Author: neil

This last school year has been jam-packed with successful stories from both learners and staff and will go down as a year that all at R.E.A.L. should be incredibly proud of.

Brilliant Ofsted reports were released for R.E.A.L. Education and Independent School Hinckley throughout the Autumn and Winter term, with both receiving an overall rating as ‘Good’. The reports were full of inspiring feedback such as describing R.E.A.L. as a school where “leaders and other staff place pupils’ personal development at the heart of the school’s work.” 

This comment is proven by even just a few of the great learner stories over this last year. From a learner being scouted for a role with Vogue Autogroup after being spotted on Instagram in October, to two learners having their own poems chosen to be published in an anthology in February.

In April, learners appeared on TV, as their amazing efforts at a local church in Mansfield were filmed by East Midlands Today. They were helping load up a van with donations to support those in Ukraine, and for R.E.A.L. this was just one of many ways all sites teamed together to help fundraise.

Fundraising has been an important part of the last year and Head of Schools at R.E.A.L. Education, Nikki Purcell, raised an amazing £700 for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, by walking 5km a day, every day for 50 weeks during 2021! Martin Thorne, Maria Wills and Steve Quinn raised £1000 for the R.E.A.L. Foundation Trust by cycling over 150 miles over three days.

Learners have taken part in Masterchef-style cooking competitions, bumped into Paralympic swimmers, had residential trips to Lea Green, saw the Nottingham Tennis Open, had guest visits from local Police, performed to live audiences, celebrated different cultures and even fed meerkats in what can only be described as a very eventful year.

We can’t wait to see what the next year brings for everyone at R.E.A.L.

Ilkeston may be well-known for hosting one of the oldest Charter Fairs (since 1252!) but those at R.E.A.L. Independent School, Ilkeston have challenged that with a cracking summer fair for its staff and learners.

Gazebos, games and great food decorated the gardens of the Gallows Hub with lots of activities to take part in. From a tombola, to hook-a-duck, to Connect Four and face painting, there was plenty for people to get involved.

The fair received lovely feedback from learners with some of them kindly deciding to write thank you letters. Some of the comments were;

“I am writing to say how much fun the fair was, thank you for a lovely fair, we had a nice time.”

“Thank you so much for letting us have a summer fair. I loved it so much and I had a ton of fun with my friends too.”

“My favourite part was probably playing all the games on such a nice sunny day.”

“It’s a shame I didn’t get to get my face painted but that’s because I was having too much fun!”

Are you one of those people that holds onto items or a keen throw-awayer? Either way there’s not many people who may have a houseful of items that date back almost 100 years!

Mr Straw’s House is a National Trust property and has remained mostly unchanged since the Straw family moved in back in 1923.

Claire Wallett, Teaching Assistant, and her learner, McKenzie, recently visited the house as part of an engagement lesson. Claire said: “The Straws were a very wealthy family and McKenzie got to see how the rich lived 100 years ago! 

Their best clothes were worn on mannequins, very smart suits and dresses. There was a bottle of sherry and two glasses still laid on the table and newspapers and letters were piled high as Mr Straw never threw anything away.”

Claire added: “McKenzie really enjoyed looking at how items have changed over the years and decor styles, there were still tins of Heinz soup and Quality Street and Roses! He also loved being able to read little fact postcards around the house.”

At R.E.A.L. we plan learning pathways thoughtfully, including visits and experiences that bring subjects to life. 

You can learn more about our curriculum, on our website: https://realindependentschools.org/curriculum/overview/

Kelsey Hill, Director of People & Business Operations at R.E.A.L said: “‘The website and photos capture R.E.A.L. perfectly! There are some fantastic images of students, all really engaged in their learning. For me this helps to illustrate what R.E.A.L. is all about. 

We are sure the website will help people to get to know what R.E.A.L. stands for and learn more about the wealth of provision we can offer.”

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our website for yourself https://real-education.org/

We were delighted to receive an amazing thank you letter from a parent, explaining the development and journey their daughter has had throughout their time at R.E.A.L.

The letter reads;

To REAL Independent School,

I would just like to write a few words of thanks for your service provision. My daughter is now 18 and moving onto college in September. She has been with R.E.A.L. for four years. The service we have received is second to none and I do not regret relocating for her to be able to access your tailored education provision.

Four years ago I did not see a future where she would have 4 GCSEs and qualifications in media, or having confidence to purchase items in shops, travel independently, budget her money. While she still has some difficulties, the skills she has developed that are most important have grown. This is down to the tailored provision but ultimately the staff that execute the care plan.

