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Congratulations to Matt Reynolds and Rich Stonebridge of Cirencester College on winning a Sixth Form College Association award for Curriculum Innovation this week

Each year the Sixth Form College Association (SFCA) reviews exemplary initiatives across the sector to identify outstanding practice for its distinguished National Awards. This year Cirencester College have won big in the premier category of Curriculum Innovation.

The work of Matt Reynolds and Rich Stonebridge in embracing educational reform and developing a pioneering Level 2 system (the likes of which have been further incorporated by the DfE into the National model for delivery) has been recognised by the SFCA as ground-breaking exemplary progressive practice, landing Matt and Rich with the coveted winner’s trophy.

“We’ve always been driven to create the best possible experience for our learners.” said Matt Reynolds, Vice Principal, “The opportunity to design a brand-new Level 2 educational system from scratch; to prepare learners for a bright future of Level 3 education, is one we couldn’t resist.”

From recognising that learners didn’t want to repeat the experience of school and simply retake, to understanding that multiple layers of confidence building, skills development, competency establishment and aspirational life development, were all important to build into a complete experience for the learner, Matt and Rich worked together to devise an ever-advancing model that has grown to become a national case study on how to work in this area of FE.

“We’re passionate about educational reform to create brilliant chances for our young people.” continued Matt, “From the early days of development; working closely with the Department for Education, to informing the new educational framework that is now rolled out nationally, we’ve been right at the sharp end. I must pay respects to my colleague, Rich Stonebridge too. We worked together in close collaboration throughout and he had the drive and commitment to carry all of that development work through to a rock-solid delivery with a team of great teachers.”

Faculty Head, Rich Stonebridge, agrees the work has been right at the coalface of Level 2 curriculum reform; “Such a refreshing project to work on with the space and backing to be as creative as possible with the learner at the centre of every aspect. The transition programme we created offers learners the chance to reframe their perception of education, career aspirations and possibilities for themselves. A real labour of love but great to work with Matt in creating something truly unique.”

“We never take our foot off the gas at Cirencester.” concluded Matt, “We push hard for the very best at every opportunity. I’m so delighted for us both, and all the wider team, to receive the 2022 Award for Curriculum Innovation. It’s the icing on the cake after a lot of amazing work.”

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