14 September 2014

Lifestyle - School Days

I have started my new job and it's going really well. There has been a slow start for us whilst we have got everyone up to speed on what's going on. The new school building is still being built and will hopefully be ready for us to move into in the New Year.

Week one at work was taken up with lots of training activities. I have done restraint training, positive discipline, lesson planning, safeguarding and something else that I have forgotten the name of! We also spent time trying to make our temporary accommodation look like an actual functioning school. The building used to be a behavioural unit so was sort of set up how we needed it, but they had just ripped out a whole load of the fittings and we needed to cover some rather large holes in the walls!

This week (week 2) has seen the students slowly starting to arrive. One year group at a time. Year 8s on Monday, 9s on Tuesday, 11s on Wednesday and 10s on Friday. The reaon the 11s came in before the 10s is because they go on placement for Thursdays and Fridays. This means that tomorrow (Monday) will be the first day we have all four year groups in at once. 

This could prove interesting, that's for sure. The break times are set up so there are only two year groups mixed together at any one time and they are not consecutive years so they hopefully won't fight too much... We've only got the four years as we're in too small a building to fit any more. 

My group of year 10s is made up entirely of boys and there is another all boy group as well as an all girl mixed group of 9s and 10s. (Confusing, I know). I have 6 in my group and the others have 7 each. We are what is known as an Alternative Provision Academy (APA) and are the largest in the country with roughly 60 students. This is not full sized. We will have 150 altogether at the new site and will range in age from year 6 (10-11yr olds) to the year 11s (15-16). 

So far, my lads have been very sweary and pretty offensively racist but have behaved themselves and got on with all their work. They are in  school setting so they are working towards their GCSE exams although the government only asks us to give them English and Maths we feel that they need more than that to become valuable members of society.

In the new build there will be provision for lots of vocational work including a hair and beauty studio, joinery, mechanics bay and various other job specific areas. They will all be taught to drive a forklift before they leave school as well (!)

Yes, this is a bit of a promo piece about my new school, but I'm really proud of what we're trying to achieve with these kids that society has already pegged as no hopers (one of the lads in my class is very bright, just hates school). I hope that in my role as their tutor (they're counted as my class) I'm going to be able to help them at least start to believe there is a future for themselves and they won't just be another generation of kids who grow up on an estate, get into trouble and go to prison. 

The schools official website is aspirehull.com check it out and see what you think.

Love, Pearl.