Alternative Learning Centre (ALC)
Although our LM work is primarily therapeutic based we now try and encourage students to undertake OCR accredited work, as they can build up a separate portfolio of achievements. This is nationally recognised by employers, so students can take their portfolio to help aid their place in college or future work employment. There is enough flexibility for most students to combine therapeutic elements into the sessions whilst working towards OCR accreditation.
Sample OCR credits are:
ICT – Writing and editing a piece of work including images from the internet. Being able to identify basic components of a computer.
Arts and Crafts – Designing and making a product.
Home Management - Basic food preparation, Food Hygiene & safety, Household Cleaning.
Horticulture – Preparing and Planting a site and caring for plant materials.
Numeracy – Working with money.
Performing Arts – Drama group.
Via the ALC students are involved in various enterprise projects. This is where students make, sell and learn about profit & loss. We introduce them to basic concepts of running a small business. Various products have been sold at school fetes, markets, the Autism Awareness Fayre and City Hall’s school market.
The main focus for this term was making Jams/chutneys which students who attend Gardening group were involved in planting seeds to growing and harvesting various fruit and vegetables. They then spent the next few months making jams and chutneys from the products grown at our school allotment. Students have also been involved in making chutney/jam jar holders, pebble art, bird boxes and key holders.
Gardening and the Allotment
We currently have 10 students in our Gardening & Allotment group who attend each week from across the school. Shakeel, Julia & Lynette (volunteers) take the students on a Wednesday and Friday.
Protective clothing, gloves and boots are provided for all the students. We have a range of tools for students to use to differentiate their abilities/cognitive and motor skills from a spade or fork: long handles or short handles to using a hand held tiller for those who cannot dig. The students have successfully harvested carrots, potatoes, berries, French beans, sweet peppers, courgettes, beetroot, tomatoes, onions, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. The students have made vegetable soups and tried to bake potato chips with the ingredients. We have frozen the fruit and after half term we plan to start making jams and various chutneys.