Explore Alternative Education

Students in mainstream education can tap into a unique form of learning thanks to a programme offered by YMCA Lincolnshire.

YMCA Lincolnshire’s The Showroom Activity and Conference Centre on Tritton Road, Lincoln works with local schools to provide young people with a chance to explore a bespoke learning experience outside of a regular school environment.

The Alternative Provision programme provides support and education to students in need of additional assistance, or those with specific interests that are not available to mainstream curriculum students.

Elizabeth Lilley, Alternative Curriculum Development Officer, said: “We offer two types of learning schemes within our Alternative Provision programme: a 12 week re-engagement project and Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) courses.”

The re-engagement programme at The Showroom focuses on tackling barriers that young people who are coping with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and low self-esteem face on a regular basis, such as anger management and vulnerability.

Elizabeth explained: “Schools refer students who may be at risk of exclusion – due to disruptive behaviour, poor attendance, bullying – onto our intensive re-engagement programme to help them develop the necessary skills they may lack when dealing with everyday situations and school surroundings.”

This programme is unique and tailored to each young person depending on the arrangement the service providers have with the school or the individual. Examples of lessons include team building activities, practical workshops, discussions focusing on subjects relating to respect and communication.

In addition to working in small groups or on an individual tutorial basis, the sessions also incorporate the use of the additional resources available at the £3.5 million site, including the sports cage, dance studio, music recording studio and Lincolnshire’s largest climbing wall.

“The flexibility of the programme allows students to learn and develop at their own pace, helping to build their confidence levels and reduce their behavioural difficulties,” said Elizabeth.

“Students who struggle with classroom structures sometimes find it disruptive and it causes them to lose focus. As a result many of the students I have worked with have expressed how much they have enjoyed their sessions at the centre as it is a different environment from their school setting. 

“Along with gaining qualifications, our results show a lot of our service users were able to fully reintegrate back into full-time education, enrol into college or even gain employment.”

In addition to the re-engagement programme and QCF qualifications, such as Level 1 and 2 Awards in the arts and Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training, the programme also provides industry-standard qualifications, such as First Aid, COSHH, Food Safety and Fire Safety Awareness.

“These qualifications are useful to young people moving into the employment market, making them more attractive to prospective employers,” added Elizabeth.

For further information about the Alternative Provision programme please contact Elizabeth Lilley on 01522 508360 or email Elizabeth.Lilley@theshowroom.org.uk.