Celebrating teaching and learning #LoveOurColleges

May 13, 2019

Teaching excellence is at the heart of what we do, and we know we’re not alone. Colleges around the country work closely to share best practices and ensure Further Education is giving students everything they need to succeed.

With an ever changing employment landscape, here are some examples of what we are doing to ensure our teaching practices are preparing students for the future:

The Future of Teaching

Vice Principal of Quality & Student experience, Dan Beale, spoke earlier this year about the ‘classroom of the future‘ and what Havant & South Downs College is doing to keep teaching and learning aligned the with technological advances in the modern world.

At HSDC, we want every member of staff to be digitally savvy so that they feel very comfortable to embed it into their every day practice, with a view to inspiring our learners and helping them prepare for the modern workplace. We want to create a classroom for our students that is an inspiring environment they want to go into, as opposed to the static typical seating alignment you see in the standard classroom.

We speak with our students regularly to establish what environment would inspire them so we can create their future, break down barriers and enable them to arrive at the destinations they have always dreamed of with all the necessary skills to make a real impact.

Staying ‘Research Active’ in FE

At HSDC, our staff are continuously looking at new theories and ideas and taking part in research themselves to help create the best learning environment for students. With the education sector continuously developing, it is fundamental for teaching professionals to stay ‘in the know’ with new ideas, as well as offering theories of their own.

Higher Education Manager, Dom Thompson, has taken part in many research projects and has spoken about why he encourages other FE professionals to do the same.

He says: “I really believe it not only motivates staff but has a positive impact on the College. I want to show people how easy it is, it’s not that difficult to put in bids and get funding and then to use that funding to apply to a conference and speak. It’s about being proactive and knowing where to apply to.”

Research with Oxford University and the new 10am start time

And, because we like to stay research active – we encourage students to do the same! As a College we are taking part in a ‘first of its kind’ research project with the University of Oxford into the effects of teenage sleep patterns.

This means from September 2019, all our A Levels start from 10am. Academic research shows that teenagers experience changes to their circadian rhythms – not only do they need more sleep, they also naturally wake up and go to sleep later.

We will be working with the University of Oxford to record the effects of the new start time in comparison to the traditional 9am start time.