We specialise in providing the support you need to achieve your goals. Based in your own area of the College, Fast Forward students have access to amazing mentors, learning support assistants and tutors to help you every step of the way.
Fast Forward courses enable you to focus on keys skills that will be essential for your progression, such as English, maths, personal organisation and communication.
Our programme includes vital careers education and you will have opportunities to try tasters of different vocational courses before you make final decisions about your next steps.
By the end you will discover abilities you didn’t know you had, gain confidence and have a clearer idea of where your future lies.
Matthew holds a degree in Education from Beloit College, Wisconsin, USA.
In his twenties, he spent three years teaching English in Japan. Prior to his current role he worked in a public library in Wisconsin, in an academic library at Oxford Brookes University and at the Story Museum in Oxford.
Matthew is now a Learning Support Assistant on the Fast Forward programme.
"I love how enthusiastic and passionate the staff are here at the College, about working with our students and ensuring they have all the extra support that they need, when they need it.
On Fast Forward, students get the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. This opens up a lot of opportunities and they discover skills they never knew they had; together we work on the skills that they struggle with.
It could be their confidence, communication, social skills, anything. It's up to us to build these up, alongside continually improving their career skills."
Tracey trained as a Florist after leaving school and eventually found her way into teaching, joining the College at the Common Leys Farm teaching floristry to adult learners.
She moved roles at the College to become a Work Experience Coach in the Fast Forward department when her children started school, and jumped at the opportunity when the Lecturer vacancy became available.
"The biggest benefit for Fast Forward students is routine; having a sense of purpose to get up in the morning, having something to focus on, and whilst in college forgetting about any external issues.
To know that they have support at college for anything they have going on is absolutely huge for our students. That, and getting an education to support their future.
I love the diverse students who learn in Fast Forward. They teach me things about life and give me reason for coming to work to help them."
James was an ex-student of Abingdon & Witney College, where he studied A levels and worked as a part-time Childcare Supervisor at White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre.
Since then, he's studied Psychology and Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University; volunteered for Oxfordshire Mind; and worked for Oxfordshire Young Carers Project as a Case Worker, among other roles.
James worked for 6 years in Pathways as Course Leader, before becoming Curriculum Manager of Access to Learning last year.
“It is a joy to be part of our student’s learner experience and journey.
I have always enjoyed being able to give students the opportunity to engage with their education, and helping each student progress into employment and further education which moves them closer to their aspirations.
We do so much more than challenging our students academically; we work with them to develop life skills, to enjoy enrichment activities and trips within their community, and also prepare for their next steps into employment."
Fast Forward is very relaxed and friendly which helps so much with my anxiety. The staff are really lovely and kind and they make learning good fun and keep me engaged so I never get bored like I did in school.
They are really supportive and approachable and I feel I can talk to them about anything. My confidence has really improved and I've already built a good friendship circle.
Once I feel ready, I'd like to go on to a health and social care course and would like to work with children with disabilities one day.
St Birinus School
I really enjoy making new friends and learning new things. College feels like another way of developing my skills, as I am learning about adult life a bit more and not just what is on the course.
The lessons I find are easier to understand and when there are problems, our teachers are quick to support us. They treat us like adults and not like children too and I'm gaining good independence skills whilst I am here.
I like that I have the chance to retake my GCSE English and maths as they I know they are important but it didn't work out first time.
Going to a College Open Day opened my eyes to the opportunities here. The facilities are good, you have a lot of freedom and I'm making friends.
It's an interesting subject where you learn skills to increase the chances of being employed, including getting work experience alongside college, and you get to do some fun and exciting things. I've really enjoyed our trip to Bournemouth and going to Thorpe Park too.
Overall it's a more open course than I thought it would be, because I'm developing more than just one skill. It's not only the main course; I'm also improving my maths for example.
I have part-time job alongside my studies but a hairdressing apprenticeship is what I would like to do in the future.
We've helped Fast Forward students move on to study college courses full-time, find volunteering opportunities and with the help of external organisations, set up valuable supported internships.
Explore the latest stories, insights and press releases from across the College.