October 14, 2019

Cayman Islands Minister’s statement on Lighthouse School “Centre of Excellence” designation

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Hon-Tara-Rivers-MLA-300-200Fourth Meeting of the 2015/2016 Session of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly

Statement Highlighting the Accomplishment of Lighthouse School as a Centre of Excellence in Inclusive Curriculum

By the Honourable Tara Rivers, JP, MLA Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs

Monday, 23rd November 2015

Madam Speaker,

I am pleased to present this statement to this Honourable House informing Members of a recent accomplishment of the Lighthouse School (“LHS”). The LHS has recently been designated as a Centre of Excellence for Inclusive Curriculum by the Awards Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (“ASDAN”).

According to its website, ASDAN is a curriculum development organisation and awarding body, offering programmes and qualifications that explicitly grow skills for learning, skills for employment and skills for life. ASDAN specialises in innovative curriculum development in the areas of personal and social development and work related learning for a wide range of learners, including several programmes and qualifications to meet the needs of Special Education Needs learners and those with Disabilities (“SEND”).

In 2008, the Lighthouse School began offering courses through ASDAN. The ASDAN programme provides a framework through which our Lighthouse students can receive a recognised and established qualification from an accredited board for work they complete in the areas of personal, social and independent living skills. ASDAN programmes are offered globally, and are moderated through its headquarters in the UK.

Certain core elements form the basis of all ASDAN programmes and qualifications, which are designed to:

• encourage student-centred learning;

• challenge students to achieve;

• enable students to learn through experience;

• encourage a wide range of skill development; and

• reward success.

These elements have been embedded in all ASDAN “Preparing for Adulthood” programmes. The Preparing for Adulthood programmes are activity-based curriculum resources. They provide a real-life context to promote the development of personal, social, independent, ICT and work-related skills, and prepare children and young people for adulthood and employment.

The programmes have been developed for learners with moderate, severe, complex, profound or multiple learning difficulties.

The Lighthouse School currently offers two modules from the Preparing for Adulthood Programme: (1) the “Transition Challenge” module for students in years 7-9; and (2) the “Towards Independence” module for students in years 10-12, which were deemed by LHS to be

the most relevant parts of the Programme for their students. A third module of the Preparing for Adulthood Programme is “Workright”, which is offered at the Sunrise Adult Training Centre, where many of our Lighthouse students transition to when they are no longer of compulsory school age.

The Preparing for Adulthood Programme requires that all students undertaking the programme produce a Portfolio of Evidence for each module which is first moderated internally, and then sent off to ASDAN headquarters in the UK for external moderation. Student participants are awarded with certificates of completion after each module, thereby promoting a culture of success.

This past summer an international ASDAN representative visited the Lighthouse School and completed the external moderation process locally, taking the opportunity to review student work in the context of the local facilities. The representative was noticeably impressed, and shared her experience with the Regional Managers of ASDAN.

On Friday, November 13th the Lighthouse School received notification from ASDAN that it had been awarded the recognition of Centre of Excellence in Inclusive Curriculum, which speaks to the holistic and personalised learning opportunities that our students experience. The Lighthouse School was recommended for recognition by the Regional Managers of ASDAN, and the certificate of excellence was duly awarded based on the student work produced during the
2014-2015 academic year and the positive educational environment found to be in place.

I would like to specifically recognise Ms. Olga Gourzong and Ms. Carolyn Powell who were the ASDAN coordinators at LHS during the 2014-15 school year. I would also like to mention the Lighthouse School Principal, Mrs. Carla MacVicar, for her leadership during that time.

I have been informed that the Lighthouse School team has also been contacted by ASDAN recently, and advised that the Turks and Caicos Islands are also beginning to offer the ASDAN Preparing for Adulthood Programme through their facility for adults with special needs, and that ASDAN have advised the TCI representatives to liaise with the Lighthouse School representatives for guidance and support in implementing the programme. This, Madam Speaker, is a testament to the successes of this programme in our country.

On behalf of the Government, I congratulate the leadership, staff and students of the Lighthouse School who have worked hard to earn this prestigious recognition as being an ASDAN Centre of Excellence for Inclusive Curriculum.

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