The principal aim of the college is to enable each student to develop independence through learning in a college and a community environment that offers warmth, security and consistency.
A purposeful and calm atmosphere is encouraged through the professional approach adopted by all staff. Trust and a positive rapport between the students and the staff underpin the ethos of the college.
Positive behaviour support (PBS) is the framework we use for everything we do. It is values driven, evidence-based and practical. Focusing on student’s rights provides the ethical compass which guides our approach. We understand that behaviours that challenge arise from an interaction between a student’s needs and the environment and strive to provide a college environment which maximises learning. Holistic assessment enables high quality personalised support to achieve learning outcomes for students which are meaningful to them. PBS is a compassionate approach to supporting students to have a good quality of life and in doing so, minimises the risk of behaviours that challenge.
We aim to meet the spiritual, social, moral and cultural needs of the students by promoting the following principles:
- Helping students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Helping students to respect the law and other young people’s rights;
- Promote positive behaviours for learning to help all the students reach their full academic potential;
- Encouraging students to accept responsibility for their behaviour where this is possible and appropriate, given their specific needs and to show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life;
- Providing students with a broad general knowledge of citizenship in respect of public institutions and services such as the police and emergency services at a level appropriate to their understanding;
- Assisting students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures, in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions;
- Helping students to develop skills for employment and where appropriate supporting opportunities for voluntary or paid work, supported internships and/or apprenticeships
Positive, non-aversive approaches are used to change or reduce the severity and frequency of complex behaviours that may challenge. All behaviour is seen as meeting a particular need, or occurring for a specific reason.
We therefore make sure we understand and identify what may underlie or trigger particular behaviours and what might be done to support change for such behaviours, which may challenge or trouble the student and those around them.
By encouraging and reinforcing behaviour which is more positive and helpful for the student, distress is reduced and the student is supported and enabled to engage more positively in an enjoyable and meaningful life. This can of course take time and there are often ups and down in progress, but staff remain committed to enabling students to maximise their potential. No actions that threaten the dignity of a student are either used or permitted.
Equality, diversity, disability access and Fundamental British Values
There is a commitment to providing equal opportunities for students with differing needs relating to culture, religion and beliefs.
Mercury College can support students who have English as an additional language by providing access to resources in their first language. We will endeavour to produce written documentation in the preferred language and, where appropriate, the services of an interpreter will be sourced. We provide an inclusive communication environment where students have access to information in a range of formats including speech, signing and symbols.
Everyone will receive fair and equal treatment based on their abilities or needs, in all aspects of our employment and service provision.
Acts of unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination are prohibited and we respect the fundamental human right of every student not to be discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.
We are committed to promoting community cohesion and strive to ensure that each student and staff member is supported to realise their potential. Our philosophy and practices are aimed at ensuring that everyone, whatever their background or their circumstances, have the support they need to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy life and achieve, make a positive contribution and attain economic wellbeing.
Mercury College actively promotes Fundamental British Values in our curriculum and everyday actions. All staff and students are supported in displaying respect for the Fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect/tolerance of all faiths and beliefs.