WAYS Youth Services

WAYS Youth Services is supported by Matana Foundation to enable the provision of curriculum for young people, to assist them to re-enter formal education by completing Years 9 and 10.

POEM is a school at WAYS Youth Services for youth (aged 13 to 19) who have been disconnected from mainstream education. The goal is to re-engage students in education whilst making it a fun and flexible learning environment that allows the students to feel relaxed and helps them to achieve their own goals.

Many students that come to POEM may face other barriers to their education like homelessness, crisis, drug and/or alcohol issues, social isolation and family issues.  WAYS’ intention is to provide students with the holistic support they need to achieve their education goals. POEM teaching staff are supported by the multidisciplinary team at WAYS Youth Services.

When students have completed the POEM course they can continue their studies at mainstream schools, TAFE, or other educational settings. Some find employment, or undertake an apprenticeship with ongoing support from WAYS.

Matana Foundation’s support of the POEM School and students over the last three and a half years has been invaluable.  In this time there have been many exciting achievements by the students, and in the development of the program itself.  Some highlights are:

  • Since 2009 Matana has supported 6 students per year to go through the program.  Students completed core subjects in Year 9 as well as preparation for work, computer studies and extra literacy and numeracy support.  Students’ learning is supported through individual learning plans, fully supplied resources, excursions and case management support.
  • In 2011 Matana supported the school with the expansion of the teaching program from delivering Year 9 only to becoming accredited with the NSW Board of Studies to deliver both Year 9 & 10, and put students forward to receive the Record of School Achievement.  The Foundation supported the school’s development of a specialised curriculum for this student population, the purchase of resources and seed funding to employ a new teacher for program delivery until government funding was secured.

Some feedback from one of the students:

“I came to POEM because I do not like normal school because there are too many rules. Now that I’m at POEM I actually have been coming to school and trying to do my class work. WAYS has helped me by being more understanding than my teachers from my previous school and because there is less students I got more attention and the help I need during class work. The teachers here understand me more and I like talking to them. I like POEM because of the new friends I have made, the food and the excursions. My goals for next year are to get a job and go to an alternative school or TAFE.”