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Students with special educational needs board the bus for invaluable learning journey

27 Mar 2018

Pupils at Darton College who are learning how to travel by bus were paid a visit by a local Stagecoach driver, Joel Musgreave, and Kirstan Norman from the Customer Service Team, to help them develop important life skills, including communication and travel. 


Darton College has a Nurture Department for more than 40 students with autistic spectrum conditions, ADHD and interaction difficulties.


The students took part in a Q&A session, providing them with the opportunity to ask any queries about catching the bus. This was followed by a half-hour ride on a double decker bus, taking the students around the village to help them get used to travelling through areas they might not recognise.


Stagecoach also provided the school with a cash tray, maps, fare books and a driver's hi-vis jacket and tie for future use so the pupils can continue to practice using the bus, including asking the driver for their ticket, stating their destination, and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

Joanna Robinson, Learning Support Assistant at Darton College, said: “Thank you very much to Stagecoach Yorkshire for coming along and helping our students with this training – it’s been an extremely valuable experience for our learners.


“For some pupils, it was the first time they had ever travelled on public transport, and they were surprised at how pleasant the journey was.


“For the group, the opportunity to speak to Stagecoach staff and ask questions helped disprove some of the anxiety they have held about public transport, such as lost bus fare or knowing what stop to get off at.


“Opportunities such as these are invaluable for our learners and provides them with much needed independent life skills as they move into adulthood.”


Matt Davies, Managing Director at Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We were delighted to pay a visit to Darton College to help students learning how to travel by bus.


“We know this can be quite daunting for young people who have never done it before, so it was fantastic to help the pupils learn how to communicate clearly and travel safely, setting them up with a crucial life skill for the future.”


The visit follows Stagecoach donating resources to Bents Green Specialist Secondary School in Sheffield last year to help pupils who have been diagnosed with special educational needs develop their life skills, including communication and travel.