Stepping away from home – often for the first time – into a safe yet challenging environment, students soon start to gain confidence socially and in their achievements.
The first year programme provides an un-pressurised setting in which students can gain confidence in their new skills and social life while finding their place in the Community. Project based work in traditional crafts lays the foundation for future pre-vocational training. Projects include: sourcing and refining clay and making a pot, wool work from fleece to felt, willow basket making, green wood working and iron forging.
Consistent with the ethos of the Mount, the programme is inherently therapeutic, and this aspect is strongly supported by the daily movement work of Bothmer gymnastics and eurythmy, both drawing on the Steiner Waldorf curriculum. Students have weekly games sessions and swimming lessons at the local leisure centre.
Cultural and artistic activities (music, festivals, drama and art) play a key role in providing a broad and balanced life experience.
English and mathematics learning is embedded within project activities and some students will have additional sessions with a specialist tutor. College Year 1 students run a weekly tuck shop. .
In the last term of College Year 1 students are guided through a process of choosing one or two workshops in which to specialise. This includes working alongside students of College Years 2 or 3 in a workshop setting.
The first year culminates in a drama production of the Parsifal story and a camping expedition.