14 Jun

This week I have spent much of my time planning for September. Our pathways students have been based at our Medtia Square campus for two years and it has made a significant impact on learning, progress and achievement for our students. Our students have improved their independence and love being in the town centre. In September, we are anticipating growth again of almost 25% in pupil numbers on pathways. This will mean us creating a second Digit4ll pathway group and a second Pre-Internship group. As you know, we also share our building with New Bridge Horizons, which also continues to grow, with an expected 25-30 new young people joining the provision in September. Factoring our joint growth together, we have no option but to explore options around premises. It is anticipated that within the next 6-12 months, the Pathways and Future Finders provision will move to their own campus within the town centre of Oldham. We are exploring appropriate buildings and we will, of course, keep you updated at every stage of this journey. It is really exciting to build upon our successes and I can guarantee that we are absolutely committed to ensuring that our pathway students continue to be based in the town centre as this is the most appropriate destination to prepare our students for employment and independence in the future.

Now for an update from some of our staff and students, starting with our Pre-Interns..

A day in the life of Kieran
Atrium Café at First Choice Homes Oldham

I start my working day by travelling independently on the tram to Medtia. I meet my friends at Medtia and have a chat and then I go into our classroom to do the register, talk through my day or finish any work for my lessons.

At 9:30 it’s time to go to my work placement. I sign myself out at reception and carry the bread trays over to the café. When I get there I say good morning to Becki and Sammy, put my coat and phone away, put on a clean apron then wash my hands.

My first job is loading the trolley with the tea, coffee, milk, sweeteners and sugar. I get the clipboard and write the date on a new tick list then push the trolley around the kitchens on the different floors of the offices, working with another student to check what is needed before replenishing the items.

I like checking the dates on the milk because I know my dates and if I find old milk that is past its use by date, I empty it down the sink and put the fresh milk in the fridge. When we have done each kitchen I complete the tick list so Becki knows what has been replenished.

After this job it’s time to set up for the trolley run. I have to wipe and dry the trolley then load the trolley with two of each item. I like doing this as I can arrange the items in different ways but it can be tricky to fit everything on.

Next I get some money in the cash box, collect the clipboard with the stock list and prices then push the trolley around the floors where the office staff work. I don’t like speaking on the trolley run but I do like working out the change and giving it to the customers.

When I have finished the trolley run, I put any unsold items away then put the money back into the till and input the sold items into the iPad.

For the next part of the morning, I have a 10 minute break then I have to wrap the cutlery. At first I found this job hard to do but now I can do it really well. Next I clean the tables then get the desserts ready for Medtia. I read the list then count out the items and put them in the tub ready for the staff to collect.

Then I either work in the kitchen doing some food prep or I work on my money skills with my job coach. I prefer working in the kitchen because I get to make sandwiches and plate up the meals for Medtia, when I do my Maths I choose items from the café, add them together to find the totals then do my take away sums to work out the change. Working in the kitchen is much more fun!

Next it’s time to serve the staff. I work behind the counter using the iPad to input customers’ orders and take payments then I serve the customers their meals. I have to say their names before I give them their meals. This is so I know I’m giving the right lunch to the correct person.

Then I have my dinner and I really enjoy eating my meals in the café because I get to see how they are made.

After my dinner, I collect the dirty plates and go on the pot-wash. This can be a very busy job. I have to scrape the plates, rinse them, load the dishwasher, wait for the cycle to run then let the plates air dry for a little bit, then unload the pot-wash, put the dishes away then do it all again but I can do this job really well.

For the last hour of my placement I clean the tables and wrap more cutlery. After this I check if anything needs replenishing. I like re-stocking the drinks and can do this job independently. I always rotate the stock, putting the new drinks at the back of the fridge and the older drinks to the front of the fridge. The last job I do is take the rubbish and cardboard out and put them in the correct bins.

I finish my placement at 14:15. I put my dirty apron in the wash bag, collect my belongings and say goodbye to the staff. Back at Medtia I have some free time before we all get together as a group and talk through our day. I like being in the pre-internship. We work hard but still have time to have a laugh.

At 15:10 I get to go home but I like to have a look around Sainsburys before I catch my tram.

I’m delighted that the Oldham Chronicle chose to feature our work with The Atrium Café and First Choice Homes as part of the celebrations for Learning Disability Pride Week – please click here to read the article they published.

This week our job coach Bethany brings us an update on our work experience students at both Hortus and the RSPCA..

Since coming back from half term, we have been really busy at Hortus. Every Monday morning Grace and Josh from Medtia have been going down to the Learning Centre, each week they have been learning new things about horticulture that they didn’t know. On the first week back, we have been catching up on the maintenance in the polytunnel. Josh did a fab job weeding between the tomato plants and making sure that no weeds affect the growth of the tomato plants.

This week we have been helping again with the tomatoes and setting up canes for the vines to grow up. Both Grace and Josh have been really good at this and have helped each other to position where the canes would go before tying them together so the tomato vines can grow..

Later on Grace has also been picking lettuce, she has learnt where the best place is to pick a lettuce leaf off and how to clean it ready to be bagged up..

Now to our other placement; on Fridays, Kerrie and Lewis from the Learning Centre have been carrying out work experience at the RSPCA. Both Kerrie and Lewis have settled in well over the last half term and are getting to know the routines. Both Kerrie and Lewis are attentive to the needs of all the cats that are currently there and understand that each cat is different. Over the last half term both Kerrie and Lewis have understood the importance of the quality nurturing time with each cat..

As you can see from all the pictures, Grace and Josh and Kerrie and Lewis have all been enjoying themselves and they should be all be proud of all the hard work that they have been putting in!

I’d like to finish by saying a huge congratulations to the students who have completed their Gold qualifying Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition this week! They have had the weather against them but have had a brilliant time – more on that in next week’s blog.

Daniel
Head of Key Stage 5 Pathways

You can view our previous blog entries here

News from the Learning Centre and New Bridge School can be found here

Click here for this week’s news from Graham