Bridgwater College wins its 14th Beacon Award

Bridgwater College has won yet another AoC Beacon Award for Sport in the Curriculum, for inspiring its students through sport. This is the College’s 14th Beacon Award, the largest amount any college has won throughout the whole of the country.

The award, sponsored by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (Vtct), was given for the College’s ability to demonstrate to students studying sport the range of career opportunities that are available to them. Through their Team BC initiatives and innovative sports curriculum, students volunteer as coaches in primary schools learning leadership and employability skills.

It received the prestigious Beacon Awards for Sport in the Curriculum from the Association of Colleges (AoC), the membership organisation for further education colleges. The awards demonstrate the excellent teaching and innovative thinking in the further education sector which creates positive opportunities for both staff and students.

Assistant Principal for Land Based, Business and Sport, Jason Gunningham said,

“We are delighted that all of the fantastic experiences and success that our students gain by working with our highly skilled and innovative teaching staff has been recognised by this national Beacon Award for Sport.”

Jason added,

“The Beacon Award assessors visited Bridgwater College to view all of our sports curriculum and meet with employers who are engaged in supporting students on their sports courses and also to speak with students about their aspirations and career pathways. The assessors praised us on our various initiatives we undertake within our sports curriculum. The aims and objectives of our courses are part of a strategy that encapsulates a holistic approach to personal development and provides our learners with skills that allow them to flourish in the sports and active leisure industry. Therefore, our aims and objectives are inclusive, dynamic, challenging and unique, equipping our learners with excellent industry skills that will provide them with an excellent head start for the future.

“We actively promote the College values of teamwork, leadership, integrity and a sense of responsibility in everything that we do. Our aims and objectives allow young adults to develop these skills through structured coaching, leading and volunteering opportunities. What is pivotal to our initiative is that it is inclusive and gives every learners studying a sport, exercise or a coaching related study programme an opportunity to enhance their employability and we are thankful that we have developed and expanded our engagement with local and national employers who really add value to all of our students’ progress in College.

“Additionally, our courses not only focus on inspiring our own students studying sport, it also encapsulates the cross-College student community as they benefit from our student Team BC Sport Activator volunteers, who deliver a variety of sport and active leisure to the student body, and to the wider community as part of their study programmes.

“The department has an implicit focus that all engagement positively affects our students’ educational experience and, in turn, develops staff so that they can use new knowledge and understanding to heighten and strengthen the college experience for all student groups.”

Nic Robinson, VTCT’s Director of Business Development said,

“VTCT is delighted to support the Beacon Award for Sport in the Curriculum. It is great to see how innovative our colleges can be in improving the experience of learners.”

Roger Marriott, Chief Assessor for the Beacon Awards said,

“Every year the Beacon Awards receive a large number of excellent submissions and the high standard made it hard for assessors to determine the winning application in each category.

“All the entries demonstrated the commitment of colleges to create the best possible experience for their students. Bridgwater College can be rightly proud to be named as the winner of the category.”

Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the Beacon Awards said,

“Bridgwater College is an outstanding representative of the excellent work happening in colleges across the country.

“It is a privilege to oversee these awards which allow us to celebrate the exemplary and innovative work colleges are developing to support their students, staff, employers and local communities, as well as helping to support our recovering economy.”