Having visited Hazel Court FE College back in February this year, we were invited back to give the year 12 – 14 students a refresher session on planning a journey and keeping safe on the railways. Several of these young adults were due to leave college this summer to embark upon vocational courses and other life paths. We wanted to further develop their confidence for future independent travel.
As these students had previously experienced a Try a Train to Brighton back in March, we offered them the choice of a train trip and visit to Hastings or a train trip and visit to London. We then ran specially adapted workshops focusing on their chosen destination. After modelling the process of looking at train apps and websites, the students were then able to use the Trainline website to look up the most suitable train journeys. Most could confidently look at journey times, identify which platform to leave from and whether there were any changes. It was delightful to observe how much previous knowledge these vulnerable young people had retained, especially about how to keep safe whilst travelling.
Our trip to Hastings involved a walk to the beach, a visit to Shipwreck museum and to the Blue Reef Aquarium. One student with a great love of the ‘Finding Nero’ and ‘Finding Dory’ movies – was determined to spot his favourite fish whilst there!
At both Hampden Park and Hastings stations the students consolidated their learning whilst reminding me and their teachers to stay well behind the yellow line, mind the gap and let alighting passengers off first.
These young people were able to develop confidence around train travel and actively engage in community participation whilst independently buying snacks and drinks throughout the day. Seeing clownfish and blue tangs as well as the sharks and stingrays was enjoyed by all. Nemo had indeed been found!
"It has been an invaluable experience for our vulnerable learners."