Post 16 Curriculum and Work experience
There are three tutor groups for pupils aged 16 to 19 years.
The Curriculum at Post 16 is based on the needs and interests of the pupils by incorporating life skills with vocational training. Student achievement is accredited through The ASDAN Youth Award Scheme: Towards Independence modules and Personal Progress Life Skills, Entry 1.
Throughout the programmes there is emphasis on the key skills of:
Application of number
Improving my own learning and performance
Working with others
We teach these skills by applying them to work based vocational areas such as:
Retail and Catering: Running the school café, working in Waitrose, Co-op and Petersham Nurseries, a smart restaurant in Richmond.
Horticulture: School kitchen garden, ground maintenance, allotment and Holly Lodge Centre in Richmond Park
Office skills: Working in the school office
Health and Beauty: Offering treatments to students and staff
Animal Care: Taking care of class and staff pets
Library: Working in the school library
Cleaning: cars, bikes, windows, Red Lion pub and classrooms
Media: Creating the Paddock Newspaper and Paddock Newsround
Enterprise: Making items to sell to the public
Post 16 aged students have an enriched curriculum involving many off site visits and opportunities to practice their skills in alternative settings. Students participate in sessions at Douglas Bader Gym, Holly Lodge Centre in Richmond Park, Lennox Estate Youth Club, George Shearing Club, rowing at Barn Elms Centre, Hanover House (a retirement home) a working Co-operative in Surbiton where they make poppies and a local church as well as out very own allotment. Some pupils also enjoy football coaching provided by professional coaches from Chelsea FC, as well as dance, music and art and Spanish lessons.
We believe that during the three years our students spend in this department they receive a challenging and well rounded self help and vocational education where they can:
- Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world
- Practice and build up ideas, concepts and skills
- Learn how to manage and take responsibility for their own behaviour
- Learn to self occupy, interact positively with others and express or try to understand their emotions.
- Take risks and make mistakes
- Think creatively and imaginatively
- Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems
- Express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations
The school café is open to the public on a Wednesday and Thursday. The café provides opportunities for students to prepare food to sell to the public such as soup and sandwiches, as well as taking orders on the till, collecting money and delivering food and drink to customers. Some of the students who are not able to work in the café, make a valuable contribution to its running, by being involved in important housekeeping duties. The school library is open to the school on a Monday and a Tuesday for pupils to read books in the library environment and then borrow them. The Post 16 Students have been trained to organise the library and use the ICT facilities to lend the books out to the other students. Our Enterprise group make items such as jewellery, cards and plant pots to sell at different venues such as Putney Market and Paddock fun days. Post 16 aged students are responsible for all the recycling in the school. There is an ‘Eco Warrior’ assigned to each class.
Pupils are supported in life skills opportunities and are taught specific skills such as ironing, washing and drying clothes, making beds, as well as their own lunch, travel training and handling money dependent on ability.
The students also organise and run charity events, for example, Pink Day in aid of breast cancer, Red Nose Day for Comic Relief/Sports Aid, Autism Awareness Week and other worthwhile causes.
We have recently gained links with three local businesses who have offered work experience placements for some of the post 16 students. Two of our students have begun working at Waitrose where they are checking sell-by dates, facing up products and tidying shelves. They have been taking responsibility of their own uniform and have been taking the bus to work. They have also been working once a week at Petersham Nurseries, a smart restaurant in Richmond. Here they have been preparing the tables before customers arrive and have become very independent at this. Both students will continue in their work experience placements for the remainder of the academic year and they will be working towards being as independent as possible in their places of work.
3 other students in the Post 16 department are also taking part in work experience at the Co-Op where they are tidying shelves; they are fast becoming the best workers in Wandsworth and are keeping the shop spic and span. They will also continue working here, once a week, for the remainder of the school year, taking a public bus to and from school.
Careers and FE Advice
Students receive vocational guidance as part of their social and personal education, as appropriate to their needs, with the involvement of Connexions, the local Careers Service, and other agencies such as Social Services. They are supported in deciding on their future placement and in identifying the help they will need in making the transition.
Post School Provision
During each pupil's last years in school, meetings are held with parents to discuss the future options open to their son or daughter.
Social Workers are required to be involved in the school leaving procedure. As students approach their 18th birthday, we facilitate the transition to adult services by participating in transition meetings with the Transition Social Worker.
There is information about local and national post school provision available for parents to consult and school staff are happy to discuss any issues which might arise. Students are supported in the transition to future placements through a ‘link’ programme.
Closer to the time of transition, some students will make regular visits to their future placement, sometimes with a member of school staff, to facilitate the transition and transfer information.
Life after Paddock
Some of our ex-pupils come back once a week to work in our school café and mentor the current Year 14s. One pupil, for several years, travelled independently to work in our café and received payment for her work. If we need confirmation that our post-16 vocational programme is working, then stories like these give us just that.