Post 16 Curriculum and Work experience
There are three classes in post 16 for students aged between 16 to 19 years.
The Curriculum for Post 16 students is based on the needs and interests of the pupils by incorporating life skills with vocational training. Student achievement is accredited through The ASDAN Award Scheme: Towards Independence modules.
Throughout the programmes there is emphasis on the key skills of:
Application of number
Improving my own learning and performance
Working with others
These areas are applied both in school and in the local community. Some of the students are entering the community on a regular basis through work experience in the following different areas:
Retail Working in the Co-Op and Waitrose
Catering: Running the school café, working at Petersham Nurseries restaurant
Enterprise: Taking a weekly tuck shop to a care home, a nursery and the Town Hall
Other students who are not able to access a work environment can take on vocational work based positions within Paddock School. These areas include:
Horticulture: School allotment, school kitchen garden, ground maintenance and Holly Lodge Centre in Richmond Park
Enterprise: Making cards to sell to the public in the café
Office skills: working in the school office, recycling and shredding, milk delivery
Catering: Cooking meals and cakes to be sold at the school café
Sensory: Baking, Attention Autism, Storytelling and physical exercise such as Companion Cycling
Post 16 aged students have an enriched curriculum involving many off site visits and opportunities to practice their skills in alternative settings.
Other things that are available for students in post 16 are, where applicable:
- Travel training
- Working with money
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
- Speech and language
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 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. 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.