We have an imaginatively designed Learning Centre with education provision for 43 weeks a year. Although the Centre operates mainly on academic terms and statutory holidays in line with the maintained sector, we promote education and assessment throughout the year. During the long summer holiday we run a four week summer programme of literacy and numeracy, together with structured activities, with a two week break in August.
The Centre is inspected triennially and reports are published. The last report was a very favourable one and an action plan was produced to address the key issues related closely to the newly signed contract with the Youth Justice Board.
‘The Centre has established a stimulating learning environment with a very positive ethos based on respect, which supports very good teaching and learning. The quality of the environment was exceptionally good and all the teaching in the main programme of the classes was graded satisfactory or better with a very high proportion, 22%, as excellent’.
The Learning Centre aims to provide as normal an educational facility as possible. Pupils are supported and encouraged to achieve their potential without feeling anxious or under pressure to do so. We aim to create and maintain an environment where pupils may be stretched but not threatened. It is a place where pupils are expected and encouraged to work and learn to the best of their ability, whatever that may be.
We expect a high standard of behaviour through mutual respect, yet acknowledge that in the nature of their prior experiences, this may take time to develop. Teachers have to call upon patience, empathy, resourcefulness and self-assurance in the delivery of the curriculum as well as create a positive and non-threatening learning environment.
The principles underpinning education are reflected in the curriculum framework, which aims to develop confident individuals and successful learners who are able to lead fulfilling lives and make a positive contribution to society, the environment and the economy. It is designed to promote personal skills, learning and thinking skills and employability for 13 – 17 year olds. These skills, together with functional English, functional mathematics and functional ICT, should equip young people to achieve in life and support a successful return to education and future employment.
The curriculum model reflects the National Curriculum with additional sessions in literacy and numeracy. Programmes of study are determined by the assessment process which provides a link to the curriculum, monitors performance, promotes further learning and provides a sense of achievement and success through accreditation. We celebrate the educational achievement of all young people.
Young people are admitted to the centre with a wide and varied range of success and experiences from all areas of the education spectrum. They will all arrive with a diverse range of abilities, ages and prior educational history, which could be linked to a history of persistent non-attendance and difficulties associated with emotional problems both in and out of their education provision,. The learning experience at Swanwick Lodge is designed to provide them with a stable learning experience, linked to a return to the maintained sector, special school, PRU, College or any other identified educational placements.
We have an integrated approach to the care of the young people in education a with care staff having a recognised role in its delivery. To confirm this partnership, classes are smaller than in other settings with the ratio of one teacher or instructor and a member of care staff to a maximum of four students. We also work closely with the Psychological Therapy Team to ensure an inclusive approach to monitoring and reviewing care plans.
Each student has an identified teacher who acts as the first link in the chain of educational support, providing patience and understanding together with the time and opportunity to focus on their concerns, problems and difficulties should these arise. The teacher also acts as professional liaison between the Centre and other agencies including the Unit Psychological Services, Education Departments, Educational Psychology Department, Educational Welfare service, Social services, Health service and Youth Offending teams. The Centre has strong links with the designated Connexions PA who provides a comprehensive range of guidance and careers related programmes.
Formal examinations and accreditation are at the heart of the curriculum. This may well be continuing courses from previous schools or starting afresh. In all cases accreditation is seen as evidence of achievement and is given a high priority particularly as it raises self esteem and provides a real outcome to individual studies. Length of stay determines the exams taken and we offer GCSEs, Entry level, ASDAN and AQA Unit Awards.
It is understood that all the young people placed at Swanwick Lodge, by virtue of their presence, have special needs, and that as part of that, they have special educational needs. On admission all young people are assessed by the SENCO to determine their literacy, numeracy, general ability levels and their preferred learning styles. This generates a report which matches individual need and is shared with the staff. Existing statements of special educational needs are reflected in the in-house report.
The SENCO liaises with outside agencies and the Swanwick Lodge Psychological Team in the preparation and review of statements of SEN and Personal Education Plans.
