(CNS): The Lighthouse School has been designated a centre of excellence for its curriculum by an awarding body specialising in the special needs and disabilities areas. In 2008 the school began offering courses with ASDAN, allowing students to receive a recognised and established qualification from an accredited board for work they complete in the areas of personal, social and independent living skills. This past summer a representative from the scheme visited the school and completed the external moderation process.
Education Minister Tara Rivers revealed the news to her colleagues in the LA on Monday, explaining that the representative conducted a review of student work in the context of the local facilities.
“The representative was noticeably impressed and shared her experience with the Regional Managers of ASDAN,” she said.
On Friday 13 November the school was notified that it had been awarded the Centre of Excellence in Inclusive Curriculum, recognition that Rivers said “speaks to the holistic and personalised learning opportunities” the students experience in the school.
The accreditation comes after the recent school baseline inspection, in which the Lighthouse School was one of just two schools in Cayman not to get a failing grade. This accreditation was based on the student work produced during the 2014-2015 academic year and the positive educational environment found to be in place, Rivers said.
“The Lighthouse School team has also been contacted by ASDAN recently and advised that the Turks and Caicos Islands are also beginning to offer the ASDAN Preparing for Adulthood Programme through their facility for adults with special needs, and that ASDAN have advised the TCI representatives to liaise with the Lighthouse School representatives for guidance and support in implementing the programme. This, Madam Speaker, is a testament to the successes of this programme in our country,” the minister added as she congratulated the school.
She explained that there are core elements to ASDAN programmes and qualifications that are designed to encourage student-centred learning, challenge students to achieve, enable students to learn through experience, encourage a wide range of skill development and reward success.
The Preparing for Adulthood programmes which are on offer at the school are activity-based curriculum resources. They provide a real-life context to promote the development of personal, social, independent, ICT and work-related skills, and prepare children and young people for adulthood and employment.
“The programmes have been developed for learners with moderate, severe, complex, profound or multiple learning difficulties,’” Rivers said, noting that the Lighthouse School currently offers two modules from the Preparing for Adulthood Programme: the “Transition Challenge” module for students in Years 7 to 9, and the “Towards Independence” module for students in Years 10 to 12, which were deemed by the school to be the most relevant parts of the programme for their students.
The Preparing for Adulthood Programme requires that all students who take it produce a ‘portfolio of evidence’ for each module, which is first moderated internally and then sent off to ASDAN headquarters in the UK for external moderation. Student participants are awarded with certificates of completion after each module, thereby promoting a culture of success.