Passport to the future for Dales School students

Students and staff with props in the photo workshop at the Passport to the Future event at The Dales School in Morton-on-Swale, near Northallerton.
Students and staff with props in the photo workshop at the Passport to the Future event at The Dales School in Morton-on-Swale, near Northallerton.
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STUDENTS have been on a journey of inspiration to help them decide on their destinations of the future.

More than 20 different organisations attended a special event hosted by The Dales School, at Morton-on-Swale, near Northallerton.

Called Passport to the Future, the students were offered a host of information on further education, training and development, employment, leisure opportunities and voluntary work.

Career guidance advisor at the special school Thelma Thomas said: “Every year we have a moving-on event for post 16-year-old students.

“This year we wanted to do something that would be fun, memorable and a family day which was less formal for everyone to enjoy.

“There are so many options open to the students so to help them collect all the information they need for the future we created educational passports for them.”

Students collected an official stamp in their passports for each information stand they visited.

Students also had a chance to tackle hands-on experience including log cutting, cake decorating and working with cameras in the photo workshop.

Helen Jukes, of Connexions, said: “This is a fantastic idea because it means the students can gather all the advice and information they need under one roof and get involved in activities too.

“It takes time for the students to find out what is available for them at the age of 16 and this saves them a lot of searching.

“It is also a great opportunity for us to talk with parents and look at options that are right for individual abilities.”

Students were also able to view all the facilities available at The Dales School, which offers education up to the age 19.

School sports co-ordinator Maureen Breen said: “We are able to offer several creative sporting opportunities for all children with learning difficulties, such as cricket, golf, football, rugby, wall climbing, canoeing and archery.

“These sports can literally open up new worlds for students and often parents are amazed at what their children can achieve and how much their confidence grows.”

Other activities and organisations at the open day included environmental drama from Beaumont College, Avalon Group, Yatton House, North Yorkshire County Council, Outreach North, Real Life Options and Just the Job.

Vice chairman of governors Paul Chubb said: “This is all about opening peoples’ eyes to opportunities and giving them inspiration and hope and to give them the confidence to move on in their future. There are many exhibitors who came forward to support the event and we are very grateful to them all.”

Assistant headteacher of The Dales School Anne Baker added: “This event has been a huge success with many visitors coming through the door.

“It has given students and families a real chance to see what we can offer here and also has given them access to other services that have been represented here.

“It has been great fun too, a very enjoyable day that we will certainly look at doing again.”