Each young person has an Individual Education Plan which is closely monitored by the Literacy and Numeracy Co-ordinator. Students are actively involved in the discussion of all aspects of their IEP, achievements and planned progression. Where appropriate, a young person may be withdrawn from some timetabled sessions for individual support in literacy and numeracy.
All young people are encouraged to improve their reading skills and take pleasure in reading by spending half an hour at lunchtime reading quietly. Pupils are able to choose their own book from a wide range of fiction and non fiction, easy readers to novels, from the library. Once a book has been read, each student writes a book review to their ability. This is done to consider the merits of the book and decide if they would recommend it to other readers. A folder is issued to each young person which contains a record sheet of the books they have read and also the book reviews they have written. This enables the staff to track their reading habits. Extra support is given to non readers or early readers. Basic literacy materials are also used to help non readers become familiar with the conventions of reading and writing.
After school each day a half an hour is spent working on numeracy skills. Each young person is assessed during their Maths lesson and their level recorded. This information determines which of the three Numeracy packs they receive; Basic Skills, Improvers, or Advanced. Each pack contains work on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division set out in interesting problem solving formats. There are also logic puzzles and games included in the packs to challenge the pupils. The packs are marked twice a week and a record is kept of how each pupil is progressing, which allows staff to change the level of work if necessary. If there are problems concerning any of the mathematical concepts, these can be worked on during a maths lesson.
The progress of each young person is discussed with them on a monthly basis and their targets are agreed for their IEPs.
The ethos of the English department is to promote enjoyment of the use of language and of a range of literature, within the framework of the National Curriculum requirements and informed by an assessment of the young person’s individual abilities and knowledge. While research has shown that many of our young people are at attainment levels well below the national average for their age group, we also have young people with high level skills in English and our individual education programmes reflect this variety of attainment. Our aim is for all young people to become effective communicators, both in speech and writing and for them to have well-developed listening, comprehension and discussion skills. We enable students to read proficiently both for research and pleasure and actively promote use of the library. Wherever possible, young people gain national accreditation for their achievements through the AQA Unit Award Scheme, GCSE English and English Literature and Koestler Awards. We also take part in national poetry and letter-writing competitions.
Regardless of age and ability maths will remain a key requirement in our lives. Although some of us try hard to avoid it, we cannot ignore the fact that we all have to use some maths skills. Once this is accepted we try hard to improve the skills that each individual has. Our emphasis has to be upon the individual because some of our young people will not be able to handle even the basic skills such as adding up, taking away, time and handling money. Other individuals will be much more advanced and therefore have more options simply because they can choose to improve their skills and knowledge and consider national accreditation. These accreditations can be at a variety of levels including GCSE modules and AQA unit awards.
The overall emphasis is that all the young people at Swanwick Lodge will have to participate in the maths subject area. The use of books, software programmes and Successmaker ensures that students’ maths skills benefit from their time at the Learning Centre.
Science is often considered “boring, difficult and very uncool” . There is no doubt that this can be the case. However, we try to ensure the science that is covered is relevant to the young person regardless of their age and ability. It is taught at a huge variety of levels to include those young people who have had little or no experiences and low abilities. It can also be taught at a level which allows the individual young people to consider sitting national accreditation including GCSEs.
Although all the sciences can be taught ie. biology chemistry and physics, in practise we strongly prioritise the life and living processes attainment target (biology). No matter how old you are there is an increasing need to learn about how your body works and the problems that we are likely to face through our lives. At Swanwick lodge we try to make the science relevant and individually targeted to the current and future needs of each young person.
The intention here is for young people to learn about themselves in order to keep safe, to understand how their behaviours affect others and how the behaviours of others affect them. We look at a number of areas and focus on specific programmes of work covering health related matters, citizenship, offending behaviour, work related learning and Connexions, community links, humanities and world of work week.
