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Monthly Round-up September 2017

Please see below for a round-up of all stories from across R.E.A.L. Education for September 2017

Welcome and Welcome Back!

The new term is now well underway. We hope all our learners have settled in and are enjoying their time at R.E.A.L. Education.

Please click here for a reminder of the 2017/18 academic year term dates.

Fantastic R.E.A.L. Independent School Ofsted Report

At the end of last term, R.E.A.L. Independent School was visited by Ofsted. After a rigorous inspection process, we are absolutely delighted to announce that Ofsted awarded the school a ‘good’ rating overall – with two out of five areas inspected classed as ‘outstanding’.

The report gives a glowing reflection of our brilliant school, stating that the “senior leaders are united in their unceasing drive for excellence,” and that “an environment of high expectations and continual improvement permeates all levels of the school,” with staff “dedicated to improving opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils.”

The inspector classed the ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’ of the school as outstanding and highlighted that “a major strength of the school is the high quality of relationships between staff and pupils.” The ‘Personal development, behaviour and welfare’ area was also judged to be outstanding, recognising that: “The excellent quality of relationships between staff and pupils enables pupils to develop respect for themselves and for adults.”

A key finding from the Ofsted inspection was that ”pupils make outstanding improvements in their behaviour and attendance once they have developed confidence in the exemplary care and individual support provided by staff.”

Nikki Purcell, Head Teacher at R.E.A.L. Independent School said: “It is marvellous that the Inspection has highlighted the hard work and high expectations of staff across the school and also that it recognises the quality of relationships between staff and learners. Staff at all levels within our school have worked hard in partnership with parents/carers and learners themselves to help those in our care achieve great things and make progress in all areas of life including academic and social.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and will continue in our efforts to provide a high quality of education and care for the young people who are on our roll. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all learners, staff, parents/carers and professionals working alongside us for their hard work and support over the years. Together we have built something great.”

Craig Wilkie, Governing Body Representative said: “’The Governors are so thrilled to be part of our amazing story of success at the R.E.A.L. Independent School. We are delighted that Ofsted recognised the fantastic work of the children and young people, leadership, staff and of course, the headteacher Nikki Purcell – not just during the inspection, but during each and every day throughout the year. The energy and determination of the whole of the team at Blidworth and Concorde House bases, to put children and young people first and build a world class curriculum around their needs, has contributed to this fantastic outcome.

“At the heart of all the staff efforts are the needs of the children and young people. We are looking to build on the successes outlined in this report, and reflect on ways to enhance our provision in our determined effort to give the children and young people at Real Independent School our very best; now and in future years.”

R.E.A.L. Winners!

The East Midlands Chamber Business Awards (Derbyshire) gala dinner took place on 8 September 2017 at the 3aaa County Ground, Derby. Attending as finalists in the Education and Business Partnership category, R.E.A.L. Education representatives were proud and delighted as R.E.A.L. were announced as the winner of the award.

The judges commented on the very high standard in the Education and Business Partnership category. Rob Day, Managing Director of Blueprint Interiors, who were sponsoring the award, highlighted that R.E.A.L.’s Education Employer Partnership Programme and their commitment to working with students with additional learning needs – ultimately preparing them for employment and adulthood – was an example of ‘Outstanding practice’.

This award follows success earlier in the year at the Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 awards, when R.E.A.L. Education also won the Commitment to the Community award. R.E.A.L. Education were also recently Education and Business Partnership finalists in the East Midlands Chamber Business Awards for Nottinghamshire.

Richard Smith, Operations Director at R.E.A.L. Education commented: “This is another fantastic achievement for R.E.A.L. and a testament to the staff here. A big thank you must go out to all the employers we a currently working with too, they have shown the same belief and understanding in harnessing the strengths and interests of our young people, supporting them in developing their skills and becoming independent and employable young adults.”

R.E.A.L. Training – Staff Inset Days

Staff inset days for the start of the academic year 2017/18 took place over three days and at six different venues.

