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New FLEX-ible provision for students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)

12 August 2020

Students at Dearne Valley College (part of the RNN Group) with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) or High Needs will benefit from a more flexible, dedicated, provision with the launch of the new FLEX department.

The new FLEX department will offer four bespoke pathways for learners with SEND or High Needs – with the ultimate destination for each student being either employment and volunteering or adulthood and personal independence.

The new pathways will launch in September 2020 with the following provision available at Dearne Valley College:

Personal Independence – This provision is for our students with complex and high needs and our most vulnerable students with SEND. Students will receive support to become as independent as their ability allows and will build skills such as travel training, understanding personal safety, personal relationships, personal care, hygiene and using domestic appliances.

Horizons – This programme will support students who suffer from low self-esteem and are deemed vulnerable and who may have specific SEMH and/or behavioural needs. It is ideal for students who are unclear of their career aspirations and who may not be ready to progress into a specific vocational area of their choice. Students will have the opportunity to experience ‘taster’ sessions within a range of vocational areas and get a feel for what sector in which they are interested.

Pre-Internships – Pre-internships will introduce students to working life in a range of different sectors including Animal Care, Construction, Health and Beauty, Horticulture and Motor Vehicle. The aim is to support students to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to become employable in their chosen sector.

Supported Internships – A Supported Internship is a study programme aimed at giving young people (aged 16-24) with an Education, Health and Care Plan experience in the workplace within a supported environment. The programme will see students attend the workplace of one of our partner employers and spend at least two days (10 hours) per week working in different areas to gain valuable experience with the support of an on-site Job Coach.

RNN Group Head of SEND and High Needs Tanya Gerstmar has created the new curriculum alongside her colleagues in the department.

Tanya said: “Our new provision will allow us to meet the needs of our students with SEND and complex needs by offering bespoke pathways with an end goal of students successfully transitioning to adulthood and independence or into employment or volunteering.

“Our pathways offer students the opportunity to explore what is right for them and help them develop the knowledge, skills and necessary behaviours that allow them to progress to their individual next steps.

“The FLEX department is full of dedicated, specialist staff with a passion for teaching and students can access a range of support dependent on their needs from our team of experienced practitioners.

“Our new FLEX provision will give our students the best possible chance to meet their aspirations in a supportive environment and achieve their full potential.”

Learn more about our FLEX department here.

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