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With an impressive “GOOD” Ofsted rating announced last month, Langley College is throwing open its doors on Thursday 12 March 2020. The College, which specialises in offering innovative technical and vocational courses, is welcoming prospective students to come and see how they impressed the Ofsted inspectors with the quality of teaching, the learning environment and the achievement of students.

Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb said: “We are proudly opening our doors so prospective learners can come and see for themselves how our courses, taught by industry-trained experts, in industry-standard facilities drew such high praise from Ofsted. This ‘Good’ sits alongside the highest rating for quality, also recently given by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for our Higher Education provision.

“Langley genuinely ticks all the boxes for school leavers looking for full-time courses or apprenticeships and adults after professional development opportunities or degree level programmes.”

Ofsted rated the College as ‘Good’ for its overall effectiveness and ‘Good’ in all other inspection areas covering quality, behaviour, personal development, leadership, education for young people, adult learning and apprenticeships.

Alongside its diverse technical curriculum, Langley College also offers Access to Higher Education courses for those who didn’t get the relevant qualifications they need to go to university. In addition, a range of Higher Education courses are offered in partnership with a number of leading universities.  

Ms Webb concludes: “There is much to celebrate here at Langley College. Students are assured of a first-class learning environment where they successfully achieve industry-recognised qualifications. They enjoy embedded work experience, access to our unrivalled employer links and the opportunity for extra-curricular activity which positively impacts on their personal development alongside their academic achievement. For those who choose to go to university the inspectors noted that progression is good, and they generally get into their first choice. Join us on the 12 March  to find out more.”

To find out about the full range of courses and to pre-register for fast track entry on the day, please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/opendays.  Doors open at 4.30pm until 7.00pm.

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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.

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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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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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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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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 11:12

Tes FE Awards, Teacher of the Year

Eleanor Turner, the Course Leader for Dance at Strode’s College, has been shortlisted for the highly celebrated 2020 Tes FE Awards, Teacher of the Year. The shortlisting is in recognition of Eleanor’s exceptional results, her passion and knowledge and her partnership working and industry links.

The Tes FE Awards look to celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who continue to make a significant contribution to improving the skill levels of young people and adult learners.

Commenting on the significance of being shortlisted 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"

Through her dedicated work with local schools Eleanor has cemented Strode’s dance reputation which has seen recruitment to her courses increase by 40%. Her results were in the top 25% nationally in 2019 and at the College she is renowned for her relentless focus on supporting students, giving them experience and insight into the dance industry.

Students describe Eleanor as incredibly encouraging with a knack for building her students’ confidence by providing support both in and outside of her lessons. One former student commented: “Dance at college was, without a doubt, the highlight of my week when I was at Strode’s. Eleanor was a wonderful teacher and made the dance studio such a welcoming environment for everyone. Eleanor was 100% invested in each and every dancer, no matter the ability and this made everyone feel valued within the classes. She was an amazing teacher.”

Eleanor’s influence extends beyond the students she immediately teaches with colleagues describing her as an inspirational educationalist. Karen Griffiths Head of Sixth at Strode’s College said: “Eleanor’s enthusiasm is infectious. The students love working with her and many cite her as their inspiration for their future ambitions. And it’s not just students who are inspired and enthused by Eleanor. She encourages colleagues with her innovation and creativity and I can honestly say that Strode’s is a richer place for having her teach here.”

The winners will be announced at the Tes FE Awards ceremony which will take place on Friday 20 March at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

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Kick start your nursing, midwifery and allied health career with an Access to HE course at Langley College and the promise of at least a £5,000 bursary per year in new government funding once you progress to a degree programme.

From September 2020 all nursing, midwifery and many allied health students will receive at least £5,000 a year, which they will not need to pay back. Up to £3,000 further funding is also available for eligible students, including for: 

  • specialist disciplines that struggle to recruit, including mental health and learning disability nursing
  • an additional childcare allowance, on top of the £1,000 already on offer
  • areas of the country which have seen a decrease in people accepted on some nursing, midwifery and allied health courses over the past year.

Langley College offers a one year Nursing and Health Professions Access to Higher Education course which provides the skills and qualification required for progression to a degree programme at university in nursing and midwifery or courses allied to medicine. Further information on this new funding can be found here.

Find out more at the forthcoming Langley College Open Day on Tuesday 21 January 2020, 4.30-7.00pm https://www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/opendays.

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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.

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