ICT

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In order to promote and support the development of computer coding skills among young people, East Berkshire College recently ran a series of free coding workshops for local schools at Slough Aspire.

Over 100 pupils and teachers from eight local schools, including Trevelyan School in Windsor and Westgate School in Slough, took part in the special programming and coding days organised by East Berkshire College on 6th and 13th October.

Designed to support local schools with the development of their IT curriculum, the events gathered together industry experts to talk about the importance of computer programming for future jobs and explore the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi and the forthcoming BBC micro:bit (both pocket-sized codeable computer).

From a dancing robot to 3D gaming, the pupils had the chance to take part in an inspiring range of practical challenges using the latest SMART devices, which demonstrated key coding principles. Highlights included a Meccano Meccanoid robot that can be programmed to walk, whistle and even tell jokes, a state-of-the-art 3D printer, home automation system, 3D games system, a demonstration on augmented reality and even a vegetable piano!

Neil Peters, Commercial Director at East Berkshire College, explains: "As a College, we are working closely with employers and schools to address the shortage of technical skills that has been identified at a local and national level. The workshops were a great way for our talented IT students and lecturers to showcase their skills, while helping inspire and encourage young people to explore the world of programming.

"The activities provided an insight into the multitude of things that can be achieved through coding and helped the pupils develop some basic skills in coding, electronics, engineering and problem-solving."

Last year, East Berkshire College unveiled its brand new Innovation Centre (called the Genovation Centre) in Langley, which provides a vibrant learning space for creative thinking, research and project development as well as showcasing new technologies. The stunning new centre means students receive up-to-date training on the very latest technology, while addressing a skills shortage identified in the UK in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Fiona Jones, Slough Aspire's Chief Executive, says: "Today, knowing how to write software code is absolutely vital and will become even more so, especially with developments like the Internet of Things.

"The coding days were designed as a taster for the later launch of the exciting BBC micro:bit computer. We are trying to make it easier for pupils at school to understand the challenges and opportunities of coding, but also experience the joy of creating and innovating – turning fun ideas into functional things.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses including apprenticeships, click here or call 01753 793000.

For further information on Slough Aspire, which is public and private sector community initiative located at the heart of Slough Trading Estate, call 01753 530146 or visit www.sloughaspire.com

 2news 

An array of technology, from the latest 3D printers and game systems to CNC milling machines, was in action at the launch of the new state-of-the-art facilities for innovation, IT and engineering at East Berkshire College in Langley on Tuesday 25th November 2014.

Designed to inspire the next generation of inventors, designers, computer scientists and engineers, the facilities include a brand new Innovation Centre (known as the Genovation Centre), IT labs, computer-aided design studio and engineering workshops.

The Mayor of Slough, Councillor Shafiq Chaudhry, officially unveiled the facilities to gathered guests, which included local dignitaries, students, staff and local businesses such as Microsoft and British Airways.

Special guest Marc Koska, who is renowned for inventing an innovative auto-disable syringe which has potentially saved over 100 million lives, treated the assembled guests and students to an inspiring talk and Q&A on innovation as part of the event.

Talking at the launch, Virginia Barrett, Deputy Principal for Curriculum & Quality at East Berkshire College, said: "The College is committed to continual improvement to ensure our facilities remain up-to-date and in line with the changing needs of businesses. In recent years, we have invested heavily in developing our Langley College to further enhance the learning experience for our students and enable them to develop the specialist skills employers require. We believe these latest facilities will help inspire the next generation of inventors, engineers, designers and computer scientists."

Visitors were able to take a tour of the new facilities, which includes a brand new Innovation Centre (called the Genovation Centre), which provides a unique learning space for creative thinking, research and project development as well as showcasing new technologies and product design development.

Highlights of the event included a range of interactive demonstrations by engineering and IT students from the College. These included Raspberry Pi programming, robotics and laser cutting. Visitors were also able to view a display of iconic computers courtesy of the Centre for Computing History to see how technology has evolved over time and even 'have a go' at programming a drone to fly through an obstacle course, assembling a PC and playing a vegetable piano!

The impressive new facilities are part of East Berkshire College's £30million makeover of its Langley College in Station Road. The stunning new centre will mean students receive up-to-date training on the very latest technology, while addressing a skills shortage identified in the UK in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Dr Anne Murdoch OBE, Programme Lead for Skills, Education and Employment at Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, added:

"This is an ideal precursor to the wider Solutions Labs project that is part of the Strategic Economic Plan for Thames Valley Berkshire. Collectively these projects aim to provide young people with the resources and skills to turn their business ideas into reality.

