Corby school opens new community café
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A Corby school has opened a new community café in order to give their students valuable work experience opportunities.
Specialist social, emotional and mental health school Maplefields Academy opened their ‘Futures Café’ on Sunday, October 29.
The café will form part of the school’s commitment to their careers offer. It is the school’s aim that the Futures Café will offer their year 11 and post-16 students the opportunity to access work experience within the school setting but in an environment that will give them much-needed opportunities to gain work within the local community.
Paul Lamb, deputy headteacher at Maplefields Academy, said: “Given the very complexed needs of our children it is sometimes very difficult to get our children out on what you would traditionally call work experience. One of the aims of opening our café is to offer in-house work experience which will afford some of our children the experience of working within the community by being employed at the café.”
The school was successful in gaining funding for this project from Market Harborough Building Society’s Charitable Foundation.
The £4,000 of funding has seen the upgrade of their current bistro setting with a new additional outside patio seating area for members of the community to come along and enjoy, while having the opportunity to be served coffee and refreshments from students who attend Maplefields.
The project will also afford opportunities for other user groups and local schools to access the café.
The café is a non-profitable organisation with all proceeds going into their Alumni Fund which helps the students when they leaving for their next destination, whether it be college or employment.
Mr Lamb said: “We strive to offer students the opportunity to access work experience within the local community in a safe, calm and caring environment where they can develop a sense of self-worth, confidence and control as they move towards adult life outside of the academy.”
Maplefields Academy recently received a grade of ‘outstanding’ from Ofsted, following an inspection in June.
The report said: “Pupils thrive at this exceptional school. They learn a challenging curriculum. This is a task they rise well to. Staff strive to give the very best to all their pupils. Pupils receive high levels of care and are well prepared for wider society.
“Pupils feel happy and safe in school. They are confident that their teachers will do the right things for them. They know that adults will listen to any worries or concerns they may have. Pupils said that the school is a ‘family’.”
Headteacher Jessie Walker said: “We are exceptionally proud of our students, staff, parents and carers and the whole school community for helping Maplefields to continue to remain an outstanding academy.
“We know the hard work doesn’t stop here and we will continue to develop the school further and offer our students the very best opportunities so that they flourish and are prepared for their adult journey.
“The Futures Café is a perfect example of such work and this community café will give valuable employability experience to the students at Maplefields as well as serving the community.”