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Bedford College offer programmes of education for young people and adult working from pre-entry to Higher Education in a wide range of academic and vocational areas. The college successfully support young people and adults to progress into Higher Education and work. The college also provide specialist provision for young people within discrete groups, should you be interested in this offer please refer to our section on Supported Learning Courses.
The college offer a range of support for those young people with an identified Learning Difficulty and/or Disability according to individual need. Typical services provided can include:
• 1-1 or small group support outside of the main class where students may develop study skills, English and/or maths to support them to achieve their main qualification.
• Teaching Assistant support within both structured and un-structured times if appropriate.
• Learning Support Assistants to support with physical and personal care needs if required.
• Specialist exam arrangements
Alongside these services we have specialist Autism, Deaf and Dyslexia Co-ordinators.
The Autism Co-ordinator provides specialist support to both students and staff to promote effective support and student achievement to those on the spectrum, this can include mentoring support, staff development and assessment. The Co-ordinator is supported by an Assistant and together they provide daily drop in sessions for students at both our Cauldwell Street and Shuttleworth campuses.
At our Cauldwell Street site we have a dedicated base room called ‘The Haven’ which students can access throughout the day. The specialist team also work with students to plan social activities which have included bowling, ice skating at Christmas, meals out and an arts evening with pizza!
The Deaf Co-ordinator is herself Hard of Hearing and her preferred method of communication is British Sign Language, this provides her with a unique insight that she is able to utilise to meet the needs of students both in terms of mentoring and pairing to a communicator. The Deaf Co-ordinator delivers training to staff in develop their awareness and BSL communication skills. The Deaf Co-ordinator is supported by a team of experienced communicators.
The team also have two Dyslexia Co-ordinators who provide staff awareness training, specialist teaching and exam arrangements.
The focus of the college support team is very much upon supporting students to become as independent as they possibly can within their learning to support their longer term aspirations.
The service aims to support young people into adulthood through a specialist curriculum within a mainstream setting. Students undertaking courses within the Foundation area have the opportunity to develop their independent living skills within our specialist flat; access the community via our excellent location within Bedford town centre; continue to develop their numeracy and literacy skills across the curriculum. Full time programmes consist of opportunities for students to:
• Develop their work skills by undertaking a weekly supported work placement and dedicated session to support their understanding of the world of work.
• The opportunity to undertake one or more option/s which meet their personal interest and/or career aspirations. These are delivered within specialist facilities by vocational staff with experience of working with young people with additional needs.
• All students will have a dedicated Personal Tutor who works with the student and liaises with parents/carers and other agencies to promote achievement and well-being.
The days and times of our services are unfortunately limited by government funding. Full time programmes for young people aged 16-18 are delivered over 4 days for 32 weeks of the year. Full time programmes for young people aged 19+ over 5 days per week between 10.30-3.00. Students access supported for full time programmes for up to 3 years.
Progression routes for young people from our supported courses are varied with students progressing onto level one or two courses cross college, gaining employment to undertaking a varied programme supported through social care which may include one day a week at college and continuation of their work placement. Student’s progress is regularly reviewed and discussed with the student, parent/carers and relevant agencies to support young people to support transition into adulthood.
Develop Bedford is a unique training provider because we aim to cater for each individual's needs within a nurturing and dynamic environment. The core of our business is aimed at getting young people back into education and employment. We recognise that not every student will have the same requirements, ambitions or indeed problems and what we are really are trying to do here is make a difference to their lives. We try to offer appropriate opportunities to those who may not have attained highest prior achievements.
The key ethos of our provision is:
• A personalised programme for each learner, based on their starting point and their planned destination.
• The opportunity to have achievements recognised through nationally accredited qualifications.
Bespoke term-time programme for students with learning difficulties and disabilities is planned. The primary focus is personal independence. Options can include:
• Vocational Skills in Computing, Child Care and Intro to Hair & Beauty Sector
• Functional Skills Maths & Maths (Entry Level to Level 2)
• GCSE English & Maths
• Foundation for Learning and Life
• Work experience
• Outing and travel training to increase independence
Many students with learning difficulties or disabilities will be working towards supported employment or independent living, but others will be heading for other destinations such Supported Traineeship or an Apprenticeship. A carefully managed programme with support is put in place to enable them to progress successfully
Personal tutors are allocated to each student who provide teaching input, feedback on academic performance, build a close working relationship with the student and provide support on personal issues. Initial Assessment carried out at the start of the programme will assist in identifying the type of support required. Additional one to one support is also provided in the classroom sessions to those with learning difficulties and disabilities. Where needed Job Coaches will accompany some students to support them whilst they are on their work experience.