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Students' work experience learning is accredited through Short Course

Work experience and preparedness for employment form an important part of the curriculum for pupils who are on the ‘purple pathway’ at Rossett School in Harrogate. Dorothy Lepkowska spoke to Chris McPhillimy about what this means for learners and the supporting role ASDAN courses play.

Young people following the ‘purple pathway’ curriculum in Key Stage 4 at Rossett School study Maths, English, Science and PE, alongside craft and vocational and skills-based learning. This involves working in partnership with local colleges and other external providers to deliver a variety of courses and qualifications.

As part of the purple pathway, the school delivers Careers and Experiencing Work Short Course, with students using credits from this programme to complete the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness Level (CoPE) Level 2 qualification. The school also offers the Award of Personal Effectiveness Level 3, and ASDAN’s Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Chris McPhillimy, who is in charge of alternative provision at the school, said the Careers and Experiencing Work Short Course provides a vital element of learning for purple pathway students.

“We like the flexibility of the Short Course as it allows us to tailor provision to the needs of individual pupils,” Chris said. “Our work experience programme, accredited through the Short Course, is delivered either externally or increasingly internally at the school. Some of our students undertake work experience in the school kitchens under the direction of the executive chef and carry out the whole range of functions – from washing dishes, to preparing and serving food. They learn about how a real workplace environment operates and are expected to do the same work as the professionals.

“The students enjoy the experience because they are given opportunities to take responsibility in a way that might not be possible in other parts of their learning. One student who worked in the school kitchens was offered an apprenticeship thanks largely to this experience and the skills he picked up.”