The end of the school year can often be particularly stressful for young people, with increased testing and exams for most. Even more so for those in year 11 as they prepare for their ‘all-important’ GCSEs - exams which will often determine the direction that their life will take in the coming years.
Across The Door’s youth centres, our Community Youthwork Teams are well aware of the situation faced by these students, and work closely with secondary schools to offer support in a way that works best for the staff and their students.
For 2019 this has included specific revision sessions at The Vibe in Dursley, where in partnership with Rednock School the centre has been open for a couple hours a week during school hours, with a teacher on hand to assist with revision. This has been very popular, and as well as providing academic support has enabled Community Youthwork Coordinator Kathleen and her team to encourage and enable the young people to support each other emotionally; building resilience and even setting up a social media support group, self-titled ‘The struggle is real’.
Over at The Pod in Stonehouse, John’s team have established revision sessions under our ‘Key Café’ banner, enabling those in year 11 and above to access the centre when younger people aren't around so they can focus on their study in a more relaxed and chilled out environment. Whilst the team on hand aren't experts in all the subjects being studied, they can give practical advice and support and be a listening ear.
Sessional Youthworker Isak shares the story of two young men that came along to such a session:
"A couple of lads arrived at Key Café looking quite concerned, it had finally sunk in that they needed to pass Maths and their predicted grades weren't good. They were both desperate for help to improve their grades. So we spent some time with them working through example questions, helping them when they got stuck and taking everything at their pace. They were really relieved that we could help them get focused and knuckle down whilst not feeling like they were still at school.
As part of our community youthwork we keep in touch with the staff at Maidenhill and mentioned to them that these two boys had come along. Their teachers seemed surprised - the boys in question hadn't engaged with anything the school had offered them and I think they were getting a bit desperate themselves."
Since that first meeting they've been coming back every week and progress is being made, they even arrived at a Friday night youth club session to do some extra revision!”
Providing safe spaces is one of the key principles of the work that The Door does, and that includes somewhere for a couple of underachieving 16 year olds to get stuck into their Maths for an hour or two a week.