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Craven Pupil Referral Service

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Craven Pupil Referral Service
Craven PRS is one of four Pupil Referral Services in North Yorkshire which is funded by the Local Authority. There are currently 29 places for pupils that have either been Permanently Excluded from school or referred for a Preventative place by their home school. Referrals for placements at the PRS are made by schools and other agencies. Places are offered on a needs-led basis and placements can often start quickly. Pupils attend on a full time, short term basis until they are ready to move back into mainstream education or to specialist education. Permanently excluded pupils in year 11 are likely to complete the year with us and take external, national examinations at our centre. Pupils complete GCSEs in English, Maths and Science and also Functional Skills Maths and English. We chose to get involved with Skills Builder as we recognised the importance of teaching core skills to our pupils who are often disengaged with education and hugely benefit from developing skills for work placement and accessing college.
Overall impact
We have evaluated the overall impact of the Accelerator programme for teachers and pupils using various data sources. These range from observations, book marking scrutinies, assemblies, looking at the pupil journals, verbal questionnaire feedback. The baseline data at the start allows a step level to be identified and targets to be set. There was a huge range in the baseline data ranging from essential skills step 1 all the way up to step 10+ this is due to the complex needs of our pupils at the PRS and their individual SEND. The data collected shows that all pupils increased their essential skills step levels in the time they are at the PRS and have received positives and certificates linking to the progress and success. Pupils were able to voice that they are "learning a lot", "becoming more confident", "getting better" and can see "why its is so important and relevant". Staff have increased their confidence of the skills and principles and delivering essential skills within lessons and all staff have said that the Accelerator programme has benefitted the pupils in terms of their confidence and self-esteem, increased use of essential skills language and link nicely to work and real-life skills.
Keep it simple
We began building awareness of the essential skills, at Craven PRS, by doing training with the staff with the skills builder team and then internally. We began to build awareness of the essential skills with the pupils through an assembly outlining the essential skills and then completing the baseline assessments on paper. There has been a large display placed in the hall for all pupils to refer to and the icons have been placed in all classrooms as a visual reminder for the pupils. Information has been shared with the parents and put on the school website. The language of the Universal Framework has been explicitly taught and then reinforced in lessons and study skills sessions. The icons are also placed on every PowerPoint and are referred to within all lessons. We have shown that we value the skills by linking them to every lesson, work experience and social times, pupils are rewarded with positives for each of the essential skills on ClassCharts, the school rewards system.
Start early, keep going
We ensure that all learners have the essential skills built into their curriculum. Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 are all given the baseline tests on entry to the PRS and the essential skills are delivered to all Key Stages in all lessons focussing on the ones which are most appropriate for that subject and that particular lesson. The essential skills icons are highlighted on every PowerPoint that is taught from and are referred to within each task highlighting their area for development. Each pupil has their own step target depending on their baseline assessment and are rewarded with positives, on ClassCharts, within each lesson. These positives are live and parents can look throughout the day as to what essential skills their children have been awarded positives for. Certificates are awarded for key skills in assemblies on Fridays and there is a whole school rewards chart aiming to 1000 positives that is displayed in the hall to continue to raise the profile.
Measure it
At the PRS we use the assessment tool as a baseline for the essential skills after teaching what each one is about. This allows each pupil time to reflect on their particular strengths and areas to develop. It allows the pupils to reflect and set targets in their daily journals of their next steps. This helps the pupils to highlight their own progress and helps to motivate them. Furthermore it allows the pupils to take control of their own learning and development. The journals and baselines help to set a target and allows pupils and their coaches a time to be able to reflect and check their progress regularly, providing quantifiable data for looking at tracking and progress overtime. Pupils are making progress at their own rate and achieve multiple steps across the time period with us. It allows them to be able to articulate progress in their essential skill development when they return back to their home school or start at their new provisions.
Focus tightly
At the PRS we build in regular opportunities to build their essential skills in the curriculum at Key Stage 3 & 4 and through work experience for KS4 pupils only. Direct instruction is provided in the form of assemblies and using the presentations on each essential skills as well as coaching opportunities with their coaching in tutor time. Building the essential skills is a personal process that builds upon each pupil's individual starting point based on previous leaning and skill attainment. Tutor time with their coach allows dedicated time to explicitly focus on, discuss and build the essential skills in a low-risk environment. With different starting points comes different step goals, these can be very varied due to the pupils individual special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the Skills Builder Expanded Universal Framework Toolkit for teaching essential skills to learners with additional needs is a resourced used for breaking down the steps into manageable sub steps.
Keep practising
Pupils are given the chance to practise and reflect upon their essential skills in every lesson, as appropriate, and opportunities are highlighted to the pupils to reinforce regularly and accelerate their progress. Reflection time occurs daily in tutor period when they reflect on the previous day and set targets for the next day. Having regular time to reflect, track and collect data has given the PRS valuable insights into the pupils personalities and wider learning needs. It has also been helpful in sharing information with parents and teachers at other schools. It helps to give an understanding of where the pupil is and how to support their development as they transition to their next phase.
Bring it to life
It is crucial that all the PRS pupils see the relevance of the essential skills not only in the classroom and at school but within work experience and linking to the real world. By linking lessons and activities with the real world and challenging the pupils with real-life problems they can sharply see the relevance of the essential skills and the part they play for adults in society. These skills directly link to the careers education that the pupils receive at the PRS and link to work experience, trips, visits from external agencies and visitors.
What's next
Next year the PRS hopes to build on the success of the first 18 months and continue to embed the essential skills for our pupils linking more to work experience and their careers curriculum. Our curriculum is skill based and is planned for at long term, medium term and short term planning level this needs to be consolidated next year and a tracker put in pupils journals so they can easily track and be more independent. We are planning on using the step levels to help devise stepped personalised targets for learning plans and to write outcomes for EHCPs.
Yorkshire and the Humber
United Kingdom