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College wins prestigious award for curriculum innovation

Two Cirencester College staff members have picked up a prestigious Sixth Form College Association award for Curriculum Innovation.

Every year, the Sixth Form College Association (SFCA) reviews exemplary initiatives across the sector to identify outstanding practice for its distinguished awards. This year, Cirencester College's Matt Reynolds and Rich Stonebridge have won big in the premier category of Curriculum Innovation.

The work of Matt and Rich in embracing educational reform and developing a pioneering Level 2 system (the likes of which have been further incorporated by the DfE into the national model for delivery) has been recognised by the SFCA as ground-breaking exemplary progressive practice, landing them with the coveted winner's trophy.

Matt Reynolds, vice principal, said: "We've always been driven to create the best possible experience for our learners. The opportunity to design a brand-new Level 2 educational system from scratch; to prepare learners for a bright future of Level 3 education, is one we couldn't resist."

Recognising that learners didn't want to repeat the experience of school and simply retake and understanding that multiple layers of confidence building, skills development, competency establishment and aspirational life development were all important to build into a complete experience for the learner, Matt and Rich worked together to devise an ever-advancing model, that has grown to become a national case study on how to work in this area of further education.

Matt continued: "We're passionate about educational reform to create brilliant chances for our young people.

"From the early days of development; working closely with the Department for Education, to informing the new educational framework that is now rolled out nationally, we've been right at the sharp end. My colleague, Rich Stonebridge, had the drive and commitment to carry all of that development work through to a rock-solid delivery with a team of great teachers."

Rich Stonebridge, faculty head, said: "Such a refreshing project to work on with the space and backing to be as creative as possible with the learner at the centre of every aspect.

"The transition programme we created offers learners the chance to reframe their perception of education, career aspirations and possibilities for themselves."

Matt said: "We never take our foot off the gas at Cirencester. We push hard for the very best at every opportunity. I'm so delighted for us both, and all the wider team, to receive the 2022 Award for Curriculum Innovation. It's the icing on the cake after a lot of amazing work."

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