Together with James Taylor and Jon Samson, I met today with Justin Whitlock, Bracknell Forest Council’s Enhanced Integrated Offender Manager. Working with Kellie Williams, the council’s Community Safety Manager, the pair lead on PREVENT issues for the local authority.

We discussed how Bracknell & Wokingham College can play an increasingly strong leadership role in support of the local authority and arranged for Justin to deliver a workshop in September to raise awareness of PREVENT for the College’s key staff who will then cascade the training across the whole College.

We discussed a number of other areas including:

– Sharing of information on external speakers and events.

– Partnerships – including the local Channel Panel upon which the College sits.

– Risk assessment and how the College can utilise intelligence updates from the local authority.

– Preventing inappropriate use of the internet

– Pastoral support and the College’s new initiative which commences in September.

We also contributed to the council’s draft PREVENT strategy.

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Warship visit – HMS DAUNTLESS

Yesterday a group comprising College Governors, College Staff Bracknell Forest Council staff and a 15 year-old son of one of our Governors enjoyed a superb visit to Portsmouth Naval Base and specifically to HMS DAUNTLESS.

HMS DAUNTLESS is a Type 45 Destroyer. The Type 45 destroyers are primarily designed to shield the Fleet from air attack and are equipped for anti-air warfare with the capability to defend against sophisticated targets such as fighter aircraft, drones, as well as highly manoeuvrable sea skimming anti-ship missiles travelling at supersonic speeds.

We were given an excellent tour by the ship’s Operations Officer and her Navigating Officer. The tour included:

a. The Ratings’ accommodation, so that we could can get a feel for how sailors live.

b. The Ship Control Centre/HQ1, from where all damage control is organised and from where the ship’s power is controlled (modern warships can produce the same amount of power as is used by a small town).

c. The Operations Room, the area below deck from where the Commanding Officer will fight the ship.

d. The bridge from where the ship is conned (steered).

Colleagues were left with a much better awareness of the role played by the Royal Navy and by the Type 45 in defending a naval task force and, most importantly, about the variety of exciting naval careers that are available to young men and women.

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Armed Forces Day

To show the College’s support for Armed Forces Day (Saturday 25 June) the College has been running the Armed Forces video in the Church Road campus reception area.

And today 11 of the 13 members of Staff and Corporation who are either ex Regulars or are Volunteer Reserve got together to demonstrate their own support – we soon slipped back into good natured, inter-Service banter!

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Contemporary World Food

Last week our Hospitality and Catering Level 2 course ran 4 events covering contemporary world food, including Italian, Indian, Thai and French cuisine.

Students prepared food and served it from a buffet in the Star Cafe and also in a more formal ‘restaurant’ setting.

The meals were delicious! I really liked the French Chicken Chasseur and the Thai Lemon Chicken.

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A metaphor for life

While swimming recently I overheard an instructor, who was teaching backstroke, say to his young charge:

“The wall won’t come to you – keep kicking!”

It rather tickled me and I thought it was a particularly good metaphor for life.

(with thanks to cityofventura)

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The Servant Queen

To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday, the Bracknell and Warfield parish churches presented Bracknell & Wokingham College with a copy of The Servant Queen – a beautiful illustrated tribute to Her Majesty’s long life and reign.


Fiona and Les

Fiona and Les











The book was presented by Holy Trinity Church Team Vicar, Reverend Les Jesudason and was received on behalf of the College’s Learning Resources Centre by Fiona Lawes and is now on prominent display.

Les is a regular visitor to the College to meet with staff in quiet contemplation and prayer. He and I have been discussing what further links there can be between the College and Holy Trinity church. This might include our media students making a video record for the church’s heritage project.


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Promoting British Values – EU Referendum

We have been helping to prepare our students for the EU Referendum through an orchestrated information campaign.

The campaign has included:

a. Articles placed in the weekly newsletter, circulated to all students, underlining the need to register to vote (as we did last year for the General Election). In so doing, this helps to promote British Values and the importance of our democratic system.

b. Posters.

C. A visit by the Bracknell constituency MP Dr. Phillip Lee with 5 of his staff to talk to students about the importance of using their vote.

Phillip was supported by two College staff, Hannah Aitchison and David Constable who explained the arguments being made by the Remain and the Leave campaign. Phillip then led a debate to afford students an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the arguments. We had a full Conference Room and I was impressed by the quality of the questions.

d. Holding our own mini college referendum in the week starting 20th June with students of all ages able to vote to remain in or leave the E.U. using a simulated polling booth and voting papers.

I have written to the Skills Minister, Nick Boles, to let him know how the College is playing its part in helping to prepare our students for this very important decision.

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