01 Feb

This week I went back to school and one of our students started a new placement with a brand new placement provider!

On Tuesday, I had my first day at Huddersfield University where I am studying a Post Graduate Certificate in Careers Education. I have to say it was quite daunting to go ‘back to school’ but it turned into an inspirational couple of days. I was joined by 48 other careers leaders from across the UK and the course has been funded for us all by central government.

Last year, the government released The Gatsby Benchmarks, putting careers education at the forefront of education for our students, up there with Maths and English! Quite right too, I say! We are so focused at New Bridge on preparing our students to reach an appropriate destination and we have had this at the forefront of our thoughts since we opened our new school 11 years ago… it’s about time everybody else caught up with us! I’ll be spending the next year planning an outstanding careers strategy for our Group and reflecting on what amazing work we already do. It was a great start this week and an added bonus was getting my NUS card which gives me discounts at high street stores and restaurants for the next year!!

Talking of appropriate destinations… at New Bridge, we have a scale of 7 appropriate destinations for our learners and this week, we have been contacting past students to create a portfolio of New Bridge Destination Champions. It really is quite humbling to hear of the impact that New Bridge has had on the lives of so many young people and it was lovely to hear about what our former students are doing now. I’d like to share some of those stories with you now..

Now over to our Senior Job Coach Anne-Marie for her weekly update…

Another busy and ever changing week at Medtia for our Future Finders, mainly due to the weather!

Monday as always is our classroom day, working on our Functional Skills Maths, English and Employability. We always start Monday off with English and Maths and we are busy preparing for our upcoming tests. In English this week we have been focusing on Speaking and Listening. We played ‘Room 101′ and had to decide on the things that we wanted to put in there and argue why they should or shouldn’t be included.

In Maths we looked at a sample exam paper, reading the questions and highlighting the important information that we would need to help us. We then looked at the methods we will need to use to check our answers.

In Employability this week we have concentrated on our portfolios – the job coaches have been busy trying to make sure that all our work is completed and up to date, so for anything that we had left to finish, today was the day!!!!

We have also carried on completing our displays, this week focusing on ‘Interview Skills.’ Thanks for all your help on that, Tara!!

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday continue to be our placement days but this week was a little bit different! Tuesday was fairly normal for us until dinner when the snow hit – all our learners came back to Medtia for the afternoon to make sure that we were all in one place and safe!

Although we were open on Wednesday, due to the snowfall overnight we cancelled our placements as it was still slippy underfoot and the side roads that many of our placements are on were hard to access. A few students, however, went over to the Atrium Café to help the staff there make sure we all had something warm to eat!

Thursday saw us back to normal, all heading off on our placements! Brittany had her first week with the RSPCA – “I love it”

A day in the life of Brittany
RSPCA Shelter

My placement is at the RSPCA shelter in Oldham. My day starts by arriving at college and meeting up with my Job Coach before we make our way to the RSPCA Shelter ready for a 10am start. When I get there the first thing I do is to sign in; this is important to make sure that if there was a fire drill, I am signed in and the staff know I am onsite..

After this I go and put all my belongings in a locker to make sure that they are safe. Then I put my RSPCA volunteer t-shirt on so staff and visitors know who I am when I am walking around the building..

After this I go downstairs to the cat pens. This is where I choose which cat I will spend some time with. I make sure that I check the board as to which cat I am able to do, as some cats might be unable to have nurture time that day so I have to check carefully. I then tick the board to show I am going to spend time with that cat..

I then go and spent time with each cat. It is important to spend at least 20 minutes with each cat so that they get used to being around humans. I have to decide whether the cat wants to play or have a cuddle. However, most cats like to play!

After this I have to fill in the observation reports to say how the cats were when they were with me..

I carry on nurturing as many cats as I have time for before I have to head back to Medtia. I make sure that I sign out when I am leaving so the staff know I am no longer on the property. Back at college I catch up with everyone before we all go home!

Chloe started her new placement at Reclamation Room in Uppermill but only managed to do a day due to the weather – “It’s great, it’s busy but that is what I like!”

Fingers crossed we get a full week in placements next week! Although even as I sit here and type this blog, there is snow falling outside! See you all soon. Have a great weekend!

Don’t forget we have our first Parent Employer Network meeting arranged for Thursday 28th February at 3pm. This group is being set up to bring parents and employers together to support us with our Employability strategy. If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Daniel
Head of College

You can view our previous blog entries here

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