The SMILE Trust is a federation of one secondary and three primary schools, which is developing two distinct residential programmes. Together, the schools hire a holiday cottage in the nearby Peak District during term times, year-round. The owners can still hire the property out at full price to holidayers outside of term-times and appreciate the reliable income, so have been able to offer the schools an affordable deal. This gives the schools a regular venue to run small group residentials.
The Family Residential Programme
This programme involves families from all the partner schools, using a family-based learning approach with cooking and the arts as the lead into parenting and family learning. The rationale for the family-based learning residentials is to identify and support families in need and in crisis, providing the life skills required to become self-reliant, successful and ambitious, and to help them become inclusive members of society. For the young people the intention is to re-engage them with learning and school life, raising aspirations and attainment. The children in the targeted families attend two three-day residentials at the cottage. They are supported to gradually take on responsibility for planning the catering, chores and activities. Three months after the start of the programme, the whole family go away together. Newall Green’s innovative family programme forms part of Kate Breeze’s PhD research into engaging families through residential programmes (University of Cumbria).
Behaviour Management Residentials
The Behaviour Management residentials are a series of two-night residentials with activities built around the in-school behaviour management strategies for targeted groups of disaffected students. Overseen by a Youth Worker, residential activities are designed to support the emotional health and wellbeing of the students and encourage them to develop their self esteem, confidence and resilience in order to re-engage them with education.
“This has been a real opportunity to trial something that we passionately believe will have benefits for the families, the school and the community. We are already seeing so many benefits that are extending across school.”
Learning Away Coordinator, Newall Green High School, SMILE Trust Partnership