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Derwen College

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Awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at three consecutive inspections, Derwen College provides a rich learning environment for young people with many conditions, including learning and physical disabilities, ASD, medical needs and behaviours of concern.

The main campus is located in a village setting near Oswestry with satellites in Walford, north Shropshire; Craven Arms, south Shropshire; and Penley, north Wales.

We offer day provision at each of our sites, with residential accommodation available at the main campus in Gobowen. Houses at Derwen are designed to reflect supported living.

Our specialism is building employability skills through authentic work opportunities in our commercial outlets and off-campus with our partners in the wider community. The vocational options offered are designed to meet industry standards, preparing students for the job market. Pathway areas include:

Hospitality and Housekeeping

Horticulture

Retail

Creative Arts

Work Skills

Individualised learning includes a comprehensive Personal Development and Independence programme. Students are supported to begin learning to care for themselves, shop, cook, develop road safety skills, extend their abilities in inter-personal relationships and take their place in society.

At Derwen College, we believe that students develop their independence best when they work on it in a real environment.

 

Derwen College also offers Short Breaks holiday provision for young adults aged 18 upwards to enjoy a break. Guests can take part in a range of activities and trips, as well as making use of the campus facilities. Short breaks are available year round apart from two weeks closure at Christmas. Find out more here - http://bit.ly/2zQL3Ir

Derwen also provides Supported Internships in partnership with a national hotel chain. Supporting people aged between 18 and 25 with a learning disability or difficulty into paid employment. Derwen Supported Internships offer a hands-on training programme of twelve months based in the workplace, with expert Functional Skills staff providing learning for the student.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a student or any other services available at Derwen College please contact The Admissions Team on 01691 661234 (401) or email admissions@derwen.ac.uk 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Admissions
Telephone
01691 661234
E-mail
enquiries@derwen.ac.uk
Website
Derwen College
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/DerwenCollege/
Twitter
https://twitter.com/DerwenCollege

Where to go

Name
Derwen College
Address
Derwen College
Whittington Road
Gobowen
Oswestry
Shropshire
Postcode
SY11 3JA
Notes

If you are using a satnav please use postcode SY11 3NB which takes you to the Agnes Hunt Village next door to Derwen College.

Other Details

Availability

Age Ranges
Referral Details

Access to all Derwen College programmes involves participation in a pre-entry assessment covering aspects of work skills, functional skills, independence skills and other support services as appropriate to the individual. This assessment, combined with information from schools and other agencies, forms the basis of the students’ initial assessment and informs programme planning and provision of tailored support. 

Other notes

An Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ college delivering work-ready and independence skills to both day and residential students across our large main campus and at our three satellite centres. We accept applications from prospective students from all over the UK.

We focus on individual outcomes for students with a wide range of learning difficulties, disabilities and behaviours of concern. Derwen students are provided with maximum work opportunities through extensive commercial operations and business partnerships. 

Local Offer

Description

Awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at three consecutive inspections, Derwen College provides a rich learning environment for young people with many conditions, including learning and physical disabilities, ASD, medical needs and behaviours of concern.

The main campus is located in a village setting near Oswestry with satellites in Walford, north Shropshire; Craven Arms, south Shropshire; and Penley, north Wales.

We offer day provision at each of our sites, with residential accommodation available at the main campus in Gobowen. Houses at Derwen are designed to reflect supported living.

Our specialism is building employability skills through authentic work opportunities in our commercial outlets and off-campus with our partners in the wider community. The vocational options offered are designed to meet industry standards, preparing students for the job market. Pathway areas include:

Hospitality and Housekeeping

Horticulture

Retail

Creative Arts

Work Skills

Individualised learning includes a comprehensive Personal Development and Independence programme. Students are supported to begin learning to care for themselves, shop, cook, develop road safety skills, extend their abilities in inter-personal relationships and take their place in society.

At Derwen College, we believe that students develop their independence best when they work on it in a real environment.

SEN Provision Type
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Medical, Specific Literacy Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
16 to 18
19 plus
Needs Level
High
Medium
Low

Further Education Colleges

1. Identification of SEND
1.1: How does the College identify those young people with special educational needs and disabilities who have not previously been identified?

