News (302)

A fantastic collaboration by a group of music technology students at Newbury College has resulted in ‘Snow’ this summer as their debut single, of the same name, hits Spotify. The students, who have completed their Extended Diploma, have been working in the college recording studio to record and mix two original recordings for their end-of-year skills project.

The songs have been written by Rhys Clements and have been performed, recorded and mixed by Rhys and fellow students Sky Curtis, Robin Nutley, Lauren Peters and Tegan O'Connell Dorward. The aim of the skills project is to stretch our students and give them the opportunity to produce a vocationally relevant product at the end of their course.

"The Music Technology Extended Diploma students have been fantastic this year," said Matt Foster, the course leader. "They have really developed as studio engineers and music producers and enjoyed working independently in the studio to produce this skills project."
You can listen to the singles; Snow and Different on the Newbury College website where you can also enrol now for full-time Music Technology courses.


Students and staff at Newbury College welcomed former Team GB Sprinter, Mark Richardson, to officially open its new gym and wellbeing facility on Thursday 17 May 2018.

Councillor David Fenn, Mayor of Newbury, joined the Berkshire based athlete to formally cut the ribbon on the new facility, which is supported by Sport England.

Newbury College Sport Maker, Louise Neil, said, “This new facility has been created to provide all students with the opportunity to participate in physical fitness and wellbeing activities that complement the already extensive programme of sports-based activities we offer through the college enrichment programme.”

Following the official opening of the gym, Mark Richardson gave students an inspirational talk and presentation about his athletic career and achievements. Richardson, along with his teammates Iwan Thomas, Jamie Baulch and Roger Black, set a world record for the 4 x 400m relay during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and has achieved an impressive two gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze medals across different solo and team events throughout his career.

Newbury College hopes that the new facility, which has had specially adapted and accessible equipment installed, will be very popular with students of all abilities, engaging both mainstream and high needs students in improving their wellbeing through physical activity.

Do you want to know what it's like working at Newbury College?

Newbury College Sports Maker, Louise Neil, was recently interviewed for a feature on the Association of Colleges Jobs website

Louise, who has a degree in Sport Development, was asked about her career progression, from working at Aldershot Town FC and NCS to taking on her current role at Newbury College. She also spoke about the personal skills and attributes that someone needs to work in a similar career, including some of the memorable and challenging moments she has sometimes faced delivering such a wide range of enrichment activities at the college.

"The variation in my role, the freedom to engage with everyone and a very friendly college with a great community." were just a few of the many positives that Louise highlighted in her interview, as well as the recent LGBT pride events and educational visits.

What does Louise find most challenging? Read the full interview to find out.

Newbury College art student Finn Swift won the Young Persons’ prize for an Open Exhibition, entitled The Four Seasons, at Southampton City Art Gallery.

Finn was one of many artists who submitted their work as part of the gallery’s biennial open submission exhibition. The gallery invited artists in the South of England to take inspiration from the changing nature of the seasons. Newbury College art and design course leaders set the exhibition brief as an assignment for the students to complete towards their Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design. Course leader Jacky Purtill and student Evelyn Pritchett also had work displayed at the exhibition.

Finn’s winning artwork was an intricate 3D printed model of trees and vines entitled ‘Seasons’. The gallery wrote to Finn describing his work as ‘a fine, complex, intriguing and beautiful sculpture’. His prize was a 12 month subscription to the National Art Pass, giving Finn free access to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses.

“I was shocked but very pleased to discover I had won,” said Finn. “I enjoy working in this media and like how much detail you can incorporate into the design. The lecturers at College were very good at encouraging and supporting me once I’d generated the idea and I was also happy to receive a distinction for this project as part of my course.”

“We are very proud of Finn,” said Sarah Whittham, art and design course leader at Newbury College. “It is such an achievement for him to be awarded first prize in such a prestigious gallery.”

The exhibition is open at Southampton City Art Gallery until 21 April, Monday to Friday 10am-3pm, Saturdays 10am to 5pm. Entry is free. Click here for more information visit.  

