Merrist Wood College

Merrist Wood College

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Welcome to the official Merrist Wood College page! 🌳 🚜 🐶 ⚽️

Operating as usual

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 26/03/2024

🙏 A massive thank you to Alan Sargent and Gareth Wilson Garden & Landscaping Consultant for visiting Merrist Wood College yesterday to present their Paving for Home & Gardens Seminar! 👩‍🔧

🙌 Alan and Gareth's insights were incredibly valuable to both industry professionals and our Horticulture and Landscaping students.

🌟Thank you to both Alan and Gareth for their time and generosity towards our students, providing CPD certificates and books, along with a delightful lunch for all attendees.

➡️ Go here to find out more about our courses:


⭐We were delighted to see such a great turnout at our annual student conference last week!⭐

✨ It was great to see so many eager faces ready to share their thoughts and insights about life at Merrist Wood College and University Centre. ✨

🗣Topics discussed ranged from the admissions process, support and well being, enrichment, teaching and learning and careers advice. Our students had the floor to voice their opinions, share what we're doing well, suggest areas for improvement, and brainstorm ideas to enhance their college experience. Their feedback, insights and ideas were invaluable. 👏

🙏A massive shout-out to all the students who took the time to join us! Your participation is instrumental in shaping the future of our college community. Together, we're driving the planning of an outstanding student experience here at Merrist Wood College. Thank you for your input! 🙌

➡️ Apply now for a September start! Find out more here:


🌈✨ Happy Holi to all who are celebrating today! 🎉

Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, love, and new life. It's a colourful festival, with dancing, singing and the throwing of powder paint and coloured water.

Wishing everyone a day filled with colours, laughter, and joy. 🌺🔆


Explore your interests with FREE Community Learning courses for adults at Merrist Wood College!

🌱 An Introduction to Horticulture for Beginners: Discover the joys of growing your own veggies and herbs!

💐 Floristry for All: Learn the art of creating beautiful flower arrangements for your home or as heartfelt gifts.

🌼 Get to Know Your Woodland Flowers: Gain insights into various woodland flora and deepen your appreciation for nature.

🦎 British Native Reptiles: Delve into the ecology and habitat requirements of these reptiles, offering valuable knowledge for nature enthusiasts interested in our local wildlife.

Enrich your learning journey with these community courses designed to ignite curiosity and develop new skills. Connect with like-minded individuals and embrace the opportunity to expand your knowledge. Enrol now:

Embark on a journey of lifelong learning at Merrist Wood College.

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 20/03/2024

Students across Activate Learning stepped into a unique digital experience with the BT Immersive Spaces Roadshow.

Last week, the innovative BT Immersive Spaces set up their mobile immersive rooms at Merrist Wood College, City of Oxford College and University Centre City Centre Campus and Banbury and Bicester College.

This unique opportunity allowed students and staff to experience state-of-the-art technology in a fully immersive digital experience from a valued external partner.

The rooms boasted interactive, 360° video content enriched with dynamic lights, sounds and scents, compatible with Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Extended Reality (XR).

Designed to replicate real-life environments, these spaces elevate learning and development opportunities. By fostering an interactive and engaging atmosphere, they captivate students’ attention, transforming the educational experience into an enjoyable journey. The utilisation of immersive technology has been shown to enhance student motivation and foster active participation in lessons.

Read more:


🌟 Happy International Day of Happiness! 🌟

Today, we're celebrating the joy that learning brings to our lives. 📚✨ Whether it's academic achievements, making new friends, or simply enjoying the journey of education, let's take a moment to appreciate the happiness that surrounds us.

Tag someone who brings a smile to your face at college and spread the positive vibes! 🤗💙


Additional bursary funds have become available to students.

To learn more about eligibility and to apply, please visit the Advice Centre on campus or the Financial support and bursaries webpage for more information:

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 15/03/2024

🐝Our Wildlife & Conservation degree students had a fantastic talk with the Guildford Bee Keeping Assocation this week.

🐝Did you know that of the 25,000 types of bee in the world, there are only 250 species in the UK, and only 1 of these produces honey. 🍯

🐝All of them are essential biodiversity though, and provide critically important pollination services which humans benefit from.🌸

🐝Our students have being exploring how we can boost bee biodiversity locally and prevent negative impacts from invasive species.

