Staff, Governors and Learners at Newbury College are reaping the rewards of all their hard work after fantastic praise from its Ofsted inspection, which has awarded the whole College a rating of 'Good'.
This judgment represents the best Ofsted report in the College's recent history and confirms the consistently high value which the College adds to all learners. Out of a total of 22 categories looking at the College's overall effectiveness, achievement and standards, personal development and well-being of students, capacity to improve, the quality of provision, and leadership and management, the College received 19 'good' judgments and a considerable number of 'Outstanding' comments were made about specific areas. These areas included; the results for many 16-18 year learner areas, Working with Businesses, Working in Partnerships, provision for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities and the support from Governors.
Anne Murdoch, College Principal is thrilled and said, "I am truly delighted that, following a full Ofsted inspection, we are now able to confirm that Newbury College is 'Good' overall. The report also confirms the hard work and commitment of everyone to ensure that all learners at the College get a good deal. Ofsted confirmed that Newbury College fosters a learning environment of trust, confidence and respect. In addition, Learners highly value the arrangement for providing information, advice, guidance and support. These are indeed accolades which everyone involved in the work of the College deserve".
The report noted that over the past four years outcomes for learners have improved significantly. Learners get their qualifications at rates which are good and in some cases, such as Level 2 results for younger learners, the results are outstanding. An extensive, well-developed range of vocational
programmes enables learners to enhance their employability prospects or move on to Higher Education or training and Programmes for Apprentices are good and completed in a pleasingly prompt way.
A testament to the work of all staff is the progress made by the College. The report confirms Newbury College is in the top 5% nationally in the value it adds to its learners during their course of study; a position it has held for two years.
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. Their aim is to raise aspirations and contribute to the long term achievement of ambitious standards and better life chances.
For more information about Newbury College and the range full and part time January 2010 start courses available, please contact Learner Services and Information on 01635 845000 .
Newbury College recently hosted West Berkshire Partnership's, Growing our Own' workshops for Small and Medium Employers (SMEs).
With Newbury College offering their facilities and admin support and funding from the Local Strategic Partnership these workshops were offered free of charge to all local small and medium businesses. Over three different dates there were three workshops put on for the businesses to attend in order to help them not just survive but thrive in the current economic climate. The first workshop Attracting and Retaining Customers' was held by Trainer Geof Thornton who talked about getting to grips with why people buy and keep buying, learning how to profile your customers and ideas on getting your business to stand out. The second workshop Marketing without Money' presented by Steve Mills from Steve Mills Marketing demonstrating how to make the most out of marketing, capitalising on word-of-mouth and gave a How To Guide' on free marketing options. Alex Petty from Alex Petty.biz' was the trainer of the third workshop Growing Your Own Business' which covered the crucial steps for business growth, systemizing and choosing the right team and how to ensure continuous growth for businesses. All attendees were greeted with a tea and coffee reception and were issued with accompanying workbooks to support each training session.
Matthew Lowe from Shoestrings Website who attended the workshops said, The workshops were highly informative and motivating. In particular the talk by Steve Mills provided some great insight into using social media to promote my business . Since the talk I have changed the way I use LinkedIn and have received work as a direct result of those changes! The direct nature of the workshops have made me face doing some things I've been putting off like creating a business plan, a mission statement, and even tasks as simple as deciding precisely what it is I want to get from the business and being self employed. After each of the courses I found the large gathering of representatives for local businesses made for excellent networking opportunities, which has provided me with a number of business leads that I hope to pursue over the coming weeks.
The workshops were supported by the Local Strategic Partnership and the College was able to provide the venue at no cost. About 80 people attended and outcomes from the workshops should make a real difference to those companies and to the economy of West Berkshire.
