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.
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.