This is one of the most important areas of work for our young people. To promote a real and effective approach to change lives, we enlist the help of a number of agencies such as Sex Sense, a local health organisation for young people, the local health promotion team, branches of the Samaritans, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Connexions with regard to drug education. Students are able to learn how to work independently through the ASDAN Keysteps and Youth Award. The skills they learn within the modules help them to live in the community of the Swanwick Lodge and will also benefit them in adult life.
Understanding the world in which we live today is a complex and often bewildering task. We learn about the expectations of citizens in society, how communities differ, how they are organised and where individuals can access help in life. Community links include the Hants Fire and Rescue Service, Canine Partners and Mobile Petz.
We have a seamless approach to this important subject area and ensure it is interwoven into the whole curriculum. The ethos of the centre ensures topics are discussed openly, views are heard, other points of view are understood, negotiations take place on a regular basis and morals are discussed frequently within lessons. Workshops about life in prison, drug education, services for addicts, Victim Support, the Prison No Way Trust, Connexions, Citizenship, PDL and Humanities enhance the curriculum fully.
It is essential that young people in secure accommodation are not cut off from society and remain an integral part of their community. To help achieve this we have tried to develop as big programme of community links involving as many speakers and visitors from the community whenever possible. Many of these visitors have been mentioned above but others have included, the Army careers service, the Hants Garden Trust, a local boy band who appeared on the X Factor, the Royal Legion, local colleges, UNICEF, a local historian, a dietician, the Fareport Training Organisation, the Mouth and Foot Painters Association and South West Trains education department.
Sessions cover a wide range of topics where the students learn about the world in which we live. These include the geography of the world, the historical roots of many of the prejudices of today and how festivals are celebrated by different cultures and religions. We enlist the support of our local Anglican church at various festivals and members of the Hants police saxophone quartet often help us to celebrate at the Christmas carol concert where the students are encouraged to perform through drama or music if they wish.
Work Experience is an essential component of education so we target the last week of the academic year to give young people the experience of hands on vocational sessions. Local employment providers and trainers as well as business and crafts people work with us to provide a real and true experience of the world of work. Sessions also include telephone skills, interview skills, health and safety in the workplace and team building. This week is the highlight of the educational year with enthusiasm and commitment from all the visitors, teaching staff and some care staff but most of all the students as they realise their potential and abilities
Computers are a part of everyday life, and it is difficult to think of an area which is not touched by them at some point. Learning basic IT skills helps students survive in the modern world; filling in forms, ordering goods, and persuading employers that they are the best person for the job! Our aim at Swanwick Lodge is to introduce the use of computers as tools. Students practice writing letters and documents, creating cards, posters, leaflets, slide shows and presenting statistical information in various ways.
It is often necessary to prove to employers that you have gained certain skills. We encourage students to gain AQA unit certificates as steps to wards taking the CLAIT Level One Certificate. This consists of five modules, each of which is examined externally. On passing each module a certificate is issued. The modules offered are ‘Word Processing’, Spreadsheets and Graphs’, Desktop Publishing’, ‘Presentation graphics’, ‘Databases’ and ‘Drawing Tools’. As CLAIT is a national scheme, any student who moves on before completing all five modules can carry on in their local college or school.
Art and Design within Swanwick Lodge offers the students the chance to get involved with a wide range of creative projects giving them the opportunity to gain national accreditation as well as having their work shown or utilised locally or in national exhibitions. The students have achieved success in the annual Koestler Awards Scheme in London, significantly competing against adults in some of the categories.
We have also been involved in some cross curricula initiatives in partnership with Portsmouth City Care Trust’s ‘Sex Sense’ Team at the Ella Gordon Unit to create age appropriate informative posters to promote A.I.D.S /H.I.V Awareness, to be used in the city, and helped to design and construct production posters, props and costumes for Southampton University Players productions at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and at Manor Farm Country Park, Botley. We have also networked with Chiltern Primary School in Basingstoke to create role play area decorations as well as nativity scene and religious celebration ephemera. On the Swanwick Lodge site the young people have worked in groups to design and paint two murals outside and two inside to commemorate the Olympics and underwater themes. These projects have been used as key parts of their course work for G.C.S.E Art and Design and/or AQA units of accreditation. This summer’s focus is quests which each child will identify their cultural heritage and create models, stories and shields depicting achievement of characters.