Over 200 members of staff from across R.E.A.L. and the two Independent Schools took part in a variety of training exercises, to ensure that their skills and professional development are kept up to date.

Training included managing challenging behaviour, safeguarding and data protection. Locality activities also took place – the majority in the rain – but staff still had fun whilst learning and getting to know each other better.

Richard Smith, Operations Director at R.E.A.L. Education said: “These training days are so important for our organisation. They embody our commitment to continually strive to improve the quality of our alternative provision – through investing in and developing the professional skills of our staff.”

Kay Carter, R.E.A.L. Education Operations Manager, who organised the inset days, said: “I would like to thank everyone for taking part, particularly those who delivered elements of the training over all of the days.”

R.E.A.L. Education will be offering training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities in the coming months for schools and alternative provision providers.

To find out more, please email

Tour of Britain

The first day back at R.E.A.L. was a little different this year for some of our learners!

On Wednesday 6th September, the cycling Tour of Britain passed by Sheep Bridge Lane in Mansfield. Tutors Amy Beckworth and Leonora Rubio-Bates cheered on the cyclists with their learners Brandon and Jordan.

Leonora said: “It was a great morning and an all-round good event! We got given inflatables to wave and cheer the bikes on with.

“The best part though was hearing my learner say the Tour was something he would maybe like to take part in one day. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the inspiration these kind of events give young people. We are so lucky at R.E.A.L. to be able to give our learners the opportunity to experience these one-off events.”

R.E.A.L. Work Experience

One of our RAPS (R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision School) learners recently had hands on work experience at a local radio station.

Tyler undertook work experience at Mansfield 103.2 FM. He watched a show taking place and had an informative talk with the Station Manager before moving on to create his own advert with the Advertising team.

Tyler put his excellent imagination to use and came up with an idea for a video game. He created and wrote a description and backstory for the game’s main character, and also an advertising script for the game. He then had the privilege of recording his script in the studio, where adverts are usually created for the radio station.

Tyler said, “I had a really good time. It was great and fantastic, I really enjoyed my day! Thank you to all of my tutors for setting this up.”

Quality work experience is a vital part of what we do at R.E.A.L. We’re proud to give our learners the opportunity to function within a working environment and develop the intellectual, emotional and social skills that will see them develop into fully included adults.

City Hub Makeover

The summer break gave us the chance to undertake some major projects across the centres, and this was most evident at our City Hub Base.

All of the windows at the front of the centre were replaced – resulting in a fresh new look to the outside of the building, whilst making it quieter and warmer on the inside. A new partition was also installed in the large upstairs classroom and the reception area also had a welcoming makeover.

Chris O’Brien, R.E.A.L Education Project Manager, who coordinated the refurbishment said: “All the hard work undertaken has made City Hub a more welcoming and effective environment for our learners. Thank you to everyone who helped to improve this centre over the summer holidays.”

Last Remaining Course Places

We have a limited number of places left on some of our vocational courses.

We have a few places in Land Based Studies, Sport (at Ilkeston & Glapwell), Construction, Music and Hair & Beauty.

If you would like more information about these courses, or would like to enquire about registering, please email or call 01158 220400.

Learners Gifted Gear

Thanks to the charity Gift Your Gear, we’ve collected our first box of outdoor equipment, ensuring that our learners across R.E.A.L Education are ready to start their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Gift Your Gear provides outdoor clothing and equipment to UK community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. Unwanted outdoor clothing and equipment can be donated for Gift Your Gear at any Rohan shop nationwide.

If you’ve been inspired to find out more about R.E.A.L. Education, take a look around our websites to get a better understanding of the impact we make on the lives of the amazing young people we work with.

R.E.A.L. Education – Tailored individualised one to one programmes and vocational group placements across the East Midlands.

R.E.A.L. Independent School – Full time school provision for young people in the East Midlands.

R.E.A.L. 14-19 Alternative Provision School – Exciting vocational courses delivered by industry expert teachers. Supporting skills for life and work.

R.E.A.L. Foundation Trust – A charitable foundation to support and enable young people to reach their potential.

R.E.A.L. Independent School