MISSION AND GOALS
The Senior Phase offers Life and Work Skills Courses designed for young adults from 16 years of age, who do not cope in regular academic environments, to learn life and employability skills to become productive, integrated and independent members of society.
Learners are placed in small classes based on year levels Senior 1 to Senior 4, to facilitate individualisation. While the average learner’s time in the phase is four years, there is no defined exit date, as this depends entirely on each learner’s maturity and confidence to tackle further study e.g. at an FET college, or the world of work.
Two streams are available to learners, the Life Orientation Stream and the Vocational Stream, with some flexibility between them. We offer the learning areas of literacy, mathematical literacy / numeracy, life orientation including cookery for independent living, computer literacy, entrepreneurship and sport across both streams.
- Literacy and Numeracy / Mathematical Literacy
These are each offered on three levels: Functional and Bridging levels, and AET (Adult Education and Training) levels 1 – 4 (accredited through IEB). National examinations are written in June and November, but examinations-on-request can be arranged when available and necessary. Provision is made for any necessary facilitation learners may need e.g. readers and / or scribes.
- Computer Literacy
Knowledge Network, an accredited course, offers project based computer literacy training from Levels 01M to Level 03. In addition, some Life Skills Modules apply learned computer skills as well as other electronic media for the achievement of credits.
- Life Orientation
Learners follow a curriculum which focuses on self knowledge, personal care, personal safety and healthy living. As learners mature they gain the knowledge, skills and values necessary to become integrated members of society and live as independently as possible. Making good choices is a consistent theme.
- Cookery for Independent Living
Cookery classes are run across all year levels from the preparation of simple snacks to the planning, cooking and presentation of family meals. Kitchen safety and hygiene, preparation techniques, cooking methods and safe storage of food, and the planning of nutritionally balanced meals are covered in the layered curriculum.
- Career Preparation
Learners are gradually prepared for the world of work. Modules cover all aspects of preparation for work such as personal presentation, work tasks, expectations, interaction and dealing with problems.
Practical work experience is promoted throughout the phase at different levels from sheltered workshops to open labour market experience in various voluntary placements, depending on the abilities and needs of learners. Learners are ideally exposed to a few different work placements to give them insight into their own abilities and preferences.
In this module, entrepreneurial skills are learnt and practised through progressively independent participation in enterprise activities facilitated by Unity College such as Market Day. Learners initially work in groups, then partnerships and finally become sole proprietors, depending on their abilities. Following a business plan, learners are guided from deciding on a product or service, to advertising and selling that product or service. Practical aspects of the market such as setting up, manning and clearing a stand, as well as record keeping and analysis of profitability are practised.
- Sport and cultural activities
All senior learners have one hour of sport allocated per week. The sports are seasonal and include swimming, athletics, cricket, soccer, basketball, ball skills and general fitness programmes. There are three sports houses, Blue Cranes, Yellow Weavers and Red Bishops. A Gala and Sports Day are held annually. Special Olympics events such as soccer and netball matches and galas are attended as well as arranged inter-school events.
An extramural programme runs two afternoons per week and involves rotational sport and cultural activities. Cultural activities including art and craft, music, dance and a variety of interesting recreational activities.
- Unity College Life Skills Courses
In addition to the learning areas mentioned above, Unity College courses incorporate Life Skills modules aimed at preparing learners with knowledge, skills and values in a wide range of subjects and interest areas applicable to life. The course content is presented at different levels, making it accessible to all learners.
The Unity College courses are benchmarked against the QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework of England, Northern Ireland and Wales) and are internally accredited. Credits are accumulated in each module towards the acquisition of awards (6-12 credits), certificates (13-36 credits) or diplomas (37 credits or more). Internal accreditation of modules requires evidence of achievement of the learning outcomes in each module encompassing a combination of knowledge, skills and values. One credit is awarded for 10 notional hours of work.
The courses are offered on three levels to suit the academic, social, emotional and vocational needs of learners. The Life Skills Courses are arranged in ‘bouquets’ along vocational lines e.g. baby and child care, horticulture, environment studies, animal care, leisure, and media use and retail, so learners get wide exposure to knowledge, skills and values outside regular school subjects. Increasing complexity is evident in each bouquet over the year levels. A strong practical component requires that learners apply what they learn as far as possible. Excursions are undertaken to ensure that the necessary transfer of skills occurs from the classroom to everyday life.
Life Orientation Stream
Essential Life and Work Skills Course
Life and Work Skills Course
Life and Work Skills Course
Skills for Work Course
Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Entry Level 3
Senior 1 – 4
Senior 1 and 2
|Modules offer skills, knowledge and values at a basic level in variety of learning areas aimed at fostering independence as far as possible. Work ethic is introduced and practiced.||Modules offer a wide range of interest and subject areas aimed at preparing learners for life. Vocational bouquets give learners insight into the different fields of work.||Modules are similar to those in Entry Level 2 but are pitched at a higher level taking the maturity as well as the broadening interests and needs of learners into account.||Modules prepare learners for entry into the labour market. The focus is on what employers expect from workers such as good work ethic and appropriate conduct.|
*Learners who require more time to mature either intellectually or emotionally can be accommodated for more than the four years indicated in the table above. (See IDPs below.)
INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS (IDPs)
Twice per year Individual Development Plans are formulated and discussed by all stakeholders including parents / guardians, educators, therapists and the learners themselves. All facets of a learner’s life are covered, including academic, social, emotional and work related goals.
Learners with delayed development have varying learning styles and mature at their own pace. The depth of offering within each course and across courses ensures that learners who require more time to mature either intellectually or emotionally can be accommodated for more than the four years indicated in the table above (*). Such matters are discussed in depth in individual learner’s IDPs.
THERAPY IN THE SENIOR PHASE
The following therapies are available:
- Registered Counsellor – counselling is available to individuals or groups of learners as needed.
- Educational Psychologist – psychometric testing and educational support as needed.
- Good discipline with consistent application of clear and fair rules and consequences for transgression is adopted.
- Learners may take their cell phones to their work placements on Tuesdays for use only regarding transport arrangements, or in case of emergency. If brought to school on any school day, they need to be handed in for safe-keeping. The school will not be held liable for any cellphone mislaid or stolen on school property.
- Monitors are elected by the senior learners and staff at Unity College, and some are promoted to become Prefects. They are to be respected as they strive to perform their duties. When necessary they alert staff to problems so that any necessary steps can be taken.
As in any regular school, Unity College has a uniform code that reflects self respect and discipline and so upholds the dignity and pride of both the learners and the institution.
Mondays and Wednesday School sports uniform
Tuesdays Appropriate dress as per Work Experience placement
Thursdays and Fridays Full school uniform
- Monthly newsletter via email
- Diaries – learners record the week’s events at the Senior Phase meeting every Monday. Homework is also recorded in the diaries.
- D6 school communicator
- Open communication. Please address concerns as soon as possible, first to the teacher, then to the HOD and finally to the Principal.
An adventure camp is held in the first half of the year to promote independence, socialisation, communication and leadership skills. Learners are away for three or four days.
Social events are held each year enabling learners to socialise with their peers in a non-academic environment. Events organised at school include a Bring and Braai, and Valentine’s Disco etc. The Senior Dance, held in the fourth term, is the highlight of the Senior Phase calendar and is usually a dinner dance at an outside venue. A theme is chosen each year and learners relish the opportunity to shine in their outfits and dancing skills.
Once a term an Eats and Treats sale is organised by a class in the Senior Phase and money raised is used for the Senior Phase on what teachers deem necessary for learners’ needs.