Activities & the 24 hr Curriculum
At Breckenbrough we use a range of activities to encourage social education and develop our pupils’ confidence, self-esteem and social resilience. The various activities include a range of opportunities including physical activities such as motocross, where the school has its own on-site track and runs a selection of motocross machines that allow the boys to learn how to ride. They can progress to competing in local events if they so wish, supported by the school.
The other activities that can be offered such as climbing, swimming, ice skating and rugby. We will always listen to our pupils when they ask to undertake an activity which we do not presently provide on- or off-site. These opportunities help to develop our pupils’ confidence in their own physical abilities and enable them gain greater self-esteem as their skills increase and they develop teamwork skills as part of a group working to the same ends. The other activities we offer help increase the boys’ confidence in other areas such as; independent living and social interaction. These activities are varied but include; budgeting, shopping, clubs, cooking and cinema trips. When engaged in these activities the staff encourage the boys to be pro-active and take the lead, knowing that the staff member is there to support them through any difficulties. We strive to provide a varied programme of activities to meet individual wants and needs, with some activities being provided for as few as one or two pupils at a time. The biggest desire is to provide activities that the boys want and enjoy so that most boys will take part.
The activities that we provide are student led in the main. Throughout the year we have on- and off-site activities every night of the week. We meet with the boys to listen to what they would like us to provide and the reasons why. So a typical evening could be a climbing trip to a local indoor wall or perhaps to Brimham rocks for some bouldering experience. In school the boys could be riding on the motocross track, and playing football or tennis. They could decide to have some downtime time chilling out with their friends in their social areas. Shopping trips are run most nights as the boys who are budgeting as part of their independent living skills like to see what’s on offer at the local retailers. Staff are encouraged to share their own interests with boys in school, some of the boys love nothing more than been able to go with a member of staff and take their dog for walk. We enjoy it when we meet a pupil who has an interest that we have not come across before and they can educate us about it and we then learn how to engage with them to provide opportunities that are new to school.
The 24 hr Curriculum
At Breckenbrough we believe that in order to maximise educational opportunities it is essential that teaching and social education staff work collaboratively to provide an accessible, worthwhile and relevant 24 hour curriculum. We firmly believe that education is not restricted to the classroom and that ‘education’ is an ongoing process which happens in all parts of the waking day. We believe that education and learning of all types should be enjoyable and fun and see the opportunities for education which occur naturally in our ongoing work with young people. A trip to the local supermarket for example is an excellent opportunity to practice skills in both numeracy and literacy alongside consolidating the essential social learning that occurs through practical experiences. Many of these areas of development happen naturally, whilst other situations for social learning and development need to be engineered in order to address specific deficit areas in a young person’s educational development. Key Workers have regular planned meetings with each young person to discuss their social progress targets and the activities that might be used to support the pupil to reach their full potential. These close working relationships are designed to promote multi-disciplinary working and a consistent approach to the social education and care of young people.