A SAFE AND HAPPY ENVIRONMENT
It is vital that our students feel safe and happy in school and we work hard to ensure that this is the case. We have a strong pastoral team who work across the school to support students during their years at Alde Valley Academy.
Each student has a form tutor who is their key adult who they see at the start of each day throughout their time at Alde Valley Academy. In addition to this, we have non-teaching Learning Support Managers who can support students who may be struggling. These difficulties may range from friendship concerns to anxieties and our Learning Support Managers are a key point of contact for our parents and carers.
To recognise the challenges that some students and families may face, as a school we have a wellbeing practitioner who can support our students and parents/carers on a 1:1 or group basis on self-esteem, healthy lifestyles and self-care. If a student is having further difficulties with their mental health we can refer them to the Mental Health Support Team, who are an NHS service that supports children and young people, aged 4 to 18 years with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. As a school we work very closely with our team to ensure our students are provided with the best possible support which is based on their individual needs. In some circumstances this may be through external support to ensure all students can feel happy throughout their school years, where we prepare them for adulthood.
OUR TRANSITION PROGRAMME
We work with pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 from local Primary Schools to give them a taste of life in our secondary school. They participate in a range of exciting hands-on events and activities so that they can familiarise themselves with the surroundings of the school, the staff and the older students.
Our events include:
Enrichment events in subjects such as PE, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Drama and Science throughout the academic year
Visits to see the Year 6 students joining Alde Valley Academy in their primary school setting prior to their transition
Transition day for Year 6
All students and staff are part of a House system, allowing students to be part of the wider community beyond their own year group.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
We believe it is important to motivate and challenge every student and it is our responsibility to enable them to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their academy life. At the heart of this is the OASIS centre (Outreach and Support in School). This is a specialised and safe environment where students receive individualised learning programmes in core skills as well as help in building social relationships and emotional support. Highly trained Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Learning Support Assistants provide support within the classroom and for small targeted groups within OASIS.
We work closely with parents to ensure their child receives the support they need and, where necessary, we seek advice and support from external specialist agencies. All students have equal access to the buildings, curriculum and all that the academy can offer inside and outside the classroom.
ABLE, GIFTED AND TALENTED
We provide supportive academic and pastoral systems to meet the needs of able, gifted and talented students. We use a wide range of approaches to teaching and learning to engage our students and ensure they are stretched and challenged.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION, ENRICHMENT AND STUDENT LEADERSHIP
Personal Development is an extremely important part of a student’s time at Alde Valley Academy. Our personal development programme enables students to become responsible citizens and promotes the wellbeing of all individuals. All students receive a PSHE curriculum which incorporates relationships and sex education, drug and alcohol awareness and careers. They also receive lessons linked to their safety and mental health.
In addition to PSHE lessons, we have a whole school theme every half term which focuses on a particular area within our personal development programme. During the term students will have assemblies linked to the theme, participate in form time activities and whole school events. Students also participate in a timetabled enrichment lesson which they choose from a wide variety of activities. Enrichment allows students to flourish in something a little different to the usual curriculum. It supports their mental health and gives them a chance to participate in an activity with students from across the school community.
Finally, student leadership is a big part of our personal development programme. We have Student Ambassadors, a School Council and Sports Leaders. This gives students the opportunity to participate in the wider school life whilst developing their leadership skills. Personal development allows students to explore specific areas more deeply to support their understanding whilst developing as a well-rounded individual.