September 2018 updates:
I just wanted to outline some updates for your information. Please feel free to come back to me on anything. Best wishes for the new academic year.
Day to day learning and development
We are back open from the 3rd September for all of our provision. Our focus remains as before to build skills. We will continue to use the outdoors for a large part of our engagement and for our life skills programmes. Fresh food, travel, exploration, time to talk & reflect and to focus on wellbeing, learning and growth remain the core of every session.
Keeping Children Safe in education (Revised guidance for September 2018).
This has been studied and we have implemented the required updates. As part of this, we now have a full time DSL / duty role with 2 additional deputy DSL’s who will also work as the links to schools and attend multi agency & safeguarding meetings / CLA reviews.
Transition and Yr 12
We are committed to voluntarily supporting students who have left REACH in Yr 12 and ensuring they have a fall back for support at any time. We have kept in contact (and visited) many over the summer and really hope we can ensure that none result in being NEET. We will continue this commitment as required.
The pilot based at West Hatch is now complete and provision is being extended to offer KS2 placements from the site as part of small group provision. This is based around woodlands and animals and led by a dedicated team from REACH who are committed to working closely with schools to ensure all placements are joined up and offering the best possible provision. We will keep consulting schools and services on this area to review as it develops.
We are about to run a consultation on the needs of any young people who may benefit from a specialist targeted provision day supporting LGBTQ school students. We will run our consultation with schools, students, services and 2BU.
Cottage & Workshop
The cottage has proved a great successes as a tool to teaching students how to run a home! We are writing further packages to develop this work. The cottage is proving popular with groups for group work and activity plus relaxation. We have now secured a workshop in Somerton which will focus on teaching about employment and business. This will eventually include an outlet where students can practice working and serving. A bike repair and small building skills area is being developed, also a conference and student study area for students to meet employers, complete CV,s, practice interviews etc.
Placements continue to be available for one to one and group settings. Referrals can be made through the website. £125 per student per day for all provision. Group packages and discounts are available again for another year, including bolt on transport options. We have extended the availability of our girls provision based on the requests being made.
We have formed a partnership with the British International School in Phuket, to enable a group of REACH students to travel to Thailand in the summer of 2019. Teachers from the school will be hosting our students and staff for a hugely exciting opportunity. This project will run outside of school hours and will offer 8 students an opportunity to plan, fund raise, organise and experience something together with elements of helping others as part of the visit. We are very grateful to the school for this.
April 2018 updates:
Preparations commence for 3 new projects:
Mountain bike project at the cottage – opportunity for groups to repair and transform some bikes to give out to others in need
DofE recruitment launch – internally for students to join a new project in September
International project recruitment – internal students opportunity to join a 1yr project for visit to an international school in Phucket.
Feb 2018 updates:
We have now completed our company restructure. The registered details are at the bottom of the email. As part of our ongoing work, we are grateful to have the continued support of Julie Ridge towards our partnerships, along with our local MP, David Warburton. We have updated our 3yr business plan, all of which we are really excited about, both in terms of current work and the new opportunities that are in development.
Reports / Systems
We are near to completion of our electronic systems upgrade. I would like to apologise of the delay in getting student reports out to schools. The new system will launch over half term and I will make direct contact with individual schools to detail the log in process for our new website / reports portal. This system will transform our reporting system and also enable schools to easily access Policies / Risk assessments but also permit referrals to be made online. It will also allow our team to move to operating as (nearly!) paperless, with some technical safety systems in place that aid the support of working out on the roads and in the community.
A reminder of our Monday morning slots for any school / agency visitor to come in and spend time with the team / share making breakfast with our students. Please email me should you wish to book in a slot. This has been greatly received by all parties on the sessions taken last term.
We are nearly ready to trial a second REACH base. We have sourced a lovely cottage, in 20acres, which we will use for our current students, as a complement to our South Petherton base. This site will allow access for all groups and offer some great life skill opportunities / outdoor activities. All transport is to remain direct to our current site in South Petherton.
We are working hard to launch our KS2 pilot from after Easter. More information will follow on this after half term. We have secured new premises for this and are working to create a package to offer our Primary partners. We really want to be able to best support the needs of this age group, in a really creative way, developing strong partnerships to build student skills and help keep students within the education setting.
Two of our staff team members dogs, are about to complete a dog therapy course! This will allow us to use them as therapy dogs within our provision. We really want to build on this as part of the support and approaches that we can give to our students here and will update after course completion.
Parent / Carer consent forms
New Parent / Carer consent forms are due out. We will email these out to you all for completion over half term and request completed returns to be back in as soon as possible (ideally a 2 week turnaround).
We are working hard to complete some group packages that will enable our students to work on projects. These packages will complement our activity portfolio and will give a focus for groups who want to work away at something really relevant and purposeful for a half term / term. Some of the themes currently being worked on include a motor based project, a life skills project, an international trip project (2019), forest school type project and a travel and transport project. More will follow on these in the newsletter.
Once again, we really want to show our appreciation for our ongoing relationships with all our partners. We will always make time for visitors to REACH and very much hope you can visit soon. In the meantime, we are always happy to come out and talk to your staff teams about the work that we deliver / generally outlining Alternative Education in Somerset. We really want to help ensure we break down any barriers and myths that exist to ensure that the skill development work is never seen as a reward and that REACH / other alternative provision is seen as part of the core offer to students that are allocated to us all. We really want to continue to move away from our activities being seen as reward and I would be more than happy to give time to detail our methods / core offer to ensure we all get the best from the resources being made available.
January 2013 – Young people and staff raise over £600 for the YMCA Youth Homeless Team by sleeping rough overnight in Yeovil. Young people also donate to the Lords Larder in South Somerset and The British Red Cross shop in Crewkerne.
February 2013 – REACH awarded the successful contract to run Youth Work delivery in South Petherton for another year.
25 October 2012 – REACH staff propose to take part in the YMCA Sleep Easy event in Yeovil with the aim of sleeping rough for the night to help stop young people having to. View the poster and the sponsor form.
2 April 2012 – New Partnership for Youth Centre
14 July 2011 – Students Have A Go At Independent Living
12 November 2011 – Ghana International Project