In order to maximise the educational opportunities for the pupils, they need to be exposed to situations one meets in everyday life. Including integrating the young people into the local community and institutions which is a vital underpinning to everything that is done at Paddock and without it the children will be ill equipped to lead an independent life.
Community links and social cohesion are extremely important for a school such as Paddock, where it is common for the pupils, because of the difficulties they have in social understanding, and potential for challenging behaviour, to be denied access to community events and activities within the mainstream.
It is absolutely essential therefore, that we take every opportunity possible to undertake inclusive aspects in the community, and provide opportunities for community groups and individuals to come onto our site in order to provide positive experiences for both pupils and outsiders, and to also de-mystify what goes on at Paddock.
We have developed the school café in order to both showcase the talents of our young people and allow the young people to prepare for work in a real life setting.
Groups and individuals also use the local swimming pools, shops, cafes, buses and road crossings, to practice and develop their social and independence skills.
This is considered very important for the rounded development of pupils. There are two aspects to this. On-site and Off-site:
All students participate in on-site work experience activities, as part of their National Curriculum, or ASDAN activities. They are provided with a wide range of experiences, both as individuals or in groups. Activities can range from experiencing office-type activities and in real life working situations around the school. All sixth form students are involved in the work of the School Café, housekeeping activities such as washing or folding clothing, cooking food to be sold in the café and serving customers in the café.
There are many off site visits. These range from walks in the local community, trips to the local parks, local shops, supermarket, swimming sessions in a local leisure centre, the local adventure playground and the local gym. These activities can range from one-off activities, for individuals and groups, to regular weekly activities for particular pupils.