Learning for Interest

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
  • Creating and modifying text, creating lists and formatting documents
  • Using a search engine to source information effectively, including online shopping and searching for holidays
  • Learning how to keep yourself safe online (e-safety)
  • 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 evening a week for 2 hours at The Coleridge Centre, Darlington.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen and notepad.

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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Introduction to Family History using Ancestry

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who would like to investigate their family history, with free access provided to the Ancestry website.

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 family history records and have a go at carrying out a private investigation into your family history in a friendly and supportive environment.

What will the course cover?

You will learn:

  • How historians find out about the past
  • How and where to access free census data
  • How Birth, Marriage and Death certificates can help us trace our ancestors
  • How to access local archive collections
  • How to access military records
  • How to display your family tree
  • How to date old photographs
  • How to use the internet as a tool for investigation

Opportunities will be given to access a number of sites, with a focus on the Ancestry website.  You will have specific periods of time set aside for private research, giving you free access to the millions of family history records that are generally only available through subscription.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

There are a number of other interesting courses available after you have completed this course eg  A History of County Durham and History Around Us (site visits within Darlington).

Where and when will I learn?

The course will last for 10 weeks.  Sessions will take place on Monday mornings, 10am to 12,  at Crown Street Library, Darlington. The first session will be on Monday 25th September.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen and writing pad.

How much will the course cost?

The course fees are £60.

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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A History of County Durham

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who has an interest in local history and wants to increase their knowledge of the area.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need enthusiasm to learn more about the local history.

What will the course cover?

Areas for investigation will include

  • How historians find out about the past
  • About the archaeological evidence left by the Romans
  • About the role of County Durham in the Industrial Revolution, with particular reference to coal and lead mining
  • About changes in transport over time, with a focus on the railways
  • About the history of leisure and recreation through the ages
  • About famous individuals associated with the county
  • How the county was affected by World Wars 1 and 2
  • About the growth and development of Darlington and other settlements in the area
  • Where to access archive material relating to the county’s history
  • About specific museums and their collections, from Bowes to Beamish

What could I do when I have finished this course?

There are a number of other interesting history courses available after you have completed this course. For example - Introduction to Family History / Family History using Ancestry and History Around Us (site visits within Darlington).

Where and when will I learn?

Sessions will be held at Hummersknott Academy. The 10 week course will take place on a Monday evening from 6 - 8 pm. The first session will be on Monday 26th September. The same course will then be repeated at Crown Street Library, from 10 am to noon, commencing Monday 22nd January 2018.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen and writing pad.

How much will the course cost?

The course fees are £60.

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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Introduction to Family History

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if would like the opportunity to start to find out about your ancestors and to answer the question “who do you think you are?”

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need enthusiasm to learn more about your family history.

What will the course cover?

Family History is an ever increasing area of research and the aim of the course is to provide all the information you need to embark on the search into your family tree and the lives of your ancestors.  Themes covered include how to access the relevant archives and use public record offices.

You will learn:

  • How historians find out about the past
  • How to examine census material
  • How Birth, Marriage and Death certificate can help us trace our ancestors
  • How to find and understand public records
  • How to display your family tree
  • How to access military records
  • How to examine photographic evidence
  • How to use the Internet for family history

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After you have completed the sessions you might like to enroll on A History of County Durham course or History Around Us (site visits in Darlington).

Where and when will I learn?

This course will be delivered at Hummersknott  Academy on Tuesday evenings . Sessions will last for 2 hours commencing at 6pm. The course will last 8 weeks and begin on Tuesday 23rd January 2018.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen and paper; handouts will be provided for all sessions.

How much will the course cost?

The course will cost £48.

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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History Around Us

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who has an interest in local history and wants to increase their knowledge of the area. It will comprise a series of site visits within the town.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you only need enthusiasm to learn more about the local history.

What will the course cover?

Areas of investigation will include:

  • How historians find out about the past
  • Where to access archive material relating to Darlington`s history
  • The growth and development of Darlington
  • The social divisions within late Victorian society
  • Darlington and The First World War
  • Sites of religious significance

What could I do when I have finished this course?

There are a number of other interesting history courses available after you have completed this course. For example, Introduction to Family History / Family History using Ancestry or A History of County Durham

Where and when will I learn?

The first session of the course will be delivered at Crown Street Library in May 2018 (start date TBA). The site visits will take place over 6 weeks and each session will last 2 hours.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please wear appropriate clothing. Handouts will be provided in all sessions.

How much will the course cost?

The course will cost £36.

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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Good Home Cooking Club

Who is this club for?

This club is for learners who would like to develop and improve their cookery skills. The emphasis is on home cooking, preparing and baking everything from ‘scratch’.

What entry requirements do I need to join the club?

