Life Story: School Testimonies

The King’s School

The King’s School has been involved in the work of Circles Network for over three years, during which time almost fifty sixth form students have engaged in the work of the network and have volunteered at The Phoenix School.

We are extremely proud of our association both with the Circles Network and the Phoenix School, we deeply value the work they undertake. Students from King’s have gained much from the work:

  • Valuable work experience has been gained in their chosen careers in medicine, nursing, teaching, art therapy, speech therapy, social work and many others.
  • Significant experiences have been gained in building positive relationships with students and staff at the Phoenix and in Circles Network, coupled with a heightened awareness of the issues surrounding disability and the breaking down of barriers.
  • Peer mentoring has resulted in real friendships forming where students have met with people they would not have ordinarily meet; many students who have since left King’s to attend university are still in informal contact with the friends they made during their time in the peer mentoring project.
  • Community spirit has evolved due to the work of the Circles Network. Shared experiences of performing in assemblies, creating projects, going on outings, sending Christmas cards and birthday cards are concrete examples of the bonding which has developed.

Both the school and our students deeply appreciate the opportunity we have had to work with others especially the youngsters in the city who face enormous challenges. We sincerely hope that we can continue to be involved with the peer mentorship work and feel that all involved in the project benefit significantly.

Jo Hobday

Head of Learning for Life

The Kings School


The Phoenix School

Circles Network has been involved in school since our opening in 2004/2005.

The main brief was to assist our youngsters with severe and profound learning difficulties realise their wishes and aspirations by supporting them in their transition through adolescence beyond school and into adulthood.

Throughout this period they have provided invaluable support for our secondary aged students, their families and carers.

They have assisted greatly within whole school developments such as peer mentorship programmes and person centred reviews. This has involved leading staff professional days and in house training sessions

Their role has further extended beyond the school into their local communities by supporting our Phoenix youngsters within locality work through leisure activities and awareness days.

Together with Circles Network the school has an outstanding reputation in delivering these peer mentorship/self advocacy projects. This has also been recognised regionally with other local authorities visiting our school in preparation for establishing similar programmes within their own areas,

Finally this organisation has worked tirelessly in providing support and advice on Post school services and in so doing easing the burden which many families are exposed to once their young person leaves the Phoenix.

In my opinion it is essential that their innovative work continues and that this is acknowledged and valued by commissioning officers just as much as it is valued by my Phoenix community.

Phil Pike

Head Teacher

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