Making the Transition
We are at an exciting time in the journey of our Transitions department within The Redway School. We have recently moved beyond the security of the main school building to our own space close enough to be part of The Redway team but distant enough to find our own way to begin our step towards adulthood. Our goal is to make that transition in the best way possible, to find a new and better way to move into adult life. Our emphasis is on ‘life Skills’, how can we best equip our students for life so they may live their lives, enjoy their lives with quality, to be part of their own life and to have a say. How do we achieve these goals, how do we make a life one full of quality, compassion, where our students are able to reach their full potential by accessing learning for life? We want the following outcomes for our students:
- To be happy and enjoy good mental and physical health
- To be as independent as possible
- To be able to communicate their needs, desires, opinions
- To develop interests and passions
- To be confident in new situations
- To be empowered through self advocacy and improved self esteem
- To enjoy relationships through friendship
- To be passionate about learning
- To reach their full potential and to know joy
This is achieved through collaborative working with families, health professionals, social care teams and effective teamwork where the student leads their own learning.
We begin by understanding our students and knowing them. We take the time to make sure we’ve got this right; this is our foundation for the future. It is from this firm foundation we are able to grow with our students, building their ‘personalised timetables’, individual to each student. We use the students Education, health and care plan as a basis for learning, exploring the outcomes within this and how these can transfer to day-to-day life.
Our teaching falls into the following areas, all activities will have a focused area but we understand and promote the need for holistic learning therefore each area will feature to varying degrees in all activities. Our areas of focus are:
- Life Skills
- Physical and Sensory
As we emerge into a new way of thinking, a new way where personalisation is at our very core, we embrace also SMSC recognizing that for our students SMSC underpins all we do alongside our commitment to ‘Values’ that we do not see as uniquely British but we understand values to be human, a celebration of humanity where we promote tolerance and understanding, kindness and compassion. We nurture confidence within our department and celebrate achievement, however small, with joy and passion as we move forward into ensuring all of our students reach their full potential. We celebrate the differences in people, we do not encourage conformity, we strive to allow our young people to be the best versions of themselves they can possible be.
By offering a wide range of learning opportunities we are able to move towards successful achievement, recognizing all of the time that achievement can take many forms. For some students achievement will be of a linear fashion but for others it will not. Achievements can be very small or achievement may be simply staying in a place of comfort and stimulation, for others achievement will be experiencing supported employment or using an ipad for effective communication. Whatever our achievements are they are celebrated, recorded and shared. Activities are based around the following subjects:
- Creative Studies
- Cultural Studies (including environmental work)
- Leisure, Recreation and Sport
- Personal development (including healthy lifestyles)
- Independent Living Skills
- Work related opportunities
- Basic Skills
Our achievements in all areas are recorded using ‘Evidence for Learning’ App and are shared with the school community. Student progress, however small, is recorded and celebrated through photo, video, statements and through online assessment workbooks. All students are able to access their assessment records, with support and some students are able to contribute to it. Student achievement is currently accredited annually through ASDAN. The following programmes are used:
- Towards Independence
- Personal Progress
There is a growing need to find more personalized and local approaches to accreditation, for example Milton Keynes Urban Farm are currently accrediting the work we are doing with them on ‘Forest Schools and Environmental Learning’. We hope to extend our approaches to accreditation in the near future.
To summarise, the Transitions Department is committed to personalised Learning Pathways through engagement for Learning and the flexibility this can provide. We are demonstrating effective ways to capture and evidence student learning, providing a new way forward.