Our recently refurbished design and technology workshop offers the student opportunities to pursue a range of projects, ranging from a small toy boat to a lathe turned wooden fruit bowl using a mixture of materials such as soft/hard woods, plastics, acrylics and metals. Students learn safe practice of working with tools and machinery, and technical drawing styles used in the design and construction of projects. They are also encouraged to think of their own projects/ideas and develop them from a rough sketch to a final work piece.
The students regularly achieve nationally recognised awards through A.Q.A awards and Koestler award exhibition. The work produced is regularly on display but leaves with the student and is often handed out as gifts to family or friends.
Fabric Technology is a successful and popular subject. Emphasis is placed mainly on practical work, which is under taken by pupils of all ages and abilities. AQA unit awards are offered around simple tasks to encourage interest in a subject which the majority of pupils have little or no previous experience,
The pupils are taught simple hand stitching and how to use the sewing machine safely. They progress to making a selection of items for personal use and decoration. Everything they make they are proud to give to their parents, siblings and other members of their family as presents: cushions, soft sculptures based on consumer products such as chocolate bars, toothpastes and fruit and veg which are very popular with everyone. They have made garments such as boxer shorts, skirts and trousers. They have designed and made their own bags and holdalls. They have made doorstops using animals as subjects.
Leatherwork as a teaching subject offers unique experiences within the curriculum. The aim is to give the students practice in hand and eye coordination whilst giving a creatively planned satisfactory end product. Tooling techniques require a steady hand combined with tool angle pressure and tool type. This helps to develop essential practical skills and a high level of concentration, not always in evidence at first!
Each student is instructed in the basic skills associated with tooling leather products. This includes a basic knowledge in leather source, manufacture and usage. The working of leather techniques helps the student to understand the way a tool is held including tool pressure used for different effects. A high percentage of students have no prior knowledge of basic tool control. For example, few know how to hold a mallet or to propel it safely. After the basic instruction the students are encouraged to plan and design new products, all of which they can retain as personal items to cherish for the future. They are responsible for the care and use of a wide range of tooling equipment along with an individual set of tools provided. Where possible students can achieve an AQA unit.
The motor vehicle workshop gives the student the opportunity to learn how to carry out servicing and repairs on motor vehicles ranging from tasks such as light and level checking, brake realigning, valve clearance adjustment and major engine/gearbox rebuilds. There is also the facility to learn how to carry out manual metal arc welding and Mig welding .The students can gain nationally recognised accreditation through the A.Q.A awards scheme. The lessons are open to male and female students and are on a one to one basis away from the main curriculum. The approach relates closely to a live workshop environment and attendance is strictly related to good behaviour and attitude
Physical education provides opportunities to promote: spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through participation in a wide range of activities. Students are encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards themselves and others where a sense of fair play and positive sporting behaviour is promoted. The students participate in a wide range of activities such as badminton, basketball, tennis, dance, football, cricket, indoor athletics and health related fitness. Health related fitness forms a crucial part of the curriculum where the importance of exercise in promoting good health and the association between health and diet is learnt and experienced. Individual fitness programmes and challenges are designed to encourage the students to continue and develop in their pursuit of health and a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
The AQA Unit Award Scheme is offered in the consolidation and achievement of the activities experienced. There is also the opportunity to access the GCSE short course in this subject. Special events are organised such as the streetdance / breakdance workshop provided by Impact Dance which enthused the students enormously as they worked hard on their moves and routines all day. This provided the opportunity for students to experience professional dance, develop their confidence as they tried something new, co-operate with others and as a whole group.
