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Accrediting students' achievements through Transition Challenge

Victoria Education Centre, Poole, Dorset, caters for almost 100 learners aged three to 19. Staff deliver ASDAN’s New Horizons and Transition Challenge (TC) to Key Stage 4 students who are below entry level. In the school’s post-16 department, the learners undertake a wide range of ASDAN courses: Personal Progress, Towards Independence, Short Courses, Personal and Social Development, and the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness for the more academically able students.

“Many of our Key Stage 4 learners have complex physical difficulties,” said Kate Baldwin, Assistant Headteacher. “The flexibility of TC means we can create our own activities which are appropriate for the students as well as meeting the learners’ needs.

“Delivering TC means our students can be awarded a certificate where otherwise they wouldn’t receive accreditation for their learning. This greatly boosts their self-esteem because they receive a certificate just like the school’s GCSE students. It’s great for the parents too because it might be the first time that their child has received such an award.”

At post-16 level, the school uses ASDAN’s courses to develop personal and social attributes and independent living skills. The school is planning to expand its use of Short Courses because of the flexibility they offer. Some learners have to spend a lot of time in therapy, but with a Short Course they can receive accreditation for as little as 10 hours of work.

“One of the things we most appreciate about ASDAN is its support meetings for practitioners,” Kate said. “Our staff always come away feeling encouraged and with new ideas.”

Caption: a learner at Victoria Education Centre takes care of a plant as part of the Transition Challenge Moving Forward module