Community learning wins award

Community Learning wins award

Our Community Learning team have won an award for their teaching, learning and assessment at the Education & Training Foundation conference for a project they delivered to enhance the ESOL and literacy skills students need for employability.

Five tutors from Community Learning recently took part in a collaborative project with Lambeth Adult Learning Services. The purpose of the project was to enhance the ESOL and literacy skills students need for employability. After surveying employers’ and students’ needs, the teachers – Catherine O’Shea, Shanara Haque, Maureen Watson, Nicky Torode and Edwina Watson – designed different mini-projects for students on vocational courses that would give them opportunities to develop skills and confidence necessary for succeeding in the workplace.

As Alison Creedon, the project coordinator said, “learning is about more than acquiring new skills and knowledge. It is also about developing self-esteem, raising aspirations and encouraging our students to become supportive and independent learners.”

Mini-projects were all related to workplace scenarios and included organising play activities for children in a nursery, arranging a spa day for older people, planning and making goods for a craft sale in Brixton and delivering presentations to peers. The students’ enthusiasm was clear: all courses were well attended and 95% of those taking part in the project gained an employability qualification. Most importantly, they worked together cooperatively by sharing ideas and resources, took the initiative in organising events and best of all, gained tremendously in confidence and resourcefulness.

As one of the students commented, “at first I was not sure about my goals. I practised what I learnt. I am more motivated and confident…I see positive things for my future…’ Another was appreciative of the wider benefits of community classes. As she put it, “learning helps to takes off the layers you put on due to the stigma of mental health and allows you to blossom.”

At the annual ETF conference held at the British Library on 30 June 2015, the team behind this project were delighted to win the award for outstanding teaching, learning and assessment. It was a real privilege to see the students’ and tutors’ hard work and commitment publicly acknowledged. Many congratulations to all of them.

Find out more about Community Learning.

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