As a part of Global Xchange I did volunteering at Harpurhey Studio School and Manchester college. Harpurhey Studio schools works to provide high quality practical learning for pupils aged between 14 and 19 – many of whom will have been excluded from mainstream schools – in an effort to keep them in education. Studio Schools are a new state school model for 14 to 19 year olds of all abilities. They seek to address the growing gap between what young people require to succeed in life and the skills and knowledge that the current education system provides.
My experience at SS was full of ups and downs. Working at SS was not as easy as I thought. It needed more than logic and knowledge! I am working with 14-15 pupils of different age. For first few days I just tried to observe teaching methods, behaviour of students, strategies to handle students and understanding thought behind this concept. Because of medications, sexual harassment, childhood experiences and some other reasons students found it tough concentrate in class. Some of them had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It was challenge for us to keep calm even after seeing them shouting, throwing chairs and doing other violent acts. It was important to know why they behave so and try helping them in any possible way. We should understand that way of dealing with every child is different in such cases..! Even today I am struggling to find some other ways…
From my experience I found that values is one of the core component of education and its responsibility of school as well parents (actually society). Its really difficult to shape future of a student in 4-5 hours in school when they spend 2/3rd of their time in society. We can see reflections of things students see or do in outside world in their behaviour. At Studio School we were keeping them busy in some tasks, learning but as soon as they were going out there was danger of them do smoking, taking drugs, getting trapped by some gangsters!
Though we have given our best effort during short span of 3 months, I think it certainly needs more time and dedicated effort to bring change. But overall it was good learning experience and test of patience for me!