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College Programme recognised in TES Awards 2021 Final

College Programme recognised in TES Awards 2021 Final

We are very proud to announce that Canford has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious TES Awards 2021 in the Strategic Education Initiative of the Year category.  These awards are given to the most outstanding institutions that the independent sector has to offer and being recognised is testament to all the hard work of staff across the school during the past challenging 12 months of the pandemic.

The category recognises initiatives in improving learning outcomes for pupils and helping them to fulfil their potential.   The Canford focus is on last Summer's innovative 'College Programme' for our Upper Sixth leavers.  Styled along the lines of higher education ‘elective’ programme, and following the Canford vision for pupils to ‘Explore, Express and Excel’ Head of Enrichment Tom Marriott, devised a dynamic programme based around six core strands of engagement: Core Academic Extension, Elective modules, Fitness, Activities and Wellbeing, 1-1 Tutor Meetings, University and Careers Clinics and The Ivy House Award for leadership development.  The academic extension element was taken in two of a pupil’s current A Level subjects and was designed to reflect the nature of continued learning in the adult world, be it in higher education, degree apprenticeships or the world of work.  The electives complemented this learning, and each pupil chose a minimum of two of these each week, encouraged to learn a new skill, such as computer programming, basic Italian, gardening, baking sourdough, interview skills, student finance or car maintenance and to take advantage of broadening general knowledge interactive live presentations by external speakers including BBC Diplomatic Correspondent James Landale National Geographic photographer Bertie Gregory and Spoken Word Poet, Deanna Rodger. 

The Ivy House leadership programme was already being used by the Lower Sixth year group as a pilot project and was extended to the Upper Sixth to offer the opportunity to develop leadership skills, confidence and self knowledge.  Integrated into the College Programme was also time and space for pastoral support.

Canford College Programme

Headmaster Ben Vessey commented: "Foremost in our minds at the outset was a sense of sadness that these circumstances had the potential to bring an abrupt and premature end to our Upper Sixth pupils’ time at Canford. With this in mind we immediately set about putting in place the foundations of a programme that would ensure that whatever the situation, their Canford careers would end with a bang rather than whimper!  I am very grateful to all my colleagues and the wider school community of parents, OCs and others associated with Canford who worked so hard to make the programme such a success. I am absolutely delighted that it has been recognised in this year's TES Awards."

TES editor Jon Severs said: “After a difficult year for all schools, it is an honour to celebrate the TES Independent School awards, not only to celebrate excellent practice but to ensure that practice is shared far and wide. We received an unparalleled number of entries this year, which is testament to the great work all have done during the pandemic. The schools that have been shortlisted should be proud - it's a remarkable achievement."

Due to Covid-19, for the very first time, the TES Independent School Awards winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony on Friday 30 April 2021.

To see the full list of who is in the running, please visit