In the past, our business enterprise modules consisted of a post-16 café and a post-16 produce sale. Our post-16 produce sale did so well at school that our students decided they wanted to continue it but on a bigger scale. We all sat down together to brainstorm how this would be possible.
The students decided that we should purchase an allotment. We have spent the first half of our autumn term last year marking out our beds, building our raised beds and clearing away nettles. The students helped choose the types of plants we would have and the produce we would sell by looking at our sales from last year’s produce sale to see what sold well.
In July 2016 we had our very first pop up stall at St Albans market. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, one student said it ‘was the best day of my life'. Our stall was full of all our produce and crafts, by the end of the day we had nothing left. The local support we had was truly unbelievable and the students were so proud to showcase their hard work.
The elements in each student’s curriculum can be drawn from:
Functional skills including, English, Maths and ICT
Vocational skills (eg Horticulture and Business Enterprise)
Preparation for work experience, work experience tasters or longer work experience placements (depending on student needs and year group)
Personal and social development (including life skills, self help skills, sex and relationship education, etc)
Leisure, sport, health and wellbeing.
Our modules are practical, so for the Business Enterprise module last year, students ran the post 16-café, distributing order forms to customers, ordering supplies, preparing and serving food, and counting their profits, which they spent on visits to the gym and sports club.
In the community, our post-16 students learn to:
Use public transport
Shop in small, local and larger supermarkets
Use cafés and restaurants
Use community sport and leisure facilities
Visit all sorts of places both local and further afield, including country parks, museums, libraries, banks, sports centres, the hairdressers, the cinema, the recycling centre and the dentist
Complete work experience
Take courses at local colleges, for example in Horticulture and Agriculture
Ski at the Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre
We are always looking out for new community-based activities to follow our students’ interests. For example, we enjoyed yoga, music and movement so much that we asked a local leisure centre to run an activity for us. They set up dance classes, and we gave performances.
"We aim to empower our students so that they can feel proud and accomplished about the way they choose to live their life."