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Assessment of 14-19 year old learners with complex learning difficulties Helen Kippax - Principal Nadia Barratt - Admissions Manager Freeman College, Sheffield.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessment of 14-19 year old learners with complex learning difficulties Helen Kippax - Principal Nadia Barratt - Admissions Manager Freeman College, Sheffield."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment of 14-19 year old learners with complex learning difficulties Helen Kippax - Principal Nadia Barratt - Admissions Manager Freeman College, Sheffield

2 Who are we ? RMET is an educational charity, formed in 1986, and is inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, William Morris & John Ruskin. Freeman College is one of 3 colleges operatimg under Ruskin Mill Educational Trust (RMET). Founded in the heart of Sheffield's silver smithing and cutlery making district, Freeman College opened in September 2005 and is the most urban of the colleges. It is named for Arnold Freeman who came to the city in the 1930s to develop educational and cultural opportunities for its steel-workers and miners. We base our practical therapeutic curriculum around the metalworking skills for which Sheffield is world-renowned..

3 CHARITABLE OBJECTIVES The Charity’s objectives as set out in the Trust Deed are: To advance the education of young people with learning difficulties and/or behavioural problems or special educational needs through training in the areas of arts, crafts, agriculture and environmental sciences, with particular reference being given to the indications and insights of Rudolf Steiner in these areas. To promote research into the practice and development of those areas of education provided that all research findings will be widely disseminated. Our Vision Each individual experiences meaningful relationships with Universe, Earth & People, and has the potential to shape their own future.

4 Who are our students? Our students are young people, aged between 16 & 25, who have developmental delay & are unable to access general further education. Our students include those having autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder & a range of other mental health problems – including emotional & behavioral difficulties. Our practical curriculum offers an integrated approach RMETs action research shows that when young people with disabilities work with craftspeople on real life tasks the following improve dramatically : A)Physical capacity B)Emotional, social & personal skills C)Cognitive & intellectual health

5 Our Method Our starting point is guided action and learning through working with the hands. The student journey then progresses through action and self-reflection (head) to a sense of achievement. From this newly gained place of confidence and competence, students are further empowered to offer and begin sharing (heart) their skills with their peers and the wider community.

6 SENSE OF SELF HYGEIA EDUCATION LOCAL AUTHORITY SELF Therapists Doctor Nurse Assessment coordinator Commissioning panel Craft tutors Residential staff Support staff Dissemination

7 Effective & innovative – RMETs Aspiration to develop Lifelong provision in Yorkshire

8 Hygeia / Sheffield Local Authority Assessment Project Pilot OUTLINE OF THE PROJECT AIM To develop and implement innovative assessment of 14-19 year old learners with very complex and challenging learning difficulties and/or disabilities, who are vulnerable and/or at risk, through using Practical Skills Therapeutic approaches that informs and remodels assessment practices in Sheffield Local Authority

9 HYGEIA LIFE PLAN CENTRE Achieving health through – Guided reintegration – physical - frontal Guided reconnection – soul - horizontal Guided reflection- spirit- sagital Preventative and holistic pathways to health and well being using a trinal method of practical skills, relationship and cognitive interactive programmes of assessment.

10 The changes the project intended to bring about for the most vulnerable learners were: Better informed 139a assessments leading to a remodelling of assessment processes in Sheffield LA More appropriate placement decisions that better match the needs of learners Better information on which to base the commissioning of provision The development of appropriate local provision Reduction in the numbers of NEETs learners with SEN Integrated Assessment is not just about bringing services together it is also about placing control with the person in deciding and shaping their own future.

11 Project delivery and process Timely – implications of the Green Paper suggest a move towards 1 integrated Education, Health and Care Plan for young people with Special Education Needs Project based on data originally provided by Sheffield City Council Project almost compromised by major reorganisation within Sheffield City Council – assessments did not take place until January 2011 Biggest challenge – to overcome perception that the assessments were truly independent and impartial – established Hygeia Life Plan Centre Assessment documentation produced with emphasis on the final summative assessment report format; - Reinforced the independence of the assessments - Informed the S139a process

12 Assessment Process Original aim was to complete 20 assessments; 10 x 3-day and 10 x 3-day/2-nights residential Ensure the values and ethos of RMET are reflected throughout. Assessment process ranged from 1 to 3 days – formalised to include a range of practical therapeutic crafts i.e. Artisan Bakery, Pewter. Also included Drama, Movement and spatial awareness, Speech and Language, Community Travel & Independence Skills and Independent Living Assessments included: Practical crafts Social and communication skills Safety profile Movement/physical capacity Independence / Living Skills Discussions and observations from members of the Admissions Team

13 Assessment Reports Concise Summative Reports, free of jargon, reader friendly, bullet pointed rather than lengthy sentences and paragraphs Person centred – individualised and personalised to the Learner with focus on identifying clear outcomes and a future plan incorporating a potential learning environment and learning programme reflecting the individual’s needs and aspirations A Medical Profile and Safety Profile completed by schools prior to each Learner attending Reports were shared and critiqued by Local Authorities with positive comments “Excellent Assessment – very different from those previously written and produced

14 Project Outcomes Project has illustrated that young people, some of whom have very challenging needs, respond well to a practical therapeutic approach to assessment A clear sense of pride and joy for the Learners - programme designed so that the Learner could make something and take it away either for themselves or as a gift Project was affected by external factors and circumstances which meant changes and redirections were needed. There is a need for an independent Life Plan Centre to support the needs of young people in Sheffield & South Yorkshire

15 Next Steps... Did the project achieve its original aims? Were there any unforseen outcomes? Project will be sustained by: -Formalising the Hygeia Life Plan Centre as an independent Assessment Centre for Local Authorities locally, regionally and nationally -Developing a specific independent site in Sheffield where the Hygeia Life Plan Centre will be located -Providing training and development for satellites of the Hygeia Life Plan Centre beyond Sheffield

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