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Aiming higher

Following a positive Ofsted inspection, Cambridge Adult Learning and Skills Service (ALS) were looking for a way to further improve their assessment process. At training and standardisation meetings, tutors often asked for help with how to create and record meaningful individual learning goals, especially when working with large, mixed groups.

Creating an innovative tool

These questions sparked the creation of #BeInspired Any Goal Cards. This tool offers learners the opportunity to discuss aspirations with their peers and supports tutors in the process of refining and setting goals.

The professionally printed cards have an inspirational, thought-provoking question written on each one. Learners can work in pairs, small groups or in one-to-one sessions to discuss what they hope to gain from lessons. These aims are then sharpened and pushed further by tutors for a more in-depth goal; “I want to learn English” becomes “I want to learn how to order food in a café”.

For learners, this means they are included and placed at the heart of the planning process from the beginning, ensuring they are getting the most out of learning.

For tutors, this means they have a clearer picture of each learner’s goals and can plan to ensure they meet them on their scheme of work. Progress can be tracked much more effectively.

For Cambridge Adult Learning and Skills, they hope this innovative approach will demonstrate that they have addressed an area of development with Ofsted.

Helping hand

Gateway Qualifications ran a competition to help a provider that had a creative, learner-focused idea but were being held back by lack of resources or funds. Cambridge Adult Learning and Skills Service won the competition with the #BeInspired Any Goal Cards initiative.

Gateway Qualifications provided us with a flash of determination. We became aware of the competition only a day before the deadline, but the time pressure helped us formulate and really hone into our idea. Winning the prize helped us make it a reality!"

Naomh Campbell, Curriculum Manager, Cambridgeshire Adult Learning and Skills Service

The cards have now been rolled out to around 60 tutors across the county and are embedded in a variety of courses.

Positive outcomes

Learners react positively when using the cards; barriers are broken down during ice-breakers and confidence is built in all kinds of settings. Discussions on wellbeing and enrichment are initiated, as hoped, along with the topics of equality and inclusion. Learners describe the cards as “easy to use”, “interesting” and “they make you think”.

We have found that by addressing wider impacts and enrichment directly, learners are put at ease. The cards purposely include questions that encourage the discussion of welfare, such as "how would you like to be treated on this course?" and "what makes you feel safe on a course?". These sit alongside learner aims questions too, like "if there was one thing you could learn on this course, what would it be?"

Naomh Campbell, Curriculum Manager, Cambridgeshire Adult Learning and Skills Service

Next steps

It has been a welcome discovery for ALS that the Any Goal Cards can be successfully used at all stages of the learners’ journey. They are currently being used in a variety of settings, from SEND courses to Level 4 qualifications for staff and CPD sessions.

With a digital version already available online, the next steps will include researching how to make the cards even more inclusive, such as a braille version and cards with larger text for the visually impaired.

Watch the #BeInspired Any Goal Cards in action!