The Zone‚Äôs life-skills programme offers young people excluded or at risk of exclusion from education a chance to re-engage in the education system. We work with schools to meet small groups of young people at a time who have a specific need. This is often regarding behaviour or school attendance; however we have also taken groups who suffer from very low self esteem.
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Introduction The Zone‚Äôs life-skills programme offers young people at Nottingham City Schools who are excluded or at risk of exclusion from education a chance to re-engage in the education system. We work with schools to meet small groups of young people at a time who have a specific need. This is often regarding behaviour or school attendance; however we have also taken groups who suffer from very low self esteem. Aims The aim of the project is to either re-integrate young people back into the education system or to ensure that they reach sixteen years of age with some qualifications, positive experiences, transferrable skills and the chance to work in an almost one-to-one environment. In terms of re-integration, we look at improving school attendance and punctuality, improved behaviour at school, improved confidence and ability to build positive relationships with staff and peers and a re-integration back into classes that may have been dropped. Further Information With 2 staff members per group of 4-8 young people, the students get plenty of attention, and are given regular one-to-one discussions within the timetable. They are encouraged within this environment to think about their current lives, the impact of their past and their futures. Towards their futures, they are given the skills to make college applications, know what to expect at interview and are encouraged to think about a life plan that pushes their boundaries and achieves their potential. The young people participate in a large variety of sessions over the course of their involvement in the project. These include: Personal ‚Äì me, my goals for the future, my relationships and family, my past Community - crime and its effects, knives and gangs, bullying, my community Health ‚Äì drugs, alcohol, sexual health, emotional health, healthy eating, smoking, cooking skills Transferrable skills ‚Äì communication, anger management, interview skills, city challenges During the course the young people will work towards accreditation. These might be AQA units, ASDAN Key Skills, D of E Award or OCN units. We work carefully, however, to ensure that learning is not accreditation focused but accreditation is achieved through embedded learning. The project is a rolling project, which aims to meet new young people every year. Each year has end goals of young people being re-integrated back into the school system, progressing to college or employment, not following stereotypical life choices (pregnancy, unemployment) and being more aware of themselves and other people. Length of Course The courses can last from one off workshops (though this is not encouraged) to 6-8 hours a week involvement over the course of a year. The average engagement is for 3 hours per week (1 or 2 sessions) on a yearly basis. Future At present the majority of funding for this project is paid for by schools, however this does not cover all of our costs. We would also like to be better placed to offer the programme to a wider variety of schools, at a much more discounted rate. Funding pays for staff time, room hire (if we are working in an out of school location), resources and activities and management costs. In essence, the more funding we have for this project the more staff we are able to employ to undertake work and the more young people are able to have access to this work, which we know is a successful and much needed project in today‚Äôs climate. Schools in Nottingham are very interested in the programme; however the cost to them is always a major barrier as budgets are squeezed tighter. Currently the programme runs at ¬£20,000 a year, however we want to double or even triple this, meaning that at least 50 more students would benefit from the programme each year.
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