On Friday 23rd July 2021, a selection of learners from the Nacro Sheffield Education Centre were specially invited by their tutors to attend Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Jed Khaliq, Teaching & Learning Tutor said, “The idea stemmed from having numerous discussions with staff who felt that despite the various challenges faced this year, some learners stood out from the rest because they consistently displayed a tremendous amount of dedication to their studies and we wanted to reward them for their achievements”.
Learners were formally invited after evidencing regular development in their respective vocational areas, Maths & English components and achieving the required attendance throughout the year.
Jed explains, “We saw a significant step up in some of the learner’ attitudes and we felt it is important to recognise it in some way. Rather than give a cash prize, it was important to consult with the learners what type of reward was deemed satisfactory, so they understand that the emphasis on the recompense is a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality as opposed to just giving a cash handout for simply attending.”
Jackie Bradley, Catering & Hospitality Tutor said “With it being the end of the academic year and Covid 19 constraints still in place, there were many things to consider but we all worked together and managed to organise this fantastic trip for the learners….they loved every minute of it”.
Lightwater Valley were kind enough to go the extra mile and provide an exclusive discounted entry rate to our hardworking learners. This meant the activities included fast track roller coaster rides, pirate ships, carousels, water slides, high ropes and the ultimate highlight was having a family style picnic in the Safari Park area that was kindly prepared by the Catering & Hospitality Team.
Eva, a catering student said “I was thinking it was going to be so boring because I’m scared of the rides and thought what am I going to do there but when we got there Michelle [AnimalCare Tutor] challenged me to go on the roller coaster rides and the Pirate Ship and I did it! I was so scared and I can’t believe it but I did! I loved it… but I’m never going on rides again.”
Amongst educators, there is a strong belief that an enrichment activity can enhance motivation to perform well and positively modify patterns of behaviour. Social activities within a curriculum allows tutors to review the wider context of a learner’s skillset which can assist with planning effective teaching strategies within the classroom.
Ruth Puckett, Centre Manager said “It’s great to give something back to the learners on a personal level especially as they’ve worked so hard for it. I’m so glad the learners REALLY put their head down in these last few weeks and achieved their qualifications. It’s showed us that they are appreciative of the hard work and effort that’s been put in by the dedicated staff to make this trip possible.”
Carole Colvin, Lead Tutor said “I think it was a great idea! For some of the learners, it’s their final year so it’s great that we can give these memories to them and why not? They’ve worked hard all year so they deserve a bit of a reward. Well done to all!”.
A huge thank you goes to all the learners (and staff!) for behaving impeccably whilst visiting the park and representing Nacro Sheffield in a positive manner.