Learning for Interest

Beginners Arabic

Who is this course for?

This course is for beginners who would like to learn to speak and read basic words and phrases in Arabic.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need enthusiasm to have a go at developing your basic Arabic speaking and reading skills to help you make the most of your holidays in Arabic-speaking countries.

What will the course cover?

This introduction to Arabic course enables learners to get familiar with basic Arabic phrases. Communicating in everyday situations will be made easy, using simple, useful phrases and easy vocabulary. You will also be able to broaden your knowledge of aspects of Arabic culture.  The course includes:

  • The  Arabic alphabet
  • Writing / reading simple words
  • Greetings
  • Introducing oneself and family
  • Telling the time / numbers
  • Shopping for food and clothes
  • Asking for / giving directions
  • Ordering food at a café / restaurant

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After you have completed this course, you will be ready to progress to Intermediate Arabic.

Where and when will I learn?

This is a 5 weeks course, with each session lasting two hours.  It will run one evening a week at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington plus one other at Crown Street Library

What should I bring with me?

Please bring pens, a notepad, an A4 folder and the will to learn and communicate in Arabic!

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £30.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk

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Beginners Acrylics

Who is this course for?

This 5 week course is designed for learners who wish to gain confidence in painting with acrylics and explore an exciting range of painting techniques.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

Although not essential, some previous experience with drawing or painting is advisable. You should be enthusiastic to learn about painting with acrylics and having a go at developing painting skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

What will the course cover?

Each week you will create your own fantastic painting from scratch and explore different subject matters including landscape, portraits and still life. 

Over 5 weeks, you will explore:

  • Brushstrokes
  • Chinese brush
  • Colour mixing
  • Composition
  • Drip and pour technique
  • Layering
  • Tone
  • Reflecting on artwork

During the final 2 sessions, you will use the skills that you have learnt during the course to design your own acrylic painting.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After completing this course you may like to progress onto a further acrylics course or a related course such as Watercolours or Printmaking.

Where and when will I learn?

Sessions will run one morning a week for 2½ hours at Crown Street Library, Darlington.

What should I bring with me?

Learners will be expected to provide all painting materials.  For the first session, you will require a water pot, palette, flat brush, round headed brush, set of acrylic paints, acrylic painting paper, palette knife and masking tape.  During the initial class, the tutor will recommend materials for the rest of the course.  The estimated cost of course materials is £30 - £50.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £60 for the 8 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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Beginners Cake Decorating

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who is interested in developing skills in cake decorating.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn about cake decorating in a fun, friendly environment and a willingness to have a go.

What will the course cover?

You will learn how to:

  • Decorate biscuits with royal icing using outlining, flooding, dotting and piping
  • Make rose cupcakes with white chocolate frosting and sugarpaste roses
  • Make ‘Pigs in Mud’ ganache cakes
  • Make rococo chocolate cupcakes with fondant icing and flower paste flowers
  • Create flowerpot cupcakes
  • Prepare, cover and decorate a fruit cake with marzipan and ready roll icing
  • Make sugarcraft decorations

You will be required to complete an individual learning plan with the targets you wish to achieve during the 7 weeks.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the Intermediate Cake Decorating course, or the ‘How to set up a Cake Business’ course.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one morning a week 9.30am - 12.30pm at the Coleridge Centre, for 5 weeks starting Thursday, 6th October. 

What will I need to bring?

From the second week of the course, you will need to provide your own ingredients. In the first week of the course, the tutor will advise on the ingredients to bring for future weeks.

During the course you will also need to bring containers to take your cake(s) home and a tea towel and apron. It is essential that an apron is worn and long hair tied back. Please wear flat, sensible enclosed shoes. Cooking equipment and washing up equipment will be provided. 

A relaxed, informal atmosphere is encouraged, with some flexibility over which cakes each learner chooses to decorate. You can choose the decorations and skills that are most suitable to you.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £45 for the 5 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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Beginners Dressmaking

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who is interested in learning and developing the skills required for dressmaking.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn about dressmaking in a fun, friendly environment and a willingness to have a go.

What will the course cover?