➡ To find out more about our animal-themed Higher Education degrees please visit:


🌳Yesterday saw our first year Arboriculture students gaining some valuable hands-on learning experience out in the Merrist Wood forest.

🌱The group have been thinning a silver birch stand to allow healthier trees to prosper and mature into decent specimens.

🌳They also carried out rhododendron clearance - which is fairly abdundant in the woods and needs careful managing as an invasive species.

🌱After all their hard work, they enjoyed the classic treat of toasting marshmallows over the fire - a well-deserved reward for their efforts! Well done team! 👏

🌳 Go here for more on our Arboriculture programmes:

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 14/03/2024

A small selection of photos of recent newborns on our farm, including a rare set of quads born this week! 🐑🐑🐑🐑

☀️Babies are coming thick and fast now that Spring has sprung! Come and meet all of this year's farm babies at our annual lambing event, Fleecy Frolics, on 20 April 2024, 12-4pm, and 21 April 2024, 10-4pm. ☀️

➡️More info and tickets here:

(N.B. no tickets will be sold on the gate, so it's important to pre-book to avoid disappointment on the day!)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 13/03/2024

📣Calling all students and staff at Merrist Wood today!! Our Public Services students are currently undertaking a charity run in the Harris Centre in aid of Shooting Star Children's Hospices (a local charity close to our hearts). 💫

🏃🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️The team have set themselves a target of a 75km run today and are here collecting donations now! At time of posting, they have run 20km, so let's get behind them and see how much we can raise today!

✨You can put cash in the bucket or, if you have no pennies to hand, fear not! They are able to take card payments too - so please do come along and support them! ✨


🦡 Our Higher Education students were very excited to hear from Ester Hill about the meaningful conservation work going on at Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT). 🦊

🦔 Many of our students already proactively take part in SWT's amazing Citizen Science projects to support local biodiversity...but as ever, our brilliant students were not stopping there and we are now more connected than ever with the SWT as novel student-led research collaborations are poised to tackle important conservation questions. 🦉

🦌 It's an exciting time to be a Wildlife & Conservation student at Merrist Wood College's Higher Education Centre! 🦇

➡To find out more about our animal and conservation degrees visit:


📸We love an opportunity to develop an industry-relevant skill and this month the Higher Education Centre at Wood College and University Centre has been running wildlife and animal photography sessions to complement day-to-day lectures. 🦉

🦡These brilliant sessions have been led by our very own final year students, Kav and Vicky, who have the passion and specialist knowledge for professional wildlife photography. 🦌

🦔The peer-assisted learning involved in these sessions has added a really interesting dimension to the student experience at all levels this week and its great to see another useful skillset being developed for our students alongside their degree. 🦊

➡Go here to find out more about our Higher Education degrees:

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 12/03/2024

🌳 Yesterday, we had the pleasure of hosting Phil and Mark from Sorbus International Ltd - Arborist & Hi-Tech Equipment Specialists at Merrist Wood College.

🌲They delivered an excellent session for local businesses and our Level 3 and Level 4 Arboriculture students. The session covered theoretical aspects of hi-tech wood testing systems and featured hands-on experience with the PICUS 3 Tomography and IML Resistograph.

🌳 Students enthusiastically asked questions, sparking new interests and yielding excellent insights.

🌲 A sincere thank you to Phil and Mark for their time.

🌳 Go here for more on our Arboriculture programmes:

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 11/03/2024

📣Exciting news! We are delighted to announce the launch of the Merrist Wood College Seed Library!

🌱Situated within our college's Learning Environment, the seed library champions sustainability, actively involving our college community and fostering environmental awareness.

🪴Through engaging, hands-on experience, students can 'borrow' seeds for planting, with the option to later harvest and return seeds to the library, enriching their knowledge of sustainable practices and biodiversity.

🌷This initiative aims to foster a sense of unity among campus gardening enthusiasts, encouraging collaboration and exploration with a wide range of seed varieties.

🌿Additionally, by promoting involvement in gardening activities, the seed library contributes to the overall well-being of individuals within our college community.

🪻Many of the seeds in our collection were harvested from plants here on the campus, grown by our horticulture students over the past year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the students and staff who made this possible.

