Work Based Learning has been an exciting and successful development within the department over the last two years. This has given us the facilities to offer Year 14 pupils a real life experience in the world giving them the opportunity to develop their independence skills in the work place and learn the skills needed to fulfil job roles and deal with the public. We currently offer placements in Car Valeting, Hospitality and Catering, and Horticulture. Students learn the skills and run fully functioning bussinesses: a coffee shop, a garden centre and a car valeting business.
Hospitality and Catering
Our Work Based Learning hospitality team work within Blas Da coffee shop two days a week for the full academic year. They complete an induction in food safety and health and safety within the workplace as well as a range of accredited Agored Cymru courses throughout the year. They learn a range of new skills for both the kitchen and the coffee shop. In the kitchen they learn to make a wide range of hot and cold, sweet and savoury dishes. They learn to use the industrial equipment safely whilst following food safety regulations.
Students make and serve food to order. Within the coffee shop they learn to set it up for service, make and serve a range of hot drinks to customers, use the till, restock and inventory the stock items using the ‘first in first out’ system. They have to keep their work area clean and safe whilst following food safety regulations
We have links to Bridgend College catering department where we go to visit and discuss expectations with college tutors. We aim to teach our students to become more independent individuals, who can make informed choices and who can take the hospitality skills taught to them into the world of work. The coffee shop also welcomes some of the school’s sensory learners who enjoy sessions of sensory cooking where they taste, smell and touch a range of different ingredients.
Car Valeting is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop skills in a real life workplace and experience working as part of a team. They complete an induction in health and safety and have training using the equipment and chemicals required to clean car exteriors and valet car interiors. Students complete Agored Cymru accredited courses to gain recognition for their skills and achievements in this area. The experiences that students gain through car valeting will enable them to utilise the skills they have gained and give them a better chance of gaining some type of employment.
The Blas Da Market Garden was set up in 2018 to enable students to take part in Work Based Learning in a horticultural environment.
Through this project our students have many opportunities to embrace the school values; Sustainability, Well-being, Opportunity and Independence.
The Market Garden provides a wonderful work environment and introduction to enterprise where the students get the opportunity to learn in more detail how to propagate and care for plants and make money from sales. They also make planters and gifts and learn about customer service and marketing. The Year 14 students who choose this as a Work Based Learning option, spend two full days in this environment. This gives them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of horticulture and gain a number of Agored Cymru accredited units.
We also have a whole school composting system, enabling us to compost all uncooked food waste from the coffee shop and from staff and student breaks, and some of our compostable packaging generated in the coffee shop. A lot of our plant waste, weeds and grass clippings will also be used to create compost for use in the Market Garden and around the school grounds, making the system wholly sustainable.
Being outside in the freash air and learning about the local flora and fauna and our impact on the environment is of great benefit to the wellbeing of the students and the staff.