You will:

  • Develop the confidence and ability to choose and understand a commercial pattern
  • Take measurements for an accurate fit
  • Learn pattern layout, marking and cutting
  • Learn how to use the sewing machine
  • Develop skills in sewing techniques and garment making processes

Depending on your pattern, you may also learn the following techniques:

  • French seams
  • Seam finishes
  • Bound and piped edges
  • Gathers and tucks
  • Darts
  • Fastenings

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress onto the Intermediate Dressmaking or another related course such as Home Furnishings or Silk Painting.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week for 2½ hours at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

What should I bring with me?

For the first week, please could you bring any samples / off-cuts of fabric in order to practice stitching on the sewing machine. An essential equipment list will be provided during the first lesson.

You will need to purchase your own fabrics, patterns and accessories for the course. Requirements will be discussed in the first lesson.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £37.50 for the 5 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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Beginners Home Furnishings

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for learners who are interested in using modern craft techniques and decorative effects to create fabulous items for the home.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in designing and making beautiful items for the home.

What will the course cover?

Learn the techniques of hand and machine sewing.  Gain confidence to measure, estimate, plan and design customised interiors.  Give new life to tired and lifeless objects such as furniture, cushions and lampshades.

The course will cover:

  • Techniques of hand and machine sewing to make items and build interiors for your home
  • Interior design, planning concepts and putting your customised ideas into action
  • How to measure, estimate and plan design projects
  • Upcycling and recycling items and developing your own personalised home for your own design

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to a related course, such as Intermediate Home Furnishings or any creative course.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week for 3 hours at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring:

  • 1 metre x 3 fabrics of choice
  • Off-cut fabrics (applique)
  • Tape measure
  • Dressmaking scissors
  • Threads
  • 12” zip
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine needles and hand sewing needles
  • Non-permanent fabric marker
  • Cutting mat (optional)

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £45 for the 5 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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Beginners French

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who would like to learn to speak basic French words and phrases to support their French holiday or as a step towards learning a new exciting language.  

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need enthusiasm to have a go at developing your basic French speaking skills.

What will the course cover?

This is 10-week course enables learners to communicate in everyday situations using simple, useful phrases and easy vocabulary to help get the most out of their French interactions. You will broaden your knowledge of French language as well as aspects of French life and culture; all in a relaxed, supportive and fun environment. 

The course includes:

  • Meeting and greeting people, introducing yourself, giving background information about yourself
  • Talking about family members and friends, places and types of residence
  • At the café / restaurant: Ordering food and drinks and understanding menus
  • At the local market and supermarket: shopping for food, product names, quantities, weights and currency
  • Asking and giving directions – identifying public places and signage, describing location, distance and time
  • At the hotel: Finding out about facilities, booking accommodation and checking in
  • Organising a day / night out – leisure  activities, talking about likes and dislikes, opening  and closing times, 24 hour clock
  • Using public transport and planning a journey, including understanding timetables and buying tickets
  • Buying clothes and souvenirs

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After you have completed this course, you will be ready to progress to Intermediate French.

Where and when will I learn?

This is a ten week course, with each session lasting two hours every week at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen, a notepad, an A4 folder and the will to learn and communicate in French!

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £60 for the 10 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk

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Beginners Italian

Who is this course for?

This course is for learners who would like to learn to speak words and phrases in Italian and find out more about Italian culture.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for the course; you only need enthusiasm to speak Italian from the first lesson and learn in a fun, supportive and interactive environment.

What will the course cover?

At the end of the 5-week course, you will be able to communicate competently in Italian at a reasonable conversational level.  Using your Italian speaking skills, you will be able to:

  • Talk about how you spend your free time and learn what activities some Italians  do
  • Go food shopping at the market, buying food, drink and groceries at the supermarket
  • Describe your home and what's in it - using adjectives, colours and say what you like
  • Understand the language of property advertisements - holiday lets
  • Ask for and understand directions and travel information - plan a day out in an Italian city
  • Compare notes on quality of life - give advice on health and diet
  • Shop for clothes and shoes – talk about sizes and materials
  • Describe this year's holiday - talk about past experiences

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After you have completed this course, you would be ready to progress to an Intermediate Italian course.

Where and when will I learn?

