R2W Support in Schools programme for Cumbria – What is it?

We aim to provide schools with provision of pastoral, extra-curricular activities and alternative provision, offering bespoke programmes to meet the needs of the individual and the school (some of this is 1 to 1 or through group support)

Our ‘Work & Learn’ Team seeks to promote young people’s personal and social development and enable them to have a voice, influence and place in their communities and society as a whole. We want to build resilience and character and give young people the confidence and life skills they need to live, learn, work and achieve.

We appreciate that for some young people school years can be challenging and emotionally difficult. We understand that no two young people are the same in terms of their learning and development. We work with all young people whatever their personal circumstances and whatever challenges they may be experiencing. We want to offer a positive experience for all that is fully accessible and without stigma or barriers.

We want to challenge the perceived irrelevance and usefulness of ‘school life’ for those who are beginning to disengage. We want to reignite their interest in learning. Our primary focus is to support those young people who are beginning to disengage with school life for whatever the reason:

  • Low self esteem / confidence
  • Experiences sadness or depression
  • Poor peer relations / Bullying
  • Learning disability
  • Attains anxieties – afraid to make mistakes, suffers from perfectionism, or other anxiety disorders
  • Lack of self management skills, academic ability or concentration
  • Attains low expectations for own behaviour / academic success, believing the teacher/school/parents hold similar beliefs
  • Disregards the importance of effort, or perseverance in achieving results
  • Negative mindset – concentrates on weaknesses not strengths
  • Lacks a sense of belonging – does not feel safe, accepted / liked in the classroom / school
  • Not valuing education
  • Significant domestic, family and relationship issues
  • Lack of access to resources
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Unemployment/economic deprivation

Through our creative, fun and interactive support, we endeavour to re introduce disengaged young people back in to the school environment to not only get through the school years but to continue to learn, strive and realise their dreams and aspirations.

The following are just some of the examples of programmes which we will look at delivering:

(Note: this programme will evolve to meet your needs)

1: Support in Schools Programme: Group Support  

Our fundamental aim is to make learning relevant to all young people. Our aim is to connect what they’re learning with real-life experiences and examples. We want to support them to see the link between learning and relevance to day to day experiences. If this is achieved, we think that attention, retention and engagement will increase in the young person.

We believe that group learning is hugely beneficial when working with the disengaged. It’s a form of effective learning which can re energise their learning and interest in certain subjects. Through our Support in Schools programme we create a safe, non-judgemental environment which allows young people to enhance their social skills, learn from peers and pick up things that may have passed them by in a typical classroom setting. Group work can bring sense of camaraderie which brings togetherness, dependency and appropriate contribution to the group.

Variety is often a key factor to creativity and learning. The purpose for adding variety of sources and formats is to keep a student interested. This could include many different modes of instruction, projects, group work, team building exercises, outdoor education etc. We believe that learning should be unpredictable, varied and challenging.

We firmly believe that if we can get young people interested, enthused and ultimately engaged with our learning programmes we will see them learn, develop and achieve.

Lastly we want our support to be fun. We want to create a sense of wonder, intrigue and excitement in students in relation to their learning. Again we think that creativity, unpredictability and variation are key to achieving this.

R2W want our work to be inclusive and therefore work with any young person who would benefit from our support, therefore purposefully being open in our approach and what we could offer, essentially delivering programmes which meet the needs of every identified target group that we work with, remaining current, engaging and appealing to those groups of young people. The following are just 3 examples of programmes which we could deliver.

  1. Outdoor education at Lowther Castle and Gardens
  2. Community Volunteering
  3. Gardening within school grounds / alternative site supporting local volunteer groups

2: Employability Training in Schools

We will offer:

  • an enhanced work experience programme,
  • sport/team building activities
  • careers related events & activities
  • creativity workshops (such as Art, Upholstery, Photography, Hair & Beauty)
  • access to on-line training courses with certification including Health & Safety, Emergency First Aid and Fire Awareness – this is a great opportunity for adding to CV’s for supporting employability

Note: We are currently working on the delivery of additional programmes including; Employability training in schools. More details will appear here soon.

3: Outdoor Education at Lowther Castle and Gardens

R2W work in partnership with the Lowther Castle and Gardens and offer a varied programme of Outdoor Education to groups of young people beginning to disengage with school life.

This is provided via a qualified outdoor education officer, and an all-round dedicated and highly knowledgeable outdoors person, to deliver this programme.

This is a desirable programme for those young people that are struggling with a typical classroom environment, as the programme takes a much more practical approach to education and involves learning land-based skills. The programme offers learning opportunities that they might not otherwise receive and ultimately gives them structure, aspirations and hope with their journey to employment.

Above: taking in the views over the Lowther valley

These sessions will be tailored towards the needs of the groups we work with and therefore we’re flexible in terms of our delivery. We run these sessions weekly, typically 3 hours per session. Activities could include;

  • Woodworking
  • Introduction to land based machinery
  • Tree planting
  • Building tree cages
  • Wildlife surveys and monitoring
  • Fence removal / fencing
  • Horticulture in the Castle grounds
  • Path building

There is potential to explore more bespoke group sessions as per request. The details of the programme on offer are negotiable in terms of length of programme, activities included and desired outcomes i.e. John Muir Award.