The staff my daughter has had have been fantastic and we would not be where we are today without their professionalism, dedication, commitment, knowledge and support.

There are not enough words to express the benefits of this programme.

I would just like to say,

Thank you.

Rachel

Parent of one of our learners

This letter really does showcase the life-changing skills and differences that can be made at R.E.A.L. and how our fantastic team of staff work together to make this happen.

At R.E.A.L. Education, we believe that every child has a future. If you’re interested in how we can do this, contact us for more information at enquiries@real-education.org.

Kelsey Hill, Director of People & Business Operations at R.E.A.L said: “‘The website and photos capture R.E.A.L. perfectly! There are some fantastic images of students, all really engaged in their learning. For me this helps to illustrate what R.E.A.L. is all about. 

We are sure the website will help people to get to know what R.E.A.L. stands for and learn more about the wealth of provision we can offer.”

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our website for yourself https://real-education.org/

Have you checked out the new R.E.A.L. website yet? If you’re yet to see it then you won’t know about the major makeover that’s taken place.

Not only has the site been modernised and made extremely user friendly, you can view all the different provisions and courses R.E.A.L. offers in detail, see the staff members that make up the team, find current vacancies and keep up to date with the latest R.E.A.L. news.

Kelsey Hill, Director of People & Business Operations at R.E.A.L said: “‘The website and photos capture R.E.A.L. perfectly! There are some fantastic images of students, all really engaged in their learning. For me this helps to illustrate what R.E.A.L. is all about. 

We are sure the website will help people to get to know what R.E.A.L. stands for and learn more about the wealth of provision we can offer.”

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our website for yourself https://real-education.org/

A R.E.A.L. learner has created a thoughtful piece of word art encapsulating peer pressure, as a way to recap all they’ve learnt in PSHE classes this term.

A learner has been having 1-1 PSHE lessons with Specialist Teaching Assistant, Fiona Ryan. Fiona said: “My learner has engaged beautifully with the subject.”

The classes have involved discussions on the importance of consent, having your own mind and learning about self-confidence and what the right thing to do in certain situations would be.

Fiona and her learner looked up words that could be used to define peer pressure and wrote definitions for all the words from an online dictionary.

Fiona said: “We chose the words together, some of which the learner had not heard before, so it also helped extend their vocabulary.”

While many of you were taking part in street parties, eating scones and drinking tea across the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday, some members of R.E.A.L. staff were pushed to their absolute limits cycling from Cumbria to Tynemouth.

This epic journey saw Martin Thorne, Maria Wills, Steve Quinn and others cycle 150 miles over three demanding days, all in aid of raising money for the R.E.A.L. Foundation Trust.

Tutor, Martin Thorne said: “I knew at the age of 66 that I would be the oldest rider of our group, and I knew it would be a challenge, but nothing prepared me for how hard the second day was.”

The C2C is a hilly ride that takes riders through the Lake District, Northern Pennines and County Durham, before the finishing point at Tynemouth Castle and Priory.

Martin said: “Getting to Hartside summit, a climb of 4.5 miles that rises 1,903 feet was really hard going, but I had a good wingman as I was joined by my eldest son, Matthew for the challenge. Although it was his Mum’s instructions to look after me!”

Going uphill only means one thing, you have to come back down and the route comes with some very fast downhill stretches, but not before climbing back up again. Martin said: “I was given the task of writing a book about all the different types of tarmac I had been looking at all day on the climbs. I have three chapters already!”

Stunning scenery, pizza stops and coffee breaks may have helped them along the way but Martin says the thought of raising money for R.E.A.L. Foundation Trust was a major motivation as they rode the final stretch towards Tynemouth. Martin said: “This money will seriously help to impact the young people we work with.

“I could not have wished for a better team. We all got on so well, we never fell out. We helped and supported each other the whole way, even after Maria got a puncture within half a mile of the finish line.

“Am I glad to have done this? Most definitely ‘YES!’ and I can tick this off my bucket list, but would I do it again? Probably not, but I would certainly be part of the support team if R.E.A.L. chose to set the challenge up again.”

If you’d like to donate to this wheelie-good cause you can do so here.

© Copyright R.E.A.L. Education Ltd. 2022 | Company Number: 06630354 | Charity Number: 1135811
Registered address: Kingsmill House, UNIT 1, Kings Mill Way, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, NG18 5ER