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A talented Windsor College student has been crowned one of the world’s top young visual merchandisers. Catherine Abbott, who recently completed a retail and merchandising display course at Windsor College and now works for Topshop, won the silver medal for visual merchandising at WorldSkills 2017 – the world’s largest international skills competition for young people.

Catherine (aged 21, from Reading) showcased her skills by designing, planning and creating a stunning window display as part of the four-day competition in Abu Dhabi. Beating contenders from across the globe, Catherine was presented with her medal at a prestigious Olympics-style closing ceremony on 19th October.

Catherine said: “I was in absolute shock when they called my name. This means so much within my industry, I’m sure this will lead to a bright future for me. Big sacrifices were made to get to this point, but it’s been worth all the hard work and effort.”

Catherine took part and triumphed in regional heats, a national final, a Team UK selection process and months of intensive training, to represent the UK in visual merchandising at the 44th WorldSkills Finals.

More than 1,200 young people, from over 50 nations, who are specialist in 51 different disciplines from hairdressing to aircraft maintenance plumbing to 3D Games design, competed for gold, silver and bronze medals. Picking up 20 medals, Team UK finished 10th in the medals table ahead of Germany and was the smallest team to make the global top 10.

Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP, who visited the competition to support WorldSkills UK and the team, said:

“I have been blown away by Team UK. They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the World stage for skills and achieving great things.

 “There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.

 “WorldSkills UK is doing a fantastic job supporting these young people – with thousands of hours of input. We need to put all that they are doing - the ethos of this competition, the spirit of these apprentices- into a bottle and sprinkle it across the UK.”

 The Retail and Merchandising Display Department at Windsor College is a centre of excellence for visual merchandising and display design. The courses are highly respected within the industry and former students have gone onto successful careers with leading retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams.

 Sue Leadbeater, lecturer at Windsor College, enthuses: “We are absolutely delighted for Catherine and we are all very proud of her. It has been great to see her develop her skills and grow in confidence. She is a talented individual with a bright future ahead of her.”

 Catherine follows in the footsteps of fellow Windsor College student Kirsty Hoadley, who won the gold medal in visual merchandising at WorldSkills London 2011.

 Windsor College is part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, which was formed in 2017 following a merger between East Berkshire College and Strode’s College in Egham. For further information on Windsor College and its wide range of creative courses, please click here or call 01753 793000.

Published in Retail Merchandising

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Windsor College, part of Windsor Forest Colleges Group, was filled with the sweet smell of cakes on Friday 29 September when 14 students on the Evolve course (formerly Personal Options) rose to the occasion by taking part in Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The students raised over £250 for the charity by selling a variety of cakes and drinks to fellow students and staff at the College in St Leonards Road.

Many of the deliciously indulgent cakes including flapjacks, cupcakes and a variety of biscuits were baked and decorated by the students themselves and others, such as a heavenly harvest apple and blackcurrant cake and a scrumptious lemon drizzle cake were kindly donated by the Handmade Cake Company.

As part of the event, a raffle was also held to raise money for the charity. The prizes included a pair of teddy bears and cakes.

Lecturer Liz Wheeler explains: “As well as raising money for a good cause, the coffee morning also provides a great learning experience for students on our Evolve courses, which are designed for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The event teaches our students about handling money, communication skills, customer service skills and helps to build their confidence.”

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group has an excellent reputation for its courses for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, and its Windsor College is a specialist area for learners on the autistic spectrum.

Windsor College, offers a range of full-time and part-time courses, from A Levels and GCSEs to science, business and creative arts. Over the last 50 years, the College has earned an outstanding reputation for delivering high quality education and training.

For more information on the Evolve programme (formally called Personal Options) and over 800 other courses available at Windsor Forest Colleges Group, please visit click here or call 01753 793000.

Monday, 30 October 2017 12:11

Skills 4 Careers

This exciting vocational skills course covers a range of options across different vocational areas to provide you with a first step on the path to your chosen career. Whether you are not sure what you want to do, have no formal qualifications, didn't get the grades you were hoping for or want to change direction, this course will help you improve your skills and progress to further study and employment. The course is flexible, so you can personalise it to your needs and interests. As well as improving your English and maths, you will be able to try a range of practical subjects to help you decide which area you would like to specialise in.

English and maths (Mandatory if you do not hold a 9-4, A-C grade)

You can choose up to four subjects. Construction Information Technology Sports Travel Hair& Beauty

If you are committed you will be able to obtain up to four level 1 award qualifications plus maths and English if applicable.

Published in Sport
Monday, 30 October 2017 12:11

Skills 4 Careers

This exciting vocational skills course covers a range of options across different vocational areas to provide you with a first step on the path to your chosen career. Whether you are not sure what you want to do, have no formal qualifications, didn't get the grades you were hoping for or want to change direction, this course will help you improve your skills and progress to further study and employment. The course is flexible, so you can personalise it to your needs and interests. As well as improving your English and maths, you will be able to try a range of practical subjects to help you decide which area you would like to specialise in.