There are no entry requirements for the club but you would need to have some basic cookery experience or have been to one of our cookery courses in the past. This club is ideal if you are a previous learner and can be attended as many terms as you would like.

What will we cover in the club?

Learning & Skills is a great place to learn cookery, have fun and make new friends.

Our cookery classes are small to ensure that you get the highest level of attention from your tutor. You may work on your own recipes, dishes or baked items, but short demonstrations of different cookery skills and techniques will take place each week. These will be on a particular theme which can be negotiated with learners. These could include:

  • Soup and bread making
  • Pastry making – shortcrust, flaky, suet crust
  • Use of vegetables in cake making
  • Curry
  • Batter mixes
  • Flans, tarts and pies
  • Sauce making
  • Seasonal dishes – autumn, winter, Christmas etc.
  • Biscuits and sweets
  • Puddings
  • Piping skills

Enthusiasm and sharing knowledge of cookery ideas, skills and equipment with others will be a key part of the club. There will be fun quizzes and product / equipment information given in an informal way.

The minimum number of learners for the cookery club is 8. Please note that Learning & Skills requires sufficient learner numbers to start a class and may be subject to cancellation.

What else could I progress to?

If you enjoy developing your cookery skills, you may like to try Regional Cakes and Bakes or Cookery for Entertaining.

What will I need to bring?

On the first evening there will be a group welcome, induction and discussion of the club content. To start the course on the first evening, please bring your own choice of soup recipe and ingredients. You will be sent a recipe sheet including soup and bread rolls for this session as a guide, but bring whatever you would prefer to make. I will give a demonstration on bread making.

Please bring a pen to make any additional notes each week.

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

A relaxed, fun and informal atmosphere is encouraged, with flexibility over which dishes or skills each learner chooses to prepare. You can choose the foods and skills that are most suitable for you, research your own recipes and share information.

Where and when will I learn?

The club will run one evening a week (Tuesdays) for 7 weeks: 6pm – 9pm at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

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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Winter Warmers

Who is this course for?

This 5-week short course is suitable for those new to cookery and also those who have attended previous courses and want to improve their skills. The emphasis is on preparing and cooking tasty soups, main courses and hot puddings for the Autumn and Winter months. Seasonal fruit and vegetables will be used wherever possible.

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 Winter cookery in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What will the course cover?

Each week, we will focus on different skills. The course covers:

  • Soup making, yeast cookery – bread rolls
  • Pasta bakes, making your own sauces
  • Meat and chicken casseroles
  • Batter - for savoury pancakes
  • Shortcrust pastry for treacle and fruit tart
  • Suet crust pastry for roly–poly puddings
  • Use of parsnips to make a cake
  • Piped potato topping for a pie
  • Homemade curry
  • Developing your current skills
  • Becoming more confident with your cookery skills
  • Gaining knowledge of basic food hygiene and safety in the kitchen

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 – soups and bread rolls (recipes for week 1 will be forwarded in advance).

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 Regional Cakes and Bakes and Cookery for Entertaining. There is also the Good Home Cooking Club.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week (Thursdays) for 3 hours: 6pm – 9pm at Hummersknott Academy, for 5 weekly sessions. 

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. Cooking equipment and washing up equipment will be provided. A relaxed, informal atmosphere is encouraged, with some flexibility over which dishes or skills each learner chooses to prepare.

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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Christmas Baking

Who is this course for?

This 5-week short course is suitable for those new to cookery and also those who have attended previous courses and want to improve their skills. The emphasis is on preparing and baking mainly sweet items for the Christmas season. There will be one week on savoury items.

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 Christmas cookery in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What will the course cover?

Each week, we will focus on different skills. The course covers:

  • Mincemeat – traditional and apricot
  • Christmas puddings – traditional dark and a white Caribbean
  • Mince pies, shortcrust and orange pastry, alternative toppings
  • Festive biscuits and sweets – truffles, fudge, festive shortbread and Florentines
  • Desserts – roulade and Swiss roll, chocolate log and rich cranberry flan, piping skills
  • Savouries – sausage rolls, stuffing, soup
  • Developing your current skills
  • Becoming more confident with your cookery skills
  • Gaining knowledge of basic food hygiene and safety in the kitchen

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 – mincemeat and Christmas puddings (recipes for week 1 will be forwarded in advance).

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 Regional Cakes and Bakes and Cookery for Entertaining. There is also the Good Home Cooking Club.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week (Thursdays) for 3 hours: 6pm – 9pm at Hummersknott Academy, for 5 weekly sessions. 

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. Cooking equipment and washing up equipment will be provided. A relaxed, informal atmosphere is encouraged, with some flexibility over which dishes or skills each learner chooses to prepare.

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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Regional Cakes and Bakes

Who is this course for?

