Thursday, 4 June 2009

My colleague Christine Marsden, Curriculum Development Manager at the Education Business Partnership sent me this e-mail about the work Linda Livesey is doing at John Smeaton Community College...

"Chris, The CLD Unit at John Smeaton Community College is something very special. The unit is run by Linda Livesey and 3 support staff. The Education Business Partnership has been working with Linda Livesey, who runs the unit, for the past 2 years. She has developed a programme of activity which embraces enterprise and uses it as a vehicle to develop literacy and numeracy skills as well as self confidence and communication. The students have set up a business called ‘Bee Crafty’ which makes and sells seasonal goods and cards. The resource which Linda has developed is available to all SEN departments and SILCs. Last year Linda ran a teacher INSET session with the EBP looking at the Bee Crafty resource but also the approach to learning and teaching which she feels gives students with specific learning difficulties the best chance of success. Linda is very conscious of the need to give the students real life experiences and uses every opportunity to do so. She is currently working on number and money recognition. I was part of a 3 hour session yesterday which involved students having to ‘buy’ the item they had been presented with, in this case fruit, using money from the ‘bank’. They had to come to the bank and select the smallest number of coins to be able to ‘purchase’ their fruit item in preparation for a shopping trip so they could buy the fruit to make the fruit salad. Linda’s energy and passion and her approach to learning and teaching provides the highest quality learning experience and one which I believe provides these young people with an excellent start in life. It was a privilege to be part of her lesson and to work with the same students who had started the Bee Crafty Company and see the progress they had made not only in literacy and numeracy but in their self confidence. Best wishes, Christine."

We are lucky here in Leeds not only to have Christine and Mike Cooper and their colleagues developing a fantastic range of brilliant Enterprise activities but to have colleagues like Linda Livesey releasing the magic with some of our most special young people at John Smeaton Community College.

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