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Strode’s and Windsor Colleges have cemented their position as leading sixth form providers with the news of their 2019 A Level and BTEC results. Students and tutors from both colleges are celebrating this morning with Strode's students achieving an impressive 99% pass rate for their advanced level courses and Windsor students securing an equally impressive 98% pass rate at advanced level. 

High grades were in abundance with 14 students gaining straight As and A*-B and D*D passes increasing to 56% at Strode's and 40% at Windsor. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is highly valued by universities, sustained its 100% track record for the third year running at Strode’s. At Windsor the EPQ also achieved a 100% pass rate, its third consecutive increase in a row, indicative of the improving academic culture at the College.

Strode’s student Thomas Brightwell was delighted with his A*AA results today in Biology, Chemistry and Maths saying: “I have secured my place to study Biochemistry at Imperial College where I hope to progress to a Master’s and then a doctorate.” He was joined by friends Sean Middleton and Yilin Zhang who also achieved top grades – Sean achieved A*A*A and is off to the University of Warwick to read Maths and Yilin achieved A*BB and is going to read Chemistry at UCL.

At Windsor, Ketsia Gault got a clean sweep with A*AA in Sociology, History and Psychology and is going to the University of Wolverhampton to specialise in Deaf Studies with the aim of becoming a SEND teacher. Emilie Wainwright achieved AAB and is taking an alternative route and undertaking a Higher Apprenticeship at Unilever.

BTEC student Kajol Karwal achieved D*D*D* in Applied Science and Business and has secured a place at the Royal Holloway University to study Criminology and Psychology.

Rowan Cookson, Principal of both Strode’s and Windsor Colleges reflected on the achievements at the Colleges that now come under the banner of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group and said: “We are once again delighted with the performance of our students who have excelled in their A Levels and BTECs. While we operate over two separate colleges, the culture of quality, academic rigour and personalised support are the backbone of our approach across the group – which has been evidenced by the increase in high grades, the number of straight A students and the impressive university offers including Oxbridge and Russell Group institutions.” She continued: “We offer something quite different to sixth forms in schools and big general further education colleges. The environment at each college is welcoming and friendly, where students are known as individuals and where academic excellence and health and wellbeing work hand-in-hand. Our facilities are second to none and our extra curricular programme makes learning more enriched and enjoyable.”

Ms Cookson also highlighted the College's unique position in allowing students to combine A levels and BTECs for a more personalised programme that universities value and said: “I want to acknowledge the incredibly high standards achieved on both A Level and BTEC courses - 98% for A Levels at Strode's, 95% at Windsor alongside 100% achievement at both colleges for BTECs with 71% achieving the best possible grades of Distinction* and Distinction (D*D) at Strode’s and 49% at Windsor. This is testament to the expertise of the teaching team at both Strode’s and Windsor and the positive culture of achievement fostered at both.”

Group Principal and CEO of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, Kate Webb commented on the performance of both colleges: “These excellent results demonstrate that our relentless focus on high standards in teaching and learning is the absolute key to student achievement. This is the hallmark of every college in our group – the Windsor Forest Colleges Group stamp of quality. Both of our sixth form colleges offer their local communities something different. They are ideal for those students who, are looking for choice and opportunity in a more mature, independent environment. We offer the ideal bridge between school and university, or employment and it’s an environment where our students clearly flourish.”

For those getting their GCSE results on 22 August, the Colleges will be open from 10am to 12pm with staff on hand for advice and late applications for their A level and BTEC courses. For more information visit www.windsor-forest.ac.uk

Don’t miss out! Now’s the time to secure your place at Langley, Strode’s or Windsor Colleges. We’ve got an exciting range of full and part-time, Access and Higher Education courses on offer for all ages.

Whether you’ve just left school, are returning to learning or looking to develop your career or leisure opportunities please see below for details of how to apply and enrol to secure your place:

GCSE RESULTS SURGERIES

If you need some urgent advice once you have picked up your GCSE results - then you can contact us online through our live chat portal, through social media, on our ADVICE HOTLINE on 01753 793288 or come to any of these advice surgeries below:

Langley: Thu 22 & Fri 23 - 10am - 4pm
Strode's: Thu 22 - 12-2pm
Windsor: Thu 22 - 12-2pm; Fri 23 - 10am-12noon

See below for more dates and times.

PART TIME/ADULT LEARNERS

Improve your career, develop your skills or learn something just for fun! Enrolment is open all summer – you can either enrol online at windsor-forest.ac.uk or come along to one of our open enrolment sessions (no appointment required):

Langley:                                             Strode’s:                                            Windsor:

Thurs 22 Aug: 10am - 5pm                Mon 9 Sept:    6pm - 7.30pm             Tue 27 Aug:    11am - 5pm

Fri 23 Aug:      10am - 4pm                Wed 11 Sept: 6pm - 7.30pm              Thur 29 Aug:   10am - 5pm

Wed 28 Aug:   10am - 5pm                                                                            Sat 31 Aug:    10am - 12.30pm

Fri 30 Aug:      10am - 4pm                                                                            Tue 3 Sept:     3.30pm - 5.30pm

