UPDATE Oct 2016: 23 NEW college students, who are currently studying Public Services, will be joining the programme as part of their work placement section from January 2017. This will allow students to see a range of topics that are delivered in schools and will provide an insight into what specialism each service offers.
CHOICE is a project for young people aged between 9 and 11 based in the Pontefract and South East areas. The programme is in its fourth year with much success behind it. There are plans to continue the roll out further to other schools across the district in the future. CHOICE is funded by Pontefract Education Trust, Pontefract Academies Trust, Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, WDH and Casey's Construction. Eleven feeder schools have participated in the project. All pupils will be transferring to the Kings High School, Carleton Community High School, Minsthorpe Community College and Hemsworth Arts & Community College. The aim of the project is to increase school attendance and attainment by making positive choices and becoming a positive member of society. The CHOICE programme takes place over 30 weeks and is delivered over four terms.
The launch of this year's programme was held within each designated school during October and November 2015. Children were presented with their uniform and timetables for the forthcoming year. All parents attended the launches and were able to discuss the timetable and its content with staff. Schools Classroom based sessions are held at the schools; In Pontefract, The Rookeries School, Carleton Park Junior & Infant School, De-Lacy Primary, Orchard Head , St Giles and Cobblers Lane Primary. In South Kirby; Kinsley Primary, Stockingate Mill Primary, Northfield Primary, Moorthorpe Primary, and Upton Primary.
Guest speakers came in from West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire Service, WDH, Wakefield Youth Offending Team, the Magistrates Court, British Transport Police, Barnardos, Wakefield College, School Nursing and Health.
The key focus of the course is to identify the consequences of behaviour, inspire learning and highlight career opportunities. There are 3 main sections to the programme totalling 18 of the 30 weeks; this is further complimented by a wraparound of other agencies.
The Police Explorers course is a six week course looking at careers and aspirations in the Police Force as well as the consequences of criminal behaviour. The classroom based sessions are focused on keeping safe, internet safety, stranger danger and hate crime. There are also sessions looking at careers and what the Police do on a day to day basis. Visits to the Magistrates Court and Custody Suite form a crucial section of the Police Explorer course allowing children to see exactly how the Criminal Justice System works.
The young Fire Fighters course is a six week course with offers a compact structured package allowing children the opportunity to use the fire hoses, ladders, access the smoke house and become involved in engaging classroom debates. The course covers all aspects of fire safety including arson, car collisions and hoax calling. Children work hard together as a team during the six weeks they spend at the Fire Station in order to perform a fire drill and Passing out Parade. The course concludes with the Fire Service Commander handing out certificates of achievement to all pupils. Parents, partners and children enjoy the day and feel immensely proud.
The FABB course is a six week course focusing on relaxation and anger management equipping children with techniques in order to manage challenging situations. It includes Indian Head Massage, Quantum Touch and Reiki. Children know how to use these techniques on others by the end of the course. Sessions in Diversity conclude the course where children understand that we are all the same but different. The course uses Indian culture to demonstrate the difference using, clothing, photographs, footage and food tasting
The graduations for 2016 will be held at the Pontefract Town Hall and the Westfield's Centre in South Elmsall. Certificates of Achievement will be presented to all pupils. The progress of all children will be monitored throughout their post-11 ed