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.
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.
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.
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.