Regular and ongoing review through robust systems, as described in the following section, ensure that help is quickly put in place if learner’s progress is not as expected.  Interventions include speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, behavioural support, functional skills support, personal tutor involvement, pastoral support.  Any of these interventions might bring about a review of the individual learning strategies and targets. Throughout learner views and input are paramount.

2. Support for young people with special educational needs
2.1: If a young person is identified as having SEND, who will plan their education programme?

Each student will have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) in place when they start College and a programme will be planned to support the student to work towards their outcomes within these. 

Access to all Derwen College programmes involves participation in a pre-entry assessment covering aspects of work skills, functional skills, independence skills and other support services as appropriate to the individual. This assessment, combined with information from schools and other agencies, forms the basis of the students’ initial assessment and informs programme planning and provision of tailored support.  Once on programme students’ progress is closely monitored to ensure that each individual continues to receive the most appropriate support to enable them to achieve their potential in all aspects of college life.

Pre-Entry Assessment process and programme enquiries: admissions@derwen.ac.uk 01691 661234

2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

Students will have a Review Meeting each year of their programme to report on progress, update the EHCP and discuss transition.  Students will be supported by their Personal Tutor to prepare for this meeting and take an active role throughout.  Review meetings are also a requirement of Local Authorities. The student’s parents/carers and social worker and other named local agencies who support e.g. Careers Advisor will be invited and it is helpful if families can inform the College of changes to their local named contacts.

In the first term of their final year, each student will have a Transition Review Meeting.  This meeting focuses in more depth on the options for the student’s time after College.  Again, the Personal Tutor will support the student to prepare for this meeting and all staff in the meeting will support the student to express their preferences and aspirations for their future.  Transition support from our dedicated Transition Officer starts as soon as the students arrive at College and can continue after the student leaves College, as we recognise that transition can be a difficult time for our students and their families. 

2.3: How will the college balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?

Development of independence skills takes place for all students during timetabled sessions each week and are a combined approach of planned and experiential learning. The aim of independence is to enable students to grow in confidence in living as independently as possible. We work with students using the active support and active participation models. Support Practitioners will actively support and guide students to undertake a range of daily living activities such as shopping, travelling, choosing suitable clothing, preparing a snack or meal and community safety. Programmes are personalised for each individual student enabling students to gain the skills they need to live their lives as they see fit. It is vital that students continue to practice these skills when they go home during holidays, to keep them learning as much as possible.

Outside of timetabled sessions, Derwen’s Support Practitioners will work with students in every aspect of everyday life and activities. Getting to know each student really well, they will find out likes, dislikes and help them settle into college life. Support Practitioners will support students to organise their leisure time, communicate with home and mix and make friends with others. As students become more independent, support may be reduced, but will always be at the right level for the individual.

2.4: How will the College match/differentiate the curriculum for the young person's special educational needs?

In addition to tracking progress against qualifications the college uses a central database for capturing and monitoring progress against individual’s short term targets.  This is accessible to all staff across college who input their comments with regards to progress against specified targets.  This is then used by Programme Managers and Personal Tutors to report progress and review targets.  

2.5: What teaching strategies does the college use for young people with SEND, including ASD, hearing impairment, visual impairment and speech & language difficulties?

All group sizes are appropriate to the support needs of the individuals. 

All staff have appropriate, specialist qualifications – more information is provided later in this document. See section -Do teachers/lecturers have any specific qualifications in SEND?  

2.6: What additional staffing does the college provide from its own budget for young people with SEND?

Not applicable due to the college being a specialist college provider therefore all learners are young people with SEND.

 

 

2.8: What resources and equipment does the College provide for young people with SEND?

All learning areas, including work experience venues have relevant specialist equipment and individualised learning resources to ensure maximum participation and independence for the students working there. Some examples include:

Accessible ICT equipment - Smart boards, voice recorders, big key boards, lower case keyboards, roller ball mice, Zoom text, Read and Write software. The use of Apple, Android and Microsoft tablets in the classroom and beyond. WiFi across the campus. In Vocational areas students have access to the latest printer technologies with voice recognition and adjustable keypads. Photocopiers are available in three different height settings.
Makaton support – Derwen College is Makaton Friendly and has a network of qualified Makaton Tutors. Signing and symbols are widely used across college. Teaching and learning resources are available in text and symbol versions to support comprehension and access. Personalised, pictorial timetables and targets are used where appropriate.  

