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In its first full inspection since the merger between East Berkshire College (Langley and Windsor) and Strode’s College (Egham) – the newly formed Windsor Forest Colleges Group, which comprises the three separate colleges, was this week rated as GOOD by Ofsted.

The group was visited by Ofsted under its new inspection framework, which saw a team of 11 inspectors explore all aspects of teaching, learning, support and outcomes at each of the colleges. The report which was published on 6 January 2020 rated the 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.

The inspectors praised the learning environment stating in the report: “Learners and apprentices benefit from a calm and respectful learning environment. They value, and gain confidence from the high levels of support and care from staff. Behaviour in lessons and across all college centres is very good and learners feel safe.”  They also highlighted the strength of careers guidance provided noting that “most learners who intend to progress to higher education do so, often to their first-choice institution”. Inspectors noted how learners benefit from teachers who are industry professionals learning from their experience and “professional practice”.

They were also impressed with the quality of teaching and the way the learning is delivered, reporting: “Teachers sequence and deliver the curriculum in a logical and well-planned way. Learners build on the key knowledge and skills they have learnt, consolidate these through practice and apply them effectively in both practical and theoretical situations.”

They highlighted the support and added-value provided to students through the tutorial programme, commenting: “Learners develop a good understanding of wider society through a well-planned tutorial programme as well as the promotion of relevant content in lessons. Teachers encourage learners to take an active interest in current affairs and to be critical thinkers.”

Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb, was naturally very happy with the result of the inspection and reflected on the outcome by saying: “What a great result for the group as an organisation, and personally for all the teachers and staff members who have worked so hard to make sure all our learners have the best possible chance of success.” She also commented on how the new Ofsted framework puts the learner experience at the heart of its inspection process and said: “What is really meaningful about this result is that the inspectors reach their judgements by speaking directly with learners and therefore what is contained in the report is a true reflection of Langley, Strode’s and Windsor Colleges.”

The inspectors commented on the specialist provision for learners with high needs, commenting that “Teachers work well with support staff to ensure that learners with high needs are well supported.” But also commented on the need to ensure a small number of learners are given the opportunity to learn and progress further on their courses. This was noted as an area “requiring improvement”. Ms Webb confirmed steps were already underway to address the issues raised.

The Chair of Governors Tony Dixon reflected on the great progress made by the group since the merger saying: “The group executive has worked tirelessly to bring our two organisations together to form one united culture, where the learner comes first. The high standards delivered across all three colleges has been rightfully noted by Ofsted and is also reflected in the outstanding results achieved by learners this year, and the increasing focus on higher-level study and employability. With a “Good” rating from Ofsted coupled with the highest rating for quality given by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) the group is going from strength to strength.”

The full report is available on the Ofsted website.

Published in News no category
Tuesday, 07 January 2020 17:05

National Apprenticeship Week 2020

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.

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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.”

Published in News no category
Tuesday, 07 January 2020 15:14

Latest Updates

Keep in Touch

To keep up to date with developments at the college please visit our Information Updates page


Important Reminder - Sunday 22nd March

Following the government announcement that schools and colleges should close, teaching at Langley, Strode's and Windsor Colleges has moved on line from Monday 23rd March.
 
Please do not attend a college campus unless you have been invited to. This is very important for the safety and health of everyone.
 
We are here to support you. Please follow the work plan set by your tutor, log into on line lessons and check out Moodle. 
 
We will include more information about our services on our website over the coming days.
 
Keep well, calm and safe over the coming days.

Exam Update for Students - Friday 20th March 8am

You may have heard the government has said there will be no exams in May and June this year due to the coronavirus. 
 
We completely understand this is unexpected and extremely unsettling for you. We recognise all of your hard work so far, and we will be there to support you so that hard work is not wasted.
 
We expect to hear more detail over the next few days about how grades will be awarded for qualifications including GCSE, BTEC and A-Levels. Be assured that we have your back, and we will let you know as soon as possible when we have more information.
 
In the meantime, you should continue to follow the work plan provided for you by your teachers and maintain your focus on your studies. Regardless of what changes may happen – all of your learning is important and valuable. It will prepare you for your next level of study and we are committed to helping you succeed and progress in whatever form is required.
 
Keep safe, well and calm in this difficult time.

Government Announces College Closures - Thursday 19th March

The government has announced the closure of all schools and colleges as of Friday 20th March.

As previously announced we have already moved to remote learning with effect from Friday 20th and we are whole heartedly committed to supporting our students with their studies via on-line and remote working. All learning is valuable and will support progression and advancement.