Mon 2 Sept:    9am - 6.30pm                                                                         Thur 5 Sept:    3.30pm - 5.30pm

Wed 4 Sept:    3.30pm - 6.30pm                                                                    Sat 7 Sept:     10am - 12.30pm

Mon 9 Sept:    3.30pm - 6.30pm                                                                    Wed 11 Sept:  3.30pm - 5.30pm

Many adult courses attract a concession or are free:         

  • If you 19-23 and studying for your first Level 2 or 3 course then courses will be free.
  • If you are 24+ and are studying for your first or second Level 3 or 4 course - then you can cover the costs with an Advanced Learner Loan
  • If you earn £20,000 or less per year (full or part time) then qualification courses up to Level 2 are free.
  • If you are unemployed and on eligible benefits - then many courses will be free.

FULL-TIME COURSES

It’s not too late to apply for this September! Whether you’re stepping up at Langley College or ready to make your move at Strode’s or Windsor all you need to do is:

✔️ Jump online at windsor-forest.ac.uk to complete the online application form.

✔️ Admissions will then contact you with details of when you can come along to enrol.

✔️ Don’t worry if you’ve got your results and not yet applied – you can still apply online.

✔️ Already applied? You should have received an invitation to a specific enrolment session – please come along to this even if:

  • You did better than expected – we can adjust your course.
  • You didn’t get the results you needed – don’t worry, again we can adjust your course and give you advice about your options.
  • You’d like to change your course options.

Need some advice?

Come along to one of our open enrolments sessions (no appointment required) on the following days and locations. Please go to the college you wish to attend:

Langley College:

Thurs 22 Aug (GCSE Results Day)    10am - 5pm

Fri 23 Aug                                          10am - 4pm

Wed 28 Aug                                       10am - 5pm

Fri 30 Aug                                          10am - 4pm

Mon 2 Sept                                        9am - 6.30pm

Wed 4 Sept                                        3.30pm - 6.30pm

Strode’s College

Wed 28 Aug                                       8.30am - 5pm

Fri 30 Aug                                          8.30am - 4pm

Windsor College

Thu 22 Aug                                        12pm - 2pm

Fri 23 Aug                                          10pm - 12pm

Thurs 29 Aug                                     10am - 5pm

Sat 31 Aug                                         10am - 2.30pm

Tues 3 Sept                                        3.30pm - 5pm

Thurs 5 Sept                                      3.30pm - 5.30pm

For more information and advice call our Course Hotline on 01753 793000, tweet or message us on social media or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb has joined forces with the leaders of every general further education college in England to write an open letter to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Education urging them to “answer the calls from business” and respond to the “challenges of technological change and Brexit”. In this unprecedented move the letter calls on the government to urgently invest in the country’s technical and vocational education system by implementing the main recommendations of the government’s recent Post-18 Education Review (the Augar Review). 

 Commenting on the importance of the government taking action now, Ms Webb said: “We want to make sure the government is not distracted from the findings of the Augar Review which offers a turning point for the way in which colleges are funded now and into the future. Our colleges are primed and ready to deliver the country’s urgent demands for technical and vocational skills. However, we need the right level of funding to deliver the skills revolution this country requires.”

The 203 leaders are responsible for institutions that educate and train 2 million people each year, employing 180,000 staff with a combined turnover of £6 billion per annum.

The Augar Review called for, amongst other things, an end to the 17.5% cut in education funding for 18-year-olds, support so that everybody, regardless of age, to achieve to at least Level three, and a rebalancing of the traditional post-18 educational landscape.

Key extracts from the letter include:

  • “[The Post-18 Review] understands that employers and communities need more high quality technical and professional education and training, industry standard facilities, expert staff and the unique curriculum that colleges already provide.” 
  • “It sees colleges as the key vehicle for the flexible, local delivery of national strategies, supporting industrial policy, productivity, skills development and genuine social equity.  It clearly acknowledges that all this requires real investment.”
  • “In many respects the Augar Review represents a wider emerging consensus across England. We are sure that you will agree with us and other key stakeholders that further education colleges have been neglected, and that there is now a growing appreciation of their unique role, value and potential.”
  • “What we now need are decisions and commitments: with your political leadership, support and resolve, colleges will be able to build on what they already do to reach more employers and more adults and make the differences our economy and society need. “

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges concludes: “It is extraordinary to have every leader in every general further education college in the country collaborate like this. But then these are extraordinary times. These college leaders are uniquely placed at the hearts of their communities, working closely with local, national and international business, supporting individuals to get on in life, and driving the social mobility agenda.

“Government needs to listen to them if they’ve got any chance of tackling the major issues this country faces, now and in the future.”

Langley College showcased the very best in its specialist technical vocational education and training at the recent 2019 Student Awards evening. Nominated students joined their proud families, tutors, governors and VIP guest The Worshipful the Mayor of Slough, Councillor Avtar Kaur Cheema to recognise academic excellence and achievement, exceptional dedication and contribution.

