This is an ideal programme for students with more moderate learning difficulties and disabilities. Students work on personalised learning targets across the curriculum, in a supportive environment.
Learners in these programmes are all working towards independent living, life skills and employability skills. The programme is built around preparing for adult hood (PfA) agenda, building bespoke individual programmes to prepare students for adult hood. The programme improves life and employability skills for 16-18-year-old and adults with special educational needs (SEN). The content of the study programme includes key elements as identified and explained in each section.
MATHS & ENGLISH
Maths and English delivery is from pre-entry through to GCSE. All students sit an initial assessment and diagnostic test carried out through BKSB to establish the most appropriate level of study. Some students study the small bite size awards developed by City and Guilds dependent on individual ability. The awards enable students to make small stepping-stones towards achievement, which help confidence building and develop the resilience to help with vocational learning. English and maths skills embedded and integrated into all lessons deepen knowledge in a vocational and life skill context.
LIFE SKILLS & INDEPENDENCE
Life Skills develops student’s skills in cooking, laundry, shopping, independent travel and road safety. Money management enables them to lead more enriched lives and become more independent. Students develop communication skills, maths and English, interpersonal skills, decision-making and problem solving abilities.
Students have the opportunity to study a vocational subject of their choice including the following:
EXTENDED WORK EXPERIENCE
All students have the opportunity to participate in work experience, whether that be in house or with a local business, a variety of placements are used i.e. coffee shops, libraries, Art Galleries and supermarkets which support the student to gain employability skills, independence and confidence. Tutors and students work together to establish the most appropriate work place to help meet the students’ aspiration through meeting their work place choice
The work experience area of the programme aims to introduce and build on skills to enable students to progress into employment, training or volunteering following their course.
Students take part in group work activities and 1-1 meetings to increase their awareness of opportunities and career choices before selecting their placement. Each student has a skills audit to understand which employment skills require the most concentration; these undertake review following placement to measure the impact of the experience on student learning.
Students gain invaluable experience of work place environment and understanding attitudes and behaviours expected at work. Students’ feedback shows that they gain increased skills such as communicating with colleagues and customers, using their own initiative, organisation and planning, and travel.
We work with many local employers including Morrison’s, Foxlowe Arts Centre, Whaley Bridge Memorial, Buxton Museum, WH Smith’s, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Co-op, The Source, Mind, Buxton Riding School, and Peak Wildlife Park.
Many of our students progress onto further courses and curriculum areas within the college. Those that leave college move into other FE courses, supported internships, paid employment, voluntary work and independent living.
Students participate in a one-hour session on a weekly basis with their progress coach. This is an opportunity for students to use their voice and have their say on experiences in College. Topics covered include British Values, Prevent, Online safety, Resilience and Employability. Students develop essential communication and social skills through active discussions, debates and activities. Students are encouraged to develop and build on employability skills by completing self-assessments and personal statements and are supported with work experience placements.
ENTERPRISE, EMPLOYMENT AND PASTORAL (EEP) OPPORTUNITIES
The aims of EEP are to:
Improve and enhance the learner’s experience of College life.
Develop new skills, preparing themselves better for the workplace.
Work collaboratively with others and undertake new challenges and experiences.
Increase awareness of their own strengths and areas for development.
This enables students to display a greater ability in resilience, determination, problem solving, communication, independence and applying knowledge in new contexts.
The range of activities include:
- Ready for Work Club – introducing CV writing, application completion, job search, covering letter writing.
- Volunteering/Work Experience Club – research and applying for placements and participation.
- Health and Wellbeing – including, attending sessions at the local gym.
- Ready Steady Cook Club – healthy eating and lifestyles.
- Road Safety Awareness – covering both theory and practical including travel training.
- Reading ahead challenge
- CEOP internet safety.
During EEP sessions, we offer activities and experiences that develop new skills, increase knowledge and confidence and introduce new interests. Our aim is to provide the learners skills, knowledge and the confidence to move on to the next stages of their lives.This year we are offering:
- Life Skills sessions led by the Union of Students to prepare learners for further college courses, work or independent living. Sessions include Basi
- Money Management, Team Work Skills, Basic First Aid, giving and taking instructions, washing and ironing and basic food preparation and food storage. Held over six weeks.
- RAG Club led by the Union of Students where learners can work on their personal development by researching, planning and hosting a fundraising event for a Charity of their choice. Held over six weeks.
- Ready to Work Club aimed at learners that are going out on work placement or looking for employment. They will gain experience doing job searches/applications and the work place environment. Held over six weeks.
- An introduction to zumba and yoga-designed for beginners who want to try out a different form of exercise and improve their fitness and wellbeing whilst having fun.
These will be followed by a selection of one-hour sessions every week to promote British Values through the Chaplaincy and gain an understanding of how to keep themselves safe by attending sessions on road safety, alcohol and drugs awareness, cyber-crime, CSE and Healthy body Healthy mind.
Tutors provide all students with an opportunity to take part in a residential holiday at Calvert Trust in Keswick. The centre is exclusive to people with physical, learning, and sensory disabilities, including those with the most complex needs. Calvert Trust works with all students to encourage them to reach their full potential no matter what their level of ability in a fun and safe environment.
The residential provides students with the chance to develop their independent living skills as it may be their first time away from home. The students have to the opportunity to participate in all the fun with their peers and support from the college staff who they have already built up a trusting relationship.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY
“College has made me such a confident person. Buxton & Leek College has given us all a second chance to improve our future and reach our goals.” Paige
“I think college has made me more independent and made me a more confident person. The course has made such a difference for me to get my English and maths.” Leah
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for this course, please complete our online application form here and select Independence & Living Skills.