BUILDING A SECURE FUTURE2Students from Henley School are learning valuable practical skills during weekly classes at Stratford-upon-Avon College. 

Since September 2014, they have been attending the College every Tuesday, taking the New Start course – studying for a BTEC Level 1 Diploma in Vocational Studies.

The course, which will continue throughout the academic year, involves studying a variety of skill-based areas including Art and Design, and Construction and Engineering, alongside English and Maths.  The majority of course units are tailored to suit the main vocational subject chosen, with students assessed on a portfolio of evidence.


Ethan Paine (orange vest) and Matthew Collins (yellow vest), both 14 from Henley, fine tune their brick-laying skills

It is designed for students who benefit from learning in a more adult environment and who wish to concentrate on the skill-based subjects in which they have a particular interest.

Since the start of this academic year, the students have been studying construction skills.

Connor Daly, 14, from Henley sees the course as the stepping stone to his future in the construction industry: “I want to take over my Dad’s construction company when I’m older. I always go onto site with him, but this course is helping me to gain the skills I need.”

For Ethan Paine, also 14 from Henley, it has helped him picture a possible future: “I’ve really enjoyed this course and now I’m thinking about construction as a future career. I really think it might be for me.”

Peter Lowry, construction lecturer at the College, is impressed with the attitude of the students: “The College is always delighted to work with local schools in developing their pupils, by teaching them the practical skills that employers are looking for. When they work with the enthusiasm and commitment shown by these students, I am confident that we are preparing them for a future of secure employment.”

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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