Accessible resources - Rise and fall desks and work benches, pen grips, large calculators, left handed equipment, easy hold rulers, adapted staplers. Height adjustable sinks in art learning area.  Special equipment available in kitchen and dining halls including left handed cutlery and crockery and soft grip cutlery. Adapted devices to support students with limited mobility working on food preparation. Adapted garden equipment. Accessible pathways, ramps and automatic doors across the campus. 

 

Library facilities - catering for all students reading abilities and interests including popular titles, a selection of low-readability books for entry level students, a selection of talking books and interactive media. 

2.9: What special arrangements can be made for the young person when taking examinations?

Depending on qualifications and levels-Scribe answers, reading questions, video or photographic evidence, electronic digital recording, voice recording.

 

 

2.10: What accredited and non accredited courses does the College offer for young people with SEND?

Students follow personalised Study Programmes specialising in one of the following vocational pathways: Hospitality and Houskeeping, Horticulture, Retail, Creative Arts or Work Skills.

Individualised programmes include vocational and employability skill development alongside independence, health and well-being training.

Learning takes place within real work settings on campus and in the local community. See our website for details of the curriculum offer in each area: https://www.derwen.ac.uk/learning/

The college captures and monitors progress against individual’s short term targets using Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA) process.   

3. The young person's progress.
3.1: How will the College monitor the young person's progress and how will the young person and or parents/carers be involved in this, (if appropriate)?

Each English funded student will have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) and each Welsh funded student a Learning Support Plan (LSP) in place when they start College and a programme will be planned to support the student to work towards their outcomes within these. 

 

Students will have a Review Meeting each year of their programme to report on progress, update the EHCP and discuss transition.  Students will be supported by their Personal Tutor to prepare for this meeting and take an active role throughout.  Review meetings are also a requirement of Local Authorities. The student’s parents/carers and social worker and other named local agencies who support e.g. Careers Advisor will be invited and it is helpful if families can inform the College of changes to their local named contacts.

 

In the first term of their final year, each student will have a Transition Review Meeting.  This meeting focuses in more depth on the options for the student’s time after College.  Again, the Personal Tutor will support the student to prepare for this meeting and all staff in the meeting will support the student to express their preferences and aspirations for their future.  Transition support from our dedicated Transition Officer starts as soon as the students arrive at College and can continue after the student leaves College, as we recognise that transition can be a difficult time for our students and their families. 

3.2: When the young person's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will parents/carers be involved, (if appropriate)?

Parent's and carers are invited to attend each review meeting to discuss outcomes and the progress that the young person has made. Should new targets and outcomes need to be set the young person and their parents / carers will be informed and be involved and their contributions considered.

3.3: ln addition to the college's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for parents/carers to discuss a young person's progress with college staff?

For enquiries about students once on programme the first point of contact is the Student Services Team, who will signpost to the most appropriate person depending on the nature of the enquiry. Parents and carers will have details of key contacts, including the assigned Personal Tutor and Keyworker within the residence in which the young person is based.

 

3.4: What arrangements does the college have for regular home to college contact, if appropriate?

For enquiries about students once on programme the first point of contact is the Student Liaison Team, who will signpost to the most appropriate person depending on the nature of the enquiry

Parents and carers will have details of key contacts, including the assigned Personal Tutor and Keyworker within the residence in which the young person is based.

 

3.5: How can parents/carers support a young person's learning?

Parents/carers are invited, with the first term report, to familiarise themselves with the young person’s targets so that they are able, where appropriate, to support them to continue working towards them in the holiday periods.  It is understood that transition planning is integral to the programme so it is really important that the young person is supported to transfer the skills that they are developing at college. Additionally, parents/carers are invited to the review meetings. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.6: Does the college offer any help for parents/carers to enable them to support the young person's learning, e.g. training or learning events?

Derwen College promotes open communication with parents/carers through methods already described, additionally there are open days and family days.

3.7: How will the young person's views be sought about help they are getting and the progress they are making?

Regular tutorials

Student satisfaction surveys – for current students

Student Union activities – very active at Derwen College with representatives from all departments.

Learner Voice – students involved in all key cross college meetings and take important roles in many aspects of College business including recruitment.

3.8: How does the college assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?

