New accredited course engages students in a different kind of learning

Students at Homewood have been engaging in a range of practical and vocational activities to work towards their ASDAN Personal Development Programme award. Progress has been good and we have seen an increase in attendance and engagement in this type of learning.

ASDAN Update: Autumn 2021

At Homewood we offer a curriculum that offers a different kind of learning to engage and excite our students . In September 2021 we launched the ASDAN Personal Development Programme (PDP) to our KS4 learners. The aim was to widen and raise expectations of what all students could achieve as well as offering a broader curriculum to those who struggle to attend school regularly.

A different kind of learning

The ASDAN PDP is a nationally recognised qualification that enables students to demonstrate
practical and vocational achievements to future educators or employers. The course enables students to develop skills that will be invaluable in the workplace, and when they begin to lead independent lives. These core skills include; teamwork, independent learning, coping with problems and using Maths, English and ICT.

Building skills for life

To date Homewood’s ASDAN students show increased attendance and have completed 21 core tasks in only 7 weeks, this is a huge achievement. It has helped the school to be more inclusive and innovative in our curriculum offering. The more practical learning style has engaged a previously hard to reach
cohort and strong progress has been made in the Sport and Leisure, Health and Survival, Home Management and World of Work modules.
Students have been learning about life on Middle Farm, building overnight shelters, working in the school garden, cooking some amazing Italian food, brushing up on their administration skills in the school office and learning the many different routes into the 21st century job market.

A broader curriculum = greater inclusion

The ASDAN PDP is part of our plan to keep on boosting attendance and engagement. Inclusion of Food Tech and Photography GCSE qualifications also show how our curriculum is constantly evolving to better
serve our students.
Next term our ASDAN group have even more to look forward and we hope to be able to submit our first Bronze Award. Watch this space!

Self-Harm Resources

YMCA DownsLink Group and West Sussex Mind are working in partnership to form the Self-Harm Learning Network – a new initiative to help children and young people who are at risk of self-harming. The network provides inclusive training for parents and professionals, focus groups with young people, and a range of helpful resources (below) to support youth mental health and self-harm. The resources offer practical tools, advice, and guidance for parents and carers, teachers, and healthcare professionals. We also have a variety of supportive resources cocreated with young people, for young people, to support emotional health and wellbeing.

Note: To view and download these resources, please ensure you are using a compatible web browser such as Google Chrome. If you need support with accessibility, contact us via email at

Support for Parents/Carers of Children Struggling with Anxiety

It’s been widely reported that greater numbers of children are experiencing regular anxiety. As a parent/carer, it can be hard to know how best to support your child and what to do to help.

Family Learning runs online workshops to support parents/carers with practical strategies to help the young person. Sessions are run in small groups, allowing space to reflect on the situation and how best to help. One parent who completed the sessions commented:

“Gave practical tips as well as reassurance. I feel I’m better able to support my child with their anxiety.”

For more information or to book a place, email or call 01273 292828 stating which course you’re interested in.

Courses are free to those on a low income/ means tested benefits. For other parents there is a fee of £10 for anxiety courses and £15 for resilience courses (fees are used to fund creche provision and travel for learners on the lowest incomes).

Supporting a Teen with Anxiety (secondary age)

Friday 15 and 22 October from 1.30 – 2.45pm; or

Monday 1 and 8 November from 7.30 – 8.45pm

Building a Teen’s Resilience (secondary age)

Tuesdays 2, 9 and 16 November from 1.30 – 2.45pm; or

Thursdays 4, 11 and 18 November from 1.30 – 2.45pm.

Supporting a Child with Anxiety (primary age)

Tuesday 12 and 19 October from 1 – 2.15pm

Wednesday 13 and 20 October from 1.30 – 2.45pm; or

Building a Child’s Resilience (primary age)

Friday 15 and 22 October and Monday 1 November from 10 – 11.15am

Self Harm Parent & Carer Network

Join other parents and carers across your area in a free workshop to support you and your family.
Facilitated by West Sussex Mind,YMCA Downslink Group and supported by Allsorts Youth
Project, you will be able to talk with other parents and carers to hear what is working for them,
discuss your support needs, hear from guest speakers and get updates on the latest initiatives,
research, resources and policies. Please see attached flyer for more information.