Newbury College offers full-time Art and Design courses from Level 2 to Higher National Diploma and many part-time painting and drawing leisure courses. To find out more, visit its Open Event on Saturday 12 May 10am to 1pm.

As parents of teenagers at secondary school, you may have already heard about the government’s proposal to change the current vocational education system and introduce new T-level qualifications from 2020. You may also be wondering why the change was recommended and what impact it will have on your son or daughter when they go to a further education college?

In our handy guide for parents, we explain everything you need to know about the new qualifications and how they aim to increase your child’s skills and employability. 

What are T-levels?

Alongside apprenticeships and A-levels, T-levels will become one of the three main options for school leavers. T-levels are being introduced in the 2020/2021 academic year, and are designed to replace many of the vocational qualifications currently offered at level 3.

In a new two-year, level 3 technical study programme, T-levels will offer students:

  • Specific practical skills and knowledge in a chosen industry or occupation
  • 45 days’ work placement at a relevant employer
  • Core English, Maths and digital skills

Within the programmes, students can choose the occupational specialisms they wish to focus on either from the onset or during their course, for example Early Years Educator specialism within Childcare and Education T-level. After completing a T-level programme, students will have transferrable skills to use in the workplace, they may also continue their education at university or through an apprenticeship with an employer.

T-level qualifications will be offered in the following sector areas: agriculture, environmental and animal care, business and administration, catering and hospitality, childcare and education, construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, hair and beauty, health and science, legal, finance and accounting, protective services, sales, marketing and procurement, social care and transport and logistics.

How did they come about?

The reforms were announced by the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2016 following an independent review of the further education market. Led by Lord Sainsbury, it became known as the ‘Sainsbury Review’.

In the review, the current system was deemed ‘outdated and confusing’ and the radical overhaul of post-16 technical education began. In the autumn budget of 2017 the government announced an additional £20m to help colleges prepare for the change. This is on top of the annual £500m investment announced at the previous budget in March.

How are the new qualifications being developed?

The qualifications are being ‘co-designed’ by the Department for Education, Institute for Apprenticeships, education providers and employers. The aims are set out by the Department for Education, and the content developed by the other three parties.

The structure of the new qualifications will be different from the current system. The number of hours a student will study increases significantly from the average 540 hours offered now to approximately 1,800 hours over the two years (including the work placement).

The work placement element increases to 45 days, but can last up to 60 working days, making it much more meaningful to the student and employer. The timing of the work placement may be different depending on the qualification, some may opt for a continuous block, and others will distribute the work placement across the programme.

The core qualifications will be graded on a 6-point scale from E to A*, with A* being the highest. Occupational specialisms are awarded on a pass, merit or distinction basis.

Need more info?

The government’s website,, has a more in-depth article about T-levels for those looking to know more, click here for details.

Newbury College is offering specific T-level talks to parents in the autumn term of 2018. Keep an eye on the events page on the website for more details!

Further reading:

Before the holidays Newbury College Academy students were joined by local artists Jaime Jackson and Sally Payen to help them produce artwork based around the theme of ‘peaceful protest’.

Jaime and Sally have a special exhibition of artworks on display at West Berkshire Museum called The Knitted Fence. The exhibition explores the actions of the Greenham Common peace women’s non-violent protest during the 1980s, as well as eco activism, recycling, collaborative working and politics. Sally is a former Newbury College student, studying art at A Level when the College was based at its old site in town.

The pre-16 students learned about the peace camp, where protesters peacefully campaigned against nuclear warheads being stored at the Greenham airbase. They went on to develop images about causes important to them and stencilled or transfer-printed the images onto textiles before tying them onto a piece of fence with plaited ribbons.

The fence forms part of the special exhibition which is on show from 28 March to 29 April 2018. Entry to the exhibition is free. It is open Wed-Sun, 10am to 4pm.

In an exclusive interview with the Newbury Weekly News, new Principal and CEO Iain Wolloff sets out a vision for the development of Newbury College.