A special thank you goes out to Vital Seeds , Marshalls Garden , Thompson & Morgan , and Franchi Seeds of Italy for generously donating seed packets to help us kickstart this incredible resource. 🙏⭐️


🌱🌿We are thrilled that Merrist Wood College has the honour of being invited for the second consecutive year to design a show garden for the BBC Gardeners’ World Fair at the stunning Beaulieu Estate in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, from 3-5 May.

🌷Today marked a pivotal step as our second-year Level 3 Horticulture and Landscaping students embarked on a site visit to the venue.

🪻In just under two months, they will transform the patch of grass pictured into a beautiful garden for the event. This year's theme is Climate Change and our student team (Ben, Ryan, William, Kieron, Charlie and George) are busy designing and planning their show garden concept.

🌹A huge thank you to the BBC Gardeners’ World Events team for making our students feel so welcome!

🌼Watch this space for updates as we get closer to the event!

🌻Go here for more info on our Horticulture programmes:


Tonight marks the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan, where Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours and take part in spiritual acts of devotion such as prayer, charity and strengthening family ties.

'Ramadan Mubarak' to everyone in our community who is observing this sacred time. Sending our best wishes for a happy and peaceful month ✨


We’re celebrating International Women’s Day 2024 by shining a light on some of our incredible female staff. Meet Vicky Winslow, Public Services tutor.

"All women should be celebrated, whether they are working or not. We are all amazing in everything we do! I have never really thought about celebrating myself! I just get on with what needs to be done."

Read more:


In celebration of International Women's Day, we had the privilege of speaking with Becky Brailsford, Senior Product Development Manager at Billington Foods, an industry-leading food manufacturer supplying the UK’s foodservice, retail and B2B markets.

Becky is currently studying the Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Management and Leadership qualification with Activate Business School, part of Activate Apprenticeships. She started the qualification in January 2023 and shares her transformative journey and insights on women’s empowerment in the workplace.

Becky’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of education and the impact it can have on a woman's career. This , her story serves as an inspiration for women pursuing leadership roles, highlighting the importance of confidence, perseverance, and embracing opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Discover her story:


In honour of International Women's Day, we had the privilege of speaking with Joanne Stone, Import/Export Manager at Knorr-Bremse, a global leader in braking systems for commercial road and rail vehicles.

Joanne is currently studying the CMI Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager qualification with Activate Apprenticeships. She is about to enter the final assessment period for her programme.

Joanne’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of education and mentorship in empowering women in leadership roles. As we celebrate , Joanne’s story serves as a testament to the potential for growth and success when organisations invest in the development of their female talent.

Discover her story:


We're celebrating International Women's Day by sharing some incredible stories from our staff and students.

Higher Education student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Merrist Wood College , Megan Barker, talks to us about her role, ambitions and celebrating and what International Women’s Day means to her.

Read more:


🌟 Celebrating International Women's Day 2024 with a pledge to "Inspire Inclusion"! 🌍✨

At Activate Learning, we recognise the power of diversity and empowerment in shaping a brighter future for all. 🚀💪 This year's IWD theme highlights the crucial role of inclusion in the journey towards gender equality.

🌈 Today, and every day, we champion the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life. 🌺👩‍🎓 Elevating female voices leads to more inclusive outcomes and better representation.

Read more about the work we do to empower and celebrate our female identifying students and staff across Activate Learning:

Together, let's stand united in the pursuit of a world where every woman's potential is recognised and celebrated. 💖👏 Happy International Women's Day! 🌟🎉

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 06/03/2024

📸✨ We're proud to present the amazing winners of our 2024 Learning Environments Photography Competition!

