Development of the YCA Education/Lifelong Learning programme
The YCA has been running a number of activities with the aim of improving access to learning opportunities for adults and supporting children with school work. These have been operated on a short term project basis. All the above projects and activities will be managed through an Education & Training Theme.
In 2001 a feasibility study was commissioned by the YCA into ‘Assessing the Educational Needs of Young People. The study concluded that a role for a dedicated Education Development worker was clearly desirable and necessary if the YCA was to play a role in addressing the educational aspirations of the Yemeni community in Sandwell.
After careful consideration of the feasibility study, the YCA Management Committee endorsed the recommendations of the study and as a result have not only continuously supported but prioritised the development and progress of its community learning programme.
The YCA have in place a number of initiatives aiming to fulfil the educational needs of the community it serves
The YCA responded to the wishes of the community by setting up a mother tongue school to teach 5 - 14 year olds the Arabic language. The school was originally set up in March 1998 and funded by parents of children attending; which serves as an indication of the value parents place on this activity. Most of the teachers at the school have completed basic teacher training course therefore are able to engage children fully in their learning. In addition, all the teachers have completed Level 1 Safeguarding children training as well as completed Enhanced CRB checks.
Over the years the YCA have carried out a number of formal evaluations into the quality of teaching always aiming to strive to improve itself. These formal evaluations included an assessment by Sandwell LEA, using OFSTED guidelines and more recently by Sandwell Adult & Family Learning who have given us positive feedback.
After School tuition and Homework Clubs
One of the main problems that have been identified is the lack of support given to students with their schoolwork outside school hours; there are many reasons for this lack of support. However, it is this lack of support that is usually the main cause of isolation from mainstream education amongst the young people we come into contact with.
The objective was to create an attractive environment where students can receive the level of support from a qualified person. The club was informal but controlled and support was mainly delivered on a one to one basis. This project proved to be successful with students and their parents. Recreational activities were also organised for those taking part.
With funding from Children in Need the YCA has developed a KS2 & KS3 tuition support club. Here we have qualified tutors who will help prepare children for SAT’s test and GCSE exams. The tuition support is open to children in years 5-6 and years 10-11.
The After School tuition and Homework Clubs is managed as part of the Youth Development programme
Tahfeedh /Quran Recitation Classes
Once more as a result of parental demand Tahfeedh classes were established at the YCA which again is fully funded by parents. The classes aims to instil Islamic values in young people as well as support them to read, understand and recite the holy Quran. The YCA Tahfeedh classes are run by experienced teachers who have fully Enhanced CRB checks. Additionally, the YCA taking young people’s safeguarding very seriously therefore having zero tolerance to any form of abuse perpetrated against young people whether it be physically, verbally or emotionally.
Adults having limited English language abilities has been shown to have detrimental effects on the wellbeing of not only those individuals but also their families. Therefore in understanding the barriers this can cause the YCA holds a number of adult English classes :
Structured ESOL classes which is classroom based, which is run alongside
Informal English conversation classes (Lets’s Talk English Café) providing opportunities for Adults to practice using their English speaking skills outside the classroom environment with native English speakers.