Life Skills

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From Bollywood dancing and creative nail art to a plastering challenge and a petting farm, there was an extravaganza of activities to entertain and educate visitors at East Berkshire College's new look Langley College on Saturday (9th May).

Over 1,900 visitors enjoyed a host of demonstrations, games and stalls at the College's annual Summer Fun Day in Station Road. With something for all the family, this free community event saw college students and staff showcase their talents in an array of interactive demonstrations and displays. As well as entertaining visitors, the fun day also raised over £850 for children's charity, Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service.

Highlights of the day included a petting zoo (from baby goats to rabbits), Karan's Bollywood masterclass, face painting, a bungee trampoline, a bouncy castle, fun photo scenes, Raspberry Pi programming, a banana piano and various arts and crafts activities. Hair and beauty students demonstrated the latest hair-up styles and provided free mini manicures in the brand new salons, while a football challenge took place in the Sports Centre.

Younger visitors were also able to have a go at decorating biscuits, model making and watching balloon sculpting by Dali Balooni, while the College's catering students were selling a selection of delicious handmade cupcakes. The local Fire & Rescue Service also brought along a fire engine much to the delight of some budding young firefighters.

Juliet Holloway, Director of Learner Service and Communications at the College, explains:

"This is the third Summer Fun Day the College has held and the most successful so far, with over 1,900 visitors through the doors.

"As well as showcasing our exciting new facilities and our range of over 800 courses, the event is a great opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate local talent. From sports to hairdressing and computing to face painting, there was something to entertain and inspire those of all ages. "

There was also a marketplace with local businesses selling a wide range of products. Businesses exhibiting included Moss End Farm Shop, The Dinky Fingerprint Company, Chalfont Chilli and Mantio Ice Cream.

Staff and students were also on hand to give visitors a guided tour of the facilities and answer questions on the College's extensive range of over 800 full-time and part-time courses including apprenticeships.

Iver resident Violet O'Rourke was impressed with the free event at Langley College: "We had a great free family day out. I was amazed at the range of activities on offer and what great facilities the students have here. I wish I had these when I was at college. We particularly loved the children's area, bungee trampoline and the farm animals."

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and is currently in the final stages of a £30m refurbishment of its Langley College to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for current and future students. These improvements include a new STEM Project and Research Centre featuring specialist workshops for the construction trades, which is due to be completed in August 2015.

For more information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of courses, please click here or call 01753 793000.

Shoppers, swimmers and cinema goers were encouraged to learn something new last week as East Berkshire College took to the road with an advice and guidance road show ahead of Adult Learners' Week (12-18 May).

Advisers from the College visited venues across Berkshire, including the Magnet Leisure Centre and Odeon Cinema in Maidenhead, to promote adult learning and provide advice on its extensive range of part-time, full-time and workplace training courses.ebc 8032_web

"It's never too late to learn something new," says Juliet Holloway, Director of Learner Services at East Berkshire College. "We have students aged from 14 to 90 years old. With our part-time courses, people can learn at a pace that suits their lifestyle or work commitments. Whether they want to improve their skills, start a new career or take up a new hobby, we have courses to suit most people's needs."

Debbie Higgs, Finance Manager at Rydens Enterprise School, is one individual who recently decided to go back to college to do a part-time accountancy course.

"I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pass exams again after 20 years, but the support you receive at College is excellent. The tutors explain things in a way that's easy to understand and you can email them at any time with questions. Studying part-time is a great way to improve yourself and your career. It is good to have achieved something for myself and gained a qualification that is recognised in the finance industry."

The College offers free and impartial advice and guidance on courses, careers and training to adults as well as students through the National Careers Service. The service, which includes workshops on CV writing and job search activities, can be accessed at the College's Langley and Windsor campuses as well as various community locations.

To celebrate Adult Learners' Week, East Berkshire College is running a variety of free taster sessions from 14-18 May at its Langley and Windsor campuses. Tasters include Holiday Italian, Asian Cookery, Computerised Accounts and Excel for Beginners. For a full timetable of what's on or details on a wide range of courses call 0845 373 2500.

wellington houseEast Berkshire College, which has campuses in Langley and Windsor, has launched a new centre for learning in the heart of Slough.

Located in Wellington House, just off Slough High Street, this exciting new facility is meeting the needs of the local community by providing courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Literacy and Numeracy. Comprising eight state-of-the-art classrooms, the centre offers a modern and convenient place to study above the Queensmere Shopping precinct.

Over 300 students from 46 different nationalities are currently being taught at the new facility, which was opened by the Mayor of Slough, Councillor Jagjit Grewal. Students, staff and members of the local community gathered to celebrate the opening at an official ribbon cutting ceremony last week.

Talking at the launch, Anne Booth, Head of School for ESOL and Languages at the College, said: "We are delighted to be opening a new teaching facility right at the heart of this community. Slough has an extremely diverse population and we hope that this centre will enable us to better serve those who wish to learn English or improve their skills. Being unable to communicate can be a very isolating experience. Learning a language can really transform a person's life."

Originally from Somalia, Abdul Shirf (26, from Slough) is one of the many students already benefiting from the new facility:

"I couldn't speak any English before I started here. I used to find just going to the shops very hard, but now I'm much more confident. My lecturers have really helped me improve and this is such a great place to be."

The College's ESOL courses are specially designed for those whose first language is not English. The courses cover speaking, listening, reading, writing and living in the UK, and are at wide range of different levels.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 700 courses available, visit or call 0845 373 2500.

lisa clarkeWith more competition for jobs than ever before, getting the right qualifications and training has never been so important. East Berkshire College, however, is giving unemployed people a helping hand to improve their skills and chance of gaining employment.

Individuals who need training to get back into work are finding they may be eligible for help with the cost of study and, in some cases, free course tuition.

Mother of three, Lisa Clarke (31, from Slough), is one individual improving her skills as a result of accessing funding for a Beauty Therapy NVQ course at the College's Langley Campus.

"With my youngest child starting school, I wanted to get back to work. After 15 years out of the workplace, it was difficult to find a job and I realised I needed to improve my skills. I was worried about going back to College at first because of my age and the cost. However, I found out that I was eligible for help with the cost of my course because I was unemployed."

Before having her children, Lisa worked part-time in a bridal shop. It was this experience that inspired her to look at hair and beauty courses, with the ambition of working in a salon or setting up her own mobile business offering bridal packages.

With this in mind, Lisa researched the College's courses and found that she was entitled to free course tuition. Having dyslexia, Lisa wasn't sure what level of course she should be studying. The College was able to give her a quick assessment to identify which course was right for her and any additional help she may need to improve her English and maths.

"There are always hurdles to face in life," explains Lisa. "You just have to find ways to overcome them. There are always things you can do to help yourself. For me, that's going back to College to improve myself and my qualifications. Passing this course will really give me more job options.

"I would definitely recommend College - it's not just for 17 year olds. There are students of all ages here. Everyone is friendly, they treat you with respect and the course fits in well with my family life. I'm so looking forward to qualifying, getting back to work and supporting myself."

In addition to government funding schemes, East Berkshire College has its own financial support schemes that can offer students, subject to eligibility, a percentage of their tuition fees. Plus, flexible instalment plans are available on some courses.

The College is also delivering a range of valuable advice, guidance and job search activities to members of the public at its campuses in Langley and Windsor as well as various community venues. The service, known as 'Next Step', includes workshops on CV writing, job applications and job hunting.

For further information on funding and over 600 full-time and part-time courses, contact East Berkshire College on 0845 373 2500

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