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November 2012


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BSix Sixth Form College wins award for innovation in teaching at the 2012 TES FE Awards

BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College, in Hackney, East London, has won Outstanding Innovation in Teaching, Training or Learning Provision at the second annual TES FE Awards, announced last night.


BSix's unique partnership with Pembroke College, Oxford, was one of the most innovative programmes for widening participation at top universities that the judges had seen.

Since 2008, the college and its counterpart among the dreaming spires have collaborated to run a year-long course replicating life and study at a top university. Last year saw the arrival of a visiting Oxford don in the East End and the creation of the Red Room, a replica of an Oxbridge study. Meanwhile, the programme has expanded to include 15 universities and a host of subject areas.

Students responded to an initiative that did not try to make university seem less challenging, but tried to better equip them for the challenge: the numbers progressing to university doubled in two years, with acceptances at Oxford and Cambridge for the first time and places at Russell Group universities soaring. Crucially, the college is not keeping the benefits of its close partnerships with universities to itself: all students at local schools may apply, and dozens take up the offer each year.

The judges said BSix had "really broken the mould" and was "doing things in a very, very different way".

BSix was also the winner of the 2011 Outstanding Provider of the Year Award.

The announcement was made at a gala ceremony hosted by Fiona Bruce and co-located at The Skills Show, LG Arena, Birmingham NEC.

The TES FE Awards recognise and reward the achievements of the wide range of providers working in learning and skills. Hundreds of FE providers submitted entries for the 13 categories to recognise achievement in employer engagement, innovation in teaching, leadership and entrepreneurship.

To view the full list of winners and photos from the night, visit the awards website (www.tesfeawards.co.uk) or pick up a copy of TES.

The Institute for Learning (IfL) has offered its congratulations to the winners of the TES FE Awards 2012, including BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College, which won the award for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching, Training or Learning Provision, sponsored by IfL and presented by Sue Rhodes, an elected member of IfL's non-executive board. The awards were judged by a panel of eight leading further education experts, including IfL's director of professional development, Dr Jean Kelly.

Toni Fazaeli, IfL's chief executive, said, "IfL is delighted that BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College won the award in this hard-fought category. The creativity and imagination of teachers at the college is inspiring. The judges said that the college had 'broken the mould' and was 'doing things in a very different way'.

"Since 2008, the college has worked in partnership with Pembroke College, University of Oxford, to offer a year-long course mirroring life and study at a top university. A replica of an Oxbridge study has been created at its campus in Hackney, east London, and a visiting Oxford don teaches with the college teachers, forging a new curriculum. Some of the some sessions take place in the Oxbridge study replica, so that students get used to what are unfamiliar surroundings for them; this helps them build their confidence to step up to challenging high-level study and apply for places at top universities.

"The college now has partnerships with 15 universities, and the number of students progressing to universities has doubled. This bears testament to the outstanding teaching at the college, which draws on the proven effectiveness of 'assessment for learning' methods. The learning culture at the college, for teachers and for learners, is central to its continuing quest to raise standards and achievement.

"IfL supports and shares research evidence of the most effective teaching with our growing membership, which currently numbers more than 75,000 people, including Professor Dylan William at London University's Institute of Education and others whose focus is on assessment for learning. BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College's commitment to assessment for learning and to continuing professional development (CPD) is transforming young people's lives, and IfL is proud to be associated with the college."