Changes at Haringey Adult Learning Service (HALS)
Haringey Adult Learning Service (HALS) has undergone major changes in the past year and is now embracing a new era of learning, with digital classrooms getting ready for learners from September. On past projects and new plans, we talk to Ecaterina Bright, IT Senior Tutor at HALS.
- Tell us about the Fusions Skills work you’re doing at HALS – what sort of skills are they and why are they important?
HALS introduced the Fusion Skills to ensure Londoners, employers, and businesses get the skills they need to succeed in a fair, inclusive society and thriving economy. With this in mind, together with my Senior Tutor colleagues and ICT L2 learners, I came up with a unique model in the form of a 5 C’s Tracker, which is now extended across curriculums and capturing a wide range of employability outcomes. The tracker enables learners to track the Self-Cohesion, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking skills they develop while studying at HALS. The tracker can then be taken away and presented to potential employers to make our learners’ employability skills more visible, leading to improved employability chances. This model was also successfully extended beyond the service into a sub-regional project shared with eight Central London boroughs.
- What is HALS doing for ‘digitally excluded’ people—those who have very low digital skills and confidence?
HALS have been very successful in supporting lower-level learners by accessing funding for tablets and smartphones, and starting inclusion projects that provide 1-1 support on how to use these devices with confidence. Support provision for digitally excluded people was, and is, a priority at HALS, and we are well-prepared for the changing landscape and new ways of interaction and leadership that are emerging based on demand of the Haringey community.
- Tell us about the IT courses HALS has run for businesses in the pandemic.
Working in partnership with local community groups, we launched the ‘Get Online for Business – Kickstart’ workshops to support High Road West and Northumberland Park regeneration activity, and to enable local businesses to build and take control of their online presence. We are currently running five workshops for local businesses and it is really wonderful to hear the enthusiasm about the progress and confidence that participants developed through the support of this project, both in terms of meeting a business need and from a personal development aspect in breaking down barriers of isolation.
- I hear that HALS is having a big digital makeover – what will this involve?
The Digital Improvement Project at HALS is very exciting for both learners and staff. The latest state-of-the-art technology will enable our learners to have the most exciting learning experience with hybrid, blended, asynchronous learning all on offer at HALS from September. Our staff is already part of the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), leading the way in supporting innovation in teaching and training and improving learner outcomes, equipping our learners for the changing world of work, supported by the use of technology and our digital makeover.
By Ewelina Gawrys
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