Students at the college follow an individualised course based on their individual needs and preferences.
The college offers three main course areas and is piloting an adapted supported internship programme for students looking to progress to work. Brochures for each of the three course areas can be found in the Publications section of the website:
A range of relevant and meaningful opportunities are offered to promote independence skills across the community and within residential settings. The curriculum in college and with community partners is established on relevant, practically-based and highly motivating learning opportunities which enable students to explore options and develop skills.
The college uses its expertise around communication and person-thinking tools to help students express their views which are incorporated into their planning and help them to shape their own programmes. All students have individual timetables that reflect activities to support the achievement of long term goals and their individual preferences. Some students have clear ideas about what they like to do, others need to explore options through first hand experience.
Multidisciplinary meetings provide regular liaison between residence and education. Individual tutorials, student diaries and weekly reviews enable the student, tutor, therapists, learning support assistant and the residential support workers monitor progress towards these targets.
Students progress from the course to a range of options including supported living, personalised day services, further learning or supported work as appropriate to each persons needs and aspirations.
Drawing, painting or building pieces of creative work is a great way of enriching and extending any one of our students’ view of the world and that’s why we have a full programme of arts activities that we offer our young people.
We find that natural curiosity, channeled towards exploring, investigating, experimenting, inventing or designing across a range of different media promotes observation and fresh ways of seeing, helping students acquire sensitivity to the visual, spatial and tactile world.
Creative achievements contribute to a sense of personal identity and self-esteem and help to create cultural awareness and empathy. Sensory based activities can help to decrease self-engagement behaviours, promote communication and personal engagement, teach cause and effect, practice skills, make choices and - of course - have fun!
The curriculum through which the student can explore, respond to and interpret the world includes drawing, painting and colouring, printing, clay, construction and working with fabrics or fibres.
We place great value on promoting everyday life skills that can help our young people develop greater levels of autonomy, independence and self-reliance. As with other areas of our work at the Royal College in particular, our approach is tailored to the individual and is ‘person-centred’.
We develop skills across four broad areas: numeracy, communications, literacy and information and communication technologies (often known as ICT). Programmes of development are monitored, reviewed and set in the context of real life situations. Our actual courses include ‘College Newspaper’, ‘Communications’, ‘Everyday Skills’ and ‘Learning to Learn’.
Progression is important, and so our young people will have the opportunity to transfer their skills to employment, work experience or to voluntary work. Qualifications and units can be gained where appropriate, as part of the Foundation Learning Initiative.
Our Citizenship framework at the Seashell Trust is designed to help our children and young people live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives and make a positive contribution to their community.
Confidence, self-awareness and responsibility are central parts of our programme, as well as activities to increase our pupils sense of their own identity as a separate and distinct person through interaction with familiar people and the environment around them.
Self-esteem, self-knowledge and preparing our pupils to play an active role as citizens begins with students interacting with adults they know and other students in familiar one to one activities and small group situations as well as taking part in the regular routines, roles and responsibilities of the classroom and college life.
Right and wrong
Students learn about the right and wrong ways to behave, and about the boundaries set by others and by society. Sex and relationships education is also a part of our framework, which includes clear, explicit and repeated teaching about relationships to avoid confusion. Students may need to know the difference between what is public and private and students with severe learning difficulties may be more open to exploitation and may need additional teaching to help them understand acceptable parameters and behaviours.
At Seashell we also work hard to make the transition into society as safe and as straightforward as possible, with our students learning about money and personal finances, friendships, healthy lifestyles and how to make positive, safe choices in daily life.
Our aim at the Seashell Trust is to give our students the kind of learning opportunities that will support them right through their lives and nowhere is this more true than in our approach to person-centred learning which we call ‘All About Me’.
This approach, which is embedded across all of our curriculum areas, helps our young people develop a better understanding of themselves and their health, hygiene, personal relationships and sexuality. We look at social rules and appropriate behaviour, health, dental and general hygiene, healthy eating, relationships and the fact that we are all different.
Respect and development
All About Me is taught with enthusiasm and interactivity and of course covers a huge subject area. The information given is directly relevant to our young peoples’ lives and helps develop respect, both for themselves and for others.
A total communication approach is adopted for this programme: visual imagery, symbol supported English, power points, tactile reference materials and the use of real objects. We consider individual preferred learning styles and we group our students together with others who have similar needs and communicative aptitudes.
We’re committed to supporting our students in becoming valued and valuable members of the community, and that’s why a vital part of our work is helping our young people develop their vocational skills and equipping them for adult life.
Our vocational studies programme aims to develop our students’ understanding of the world of work, develop career management skills and give them an opportunity to develop specific job related skills that fit both their needs and interests.
The context we set for the programme can be the college itself, the wider community, business or industry. Actual skills we develop can include things like recycling, horticulture, animal management, land based skills, home management, office skills or catering.
Sessions are subject-specific and where possible we encourage our students to move on to gain externally accredited awards (such as Gateway or Edexcel) for preparation for work at entry level as a whole qualification/modular award where identified as a long term goal, sometimes backed up by carefully selected work experience placements.