South Devon College scoops two National Awards
STAFF AND STUDENTS at South Devon College have won two "Further Education Oscars", for leading the way in both sport and technology in an Olympic year.
Celebrations are underway at the Paignton-based College after they were awarded two Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Awards this week at a presentation ceremony in Westminster.
Lord Willis of Knaresborough, President of AoC Charitable Trust, announced the College as winners for 'Sport in the Curriculum' and for the 'Effective Use of Technology.'
Principal of South Devon College Stephen Criddle said, "I am delighted that the excellence of staff and provision at South Devon College has been recognised not once, but twice this year at a national level. I am very proud of all colleagues involved, demonstrating the highest level of excellence supporting learners in Torbay & South Devon."
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The College won the Sport award for its "approach to provide high quality teaching and learning through a distinctive, inclusive and comprehensive sport curriculum that has inspired the local community through sport". In the past 3 years, an average of 900 learners have participated in sports enrichment each year, across 23 different sports. They have established extensive partnerships with local and national agencies to ensure students have access to a wide range of activities to enhance their learning experience.
The approach has resulted in students developing high levels of skills, excellent success rates and outstanding progression to higher education or employment.
Patsy Colvin, Coaching Network Manager at Sports Coach UK and one of the co-sponsors of the Award, said: "Our winner has shown an excellent example of how a college can work with partners to enhance learners' employability skills enabling students to gain the skills necessary to progress into a career in the sports sector. The holistic approach to the curriculum and the direct link to the Olympics and its legacy are key features of the project."
South Devon College won its second award for the implementation of a College-wide tutorial system, known as LEAP (Learner Engagement And Progression), which has allowed staff to access information about every learner and maintain regular updates of how they're doing so they can be properly supported throughout their time at college.
The College has also established the use of Independent Learning Officers, or ILOs, who support learners in the development of research and study skills.
These two approaches combined have lead to a significant improvement in success rates for the students and very strong all round support for students as they progress.
Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, Dame Pat Bacon, said: "The quality of the winning submissions is truly outstanding and is evidence of how colleges are identifying the challenges that face us all in these tough economic times and are rising to overcome them through creative and sustainable approaches which are underpinned by a culture of support from the senior management within them. I congratulate all of this year's winning colleges."
Roger Marriott, AoC Beacon Awards Chief Assessor, said: "Colleges are using imaginative and creative approaches to respond to the needs of their students, communities and local businesses. The dedication and passion shown by these winning colleges to ensure that individuals are given the opportunity to realise their full potential is inspirational and I hope that the wider sector will benefit as a result of celebrating their achievements."
This year's AoC Beacon Awards were sponsored by 1st4sport Qualifications and Sports Coach UK and LSIS. The awards - in their 19th year - are awarded annually to UK colleges who capture and celebrate the positive impact they have on their students, staff and communities. This year, City College Plymouth were also awarded the University of Southampton Award for 14-19 Widening Participation.