Support for Students Award - Barnfield College Case Study

Through a challenging time for Barnfield, its Skills for Life department thrives. A multi-faceted and innovative curriculum prepares learners for life and work. An established supported internship programme enables progression to employment.

For many their journey begins at school. Effective partnership working ensures learners ‘taste’ college, and transition is planned between school, parents, learner and college. The majority of learners’ lead sheltered lives and this programme allows them to become familiar with aspects they would otherwise not experience. Staff advocate a culture of high expectations, motivating, providing support and enabling achievement of personal goals. Learners thoroughly enjoy learning, which increases confidence and wellbeing.

The curriculum design supports equally learners’ educational and personal development. Identified strategies enhance students personally and professionally, building on prior attainment, supporting career aspirations, promoting independency and instilling confidence. Learners act as role models and support more vulnerable students, taking part in school talks to share experiences and inspire future students. Learners celebrate Barnfield College’s diverse communities and challenge themselves. One-to-one intervention nurtures positive behaviour and encourages self-reflection.

The department sees students’ progress to learning across the range of Barnfield’s vocational offer. Its underpinning mantra is to allow learners to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills without overt and unnecessary intervention.