Derwen College has robust quality assurance and performance management systems in place to ensure that we have the right people doing the right job for each student we support. Our consistently high quality of provision is endorsed in the following ways:

Ofsted – The College is inspected by Ofsted and has received a grade 1 Outstanding at the last three inspections

Care Quality Commission (CQC) – The College is inspected by the CQC who confirm that we continue to meet all their standards

Derwen College also holds Matrix Standard.The College embodies the ethos of the Matrix Standard in that it provides a needs-led, student focused service’

Derwen College is Makaton Friendly – Makaton tutors deliver cross-college support to staff and students.

The college has won several national awards in recognition of its commitment to Learner Voice.

Central to this quality system is Strategic Planning and annual Self-Assessment, which informs quality improvement planning for the following year.

Governors and Trustees involvement and responsibilitiesThe governors have board meetings with key staff and in addition, they have link roles with pathway areas. There are termly committee meetings including Business and Finance, Standards and Effectiveness, Human Resources, Estates. In addition, nominated governors attend key college meetings: Student Council, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Appeals, Equality and Diversity.

The College also routinely seeks the views of other groups in different ways – examples include:

Student surveys – for current students

Student destination survey – for former students

Stakeholders survey – for prospective students and their families, parents and carers and professional partners

Employers survey – for work placement providers

The Student Union Board are very active at Derwen College with representatives from all pathway areas.

Learner Voice – students are involved in all key cross-college meetings and take important roles in many aspects of college business, including recruitment.

4. Supporting the young persons wellbeing
4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of young people with SEND?

The Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme underpins students’ experiences in everyday life as young adults. Students learn how to keep themselves and others safe in all aspects of their lives, to think about their role in society and to gain skills to become resilient young adults. Taught sessions include:

Rights and Cultures

Relationships

Online Safety

Drugs and Alcohol Awareness

Moving On

All groups are tailored to the levels and needs of the learners and are current in their content, for example; changes in online apps. The groups are planned with support from the Safeguarding team and Online Safety Coordinator. In addition, bespoke, tailored support is available on relationships from the PSHE and nursing teams. 

British Values and Prevent is embedded into all sessions.

4.2: What support does the college put in place for young people who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support young people to avoid exclusion

The overall aim of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is to improve the quality of the person’s life and the quality of life for those around them. 

PBS means that people receive the right support at the right time.

 At Derwen College, we practice five signs of good Positive Behaviour Support  

  1. Personalisation 
    The support would always be personalised to the individual.

    We would see evidence of consistent actions being taken to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of the person. These actions would have been created or agreed with a student and written into a plan. The actions would support the student to be engaged in activities that were meaningful to them.
  2. Science 
    The support would be based on the scientific understanding of how the student learns and what the behaviour of concern means for the student.
    Practitioners will use standardised assessment tools to inform function-based interventions that are practically applied to the benefit of the student.

    3.  Active Implementation
    The support would be well planned, implemented and monitored.
    There will be clarity around every person’s role and responsibilities together with evidence of good leadership at the service and organisational level. Support would be progressive and developmental for the student and all other people involved, and the least restrictive approach will always be taken. 

    4. Evidence based 
    Support would be based on different kinds of data collected and analysed at all levels in the system. 
    Data will be used to inform assessment, to evaluate intervention, and to monitor and improve the quality of life of the student and others.

    5. Multicomponent interventions
    Support would be implemented at different levels and in different ways.

    We will see proactive strategies to prevent or reduce the triggers and events that evoke or maintain the behaviours of concern. Interventions would be designed to support personal development and the learning and maintaining of new skills. 

    Coping strategies will be prioritised and there would be evidence that the environment had been altered to ensure it was the best possible fit for the Student.   

Our aim is for our students to strive for independence and increase their capability to make positive choices throughout life.

4.3: What medical support is available in the College for young people with SEND?

Students who have specific care needs will be assessed by the nursing team. The nursing team will work with Support Practitioners, parents and professionals to ensure that students have the correct equipment and support whilst at college.

Support Practitioners will provide day-to-day healthcare. Any health concerns will be referred to the Wellbeing Centre or the emergency GP, if out of hours. In the event of an emergency, or a student being taken ill, the student’s next of kin will be informed. Parents will not automatically be informed if the student has a cold or minor injury. In these circumstances, Support Practitioners will always ask the student if they wish to speak to their family.

