The LifeLine School

About the School

Formerly known as the LifeLine Institute, the LifeLine School became a recognised independent school by the Department of Education in September 2016.

School Ethos

The LifeLine Independent School is a unique provision that allows students with a disrupted educational background the opportunity to catch up with their peers in under 10 months.

We therefore place a great emphasis on fostering excellent relationships between staff, students and parents in order to understand individual needs and tailor a package of support that enables each student to achieve.

Our ethos is demonstrated through three main elements:

Vision

Many of us need others to help us to hone our future goals and young people are no different. Support and a second, more experienced pair of eyes helps our students to identify their potential and to grow in confidence. A carefully-matched mentor is provided for each student. They are the one who is initially able to have higher aspirations for the student than they might consider for themselves. Someone ‘championing’ them encourages our students to expand their horizons and consider new possibilities for success.

Identity

Positive relationships allow students to discover their own strengths. By building relationship and getting to really know a young person, teaching staff and mentors are able to guide students as they discover a sense of identity and being comfortable in their own skin. This builds self-confidence. Once students feel secure with who they are, they can then start to develop their real outward identity, rather than borrowing from their peers or who social media tells them they should be.

Purpose

Once a student has vision and identity, it’s important that they have a goal to focus this new-found drive. This is not about time-filling activities, but about providing them with the opportunity to discover their own purpose in life. By developing their sense of responsibility, we have found that young people become increasingly willing and excited to take ownership of their future, including educational attainment and community-based activities.

We use structure to ensure efficiency (using small group tutoring, for example) but our focus is holistic.

Curriculum

Because we care about our students holistically, we take an unconventional route to attainment. In addition to targeted academic studies, the curriculum includes vocational training, business skills, work placements, the chance to take part in further enrichment activities, and crucially, support from the 30+ volunteer mentors who are an integral part of our delivery.

We tell our students, ‘We want you to walk tall when you leave us!’

You will be able to gain accredited qualifications in the following subjects:

English, Maths and ICT at the following levels:

  • Functional Skills E1, E2, E3, L1 (equivalent to GCSE grade D-G)
  • Functional Skills L2 (equivalent to GCSE grade A*-C)
  • Full GCSEs in Maths and English
  • ICSE in ICT

All qualifications are accredited by City & Guilds or Edexcel.

Qualifications enable students to progress on to accredited Level 3 courses and/or A levels, the required qualification for entry to a UK university.

For full information please refer to the School Prospectus.

Students and teachers celebrate graduation

The proof that it works

mentoring-awardTo date, well over 400 young people have benefited from the specialist teaching and support offered by the School. Our services were commissioned by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham since 2005, and the London Borough of Hackney between 2008-2010. The School has not only been nominated for multiple awards, but has also won the Learning Award at the Children and Young People Now Awards 2013.

Achievement

On average, 69% of students progress by at least two levels during their year with us. Those who show aptitude are placed onto an accelerated coaching course and achieve IGCSEs in English, Maths, and ICT within one year.

Progression

On average, 97% of students (ranging from school refusers to recent migrants) who remain in the UK continue in education, employment or training after they leave the School. Increasing numbers continue onto University.

Attendance

Attendance is 95%. For some students this is a very significant achievement. For example, one student was only attending school 10% of the time when she was first referred to the School. Her attendance rose to 85.8%.

How does it work?

Academic Studies

Students are assessed on arrival to determine their current level. This, in conjunction with their initial interview gives us a chance to see how they tick. The academic programme is focused on the core curriculum, and each student receives an individually-tailored package to help them progress. At the end of the year, the majority of students will have gained GCSEs or Level 2 qualifications.

Life Skills

In order for School students to get the best education they can, we recognise that skills like being able to communicate with others, solving problems, and dealing with difficult situations are just as essential. These, too, form a core part of the learning agenda, supported by a strong team ethic and a climate of respect and care that is demonstrated by all the staff, mentors and students.

Mentoring

All School students take part in our award-winning VIP Mentoring programme, where our fully-trained local volunteer mentors, spend at least an hour a week one-on-one with each student. These VIP mentors build trust, show care and work as a team to help students to find their vision for their future, gain confidence in their own identity, and give them opportunities to find their purpose in life.

A teacher checks a student's work

A teacher helps a student

Enrichment Activities

Enrichment activities are better when they are shaped to the needs of the students and the available resources. Building a team of volunteer School Ambassador Mentors has been a key part of providing our students with every opportunity to make friends, develop character and become part of their local community. Ambassador Mentors have been the catalysts for a wide variety of programmes from a football club to a film club; art activities to an intergenerational project, all of which challenge wrong perceptions and encourage respect and character building.

Work Experience

Building relationships with local businesses means that students can be given the opportunity to undertake work experience in a wide variety of sectors in the local area, as well as within the LifeLine family.

Extra-curricular Clubs

Offering as full a range as possible of extra-curricular activities gives students the chance to meet with other young people and build new relationships in the community. This, when combined with a holistic approach to teaching which values care, compassion and relationship, is key to boosting students’ confidence and ability to make friends, integrate into a new community and thrive academically and vocationally.

Board of Governors

Chair of the Board: John Singleton

Address for Correspondence: LifeLine House, Neville Road, Dagenham, RM8 3QS

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