The culmination of East Coast College’s annual Summer School came together in a presentation at the college’s Great Yarmouth campus where students were presented with certificates recognising their achievements in front of their parents/carers, peers and tutors. Parents were invited to participate in a forum to discuss engaging with parents further from September. Parents were keen to engage in educational sessions themselves, particularly around mental health, community issues including drug and alcohol awareness, crime and relationships. Parents wanted to be involved in helping other parents/carers engage in the college.

East Coast College Deputy Principal, Stella Raphael-Reeves presented these happy students with their certificates on Wednesday 8th August 2018 in a presentation afternoon, to which the students’ parents, carers and peers were invited.

The students studied various topics during the Summer School including Wellbeing, Social Action, Art, Cookery, Sport, IT and Communication and Social Skills.

The students were also awarded with Norfolk Youth Award certificates in ‘Making a Difference in the Community’, ‘Personal Development’ and ‘Working With Others’.

As part of their Social Action topic the students created four specially designed sensory walls for the Wellbeing Day Centre, Lowestoft. The walls have four themes, ‘Outside and Seaside’, ‘Kitchen’, ‘Knitting and Crafts’ and ‘D.I.Y’. The aim of these sensory walls is to help elderly people with dementia and memory problems by allowing them to touch and feel different objects and materials such as pebbles and grass. The centre was so pleased with these sensory walls that they are keen to work with the college and their students again in the future!

As well as this the students also prepared new picture and video maps for their peers who will also be joining the college in September to make their transition to college even easier!

The aim of the Summer School is to give additional transition support to students who may struggle to start mainstream in September. Of the students who attended last year’s Summer School, there was a fantastic 97% retainment rate! The course helps these students to settle in and get to know people and places around the college before they start their full time mainstream education in September. Existing students and Student Ambassadors assisted the new students at the Summer School and were on hand to offer support and advice.

Maria Watson, Wellbeing Co-ordinator at East Coast College said that ‘’the Summer School is inclusive to ensure that it meets all students’ needs. The students worked together and integrated well offering help and support to each other. The Summer School was a real success!’’

One of the students’ mum was overjoyed with her daughter’s experience, ‘’it’s marvellous what the college has done for my daughter during the Summer School, I am very grateful. Your team are so supportive of the students and each other!’’

The students were really pleased with their experience during the summer school and reported ‘’feeling more positive about the future’’ as well as ‘’more confident’’ as a result of the summer school. One student went on to say that ‘’it was a fun experience I will never forget and it’s been the place where I have met new people and made friends!’’ The students have built some great friendships that they will take with them during their time at ECC and beyond!

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