Saturday, 20 October 2018

Rotary Club of Henley Bridge

Rotary Club of Henley Bridge

SATWANT DEOL, principal of The Henley College, was the speaker at our latest meeting.

She spoke with great enthusiasm about the achievements of the college’s students, past and present.

She said: “We are very proud of our excellent reputation with a brilliant mix of motivated students, dedicated staff, extensive employer links and excellent progression into universities and employment.

“The Henley College has an excellent track record of exam results, with a 98 per cent overall A-level pass rate for 2016.”

Ms Deol was born in India but educated in the UK. Her background is in software and computer engineering. She was appointed college principal 18 months ago.

The college was formed when King James College merged with the Henley Technical College in 1987. It currently has 2,000 students of whom about half are studying for A-levels and the remainder are doing vocational BTECs or apprenticeships. Students are drawn from more than 100 schools in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

The college’s ethos is “Come questioning, continue to improve, grow”.

Ms Deol outlined some of the challenges that face the college and other sixth form colleges around the country at present. Government funding has been cut by 25 per cent so they’ve been forced to rationalise by cutting some subjects.

Furhermore, mental health issues, aggravated by social media, are growing among young people and the college’s caring and listening service is a costly annual charge on resources.

The college is partnered with Leander Club for rowing and the Wasps Academy for rugby. There are also links with the Henley Business School.

Its three main specialisms are business, sport and the creative media.

STEM learning is an important new development. This is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

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