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East Berkshire College welcomed prospective students and their families to an Open Day at its Windsor College on Thursday (28th November), where visitors were treated to a fascinating range of demonstrations from an exhibition in the College's art and design workrooms to a display of papier-mâché sculptures by retail and merchandising students.

Over 700 visitors attended the event to take guided tours of the College's state-of-the-art facilities that include, modern science laboratories with gas chromatograph, a professional media suite (including recording studio and film editing suite), performing arts studio, an interactive language lab and learning centre. Student guides and lecturers were also on hand to answer questions and give advice on over 800 courses in a wide range of areas.

Matthew Hillier (24), a former student of the College attended the open day to visit his former lecturers and speak to prospective students about his experiences.

Matthew, who is now a Visual Merchandiser for John Lewis, explains: "When I left school I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I attended an open day at Windsor College and found out about the retail and merchandising display course. The college really changed my life and the lecturers even helped me to get my first role at John Lewis. I loved the course and I still use the skills I learnt here every day in my work."

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and in 2012-13 the College celebrated a 100% pass rate in 21 out of 23 A Level subjects. East Berkshire College is a great place to study A Levels and prepare for your next step into university or employment. Windsor College is also home to science, media, art and design, performing arts and travel and tourism classes as well as many business and creative courses.

Each year, the College helps thousands of individuals aged 14-90 to fulfill their ambitions through education and training. The College offers an extensive range of part-time, full-time and workplace training courses, from introductory right through to degree level.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of courses, please call 0845 373 2500 or click here.

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A slumber party was on the timetable at East Berkshire College on Friday (18 October), when students and staff from Windsor College wore their bedtime attire to class to raise over £185 for Great Ormond Street Hospital with a charity pyjama day.

The idea of media students, Matthew Leybourne and Charlie Wawman, the Pyjama Day was a fun way to raise money and awareness for the remarkable children's hospital in London. Students and staff from across the College entered into the spirit of the event by sporting a wide range of fetching sleepwear – including some terrific tiger onesies!

Student Matthew Leybourne (16, from Colnbrook), one of the organisers, explains: "Great Ormond Street Hospital helped me when I was a baby, so I wanted to do something to support them. Many of the children they help have to stay in overnight or for long periods of time, so holding a pyjama day to raise money seemed like a fitting tribute. Plus, the event has really brought the whole college together. I've got to meet people from different classes that I hadn't even spoken to before."

Co-organiser Charlie Wawman (16, from Sunningdale) added: "The pyjama day was just the first part of our fundraising campaign. Next, we are looking to organise a gig in Windsor in April to raise even more money. We are hoping to get some local bands and a DJ involved as well as sponsorship from local companies."

East Berkshire College offers a wide range of A Level (AS and A2) subjects at its Windsor College including Law, Media Studies, Spanish, Politics, English Literature, Biology, History and Photography. The College also hosts specialist courses in Travel & Tourism, Science, Business, Performing Arts, Art & Design, Media and Retail & Merchandising Display.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses, including apprenticeships, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

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Fabulous paper dresses, thought-provoking photography and dramatic 3D designs were part of an exciting art and design exhibition showcasing the work of over 100 talented students at East Berkshire College’s Langley and Windsor Colleges this week.

Running from Monday 24th June to Friday 28th June 2013, the end of year shows featured an impressive array of artwork in various media and styles.  

Reflecting the individuality and creativity of the students from across the College’s range of creative courses, the work on display included 3D design, abstract paintings, printmaking, photography, graphic design, textiles and visual merchandising.

The Windsor show featured a mix of work produced by students on the College’s A Level, vocational and community courses including A Level Fine Art (AS and A2), A Level Photography (AS and A2), Retail & Merchandising Display and painting and drawing. Meanwhile, the show at Langley College showcased the work of students on the BTEC Art & Design Level 2 and Level 3 courses as well as the BTEC Foundation Diploma.  

