertise for technical and vocational training. We offer programmes from Apprenticeships through to Higher Education and our student success rate is in the top 25% of all UK colleges. We recognise, with exams looming, that this can be a confusing time for Year 11 students and our message is ‘it’s not too late.’ We would encourage anyone who is either undecided or unhappy about their college choice to join us for our Open Day. We can offer expert careers advice and guidance and help get students on the right course.”

Alongside industry recognised qualifications, Langley College is renowned for outstanding industry-standard facilities, hands-on training, embedded work experience and unrivalled employer links. This holistic model ensures students leave the College work-qualified, work-experienced and work-ready.

Langley College isn’t just for school leavers. It also has a hugely successful Higher Education provision with results which outperform the national average. For those who didn’t get the relevant qualifications they need to go to university, the College offers a one year Access to Higher Education course. These intensive courses update skills and provide the qualifications required to gain a place on a degree programme at university.

If a degree is the goal but not the expense or inconvenience of travelling further afield, Langley College also offers a range of Higher Education courses in partnership with a number of leading universities. The advantage of studying at this level at Langley are the smaller class sizes, close relationships with tutors and industry relevant qualifications.

To find out more please come along to the Open Day on Thursday 9th May, 4.30-7,30pm. Pre-register at www.windsor-forest.ac.uk for fast track entry on the day.

Location: Strode's College, High Street, Egham, TW20 9DR
Date: 25th April 2019
Time: 5pm - 7pm

 

For those still deciding about their university options Strode’s College is hosting over 65 universities at their Higher Education Fair 2019. The event is open to students, parents/carers and members of the public interesting in understanding university life, entry requirements, courses and all the all-important funding.

Naomi Bailey, Head of Learner Services and Libraries, explains why the Fair will help visitors identify potential career and study pathways, saying: “Higher education has changed dramatically over the years and there is lots for people to understand in order to determine if it’s right for them. It is no longer the preserve of just universities; the Windsor Forest Colleges Group offers a diverse Higher Education provision which is ideal for those who want to study further but stay closer to home. It’s exciting and varied from Aeronautical Engineering through to Visual Merchandising. We have lots of universities and experts on hand to provide advice and guidance to help our visitors determine what is best for them.”

Alongside all the universities in attendance Strode’s College Careers and Employability Team will be shedding light on progression planning and there will be expert talks such as ‘Top tips for succeeding at applications to competitive universities’ by the University of Leeds and ‘All you need to know about applying to Higher Education and Student Finance England.’

Universities confirmed to attend include the University of Bristol, University of Southampton, University of Leeds, Arts University Bournemouth, University of Lincoln, University of Winchester, University of Roehampton London, Royal Holloway University of London, University of Kent, University of Reading, University of Portsmouth, Bournemouth University, Bath Spa University, Coventry University, University of Chichester and Brunel University of London.

To find out more about the courses offered at the Windsor Forest Colleges Group of Langley College, Strode’s College and Windsor College please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk

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