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Newfriars College

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Newfriars College
To transform the lives of young people, Newfriars College uses partnership, collaboration, enterprise, and innovation. Providing a breadth and richness of experience enabling all our learners to achieve their full potential, and to be a part of an inclusive society is our vision, as we strive to maximise opportunities within the community. Located in North Staffordshire, Newfriars College is a Specialist Day College dedicated to providing educational support to young people with learning disabilities and a wide range of needs. Our aim is to ensure that all our students have access to the best possible education and the greatest range of opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. We provide a supportive and nurturing environment, as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities and work placements, to ensure that our students reach their full potential and are able to contribute to and be part of a more inclusive society.
Overall impact
Rob Millington, Head of College, 'We aim to transform the lives of our young people, build confidence, self-esteem, and resilience and provide a better long-term future which we hope will be full of opportunity and happiness.' This journey is being further supported through participation in the Skills Builder Accelerator Program.
Keep it simple
With a simple approach, students, teachers, and leaders are increasingly integrating essential skills into their everyday language to facilitate better communication and understanding. During events such as assemblies, students can engage in meaningful conversations and collaborate more effectively when they use essential skills. Further emphasising the importance of conquering these skills, teachers are recognising and rewarding learners' efforts and achievements in relation to the essential skills. The language of essential skills is increasingly becoming embedded in the college holistically, and its application is becoming more widespread as time goes on.
Start early, keep going
As part of our commitment to preparing our learners for a successful future, Newfriars College regularly engages our year groups and classes in the Skills Builder programme, which enables them to develop these skills. The program provides learners with the confidence and knowledge they need to succeed in their studies and beyond. This program prepares them for employment and adulthood. For any successful career, these skills are vital, from communicating and being creative to problem-solving and managing information. This skill development is done in a fun and engaging way, which encourages our learners to develop their creativity and critical thinking skills. As a result, we prepare our learners for the future, giving them skills and confidence, they can apply to the workplace and in their lives in the future. We at Newfriars College recognise that these skills are not just for academic success, but for personal success also, including employability and adulthood readiness.
Measure it
Continuous measurement is necessary to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and make informed instructional decisions. By assessing students' progress on a formative basis, teachers can determine if they have mastered the intended learning outcomes and plan instruction accordingly. As a result of formative assessments, teachers are able to develop more effective instructional strategies, resulting in higher success rates with Skills Builder.
Focus tightly
It is expected that all teachers or teaching assistants who teach Skills Builder in the next academic year will align their lessons with the four headings outlined in their Teaching and Learning plan. Two Skills Builder lessons will be taught during Form Time each week, in addition to assemblies and the incorporation of Skills Builder Language into all lessons. There are display boards in each classroom displaying the target students are striving for. The progress of students will be monitored regularly to ensure objectives are being met. The achievements of students will be recognised throughout the year with awards presented to demonstrate their efforts and accomplishments. Furthermore, in the next academic year, parents and carers are invited to participate and support their young person.
Keep practising
There are numerous opportunities for learners at Newfriars College to practice essential skills both within the college and in the wider community, including work experience which combines cross-curricular experiences. Students will be able to develop transferable skills and knowledge because of this approach, allowing them to explore their own ideas and approach problems from a unique perspective, thereby fostering creativity and significant reasoning. In addition to developing a wide variety of skills, students at Newfriars College learn a variety of topics as part of its larger curriculum. Learners can explore different solutions to problems when they are encouraged to think critically and creatively. The college's Skills Builder program promotes its commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success. Students are better equipped to address future challenges if they are taught how to think critically and creatively using Skills Builder.
Bring it to life
Newfriars College offers a variety of opportunities for the application of essential skills, including project-based learning, off-timetable days, employer encounters, workplace visits, and enterprise challenges. Through these activities, students apply what they have learned in the classroom into a real-life setting. Additionally, it provides students with the opportunity to gain knowledge about different career paths and gain exposure to the working world. In addition to developing employability skills and making informed career choices, it prepares learners for employment and higher-level studies. As a result of these activities, students learn how to apply Skills Builder to their everyday lives. They become more proficient at using Skills Builder, which in turn will benefit them in the future. Furthermore, they learn more about employers' expectations and how to prepare themselves better for the job market by gaining work experience.
What's next
Our future endeavors will require us to secure support and buy-in from teachers and support staff to successfully implement Skills Builder across the college. It is vital that colleagues' teacher training be conducted at the beginning of the academic year so that these programs can be effective. The Skills Builder language will be integrated into our taught lessons as soon as further training is completed. Skills Builder language will be integrated into lessons by teachers as students master the skills during which they are being taught. In the next academic year, we have chosen to focus on four essential skills until all staff has developed an understanding of how they will incorporate them into their everyday teaching practice so that it flows easily and recording success becomes second nature. Additionally, by focusing on only four essential skills, staff will be able to develop a deeper understanding of each skill and how to effectively incorporate it into their teaching practice.
West Midlands
United Kingdom