During the interview, Iain talks about the future ambitions for the College that include opening a university centre to improve the higher education opportunities in Newbury and the surrounding areas. Newbury College already offers a Degree Apprenticeship in Engineering but would like to expand this offering to attract more degree-level students.

To read the full article, visit Newbury Weekly News website here.  

Staff and students at Newbury College raised over £150 on Wednesday in aid of Sport Relief. Taking it in turns to cycle for 30 minutes each, 29 members of Newbury College staff and students cycled a total of 111 miles, the equivalent of cycling from Newbury to Leicester.

Sport Maker, Louise Neil, said: “Inspired by Zoe Ball’s Sport Relief Challenge, we wanted to join in and raise money for this great cause. Staff and students completed half an hour slots to see how far we could cycle.  It was great fun and we’d like to thank everyone for taking part.”

Click here to see the photos on our Facebook page.

Last week three students from Newbury College’s professional cookery course took part in a live ‘cook off’ at the final of The Country Range Student Chef Challenge in Hotelympia. The team, consisting of Emanuelle Dupas, Harley Paxford and Lewis Tull, were awarded bronze and came joint third overall.

Now in its 24th year, The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is a national competition allowing full-time hospitality students to showcase their culinary skills and creativity. Six teams from colleges all over the UK, had to cook a three-course, three cover menu with a theme of ‘Around the World in Three Spices’. The winner of the event was City of Glasgow College and Westminster Kingsway the runner up.

Commenting on the live final, student Lewis Tull, said: “We were quite nervous to begin with, but we soon relaxed into it. It was quite stress free in the end.”

“It was good that we were all cooking together,” added Emanuelle Dupas. “Having the team around us meant that we could talk and encourage each other.”

Newbury College course leader, Malcom Baggott, said: “The team did ever so well to get to the final, competing against many other top colleges. They held their nerve even in front of an audience of over 500 people and produced some fantastic food. We are very proud of them.”

The menu included a starter of spiced pan-fried Cornish mackerel fillets, with lentils, cauliflower and braised leeks, followed by roast guinea fowl supreme with ras el hanout, bulgur, purple broccoli and a tahini dressing, and finished with a hazelnut biscuit with Szechuan spiced pineapple and milk chocolate sauce for dessert.

Lewis and Emanuelle are second year students on Level 2 Professional Cookery course at Newbury College. Student Harley Paxford is in his first year. The students are taught in a professional kitchen and serve meals in the college restaurant which is open to members of the public on Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes and Thursday evenings during term time.

For more information or to book a table click here.

Newbury College students walked the red carpet last week for the premiere showing of a new promotional video.

The video, entitled ‘How did I get here?’, follows one student’s journey from application to graduation, using a reversed timeline and highlights many of the benefits students can take advantage of when studying at Newbury College.

“People often underestimate the value of vocational courses such as BTECs and NVQs,” explains Rachel Woodford, Marketing and Recruitment Manager at Newbury College. “This video aims to highlight just one of the many progression routes that young people can take following these types of qualifications.

“Many students at Newbury College progress on to university, higher education or meaningful employment and we hope this video sends a positive message to other young people who are currently making important decisions about their future education.”

Newbury College students Campbell Du Sart-Murray, Tom Agar and Sophie Hemsley, volunteered for the project, which was filmed over two days by Greenham Common-based production company, MWS Media and was shot largely on the college’s Monks Lane campus, with Shaw House generously providing the backdrop for the film’s graduation scene.

Filming for the ambitious project presented a few challenges for lead actor, Campbell, who rehearsed and spoke his lines backwards, so that when the scenes were reversed in post-production, they would synchronise to his pre-recorded voiceover.

“We are incredibly proud of all of the students who took part in this project either in an acting or background role,” continues Rachel. “We are also very grateful to the staff who took part in this project and local organisations such as Shaw House and Pageant Party who supported us with locations and costumes.”

The video launches on Monday 12 March 2018 across YouTube, FaceBook and SnapChat.

Watch now