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Tuesday, 07 July 2020 10:00

Our Virtual Doors are still Open!

Missed out on joining us for our recent series of virtual events? Don’t worry – you can still explore all of our colleges, watch all the videos and presentations here.

For each of our colleges, Langley, Strode’s and Windsor, you’ll find a selection of presentations, tours and subject area videos introducing you to the colleges and the courses on offer.

To help prospective students prepare for starting in September we have also created a useful directory of Year 11 resources. Take a look at the courses you are interested in or have already applied for to discover more and explore the subject/s in more depth.

Langley College – Summer Work and Resources

Strode’s College – Summer Work and Resources

Windsor College – Summer Work and Resources

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Windsor College and first year A Level student Taha Hussain has reached the final stage of RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk and PwC’s NSEC (National Schools Employability Challenge) competition. Taha, who studies Physics, Chemistry and Biology, entered the competition which is designed prepare and up-skill students to be ready for the modern workplace.

The challenge, which consists of three stages, is part of a collaboration between RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk, an online careers resource and PwC, one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms. The initial stage is designed to get students thinking about the skills sets and attributes employers look for.  Progressing to stage two is an opportunity to gain new knowledge, experience and understanding of employability in the modern workplace. For the first two stages, Taha achieved a very impressive 37 out of 40.

Stage three is by invitation only. As a qualifying student, Taha has been selected for an exclusive employability skills virtual event with PwC where he be able to hone his skills and test his abilities further. This will consist of six sessions which he can join throughout the day alongside fellow students and PwC representatives.

Commenting on the value of the NSEC, Taha said: "It was a great experience and for the stage three virtual day at PwC I chose to explore the 'What are your options after university' event. This was particularly helpful as it provided me with a number of different areas that I can consider following university, plus work experience options which will be useful for both my personal statement and CV." 

Taha, who is hoping to progress to study Medicine, is not the first student from Windsor College to win a place at the prestigious NSEC finals.  Encouraging students to attempt the early stages and progress through the levels of the competition has become something of a modern tradition at the College, organised through Core Studies. These weekly sessions are just one of the many wider opportunities offered to students which are aimed at developing the whole student and making young people more confident and able to make their mark in the world as they prepare for adult life.

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Our latest edition of College Voice is out now!

Our latest edition of College Voice is out now! Our termly newsletter is a timely reminder that prior to the switch to  remote learning, students and staff across our three colleges have enjoyed a busy and fulfilling term. 
 
It was also the term the Windsor Forest Colleges Group received a resounding ‘GOOD’ from Ofsted.  Read all about this and lots of other exciting news from Langley, Strode’s and Windsor Colleges.

Read the College Voice here.

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The Windsor Forest Colleges Group remains one of only four British Display Society (BDS) Centres of Excellence in the UK. The College was recently re-awarded the status following a visit from the BDS, which encourages and promotes the highest standards of Visual Merchandising across the industry.

A team from the BDS including their Chairman Iain Kimmins spent the day at Windsor, which is home to the College’s Visual Merchandising (VM) department. They were impressed by the standard of work produced by Level 3 students which included scale models, plans and elevations and prop constructions. This flagship course is very much part of the fabric at Windsor College, with the building featuring working windows for students to showcase their visual merchandising designs right into the heart of Windsor’s high street.

During their time at the College the BDS team delivered a very well received talk and presentation to students. Commenting on their visit Iain Kimmins said: “It was a pleasure to listen and talk to the students as to what inspires and motivates them. It was great to view their work which ranged from initial sketches, designs to model making, prop building to dressing the mock-up windows. Given the level of passion and enthusiasm, it proves that there is certainly a generation of inspiring and up-and-coming Visual Merchandisers in the making.

“It is so vital that anyone wishing to move into the VM industry must undertake VM training and learn all the principles.”

Tutor Sue Leadbeater leads the Visual Merchandising department at Windsor College. Her students’ progress to highly regarded art colleges such as the London College of Fashion and The Retail Academy. Her alumni include a Visual Merchandising Director at M&S, the Visual Merchandiser for Harrod’s windows and a number of gold medal winners in the highly celebrated WorldSkills competitions.

