Good practice

5th February 2010 at 00:00

Confidence builders

Forfar Academy has been praised by HMIE for two enterprise activities which have increased confidence and re-engaged youngsters. The Angus school's enterprise company, Purple Castle Products, produces handcrafted wooden gifts and high-quality signage. Originally set up as a lunchtime craft club for girls, it is a thriving organisation run by senior pupils. They bid for funding, source outlets for their products and have established a partnership with a local nature reserve, which will supply them with raw materials in return for discounted giftware to sell in its gift shop. The school also has a motorcycle road racing team called Hedzup, which was initiated in partnership with Tayside Police and takes part in Scottish championship events.

Support in transition

Glenrothes High in Fife provides excellent support for young people with additional needs who are moving up to secondary. Support for learning staff liaise with primary schools and parents so that they can plan the transition and long-term needs. Support programmes for children are highly individualised and can include a combination of small-group provision within the department of additional support and integration into mainstream classes. The plans are shared with teachers before the young people arrive. In the term before transfer, the children have a range of support visits, including two full days at high school. They also participate in a residential experience with all P7s, which helps to develop their confidence and team-building skills. In August, all the S1s receive a guided tour by senior students of the areas of support and the specialist provision.

Sex and relationships

At Ullapool High, young people with learning needs have become more confident in discussing sex and relationships. Staff at the school worked with health professionals, including the learning disability nurse, to plan and deliver jointly a programme of lessons to help them understand "public" and "private", feelings and emotions, assertiveness, relationships and basic sex education. Parents and carers were closely involved in the development of a range of approaches. Drama activities, visual resources and discussions all help the pupils to acquire skills to cope with relationship issues.

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