Our Vision - Why are we here?
Henri Monier-Williams founded EAQ Luccombe in 2017 because she believed from her years of experience working with children from trauma backgrounds, that that there was a need for an alternative approach to education other than conventional. Henri believes that as human beings we are naturally curious and when a child feels safe in a high nurturing environment, working 1:1 or in small groups, that addresses underlying social emotional and mental health needs, a child’s natural want to learn will return.
EAQ Luccombe was born out of demand for such a place and welcomed its first learners.
The ethos of holistic therapeutic education was working and children that attended were making steady progress. The Luccombe Hub created in Spring 2019, was a symbol of new life beginnings and again was developed due to demand. It was recognised that children who were making significant progress with their mental health and addressing their behavioural challenges were now ready to push themselves outside of their comforts zones and be reintroduced to more formalised learning. All children are encouraged to recognise and realise their own personal and academic potential.
So, what makes learning at The Luccombe Hub different?
Our Core principles
1: An anxious mind cannot learn
Providing our learners an opportunity to have a voice and a degree of ownership over their learning journey can help reduce stress and anxiety. Most of our children, have experienced unhappiness within their educational life, often being told they have failed, they have a lack of belonging and a sense that ‘school’ and learning just isn’t for them. At Luccombe we use a learner led approach and find, once they feel safe within their environment, built bonds with facilitators and peers, their resilience and self-esteem increase. Children start to feel a sense of control over their educational life, freedom to build on successes and not focusing on what they can’t do but rather, can do. Learning can once again become a part of their daily life. All our staff are here to help support our learners 1:1 and with this promote positive choices, no doubt as with all good learning, mistakes will be made but these are made in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Support to deal with high emotions in appropriate ways, time to process and reflect, all goes towards a learner becoming more skilled in making good decisions and improves positive behaviour, which goes hand in hand with increasing overall wellbeing.
2. Close working relationships with staff
The Centre is a close-knit community and always happy to welcome new members. Respect between facilitators and learners encourages a team spirit. We use first names for our facilitators and learners and staff work 1:1 with opportunities for small group work, if this is appropriate, for the individual learner. The choice to join in with breakfast club and eat lunch together is there but not forced. We find this approach helps our young people to develop confidence to share their experiences, breaks down natural barriers and provides more opportunities to role model social interactions
3. Self-directed learning/child centred approach
The variety of facilities that we have available to us at Luccombe, enables us to take a holistic approach with an emphasis on outdoor learning to benefit our young people’s SEMH needs.
A core element of effective learning is that our children and young people are exposed to new information several times in a variety of different ways.
Learners are provided with an individualised timetable which will focus initially on a child’s interests. Regular reviews are carried out to ensure progress and new elements to a timetable will be added to ensure best outcomes. The Luccombe Hub aims to create a cross-sessional approach, so learning is entwined throughout the day. The core to this is communication between facilitators and full involvement in their key child’s learning journey. What a child/young person learns in the morning will feed through to their activities in the afternoon. Facilitators will encourage their key children to make links in their learning so they can see the relevance in all they do.
4. Learning opportunities are everywhere
The Luccombe Hub strongly believes in the notion that education is everywhere and every experience has a teaching moment. Some of the best learning happens outside of the formalised learning structure, when a child asks a question that is relevant to their situation and interests at that moment. We believe it is essential that a child has freedom to respond to their own interests and curiosity. To learn in a way that is comfortable for them. This is why each learner is provided with a bespoke curriculum and timetable but still maintaining a sense of flexibility to allow for a change in their learning day should they become engrossed in an interest or project. Learners are given access to both more formal and informal learning throughout their days. This more informal learning can be difficult to assess in a formalised way but can be some of the most significant learning and therefore requires trust in both learner and Centre.
5. Celebrate our differences
We teach at the Luccombe Hub that people are not all exactly the same but our differences are what makes us unique and should be celebrated. It is an embracing of the fundamentals of diversity while encouraging inclusion and respect of a person’s individuality. Whilst we may all be different, The Luccombe Hub remains a place of acceptance.
6. Working Together
The Luccombe Hub recognises that to ensure best outcomes for a child, support is extended to include a learner’s family. We are here to provide as much or as little support as a family needs and will naturally become a member of the team around the family.
We believe that there is another alternative to conventional education, to help young people learn by connecting with the outdoors in a therapeutic environment and by having hands-on, skills-focused classes. We encourage participants to express themselves through art and other mediums. Through practical based activities, we help young people build trust, self-esteem, self-confidence and resilience.
Students at The Hub range from 8 to 18 and there are no year groups. They are able to explore and learn about topics and things that interest them through a student-led structure. At The Hub, we facilitate using a ‘non-judgmental, unconditional positive regard’ allowing learners to make choices for themselves while in safe, therapeutic and carefully supervised surroundings.
We are a facility where we focus on learning, not teaching. Children who cannot access mainstream education due to trauma, anxiety and lack of social skills are able to come and access an alternative form of education with 1:1 support.
We help learners to recognise and discuss their feelings, safe in the knowledge they will not be judged, to voice their anxieties and frustrations, recognise their own emotions and what triggers their change in mood and how to manage their feelings appropriately.