Personal Development at Chessbrook
Chessbrook offers all students the support, time and activities that will help them to mature during their time here. We aim to improve our students' knowledge on their physical and mental wellbeing; enhance their current skills and offer them new experiences. When they leave us, we aim to give them a pathway to success.
Chessbrook aims to give all of our students self-confidence, to understand their role in society and provide them with a pathway to success.
When our students arrive, they are the most disaffected in education and have been most disadvantaged in life. Our role is to support them and develop their character and engage with them. We use a variety of systems and practices in order for all of our students to develop their character skills, reinforce British Values and give them cultural capital.
Then to show them a path towards success and happiness. We aim to give them the courage to take risks, pride in themselves and their background; and instil resilience to cope with setbacks that life throws.
The success of our work lies in the meticulous tasks the Chessbrook organisation has in place. We begin building positive relationships through our procedures, liaising with previous schools and organisations. We assign a Personal Learning Mentor who works directly with the student during chill and chat sessions, and weekly contact with the family. This allows the student to build a positive relationship and trust that emphasises the importance of communication with their PLM. When we have all the data, information and guidance in place, we present all the information to all staff. This allows every member of staff at Chessbrook to give a greater understanding of every single student that walks through our door. Together with the parent/guardian and the student, PLM’s attend the Stop & Think sessions, which are compulsory for any student who joins Chessbrook.
We give all our students a personalised timetable involving academic or vocational subjects, including alternative provisions that they may select. Every subject celebrates their character skills and provides opportunities for each student to develop these skills. Subjects teach differentiated lessons that aim to find opportunities to emphasise British Values and cultural capital. Every morning, our Circle Times give students the opportunities to gain knowledge of a variety of topics, from current affairs to how to stay safe. We have sessions giving examples of inspirational stories and events that can empower all of our students. We demonstrate to our students the importance of community and the environment with eco-initiatives and charity fundraisers. We organise external trips and activities that broaden their life experiences and continue to develop new skills. We adorn our centre with posters reinforcing information, skills and accomplishments. We teach our students how to mentor and guide younger students, empowering them and giving them the self-confidence to see that they have a role in society. To continue their personal development, we have extra-curricular activities after their lessons and students choose the classes they wish to attend. Students have access to counsellors and therapists who teach them how to keep a positive mental well-being mindset. Students are provided with breakfast and brunch. This promotes healthy eating as well as reinforces the importance of unity and table etiquette. On the rare occasions, students have a negative incident in a lesson, we have a follow-up procedure called “Repair and Rebuild” which teaches the student how to reconcile, find common ground and move forward.