Transport can be sourced at an additional cost and would be agreed with the school when confirming the offer.

Costing

To be confirmed.

4: Community Volunteering

R2W run a volunteering programme for groups of young people beginning to disengage with school life. Our qualified Youth Group Leader can lead community-based projects for local residents.

We work with local schools that have identified groups of young people who would benefit from this alternative support and would also work with the school in terms of advertising this scheme to local residents.

As previously stated, our primary focus is to provide appropriate support to groups of young people beginning to disengage in school life, however we value the wider community and what better way to meet the needs of the greater community, to strengthen relationships and build stronger communities than to integrate different generations, socialise with one another and share experiences together.

Again, this is a desirable programme for those young people that are struggling with a typical classroom environment, as the programme takes a much more practical approach to education and involves learning social and communication skills. The programme offers learning opportunities that they might not otherwise receive and ultimately gives them structure, aspirations and hope with their journey to employment.

These sessions will be tailored towards the needs of the groups we work with and therefore we’re flexible in terms of our delivery. We run these sessions 1 day a week, typically 3 hours per session.

Aims

  • To provide an alternative setting for young people to learn, develop and achieve
  • To help build stronger communities
  • To strengthen the relationship between different generations within the local area
  • To offer that helping hand to local residents

Community volunteering examples include:

  • Basic gardening
  • Dog walking
  • Basic errands
  • Car washing

Costing

Our Group costing is based on 3 – 5 young people per session and will be supported by our qualified Youth Group Leader (Costing TBC following discussions with schools -but it will be a day rate/programme rate rather than per hour)

Transport can be sourced at an additional cost and would be agreed with the school when confirming the offer.

Gardening within school grounds / alternative site supporting local volunteer groups

R2W run a horticulture programme for groups of young people beginning to disengage with school life. Our qualified Youth Group Leader can lead this horticulture programme supported by local volunteer groups. The programme can take place in numerous settings, including school grounds and/or alternative sites.

Like with the other 2 programmes, this is a desirable programme as it offers alternative support from the school setting and offers similar benefits and outcomes as our other Support at School programmes detailed above.

As previously stated, we aim to build stronger communities and therefore we support and work alongside local volunteer groups wherever possible.

Above: Appleby Smarter volunteers look after the grounds of the former Edenside Care Home

We have links with a number of local initiatives including the Appleby Smarter group. Depending on the needs and preferences of the target group we would tailor our programme accordingly working on school grounds and/or alternative sites or indeed on greater community projects. We are keen to link schools with local community initiatives. We offer;

  • Opportunities to work, learn and share experiences with local volunteer groups including the Appleby Smarter group
  • Introduction to horticulture
  • Sowing, Planting, Pruning
  • Building a sound knowledge of horticulture
  • Growing own Fruit and Vegetables
  • Planters, hanging baskets

These sessions will be tailored towards the needs of the groups we work with and therefore we’re flexible in terms of our delivery. We run these sessions 1 day a week, typically 3 hours per session.

Aim

  • To provide an alternative setting for young people to learn, develop and achieve outside of the typical classroom environment
  • To help build stronger communities
  • To strengthen the relationship between different generations within the local area
  • To offer that helping hand to local community

Costing

Our Group costing is based on 3 – 5 young people per session and will be supported by our qualified Youth Group Leader. (Costing TBC following discussions with schools -but it will be a day rate/programme rate rather than per hour)

Transport can be sourced at an additional cost and would be agreed with the school when confirming the offer.

GET IN TOUCH

Team Manager’s R2W Community Learning: James Wright & Mandy Morland

From mid August 2020 James Wright and Mandy Morland will be job sharing the Team Manager Community Learning role.

Both Mandy and James come to us with backgrounds in education. Mandy has managed numerous community projects and she’s currently delivering Careers Advice & Guidance with a Secondary School in Kendal (and currently studying Level 6 Career Guidance & Development with a plan to complete November 2020). She also has over 20 years experience working with young people and families. James joins us as a former teacher and has worked extensively with private schools around the world providing learning to international students.

Why not drop them an email to start the conversation: employment@right2work.org.uk 

What we’ve been up to – Supporting Schools Blog

Down on the farm:

R2W’s Mandy Morland following a site visit to Lowther in September 2020 meeting Susie Grainger from Lowther Estates: “There are so many options for young people from the age of 14 (Year 10) who would benefit from practical, hands-on skills working within the grounds of Lowther Castle. Working in small groups they would gain skills and experience in a number of areas including woodworking, tree planting, wildlife surveys and monitoring, fencing, horticulture, path building, introduction to land based machinery (to name but a few of what is on offer). Various programme options available to suit the needs and interests of the individual. Some of the programmes are seasonal but with estate maintenance there is plenty to do all year round so never a dull moment. There are options for accreditation ie The John Muir Award or Open Awards certification.”