We will continue to support all students throughout this unprecedented and difficult period. Please keep in contact with us via social media, college email and Moodle.

We are continuing to handle applications as usual and if you have any queries about the status of your application please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are here to help you.


Remote Learning to Commence Next Week - Wednesday 18th March

Following the latest government advice regarding social distancing and the reduction of mass gatherings to combat the spread of the coronavirus, we have taken the decision to allow staff and students to work remotely from Friday 20th March through to the end of the Easter holidays on Friday 17th April.

At present we have not received any reports of students or staff who have contracted the virus.

A communication has been issued to students, parents, carers, staff and employers today which outlines the processes for ongoing work and learning prior to the Easter break and over the Easter holidays.

  • Face-to-face teaching will stop on Thursday 19th March.
  • On Friday 20th March, there will be an Inset Day to allow teachers to prepare.
  • From Monday 23rd March students will be asked to work from home and not to attend college campuses for the next two weeks of term prior to the Easter holidays.

Students will be expected to continue with their work at home and will be supported by their teachers and tutors through a combination of on-line lessons, the setting of written work and email or phone communication. 

This decision has not been taken lightly and we have done so with the best interests of staff and students in mind. We remain open to support students’ learning and are preparing for a new way of working through these unprecedented times. Teachers will be contacting students directly to outline their workplans.

Should the national guidance change, we will contact students and parents directly as well as posting updates online.

Please continue to follow the health advice from Public Health England as outlined here.

Students should contact their teachers directly if they have any questions.

For all other queries please call 01753 793000 - we're here to help.

Published in News no category

Strode’s College’s work with elite student-athletes has been recognised with national accreditation from TASS, (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme), a Sport England funded partnership between talented athletes, education institutions and national governing bodies of sport. Strode’s is the only college in Surrey and the local area to be awarded the Dual Career Accreditation Scheme for their commitment to supporting elite student-athletes reach their potential in education alongside sporting success.

The College is currently supporting a number of elite athletes including Fraser Griffiths, an artistic gymnast who competes for Scotland, England rugby player Abbie-Louise Bailey and international Irish dancer, Lucy Potter.

Karen Griffiths Strode’s College Director of Sixth Form explains the importance of the accreditation to these students: “Balancing the demands of high level training alongside college study is the equivalent of holding down two jobs and what the TASS accreditation acknowledges is our commitment to helping students balance this challenge. They shouldn’t have to make a choice and by enabling them to do both we ensure that they have a very firm back up plan in the form of strong sixth form qualifications.”

As a TASS accredited college Strode’s recognises the flexibility and support young athletes require. Alongside access to the full range of A Levels and Level 3 BTECs, sporting students can also expect flexibility with regards to their timetable to support their training and competition schedule. As students will inevitably be absent to attend competitions the College also offers catch up schedules and access to learning platforms for remote study. 

Ms Griffiths continues: “Our support goes beyond the practical help with studies. Training at an elite level and sixth form study are both incredibly demanding. We also offer these students personal mentoring and guidance from pastoral tutors who have direct experience and understanding of national and international competitions with particular attention paid to employability, social media, finance and budgeting. We offer workshops on lifestyle, nutrition, physiotherapy, psychology and strength and conditioning alongside free access to the gym and close liaison with coaches to support their overall wellbeing.”

TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) is a Sport England funded partnership between talented athletes, education institutions and national governing bodies of sport, all working together to bring the best out of the country’s most exciting young talents.

Strode’s College has long had a reputation for sporting success in the classroom and on the playing fields. The College offers a range of sport A Levels and BTECs and has a strong history of success at county and national level for a number of sports. To find out more go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk or come along to the next Strode’s Open Day on Tuesday 11 February 2020.

Published in News no category

Strode’s College’s exclusive A*spire programme has once again delivered outstanding Oxbridge results with the news that five students are celebrating offers to study at the UK’s two most prestigious universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

A Level student Thomas Darcy, who is currently studying Classical Civilisation, English Literature and Geography has an offer from the University of Oxford to study Classics. Thomas will be joined by Nathan Gage, a Mathematics, Physics and Economics A Level student who has an offer to study Engineering.

Co-Student President Henry Denegri is heading off to the University of Cambridge. Henry  has an offer to study Human, Social and Political Sciences, pending results in Modern History, English Literature and Economics.

Former Strode’s students Autumn Clarke and Sean Middleton are also celebrating with places offered for the University of Oxford. A Level student Autumn, who completed her studies in 2019 obtaining A*A*A in Modern History, English Language and Literature and Politics, has a place to study English. Autumn will be joined by another former Strode’s student Seam Middleton. Sean, currently on a gap year, obtained A*A*A in Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics,  which has secured him a place at Oxford to study Mathematics.