This seven week practical course is suitable for those new to cookery and also those who have attended previous courses and want to further improve their skills. This course is ideal for those wanting to learn more and have a go at traditional recipes from different places.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn and develop skills in cookery in a fun, relaxed and friendly environment.

What will the course cover?

The theme is preparing and cooking sweet traditional recipes from regions within England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, although learners may research their own recipes too.

Each week we will focus on baking different traditional recipes from various regions. There will be different skills, with suggestions and ideas on how to serve and store. We will also look at choice of ingredients and alternatives, food preparation, cookery methods and equipment. Where possible you will learn some interesting facts and information on the traditional recipes and their origin.

The course covers:

  • Bread – including enriched doughs
  • Fruited buns – including teacakes and Chelsea buns
  • Soda bread
  • Fruit loaves – Brack
  • Cakes
  • Scones – including Fat Rascals
  • Rock cakes
  • Gingerbreads and parkin
  • Biscuits
  • Becoming more confident with your cookery skills
  • Gaining knowledge of basic food hygiene and safety in the kitchen

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).

At the end of each session a recipe sheet will be handed out for the following week.

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

What will I need to bring?

Please bring a pen to record your progress each week and make any additional notes.

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

A relaxed, fun and informal atmosphere is encouraged, with some flexibility over which dishes or skills each learner chooses to prepare. You can choose the foods and skills that are most suitable to you.

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, Christmas Baking or join the Good Home Cooking Club.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week (Thursday) for 3 hours: 6pm – 9pm, at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington. 

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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Cookery for Entertaining

Who is this course for?

This seven week course is suitable for those new to cookery and also those who have attended previous courses and want to further improve their skills. The theme is food for entertaining your guests and / or family. It includes good ideas for dishes that not only look impressive, but also taste good too.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn and develop skills in cookery in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What will the course cover?

Each week we will focus on a different course of a menu: e.g. starters, main courses and desserts so that a full menu can be chosen for any occasion. There will be different skills, with suggestions and ideas on how to add variety. We will look at choice of ingredients and alternatives, food preparation, cookery methods and equipment.

The course covers:

  • Menu choice and planning
  • Soups and bread rolls
  • Fish dishes
  • Chicken
  • Pork, beef and lamb dishes
  • Baked puddings
  • Cold puddings
  • Becoming more confident with your cookery skills
  • Gaining knowledge of basic food hygiene and safety in the kitchen

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 – soups (recipes will be forwarded in advance).

At the end of each session a recipe sheet will be handed out for the following week.

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

What will I need to bring?

Please bring a pen to record your progress each week and make any additional notes.

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

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

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, Christmas Baking or join the Good Home Cooking Club.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will run one evening a week (Thursday) for 3 hours: 6pm – 9pm, at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

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 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 8 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 the 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 and 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?

Sessions will run Monday evenings 6pm – 8.30pm at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring pens and notepads, an A4 folder and the will to learn and communicate in French!

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 Spanish

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who would like to speak basic Spanish, and be able to put the ¡Olé! into your next holiday with confidence!

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course; you just need the enthusiasm to learn basic Spanish speaking skills.

What will the course cover?

This 10-week course aims to enable learners to communicate in day-to-day situations, using simple, practical phrases. Through completing the course, you should develop basic pronunciation skills, and gain the confidence to practice what you learn. Finally, to make learning fun, some lessons will be delivered through insights into Spanish and Latin American culture, music and food!

The course includes:

  • Spanish pronunciation
  • Introducing yourself and family, greetings and saying bye
  • Key words and phrases
  • Memorising Spanish through music
  • Numbers
  • Ordering food and drink - a chance to sample some traditional cuisine
  • Directions – taught through a ‘Spanish journey’
  • Travel - key phrases for airports, hotels and train stations
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Recap!

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 every Wednesday at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a pen, notepad, an A4 folder, and a ‘can-do’ attitude! We also recommend a Spanish dictionary; however, this is not essential as the course Tutor will have a dictionary.

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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French Club

Who is this club for?

This club is for learners who would like to develop further French language skills and understanding of the culture and daily life in French speaking countries.

What entry requirements do I need to join the club?

For this club, learners will need some prior knowledge of French at upper beginner to intermediate level, but mainly learners with enthusiasm to speak French from the first lesson and learn in a fun, supportive and interactive environment.

What will we cover in the club?

Learning & Skills is a great place to learn French, have fun and make new friends.

Our French classes are small to ensure that you get the highest level of attention from your tutor. The classes are interactive and are taught in a communicative way, including: vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation with speaking, listening, reading and writing activities.

Our sessions are focused on practicing speaking and communicating through the use of role play, conversations in groups or pairs, games, videos and music. You will also learn to express your opinion and point of view and discuss up to date topics related to everyday life. Most of all, you will learn new French expressions and phrases to support your French travels and help you make the most of your holidays! 