The delivery of the project will help drive the lifeblood of the local economy by increasing the supply of people with STEM skills, as well as building better links between business and education; making them part of the same supply chain."

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

East Berkshire College is pleased to launch a brand new Access to HE course in Computing 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 a number of units designed to teach you technical know how, academic and organisational skills. On completion, students will be fully prepared to apply for a degree at university, or continue at East Berkshire College with an HNC or HND. 

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 Computing Access to HE, or speak to a student adviser on 0845 373 2500.

stand out_awards_3071a_400pxTop achievers at East Berkshire College were celebrated at the College's annual Stand Out Awards yesterday (8 November 2011).

Acclaimed independent film director and former student James Fair was guest speaker at the prestigious event, which took place at the Copthorne Hotel in Slough.

The awards acknowledged the outstanding achievements of over 60 students, across both the Langley and Windsor campuses. Prizes were awarded for excellence, endeavour, achievement, service to the community and the learner of the year for each of the College's schools of study as well as an overall learner of the year.

Beauty Therapy student Jade Corentin (22, from Slough) was one individual whose hard work was recognised with an award at the event. Originally starting on a level one course, Jade has made exceptional progress at the College and is now studying for a level three qualification.

"I am so happy to have won an award. It has been an enjoyable evening and it was great to meet a former student who has become so successful. It shows that studying at college can help you achieve your ambitions. I've learnt so much at college and my dream is to run my own salon one day."

James Fair, who graduated from East Berkshire College in 1999 with three A Levels, returned to the place where his success story began to give an inspirational speech about his career in the film industry. A career which has seen him direct and produce programmes for Channel Four and make a number of independent feature films. Last year, James enjoyed success and controversy at the Melbourne International Film Festival when he made the audience top 10 with a feature length movie he shot, edited and screened in just 72 hours.

stand out_awards_3073a_400pxJames, who grew up in Slough, said: "I'm proud to have been invited back to speak at these awards. My career takes me to many different countries, but for me it all began in the media suites of East Berkshire College. The lecturers there changed my view of education, they made learning fun and I gained a variety of valuable skills.

"It has been great to celebrate and reward the achievements of this exceptional group of young people. I've been where these students are now and I'm pleased to be able to pass on the benefit of my experience to them. I believe it is important to make the most of your opportunities and never stop learning."

The special evening event was attended by over 250 people including Councillor Sukhjit Dhaliwal, Mayor of Slough and Councillor Asghar Majeed, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 600 courses available call 0845 373 2500.

la openevening_01_400pxhThe Langley Campus of East Berkshire College opened its doors to prospective students and their families on Monday (21st November) for a chance to see first-hand its facilities in Station Road.

Over 680 visitors attended the event, enjoying guided tours of the campus and watching classes in action. Current students and staff were also on hand to answer questions on the College's extensive range of over 600 courses including apprenticeships.

From bricklaying to performing arts, there was an array of demonstrations throughout the event. Highlights of the evening included an outstanding exhibition of work by art and design students, which included textiles, painting, photography and 3D design. Visitors were even given the chance to print their own t-shirt design. Meanwhile, hairdressing and beauty therapy classes were in action in the College's modern training salons.

Prospective student James Deacon (15, from Langley) took a tour of the College's impressive Motor Vehicle & Engineering Department to find out about the courses available. "I've always been interested in cars and I want to learn more, so I thought I would check out what was on offer at the College. The facilities here are really professional and everyone is very helpful."

Another prospective student Mehdi Yousfi (15) was keen to see the College because of its computing and IT courses.

"It is fascinating to see the equipment and technology you get to work with at the College," says Mehdi. "Plus, it is really useful to be able to talk to students and staff about my options and the opportunities available."

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards. Each year, the College helps thousands of individuals aged 14-90 to fulfil their ambitions through education and training. The Langley Campus offers an extensive range of part-time, full-time and workplace training courses, from introductory right through to degree level.

For further information on East Berkshire College call 0845 373 2500la openevening_400px

Keeping your skills up to date is an important part of working in the fast-paced IT industry, and we've made it even easy to study and keep connected with your course. Moving towards a 24/7 learning environment, our Microsoft Academy professional qualifications will be supported with videos, lectures, notes and online tutorial support.

To register an interest, please call 0845 373 2500 and speak to the Computing & ICT department.

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