Respect4us is an alternative education provider. Staffed by educational professionals it provides an alternative curriculum for secondary school children who have failed to make progress in the mainstream educational system. Taking referrals directly from schools it caters for three groups of young people;
- those who have ceased attending school,
- those whose behaviour in the classroom has become too difficult or too expensive in terms of time and money for hard-pressed schools to manage,
- those who have been excluded from mainstream school and who are receiving only part-time education.
Respect4us is not a school, nor is it a vocational education provider. Our approach is holistic and child-centred aimed at nurturing the young person's confidence and identifying with them their unique qualities and potential to be successful, happy and fulfilled human beings.
How we work
We take young people out of their schools for one or more days a week to take part in learning experiences that do not normally occur in the classroom. Our youngsters are all different but usually share some or all of these characteristics:
low confidence and self-esteem, multiple personal and family problems that have prevented them benefiting from traditional schooling, poor attendance at school, weaknesses in functional skills, low levels of concentration and a tendency to be easily distracted, a history of poor behaviour and frequent exclusions from school.
Our ethos is holistic and child-focused, aimed at raising self-esteem and nurturing the skills and attributes that the individual needs for personal happiness and to make a positive contribution to his or her community and society. Our first aim is to give young people an experience of learning that is engaging and fun so they want to come back to us. Sometimes it can take weeks to get a young person to start attending. We sit on doorsteps, hang around outside houses, talk to parents and carers and eventually we win! Having attended once or twice invariably we have no problem getting the young person back. We have many success stories and very few failures.
Young people work on team projects to develop confidence and social skills and we adopt an oblique approach to the teaching of functional skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT.
The learning environment is consistently firm, tough and challenging while being patient, tolerant and demonstrating a commitment that our young people know is unconditional. The ethos we create is that of the caring and supportive family. Each young person is individually mentored and has a tailored learning programme so that his or her particular needs are met. In developing our programmes we talk with and are guided by the school teachers and parents as well as the young people.
At the end of each day the staff meet as a team to review the day, debrief each other and to discuss what we have learned about the young people and their needs during the day. This reflection at the end of the day means we are continually improving our practice, learning from each other and fine tuning our programmes. What's more nobody goes home at the end of the day without having shared their disasters as well as successes. Despite being engaged in difficult and stressful work, we support each other in living stress-free lives.
Respect4us Learning without schooling