The structure of attending school and education is seen as an essential and important part of the programme.
Three teachers and a teaching assistant staff the classroom at Simmons House. They are employed by the London Borough of Haringey Children and Young People's Service. In common with psychiatric adolescent units in England and Wales, the local Children's Service in which the unit is based takes responsibility for the recruitment, management and training of teaching staff.
Simmons House teaching staff are part of a larger provision with the Haringey Children and Young People's Service: Haringey Tuition Centre based in Bruce Grove, London N17 6NA.
Ofsted inspected Haringey Tuition Centre together with the classroom at Simmons House in November 2014. The report can be viewed on the Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.
The report notes that 'the provision for students at Simmons House is outstanding'.
12 young people at Simmons House receive 12.5 hours of education during the week. Lessons begin at 9.15 am each morning when pupils are collected from the unit sitting room by teaching staff and escorted to the classroom.
The first lesson finishes at 10.30 and the group return to the sitting room for a break and refreshments. Second lesson begins at 10.50 and ends at 11.45.
We teach a broad range of subjects to an individualised curriculum. We aim to provide whatever is best for the learner; from English and Maths to Geology and Driving Theory. You will be made aware of your learning choices, and we will try to accommodate any particular interests you have.
There is a strong arts programme and many students often try learning a new instrument or experiment with new arts or craft skills.
Yes, we are a registered exam centre and have a good exam record, with students who feel able to take exams achieving more than 75% A*-C grades for the last 3 years. In the Summer 2014 series 92% of students passed an exam.
We currently offer qualifications in Functional Skills, GCSE’s, Certificates (iGCSE’s), A-Levels, BTEC, British Safety Council Certificates, Arts Awards and AQA Unit Awards.
If you are on-roll at a school already, we will liaise with them so that you can sit any exams you are ready for here at Simmons House.
You will be in a mixed age and ability classroom and will have an individual curriculum that is suited to your level, so each student will often be doing different work from each other. If there is an opportunity to work with other students on any group work or projects, we will encourage this if we think it would be useful and if you are comfortable with it.
There are two classrooms here at Simmons House. The main classroom is generally busier and more suitable for group work. The other classroom is smaller and quieter, which some students find more comfortable to work in.
We will make contact with your school and, if it is useful, we will continue with school-work from them.
You may also be partially re-integrated back into your school to receive tuition if this will be beneficial for you.
Prior to discharge from Simmons House plans will be put in place for you to re-integrate back to your school, access a college place, start at a new school, alternative education placement or training provision.
This transition will be carefully planned and managed, and will vary for each student. It may involve a gradual integration to the new provision to get you accustomed to it.
An annual favourite with our young people, the Museum of London offers workshops on a different theme each year. Expert guides use a hands-on approach to engage learners to interact with an aspect of local history through story-telling, music, discussion, artefacts and a visit to the museum.
We regularly have visitors from a variety of walks of life. We have had a TV scientist, professional basketball player, celebrity entrepreneur, musician and an animator and we plan to have many more interesting visitors in the future.
Where appropriate we endeavour to facilitate work placements for young people. We have forged good relationships with several charity shops in the local area and most recently had a student visit local youth magazine ‘Exposure’, and attend an induction at Hospice Muswell Hill.
Once a month we have a friendly, furry visitor from Pets As Therapy. The dogs’ visits give young people an opportunity to show caring and kindness and the owners encourage young people to interact socially around a safe topic of discussion. We are currently developing a programme whereby young people can take a dog out for walks in the local area.
We liase with the Housebound Library Service who bring a selection of books each month. The library can provide books to cater to a range of interests and reading levels or on a selected theme if desired.
Every half term the National Gallery’s ‘Take Art Project’ comes to Simmons House. Two specialists bring prints of works displayed in the gallery and students are motivated to respond to the work through discussion, writing and drawing. This exposes them to a wide range of artists and encourages all students to engage with artwork
We appreciate regular visits from a local gardener who helps guide us on the use of our allotment. The allotment includes vegetables, herbs, flowers and a sensory garden. Vegetables and herbs are used in our weekly cooking sessions. Young people participate in planning, planting, maintenance and harvesting and benefit hugely from the encouragement and knowledge of our local expert.
The Into Film programme offers screenings, Q&As and curriculum-linked educational resources. In the 2014 Into Film Festival we saw the animated film, ‘Earth To Echo’ which ties into PSHE and English with themes of heroism, difference, bullying, and the environment.