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Long Road shortlisted for TES Sixth Form College of the Year award

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Long Road Sixth Form College has been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Educational Supplement Sixth Form College of the Year award.

The finals will take place at a black tie event at the Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane, London, on 22nd April.

The College was selected because of the way that it helps students to achieve excellent results. It does this by focusing on student preparation for learning, individual guidance, staff training and through links with local businesses and organisations. The College also works with other local education providers in the Cambridge and Suffolk Schools Alliance to provide and deliver teacher training, professional development, school-to-school support and research & development. We also liaise with a large number of local businesses and national projects to provide students with mentoring opportunities, such as the Engineering Education Scheme, which matched up our Physics A level students with global IT firm ARM and environmental building engineers Couch Perry Wilkes.

Long Road’s strong academic performance has grown year-on-year to a 98% pass rate for A levels and a place in the top 10% nationally for value added – the way in which students’ results exceed those normally expected from their entry grades.

The judging panel also examined three detailed case studies on how the College works to improve students’ learning experiences. The first case study examined the success of our Media courses and how students have won awards from the BFI (British Film Industry) and, most recently, gained three places on the BFI National Academy from a total of 66 places available nationally.

The second case study looked at the College’s Digital Literacy Project, the aim of which was to set up an online independent study course for students who are at a transition stage between college and university or employment. The course focuses on digital literacy and covers the skills needed to live, learn and work in a digital environment. One important objective was to raise awareness of issues such as digital identity, use of social media, e-safety, digital consumerism and, most importantly, the digital skills needed to be a successful 21st century student. The course puts a strong emphasis on employability and includes contributions from local employers about the digital literacy skills they look for in job applicants.

The final case study described the College’s LINKs programme, whereby every member of staff (teaching and support) spends one day a year with a local or national company or organisation. The aim is to forge links for future collaboration (mentoring, bespoke courses or visits) and also to find out what each organisation requires from its employees. This will widen our students’ apprenticeship and employment opportunities both post-College and post-higher education.

Christine Sherwin, College Principal, says: “I am delighted that the hard work and sterling efforts of our academic, guidance and support staff to give our students the very best and most successful learning experience possible has been recognised by the Times Educational Supplement. It is a great privilege to reach the final: all our staff and students should be very proud of our achievement.”