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The daily commute at Langley Train Station has been immortalised in paint by talented art and design students from East Berkshire College as part of a public art project for First Great Western.

The 13 students, who are all studying an Art & Design Extended Diploma Level 3 course at Windsor College, have created a stunning 48ft x 5ft mural for First Great Western at Langley Train Station. Officially unveiled last week, the dynamic artwork depicts station life and reflects the diverse range of people who travel by train each day.

Art student Janat Farooq (19, from Langley), said: "It is a real honour to have the chance to create a mural that will be seen by so many people. I'm hoping to study art at university, so the project has been a brilliant experience and will look great in my portfolio."

"For the design, we focused on the themes of time and how the station caters for everyone. It was challenging but exciting to take our artwork and translate it onto such a large scale. To do this, we first made full size stencils to mark the design out on the wall before we painted it. The hardest part was coping with the weather conditions as the wall is outside"

Located on the footbridge at Langley Station, the vibrant mural provides a fitting backdrop to the busy main line station and the 13,700 commuters that use it on a weekly basis.

Alison Hanscomb, Station Manager and Debbie Bates, Team Support at First Great Western (FGW) Slough, commissioned the mural on behalf of the company and Debbie studied travel and tourism at the College in the 1980s. Debbie explains: "I approached East Berkshire College with the idea of creating artwork to brighten up the footbridge at Langley Station. I was very impressed with the design they put forward. The mural is a great addition to the station and is already receiving positive feedback from onlookers. I think it is really important that businesses support local talent in this way."

East Berkshire College has an extensive art and design department based in Windsor that includes facilities for fine art, graphics, 3D design, fashion, printing, photography and visual merchandising. Former students have gone on to study a range of university courses, from graphic design to fashion.

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

Published in Creative Studies

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Local residents were dancing in the street on Friday (26th September) for the launch of a new project to help young people into employment, education and training in the Royal Borough.

A vibrant event was held at East Berkshire College in Windsor to promote the Elevate Me service, which offers a one-stop-shop for advice and support on careers and training for 16-24 year olds. At the launch, performing arts students from the College entertained shoppers in Peascod Street with live musical numbers from hit West End shows and some energetic dance routines. Drawing quite a crowd outside the post office, the students even had passers-by joining in with their flash mob dance!

Attended by local partner organisations and dignitaries, which included Councillor Phillip Bicknell, the event also saw the launch of the new Elevate Me website ( Guests were treated to refreshments, which were made and served by catering students from East Berkshire College. Meanwhile, students from Berkshire College of Agriculture filmed the occasion.

Councillor Phillip Bicknell, Lead Member of Children’s Services, said:"It was great to be at the launch and feel the energy from those professionals involved. The benefit for our young people to gain expert advice on employment is critical to our community. The Elevate website is colourful and well designed, it facilitates direct routes to the 'hands on' experts ready to advise that Barista who wants to be a Barrister or the Waiter who wants to become an Electrician. I look forward to the successes this project will deliver for our youngsters."

The Elevate project is a joint collaboration between the Royal Borough’s Grow Our Own service, East Berkshire College, Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA), local businesses and support agencies. The service will provide advice and support on employment, training, apprenticeships and volunteering, both online and in person at two locations; the Elevate Me Hub in Nicholsons Shopping Centre in Maidenhead and East Berkshire College’s Windsor Campus in St Leonards Road. 

This launch in Windsor followed last week’s event in Maidenhead, where hair and beauty students from East Berkshire College showcased their skills by offering free beauty treatments and hairstyling to shoppers in the Nicholson Shopping Centre, while BCA demonstrated their impressive climbing wall.

For more information, visit or drop into one of the Elevate locations in Windsor or Maidenhead. 

Published in Creative Studies

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Talented performing arts students from East Berkshire College in Windsor performed to a sell-out crowd at the National Theatre on London's South Bank recently.

The 15 students were one of only 10 groups chosen from over 230 school and youth theatre companies across the UK to perform a new play at this year's National Theatre Connections Festival.

The students delivered an outstanding performance of a new play by renowned playwright Simon Vinnicombe. The play tells the story of a group of Year 11 pupils who find themselves precariously on the brink of adulthood as they face their final days of school, exam results day and the School Prom.

