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Pathways: at a glance

What is Hope Valley Pathways?

  • Hope Valley Pathways was set up in 2012.
  • We are here for young people (aged 16 to 18) who want to keep learning when they leave school, and might need some extra help.
  • We will get to know you and support your needs.
  • We sometimes have 20 students. There is plenty of room for everyone.


Who are we?

  • Teachers: teachers will lead your classes and also double up as ‘mentors’.
  • Mentors: mentors help out in classes and are there to chat to if you need help with anything personal or emotional, or just need to talk to someone.


So, is it just like school?

No. At Hope Valley Pathways we will support you as you become an adult. With us you can:

  • Try out different jobs and decide what you might like to do.
  • Get better at things you are already good at.
  • Work towards a college place.
  • Chat each day to a mentor about how you are feeling.
  • Get ready for living independently (learn how to look after yourself).
  • Make new friends and learn from them too!


What can you do at Hope Valley Pathways?

In Life Skills you will learn about:

  • How to look after your mind and body.
  • Feeling comfortable in your local community.
  • Travelling by public transport.
  • Looking after your own money.

In Numeracy and Literacy, you will:

  • Keep up the skills you learned in school.
  • Gain a better understanding of time.
  • Be more skilled at measuring and weighing.
  • Explore how to budget money (sometimes this is in a café or a shop!)
  • Learn how to complete forms. Write letters and emails. Read information and follow instructions. Create a CV.

And much more…

In Lifestyle and Fitness you will:

  • We will help you to keep as fit as possible. Sometimes we call this ‘sport’ or ‘P.E’, which includes walking, dancing, running, yoga, playing ball games on the school court, using the main school gym, and sometimes swimming, camping and hiking, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s award.
  • We have a PSHE class every week, where we get together in small groups to talk about lots of different things that will affect you as you go through life.
  • Cooking classes will help you to learn about making healthy choices, and how to shop for and cook food that you like to eat.
  • ‘Work-skills’ helps you to get ready for applying for jobs and colleges. We begin this as soon as you come to Hope Valley Pathways so that you have plenty of time to think about your next step.

In Art you will:

  • Create your own work.
  • Be free to take a set task or a topic however you wish, choosing the art materials you feel express you best.
  • Think about things like body image, confidence, and how others understand us.

Our large allotment will give you the chance to:

  • Help grow food and flowers all year round.
  • Learn how to prepare fruit and veg for our cooking classes.
  • Enjoy fresh air, peace and quiet, and views of the hills surrounding us.
  • Learn how to use tools and special equipment.

And in Construction, you’ll learn how to:

  • Look after the building and grounds.
  • Make activities accessible for yourself and others.
  • Work together in a team.
  • Use a variety of tools safely.
  • Build!

Some subjects (music, construction, childcare, art, health and social care…) are your choice. Others (numeracy, literacy, PSHE, sport, cooking, lifeskills, project time) are things we all do together.

We are led by you. This means, if something at Hope Valley Pathways isn’t working for you, we will listen to you and come up with a solution together.


Work Experience

We also offer work experience to help you learn about what it is like to be in the workplace and to help you make decisions about jobs you may like to do in the future.

Here’s a list of some of the work places that our students have tried:

  • Café.
  • Shop.
  • Garden centre.
  • Working at an elderly care home.
  • Visitor centre.
  • Nursery/pre-school.
  • Primary and secondary school.
  • Youth hostel.
  • Supermarkets.
  • Gym.
  • Accounts department at a brewery.
  • Outdoor education centre.
  • Donkey sanctuary.
  • Farm.



Head of Hope Valley Pathways: Mr Richard Griffin

Hope Valley Pathways Administrator: Mrs Helen Fisher

Making choices about your future can be tricky. You can come for a visit to look around and ask questions about the things we do at Hope Valley Pathways. This may help you to decide what you want to do when you leave school. If you would like to come for a visit, talk to your parents/ carers. 

The telephone number for Hope Valley Pathways is 01433 622109.

Or you can email us at:


How to apply

If you would like to be a student at Hope Valley Pathways, you and your parents/ carers will need to apply to Derbyshire County Council. The telephone number is: 01629 536503. You can find more information on: