College racing academy and essential skills programmes given top accolades at CDN awards

Invitation card - CDN Awards

It was a great night for Borders College at last night’s College Development Network (CDN) Annual Awards after they picked up two accolades at the prestigious event.

The College received the ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the ‘Essential Skills’ category for their Data Driven Innovation programme. They were also presented with the ‘Commended Award’ in the ‘Innovation’ category for their work on the Scottish Racing Academy programme.

This year’s virtual ceremony was Introduced by Chief Executive of CDN Jim Metcalfe, and was presented by one of Scotland’s best-known performers, Elaine C Smith, with the aim of celebrating the successes and achievements of many outstanding projects and initiatives delivered by colleges throughout Scotland.

Essential Skills Award

In the category of ‘Essential Skills’, the College decided to pilot the NPA Data Science at SCQF Level 4 within different vocational areas (Motor Vehicle, Hairdressing, and Health and Social Care). The Core Skills staff developed a project-based approach to their delivery of the NPA, and integrated the assessment of ICT Core Skill.

The project-based approach has enabled the lecturers to develop the digital and meta-skills of the learners that relate more specifically to the needs of the employers.

This approach is now being adopted by other vocational areas, and the Core and Essential Skills Policy for the College has been updated to enable Course Teams to select this qualification, where appropriate to employer needs.

This award recognises a college that has embraced the ethos of Essential Skills in the curriculum.

Also represented in the ‘Essential Skills Award’ category were Dundee and Angus College, and West College Scotland.

Borders College Principal Angela Cox said:

“I am thrilled that the creativity and hard work of the staff has been awarded in this way.
Borders College prides itself on providing our community with the skills they need now, and in the future. Accessing and interpreting data is an essential skill, irrespective of the sector you want to work in, and we are delighted to be working with University of Edinburgh on developing these skills, alongside other City Deal partners.”

Innovation Award

The Scottish Racing Academy, placed in the ‘Innovation’ category, is a new and innovative collaboration between Borders College, Scottish Racing and industry partners from Scottish and British Horseracing, which enables a “Pathway to the Horseracing Industry”.

The need for a Scottish Racing Academy was identified by this group in response to the significant number of people within the Scottish horseracing community who had to travel to Doncaster or Newmarket to train. The group highlighted the need to ‘train to retain’ our own talented people within the workforce in Scotland.

Working collaboratively with Scottish Racing, employers and DYW Borders, the College has developed a cohesive and sustainable model of education and training provision for young people entering the racing industry, and for existing racing staff and their trainers.

Employers within the horseracing industry have committed to taking students on work-placement to ensure that the routes are providing fit-for-purpose learners.

The awards recognise the talent, skills and achievements of colleges, their staff and learners. They provide a valuable opportunity to celebrate the innovation taking place in colleges across the country. They showcase the impact the sector is having – every day – for our learners, communities, and the wider economy.

For the ‘Innovation Award’ category, Borders College faced stiff competition from Ayrshire and Fife colleges.

Heather Anderson, Vice Principal for Curriculum and Learning at Borders College, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive these awards in the ‘Essential Skills’ and ‘Innovation’ categories. The CDN College Awards recognise the talent, skills and achievements of colleges and enable us to showcase the impact our College is having on learners, the community, and on the wider economy.”

Borders College was also 'highly commended' at the recent AT Architectural Awards for the Hawick-based Eco Room. Read more here.

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