Windsor College offers visual merchandising and design courses including a, Level 3 BTEC (equivalent to three A Levels) in Window Display and Interior Design and an HNC at Level 4.

To find out more go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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A Level Law students from Strode’s and Windsor Colleges have been given the inside track on law careers following an interactive Street Law Clinic. The workshop, delivered by Royal Holloway, University of London’s Law Department, was designed to help students plan their futures with a focus on legal career paths and employability options.

Commenting on the value of the Street Law Clinic, Duncan Bunce, Course Leader for Law at Strode's College, said: "This excellent talk really helped students question why they are interested in the subject, the different jobs linked to it and career options available. It really isn't just a binary choice of wanting to become a solicitor or barrister if you do law, with nothing else possible. We saw that law can involve the police, paralegals, legal secretaries, academia, in-house lawyers and a lot more in between.”

The Street Law Clinic is part of the Legal Advice Centre at Royal Holloway. The student volunteering outreach scheme enables the University’s Law students to support the community by providing legal workshops which are delivered under the supervision of qualified legal professionals or academic members of staff. This free advice and information can range from the various legal career paths to specific areas of the law.

Nicola Antoniou, Director of the Legal Advice Centre at the Royal Holloway said: “The Careers in Law workshop provided our Street Law student volunteers with an exciting opportunity to work with the A level students at Strode’s and Windsor Colleges. The interactive workshop was a great way to raise awareness about the various different pathways and professions in law. I was really impressed with the level of enthusiasm and engagement from all students involved!

“Our Street Law student volunteers really look forward to delivering more workshops to the Windsor Forest Colleges Group.”

Over 45 students across both colleges attended the clinic with Strode's student Sophia Nevin commenting: "The talk was educational and interactive and showed that the law has many dimensions and isn't just writing and one-sided. The Clinic has helped me know which field of law to now go down." 

Strode’s and Windsor Colleges have long enjoyed a close working relationship with Royal Holloway, University of London. The Colleges and University curriculum departments regularly collaborate with guest lectures and access to each venue. The University also provides support with the Strode’s Aspire Programme, university applications and delivers a number of talks on the UCAS process.

To discover more about studying Law at either Strode’s or Windsor colleges, please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/courses.

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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.

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The Windsor Forest Colleges Group has received the highest rating from the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) for its higher education provision. Following a recent three-day inspection the Agency gave the Colleges Group a ‘High Confidence’ rating in four areas recognising the high standards of student engagement and educational experience alongside high praise for the College’s admissions systems and handling of feedback.

Commenting on the impressive findings Kate Webb, Group Principal and CEO at the Colleges Group which includes Langley College, Strode’s College and Windsor College said: “This incredibly positive review from the QAA demonstrates that the high standards of our higher education provision means our students have a meaningful and quality educational experience. Students reported that we engage with them positively, take action on their feedback and they feel entirely supported to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Equally important is the inspector’s praise for our recruitment, selection and admissions policies and procedures and complaints handling which they found to be robust, fair and transparent. This huge endorsement from the QAA is testament to the incredibly high standards and good practice delivered by our staff.”

Principal, Rowan Cookson also commented on the outcome of the inspection saying: “We are delighted to once again meet the very highest standards for our advanced level programmes at Langley. Many people are not aware that you can study HNDs, Foundation Degrees and even Bachelor degrees at Langley and what a superb learning experience we offer – with small class sizes, industry trained tutors and our strong links with industry which make our courses stand out.”

The QAA safeguards standards and improves the quality of UK higher education, checking that students get the higher education they are entitled to. During their inspection at the Windsor Forest Colleges Group the QAA specifically looked at: how the College actively engages students individually and collectively in the quality of their educational experience; Support for students to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes; how reliable, fair and inclusive the College’s admissions system is and finally how fair and transparent the complaints handling and appeals process is.

The QAA’s assessment included formal meetings with students and senior managers and extensive reviews of college policies and procedures.

Find out more about studying Higher Education at Langley College.

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