Paul Ryan, a senior lecturer at East Berkshire College, commented: “On display is a wide range of work which includes fine art, graphics, 3D design, photography and textiles. All the work has been produced by our students as part of their courses and reflects the great diversity of the areas we offer at the College. The end of year exhibition is a valuable experience for our students, many of who will be going onto a range of university courses, from digital arts to fashion.” IMG 3605web2 

Retail Display student Serena Cheema (18, from Windsor) was one of the students exhibiting in the art show at Windsor College. She explained: “Everyone has worked really hard and the show has come together really well. It is a great opportunity to show people what we do on the Retail & Merchandising Display course. We get to explore lots of different creative techniques such as prop making, typography, design, colour blocking and mannequin dressing.”

Art student Brooke Hewitt (19, from Langley), who has just completed the BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Langley College, said: “I am hoping to study graphic design at Kingston University or take up an apprenticeship with a local company, so this exhibition is great experience. For my work, I chose to explore the idea of the ‘tree of life’ using traditional and new design techniques to create something to represent each member of my family.”

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of creative courses, please call 0845 373 2500.

East Berkshire College is pleased to launch a brand new Access to HE course in Art, Design & Media starting in September. 

Aimed at those who are 19 and over, this Access course will help those who have been out of education gain the skills and experience needed to progress on to a degree or other Higher Education course. Over the duration of a year, you will study this modular programme offering a broad introduction to several disciplines with the opportunity to develop a more in-depth study in a preferred specialist pathway later in the year. On completion, students will be fully prepared to apply for a degree at university. 

For those aged 24 and over, there is new government loan available to help with the cost of tuition fees. The 24+ Advanced Learning Loan is not means tested or based on credit checks, and repayments will not start until April 2016 and until you are earning over £21,000. The benefit for those taking an Access to HE course is that if you complete your programme, and move on to certain Higher Education courses, your loan will be written off. Contact us on 0845 373 2500 for more details or see our 24+ Advanced Learning Loans page. 

For full course information, see the factsheet on Art, Design & Media Access to HE or speak to a student adviser on 0845 373 2500.

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Tutors and students from East Berkshire College have been paving the way for UK youngsters by showcasing the range of career opportunities available to them at The Skills Show -the UK's biggest free skills and careers event.

East Berkshire College gave young people from across the country the opportunity to 'Have a Go' at visual merchandising. Youngsters could try their hand at making props, mannequin dressing and dressing a display area.

Sue Leadbeater, course co-ordinator for retail display and visual merchandising at the College's Windsor Campus, said: "We've had lots of people coming over to take part and lots who didn't know much about visual merchandising so it's great that we have been able to talk to people about it. It's a real privilege to be here and the students have really enjoyed it."

The Skills Show is taking place at the NEC Birmingham from 15-17 November 2012 and provides young people with the perfect opportunity to meet employers and talk with real people about real jobs. Youngsters could also access up to the minute careers advice to help them discover their true potential from organisations such as City & Guilds, premier sponsor of The Skills Show.

Visitors are entertained by Showcase sessions which included demonstrations ranging from theatrical make-up, circus skills, hair sculpture to food presentation. Exhibitors include colleges, universities and learning providers from across the whole of the UK.

Visitors even got the chance to see some famous faces who were visiting the show, including skills patron Theo Paphitis; British field hockey Olympic Bronze medallist, Sally Walton; Nick Holzherr, star of BBC TV's The Apprentice, and founder of food website, Whisk; all of whom were giving real-life practical insights and advice into the world of work and skills.

Theo Paphitis, Skills Patron and star of the BBC's Dragon's Den, said: "As skills patron for The Skills Show, I'm passionate about improving skills levels across the UK and ensuring that young people know about the huge range of opportunities available to them. We need to help young people achieve their true potential by helping them discover the skills that enthuse and inspire them. The Skills Show provides a wonderful opportunity for young people – or those looking for a new direction - to get face to face careers advice, and also to literally 'have a go' and learn new skills."

East Berkshire College's Retail & Merchandising Display Department, which is based in Windsor, is a centre of excellence for display design. The courses are highly respected within the industry, having received several awards from the British Display Society. Former students have gone onto successful careers with leading retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams.

