Fresh Start is a programme for pupils in Years 10 and 11 who have statements of Special Educational Needs. Many of these pupils may have had a negative experience of education and as a result, they may have low self-esteem. The pupils on this programme will have been identified as pupils who are able to work in a small group setting with a high level of experienced adult support. Some of these pupils may require some sessions of extra support on a 1:1 basis or be educated for a part of the time away from the main site.
Fresh Start is a provision named on the pupil’s statement and is a permanent placement. Pupils referred to Fresh Start include those who are permanently excluded from mainstream or special schools and pupils who have a statement and have moved into the area or do not have a school.
The Fresh Start programme caters for pupils who may have Behaviour, Social and Emotional Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties or for those who in general find schooling a challenge.
Referrals come from Wandsworth Special Needs Assessment Section.
On occasions Francis Barber will identify a pupil who meets the above criteria who would benefit from being on the Fresh Start Programme. In this case Francis Barber will apply to Special Needs Assessment Section to have this pupil placed on Fresh Start.
We aim to cater for pupils’ individual needs and provide a programme which is designed specifically for each individual according to the type of difficulties that they are experiencing. Stu-dents are encouraged to pursue areas of the curriculum in which they show interest or potential. For example, if a student likes gardening or catering of mechanics or music then we endeavour to facilitate their involvement in these areas. These types of activities may take place on site or at other educational establishments. Much work is carried out with pupils to help them to prepare for their future after Francis Barber. Career advice is available and staff provide assistance in filling out college applications.
Many of our Fresh Start pupils leave Francis Barber with improved self es-teem, having benefited from a positive educational experience during their time with us. Some students will continue with their education at colleges, whilst others go into employment. Fresh Start pupils finish at Francis Barber with a celebration day with their parents/carers and staff. This is an occasion in which all their achievements are recognised.
Fresh Start aims to be a place where pupils can:
- Have access to education which is appropriate to their needs
- Develop their social skills and life skills
- Be taught in a safe and nurturing environment
- Work with experienced and skilled teachers and learning mentors
- Prepare for college, employment or training
Interview and assessment
After a pupil has been referred, parents/carers and students are invited to an interview. This is an opportunity for information to be shared and for questions to be answered.
Following the interview, the student is assessed so that they can be offered the most appropriate timetable within the Fresh Start Programme.
Timetables can include:
- Outdoor Learning
- Social Skills
- Literacy Support
- Numeracy Support
- Work Experience
- College Link Courses
- Sports Leaders
- PE and Games
There is a strong emphasis on developing social skills and these sessions may take place at an offsite venue.
Extra consideration is given to these pupils at difficult or stressful times. For example, staff may visit the home or staff may arrange extra sessions at exam time.
If appropriate to the students needs, Fresh Start students will follow courses leading to external accredita-tion. This includes AQA Unit Awards and GCSEs.
On the Fresh Start Programme students’ progress is monitored carefully. Some pupils will only make small step progress; however, this is very important for the development of their self esteem. Parents/ carers are invited for Annual Reviews, End of term reviews and at other times when it is necessary to share information. Staff attend network meetings with other agencies such as social services and CAMHS and YOT. The holistic development of the student is of utmost importance as is the importance of multi-agency working.
To help students on the Fresh Start Programme achieve their full potential we ask you to:
- Contact us if you have any concerns
- Let us know when students are going to be absent
- Attend all meetings
- Help your child to achieve any learning or behaviour targets which may be set.
- Encourage your child to attend regularly and punctually.