Commenting on the unique role Langley College plays in the community supporting the academic and skills development of local students, Rowan Cookson, Principal of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, said: “Tonight is about celebrating the success of our students and staff across all curriculum areas at the College. You have pursued such diverse pathways – we have aspiring engineers, nurses, teachers, builders, business owners and leaders with us tonight. Careers which are fundamental in shaping the world of tomorrow and we are very proud of you all.

“You have achieved great success, and your achievement at Langley College is a stepping stone for you to set yourself new ambitions, to challenge yourself to go higher and further. Savour this moment, enjoy tonight and inspire others through your own success and achievement.”

This year over 125 students were shortlisted for the prestigious awards which included prizes for Endeavour, Excellence, Best English, Best Maths, Most Promising and Best Higher Education Student.

A particular highlight of the evening was the award for the Most Outstanding Student which went to Hair and Beauty learner Michelle Moran. Michelle collected her award from the Mayor in recognition of her focus, five star commitment and ability. Nominated by her tutor for her enthusiastic work ethic and the support provided by Michelle to the other students on her course, she is described as one of the most inspiring individuals her lecturer has had the pleasure of teaching.

The Most Promising student Lauren Yates was inspired to sign up to the Access to HE Social Sciences and Education course by her young daughter Daisy. Commenting that she wanted to make Daisy proud she said: “After school one day my niece said she’d had to draw a picture of what her mummy did as work, and I thought ‘what is Daisy going to draw for me?’ So, I signed up for the Access course and am now progressing to Royal Holloway, University of London to study Psychology and Criminology.”

The evening’s other award winners include:

Best Higher Education student - Áine Sadler (Teacher Training)

Best English student - Adam Jellis

Best Maths student - Josephine Robinson

Langley College offers a wide range of courses designed to meet the needs of the local community and employers. With courses for schools leavers, adults and those wishing to pursue a degree, the College is renowned for its exceptional facilities and industry links. To find out more visit www.windsor-forest.ac.uk.

As Europe decided the fate of its MEPs in the recent elections Strode’s College students were given behind the scenes access to the European Parliament. First year A Level students Athena Jamaranian and Henry Denegri were two of just 18 young people selected from across all EU countries to join the 2019 ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) Young Visitor Programme. The students spent five days seeing first-hand what happens at the EU headquarters in Belgium. 

The programme is aimed at 16 to 21 year olds, who do not have the connections or the means, to get acquainted with the EU institutions. Athena and Henry spent a week in Brussels enjoying an extensive and unparalleled insight into how the European Parliament operates, researches, legislates and represents on a daily basis.

Commenting on the experience Athena said: “It was so nice to meet people from different countries that I wouldn’t have done anywhere else. It was amazing to see the different places in the Parliament, and to have a ‘behind the scenes’ look at what goes on there. The EU is a massive part of our lives which we don’t fully realise, so being able to understand our country and the countries around us at such a young age is super important for us all.”

Athena and Henry joined young people from ten other EU countries ranging from Finland, Netherland and Austria to Portugal, Lithuania and Bulgaria. During their five days in Brussels they attended European Parliament talks, the Human Rights Watch and went to a meeting at Facebook. They visited the actual European Parliament Chamber where politicians meet to discuss major issues, met journalists and Catherine Bearder the Member of the European Parliament for South East England.

Commenting on the value of the trip Gill Phillips who is responsible for student engagement at Strode’s said: “A highlight of studying at Strode’s is the extracurricular enrichment opportunities. We believe that the further we can deepen student learning and understanding, the richer their sixth form experience will be. Athena and Henry had unrivalled access to the workings of the EU Parliament which can only broaden their perspective of modern-day politics.”

Langley College Hairdressing students brought the Oscars to Berkshire for their 2019 end of year Hair Catwalk Show. Students took the famous film awards and its iconic golden statue theme to the extreme. Their avant-garde styles showcased their creativity and skill, impressing the panel of professional judges including Linsey Toon from hairdressing partner Francescos and Ruth White from hair giant Wella.

Commenting on the high standards displayed on the evening  Salon Manager and judge Angel DeFranceschi, who runs the commercial salons at the College’s specialist hairdressing centre, said: “Avant-garde Oscars is a great opportunity for students to really be inventive and experimental with  their ideas while drawing on all their training to execute their designs professionally. We were impressed with how the students interpreted the brief to demonstrate their skills and technical ability. The techniques used and overall looks have been of a really high standard.”

Student Nikita Gill was named the overall winner for her design ‘Oscar’, Molly Beldom came second with ‘Film Reals’ and Zahida Fasil hit third place with a ‘Futuristic’ inspired creation. Student Lewis Fulton was also recognised as best improved for the year with a classic Oscars styleHaving completed the two year programme the Hairdressing students are now fully qualified to work in professional salons. Miss DeFranceschi explained: “During the two years here at Langley our hairdressing students learn all the skills and techniques required to successfully work in this industry. Once they leave us they are fully skilled and ready to pick up the scissors in any salon.”

The College salons are equipped with the very latest in hair technologies and are accredited by haircare giant Wella. The professionally equipped facilities include two commercial salons, one training salon with professional styling stations, two commercial beauty treatment rooms and all the latest industry equipment.

For further information on the full range of Hairdressing courses available please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/courses

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.

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