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Poetry inspires moving report

Anniesland College in Glasgow has won plaudits from HMIE for its "lively ethos" and sense of community and citizenship, Elizabeth Buie writes.

The college was graded "very good" in five subject areas and "good" in two for its learning and teaching process. Student progress and outcomes were "very good" in four subject areas and "good" in three. In the cross-college elements, there were five "very good" grades and two "good" grades.

The report expresses HMIE's confidence in the effectiveness of the college's learning and teaching processes, learners' progression and the improving quality of its services for students.

Linda McTavish, the principal, was described as providing "passionate, enthusiastic and effective leadership for learning". Senior and middle management was "strong and committed"

Inspectors drew attention to Anniesland's recruitment from Glasgow's black and ethnic minority communities, and to its provision of English for speakers of other languages to meet the needs of the city's high asylum-seeker and refugee population.

The report stated: "The college was characterised by a responsive learner-centred focus, shared core values among staff and clear and comprehensive educational aims. It was effective in delivering its goal to provide life-changing opportunities and experiences for a diverse range of learners."

HMIE also noted the college's "significant contribution" to economic and workforce development. "It successfully targeted areas of greatest need in the communities it served and worked in a complementary and effective way with other agencies to promote community development, skills acquisition and employability."

They went on to praise the college for having "systematically expanded the availability and use of core skills profiling". Support for learning staff shared these profiles with students, lecturers and the learner services team to get a better handle on recruitment and plans for supporting learners.

Inspectors picked out a number of areas in which Anniesland was considered "sector-leading" and innovative. These included the college's dance in the community programme, and its guidance and support for students on the ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) programme.

One project that stood out for HMIE was the college's annual poetry competition, which it ran in conjunction with National Poetry Day. The competition was open to both staff and learners and almost 200 poems had been collected over the five years since its inception.

In 2005, the college launched Poetry in Motion, a book of poems with an accompanying CD-Rom produced by the college's multimedia learners. "Poetry in Motion provided tangible evidence of the lively ethos of the college and the sense of community and citizenship that pervaded its activities,"

inspectors observed.

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