Gateway Programme (19-25 years)

The Gateway Programme is an innovative day and residential programme for young adults with additional needs to enable further independence and living skills within an accredited framework.

Who is the Gateway Programme for?

The Gateway Programme is aimed at young adults who have the potential to increase their independence levels through participation in post-school age education.

Young people enrolled in the Gateway programme participate in a bespoke programme consisting of  work, functional, and living skills that may involve sessions in woodland, gardening, horticulture, farming, retail, catering, and the wider community. The practical nature of these activities, and the inclusion of sensory and communication profiles as key components of the Gateway curriculum, results in learners making consistent progress towards their outcomes and aspirations.

The Sunfield Gateway programme works in line with the vision, values, and method of the wider Ruskin Mill Trust in the delivery of bespoke learning programmes aligned to each young adult’s special education, health, and care needs. Outcomes for learners include independent living, vocational, communication, and functional skills. The programme provides for each individual learner, a smooth transition from their holistic school curriculum, into a wide and fulfilling young adult educational programme that builds their confidence, self-esteem, and ability to work with support to keep themselves and others healthy, happy, and safe.

A central intention of the Gateway Programme is to support young people, within the Sunfield community, to develop a sense of connection to, and belonging in their community through participation in practical activities and projects, that enable them to meaningfully contribute to their environment.

There are four main components of the Gateway Programme that prepare young adults for their post-education life through the development of key transferable skills:

Learning Programmes and Qualifications

The Gateway program offers each learner gradual stepping stones towards adulthood and to overcome their barriers to learning.  These small steps are progressively adapted and modified as learners progress through the curriculum according to their developing needs in a wide range of subjects.  Learners in the Programme also have the opportunity to earn accredited qualifications according to their needs and intended post-Gateway destination.

Community Inclusion

Starting with the community of the household, young people in the Gateway Programme learn important social skills including home making, budgeting, maintenance, personal hygiene, relationship skills, and travel training. These skills are transferable to the wider society and allow Gateway learners to step further into world outside Sunfield and participate more fully in community life.

Social Enterprise and Work Experience

Gateway learners have the opportunity to interact with the community through a range of supported vocational activities that provide the young person with a sense of identity, purpose and motivation. Young adults can also work within our cafés and shops, such skills such as menu planning and food preparation, customer service, communication and handling money.

Seasons and Festivals

An integral part of any community is the annual calendar of festivals which gives all of us an understanding of the seasonal rhythm and nature’s impact on the household. Sunfield’s festivals provide Gateway leaners with the opportunity to celebrate the changing of the seasons and to participate in the wider cycles of the Sunfield community.

The Gateway Programme is delivered in both the educational and residential environments and involves close collaboration between Sunfield’s care, education, land and craft, and therapy teams.  This close working partnership allows greater understanding of each student’s strengths and barriers, which ensures planned programmes are designed to meet individual needs.