Anne Murdoch, Principal of Newbury College said, I am delighted that the College has been able to host the workshops which are free for local companies to find out how they can improve their business in the current economic climate. The workshop facilitators are all well known in their fields and provided excellent presentations on how small companies can grow their business, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Thatcham Rotary Club held recently at Newbury College the West Berkshire heat of the Young Chef 2012 competition sponsored by Filippo Berio.
The competition could be entered by anyone between the ages 11 to 17 years old. Entrants were asked to prepare a healthy three course meal for two people costing no more than £15. Young people from schools around Berkshire took part in the contest, including The Kennet, Trinity and The Willink. The College's excellent teaching kitchens were selected as the setting for the first round of the Young Chef competition in west Berkshire.
Ron Howard of Thatcham Rotary Club said, The standard of the cooking was very impressive. I was amazed by the way in which the young competitors planned their menus and then calmly carried out all the tasks required to produce three healthy courses of such high quality. We are very grateful to Newbury College for allowing the use of their high quality cooking facilities to make the organisation of the event possible. We are also pleased that Destination Newbury kindly agreed to sponsor the local competition.
Participants work was judged by a panel of three food experts, Sue Wright Newbury College Catering Course Leader, Gary Ockwell the Manager at Regency Park Hotel and a local chef, Ian Alexander. The judging criteria included entrants providing full costing details for their meals, submitting work plans, their list of ingredients, presentation, taste and healthiness of their food. The overall winner was Kate Fuller from the Willink School who will now go on to the District Final to compete against other young chefs for the chance to go through to the regional and national finals. The overall winner will be presented with a trophy and prizes from the sponsor Filippo Berio.
Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland believes it is highly important to encourage and develop creativity in young people, and this includes creativity in the kitchen so in association with Filippo Berio they have been able to promote this over the past years and will continue to do so through their Young Chef competitions.
If you're interested in finding out more information about the Young Chef competitions please visit the Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) website www.ribi.org. Alternatively if you would like to find out more information in hiring Newbury College's kitchen facilities or for any other information on the courses offered at the College please call on 01635 84500 or visit www.newbury-college.ac.uk.
Newbury College held an Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony last week in support of the National Apprenticeship Week. The event celebrated the success of local Apprentices and recognised the support of their employers.
The National Apprenticeship week ran from 6 to 10 February and is organised annually by the National Apprenticeship Service. This is the fifth year that this awareness scheme has been raising the profile of the benefits of Apprentices to employers, individuals, parents and the media.
Anne Murdoch, Principal of Newbury College said, The Apprenticeship awards ceremony was a wonderful occasion for apprentices, employers, families and friends to celebrate the outstanding achievements of all those receiving; both apprentices and employers. We are also very grateful to all our sponsors for their generosity in sponsoring each of the awards presented. This is the first time that the College has held a separate event for apprentice and employer awards and as the evening went so well, we will definitely celebrate in this way again.
The College Apprentice awards included, Young Apprentice of the Year' which was sponsored by Xtrac and won by Mechanical Engineering Apprentice Ben Hiscock who works for GB Hydraulics, Intermediate Apprentice of the Year' which was sponsored by Thatcham Automotive Academy and won by Zack Owen Taylor a Motor Vehicle Apprentice at Autocraft and Advanced Apprentice of the Year' which was sponsored by Sovereign Housing and won by Debbie Thomas a Health and Social Care Apprentice at Crossroads. As efforts from all employers are highly valued by their Apprentices and by the College it was too difficult to choose individual winners for each category so all employers were awarded. Awards were presented to Crossroads, Autocraft, The Machining Centre, Newbury Building Society, Schleifring, Edward Lifesciences, Xtrac and Gillette. The final overall award was the Apprenticeship Gold Award for Outstanding Achievement' which sponsored by Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and won by Business Administration Apprentice Aimee Prior from South Berkshire Ambulance Service for her outstanding commitment to her Apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications alongside workplace experience. They bring considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy. As an Apprentice, you can earn as you learn and gain practical skills from the workplace. Apprenticeships create a lot of advantages not only in terms of a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention.