A case study with Cranbury College

Alice from iAchieve met virtually with Jane Lias from Cranbury College, an Alternative Education Academy, based in Reading, and since August 2020 a part of the Maiden Erlegh multi-academy Trust. They talked about how the centre has been impacted by Covid-19 and why they will be using iAchieve for the third year running.

Cranbury College supports young people aged 5 – 18 years who cannot access mainstream school for a variety of reasons. Some learners at Cranbury College have unintentionally excluded themselves from education, some cannot access school for medical reasons, and some of their young people are dealing with the trauma of permanent exclusion.  These complex needs mean that the centre requires a way to provide engaging curriculum options, that offer structure and consistency – iAchieve offers just that.

For two years the College has used iAchieve to support the delivery of vocational option subjects to Key Stage 4 and 5 learners. These have included the NCFE/CACHE Awards in: Childcare; Business and Enterprise; and Sport.

Jane explained that last academic year (2019-20), one of the learners who completed the CACHE Child Development and Care using iAchieve, was offered, and has accepted, an Apprenticeship in Childcare with a local provider.

The advent of Covid-19, and the lockdown in March 2020, meant that the College had to redefine its delivery with the reduction in on-site learner numbers deriving from the Risk Assessments required by the new guidance on social distancing.

iAchieve was the perfect platform to allow Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 to access the same material, whether on-site or at home

The College pro-actively decided to embrace Blended-learning, and issued a laptop or digital device to all our students, from Primary to Post-16. Timetables were rapidly revised to make sure that learners could access their education with as little disruption as possible. iAchieve was the perfect platform to allow Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 to access the same material, whether on-site or at home, using Microsoft Teams.

Having learnt many new skills and reflected on the highs and lows of the lockdown period, The College embraced the challenges of the 2020-2021 Academic year, not least the change of the vocational courses to Technical Awards, which were thankfully available through iAchieve. Some changes were relatively minor, but the NCFE Level 1 /2 Technical Award in Health and Fitness was substantially different.

This is the third year that Cranbury College have utilised iAchieve and this year they’re using it to deliver Sport (Health and Fitness as above), plus NCFE Level 1 / 2 Technical Award in Business and Enterprise, and the CACHE Level 2 Technical Award in Child Development and Care.   

Jane explained, “… with the use of iAchieve, to support remote learning, we have been able to extend our options offer more than ever before, because we don’t have to have learners on site.  Whatever the future brings, delivering with iAchieve in this way, means that our curriculum offer can be interactive, adaptable, and the learners can talk to teachers in context of the subject.”.

Jane concluded by saying, “the service provided by iAchieve is an important element to delivery of some of the vocational courses that Cranbury College offer.  We’re all getting used to doing things differently, and the iAchieve team is really great, always on hand to help when its needed. Whenever I have a question, I know I can just call, and they will help me with whatever I need. This is crucial for ensuring a smooth delivery to learners and creating a learning environment that gives our learners the best chance of positive outcomes”.

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