Before Patrick joined High Peak’s autism provision, he had been excluded from a number of previous schools. Because of the exclusions, he had been undertaking home learning for periods of time but was keen to learn in a quiet area so he could get on with his work.
One of his passions was food, a subject he was very knowledgeable about. He had a good understanding and knowledge of different kinds of foods and how to prepare meals.
Patrick’s teachers found that he was engaged in food technology more than any other subject and with support from his teachers, who also utilised their contacts, Patrick was offered work experience at a nearby hotel. He thrived working in a professional kitchen as his day was structured, and as a result of his work there, he has created many more fantastic dishes.
As a result of the success of his placement, Patrick attended his work experience independently, which a few months earlier could not have happened.
Throughout lockdown Patrick continued to study and carried on impressing with his ability and flair in the kitchen. As a result of his hard work and determination, Patrick also gained Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Maths.
Patrick returned to full-time school before the summer holidays and continued his food education in the High Peak school kitchen under the watchful eye of Miss Susca who has been Patrick’s support throughout the past eight months.
Due to Miss Susca’s, knowledge, experience and patience, Patrick has developed the building blocks for a successful career as a chef.
Over the past year Patrick has matured, and can reflect on how much his mind-set has grown along with his skills and qualifications. Following the High Peak School value of strong collaboration and teamwork there has been regular communication with and support from his family, who have worked alongside the school’s education and clinical team to prepare Patrick for adulthood and working life.
Patrick has embodied the High Peak School value of developing a growth mind-set as he has been able to overcome setbacks, changes to his routine and challenges in the kitchen, things that he would have found it difficult to cope with previously.
*name has been changed to protect identity