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Breaking the cycle: making a fresh start — Newcastle College


This Outstanding Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (OTLA 3) project, led by Newcastle College working with Community First North East, from 2017 to 2019, was initially designed to encourage collaboration and research among practitioners working in alternative education. It gave practitioners opportunities to explore the ingredients to create truly ‘alternative’ education programmes for young people not in education, employment or training. Early findings revealed the potential the alternative curriculum also had for improving most programmes targeting 16-19-year-olds. The draft integrated curriculum the project developed explicitly highlights maths, English, and character skills. The approach works on the principle of maximising the usefulness of every activity in the classroom. Fewer resources which have been well planned to develop more skills are needed, rather than activity overload. Resulting programmes focus on acquiring the skills and qualifications needed to prepare them for further study and secure employment and are nothing like their negative past experiences. An extension to the project helped the project team to collate the large number of useful resources they produced into a repository to share with other providers; this is available in the resource folder below.

Technical accessibility note: The ETF has edited and reformatted the case study for accessibility with screen readers, but unfortunately the resources repository on Padlet and the final report, as supplied to the ETF by the project, are not fully accessible.

Web links for this resource: