Ysgol Bro Pedr
School name: Ysgol Bro Pedr
Headteacher: Mrs Jane Wyn
Number of pupils: 1114
Meeting a wide range of pupils’ needs is very important to staff at Bro Pedr school.
The school has an additional special needs department which provides a comprehensive menu of intervention programmes for mainstream pupils as well as Canolfan y Bont (an intensive needs unit for 11-19 pupils which has been established on the school campus) but staff felt it was necessary to provide special provision for a specific group of pupils who were traditionally mainstream pupils but, again, have difficulties to cope with aspects of the curriculum. As a result, the Life Skills Unit was developed.
Some pupils who attend the Unit receive an alternative curriculum altogether while others attend part time, taking advantage of a mix of the Life Skills sessions as well as specific mainstream lessons. This allows them to tailor the schedule to the individual.
“More and more mainstream pupils use the unit first thing in the morning as well as during free periods as we are carrying out a program of activities and clubs such as Lego club, outdoor games etc,” said headteacher Jane Wyn.
“We celebrate this as it means the children don’t feel there is a stigma attached to the unit and it also means that pupils with problems mixing socially are mixing with young people who have more developed social skills, and learn important skills such as eye contact, sharing with others and taking turns. There are 19 pupils currently involved in the unit, whether part-time or receiving full-time alternative curriculum.”
The aim of the Life Skills Unit is to teach a range of skills to pupils so they can live as independently as possible after leaving school. More able pupils at Canolfan y Bont attend sessions according to their needs eg SULP lessons, literacy lessons or social skills.
Some Canolfan y Bont pupils have already successfully completely transferred to the Life Skills Unit which means that they are able to offer further development for those pupils who show clear progress and need a new challenge.
The Life Skills Unit offers a wide range of lessons, for example:
These sessions are held in the Unit’s kitchen and are ideal for those pupils who find it difficult to cope with the school’s food technology room (perhaps because sensory difficulties). These lessons promote healthy eating and explore and discuss the benefits of eating certain foods.
The Unit has an enclosed garden unit that includes a vegetable garden. Pupils at the Life Skills Unit grow fruit and vegetables and use them in their cooking sessions making chutney to sell at the school's Christmas Fair to raise funds for the department. These sessions also teach them about the environment, healthy eating and incorporating elements of the Science curriculum.
The social skills sessions helps students develop important skills such as handling money, dealing with the public, using public transport etc. These sessions also mean the Unit works closely with members of the community - members who will continue to support pupils after they have left Ysgol Bro Pedr.
The Life Skills Unit has access to Lampeter swimming pool as well as a local dance teacher who visits the pupils on a weekly basis in order to work on their movement skills and partnership skills with others.
The Unit offers an individualised transition program which involves the transfer of year 6 to year 7 Bro Pedr. This means that they can become familiar with secondary school systems and to get to know the staff and pupils of the unit so that the transition is smooth.
“We are extremely proud of the pupils and staff at the Life Skills Unit."
The Unit was set to be demolished this summer and a new building erected in its place with modern and purposeful facilities.