Charleston Academy launched a new partnership with London-based charity Teens and Toddlers in June 2015.
Teens & Toddlers support schools to run a range of programmes focused on inspiring young people to achieve the skills, qualifications and self-belief they need to succeed in school, work and life. Through a work experience placement in a local nursery and mentoring via Positive Transpersonal Psychology, teenagers become more aware of the choices they can make and the impact this has on their lives and the lives of others.
The programme being developed at Charleston Academy is one of Teens and Toddlers first partnerships in Scotland. Rector Chris O’Neill has been working with Diana Whitmore, founder of the Teens & Toddlers Charity to bring the programme to Charleston Academy.
Although Teens and Toddlers is based in London, Diana lives for part of the year in Findhorn, Moray and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Findhorn Foundation. Diana approached Chris O’Neill in 2014 to see if Charleston Academy could be the first Scottish school to be involved in the programme. Well aware of our successful Boxing Club and Girls FIT (Females in Training) programmes, work has been undertaken to build a new partnership to benefit pupils. The programme will:
- Teach young people interpersonal skills and build their sense of responsibility so they make positive decisions about their education, their health and their future.
- train young people in mentoring skills that will also help the toddlers to improve their personal, social and communication skills.
- Participants can earn an accredited SCQF qualification through participating in the programme. Recruitment will be in May/June of each year.
- Two cohorts will take part each year – the programme lasts 18 weeks.
- Kinmylies Nursery will be our partner nursery initially.
- The Teens and Toddlers Programme also meets some of the requirements of Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW). It provides valuable work experience whereby young people participate in a responsible role assisting nursery staff where they work as part of the team. Young people learn the value of community engagement.
Teens and Toddlers vision is one that fits well with our own Values and Vision:
Each 18 week programme will deliver the following benefits for participating pupils:
- Interpersonal Skills.
- A work experience scheme where teens mentor a young child, who needs help, in a nursery. This builds a sense of responsibility, highlights employment possibilities and teaches about parenthood.
- Classroom sessions in anger management, emotional intelligence, risky behaviour and sexual health.
- Mentoring to support personal development.
Part of the funding made available through this partnership will see an adult mentor employed for the school who will be trained and will work with the young people we put through the programme.
Pupils participating in the programme over 18 weeks will receive a National 4 Qualification in Personal Development: Self Awareness, Self in the Community, Self and Work and Practical Abilities. Additionally, students are coached in bi-monthly sessions up to the end of their SQA Exams.
Miss Rona Macpherson coordinates the programme in Charleston Academy and should be the first point of contact for any queries.