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The Greenside STudio has been awarded an Autism Accreditation Excellence Award by the National Autistic Society.
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The Greenside Studio is a specialist, vocational teaching resource, based within the heart of the school’s local community. A ”living classroom”, this local shop premises provides young people who have severe or profound learning difficulties with exceptional opportunities to undertake work related learning, including vocational courses designed to develop communication, social-interaction and independence skills.
The Greenside Studio is open through the year, including Saturdays and is based at The Hyde Shopping Centre, Stevenage.
The purpose of the Greenside Studio is to extend learning...
- Into the local community
- Beyond the school day
- Into the weekend
- Into the school holidays
- Beyond the age of 19.
- Beyond the classroom into the world of work.
A living classroom
The Greenside Studio is a "living classroom" and provides all the facilities and resources you would expect to find within a classroom. The development of key skills such as literacy, numeracy and ICT skills underpins the teaching and learning that takes place at The Studio.
Community based learning
The Greenside Studio provides a base from which young people can learn those skills that will enable them to gain as much independence as possible, including:
- Preparing their own lunch
- Develop independence in travel
- Develop confidence within the community
- Foster self esteem and a sense of being part of the wider community.
Work related learning
The Greenside Studio is a social enterprise that is open to the public 6 days a week from 10am to 5 pm throughout the year and provides exceptional opportunities for learning a range of vocational skills.
There are 2 main elements to the enterprise – the selling of a wide range of sweets and confectionary as well as the provision of a ceramic studio, where members of the public can come to paint figures and ornaments.
Young people are given real life opportunities to:
- Serve members of the public,
- Measure out quantities of sweets,
- Handle cash,
- Check the stock,
- Buy stock from the warehouse,
- Produce goods to sell.
- Work to deadlines.
- Pour slip clay into moulds and produce bisques to sell.
Extended work experience
The Greenside Studio is also a base from which extended work experience in local shops, businesses and community groups can be supported by members of staff from Greenside.
The Greenside Studio also provides opportunities to develop creative skills, especially in pottery, ceramics and photography.
The Greenside Studio offers a base from which a wide range of externally accredited courses can be undertaken.
A resource for the whole community
The Greenside Studio is a facility that is for the whole community. The studio is used to host workshops for parents and carers; meetings of community groups, as well as facilitating a range of creative evening events for young people.
Assessing the Impact on learning and outcomes
In 2013 Dr. Lawson of The University of Exeter undertook a research study investigating the additional learning opportunities provided by The Studio. The findings were published in the SLD Experience (Spring 2014). This concluded that establishing a teaching and learning resource in the heart of the wider community has not only had a huge impact on the learning, progress and achievements, it has also enabled the school to extend the transition process for life after school, which has been of particular value for students with ASC. The resource has raised the profile of the school within the community, providing a positive image of the potential and abilities of our young people, confronting prejudice and transforming expectations.
The level of independence that students are demonstrating has developed significantly. This is because students have the opportunity to practice their skills, whilst teachers gradually extend the level of challenge. For example students combine their enterprise work with planning their meals for the week, considering aspects such as balanced diets and budgets. Students have learnt to use the super market opposite the studio, prepare their meal and wash up with minimal support.
For some young people the transition from school to college can be stressful. The Studio has offered opportunities for some to maintain their relationship with Greenside whilst continuing their vocational learning.
The Studioprovides a base from which work experience in the neighboring shops is supported by members of staff from Greenside, this will be extended through the introduction of supported internships, with staff undertaking training as job coaches with the aim to enable students to access paid employment.