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1) How will the college know if I need extra help?

Derwen College is a specialist college so all the students need extra help.

To find out how much extra help you will need, you and your parents/carers will meet a member of staff from the admissions team.

The staff will:

  • do some work with you for your initial assessment.
  • look at your school and medical reports.
  • ask you questions about what help you need.

You and your parents/carers will talk to the staff about what you need, what you like and what you do not like.

The college can then plan for the extra help you need.


2) What should I do if I think I need extra help?

If you think you need extra help with work, you can ask your teachers and support staff for help.

You can also speak to your Personal Tutor.  You will have regular tutorials with your personal tutor, but you can speak to them at any time.


3) How will my programme be organised to meet my individual needs?

Your Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) and Individual Learning Plan (ILP) will have your short, medium and long term targets.

These targets are set just for you. They are set to help you meet your hopes and aspirations.

You will work towards your targets on your programme.

All staff at Derwen College will support you to meet your targets.


4) How will I be involved in planning for my needs?  Who will explain the plan and help me?

The staff will plan for your needs from your initial assessment.

You choose what work or job you want to do when you leave college.

You choose a pathway area that has this sort of job.

The pathway areas are:

You will have an assessment in the pathway area you have chosen.

This will help staff plan for your needs.

The Pathway Leader will make a timetable of what you are doing.

Your Personal Tutor will talk to you about your progress.  Your personal tutor and support staff will explain anything you do not understand.


5) Who will tell me what I can do to help myself and be more independent?

Coming to Derwen College is about learning to be independent. So you can do more things for yourself.

You learn to shop, cook and do travel training.

You learn how to look after yourself.

In your free time you can choose what you do such as go to evening clubs, college discos or trips.

You can make new friends and try lots of new things.

All staff are there to help you do more things for yourself.

At Derwen College you are given targets to work on.

You work on getting better at tasks.

You are learning to work so you need less help.

When you leave college you may be able to live in supported or independent accommodation and find employment.


6) What should I do if I’m worried about something?

If you are worried, upset, sad, angry, homesick you can talk to a your Personal Tutor, key worker, student services co-ordinator or any other member of staff.

If you are worried about your work or timetable you can talk to your personal tutor.

If you are worried about your accommodation at college you can talk to your key worker.

Remember you can talk to any staff member.  We are all here to help you settle into college.


7) How will I know if I’m doing as well as I should?

You will have an Individual Learning Plan.

The plan has your long, medium and short term targets.

The staff look at how well you are working towards your targets regularly.

Your personal tutor will tell you how you are doing.

You can talk about and help plan your time at college with your personal tutor and staff.

A progress report is sent to your Local Authority and your parents/carers regularly throughout your programme.

You will have review meetings at college.

Your parents or carers and your personal tutor will be invited to the review meeting.

A person from your local authority will be invited to come to your review meeting.

These meetings are important.

At these meetings you will be able to talk about your work and your future plans.


8) Are there staff in college who have had special training to help young people who need extra help?

All the staff go on regular training for their jobs.  They go so they know all the new information to help students.

The college has its own:

All students have an individual risk assessment that all staff can see.

Derwen College is Makaton Friendly and staff are Makaton trained.

If you are in supported living at Derwen College you are registered with the local doctor.

If you need to see other professionals for help the staff will ask for you.


9) If I have difficulty taking part in college activities what different arrangements can be made for me?

Part of college life is about learning to choose what you do in your free time. The campus is a busy place with lots of different clubs and events.  These include sporting activities such as swimming, gym, basketball, cricket, cycling, netball, football, wheelchair basketball and many more.

You can take part in community groups.

You can go to church or use the local leisure centre.

Student Engagement Officers and Sports & Leisure Activity Makers work in the evenings and weekends to help you get the most of your time at college.

You can choose what leisure, social, weekend activities and trips you do – your parents/carers can help you decide.

Staff will help you chose sports and enrichment sessions.

Derwen College will support and encourage you to take part in all activities at college.


10) What help is there to help me get ready to start college?

You can find out about the pathway areas at open days, and Summer Fete. We also have a Short Breaks provision which gives a good opportunity to familiarise yourself with Derwen College.

Schools can arrange to visit Derwen College.  You can also arrange an appointment to visit the college.

Before you start Derwen College new students and their family can come along and look around the college campus.

There are chances for refresher visits and taster sessions. These may help you get ready for college life.

You can also visit the outlets at any time – they are open 7 days a week.


11) I am coming to college to prepare for employment – how will I be supported?

To prepare you for employment you learn skills for work.

You will take part in the Employability Skills programme.

You can get information advice and guidance (IAG) throughout your programme.

There is a Work Placement programme.  You will get the chance to work in the college’s Garden Centre shop, Garden Café, Orangery Restaurant and other commercial outlets at Derwen College.  Your placement location will depend on your chosen pathway.

Some students have external work placements with employers in the local area and with national companies.

You can use the Job Explorer Database to make career choices.


12) Where is Derwen College located, and what areas does it cover?

Students from all over Britain come to Derwen College.

The College’s main campus is in Gobowen, in Shropshire. Location – Derwen College

We also have three satellite sites which day students can attend.  The satellite sites are located at:

Derwen College Walford – Based at Walford & North Shropshire College, Baschurch Road, Baschurch

Derwen College Ludlow – 8-9 The Business Quarter, Eco Park Road, Ludlow

Derwen College Telford – Stafford Park, Telford


13) Handbook for parents, carers and families

Our Handbook is available to download and provides parents, carers and families with useful information about Derwen College.

For families with Day Students at our Satellite sites, you can view the Satellites Handbook here