All children are different and all children learn differently. At the centre there is the flexibility for learning to be as structured or unstructured as the child needs. For example:
For younger children their learning may be more play based which may be random and perhaps dependent on their peers.
For for children who need more structure to their learning or older children who are working towards qualifications or building a portfolio of skills, we are able to facilitate the following:
Our approach can be holistic and structured, it can involve child lead, project based learning if the child prefers. This approach involves the child taking responsibility for their learning, which will help the child to recognise their skills and passions, as well as help them work out how they learn most productively. This approach also helps to improve the child’s confidence, self esteem and overall life skills as well as the child’s learning skills. The adults at the centre act more as an intuitive guide and facilitator (rather than a teacher) and encourages the child with positive reinforcement and constructive feedback throughout the whole process. The process can involve the following steps:
- Rapport Building – This session helps the adult and child build a rapport so that, the child can learn to trust the tutor and will know that the adult has the child’s best interests at heart. It also enables the adult can get a sense of how the child interacts and learns best.
- Feasibility – Discussing and agreeing the initial learning project.
- Project Planning – The child will plan the project which will include documenting it and working out what resources are required
- Timescale – Setting the timescale for the project
- Research – Researching any gaps in the child’s knowledge, this may be required to enable the child to implement the project.
- Implementation – Doing the project and collecting evidence of progress throughout the project.
- Evaluation – Evaluating what was learned at the end of the project both positive and negative and what may have been done differently next time.
We call these sessions Alternative because they are totally different to anything offered by conventional education. This holistic approach also enables a child to find out about themselves on an emotional and spiritual level, helping the child to integrate and communicate with others and becoming more able to empathise in the community.
Our sessions are not considered as schooling as there is no curriculum and the children will attend less than 18 hours a week so therefore there is no need for OFSTED registration. They are more like an alternative therapy (including life coaching, mindfulness, animal therapy, bushcraft and survival skills, gardening) which is delivered through the activity of doing projects and activities that the child wants to do.
This approach enables beneficial discussion with adults and peers, helping the child to open up and talk comfortably about issues that may be affecting them and what can be provided to help the child help themself.