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Tees Valley SEND Enterprise Challenge Week 2022

A memorable week full of exciting activities was had by all during the SEND Enterprise Challenge Week this year,

9 of our local Special Educational Needs/Disability (SEND) and Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) provisions took part in the programme which included 584 students, across 65 classes, covering Years 7-14. The following schools who took part were

  • Abbey Hill Academy
  • Beverley Academy
  • Beaumont Hill
  • Catcote Academy
  • KTS Academy
  • Kirkleatham Hall School
  • Mo Mowlam Academy
  • Priory Woods Academy
  • River Tees MAT

The week comprised of various challenges each day for the students to take part in. All activities were aimed at building on the students’ employability and enterprise skills to help them become work ready.  Some new resources were created for this year to make the week accessible for all whilst ensuring the challenges and activities were easily adaptable to suite all student levels/capabilities.

The event was run as a pilot last year which was the first time we had facilitated an event collaborating across the SEND/SEMH schools in Tees Valley. Due to the success of the pilot, we have now added the Enterprise Challenge week to our yearly careers calendar.

All schools were given a small budget to purchase materials/resources they required. All classes were asked to complete a scrapbook during the week as a record of the fantastic work they completed, and it also gave the students the opportunity to showcase their work to each other.

Due to Covid, many of the schools have not been allowed to have visitors come to the school or go on external trips so this week really gave them the opportunity to meet new people and experience new things.

We utilised Teams to facilitate the week which worked fantastically well. We were able to bring students together from as far as Brotton to Hartlepool without them leaving their own school building. We were able to bring in employers, colleges, and training providers to speak to all the students. Teams also allowed the teachers to upload photos and comments during the week, sharing best practice.

We welcomed employers to take part which included

  • PC Coggins from Cleveland Police – Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team
  • Dylan Smith from Storey Contractors
  • Pam Green, Graham Construction
  • Avril Mckenna, NHS

The employers were able to speak to all students via Teams and tell them about their job role and the jobs that are available to students with additional needs within their company/sector. The students were also able to ask questions of the employers live on teams which they really enjoyed and came up with some great questions. It was evident to see the students becoming more confident as the week progressed and they had the opportunity to use their communication and listening skills.  The employers also joined us at the end of the day to see the work the students had produced during their daily challenges and provide feedback. All the employers where amazed at the level of effort that the students had put into their work and were very impressed with their creativity and team working skills.  Special thanks go to Storey Contractors who also sponsored the event, allowing the purchase of more trophies and resources.

This year we included a `Next Steps` Day following feedback from teachers who had said that the students had missed out on some college visits due to Covid. We had Q&A sessions from

  • Middlesbrough College
  • Redcar College
  • Prior Pursglove College
  • Stockton Riverside College
  • Hartlepool College
  • Project Choice

As part of the day, we also linked in with Learn Live and joined the live broadcast which was aimed at students within SEND/SEMH settings and moving on.

The students particularly enjoyed the `Egg-Parachute` and `Dessert Island` Challenges as you can see from the photos. The students had to use their teamwork and communication skills across both challenges as well as being creative and adapting to challenges when first attempts didn’t quite work showing excellent resilience attributes.

The week ended with a celebration day where trophies were awarded for different categories such as `Amazing Teamwork` & `Excellent Listening Skills`. We included a new category this year which was the `Student Award`, each school and class were asked to nominate a student who they felt had worked exceptionally well during the week or had really stepped out of their comfort zone Congratulations to the students who received them, they were very well deserved.

Well done and congratulations to all the students who took part in the week.

You are all AMAZING!

All the resources from the week are available here, and more pictures from the day can be found here.