Bridge suits education aspiration

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Education and Learning committee [5 September 2019] will consider a report on The Bridge.

As a community learning hub offering state-of-the art facilities, The Bridge is a key component in delivering the aspirations of Dumfries Learning Town, filling a gap between learning and work. It was officially opened in May 2019.

Working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway College and the business and voluntary sectors, The Bridge will be increasingly relevant in developing the local workforce and ensuring that education and economy develop together.

As at August 2019, more than 12,000 people have already accessed The Bridge for a wide variety of activities and events:
Meetings 2,643
Conferences, seminars, events 4,520
Training 2,460
Adult learning 114
School curriculum 2,300
TOTAL 12,037

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of the CYPLL committee, said: “Providing the best start for all our children and building the local economy are priorities for our Council. Dumfries Learning Town has always been more than a building project. It is a strategy to deliver learning within and beyond just schools. The Bridge will enable us to guarantee choices through a mix of vocational and academic learning options. It is great to see it being well used and highly thought of.”
Councillor Ros Surtees, vice-chair, said: “We’re determined to improve life chances for young people and The Bridge will enable this. It’s neither a school nor a college so it can be difficult for people to grasp its role. But it will be key to delivering a range of previously unavailable learning options in post-15 education.”

Here’s what some of the young people who have used The Bridge said:

A community is a powerful thing, with the ability to build, nurture, develop and support those within it: we often take our community for granted. Dumfries Learning Town brings together the community of Dumfries, in a way that provides benefit and support to all those around us”
“Dumfries Learning Town provides the platform for interschool working, without which, I wouldn’t have had the chance to make the most of my fifth year at North West Community Campus.”
“Dumfries learning Town has enabled me to take subjects that my school can’t offer. If it wasn’t for the schools collaborating, It wouldn’t have been possible for me to take this step in my music career.
“Before networking, I was quite shy and wasn’t keen to network to another school. However, because I wanted to pursue music, I decided to go through with it. Collaborating with pupils at another school took me out of my comfort zone. I quickly adjusted to the new setting and became friends with pupils as they were welcoming and treated me as their own. Networking gave me confidence to collaborate with people I wouldn’t usually work with.”
“The Bridge has enabled me and other students from various schools to take an advanced higher course in French.”
“The opportunities provided by the Bridge will create the chance for a more diverse and modern way of learning. It allows the community to come together in one venue meaning that everyone can be offered the highest education possible.”
“I’m going to the Bridge to study Engineering Science. It’s a great facility as it allows a link for pupils across Dumfries to come together and get classes that weren’t available and communicate with pupils that might not know. This will give pupils the skills they need for life and give them an enjoyable learning experience.”
“The Bridge is a great facility which will be used by students studying many different subjects. It will enable all learners to acquire new sills in an exciting new building. I’m proud to be one of the first young people to be part of it”
“The opening of the Bridge provides the opportunity for a new family to be created, for new opportunities for this generation, and generations to come. The Dumfries Community will come together in this shared space, to form the Bridge Family; and in that family, the community of Dumfries will come together and grow, and to prosper.”
“With over 100 subjects, ranging from Maths and Engineering, and subjects that I didn’t even know about before this year, including classical studies and beekeeping, I took creative and digital media, a foundation apprenticeship, which makes for a smoother transition into university or the workplace.”

The committee will also consider the tendering procedure to appoint an operator of the café facility at The Bridge.

For full report see:

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