Last year, East Berkshire College student Kirsty Hoadley was crowned the world's top young visual merchandiser. Kirsty won the gold medal for visual merchandising at WorldSkills London 2011 - the world's largest international skills competition for young people. Beating contenders from across the globe, Kirsty was presented with her medal at a prestigious Olympics-style closing ceremony at The O2 Arena.

For more information, visit www.theskillsshow.com or call 0845 475 1500.

For further information on East Berkshire College's retail display courses, please click here or call 0845 373 2500.


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Hot on the heels of Team GB's success at London 2012 Olympics, East Berkshire College student Sarah Smithers has kept the country's medal tally growing by winning a silver medal in Window Display at EuroSkills, Europe's largest skills competition.

Sarah (20) showcased her skills by designing, planning and creating two exciting window displays alongside team-mate Jenna Stephenson as part of the three-day competition in Spa, Belgium. Beating contenders from across Europe, Sarah was presented with her medal at a prestigious Olympics-style closing ceremony.

Sarah, who has just completed the retail and merchandising display course at the College's Windsor Campus and now works at Alexander James Interiors in White Waltham, has also been selected for the UK squad for the WorldSkills 2013 competition in Leipzig, Germany. Sarah competed at EuroSkills as part of her training ahead of final selection for a place in the team that will represent the UK at the World's largest international skills competition.

Sarah Smithers said: "It is amazing to have won a silver medal in visual merchandising and to be named one of the best in Europe. I've learnt so much over the last year and this award shows how far I've come.

"Studying at East Berkshire College has provided me with a wide range of skills and experience, which has given me a great start to my career. Without the College, I wouldn't have been at EuroSkills and I wouldn't have my job at Alexander James Interiors."

Sarah follows in the footsteps of fellow East Berkshire College student Kirsty Hoadley, who won the gold medal in visual merchandising at WorldSkills London 2011.

The College's Retail and Merchandising Display Department, which is based at the Windsor Campus, is a centre of excellence for display design. The courses are highly respected within the industry, having received several awards from the British Display Society. Former students have gone onto successful careers with leading retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams.

Students and staff from the College will also be showcasing their visual merchandising talents at The Skills Show, which is the UK's biggest skills and careers event and takes place from 15 – 17 November at the NEC Birmingham.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its retail and merchandising display courses, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

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Five talented art and design students from East Berkshire College have had their work commissioned by Oak House care home in Wexham, after being named as winners of an exciting mural design competition.

The creative team of Ashley Blakemore-Curtis, Renisa Berisah, Philippa Rhodes, Delphi Manger and Jordan Lynam won the competition to design artwork for a wall in the Eden lounge of the care home with their vibrant creation.

The eye-catching mural was unveiled at a special ceremony on Wednesday (24th October) attended by employees from Oak House and East Berkshire College.

The delighted students were presented with their prize by Rachael Cresdee from Oak House. Meanwhile the company was so impressed by the students that they also generously commissioned two smaller murals by Philippa Rhodes and Ashley Blakemore-Curtis.

Student Delphi Manger (17, from Iver Heath), who is studying a BTEC Art & Design Level 3 course at the College's Langley Campus, said: "We were delighted to win the competition. We came up with the idea of a window first, so it would be as if you were looking out at a view rather than a painting. We spent a lot of time researching artists like Matisse. His work was a big influence on our use of shapes and colours."

Oak House ran the competition exclusively with East Berkshire College to offer its students the chance to design a mural that reflected the theme of the Garden of Eden. Working in small groups, students were asked to come up with a small scale version of their design and present it to a judging panel from Oak House.

Rachel Cresdee, Activity Co-ordinator at Oak House, explains: "I contacted the College to see if its students could come up with a special mural for one of our residents' lounges. They produced three very impressive designs. We chose this one, however, because it is like looking out onto countryside. It also seems to tell a story, which is a useful tool when talking to residents with dementia.

"We are very excited to share the mural with our residents and we have been so impressed, not just with the student's work, but the manner in which they carried out the project. So much so, that we have already invited them all back to do more designs for the building."

The College has an extensive art department that includes facilities for fine art, graphics, 3D design, printing, ceramics and photography.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses available, click here or call 0845 373 2500.


From photography to Shakespeare, East Berkshire College students showcased their skills this week as part of the annual Windsor Fringe Festival.