The theme of the competition this year was 'Celebration'. Students were free to interpret this in any way they wished; from joyous events to the natural world we've loved getting to explore each entry's own expression of celebration! 🙌🎉

We were so impressed with the standard of the images this year, and cannot wait to see what incredible creativity is showcased in next year's competition! 📸🥇

Photos from Merrist Wood College's post 05/03/2024

Another really interesting day in Higher Education at Merrist Wood College! 🌳

We had a fantastic training session delivered by Emma Warren-Brown, Principal of the Animal Academy, who came to teach our students in Animal First Aid. 🐾

The students were awarded certificates on completion of this course and got to see first-hand what's involved in transporting injured animals in Emma's Animal Ambulance.🚑

Thank you for your time and for sharing your expertise with us Emma! ⭐

Go here for more about our animal and wildlife-based Higher Education degrees:


🌟 Happy National Careers Week! 🌟

At Activate Learning, we're passionate about empowering learners and unlocking the door to exciting career opportunities. 🚀 This National Careers Week, let's celebrate the incredible work of Activate Apprenticeships and the transformative impact they have on shaping future professionals!

🌐 Our apprenticeships are more than just programs; they're pathways to success and growth. Whether you're exploring a new field or honing your skills in a familiar one, Activate Apprenticeships are designed to bridge the gap between education and the professional world.

Ready to take the first step towards a rewarding career? Visit our website to explore the diverse range of apprenticeship opportunities waiting for you:


Another alumni insight for ! 🎉

Today, we're sharing Anna's college reflections. Anna studied Hair and Media Make-up at Guildford College and shared how college allowed her to discover what she was capable of. 🎨✨

Find out more about how we're celebrating Colleges Week across our campuses here:


Meet our mob of meerkats, Shenzi, Nala, Timone and Pumba! They come from southern Africa including countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Living in such a sunny place, they have adaptations to cope with the bright sun including dark circles around their eyes acting like sunglasses!

In the wild meerkats primarly eat insects. Here at Merrist Wood they get a variety of bugs which they enjoy extracting from different enrichment. Don’t forget we offer a ‘Meet the meerkats’ tour, more information can be found over at Merrist Wood Events.


Last week in an article for FE Week, Cheri Ashby, Deputy Chief Executive at Activate Learning, urged the government to sustain support for 16-19 tuition funding to close disadvantage gaps in further education. 🎓🌐

Despite pledges from the Prime Minister to extend the study of English and Maths to age 18, the 16-19 Tuition Fund introduced in 2020 is in danger of being discontinued this August.

"Discontinuing the 16-19 Tuition Fund is not a viable solution," she emphasised.

At Activate Learning, we've witnessed the positive impact of this funding first-hand, introducing new roles like Intensive Progress Coaches to support learning progress, engagement, and wellbeing. The pandemic's effects linger, and sustained catch-up funding can play a pivotal role in closing the attainment gap. 🌐✨

Now is not the time to withdraw essential support. Let's honour the commitment to providing extra help for those who need it most. 🌱📖

Read more about this issue here:

Association Of Colleges


To celebrate , today we're sharing Callum's thoughts on his time at college. 🎓✨

Callum studied Photography at Bracknell and Wokingham College and he shared how going to college transformed his attitude to learning. 📷📚

Find out more about how we're celebrating Colleges Week here:

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Videos (show all)

Our students' thoughts on International Women's Day 2024! ✨#IWD2024 #InspireInclusion
🚨 Reminder that our first 2024 Open Event is next week! 🚨Merrist Wood College invites you to our upcoming Open Event! Th...
🚀 Reflecting on the impact of Activate Learning's Learning Philosophy, designed to empower and enrich the educational jo...
🚀 Thinking about the Brain with Activate Learning's Learning Philosophy, designed to empower and enrich the educational ...
Year of the Dragon 🐉Happy Chinese New Year to all of our students, staff and everyone celebrating in the Activate Learni...
🌟 Celebrating Apprenticeships! 🌟  In this video, witness the symbiotic success of the apprenticeship journey featuring a...
🌟 Apprentice success story! 🌟  Embark on a journey of personal growth and development in this video with current apprent...
🌟 Employer spotlight! 🌟  Discover the impact of Activate Apprenticeships  straight from the source. 👥🌐 In this video, Be...
🚀 Focusing on Motivation through Activate Learning's Learning Philosophy, designed to empower and enrich the educational...
🌟 Apprenticeships for all! 🌟  Challenge your perception of what apprenticeships are through this video, featuring Sam Ea...
✨ Join us next week for National Apprenticeship Week, where we celebrate the power of learning through experience and me...
Learning Philosophy in Action - Eva Oliver




Merrist Wood College, Holly Lane, Worplesdon

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