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For all our good intentions, the majority of us will not keep our New Year resolutions. So instead of making the same old resolutions this year, why not try learning a new skill, improving your prospects, changing careers or taking up a hobby in 2018.

Whether you want to study part-time or full-time, there’s plenty of new courses on offer to suit your needs and you don’t have to wait until September to start. From stand-up comedy to interior design and Italian to hairdressing, there are a variety of courses starting in early 2018 at Langley College, Windsor College and Strode’s College in Egham.

“It’s never too late to learn something new,” says Juliet Holloway, Assistant Principal for Marketing and Business Development at Windsor Forest Colleges Group. “We have students aged from 15 to 87 years old. With our part-time courses, people can learn at a pace that suits their lifestyle or work commitments. We have courses at various levels to suit most people’s needs and a growing range of apprenticeships, from catering to engineering.”

“This year, we also have a new Skills 4 Careers course for 16-18 year olds, which provides a first step towards a career and the chance to try a range of practical subjects. For adults, we offer an extensive range of recreational courses and professional qualifications, including our new six to 12 week fast-track courses. Some people may also be eligible for free course fees or a government loan.”

With everyone expected to work longer before retirement, keeping your skills up-to-date or training for a career you enjoy, is a wise move that is sure to pay off.

With growing demand for higher level skills and the cost of university education on the rise, many people are also finding studying for a higher level qualification (e.g. Higher National Diploma, Foundation Degree or Higher Apprenticeship) at their local college is a more convenient and affordable alternative.

From business to construction, Windsor Forest Colleges Group offers a growing range of Higher Education courses including a Foundation Degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management.

Katie Snowden is one individual who decided to study a foundation degree at Langley College:

“My circumstances meant that I couldn’t go to university straight away, but I didn’t want to delay my plans to become a teacher. Studying a degree course at Langley College was so convenient and the teachers were fantastic. They really make time for you and they’re so supportive.”

For those who wish to unwind from the stresses of modern life, take up a hobby or simply meet new people, then the College also has plenty of recreational courses to choose from. New courses for 2018 include stand-up comedy, knitting, sewing and tiling as well as flower arranging, digital photography, Spanish and British Sign Language.

Windsor Forest Colleges Group was formed in 2017 following a merger between East Berkshire College and Strode’s College in Egham. For further information on over 800 courses and the financial support available, contact Windsor Forest Colleges Group on 01753 793000 or visit www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/courses

Published in Creative Studies

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Pupils at local primary schools were last week treated to two action-packed stage adventures thanks to talented performing arts students from Windsor College, part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group. Putting their own twist on the classic pantos, Pinocchio and The Wizard of Oz, the students delighted the young audiences with professional shows full of colourful characters and comic capers.

Now in its 14th year, the festive panto tour saw the College students deliver a series of 45 minute pantomimes to groups of between 40 and 300 children at various primary schools, including Marish Primary School, Ryvers Primary School and Eton Wick First School.

Both productions had all the elements you would expect from a classic panto, such as adventure, music, dancing, colourful costumes and plenty of audience participation. The tour was created as part of a module of the College’s Performing Arts BTEC Level 3 Diploma course and students have spent the term developing their skills in this area of performance.

Lecturer Natalie Jones said: “The response at every show was tremendous and the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The tour provides our students with an insight into what it is like to be part of a professional touring company, with some early starts, creating characters, improvising and adapting their performance to fit different spaces.”

The performing arts department at Windsor College have been visiting Ryvers Primary School in Langley on their panto tour for the last fourteen years.

Jane Alameddine, School Administrator at Ryvers School, explains: “The students from the College do such a good job, it is all very professionally organised and our pupils love the shows. That is why we ask them back every year. In fact, they now put on two performances for us.”

The College’s performing arts department has an excellent record of success with many students progressing onto successful careers on the stage and screen or behind the scenes. Former students include actor David Gyasi, who has appeared in Interstella, BBC2 drama White Heat and E4 drama Containment.

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 visit www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/courses or call 01753 793000.

Published in Performing Arts

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