About the Smart Project
Who we are
The Smart Project is a wider curriculum schools programme. Jobforce Wales have been running the Project for 7 years, in partnership with Carmarthenshire Youth Service. The Project is based at Inkerman Street in Llanelli and we have space for 20 students each year. The Project is currently piloting a Smart 2 with 5 students, aimed at year 10 students who have completed a year with us but are not ready to progress into the Youth Access college provision for year 11.
Our main feeder schools are Bryngwyn and Coed Cae, but we have also had students from Strade, St John Lloyd, Rhyd y Gors, Maes Yr Yrfa and Gwendraeth schools and Pwll Key Stage 3 Centre. All students remain registered with their referring school and the school pays a yearly fee for each student to attend the Smart Project. Heads of year stay in close contact with the staff and visit to check on their pupils' progress.
What we do
The Smart Project was designed as an alternative to school. Not all students coming into year 10 or 11 cope well with school. This could be due to many reasons including behavioural/emotional problems, personal issues preventing attendance, being bullied, having learning difficulties resulting in falling behind with work, lack of interest in the school curriculum or school phobia. At the Smart Project the students will attend from 10am to 3pm five days a week and our term times follow those of the local schools.
Students work in small groups to improve their social, basic and life skills, increase their confidence and self esteem and focus on vocational skills through courses and extended work experience. Some students are also invited back to their schools to sit their GCSEs at Foundation level in maths and English. For a full list of qualifications/ certificates and awards go to the achievement section. The Project team work with the students to build up a trusting relationship where support can be given both during the Project and for outside issues and problems. We also have many other help organisations at our fingertips, as well as confidential counselling on offer so that we can guide each student towards those who can help them the best.
On Smart 2 students will attend a chosen college course for 2 days a week, go to extended work experince 2 days a week and attend at our office in Queen Victoria Rd, Llanelli 1 day a week. On this day they will work closely with the staff on their basic skills and on the awards/certificates/qualifications they achieved in year one, at the next level up where appropriate. This supported programme should ease the students into the college or work life in readyness for them leaving secondary education at the end of the year. Currently this is a pilot programme but if successful will be taken forward into 2010/11.
All parents also have regular contact with the team to discuss progress and issues and to receive support for themselves.
During the year we operate a reward point system. At the end of each term reward trips are given to those students who have gained enough points. In the past these have included paintballing, ten pin bowling, Lazer Zone, ice skating, buggying or go carting. For the past 4 years the end of year trip has been to Alton Towers. We also hold a fancy dress Christmas party and an end of year BBQ/awards day.
Who we work with
We are lucky enough to work with many wonderful organisations within Llanelli including the Antioch Centre, Centre Project, Morfa Youth Club, Princes Trust, Communities First, Carmarthenshire Police, Local Health Authority, Arts Care, Youth Offending Service, Llanelli Fire Station, Llandysul Paddlers, the police force, Careers Wales West and local employers who offer the students work experience placements. We would like to thank all those who work with us for continuing to support our Project and for helping to make it the success that it is.
The Referral Process
Traditionally students in year 9 or 10 who have shown an interest in joining the Smart Project, as well as those who have been identified by their heads of year, are invited to a presentation by us in their school around May time. Following this students are asked to apply for places, go through an interview process and those selected are invited to attend a taster day in the July. Following this those students who are accepted onto the Project start attending in the September. All students have a 4 week trial period within which they can request to go back to school if the Project does not suit them. The whole ethos of the Project relies on all students being referred and attending willingly. In our experience few students who are forced to come onto the Project make it to the end of the first term.
All referrals must be made via the students’ school or LEA where applicable to Hefin Lloyd, Carmarthenshire Youth Service, 01267 267801. Parents interested in finding out more can contact Kim on 07971 229682 or email@example.com or speak to their child’s head of year.