In October we described the new digital spoke being prepared in the Jedburgh Intergenerational School, and how we hoped to be able to utilise the latest smart screen and video conference technology to offer a greater range of courses in the Jedburgh area.
Following on from that we conducted a community survey to find out what the areas of interest were for your town and to help inform what we planned for you in the future. In the survey we asked what type of courses you were interested in, which subject areas, when you would like them to be delivered and what type of learning you preferred.
The survey was well received, and we learned several different things. Overall, most people seemed to prefer evening classes held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. In Jedburgh you wanted to see more National and Higher classes, and you were happy for these to be delivered online or face to face. You also highlighted that you would like face to face classes focussed on local history, but were also open to more classes in subjects such as languages, beekeeping and wellbeing.
You felt that the social aspects of leisure courses were as important as the subjects themselves, and this was best served by having classes face to face – you did not seem to mind whether they were indoors or outdoors.
With all that in mind, we are pleased to announce that we will be offering a larger range of National and Higher classes from September 2021, and we will be including Higher Chemistry and Higher Maths as part of the suite, as well as National 4 Maths. All of these complement our existing provision, providing more choice and enabling you to gain the qualifications you need to progress to higher or further education.
In addition, we are planning a short course on local history, which will be offered face to face, to support the social aspects that you really want. This is also expected to start in September, guidance and restrictions permitting.
From September there will also be the opportunity for regular language classes, and we hope that these can also take place face to face as the restrictions ease. These will include French, Italian and Spanish, but British Sign Language has also been highlighted as an area of interest, so we hope to offer this too.
Masterclasses in cookery and wellbeing are being planned, to give you the opportunity to learn new techniques, as well as take part in the practical aspects of the course and to “Ask the Expert” regarding any of the questions that are important to you.
Katharine Mathison, Director of the Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation, commented:
“Over the last 12 months we have been working hard to continue to offer commercial short courses, community and leisure courses, and Higher and National 5 courses, and it has been amazing to see so many people engaging in online training; however, we are also keen to try and develop our programmes to meet the needs of our communities and to try and provide some of the more social courses that we know our customers enjoy. Our community survey has told us which courses you want us to provide and we are using this to inform our programmes going forward. As we emerge from the shadow of Covid, we look forward to welcoming you to join some new courses, as well as some of your favourites, and we welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.
“The last 12 months have been truly testing for everyone, but we hope that we will soon return to normal and look forward to welcoming you back to our range of short courses and community classes.