What a joyous day! Our life is a varied, and challenging one, and utterly fulfilling because of that. So, to spend a day at Brownhill school in Rochdale, a setting with its own challenges, and remarkable successes, was a total delight.
Brownhill Learning Community is an association of Brownhill School and the two bases of the Rochdale Pupil Referral Service. They were brought together to improve the outcomes of pupils with SEBD. They aim to place pupils according to need rather than the reason they are out of mainstream.
That was also our focus today. Finding ways to, almost distract, children from any fear they may have of their own learning, so that they gained the confidence to pick words, and ideas, up and juggle with them.
We were very impressed by how quickly these students transformed, from the inevitable slight trepidation, of a new, bald, bloke arriving, who expects them, without any preparation, or safety net, to experiment, risk-take and expose weaknesses, in front of class mates, … to explorers of their own limits…
…that takes courage.
And support. These magical, digital landscapes, and the teaching techniques we can use within them, allow students of any age and ability, to take risks, in a safe environment, where they can’t make mistakes.
“There is no right idea. Even better, there is no wrong idea”.
Well done indeed, to all here today, for taking off and flying with the ideas we explored. A joyous day of laughter and rising to challenges. Thank you you stars!
Kate Connolly, Principal heads the Learning Community, but the day to day management of each site is managed by the Centre Managers. There are approximately 180 pupils at any one time spread across the 3 sites: Brownhill School, Saxon Hall Study Centre and Darnhill Study Centre.
Brownhill School pupils are aged 11 -16 where the majority of pupils have statements for behaviour difficulties. Some pupils do transfer from Darnhill at the end of KS2 or occasionally at KS3. Pupils are admitted throughout the year but once pupils are admitted they tend to spend the rest of their education within the BLC. Some pupils are on alternative provision.
There are 3 KS3 group mixed years 7-9, 2 KS4 groups. The majority of lessons are run by 1 teacher and 1 TA/Mentor. Runs on a timetable similar to secondary school i.e. pupils move around the school
Saxon Hall Study Centre also joined us today, the PRU which caters mainly for KS4 pupils permanently excluded from mainstream. It is also base for FOLE (Federation On-line Education). Pupils are admitted throughout the year but once pupils are admitted they tend to spend the rest of their education within the BLC. Some pupils are on alternative provision. Again, the majority of lessons are run by 1 teacher and 1 TA/Mentor, running on a timetable similar to secondary school i.e. pupils move around the school.
Thank you to Steve Graham, Brownhiil School centre manager, and Sheila Higginbottom School Business Manager for inviting us and Ian Loughlin for supporting us all day with all our technical needs.
Category: 1) Events and Training days