Young people who are following a GCSE course in an MFL are supported in their course through individual tuition. Occasional sessions in French, German or Spanish are offered to give young people an experience of another culture. Sessions can be accredited through the AQA Unit Award
Drama is now taught within English and is a popular subject with our young people. Students take part in individual and group rôle play and occasionally in larger group productions which are performed to other young people, staff and support workers. Every year a group of drama students from University of Winchester, come to lead a series of drama sessions with the young people. The young people get the opportunity to work in a variety of styles and to take part in improvised performance.
Achievement can be accredited through the AQA Unit Award Scheme and the ASDAN Youth Award Scheme.
Swanwick Lodge has always maintained close liaison with the School Library Service and has recently benefited from their expertise in establishing a new, expanded library facility. This facility, which includes a filtered internet connection, is available to young people for research and reading both during the teaching day and for homework and leisure activities. Student and staff loans are administered by a computer programme which allows education and care staff to monitor student borrowing and to advise students on how best to expand their choice of reading material.
The Unified Adolescent Team provides a highly specialist, multidisciplinary, in reach and outreach service to Swanwick Lodge, with a wide range of skills and expertise consisting of: Child and Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Psychotherapist, Systemic Psychotherapist and Social workers. The team also provides a Highly Specialist Therapist for the role of co-ordinator of the specific service they provide to Swanwick Lodge Secure Children's Unit.
Individually and together, the team members directly provide specialist, multi-disciplinary, assessments, individual, group and family therapies for mental health problems, risk behaviour and relationship problems.
Indirectly they have an involvement with each young person through care planning, supervision, consultation and training with teaching and care staff as well as with multidisciplinary professionals across the secure estate and in the community, locally, regionally and nationally. They also support the care and educational staff within the secure environment in developing a psychological and relational context to facilitate the provision of effective care to young people.
We offer a variety on interventions for young people on a group or individual basis as well as being able to offer parents support to help them understand their young person’s substance misuse.
The interventions for young people are:
Following admission to Swanwick Lodge, each young person is seen and assessed within five days of admission to identify any substance misuse issues. For planned admissions where there is a identified need for a drug or alcohol detoxification assessment will be upon admission.
Smoking cessation – Two hour workshops aimed at minimising the risk of smoking for young people when they are living in the community.
Substance misuse – Four two hour workshops looking at attitude and understanding of substance misuse as well as harm minimisation strategies.
Alcohol – Four one hour workshops to address the impact of alcohol on young people and their families.
Cannabis – Four one hour workshops focussing on the specific use and potential hazards of using cannabis with harm minimisation strategies.
Young people can have individual sessions with a specialist worker to address their substance misuse. Each individual programme is agreed at the initial assessment and subsequent planning and review meetings.
NADA competent workers can offer auricular acupuncture for the effects of substance misuse and to add relaxation as an alternative to using illegal substances or alcohol.
For those young people with identified substance use issues, ongoing follow up support from an agency in their ‘home area’ will be arranged by the specialist substance worker.
Specialist substance use interventions are provided by the Portsmouth City Primary Care Trust's Young persons substance misuse treatment service E’s Up. To find out more about E’s Up go to the web page. www.es-up.org
If requested we can arrange for parents or carers to have individual sessions with a psychodynamic counsellor who can offer a range of sessions to suit the needs of the adults, this can be from basic information and awareness raising to understanding family systems impact on young people’s substance misuse.
In addition to the services provided from our care, the education learning centre and therapeutic teams here at Swanwick Lodge, we have a variety of other services integrated into the holistic approach we offer.
The Youth Service offer workers who come to Swanwick Lodge to run problem solving sessions.
We have a group of volunteers from National Childrens Home, trained by us to act as visitors, both to groups of young people and if it is considered part of a care plan, to individuals (independent visitors scheme).
Our teams work together to produce integrated assessments within 28 days of admission. These assessments include reports, risk assessments, the young person’s views and those of parents and carers, resulting in a needs analysis with recommendations. This assessment is reviewed three monthly.
We welcome enquires from all Children’s Services Departments for advice on referrals and can attend any planning meetings within Hampshire when a secure provision is being considered.