This is the highlight of their week

Published

Lessons in lambing and getting to grips with the rural landscape has been all in a day's work for one group of students in North Yorkshire. At Bedale High School, one Year 11 learner and seven from Year 10 have been combining a land-based study course with their ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness. The CoPE modules are developed alongside, and supported by, this vocational experience.

As well as gaining a City and Guilds qualification, which is highly appropriate to Bedale’s geographical setting and local career prospects, there is further evidence that this programme has boosted students’ enjoyment of education and their overall perception of themselves as learners. 

Bedale Farm StudentsThe school's CoPE co-ordinator, Ian Wood, said: "Evaluation of this scheme has provided evidence that participation and attendance in school has increased for these students. For these students attendance is at its highest level in their school career. Their behaviour for learning in school has never been better, as is their own perception of their behaviour – they feel like successful students. Their enjoyment of school is at an all-time high and this is the highlight of their week: they enjoy it the most, they think they learn the most and they think they are good at it. And they are right! This can-do attitude has transferred into other areas of their curriculum. They are more determined, see the value in their education and have a goal of employment in the local area doing something they love to do.

"The students involved include some of our hard to reach families and due to the scheme some parents have positively engaged with the school for the first time. One farming family who have never attended a parents evening (due to parents’ negative experiences at school) have been into school and also visited the farm to see what their son has achieved. They have given fantastic feedback about the scheme and it has started to change their own perceptions and opinions about education. Another student has taken his father to the farm on a weekend and volunteered to do some jobs and activities with his dad which has enhanced their relationship."

Alison Hall, learning support manager, added: "They are a credit to Bedale High School and facilitating their learning and personal development in this environment has been, by far, the most rewarding experience I have had within education."