“I’ve been to about 10 different schools, and this is the best one by far. The teachers care and give me help when needed.”
- Young Person
A Learning Environment
We have a full Education facility which includes a range of classrooms, a Home Economics base/Kitchen, and Technical, ICT, Art, and Multi-media suites. There is also a therapy suite/hair and beauty treatment Salon, fitness suite, an indoor multi sports hall and an outdoor sports pitch. There are extensive grounds with various planted and working areas and at any one time several outdoor gardening, science and landscaping projects are ongoing.
Our services are structured as an intensive care environment, we recognise the complexity and range of wellbeing and learning support needs young people may have and the impact of early life experiences on children who are looked after and have experienced multiple adversities and disadvantages. Our Curriculum for Hope reflects this by placing an emphasis on relational approaches.
What to expect
We offer every young person a tour of school on their first day which allows them to see the different learning environments of each class. We recognise that school may have previously been a negative experience for young people due to lot of different reasons. Coming into secure care can be a frightening thought if you don’t know what to expect. Therefore, we make sure that young people are aware of the supports available, and the structure of the school day. We support them to build relationships as quickly as possible.
Our initial assessments help us to identify young people’s strengths, interests and gaps in learning, which allows us to create an individualised learning plan. We understand that gaps in learning may cause a young person anxiety and embarrassment, but our learning support team help every young person to achieve their potential.
What do we offer?
We have 10 classrooms, a games hall, a fitness suite and an outdoor sports pitch. Within these classes we offer the following SQA accredited subjects:
- Art & Design
- Hairdressing & Beauty
- John Muir Award
- Mental Health Awareness Award
- Personal & Social Development
- Personal Achievement
- Personal Finance
- Physical Education
- Practical Craft
- Tenancy & Citizenship
In addition to the classroom environment young people have the opportunity to study a range of fully accredited courses through distance learning, in association with West College Scotland.
In addition to these subjects we also encourage lots of outdoor learning, usually through the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Outdoor learning not only improves mental wellbeing and health and fitness, it can make a huge difference to confidence levels and a young person’s ability to risk assess, while encouraging a lifelong love of the outdoors. By supporting and facilitating young people to go outside and learn, we are not only making sure they are as happy and healthy as possible, but we are also ensuring every child gets the best possible start in life.
We are developing a series of school gardens that offers young people the chance to explore the importance of sustainable relationships between people and the environment as well as enhancing skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication and leadership.
Our ‘Nature Trail’ project offers opportunities for students to develop skills with members of the community allowing them to contribute to a wonderful learning environment that will be enjoyed and utilised by learners and the community.
Learning Across Care and Education (LACE)
Wellbeing and care staff work together with education staff to support children and young people with their learning in the care setting. Learning Across Care and Education (LACE) is a 24-hour curriculum ensuring that learning takes place in a wide range of situations and activities that young people experience during a typical day. Staff support young people’s education by providing healthy food, appropriate homework facilities, liaising closely with school staff and attending parents and carers days.
Staff also advocate for young people at times when there are issues that may interrupt their progress through their individual education plans. Our WEduCare group brings together staff from our Wellbeing, Education and Care Teams who regularly reflect, learn, and work together to ensure ongoing developments in young people’s living and learning experiences and environments.