The minimum number of learners for the French club is 8. Please note Learning & Skills requires sufficient learner numbers to start a class and may be subject to cancellation.

What else could I progress to?

If you enjoy developing your language skills, you may like to try another language, such as Italian, Spanish or Arabic.

Where and when will I learn?

Sessions will run on Tuesdays 6pm - 8.30pm at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington 

What should I bring with me?

Please bring note paper and a pen.

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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Italian Club

Who is this club for?

This club is for learners who would like to learn to communicate simply and effectively in Italian and find out more about Italian culture.

What entry requirements do I need to join the club?

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

What will we cover in the club?

Learning & Skills is a great place to learn Italian, have fun and make new friends.

Our Italian classes are small to ensure that you get the highest level of attention from your tutor. The classes are interactive and are taught in a communicative way, including: vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation with speaking, listening, reading and writing activities.

Learn to speak basic Italian words and phrases to support your Italian travels or as a step towards learning a new and exciting language. Learn how to talk about self, friends and family, order food and drink, talk about past experiences, ask for directions round town, plan and enjoy a day’s sightseeing in Rome or Milan, understand weather forecasts, use public transport, use euros, go shopping for clothes and shoes, say what interests you, agree or disagree and give opinions, plus much more!

The minimum number of learners for the Italian club is 8 and the maximum number is usually 14. Please note this Learning & Skills Italian Club requires sufficient learner numbers to start a class and may be subject to cancellation

What else could I progress to?

If you enjoy developing your language skills, you may like to try another language, such as French, Spanish or Arabic.

Where and when will I learn?

Sessions will run on Tuesday mornings 10am – 12 noon at the Coleridge Centre, Darlington.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring note paper and a pen.

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 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 to choose a commercial pattern and suitable fabric
  • Learn how to read a commercial pattern in order to follow instructions
  • 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 do I need to bring?

For the first week, please 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 lesson.

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

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress onto the Dressmaking club 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 2.5 hours at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees are £37.50 for 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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Dressmaking Club

Who is this club for?

This club is for learners who would like to develop and improve their dressmaking skills.

What entry requirements do I need to join the club?

There are no entry requirements for the club but you would need to have some experience in dressmaking.  

What will we cover in the club?

Learning & Skills is a great place to learn dressmaking, have fun and make new friends.

Our dressmaking classes are small to ensure that you get the highest level of attention from your tutor. You would be working on your own dressmaking project but demonstrations of different techniques will take place each week. This will be negotiated with the learners and could include:

  • Seam and edge finishes
  • Lapped and concealed zips
  • Collars
  • Cuffs
  • Waist bands and facings
  • Amending patterns to individual measurements

The minimum number of learners for the dressmaking club is 8 and the maximum number is usually 12. Please note Learning & Skills requires sufficient learner numbers to start a class and may be subject to cancellation.

What else could I progress to?

If you enjoy developing your dressmaking skills, you may like to try Soft Furnishing.

What should I bring with me?

  • Dressmaking scissors
  • Dressmaking pins
  • Tape Measure
  • Fabric marker pen or pencil
  • Off cuts of fabric for practice on the sewing machine

You will need to provide your own materials and equipment.  As you will be working on your own individual garment this would include a commercial pattern and fabric. You may prefer to discuss this with your tutor during the first lesson to avoid making any costly mistakes.

Where and when will I learn?

Sessions will run on Wednesday evenings 6.30 – 9pm at Hummersknott Academy, Darlington.

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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Feel Good Yoga

Who is this course for?

This course is for adults of all ages and levels of fitness because Dru Yoga is a flowing form of yoga with emphasis on gently exercising the body and releasing tension using sequences, breathing techniques and relaxation.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course.

What will the course cover?

Each session will consist of a short activation, an energy block release sequence, a yoga posture and relaxation.  As the course progresses, more advanced postures and breathing exercises will be included.

At the end of the 6 week course, you will:

  • Be more flexible
  • Feel more energetic
  • Have better posture
  • Be able to manage back pain more effectively
  • Know an energy block release sequence that you can practise in your own time
  • Be able to relax when you need to ‘recharge the batteries’

What could I do when I have finished this course?

This course offers an introduction to Dru Yoga, which has become a popular form of yoga and there are many more energy block release sequences and postures to learn.  If you enjoy this style of yoga it is hoped that we can offer further classes in which other sequences and postures will be taught.

Where and when will I learn?

The course will run on Tuesdays 6 – 7.30pm in the activity room in the Coleridge Centre.

What should I bring with me?

A bottle of water, a blanket and, if you have one, an exercise mat.  If you do not have a mat, you can borrow one for the session.

How much will the course cost?

The course fees are £27.

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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