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Engaging education: unlocking potential through project-based learning

As we embark on a new school year, a warm welcome back to our existing members and an equally warm welcome to those who are new to ASDAN and just beginning your journey with us. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a well-deserved, restorative summer and feel renewed to help bolster young people’s resilience, confidence and progress during the coming year. 

The summer period provides an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed. Here at ASDAN, we’ve been celebrating the achievements of all the young people who have engaged with our accredited programmes, regulated qualifications and other courses in the last 12 months. With growing numbers of learners being awarded this past year compared to previous years, we’re incredibly proud of all ASDAN learners and all the educational professionals who make young people’s personal steps of achievement possible. 

It’s been a busy year of renewing our energies and developing our strategies and future plans. Thank you to all who responded to our 2023 customer survey, helping us gain further insight into how we can provide the highest level of service to you, our valued members and support others to join and deliver our courses.  

At a time when the focus remains on the traditional qualifications on offer to young people in the UK, we have been contributing to the discussion generated by the Rethinking Assessment movement – a coalition of voices from across the education sector and made up of school leaders, researchers, policy makers, employers and beyond. Their aims are to provide compelling arguments and practical solutions for broadening and modernising assessment methods, reflecting the modern world and young people’s place in it. 

I recently wrote a blog for the Rethinking Assessment website Unlocking learning through projects. Using projects to develop confidence and personal effectiveness to thrive in adulthood has always been intrinsic to ASDAN’s learner-based pedagogy.  

My article looks at how project-based learning can create accessible opportunities for all young learners, offering alternative and innovative ways of assessing their achievements. We know that projects and challenges engage young people by giving them choice, unlocking motivation and building self-confidence. They can elevate young people’s ambitions and self-belief by deliberately developing personal effectiveness, and empower young people by inviting them to lead their own learning.  

I hope you enjoy reading the full Unlocking learning through projects article and hearing about one learner’s extraordinary ASDAN journey. 

And so, as the seasons turn, we look forward to working with you in the coming year, guided by our continued mission to engage, elevate and empower young people, giving learners the chance to gain the qualities and skills that will help them thrive in future learning, work and life. 

We wish you all the best for the coming year. Thank you for your continued support.  

Jenny Williams 
ASDAN Chief Executive