“Students who attend Positive Outlook are all failing, for whatever reason, in the mainstream setting. They attend this programme in an attempt to gain as many GCSEs as possible. SWEET is one of these GCSEs. It is taught as an academic course and the students gain a great deal of satisfaction from filling in their books and discussing the many areas the course covers. The students take the course seriously and enjoy the varied content and research opportunities it offers.”
Learning for Life Wales
The Bridge Alternative Provision is part of the Inclusion Service in BCBC. Within The Bridge are strands of students ranging from KS2 to KS4. Within the KS4 provision there are cohorts consisting of pupils who has historically attended a PRU provision, pupils who have been referred for social and emotional reasons, as well as complex cases (e.g. school phobia, mental health issues). There is also a hospital school based in the Princess Of Wales which caters for CAMHS Tier 4 young people.
This is the first year that SWEET has been delivered to KS4. The cross-section and diversity of pupils that we work with is huge. Therefore it is imperative that any PSE qualification can engage across the board. The trial period has been with the two KS4 groups studying on separate days. The most notable aspect has been the engagement throughout both groups. This is predominately due to the individual student workbooks and the appropriate and pupil-friendly format.
The workbook appeals to our students because it is colourful, there are bitesize chunks of work, and the learning styles are all catered for. The material lends itself to a flexible approach in delivery, and the group discussion element is especially important for our students who have not accessed mainstream for significant periods of time.
The underlying ethos of The Bridge Alternative Provision is of wellbeing and equipping students with life skills; SWEET is the most appropriate toolkit we have found for this. Its versatility and flexibility means we are also able to easily adapt it to fit in with the literacy and numeracy framework. The workbook itself is an excellent framework and provides clear outcomes in an achievable and organised way. As we have found SWEET so successful this far, we are aiming to establish it in the hospital school.
The Bridge Alternative Provision
“Torfaen Youth Service are in the 2nd year of delivering the BTEC Sweet course levels 1 and 2. The course is being delivered in a wide range of settings due to its versatility, credibility and quality.
The groups that are currently accessing the course are 16+ young people on a bespoke programmes, which enable them to engage with the employment and training market. The course is also being delivered as part of an alternative curriculum within local secondary schools, including those at risk of disengaging and Gypsy Traveller groups.
Last year we saw our first cohort of Welsh speaking young people achieve the level 1 qualification and this academic year the level 2. The benefits to the young people have been very noticeable, their confidence and self esteem has increased through the recognition that they can achieve nationally recognised qualifications. The programme can be adapted to suit the needs of the learner, putting the young person at the centre of their education. This increases ownership and the young people feel a real sense of pride over what they have done.
The local schools we work with are increasingly asking us to deliver the course due to the credibility of the BTEC standards and expectations. The young people engaged on the course get to take part in a relevant qualification that gives them a grounding in life skills, positive relationships, working within their community, problem solving and team working.”
Torfaen Youth Service
Sweet* is far more that ‘just a book’. It is a starting point to exploring the main issues that affect our learners lives and there would be a strong argument to suggest that the content they discuss throughout this qualification can be the biggest lasting impact that we can have on them. The format of the qualification is pitched at the right level to engage and motivate our young people, all of whom have had negative experiences in mainstream education. They become very proud and almost possessive over their booklets and can often be found using it for independent learning.