It's so important that music, drama and art is a part of the work that we do - we know that these help the young people to learn communication skills, have access to speech therapy - and the benefit to mental and emotional health is massive, as well as listening skills, fine and gross motor skills and confidence building.
We have various skills and qualifications across the Gateway team, and we've got some fantastic groups and opportunities for young people with disabilities or barriers to learning to get involved with:
Music and Individual Lessons
Within our staff team, we have a drum teacher, a piano/keyboard teacher, a singing teacher, and we have access to a brass teacher (we can also arrange for flute and guitar beginner lessons) - all of whom have specialist teaching knowledge of working with Special Educational Needs, and all of whom have completed a DBS check with us.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help your child access music lessons - these can be made a part of the individual holiday programme, or can be done as part of another group; or they can be done as private 1-1 lessons.
The main thing is for music to be accessible and enjoyed - but if young people want to do more, we work with other teachers and groups that are able to enable young people with a disability or barrier to learning to reach their full potential. These groups include the Newcastle Cathedral Choir, Music for Life Foundation and the Pantastic Steel Pans.
"From improved communication skills to changes in medical conditions, regular engagement in musical activities makes a profound impact on the daily lives of young people with disabilities. We have seen improvements in their wellbeing, medical conditions, academic progress and social skills as a result of our programmes"
- Music of Life Foundation
As with music, we support young people either individually or as part of a group to learn drama skills and communicate through mine and drama. Some young people do Lamda exams, either as a small group or as individuals.
We use drama in our Small Steps to Work Training, which helps embed the learning that has been done with our young people.
Click here to see a Youtube video that our "Young Apprentices" (Small Steps to Employment) made a number of years ago, around the effects of having a learning disability, and people's attitudes in the workplace.
We put on puppet workshops during holidays, also giving those young people the opportunity to take part in one-day training with the group, with 1-1 support if needed. This training is available for those aged 11+, and lasts for six hours.
Using puppets enables our young people to communicate through the puppet. We are able to encourage our young people who are on the Autistic Spectrum, or those who are shy, to tell their story through using puppets. It is great for the young people, giving them confidence, and is great for everyone watching, too.
As our young people get older, we use puppets in other provisions too - for example some of our young people used puppets on the Ghana trips.
Arts and Crafts Project
With our arts and crafts projects, it is possible for children and young people to spend every day or every holiday doing arts and crafts, either onsite or offsite, if they wanted to. We ensure that there are a variety of arts and crafts activities around on any one day, so that parents and young people can build their own programme.
If there is a particular craft that our young people want to do, this is incorporated into the programme. Some of the arts and crafts are done as a stand alone project, such as the Tall Ships project.
We look for creative ways of introducing arts and crafts into our holiday programme - many of our young people think that they can't do it, and so things are introduced in a way that doesn't necessarily get labelled as "arts and crafts". This empowers the young people to do something they never would have thought was possible!