Gecko is a Community Interest Company that offers innovative teaching and therapeutic projects to support students who, for whatever reason, struggle with mainstream education. Based on over 60 years of acquired experience, our programme combines the alternative education needed by these students with an appreciation of the wellbeing essential to their social integration and personal confidence. In the foreseeable future we will combine our cutting edge online sessions with face to face learning and support, enabling us to offer alternative provision that meets the individual needs of our students.
We support students aged between 11-20 who
- Are Autistic
- Have ADHD
- Are experiencing anxiety or mental ill health
- Have experienced bullying or trauma
- Are at risk from exclusion or have self-excluded from mainstream education
Our aim is for students to return to full time education, employment or training via a process of collaborative planning, communication and strong relationships with schools, parents and students.
We believe that students are far more able to develop their abilities and confidence with a supportive community around them. Therefore we help the students to become engaged within our community. This involves supporting them to become a member of our community and gain support from it. Later they are able to support others within the community. Through all this we work with students to develop their social skills and overcome anxiety. This grows to ensuring they are able to access and develop their own communities of support. Finally we work with students within the local community increasing their confidence to access the opportunities this affords them.
Wellbeing goes beyond positive emotional experiences. Embedding wellbeing within the learning environment places an emphasis on meaning, sense of purpose and self-realization. The discovery of talents, strengths and capabilities can open up a new world of possibilities for students and research shows that students with high levels of well-being have better academic and life outcomes both within school and beyond. It is for this reason that we believe that learning is about far more than academic outcomes.
Young people in alternative provision are usually eager to learn, however they may find that either the curriculum is unengaging or they may require learning that is more tailored to their individual needs. This is sometimes difficult to manage within large classes. Gecko will use a tried and tested approach utilising a combination of project based learning, negotiated curriculum, online learning and a virtual world. These allow students to follow a wide field of interests in their learning while mapping to the national curriculum, produce projects and products that contribute toward qualification or certification and radically adapt their learning practice while they learn to re-engage within a classroom environment.