Beth and Andree in the sixth form lead on careers and have some exciting prospects coming up for key stage five pupils.
School has been working closely with Macclesfield District Hospital, The Rossendale Trust and the Local Authority to set up and run a supported internship programme for some of our year 14 pupils. This is incredibly exciting opportunity and will offer some of our young people a new pathway towards employment when they leave Park Lane School.
Supported internships are a structured study programme where young people are based mainly in a work placement. The supported internships will enable young people with an Education Health and Care Plan to work towards paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. The young people will in effect, be taught specific work skills, whilst actually doing the job.
Three 6th Form pupils are participating in the programme, starting the second week in September. They all have work placements at the hospital and are being supported by trained job coaches, provided through the Rossendale Trust. One pupil is working in the medical records department, one in the restaurant and one in the volunteer department. The pupils are based in their work placements at the hospital for four days each week, spending Fridays back in school where they will continue work on their qualification as well as their key skills. The pupils also have daily contact with school staff, having an hour’s tutoring session each morning and afternoon on the days they are at the hospital.
Over their final year at school, it is hoped the pupils will learn specific job skills, working alongside their job coach, gaining in skills, confidence and independence over time. There is a possibility that the young people will be able to succeed in securing a paid position at the hospital by the end of the academic year. All the agencies involved are incredibly enthusiastic and committed to making this first year of supported internships a great success for all concerned. The young people are excited and keen to work their hardest in their placements and their parents are incredibly supportive and proud.
Update December 2019:
All three of the Interns are doing incredibly well and have made great progress over their first term in their roles at the hopsital. Data analysis from the job coaches, shows that all three Interns are increasing in their independence in all areas of their roles and school staff who are tutoring the Interns have all noticed a big increase in the Interns confidence, both in knowing and understanding their roles and socially, as part of the staff teams they are working with.
Feedback from the hopsital managers for all three Interns has been incredibly positive, with comments such as:
'I am totally delighted with ****** – he is such an asset.'
'I'm really impressed with ****** and how he's settled in so well'
'The interns have been an absolute credit to Park Lane school – their commitment and enthusiasm has been noticed by many of our staff.'
Verbal feedback from some hopsital staff came after half term, when they commented how much they had missed their Intern and had realised how much he was doing in his role wheh he wasn't there to do it.
The job coaches have also given extremely positive feedback on how their Interns are doing, providing some written feedback on each of the students. Here are some of the comments from the job coaches:
'I feel that ***** has become more settled and relaxed now he knows what he is doing, who people are, what to do if x happens etc. He feels confident enough to approach his manager with questions and greetings.............he has started to feel confident enough to initiate/continue tasks using his own judgement calls instead of looking to me for a response.'
'***** has developed a lot of new skills over the past few weeks on the internship. The routine tasks performed in the morning can be completed generally independently on a good day, with few prompts. ***** has gained basic skills in health and safety, hygiene and developed in confidence. He can recall the order of the task and is developing within the role,............ He can expand on certain tasks and use his own initiative,.....'
'***** is very polite and courteous with others in the office and other spaces such as the kitchen. Several people in the office have commented that he is a hard working and pleasant young man. After his half term break, *****'s competence at the tasks he had learnt had not diminished over the break. ***** was also shown a new element to the task after half term and he has embraced this, showing he is keen to learn new things and can be flexible in his work. ***** approaches everything with enthusiasm.'
Work Experience and Travel Training
Within the sixth form, students are given the opportunity to develop their understanding of the ‘World of Work’ by experiencing appropriate Work Experience placements. Placements may be external or internal. External placements offered are at a local supermarket, shop, pet shop and café. Students involved in internal placements experience work based tasks within the school reception, in other classrooms and carry out tasks associated with recycling. All placements provide students with a greater depth and understanding of what is required whilst undertaking a job and helps them to develop the skills needed to maintain a job i.e. timekeeping, managing personal appearance, developing communication and problem solving.
Some students also gain greater independence by accessing Travel Training sessions. Where appropriate these sessions are linked to their work experience placements. Students are supported by staff and taught how to use local transport to get to and from their work placements. They learn to access buses by reading timetables, learn how to use a bus pass and most importantly how to travel to and from their destination safely. Safety is paramount and students learn how to manage a variety of situations that may occur during their daily work routines.
Both Work Experience and Travel Training are valuable sessions which not only provide our students with the opportunity to develop independence, but also to experience work in a meaningful way.