RECOGNITION OF EQUALITY AWARDS
Woodchurch High School is proud to announce that it has successfully been re-accredited with both the Recognition of Quality Award for Work Experience and the Recognition of Quality Award for Work Related Learning and Enterprise. These awards recognise our excellent practice in these areas.
THE ASSESSOR REPORTED FOR WORK EXPERIENCE
Work Experience is an integral part of the Work Related Learning Curriculum and leadership regard it as important element in the holistic development of the young person. The programme is well resourced and supported by the wider staff. Considerable support is also available through the Birkenhead Consortium which carries out the Health and Safety and Safeguarding checks as and when necessary. All reviews and evaluations are carried out and acted on annually. There is a clear line management structure in place for the programme in school led by an Assistant Head Teacher. With a large cohort of around 280 learners delivery of the programme is a substantial piece of work which requires the buy in and support of the wider staff. Considerable effort is given to matching learners to the right placements, particularly in the case of learners with additional learning needs. All partners, including employers, get the necessary information and learners are encouraged to find their own placements which will be checked by the Consortium. The school has recognised the need to develop a formal SLA with the consortium coordinator. There is a comprehensive programme of preparation for work experience planned and delivered in the six months prior to the placement largely by Form Tutors, supported through assemblies etc. This is supported through accreditation through an AQA module. Learners were able to talk with enthusiasm about the delivery of the programme and the usefulness of the placements in developing in particular their self-confidence. The programme is well delivered and learners felt they had been well instructed. Each pupil was visited throughout the placement except those placed a considerable distance away who were monitored by telephone. Learners were able to talk of being given meaningful tasks with follow up in school, particularly through English. The school has recognised there could be further integration with other subjects. Learners are debriefed following their return to school and encouraged to complete a diary while employers are encouraged to write a reference. The school has robust systems in place to ensure the quality of placements and the health and safety and safeguarding of the learner. The systems in place ensure the maintenance of standards.
THE ASSESSOR REPORTED FOR WORK RELATED LEARNING
Work related learning and enterprise is demonstrably a key priority for the school which has identified equipping young people with life skills to enhance their life chances as a key priority. This includes the use of off-site placements where the school feels they are valuable. The Headteacher and coordinator are undoubtedly passionate about this and the young people seen were all aware of work related learning and the development of wider skills and this had clearly enhanced their awareness and self confidence. There are clear lines of accountability and the school has enhanced the area with resources, and governor support. The Enterprise coordinator's enthusiasm and expertise has clearly had a big impact. Aspects have been embedded in the curriculum though the school recognises there is still work to do including the development of cross-curricular aspects. The school has developed a range of links with a variety of relevant partners. This includes links with other schools and the LA in the Birkenhead Collaborative which is instrumental in supporting the delivery of work experience placements in particular. There are however a number of projects coming to an end this year including the HUBS project and the school is looking to build capacity to embed them. The school has also developed key links with primary schools to develop enterprise and links with RBS to develop financial capability as well as the links for the Enterprise Days. The large group of learners from Years 9 and 10 seen were very positive about their experiences in the school and were able to talk eloquently and confidently about how these had helped sharpen and inform their future plans. They were able to speak at length about work related learning and enterprise. In particular they were keen to talk about work experience and the valuable support given by staff in preparing, visiting and debriefing them. The programme is well developed though the school recognises there is still some work to do in developing non stereo-typical choices. Some learners were also able to talk about functional skills and PLTSs and all were positive about how they were consulted and their views taken into account in the school. Most would want to stay on in a Sixth Form at Woodchurch were there one, though a number rightly said it would depend on the courses offered and their relevance to their chosen career paths. There is a clear commitment not only to develop skills but also to certificate learner outcomes where possible. This includes Asdan awards, BTECs, Diplomas and AQA Units and the learners seen valued this approach. The school has rightly identified as a priority further development of the recording of personal learning and thinking skills and functional skills building on the good practice from the Diplomas currently offered. The school has robust systems in place for review and evaluation to maintain standards. There are clear monitoring and evaluation processes in place and feedback is considered and acted upon. The learners seen felt their views were taken into account and there was a clear sense of common ownership and direction.
Congratulations to all involved!