Although we are an alternative provision, we have the same aspirations for students as Mainstream Schools and we aim high for all our students.
The heart of the Education 1st's ethos is to ensure students' progress in all areas of their lives. We believe in nurturing the whole child. Although we deliver aspects of the National Curriculum, we treat our students as individuals and know that different young people have different learning needs and styles. Students are at the heart of all that we do, shaping a curriculum to enable them to make progress both socially, emotionally and academically. The curriculum we offer is broad and balanced and offers specific provision for students' emotional and mental health difficulties.
We offer a range of options, in terms of qualifications and the learning styles that go with them. Every young person will receive quality advice and guidance to help them and their parents/carers make decisions about the best courses and pathways for their future. Courses can change on a yearly basis as we aim to personalise our curriculum to meet the needs of each student.
Our ethos means that we demand the highest standards of teaching and mentoring from our staff, and the highest standards of engagement, cooperation and resilience from our students. We believe that teachers have a right to teach, students have a right to learn and that we work together to ensure nothing must get in the way of this. We pride ourselves on the excellent relationships between staff and students.
Staff monitor student progress across the different subject areas. Parents/Carers are invited to discuss their child's progress and to see their child's work. Staff seek to involve students actively in their own learning and assessment and to encourage them to recognise their achievements and to be aware of their own potential.
The curriculum includes time- tabled 1:1 mentoring sessions. Our students have complex social and emotional needs. The mentoring is a key strategy to enable students to develop a mind set that enables them to learn effectively.
How do Education 1st staff support students?
Teachers and mentors have day to day responsibility for ensuring that academic, social and emotional support is given to every student.
In the classroom, our aim is for our students to feel safe and supported. Lessons are planned to be interactive, practical and fun. We aim to highlight both the joy of learning and the value of education. Maths and English are taught through weekly lessons with tasks and activities differentiated and taught at an appropriate level for each student.
If required, a bespoke curriculum will be devised to enable a student to achieve a specific qualification or to allow a student to access learning at a highly differentiated level.
Offsite, mentors help our students engage in activities that promote their social, emotional and mental health. They are encouraged to be able to manage themselves and their emotions, become more resilient, learn to stay safe and communicate effectively. Each student will also follow a PSHE curriculum with formal activities that support their informal learning.
We are confident that this holistic approach contributes to a young person's personal and academic growth during their time with us at Education 1st.
Student progress at Education 1st
We pride ourselves in ensuring that each student is treated as an individual during their placement at Education 1st. Our young people will receive a personalised set of both SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) and Academic targets near the start of their placement. Input from other agencies is also used to inform best practice when setting these goals.
How do we help our students progress?
Offsite, students are timetabled for tailored activities each day to enable them to work towards their SEMH targets. For example, fitness and sport may be used to build a student's resilience, cookery lessons could facilitate better communication skills, visits with peers to local museums and attractions help our students build healthy relationships with others. Throughout a student's day, our mentors will help our young people positively reflect on their behaviour and emotions.
SEMH targets are regularly reviewed to ensure that students are continually progressing. Students receive termly certificates to recognise achievement.
Onsite, students are timetabled for 2 lessons a week which enables them to work towards their specific Academic targets. For example, tailoring lessons towards a student's interests helps them feel more comfortable in a classroom setting, using a visual timetable and chunked tasks assists in managing distractions, online software supports our students with their word and number work and interactive, hands on learning provides an engaging context for our maths and literacy topics.
Academic targets are reviewed on a termly basis which allows students and teachers to reflect on progress and share new targets. Daily formative assessment enables an instant indication of achievement and helps inform future planning.
How do we evidence progression?
Evidence of both off and onsite learning is posted daily to a student's Seesaw profile using a Learning Objective which demonstrates their progress within a personal target. This online platform enables Education 1st to record and track a student's journey and share it with families, commissioning bodies and other professionals.
Pupil Progress Profiles and Individual Education Plans are also continually updated and sent out in termly reports to parents, carers and commissioning bodies.