Sessions will run one morning a week for 2 hours at Crown Street Library, Darlington.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring note paper and a pen.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £30 for the 5 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk

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Computers for Beginners

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for learners with no or very little experience of using a computer and using the Internet, but who would like to get started.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in using a computer and the Internet.

What will the course cover?

  • Switching on and closing down the computer
  • Using the computer mouse and keyboard confidently
  • Writing a simple letter
  • Saving and organising your work
  • Using a printer
  • Adding formatting to a document to give it a professional look
  • Moving and modifying text
  • Creating numbered and bulleted lists
  • Using tools to create a poster / party invitations
  • Using a search engine to source information effectively
  • Learning how to keep yourself safe (e-safety)
  • Creating an email account
  • Sending and receiving emails
  • Keeping in touch with family and friends

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to a related course, such as ICT Functional Skills.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one morning a week for 2 hours at Crown Street Library, Darlington. 

What should I bring with me?

Please bring a pen and notepad.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £30 for the 5 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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Cookery for Beginners

Who is this course for?

This seven week cookery course is suitable for those who are new to cookery, students or anyone who wants to master the basic skills and techniques of food preparation. It is also suitable for those who have recently just started and wish to further improve their basic skills.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn new skills and have a go at basic cookery techniques.

What will the course cover?

Each week we will focus on a particular area of cookery skills. The emphasis will be on cooking from ‘scratch’.

We will look at basic techniques of using equipment, including blenders and food processors, kitchen safety and food hygiene, cookery on a budget, use of seasonal ingredients, menu choice and planning. 

The course covers:

  • Fruit preparation, including fruit salads, platters and smoothies
  • Vegetable preparation and soups
  • A ‘rubbed in’ mixture to produce a crumble and scones
  • A white savoury sauce
  • Cooking rice dishes including risotto
  • Producing shortcrust pastry for sweet pies
  • Cooking a meal with fish
  • Preparing and cooking a basic curry
  • Preparing and baking naan bread  

The course will include a demonstration of key skills at the beginning of each session and the rest of the evening will be practical work for learners. On the first evening there will be a welcome, induction and discussion of individual goals and then a demonstration, followed by the first practical session (recipes will be forwarded in advance).

You will be required to complete an individual learning plan with the targets you wish to achieve.

A relaxed, informal atmosphere is encouraged, with some flexibility over which dishes or skills each learner chooses to prepare.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to a related course, such as Best of British Baking, Good Home Cooking, Cookery for Entertaining or Christmas Baking.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week for 3 hours at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington for 7 weeks.

What should I bring with me?

During the course you will need to bring all cooking ingredients, serving dishes and containers to take the food home, plus a tea towel, apron and oven gloves. It is essential that an apron is worn. Long hair will need to be tied back. Food preparation and washing up equipment will be provided. 

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £63 for the 7 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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Beginners Spanish

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who would like to learn to speak basic Spanish words and phrases to support their Spanish holiday or as a step towards learning a new exciting language.  

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need enthusiasm to have a go at developing your basic Spanish speaking skills.

What will the course cover?

This is 10-week course enables learners to communicate in everyday situations using simple, useful phrases and easy vocabulary to help get the most out of their Spanish interactions. You will broaden your knowledge of Spanish language as well as aspects of Spanish life and culture; all in a relaxed, supportive and fun environment.

The course includes:

  • Meeting and greeting people, introducing yourself, giving background information about yourself
  • Talking about family members and friends, places and types of residence
  • At the café / restaurant: Ordering food and drinks and understanding menus
  • At the local market and supermarket: shopping for food, product names, quantities, weights and currency
  • Asking and giving directions – identifying public places and signage, describing location, distance and time
  • At the hotel: Finding out about facilities, booking accommodation and checking in
  • Organising a day / night out – leisure  activities, talking about likes and dislikes, opening  and closing times, 24 hour clock
  • Using public transport and planning a journey, including understanding timetables and buying tickets
  • Buying clothes and souvenirs

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After you have completed this course, you will be ready to progress to Intermediate Spanish.

Where and when will I learn?

This is a ten week course, with each session lasting two hours at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen, notepad, an A4 folder and the will to learn and communicate in Spanish!

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £60 for the 10 weeks.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&s@darlington.gov.uk.

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