Planned transition is an important part of our work at Roman Fields. We carefully consider all possible options with each individual and their strengths and future aspirations in mind. Some youngsters have successfully returned to mainstream schools to sit their A levels after experiencing GCSE success with us, others have stayed with us to complete their A levels prior to moving towards university. Others have opted for apprenticeship, or the world of work, whilst a greater majority have transitioned successfully into mainstream colleges. We work hard to try to ensure that the next move is at the right level and enables the youngsters to build on the success they have experienced with us.
We consider transition from the moment youngsters join, however young they may be, so we can build students’ confidence and social skills through working on areas of need such as resilience, self-control, organisation and understanding others.
On a practical level we work closely with YC Hertfordshire (formerly Youth Connexions) to ensure we ‘tap into’ students’ interests through providing extended, supported work experience opportunities and to find the right college course and environment for success. We liaise with professionals, parents and, most importantly, our youngsters to determine the next step. We are supported by additional partners which include the Careers and Enterprise Company and our local business advisor, who are all equally committed to helping to raise the aspirations of our youngsters and secure the best outcomes for each of them, on an individual basis.
Within our timetabled provision, we ensure there is dedicated cross- curricula careers time, for example in PHSEE some students gain City & Guilds certificates in employability skills, whilst in the life-skills house, enterprise activities are undertaken. Staff triangulate this work through regular mentoring sessions with our young people.
Most of our youngsters have experienced much change in their young lives and struggle to cope with any change as a result. To try to proactively address this we try to source every available opportunity to prepare them for this change. This has included joint courses with colleges/schools/ employers, multiple taster days and supported visits during which we share all the relevant information on every youngster’s strengths and weaknesses with our professional colleagues. We try to involve our parents in this as much as possible, so they can support the management of impending significant change.
Once our youngsters join their new setting we offer to support them closely in the initial first few weeks (if they feel they would benefit from this) to ensure a seamless move.
When measured against other schools in both the mainstream and special schools sector we perform strongly. We are not however prepared to ‘rest on our laurels’ and are expanding our provision further in this academic year through offering University taster days, opening a new shop to provide greater work experience opportunities and working with our partners to ensure their offer meets the needs of the young people we serve.
We are currently working towards our Investor in Careers accreditation.
Additional information on Careers can be found on the National Careers Service webpage.