26th February 2018
Students and staff at Barking & Dagenham College are celebrating this week after it was announced on Friday night that the College has won at the annual Tes FE (Further Education) Awards.
From hundreds of entries, the College was presented with the Best Teaching and Learning Initiative Award.
According to the judges, Barking & Dagenham College has “holistically and usefully” integrated Stem – science, technology, engineering and maths – across wider curriculum areas.
This has facilitated a series of innovative projects across a range of subject areas and developed a creative and engaging way of teaching and learning. It has also enhanced partnerships among staff, overcoming workforce challenges.
The East London college launched its Stem centre in 2013, and since then has developed a cross-college collaborative Team Teach initiative designed to create an innovative and enriching Stem learning experience for all students.
The college’s commitment to Stem has meant that it has become a compulsory strand of curriculum planning, and is now integrated within other subjects. Assessment opportunities have also been transformed: students can use alternative methods to demonstrate their learning, away from the traditional written assignment and PowerPoint presentation methods.
Approaches have included project-based learning, bringing to life the students’ learning experience, and developing essential skills required for employment: skills such as problem-solving, creativity and the use of technology. Students have also learned to work in a team, communicate, take risks and develop independently.
The Stem team works closely with curriculum staff to develop bespoke practical activities and projects that fulfil the learner’s assessment criteria. The challenge is to shift the mindset of teachers away from traditional methods of delivery to ones that will engage and motivate 21st-century learners, and the college runs training sessions using hands-on practical activities.
Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by the comic and actor Alan Davies, where more than 800 attendees celebrated and showcased the most exciting ideas, the best practice and the most inspiring teaching and leadership to be found in the further education sector.