The Nursing Team can offer:  

  • Nursing assessment
  • Urgent care
  • Wellbeing clinics
  • Support with medication ordering and any changes
  • Wellbeing teaching sessions
  • Easy read health information
  • Advice on diet and nutrition
  • Desensitisation support around health 
  • Multidisciplinary team working and attending reviews
  • Contraception advice
  • Epilepsy support and planning
  • Diabetes care and planning
  • Staff training – diabetes, epilepsy and medication
  • Nursing care plans - long-term/ongoing conditions
  • A weekly GP surgery supported by the nursing team 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Blood testing 
  • Talking therapies and problem solving 

 

Support Practitioners and vocational staff are First Aid trained and when required will have completed the Administering Medication Training. Each student has a medication safe in which their medication and Medication Administration Record (MAR) chart are stored. Students will be assessed for their potential in being able to self-medicate, or self-medicate with supervision. The keys / code for safes will be kept with Support Practitioners whilst some students will have their own. Support Practitioners will administer all medication to students, unless they are able to self-medicate.  

 

Some students will continue seeing their dentist, optician or audiologist when they are at home, others will choose to transfer to a specialist nearer College. If a student has a medical appointment, they will usually be accompanied by a Support Practitioner, unless they have asked to attend independently. Transport will be organised for them where appropriate, but the use of public transport will be encouraged. Nurses may work with the student to prepare them for their appointment. This will include talking about who they are likely to meet, the sort of questions they might be asked and if there is anything they would like to ask the doctor or clinician. The outcome of this appointment will be shared with the support team so it can be added to the student's health record.  

4.4: How does the College manage the administration of medicines?

Support Practitioners and vocational staff are First Aid trained and when required will have completed the Administering Medication Training. Each student has a medication safe in which their medication and Medication Administration Record (MAR) chart are stored. Students will be assessed for their potential in being able to self-medicate, or self-medicate with supervision. The keys / code for safes will be kept with Support Practitioners whilst some students will have their own. Support Practitioners will administer all medication to students, unless they are able to self-medicate.  

4.5: How does the College provide help with personal care where it is needed, for example, help with toileting, eating?

All students will have a Care Plan in place on arrival at College. This will be personalised to them and ensure that their medical and personal care needs are met. It will also include details of their communication preferences, dietary requirements and favourite ways to enjoy their spare time. Care Plans are reviewed each term or if circumstances change. Each student has a Daily Record which is completed by Support Practitioners. It contains details of their day and reflects their current wellbeing. Both the Care Plan and Daily Record are confidential documents and students must give permission before they can be shared with a third party, this includes parents or family members.

All students will have an individual risk assessment which is reviewed regularly or if changes occur. The risk assessment will include specific medical information, details of allergies, as well as any behaviours which could put them or others in danger. Support Practitioners will work with the student to help them understand their risk assessment and agree any actions or measures to be put in place to keep them safe.

5. Specialist services available / accessed at the college
5.1: What SEN support services does the college use, e.g. specialist support workers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?

Highly specialist therapists at Derwen College work together as an integrated team. The therapy team is made up of Counselling, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy.   

Therapy at Derwen College is delivered with an integrated focus across residential, vocational and education settings. Knowledge and expertise is shared to ensure that the most relevant therapy is provided in a timely way as students' needs change. The team meet to review targets, recognise progress and identify the support students will need at college to be successful and achieve their goals. 

The team uses the universal, targeted and specialist model to deliver the service, which is based on individual student need and assessment.

5.2: What should a parent/carer do if it is considered that a young person needs support from one of these services?

Contact the Admissions Team admissions@derwen.ac.uk 01691 661234

 

5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?

Speech and language therapy, occupational therpary and physiotherapy can be provided by qualified therapists on site.  It is available as identified through assessment and in agreement with the Local Authority.

See previous sections - What SEN support services does the college use?

 

5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?

Contact the Admissions Team admissions@derwen.ac.uk 01691 661234

 

5.5: What arrangements does the college have for liaison with Children's and Adult's Social Care services?

See previous section -How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

In addition parents and relevant Local Authority stakeholders are invited to attend a Transition Meeting which takes place in the first term of the final year, thus allowing good time to plan for next steps, which includes the summative review.