English and maths (Mandatory if you do not hold a 9-4, A-C grade)

You can choose up to four subjects. Construction Information Technology Sports Travel Hair& Beauty

If you are committed you will be able to obtain up to four level 1 award qualifications plus maths and English if applicable.

Published in General computing
Monday, 30 October 2017 12:11

Hairdressing Apprenticeship Advanced

This level 3 NVQ Advanced Apprenticeship gives you expert level training in a vast range of advanced hairdressing techniques and services. Structurally, you will study a total of nine mandatory units, which involve theory and practical classes, tutorial sessions and individual & group workshops.

Core units for this course include:

  • Ensure your actions reduce risks to Health & Safety
  • Promote additional products or services to clients
  • Provide hairdressing consultation services
  • Create a variety of looks using a combination of cutting techniques

Optional

  • Style and dress hair to achieve a variety of creative hairdressing skills
  • Style and dress long hair
  • Provide colour correction services
  • Perm hair using a variety of techniques
  • Support customer service improvements
  • Contribute to the financial effectiveness of the business
  • Contribute to the planning and implementation of promotional activities
  • Colour hair using a variety of techniques. On completing this course our hairdressers are able to carry out supervisory, training and management skills in a wide range of hairdressing related activities.
Published in Hairdressing
Monday, 30 October 2017 12:11

Skills 4 Careers

This exciting vocational skills course covers a range of options across different vocational areas to provide you with a first step on the path to your chosen career. Whether you are not sure what you want to do, have no formal qualifications, didn't get the grades you were hoping for or want to change direction, this course will help you improve your skills and progress to further study and employment. The course is flexible, so you can personalise it to your needs and interests. As well as improving your English and maths, you will be able to try a range of practical subjects to help you decide which area you would like to specialise in.

English and maths (Mandatory if you do not hold a 9-4, A-C grade)

You can choose up to four subjects. Construction Information Technology Sports Travel Hair& Beauty

If you are committed you will be able to obtain up to four level 1 award qualifications plus maths and English if applicable.

Published in Beauty Therapy
Monday, 30 October 2017 12:11

Skills 4 Careers

This exciting vocational skills course covers a range of options across different vocational areas to provide you with a first step on the path to your chosen career. Whether you are not sure what you want to do, have no formal qualifications, didn't get the grades you were hoping for or want to change direction, this course will help you improve your skills and progress to further study and employment. The course is flexible, so you can personalise it to your needs and interests. As well as improving your English and maths, you will be able to try a range of practical subjects to help you decide which area you would like to specialise in.

English and maths (Mandatory if you do not hold a 9-4, A-C grade)

You can choose up to four subjects. Construction Information Technology Sports Travel Hair& Beauty

If you are committed you will be able to obtain up to four level 1 award qualifications plus maths and English if applicable.

Published in Construction
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 12:16

Caring for Children Award Level 1

This is a Level 1 course that introduces an understanding of the skills required to work with children. You will cover a wide range of topics including growth and development of young children, understanding play, health and safety, healthy living and diets, and a variety of practical activities to explore with young children.

Published in Childcare

This qualification is designed for childcare practitioners working in the Early Years Foundation Stage in childcare settings. It covers core mandatory units on Communication, Equality & Diversity, Duty of Care, Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Children & Young People's Development. The Early Years Pathway explores these topics in greater depth along with Professional Practice in Early Years, Children's Learning and Development and a focus on Speech and Language Development. A range of optional units will be chosen to meet the needs of the employer and the learner.

The Apprenticeship has 5 mandatory components

  • The Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce
  • Employment Rights and Responsibilities
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English, Mathematics and ICT
  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills - incorporated throughout all other components

The Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce This consists of mandatory and optional units and combines knowledge and competence in the workplace. A total of 65 credits must be achieved.

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Every apprentice is required to demonstrate that they know and understand areas such as the range of employer and employee statutory rights and responsibilities under employment law, health and safety and equality and diversity procedures and documentation for their organisation. This will be evidenced through a workbook.

Paediatric First Aid This should be an approved 12hr Paediatric First Aid Certificate or the QCF Level 2 Award in Paediatric First Aid.

Published in Childcare
Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:17

Mathematics A Level (1st Year)

Mathematics is an important subject for those interested in the Physical Sciences, Engineering or Computing and it is a supporting subject for students of Business or Economics. The course follows the Edexcel specifications. This course is offered as part of the full time A level programme and over the two years consists of ten topics which are Pure Mathematics, five topics which are Statistics and five topics which are Mechanics. The first few weeks are usually given over to studying a bridging course, that aims to cover certain topics that are essential to master to cope with A level work.

Published in Maths

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