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The Edge Award for Excellence in Real World Learning Synopses 2023/24

South Eastern Regional College

In 2020, in response to the extreme poverty in deprived communities, the school radically innovated their PBL focus from pure business enterprise to combining it with social enterprise work fifty per cent of the time. The Hospitality and Catering School's Food Poverty Project works with food banks, charities, businesses, and local councils to provide unique learning opportunities for students in designing, planning, and implementing culinary projects to address food poverty in the community. The PBL social enterprise projects included: • Emergency response meals for people struggling with food access, funded by the Food for Life Get Togethers grant. • 1000 fresh and 1000 pre-prepared Christmas meals to residents accessing food banks and charities. • Demonstrations online and at show events on how to feed a family of four on £5, which Tesco funded. • Cash4Kids Coffee Morning events, where students created festive foods to raise money for charity. • The Food Education Programmes, where a collection of low-cost family favourite recipes with supporting demonstration videos have been made and shared with the community. • Community Christmas Dinner, preparing and serving 400 3-course meals for vulnerable community members accessing the local food banks. • Meals for people experiencing homelessness. • A constant supply of frozen meals to charities.

Cambridge Regional College

The project leads to training and increased awareness for employers to understand the needs of young people and adults with learning difficulties, autism and mental health and to recognise person-centeredness approaches to ensure there are high quality routes of progression for all participants. Students work within their local communities and green spaces and promote across the county the importance of breaking down any barriers of perception around SEND by being in open, public green spaces including working on site at our campuses to prepare areas where we have small animals, where onsite building projects are taking place to landscape areas and also to maintain our sensory gardens. This supports a welcoming and inclusive community of openness.

Education Partnership North East

Cultural and Social Capital project drives excellence in curriculum through several stages Stage 1 = Induction project based on problem solving in the real world/PBL e.g. art students raising the issue of sustainability and litter on our beaches. They collected the rubbish and created a sculpture which was exhibited on the beach to raise awareness. Stage 2 = teacher scheduled activities including preparation for industry inclusion, community projects e.g. working with Sunderland BID on the Lights out Festival students create performances working alongside community groups Stage 3 = February Industry inclusion fortnight with Industry Experts on site e.g. over 35 employers on site delivering masterclasses, workshops and launching live briefs to staff and students. Staff gain industry updates and insights alongside students in an immersive learning experience. Stage 4 = an array of live briefs and commissions Stage 5 = EPNE led Employer Forum Creating Opportunities with Regional Employers (CORE) supporting curriculum design. Employers are exposed to what young people are like, how they think and their contemporary struggles and work with curriculum area leaders to help inform the designing of the curriculum. Stage 6 = A celebration and showcase to industry experts through performance, exhibitions and a Digital Expo.

The Isle of Wight College

The Intergen Project is a partnership between Age UK and The Isle of Wight College, it was created to bridge the generational and digital divide. For 2 hours every week level 3 computing students on their second year would run a workshop for Age UK clients. Often the client had received a tablet or laptop from a friend or relative and was unsure of how to set it up or what functions were available and how to use them. The students were involved in both the planning and delivery of the workshops, this enabled them to identify their own strengths and understand who would be best suited to which client. The project was designed not only to support Age UK clients in feeling more confident about using technology, it was also designed to support younger people to develop communication skills and work and learn with people from different backgrounds. The students learnt how to communicate in a variety of ways and became aware they had to use different language (not so technical) in the first instance so that the clients could understand the solutions to the problems they had presented the student with.

Heart of Birmingham Vocational College

Working in partnerships with organisations across the Midlands, HBVC's hub and spoke model provides SEND students the opportunity to access provision from a host organisation which includes employers and industry specific locations. Starting in 2021, a Football Club became HBVC’s first spoke where Sport provision for SEND students has been delivered since. In 2023, HBVC now have 5 spokes which includes Horticulture provision at an affluent Tennis club, and Supported Internships within a huge City Council. HBVC’s Hub and Spoke model expands the reach of an underrepresented group (SEND) within communities and employers all whilst giving SEND students the opportunities to improve life and living, employability and industry related skills in real life working environments whilst still being supported by SEND experts. The opportunities for students due to these partnerships are excellent and include work placement and Supported Internships. This model ensures people across these organisations are educated and have an improved awareness of SEND through training delivered by HBVC and through interactions with students. These successful partnerships have resulted in SEND students achieving excellent outcomes, which includes paid employment and therefore increases the number of disabled people who are in the workforce. HBVC’s Hub and Spoke model benefits everyone including the local community, employers and mostly, SEND students.

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