As an organisation, Prospects acknowledges that the range of difficulties and needs a child / young person might have are multi-faceted and, as such, require a multi-disciplinary approach in the planning of meeting individual needs and creating opportunities for change and development.
Education is at the heart of our model
We understand that many barriers to educational success for looked after children exist, including:
- Their pre-care experience may already have seriously hampered educational progress
- They may experience numerous and often unplanned moves of home
- They may experience numerous unplanned moves of school or may be out of school for prolonged periods
- Making and sustaining relationships with peers may be difficult due to lack of continuity in care and schooling
- Lack of continuity of care may mean that young people cannot rely on familiar adults who they trust to advocate their needs
- Low self-esteem and perhaps a justifiable lack of trust of adults can act as a barrier to enjoyment of schooling and educational success.
Our overall aim is to re-integrate young people into mainstream education – school, college or work placement opportunities.
For young people aged 11-18 who when placed are unable to manage mainstream settings, we offer education at our registered Independent Specialist School in Wrexham.
The school has an ethos of nurturing individual emotional development and we have school systems that are authoritative rather than authoritarian.
We have clearly defined structures and boundaries whilst recognising that many young people have particular difficulties in trusting adults.
We offer a secure and safe environment and ensure that young people stay safe and happy.
We have a flexible learning environment that offers young people access to quiet spaces with the minimum of distractions.
Within our classrooms we have nurtured an environment that supports teaching staff in communicating that the first steps on a learning pathway include the ability to make mistakes. We believe that this approach promotes a reduction in anxiety and the feelings of pressure to learn and ‘catch up’ on progress lost due to previous disruptions.
We promote access to regular physical exercise through timetabled sporting or outdoor pursuit activities. This encourages our young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to regulate levels of stress and anxiety.
School staff are skilled in reading the behaviour and underlying emotions of young people that display challenging behaviour. Our staff are experienced in working with young people who have a need to develop trust and to learn to depend on adults to support their progression towards greater independence. Our teaching staff and support staff are skilled in managing behaviour and in setting and maintaining appropriate individual boundaries for our young people.
We aim for young people to develop self-respect, self-confidence, and a high expectation for themselves.
Progression and development
Following a comprehensive assessment and depending on individual need Prospects offers the following progressive stages:
- Home tuition
- Nurture provision
- Prospects School
- Re-integration to mainstream education
- Vocational training programmes.
There are 5 key areas for student development within the school:
- Behavioural and personal development
- Emotional skills and the ability to manage anxiety
- Social interaction skills with peers and adults
- Academic skills and learning
- World of work/vocation based skills and learning.
Curriculum on offer
Young people have access to the full National Curriculum. The curriculum is differentiated to take account of individual needs and it is modified to ensure that we provide the maximum possible flexibility and attention to specific academic and personal development.
We offer the following to GCSE level:
- Welsh: First and second language.
In addition we offer accredited programmes in:
- Environmental Studies
- Hair and Beauty: NVQ Level 1 & 2
- Outdoor Education
- Horse riding, animal care
- Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.