Text: Partnership Officers
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Deborah King                 Angela McDonald


The Partnership Officers aim to co-ordinate and support the development of Community Learning and Development services within Our Lady’s.  They are based in the school and work closely with education staff in particular the Pupil Support Team.

On a day to day basis this can mean

  • running support groups for young people to address a specific need,
  • meeting with young people individually to offer support
    with problems either with school or family or community based
  • undertaking home visits to families where Pupil Support Staff are concerned about a pupil. 

Most support activities occur within school time but others such as support groups and certain elements of the Duke of Edinburgh Award groups take place after school hours or at weekends.

Partnership Officers manage a small budget for support activities but also try and access external funding for individual programmes and events.

Some examples of our work include

Groupwork

Groups are run on the basis of the need identified by staff and pupils.  At present Partnership Officers are running a Seasons for Growth group, which looks at issues such as breavement, divorce and separation; one group is focusing on attendance for lower school pupils; and a timetabled Duke of Edinburgh group for Upper School pupils.

Partnership Officers also take two Princes Trust XL groups, one for 3rd year and the other for 4th year. These groups are managed in collaboration with the Support for Learning Department.

Other groups in the future may include looking at self- esteem & confidence building.


Individual work

Pupils can be referred for individual support by guidance and pupil support staff.  This is often instigated by school based difficulties but where there are underline family or personal issues.  Partnership officers can offer emotional support, practical suggestions and access other community based services.


Home Visits

A home visit to a family may be requested by guidance staff where there are concerns about a pupil in school and it is felt a visit to discuss this with the family would be beneficial.  It is a key role of the Partnership Officers to establish links with parents where appropriate and work with them to support their child’s education.

Visits may be undertaken with the Attendance Officer where it is felt a pupil requires additional support attending school.


Primary 7 Transition Work

Prior to primary 7 classes moving to Our Lady’s, Partnership officers undertake a programme of transition work which involves visiting all feeder primaries over several months and working with the schools to support pupils and ease their move to secondary education.  This includes giving pupil’s information, addressing their fears and concerns and collecting information about their needs for education support staff at Our Lady’s.


Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is for 14-25 year olds and aims to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development.  It has 3 levels bronze, silver and gold with 4 sections at each level: service, skills, physical recreation and expedition.

The Partnership officers currently operate a bronze Duke of Edinburgh group which is currently undertaking their physical section n the local sports centre. They have already completed their expedition and volunteering sections.


PSHE

Partnership Officers are also involved in the delivery of PSHE within Our Lady’s.  To date this has included facilitating workshops and organizing guest speakers and events for different year groups.

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