Celebrating 5 Years of our Forest of Dean Campus
As we approach the 5th anniversary of the opening of our Forest of Dean campus, we’ve been reflecting on some of the key moments in its journey since we opened the doors in 2018. To celebrate all that the campus has to offer, we’ve rounded up our top five favourite reasons to study at the Forest of Dean campus in Cinderford.
1. It was built sustainably in a beautiful natural setting
The Forest of Dean campus was our first fully environmentally friendly campus, powered by solar panels and featuring a sedum grass roof. It’s surrounded by lush woodlands and a beautiful lake, meaning that you can take advantage of the scenic surroundings for relaxation and outdoor learning experiences.
2. Diverse Course Offerings
Our Forest of Dean campus provides a wide range of courses tailored to various industries in the area. Whether you're interested in construction, creative arts, healthcare, or business, the campus offers courses that cater to different career paths, preparing you for employability and higher education at university.
- Art and Design
- Beauty Therapy
- Catering and Hospitality
- Early Years
- Forensic Computing and Cyber Security
- Games Design and Development
- Health and Social Care
3. Strong Local Industry Connections
The Forest of Dean is home to jobs in a range of industries, including hospitality, early years, beauty, and creative sectors. We’re really proud that we’ve established strong connections with local employers, allowing you to gain practical experience through work placements and industry days, enhancing your employability upon completing your course.
One of our employer partners is The Speech House Hotel:
“The Speech House Hotel has had a long working relationship with the college. Currently we have three chefs training in the kitchen, completing apprenticeships. In previous years we have trained staff in Front of House service areas.
"Employees have gained NVQ qualifications through Gloscol and as a result have been promoted within the hotel departments. We believe that training is vital for all employees and the best way for us as a hotel is to allow staff to train on the job whilst gaining a recognised qualification through Gloucestershire College.”
Gill Hans, Director at The Speech House Hotel
4. Supportive Learning Environment
As a college we pride ourselves on fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment. With smaller class sizes, you’ll receive personalised support from dedicated subject-specialist lecturers, facilitating a more effective learning experience. You’ll also benefit from a fantastic group of support staff and Student Mentors – find out more about what they do:
5. State-of-the-Art Facilities
Our Forest of Dean Campus boasts modern and well-equipped facilities, providing you with access to the latest resources and technologies relevant to your course. Facilities include a professional kitchen and restaurant, fully-equipped construction workshop, airy creative studios and a serene beauty salon. This ensures that you can learn in an environment that prepares you for the industries and places you’ll work in, after college.
So there you have it, our top reasons that the Forest of Dean is a great place to continue studying! But don’t just take our word for it, we’ve been speaking to some of our alumni and current students to see hear they loved the campus:
Caitlin Peates, studied Computing at Forest Campus in 2019
“As I live locally in the Forest of Dean it was easy and accessible for me to start my computing course closer to home, as when starting the course, I did not know if I would follow it through.
“I did follow it through and have now got to level 6! Reflecting back, it was with the help of the lecturers who, in Level 2, pushed me to carry on with what I was doing – they got me to carry on and see where these types of qualifications lead.
“With the location of where it is there are many different things to do when you get a bit of spare time around the college, and some of the facilities such as the canteen, along with the comfortable seating areas when you are waiting for the next session to start.”
Antonio Bottomley, Art and Design
“College is way more chilled and more social than school, with more opportunities to make more things and build new designs.
“I feel way more confident after doing this course. I’ve been encouraged to be more creative too. I’m being more experimental now and I want to try anything!”
Emily Williams, Art and Design
“Everyone here is so kind and it’s a really nice environment to be in. It’s not very stressful and you get a lot of help. I think I’ve gotten a lot more confident because it’s so comfortable here and it’s really easy to speak to anyone.”
Kasey Tyler, Hairdressing
“I went in not knowing anyone and they’re now my closest friends. Everyone gets along with everyone. Everyone here is so nice. It’s really friendly.”
Tom Dixon, Computing
“College is a lot more open than school. You can do more of what you want, and there’s more choice in what you do. You can really specialise.
“The teachers are easy to talk to if you have any problems. It’s a really nice, relaxed environment and everyone is nice here. My first day I was really shy, but it’s really easy to make friends because everyone is in the same boat.”
Lucy Share, Beauty
“I love how relaxed college is and that you can be yourself. School felt quite restrictive. I’m definitely more confident and more independent since doing this course. It’s quite flexible and my day is different every day. My whole group is really nice, and because it’s a close environment we get to know each other well.”