The Darwin Learning Centre caters for the educational needs of the students currently living as inpatients at the Darwin Centre for Young people. We are also a provision for any day patients that may need to attend the Learning Centre before returning to their own mainstream schools. We work under the umbrella organisation called the Pilgrim PRU which includes the schools at the Phoenix Centre, the Croft and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The Pilgrim PRU is maintained by Cambridgeshire Education Authority.
The Learning Centre provides a friendly environment at a time when many things are new and can feel strange. It is a chance to work with others and means young people are less likely to become anxious about losing touch with their school. The Learning Centre operates with the flexibility to acknowledge each young person's interests and build on previous successes as well as taking in to consideration their health on any given day. The staff work closely with all young people to build self esteem, confidence and improve academic achievement.
On arrival we will make contact with a young person's mainstream school or college and ask staff to send work to be continued with support from the staff at the Darwin Learning Centre. We cater for an age range of between 12 and 18 years. The Learning Centre is staffed by the teacher in charge, two other teachers and a part time teaching assistant. All young people will be engaged in an individual programme/timetable as we believe that in order to re engage in education you should be given the opportunity to work to your strengths. If a young person is engaged in examinations, they will have the opportunity to work with a teacher on controlled assessments/ coursework and exam preparation. We are a recognised exam centre so young people have the opportunity to take GSCE, A-Levels or other accreditations with us.
Young people will attend the Learning Centre daily from 10am until 12noon and then 1.15pm until 3pm apart from Friday afternoons. If a young person is a Key Stage 3 or 4 student, we offer the core subjects of English, maths and science along with art, PSHE and PE. They will also have the opportunity to study individually other subjects they may be working on at school. If a young person is a post-16 student, we will work alongside their mainstream school or college to continue with the courses they are studying.
When a young person is ready to return to school or college, we work closely with the outreach team to set up meetings and arrange gradual reintegration.
'Our aim is to develop within each young person the desire to achieve by meeting their needs in a safe and caring environment. We foster in all our students a sense of self esteem, confidence and the ability to make informed choices. We ensure that the process of learning is a challenging and positive experience.'