Youth Work is an integral part of the teaching and learning ethos within the Oakfield Project. It contributes to what we offer as an alternative provision. The key purpose of Youth Work at the Oakfield Project is to support, through a clear Youth Work curriculum, the personal and social development of students through informal education. This is provided mainly through group work sessions and outdoor and adventurous activities, working in partnership with other agencies. Youth Work is a learning process. It aims to give students an equal chance to achieve their best, to have worthwhile experiences and to get advice, information and support. We use a person-centred approach to design and deliver our programs, which include the following areas.
CoPE is a Level 2 Certificate of Personal Effectiveness. Completing the full course earns the students a qualification equivalent to a B at GCSE. To achieve the award, students are required to complete a number of modules on subject such as Communication, Independent Living and International Links. A large amount of the work for these modules is completed on computers, giving the students a chance to develop their skills.
A really fantastic aspect of CoPE is that it gives us the opportunity to accredit extra-curricular activities in which the students are already participating. For example, our residential trips, walk and camps, sports sessions, college experience, road safety sessions and students' work experience can all count towards the Level 2 Certificate. We have found that providing CoPE is a great way to engage the more vocational and practical learners, whilst also rewarding all of the young people for taking part and trying new activities.
Sweet* is a BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Personal and Social Development that we have been running since 2014. This course is provided as a progression for all students who achieved their Level 2 CoPE with us during the previous academic year. To achieve the Level 2 Certificate, which is equivalent to an A-C grade at GCSE, students must complete 13 credits in their sweet* course books (or 6 credits for a half GCSE grade A-C).
The content of sweet* prepares young people to succeed with education, employment and training. Early modules help students to understand themselves better and to work towards achieving a healthy and safe lifestyle. The later modules work on skills and knowledge required in the workplace: leadership, entrepreneurship and money management. There is also a large 'careers' module, supporting students to research, plan and prepare for their next step. A number of the modules tie in with events such as Come Dine with Oakfield (Leadership), our Careers Day (Careers) and our Christmas Market Stall (Managing Your Money and Entrepreneurship).
All students have the opportunity to participate in our annual 3-day residential experience at Skern Lodge in North Devon. We try out challenging and fun activities including rafting, surfing, high ropes and tunnel caving! There are many reasons why taking our students away on a residential trip is important, such as being able to...
- Provide experiential learning opportunities and outcome, within a new environment.
- Form a cohesive group which includes both students and staff.
- Develop the organisational and planning skills of the student to help enable ownership of the project.
- Develop teamwork and interpersonal skills.
- Provide new learning opportunities and develop aspirations.
- Encourage change and to help each student achieve better self-awareness through building self-esteem.
- Encourage accreditation from experiential learning.
All of our students work through a basic first aid awareness course.