Schools sign for German Exchange
On Tuesday 3rd February, Southfield School welcomed a delegation of special needs teachers and officers from Bradford’s German twin city, Hamm.
The delegates were visiting the city for a fact finding mission about special education. The group observed staff and student experiences across the entire spectrum of needs and age groups before visiting the school’s interns at Project SEARCH, an innovative programme which gives young people with learning difficulties work experience at Bradford Royal Infirmary. Amongst the visitors were representatives from Southfield School’s German partner, the Alfred Delp Schule in Hamm. During the visit the two schools signed an agreement which strengthens our ongoing commitment to providing exchange opportunities and sharing good practice. This educational partnership serves to further strengthen the long-standing relationship between the two cities and their respective Councils, which spans decades.
The delegation, which included Markus Kreuz, Director of Sport & Education for the City of Hamm, began the day at a breakfast meeting with Southfield School’s Headteacher, Dominic Wall and CBMDC Director of Children’s Services, Michael Jamieson. They then made their way to Southfield for a tour of the school and its’ Post 16 provision in the Pathfinder Vocational Centre. The morning was capped by the signing of an agreement between the two schools which will commit them to a three year programme of exchange visits and staff development collaboration.
In the afternoon, the delegation moved on to visit Southfield’s Project SEARCH interns at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI). This was the second delegation within a fortnight, following the visit of HRH The Princess Royal two weeks previously. Project SEARCH is a programme which enables students with learning difficulties to develop skills for the workplace and be supported in their search for employment. It was launched in Bradford in September 2013, after Southfield School took the decision to become franchisees and seek partners to offer the innovative programme to some of their more able students. Project SEARCH is a joint supported employment programme which is run in partnership by Southfield School, national learning disabilities charity, Hft, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. During a nine month internship at BRI and St Luke’s Hospital, the interns gain work experience in three different departments, as well as accessing support in a dedicated classroom from a teacher and support staff who work with the students throughout their time there.
Dominic Wall, Headteacher at Southfield School said: “We are delighted to secure this partnership with three years commitment that will see students from Bradford welcomed in Hamm in May and in exchange we look forward to hosting our German colleagues again in 2016. Further benefits will be found in our joint training of staff so that students in both schools benefit from exciting teaching and fantastic opportunities.”