What You Can Expect at East Park...

A young person at East Park playing with bubblesPupil using soft playworkmates student

What you can expect to see and experience and East Park...

East Park provides a bespoke and child centered residential and day education service and Through Care (Workmates) to children and young people with complex additional support needs and challenging behaviours that cannot be accommodated in a mainstream environment. Many of the placements are children and young people who have:

  • social communication
  • social interaction
  • social imagination and flexible thinking challenges that may be due to sensory, ASD, physical and or other impairments or barriers.

East Park also provides a care service that is comprised of four community houses each with four or five single occupancy bedrooms and communal living spaces, and an Intensive Support Service which is made up of two blocks of two and four residential studio flats respectively.

These purpose built, specialized environments, along with the support of our dedicated and trained care staff team, provide young people with the opportunity to develop everyday life skills such as getting their hair cut, sitting at the table for meals, accessing local clubs, going to the shops, or simply playing a game with peers. Young people live socially valued and fulfilling lives as part of the community, experiencing neighbourly relationships, and having full access to local community activities and resources.

Every resident young person has a keyworker who acts as a designated link person co-ordinating all aspects of their care. The keyworker supports the young person on a day to day basis, works closely with education staff to develop and implement effective strategies, and in relation to the planning and reviewing process supports the young person to express their views and choices fully participating in all decisions which may affect their lives.

Each young person arrives at East Park with a range of complex learning and behavioural challenges around which a bespoke curriculum is built to meet their needs.

This looks and in practice is distinctly different to a mainstream school environment. At East Park the Curriculum for Excellence is delivered through robust, responsive time tabling, flexible proportionate curricula delivery, therapeutic support and adaptable engagement.  Putting the CHILD first involves a multitude of approaches that are determined by the challenges and barriers the child and or young person is exhibiting at any given time.

There is no one size fits all in our integrated care and educational approach, which is designed according to the bespoke needs of the child and or young person

No day is necessarily the same for any child and or young person at East Park. This requires education and support staff to be creative, attentive and robust in their approach so that the young person is kept, safe, secure and successful.

Success for our young people may be something as simple as;

  • Joining others at the dining table for a meal
  • Walking to and from school without getting upset in transition
  • Being able to learn a Makaton sign or a symbol to express what they want.
  • Being able to express that they need time to process a situation (self-regulate)
  • Climbing Conic Hill and reaching the top
  • Being able to go on outings without running away
  • Allowing the dentist to look at their teeth for 30 seconds

Responsibility for our young people may be something as simple as;

  • Carrying their laundry to the washing machine.
  • Being able to stand at the traffic lights until the green man comes on.
  • Scanning food items at the self- check in.
  • Being able to carry their empty dishes to the kitchen.
  • Being able to self-regulate while in the kitchen
  • Being able to go on the mini bus and keep their seat belt on.

Confidence for our young people may be something as simple as;

  • Being able to join a class of four others
  • Walking into a busy shop and helping to pick one item
  • Being able to come and join in a birthday party.
  • To have fun and express themselves at parties/social events.
  • Using communication aids to express to people that they are not happy and need support.
  • Being brave enough to try out a new activity.

Effective Contributors for our young people may be something as simple as;

  • Being able to help their support workers  consider new activities (i.e. inputting/contributing  to the process)
  • Helping to buy Christmas present for their families.
  • Joining in at the Christmas concert using a variety of communication aids.
  • Plant flowers/ vegetables in the garden
  • Helping prepare a snack. Put bread in the toaster, pour a drink.

The context of their learning is directly proportionate to the severity of their individual needs. This is clearly stated in the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, as amended, which aims to create a stronger, better system for supporting children's learning. The Act aims to ensure that all children and young people receive additional support required to meet their individual needs and help them to become successful learners. It is within this context that the child and or young person's personal development plan is designed to meet their particular need at East Park.

East Park is different as evidenced by the distinctive learning culture embraced by the education and support staff, that provide a peripatetic learning experience enabling them to teach and work in most areas across the curriculum.  Internal training provides on the job learning and sharing of best practice.

East Park staff use a cohesive and collaborative approach to ensure our young people have an inclusive and broad and wide curriculum that allows for choice and specialisation. Flexible time tables are part of the structure that provide clarity and guidance for the work to be done,  but they do not regulate and or dictate the pace, time, proportion and appropriateness of what is required when a young person is unable to regulate their behavior. It is here when the unwritten time table comes into action and produces remarkable team work between care and education.

East Park is a national, regional and local resource providing specialist learning support in an environment that not many would dare tread.  It is challenging, yet rewarding, it is where some of the best teachers and support workers can be found, always putting the needs of the young person first.

If you have ever tried to hold down a box of corks in the water with your hands you will understand the intensity and opportunity of working with these incredible young people.

While we have classrooms, these are actually SPACES, spaces where children and young people can explore and feel safe.  Our agility and transitioning processes allow for young people to move from one SPACE to the next, safely and confidently.

You will not find children sitting in straight rows behind desks, walking in straight lines between classes, no teacher droning on about their subject, what you will find is:

  • Children playing and working in safe areas;
  • Staff standing and sitting close by providing emotional and physical motivation, maybe even laughing out loud with the young person;
  • Children enjoying their activity to an extent where they do not want to transition to the next lesson.  Does that matter, of course not - they are content, safe and secure.
  • Children struggling to transition from one class to the other, perhaps even a shout here and there, or maybe someone struggling to regulate their behavior;
  • A staff member patiently encouraging and motivating the young person to take the next step; It doesn't matter how long it takes, it matters that they are supported in their next steps
  • Yes they will learn, because everything they do is one step closer to achieving their goal. An extra word added to their vocabulary, a new sign, tied their own shoe laces, kept themselves safe while in the bathroom, greeted a stranger, walked to the shop with a shopping list, baked bread and drew the letter A unaided.
  • Understand this is what you will see and that is progress that is success, that is achievement for most of our children and young people and our staff support this really well.

East Park's three core services currently are:

  • Residential Care and Education
  • Education (School)
  • Workmates - a provision for after school up to the age of 25 years old.