6. Training of college staff in special needs
6.1: What SEND training is provided to teaching staff?

In addition to statutory training requirements Derwen College has a culture of continual improvement and encourages staff to develop their vocational and professional expertise in line with the evolving needs of our student group. 

All staff have an induction with full health & safety, safeguarding. All teachers have teacher training qualifications level 4 or above and vocational specific qualifications.

All staff have the opportunity to access specialist training in A.S.D., A.D.H.D., dyslexia, Makaton, POVA, deprivation of liberties, understanding mental health, understanding diabetes, epilepsy, nutrition & health,  equality & diversity, safe guarding medicines, infection control, working with individuals with learning difficulties, preparing for work in social adult care. 

6.2: What SEND training is provided to support staff?

All learning support staff are qualified to level 2 or level 3.

All staff have the opportunity to access specialist training.

All care staff are qualified to N.V.Q level 2 or above and take mandatory courses. See previous SEND training section. 

6.3: Do teachers/lecturers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

We have some staff with specialist SEND qualifications – examples include: dyspraxia, applied behavioural analysis & challenging behaviour, A.S.D, A.D.H.D., functional skills, teaching learners with learning difficulties and disabilities, Makaton - trainers delivering cross college support to staff and students.

6.4: Do learning support assistants or other staff have any specific qualifications in SEND?

We have some staff with specialist SEND qualifications – examples include: dysphasia, family therapy, professional counselling, speech and language therapy. See previous SEND training and qualification section.

7. Activities outside the college including trips
7.1: How does the College ensure young people with SEND can be included in out of College activities and trips?

Leisure Time

Derwen College offers students a wide range of social and extra-curricular activities both on and off site. Throughout the evenings and weekends, students can join clubs, which include yoga, musical theatre, motor club, College Band and hula hooping. The Student Union is regularly open at break times, evenings and weekends. It provides a place to meet with friends, play pool, games or watch a film. There is a regular disco night as well as special events such as the Halloween Night, Fireworks display, Christmas Ball and the Summer Prom.

Students may also make use of local facilities such as The Venue or go shopping in the local village or town.

 

Trips

Students at Derwen have regular opportunities to go on organised activities off-site including going bowling, theatre trips, football matches, visiting museums and stately homes, shopping locally and by train, going to attractions such as Chester Zoo, Cadbury World and Llangollen Steam Railway.

 

Sports Opportunities

The sport and exercise opportunities on offer include basketball, boccia, dance, football, rounders, netball, walking, new age kurling and swimming. All of these activities can be enjoyed on campus as we have our own indoor heated swimming pool, sports hall, dance studio, fully equipped gym and football field.

In swimming sessions students can learn how to swim, develop their water skills and work towards Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) recognised distance awards. There is also the annual Swimming Gala in the summer term.

With strong links with community clubs and organisations, external sport and exercise opportunities are available for all to enjoy. In football, the College is represented in the 3 Counties Football League, North Wales Pan Disability league and partners with Chester FC Community Trust. Derwen College also works with Shrewsbury Town FC and current Welsh Premier League champions, The New Saints. The College has a female football team which benefit from weekly coaching sessions with Chester Football Club coaches. The female team have played at the King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City FC and some of the students play for the Shrewsbury Town Down Syndrome Team.

Through North Shropshire Special Olympics, weekly groups attend boccia, swimming, badminton, table tennis and athletics sessions externally. Students get the opportunity to compete in these sports as well as skiing.

Derwen College is also proud to have strong links with Shropshire Cricket Board, Shropshire Paddle Sports, Phenzync, The Tennis Foundation/LTA, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, which provide further opportunities for the students.

 

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Students have the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme while at Derwen College. There are three levels to the award and students are required to carry out volunteering, learn a new skill, take part in a physical activity and complete an expedition. The Award gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves, make new friends and try something new. There is a presentation of the awards in the summer term once the expeditions are complete.

7.2: How does the College involve young people and/or parent/carers in planning activities and trips?

Students’ needs and wishes are taken into consideration during the planning of social and leisure trips, and they are actively encouraged to share their ideas regarding future outings.

8. How accessible is the college environment?
8.1: How accessible is the building for young people with mobility difficulties including wheelchair users?

