Gloucestershire College Opens Harbour House
On Friday 12 November we were very excited to welcome friends of the college to the opening of Harbour House. Within walking distance of Gloucester Campus, Harbour House is Gloucester's brand new post-16 provision for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) students with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD). It is a safe, self-contained, specialist facility which has been thoughtfully designed to support students with a collaborative approach to education, meeting their educational and therapeutic needs.
Harbour House features a highly unique sensory room, as well as social and creative spaces that include whiteboard tables, an interactive floor projector, and tablet computer screens to enable creative teaching. The journey for each student can be very different, with an individualised curriculum led by highly-trained and passionate staff. They work closely with young people, developing independent living skills, community engagement, cookery for independence, and the development of maths and English for daily life.
Alongside this, staff work with students to explore their hobbies and interests, to get to know their communities, and to form friendships in a safe and supportive environment. They also help students to develop self-advocacy to make choices, understanding feelings and emotions and improving mental health.
All of our students are supported by a dedicated Personal Tutor, who will support them, their circle of support, and any relevant agencies, to review their progress with emphasis on their individual aspirations and goals.
This new provision promises to be a great asset for local students who will now be able to access all of the support they need close to home, rather than traveling long distances. This is a key focus for Harbour House, as staff ultimately aim to help students become as independent as possible as they transition from education into the local community.
"Harbour House is an excellent example of how collaborative working, with multiple agencies, can help create provisions to meet the needs of students locally.
Transition planning is important at every stage of education, especially as young people prepare for adulthood. Harbour House allows young people to explore community connections for the future, in a supportive and planned approach.
As a team, we look forward to assisting young people in their individual journeys, enabling them to develop their confidence, independence and wider support circle."
Kirsty Foran, Head of School for SEND (Learning Support & Foundation Studies)
"I am delighted that the College and Gloucestershire County Council have been able to collaborate on delivering this exciting and important provision for young people across Gloucestershire.
Harbour House demonstrates our passion and commitment to ensuring that young people of all levels of ability and diversity are able to access opportunities within their local community.
It has been a pleasure to see our learners embrace what Harbour House offers during this first term as they begin to make impressive steps in developing their independence."
Dave Kettlety, Director of Student Employment and Experience
If you’d like to know more, you can speak to your School SENCO or EHCP Lead, or contact our dedicated SEND Transitions Team directly: TransitionsTeam@gloscol.ac.uk.