9 May 2023

Preparing curriculum staff for future industry demands - retrofit

Following on from a successful cross college best practice day in February, WYCC partner colleges who have received funding through WYCC’s Strategic Development Fund (SDF) retrofit project have been participating in a course delivered by learning influencers at Leeds College of Building.

For four weeks, lecturers from Leeds College of Building, Calderdale College and Heart of Yorkshire Education Group have been attending sessions to understand, learn and digest a bespoke ‘retrofit’ course.

The Understanding Domestic Retrofit course, adapted and delivered by Leeds College of Building lecturers Ruth Brown and Andy Whitehead, covers a thorough and in-depth dive into various aspects of construction retrofit. The course is designed for dissemination amongst teaching staff, who can then deliver it to students and learners to both complement their course qualifications but also best prepare them for changing industry standards and the future of construction.

A key feature of the success of this ‘train the trainer’ style course has been the variety of staff in the classroom. Colleagues from different colleges, different disciplines across construction and different backgrounds and interests have all been taking part to develop their knowledge. The collaboration on this project has enabled knowledge to be shared far and wide.

Speaking to the group, there was general opinion that a course like this has been a long time in the running and the group was incredibly grateful to have direction and content delivered by staff in similar positions to themselves.

Lycette from Calderdale College described how the delivery could be connected into the curriculum, It’s a very rare opportunity to be prioritised amongst the busy teaching schedules we all have, but a vitally important topic to prepare ourselves for future industry and qualification demands.

There have been immediate actions taken as a result of this course over four weeks, with some tutors changing their existing content in real time, being embellished with knowledge learnt from this course.

Steven at Leeds College of Building spoke of his existing lessons on environmental impact to be delivered in the next few weeks, but how “[he] will go back and change the planned delivery to include some of the content from this course.”

Others echoed Steven’s words and shared enthusiasm for the compact but thorough nature of the course, a key element that will support the embedding into different college curricula.

Andrew from Castleford College, part of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, has experience with teaching aligned topics such as solar power to his electrical courses but was excited to be able to place those elements within a wider retrofit construction process. Gaining a holistic view of retrofit, has boosted his knowledge and will pass that on to his students.

The colleges are genuinely excited about this course and what it will mean for their provision. The group know that ultimately and importantly it will benefit the students. The content when cascaded from teaching staff to learners will bring a competitive edge of knowledge to learners, and prepare them for an industry which is experiencing change in standards now, and more in the future.

This project has been part funded through the Strategic Development Fund funded through by the Department for Education, and has been used for capital equipment, course development, training and more.


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