Over the last three months, 10 new plays have been premiered by schools and youth theatre groups across the country, all hoping to be offered the chance to tread the boards at one of the most famous theatres in the UK, if not the world.

The young actors initially performed the play at the Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture in Windsor before taking the show to The Bush Theatre in Shepherd's Bush for one night. It was these well-received performances that led to the group's selection for a one-off performance at The National Theatre.

Alex Reader (20, from Maidenhead), who is studying a Performing Arts Level 3 course, explains: "It is a real honour to perform at such a prestigious venue. We couldn't believe it when we were told that we'd been chosen. This was the biggest audience we have ever performed in front of, so we had a lot to prove. Plus, there was the added pressure that there might be casting directors watching. It was an amazing experience, however, and a great way to finish our course."

Rui Gouveia (19, from Windsor) adds: "Before the performance, we had the chance to rehearse with professionals from the theatre and the writer. It was great to get their advice on how they saw the characters and especially important to know that the writer was happy with how we delivered his work."

Commenting on the College's selection for the festival, playwright Simon Vinnicombe, said: "I thought the students owned the play and really inhabited the characters. They delivered the play with an energy that showed me they loved it.

"The play explores the pressures and anxieties of one of the biggest moments in a teenager's life. It follows the characters through the final days of school, from the prom and last day of school to exam results day."

Lecturer Jamie Davies said: "We are very proud of the students. This is only the second year that we have entered the Connections Festival, so to get through to the final ten and perform at the National is an outstanding achievement."

The National Theatre Connections Festival is an annual festival of new plays for young performers, which aims to inspire 13-19 year olds with high-quality new writing. Over the past three months, ten new plays have been premiered across the UK by 230 school and youth theatre companies. Only ten of those groups were invited to perform their productions at the National on London's South Bank.

East Berkshire College's performing arts department is located at its Windsor College in St Leonards Road and has growing reputation for excellence. Students are given the opportunity to perform in a professional venue through its partnership with the Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture and many former students have gone onto successful careers on the stage and screen.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its performing arts courses, including an exciting new HND programme, call 0845 373 2500 or click here.

Published in Creative Studies
Monday, 06 January 2014 18:12

Langley College immortalised in art

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Five talented art and design students from East Berkshire College have created a vibrant new mural for the Student Services area of the new look Langley College in Station Road. The students came up with a bold design which depicts college life and reflects the diverse range of subjects you can study.

The fabulous five created the stunning artwork as part of the College's £30m makeover of the campus, which includes a brand new Hospitality & Catering Academy, Learning Centre and multi-purpose Sports Centre.

The eye-catching 6.2m x 2.3m mural was unveiled at a special ceremony recently attended by students and staff from the College. It will provide a fitting backdrop to the busy Student Services department, which provides professional advice and guidance on courses, careers, work experience and financial support.

Art student Brooke Hewitt explains: "I'm really proud to have worked on this mural. We wanted to come up with something that showed all the different departments and people that make up the College. We brainstormed ideas and divided up the work according to our strengths. It was a challenge working on such a large scale, but we are delighted with the final design. It looks even better on the wall than I imagined."

Fellow artist Paul Dore-Smith, who is hoping to study animation at Bournemouth University next year, agrees: "The new Langley College building looks amazing and it is great that our work is part of it."

East Berkshire College has an extensive art and design department based in Windsor that includes facilities for fine art, graphics, 3D design, printing, ceramics and photography.

Langley College has been at the heart of the community since 1976 and is currently undergoing a multi-million pound makeover to provide state-of-the-art facilities to meet the community's current and future learning needs. The first phase of improvement works was completed in August 2013. The College's hairdressing salons are currently being updated and are scheduled to open in spring 2014.

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

Published in Creative Studies

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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.

Published in Creative Studies
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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.
Published in Creative Studies
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:12

New - Access to HE courses

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.

Published in Creative Studies

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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 or call 0845 475 1500.

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


Published in Creative Studies

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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.

Published in Creative Studies

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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.

Published in Creative Studies
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