Joining the festival's popular Artists Open House event for the first time, the College held a special art exhibition at its Windsor Campus on Saturday (22nd) and Sunday (23rd September). Despite the rain, art enthusiasts visited the show to view an impressive array of artwork by students and staff from across the College's range of creative courses.

Reflecting the individuality and creativity of the students, the work on display included 3D design, abstract paintings, printmaking, photography, graphic design, textiles and fashion.

Meanwhile, performing arts students took to the stage to deliver a captivating modern interpretation of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet at the Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture on Tuesday (25th September). Set amidst a heavy metal Goth subculture for today's audiences, the timeless love story re-examined the themes of family feuds, gangland violence and teenage love. Romeo _Juliet_Web

Peter Mills, Director of Curriculum at East Berkshire College, said: "The Windsor Fringe Festival is an excellent celebration of our community's artistic talent and the College is delighted to be involved in this year's event. This is the first time we have taken part in the festival and it is a great opportunity to showcase the skills of our students across all our creative courses. As well as a special art exhibition at our Windsor Campus, our performing arts department staged a modern version of Romeo & Juliet at the Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture."

Student Savita Sandhu agrees: "It has been a great opportunity to have my work recognised in this way and be part of a bigger community event."

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of creative courses, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

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Two rising stars of the silver screen were guests of honour at a special launch event on Friday (22nd June) to celebrate East Berkshire College's new partnership with the Firestation Centre for Arts & Culture in Windsor.

As part of the event, actors and former students David Gyasi and Katie Sheridan returned to talk to the College's performing arts students about their illustrious careers on the stage and screen.

David, who graduated from East Berkshire College in 1998/9, has just finished filming an episode of Doctor Who for BBC1 and will be appearing on the big screen later in the year in the film Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks as well as the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.

David, who met his wife Emma while studying at the Langley Campus, said: "East Berkshire College introduced me to some really inspirational people and opened my mind to different aspects of the arts, from modern dance to classical music. It gave me a first taste of the industry, providing me with a safe environment to explore and develop my skills. The lecturers instilled in us a real sense of team work and respect for others, which I have taken with me throughout my career.

"I started in the same place as these students, so I'm pleased to be able to return and share my knowledge with them. I think it is brilliant that the College and The Firestation are working together to provide students with real experience in a professional venue. My advice is to dream big and try new things. One of the best bits of advice I was given recently is: You should dream ridiculous dreams because being realistic is just setting yourself a sequence of achievable goals."

Actress Katie Sheridan, who is probably best known for her role as Sophie Norton in the children's series Genie in the House on the Nickelodeon Channel, agrees.

"It was very exciting to come back and see the next generation starting out. The students were really eager and responsive. My advice to any budding young actors would be to absorb everything you can from your teachers and get involved in the industry through youth theatre."

"I remember seeing the pantomime Peter Pan when I was four and thinking that's what I want to do. At College, my teachers were so supportive and gave me the space to develop my skills. I had the chance to try acting, stand-up comedy, dance and stage management to discover what my strengths were. My college days were a very special time in my life and gave me a great start." Front homepage

From September, the College's performing arts courses will relocate to the Windsor Campus in St Leonards Road in order to benefit from Windsor's vibrant arts scene and partnership with The Firestation. The arts centre, which is housed in the town's old firestation, will play host to College productions and provide performing arts students with valuable work experience as part of their course.

Dan Eastmond, Managing Director of The Firestation, explains: "Many people will know us as a busy venue and social space, but Firestation Arts invests a huge amount of energy in encouraging and supporting people to live a creative and cultural life, whatever shape that takes.

"The partnership with the College will be a hugely important part of this work going forward, providing students not only with regular use of a working venue, but also bringing their skills and voices into the mix via the work experience programme. It's going to be a very exciting time!"

The Firestation is a contemporary arts centre in the heart of Windsor showing an exciting programme of films, comedy, dance, theatre, 2D and time based art.

David and Katie's visit was part of a series of talks by guest speakers and former students, which are organised by the College to enhance the learning experience of its students and demonstrate how the curriculum relates to future careers.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its performing arts courses, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

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