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We are a class of 7 students – 3 boys and 4 girls aged 17-18. We have a varied weekly programme which includes courses at Southern regional College, Duke of Edinburgh Award, John Muir Award, Young Enterprise, Work Experience, Choir, Drumming, Independent Travel Training and Hazard Awareness. Our aim is to enable our young people to build the functional skills they will need for preparing for life after school.

Extending on the excellent work completed in Senior School and helping them to transfer skills already learned into a new setting.

We have lots of outings and visits as part of our Duke of Edinburgh and John Muir Awards, including Expeditions in the Mournes and Residentials at Shannaghmore Outdoor Education Centre.

With such a busy programme we also ensure to make it lots of FUN too!!

Students in the VTU 1 are aged 17 to 19 years. The programme on offer for Group 1 in Lisanally introduces students to the world of work by allowing them time to develop their interaction, communication and functional everyday skills. Within the group of eight pupils there are six boys and two girls.

Here we aim to:

       Provide a broad range of structured activities to help prepare pupils for adult life.

       Introduce and develop pupils' knowledge and understanding of the world of work.

       Promote the concept of personal career planning.

       Make the transition from school to adult world as uncomplicated as possible.

       Build self-esteem and produce a valued member of society

       Encourage sensible use of leisure/ social time.

Programmes on offer at present are:

1) AQA Catering: AQA EL - Making Toasted Sandwiches and Warm Sandwiches to Sell

2) Occupational Studies EL - Bench Joinery

3) Occupational Studies EL - Hospitality

4) Occupational Studies EL - Total Beauty & Hair Care

5) Occupational Studies Business & Services L1 - Vehicle Services & Valeting Operations

6) Occupational Studies Business & Services L1 - Contemporary Cuisine

7) City & Guilds EL2 Food Studies

8) ASDAN "Work right” programme

9) Duke of Edinburgh Award

10) Young Enterprise

11) Heartstart

12) Millennium Volunteers Award.

13) Recreational Activities: AW Fitness Suite 

All pupils in VTU 1 hold a prefects position and we also have the Head Boy and Head Girl in our group. Each pupil participates in a work experience programme; pupils who will leave school in June will attend a supported work placement with a job coach from Appleby. Other pupils will attend work experience supported by school staff.

As part of the Service section for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award pupils in VTU 1 are participating in a project where they prepare and sell lunches to staff in school. They decided to call their mini-business ‘The Mobile Deli’. So far all is running well with excellent feedback from customers.

On Wednesday 1st June The students of VTU 2 visited The Gobbins as part of their John Muir Award. We had a super day on what was probably the best day of the year!!!! We completed the cliff path walk and saw some of the beautiful wildlife on the Antrim Coast.

On Wednesday 9th November the students of VTU 2 visited Killowen OEC as part of their John Muir Award. Yet again we brought beautiful weather with us. The group completed sessions in orienteering and the low ropes course before exploring Carlingford Lough on Speed Boats. Everyone enjoyed the thrill of speeding across the water to Carlingford Harbour.

Thanks to our instructors on the day Roy & Mark and all the staff at Killowen.

We now will be working on our iBook presentations which will be shown to parents on the Wednesday 14th December.

On Tuesday, the students of VTU 2 attended the SRC in Newry for the presentation of their City & Guilds Award in Food Studies. Some of the students completed Entry Level 1, some completed Units 1-3 of Entry Level 2 and Ryan completed his full Entry level 2 award. Well done to everyone!!!