Steps to Success
'Steps' lessons follow on from our "Start a Path" mantra and encompasses the journey our pupils have to make to become more rounded and successful individuals. The lessons are designed to inspire and motivate pupils to have a can-do attitude by building confidence, self-esteem and allowing them opportunities to take responsibility for their own lives; with a heavy focus on building relationships within the community, enterprise and lifeskills.
Art classes at GRK enable pupils to explore their creativity, find confidence in their work and build resilience. We spend time exploring different ways to create art as well as looking into famous artists and their work. Pupils get to work towards an Arts Award qualification, allowing them a chance to gain accredited certificates in this area.
Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is widely recognised by employers and in further education as an acheivement that recognises real world success and application from a young person. Supported by GRK staff, students will gain reconition for learning new skills, taking on physcial challenges and supporting a community. The holistic nature of our school means that many of these criteria are already met in the school day - DofE will provide yet another string for our students' bows when they come to move on from GRK.
Our weekly cookery lessons at GRK enable the pupils to feel more confident in the kitchen whilst learning new culinary skills and developing an understanding of basic ingredients and their nutritional value. The lessons are practical and held either in the kitchen or in a bigger classroom with individual cooking stations. Pupils learn how to weigh out ingredients, use different temperatures and timings and practice their mixing and chopping skills. At the end of each lesson the pupils are encouraged to try the dishes they have made and take them home.
Our 4th Dimension lessons expose students to new ideas, hobbies, interests, topics and employment exposure beyond our main curriculum. We are very lucky in securing guest speakers from a diverse range of industries to come in and hold mini workshops for our students. During these enrichment lessons, the students get to experience some real hands on fun and understanding into a particular field. Some of our 4D lessons have included music, yoga, cake decorating, art & illustration, sign language and foreign languages to name a few.
Our weekly Futures lessons aim to enthuse and equip pupils with the skills and knowledge they need to make sound decisions about their futures. By really getting to know our pupils, we seek to arrange bespoke experiences during their time at school to support them in making succesful next steps after GRK. More details about our Futures Programme can be found here.
Coaching / Home Visits
Pupils have weekly coaching meetings to share how they are doing academically, socially and emotionally. This is an opportunity to meet 1:1 with a set member of staff for support and challenge as pupils establish change in their lives. Weekly home visits from different members of staff help pupils to build positive relationships with our whole team and benefit from different perspectives.
We have started to include an Occupational Therapy lesson into our timetable. In this lesson we focus on helping all the pupils with their fine and gross motor skills. These skills are in turn help our pupils with things such as balance, coordination and handwriting to name a few.
Wellbeing / Yoga
Wellbeing at GRK has one primary purpose: to make our students happier. With many students coming to us with complex needs and different experiences in education, it is vitally important to expose them to the time, tools and temperaments that will allow them to move forward in GRK and beyond. If happiness is the end result, then to achieve that goal, we must also focus on developing self-esteem, self -control, self-awareness, resilience and friendships, which are all spokes that make up the wheel of wellbeing. Therefore, the process to achieving this must be as varied as the diverse backgrounds of our pupils. The majority of lesson content is designed around creating the right environment for positive conversations to occur. We use a range of tasks, exercises and challenges all requiring students to think and talk about themselves, focus themselves in the moment, work as a team or positively function in a group environment. Over the course of the year we will work on a number of themes including role models & heroes, positive affirmations, self-awareness, changing your personal narrative and emotional reactions & considered actions. Many of these themes come under a broader aim which is to encourage recognition of the benefits of ‘Mindful Living’. Mindfulness is not a temporary state of mind, rather it is a way of living that promotes consciousness and control - this in turn allows students to focus on the present rather than live through previous experience or future concerns.
Challenge lessons are new to our curriculum offer this term and as the title suggests we aim to 'challenge' our pupils to step outside of their comfort zones and face their fears.
Fear (in the right dose) is very useful to us and is a vital response to physical and emotional danger. However, we often fear situations that are far from dangerous and these fears and subsequent anxiety can stop us from experiencing all the wonderful things life has to offer. The power of a positive mindset when overcoming fear is key and during these lessons pupils will be facing their fears head-on, whether that be public speaking, meeting new people, acting, singing, dancing or holding a spider to name a few.