Salford Open Learning

Student and teacher at SOL

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Hi and welcome to Salford Open Learning (SOL).

About SOL

Salford Open Learning, or SOL, is an alternative education provision that is run through Salford’s Youth Service.

At SOL we offer a more suitable learning environment for students who haven’t managed to achieve their potential in a mainstream setting.

We offer 20 hours a week learning to each student across five days Monday to Friday; and our students have a chance to spend at least one day out taking part in something vocational at a different provision.

Most of our students attend with us for four days and attend somewhere vocational for one day.

We offer a range of different qualifications including GCSEs, BTECs, AQA Awards, Arts Award and Prince’s Trust Awards.

Where are we?

We operate out of The Deans Youth Centre, 57 Deans Road, Swinton M27 0AP.

More information about this area.

What you can expect

We try to make our learning environment as little like ‘school’ as possible so it’s great that we now run from a well-liked and well used youth centre.

We want to make it as comfortable for the students who come to us as possible so that they can achieve and succeed to the best of their ability.

A classroom at SOL

About the staff

The staff is made up of a Project Coordinator called Kirsty who organises all the behind the scenes things that go on at SOL, we also have Vicky, who is our English Teacher as well as our Pastoral Coordinator.

We have a teaching assistant called Steve who is there to help young people in their lessons and to add additional support, and we have our two other teachers Dan, who teaches the Art and Photography lessons as well as Phil who teaches Maths.

We also have Rachel who is our admin – she is the first person you’ll see every morning when you walk in the front door and she sends off attendance to your roll school.

We also have two fantastic youth workers – Matt and Fiona – who will cover lots of different work with you during your time with SOL.

You will also have 1:1s with the youth workers so if there is anything you need to talk about or need help with you will have dedicated time on your timetable to speak to them.

Life at SOL

One of the main things about SOL is that you are still linked to your roll school. You haven’t been permanently excluded – you are just accessing your education somewhere other than the mainstream school you used to go to.

Some students really prefer the smaller class sizes and the fact that you can call teachers by their first name! We like to have a friendly atmosphere around the project.

What happens if you're referred

If you are referred to SOL then Kirsty will contact your parents or carers and organise an induction meeting with her.

You and your parent/carer will come to SOL to have a look around and Kirsty will go through what a day in SOL is like, who everyone is and hopefully find out a little bit about you.

Uniforms

You will be given one free uniform piece (which is a grey sweatshirt, or polo shirt) and then your parent/carer will be given an order form to buy more if needed.

Some students only stay with us for short term placements so won’t need lots of uniforms. Some students will stay with us for the full three years – Year 9, 10 and 11 – so they may need more than one uniform to get by!

Starting at SOL

Once you have met with Kirsty and she has introduced you to the staff and you are feeling confident we will give you a start date and then you will come into SOL and begin your lessons with us.

After a week you will meet with Kirsty again so she can make sure that everything is going well and you feel safe and happy.

When you first come to SOL you will do some in class initial assessments so that the teachers know where your levels are. They can look a bit like tests but they’re not – there is no pass or fail. They simply let the teachers know how to plan your personalised learning plan.

This plan is made into a Provision Map and these provision maps will be sent home for your parents or carers to see so that they know exactly what you will be doing with your time at SOL. All of your targets and current grades will be on your provision map so you know what work you need to do as the term progresses.

A SOL student climbing a rope ladder

SOL take Year 9-11 but we try to keep our class sizes small. You will never have more than 10 in your academic classes. There might me some mixing of the classes when it comes to day trips out, or vocational options, or youth work sessions – but day to day you will never have more than 9 other young people in your class alongside you.

SOL also provides a breakfast club in the mornings from 8.30am to 9am.

Lunches are also provided from Moorside High School’s canteens – so you will always have the option to eat with us.

All the staff at SOL are friendly and approachable and we work hard to make sure that all the young people who come to us fit in well and are given the opportunity to succeed to the best of their abilities.

Get in touch

For more information you can call Kirsty on 0161 603 6876 or you can call the Head of Centre - Patrick on 0161 603 6871 or email openlearning@salford.gov.uk.

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