Bishop auckland college - study programmes


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Bishop auckland college - study programmes

  1. 1. Sharing Innovative Approaches to Delivering 16-19 Study Programme Principles Bishop Auckland College Matching Learner and Employer Expectations
  2. 2. The mission of Bishop Auckland College is: “To enhance the economic prosperity of young people, adults and employers through high quality, work-related education and training.” Bishop Auckland College is the main vocational learning provider in South and West Durham, an area which combines industrial towns such as Spennymoor, Bishop Auckland and Newton Aycliffe, together with the remote rural villages of the Durham Dales. The population of South West Durham is around 180,000 and is spread across the three former districts of Weardale, Teesdale and Sedgefield. The levels of worklessness are high and the number of incapacity benefit claimants within the Wear Valley and Sedgefield areas is also high. Levels of literacy and numeracy among the adult population are low. Half of the wards in the area are within the top 20% on the National Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). When Ofsted reported on the College in 2012 it found the overall effectiveness of provision to be “good”, which highlights our commitment to providing a quality learning experience for all of our students. Ofsted noted that the percentage of Year 11 pupils in the region achieving five GCSE grades at A* to C, including English and Mathematics, is improving but remains below regional and national averages. In 2012/13, 57% of our 16-18 year old cohort, were from disadvantaged areas. Students joining the College may select from a comprehensive programme of full and part-time courses in a wide range of disciplines, e.g. Catering, Music, Art & Design, Construction, Childcare, Hairdressing and many more, with the majority leading to nationally validated qualifications. We currently have over 800 students enrolled on full-time courses. The College has an extensive range of apprenticeship training opportunities for both young people and adults and works with over 250 employers. The College also offers HE programmes and has well established links with the University of Sunderland. Members of staff are highly qualified and experienced, regularly updating their qualifications and industrial experience to ensure the quality and relevance of our provision. Given the high levels of disadvantage in the area the importance of making the right educational choices post-16 is evident. The College’s approach to excellence in careers information, advice and guidance is reflected in its Careers Entitlement Statement: “The College is committed to ensuring that high quality, timely, accurate and impartial careers education, information advice and guidance is provided to support people to make informed decisions. This involves making realistic choices about future plans and developing skills to prepare for progression into further study or employment”. “Our approach to Study Programmes has enabled our students to see the value of English and maths for their future careers.” Richard Hinch, Director of Curriculum
  3. 3. Study Programmes Naturally, robust labour market intelligence forms the foundation of curriculum planning at Bishop Auckland College, ensuring that Study Programmes are preparing young people and adults for real employment opportunities. This is a challenging area and the College sees its primary role in enhancing the economic prosperity of individuals and businesses and supporting the economic development agenda more generally. In line with policy, Study Programmes were introduced in September 2013 and careful curriculum planning has ensured that courses are fit for purpose, cost effective and promote progression. Staff course teams and current students provided valuable input as to what has worked and what changes would benefit their particular course of study for the future. The many opportunities for students to influence improvement and development include involvement of student representatives and ambassadors in a wide range of College activities. Students are represented in Senior Management Team meetings, Corporate Board and key College committees and team meetings. Students make a fantastic contribution to the College’s marketing activities, where they demonstrate real pride in the College and in their role in College life. In terms of spreading our message, we find that there are no better advocates than our own passionate, committed and successful students. All Study Programmes have been made up of a core aim, maths and English, enterprise activity, a group tutorial and external work placement. There is some variation in the teaching hours allocated to Study Programmes, depending upon the level of study, the specific curriculum content and the needs of individual learners. Whilst all courses include a significant external work placement, these form a more substantial element for certain programmes, and in particular those that provide a direct foundation for apprenticeship routes. There is a strong focus on CPD to support teachers in developing teaching and learning methodologies, with a weekly workshop, facilitated by Advanced Practitioners and Learning Area Managers, ensuring that appropriate resources and time is created for ongoing development of professional practice. Quality assurance mechanisms are well developed at Bishop Auckland College and the views of students and employers are central in shaping curriculum development. The introduction of Study Programmes, with their emphasis on external work experience, has provided a valuable springboard for development of the College’s approaches and systems for securing meaningful work placements and also ensuring that opportunities for learning and progression are maximised. We are finding that many students have secured employment or apprenticeships as a result of very successful work placements. As the range of employer links is extending through work placements, this is providing further opportunities for employers to provide input into Study Programmes and careers and employability activities; in this way subjects are really brought alive with real industry examples. In an allied development, the College has really stepped up its involvement in regional and national skills competitions over recent years; we see these as a brilliant way to promote vocational learning in a wide range of industry specialisms, to raise the aspirations
  4. 4. English and Maths A cross-College weekly thematic approach has been taken to embedding maths and English into vocational learning. Embedding Functional Skills in this way has impacted positively on learners perceptions of maths and English. As for many colleges, there are considerable challenges around building students competence and confidence in maths and English and helping them to work towards the all-important grade C at GCSE level. We are making good progress and an example of very successful integration of maths and English is in painting and decorating. Here the vocational tutor is also an English teacher and learners have covered most of their functional skills syllabus through trade- specific tasks. We know that embedding maths and English skills is critical and it is an approach that we are strengthening across the College. Naturally, students see these skills as more relevant when placed in the vocational context and this is reflected in attendance and achievement levels. of our students and to benchmark our technical standards against the very best. Our students are having some fantastic successes and staff really value the opportunity to pick up new ideas and good practice from other colleges too!
  5. 5. © Association of Colleges 2013 2 - 5 Stedham Place, London WC1A 1HU Tel: 020 7034 9900 Fax: 020 7034 9950 Email: Website: