Vocational Skills - we have a sustainable enterprise approach to work-based learning at Saxon Hill Academy.

Saxon Hill Community Connect

Saxon Hill Community Connect CIC is a community interest company set up by Saxon Hill to provide  real work environments for our students to develop work skills and diplomas. As a registered, stand-alone company, this will allow our students to work within real business environments, and develop a range of vocational skills while developing their functional numeracy, literacy and communication skills.

Saxon Hill Craft Barn

The Saxon Hill Craft Barn is an Arts and Craft store with recycling at its heart. We hold a variety of interesting materials & merchandise from fabric, wool, buttons & haberdashery to cardboard tubes, paper, plastic, picture frames & books. Even wooden crates, cable reels & mannequins on occasion. All these along with core range of new art products make us an exciting arts & crafts resource.

Be you a student, artist, crafter, kids’ clubs, sewing groups, or school this Aladdin’s Cave has something for everyone!

The Craft Barn set up by Saxon Hill Community School in Lichfield, is an inspiring community project based at Chasewater Country Park, which whilst being a wonderfully inexpensive store, also provides young disabled people with supported training and assisted work placements.

Community Connect Café

The Community Connect Café was established in 2013 and is based on the site of Saxon Hill Academy. It is open for the use of pupils, staff and visitors to the academy and also during ‘out of school’ hours, the café is open to the community. The café serves a variety of hot and cold food and drink in an attractive, warm and friendly environment.

The café is open on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am until 3pm and is currently run by the academy’s catering team and supported by local volunteers. On Mondays the café is operated in partnership with ‘Options for Life’ a non-profit making voluntary organisation providing a range of innovative opportunities for people with learning disabilities, enabling them to enjoy the same rights and opportunities as non-disabled people.

Options for Life operate through a Direct Payment / Personal Budget scheme where adults apply for this funding through Social Services to access this fully supported, bespoke service. Options for Life work alongside our current students, supporting our former students to learn the crucial work skills involved in ordering café stock, preparing and serving food and drink, handling money and managing customer service. Students are able to qualify for their Level 1 Food Health and Hygiene certificate whilst working in our café.

Wyvale Garden Centre, Shenstone

We had established a close relationship with a local garden centre and it was agreed that we could build our very own class base at the Wyevale, Shenstone site. This provided a warm, comfortable base for students to make their own drinks and lunches during their visits. This enabled students to stay on site for much longer periods and the work opportunities increased rapidly.

Now students use this work base three days per week and learn valuable work skills such as unpacking deliveries, stacking shelves, facing up products, designing displays, pricing up products and scanning purchases at the tills. This project is a huge success as students benefit enormously from the expertise of the corporate retail world.

Flushed with success, we wanted to expand the range of work based opportunities available to our students. Saxon Hill Community Connect Co. was established in 2012 by Saxon Hill Academy. We had identified this lack of variety of work based learning opportunities for young people and adults with physical and learning difficulties.

Saxon Hill decided to take a pro-active approach and looked to develop businesses that current pupils could access as part of their curriculum whilst also offering opportunities for our former pupils to return to in order to learn new independence and work related skills. As a result, two businesses were created; Saxon Hill Craft Barn and Saxon Hill Community Café.

Lichfield Food Bank