Commenting on the success of the College’s A*spire programme and expressing his delight regarding the outcome for these students, John Marrill, Oxbridge Coordinator said: “I am immensely proud of all of the students, who are all thoroughly deserving of this fantastic outcome by virtue of their diligence, determination and intellect.  Moreover, they thoroughly embraced all of the support and guidance offered through A*spire, which included mock interviews and the enabling of super-curricular experiences.”

A*spire is the enrichment programme provided by Strode's College to assist applications to the most competitive universities. It is designed to expand horizons, be challenging intellectually and provide support to assist students to become competitive candidates for the most prestigious courses and universities. A key aspect of A*spire is the encouragement for students to embrace super curricular endeavour. From complementing and expanding their learning with public lecturers, wider reading, academic podcasts, accessing academic radio and TV programmes, to completing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and attending museums and exhibitions.

The successful Oxbridge candidates all spoke very highly of the A*spire programme with Henry Denegri commenting: “The A*spire programme provided invaluable support and advice in my successful application to Cambridge.”

Nathan Gage also had high praise commenting: “My successful Oxford application was helped massively by the A*spire programme. The sessions have given me numerous opportunities to expand my super curricular experience, moulding me into a strong and competitive candidate.”

And Autumn Clarke credits John Marrill, the College’s Oxbridge Coordinator as playing a key role in her success, saying: “John and his A*spire classes were a great asset to my education. John offered me a learning experience that I truly wouldn’t have found elsewhere.”

To find out more about the A*spire programme, please go to our Q&A here.

Published in News no category

Congratulations to Strode’s 1st XI Men’s Football team who are through to the AoC National Cup Semi-Finals! Read the thrilling match report below:

Strode’s headed to Solihull Sixth Form College on Wednesday 11th March for the AoC National Cup Quarter Final. Having travelled so far for such an important game the Strode’s team were focused and determined to progress into the Semi-Finals. On a pitch bordering unplayable, the host's direct style of play initially caused Strode’s some defensive challenges and with two pacey strikers, Solihull always looked dangerous especially with the uneven bounce and unpredictable roll of the ball. The home side took the lead following a hopeful long ball which did indeed take a slightly awkward bounce allowing the Solihull striker to find enough space to get a shot away at the Strode’s goal which beat goalkeeper Josh Wilson - something many have struggled to do!

Strode’s kept their discipline and continued to try and play football with some excellent passing with the first opportunities created well saved by the host’s goalkeeper. The Strode’s equaliser came as a result of the poor conditions underfoot and the strong wind as the goalkeeper’s poor kick fell to Teddy Williams who beat the recovering defender before slotting the ball into the net to level the scores at 1-1. Solihull then took advantage of a slip by Dom Jones only for Wilson to pull off an excellent save. Strode’s then began to dominate the game as the players became increasingly used to the conditions and following some slick passing through midfield Fin Rose-Davies’ clever pass found Bombourg who finished past the ‘keeper to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.

Strode’s started the second half strongly and after excellent work from Dom Jones and then Ben Vassell, Ryan Porter added a third goal. Strode’s continued to create chances and with 15 minutes to go Dom Jones made it 4-1 as he latched onto a Fin Rose-Davies pass before his initial shot was saved by the Solihull ‘keeper. Jones however quickly got to the rebound and finished from a tight angle.

The home side threw everything they had at Strode’s for the final ten minutes and Wilson again made some important saves, with five minutes to go Solihull did manage to grab a goal back but Strode’s held firm to finish 4-2 winners, booking a place in the AoC National Cup Semi-Finals.

Strode’s team:

Josh Wilson

Fin Rose-Davies

Alex Franklin

Dom Jones

Dan Miles

George Austin

Ben Hobbs

Ryan Porter

Louie Bombourg

Bemi Ogunfiditimi

Josh Beadle

William Smith

Oscar Syms

Ben Vassell

Teddy Williams

Published in News no category
Tuesday, 07 January 2020 13:44

February Open Days

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.

Published in News no category

The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the FE sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the 2020 Tes FE Awards.

It’s been revealed that Eleanor Turner of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group has been shortlisted for the Teacher of the Year award.

Tes FE editor Stephen Exley said: “Excellent practice exists right across the further education sector, and those shortlisted for the Tes FE Awards are the cream of the crop. Our judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of entries.To be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement"

The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 20 March 2020

To see the full list of who is in the running, pick up a copy of this week's Tes, or visit tesfeawards.co.uk

Published in News no category

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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