Derwen College main campus is fully accessible. Most accommodation, teaching and learning areas areas are single storey or have lift access.

8.2: Have adaptations/improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

As previously described Derwen College is a specialist college and therefore adaptations are made throughout.

8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?

Disabled toilet facilities are found across the campus and in public areas. Some rooms in residences have hoists and en-suite facilities to meet student needs.

8.4: How does the College ensure that all the facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?

Derwen College is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities in all its services. We believe that all forms of prejudice and discrimination are unacceptable. 

We seek to ensure that everyone is able to reach their full potential and to do this we want to create a working and learning environment where we are equality confident. This means that everyone is encouraged to participate and feels that their contribution is valued. The college is committed to supporting and actively encouraging a diverse community.

8.5: How does the college communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?

Derwen College is using the legal framework as a basis for activity specifically relating to race, disability and gender, though our Single Equality Scheme includes all seven strands: race, disability, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation, age and gender identity/transgender. All queries are dealt with on an individual basis.

8.6: How does the college communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?

All cases are dealt with on an individual basis. Welsh speakers are available and we would endeavour to accommodate specific requests if possible.  Derwen College is using the legal framework as a basis for activity specifically relating to race, disability and gender, though our Single Equality Scheme includes all seven strands: race, disability, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation, age and gender identity/transgender.

9. Preparing to join the college / next stage of education
9.1: What preparation will there be for both the college and the young person before he or she joins the college?

Derwen College provides lots of opportunities for prospective students and their families to come along and see our facilities and find out about our provision, for example, family days, open days, Summer fete and Short Breaks provision. The admissions process includes visits, assessments, refresher visit opportunities and taster sessions that are all excellent ways of supporting transition into College life.  School visits to the College can also be arranged. 

9.2: How will the young person be prepared to move on to the next stage within the college?

At Derwen College, students will experience real work situations within a supported structure.  Students will access work experience placements on campus and most will progress on to an external placement in the local area. The Work Experience and Transition Team provide support, advice and guidance around all aspects of external work experience and transition. External placements are arranged by the Work Experience Coordinator and are linked to the curriculum area. This could be a placement at one of our satellite sites or within the local community with one of our many employer partners. These include national chains such as Premier Inn, Co-op, Spar as well as local horticulture placements, café establishments and shops. The team work pro-actively to link work experience opportunities back to the student’s home area wherever possible and parent/carer support and local knowledge is vital to this process. If the student wishes to participate in work experience in their home area during the College holidays, the Transition Coordinator can liaise with the local careers adviser to assess feasibility and assist in making the necessary arrangements. If your son/daughter already undertakes work experience or paid employment, please let the Transition Coordinator know and they will endeavour to continue the placement at the closest branch where appropriate. Transition and work experience opportunities will be discussed in detail at the annual review meeting.

9.3: How will the College work with the organisation(s) to whom the young person will progress?

please see above

9.4: How will the college prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?

please see above

10. Who can parents contact to discuss a young person?
10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if a parent/carer wants to discuss something about the young person or is worried?

If the enquiry is before enrolment contact the Admissions Team admissions@derwen.ac.uk 01691 661234

If the enquiry is after the young person has joined the college contact the Student Services Team - 01691 661234

10.2: Does the college offer any specific support for parents/carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)

Open and clear lines of communication as previously described staff employed specifically for parent/student liason. We also encourage links with parent and carer groups.

10.3: What arrangements does the college have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?

The college has links with many specialist support services  such as advocacy support and medical referals.

10.4: What arrangements does the college have for feedback from parents/carers, including compliments and complaints?

If you wish to give feedback to the College, make a complaint, or compliment a staff member, there are a number of ways in which you can do this. You can contact the College directly using the contact details below. Alternatively, you may fill in a feedback slip or complete the annual survey.  All parents are invited to complete the survey and the results are available on the website or on request. All residences have feedback slips which are available to students, families and visitors.

Derwen College has a Complaints Policy which is available on the website. If you are unable to access the website and wish to see the Complaints Policy please contact the College.

Any other concerns or complaints raised should be reported to the Company Secretary by writing to the College, phoning on 01691 661 234, or by email at: haveyoursay@derwen.ac.uk

All complaints will be dealt with and investigated according to the Complaints Policy. 

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