Milton Keynes Education Trust has submitted an application to the Department for Education to open a primary Alternative Provision Free School in September 2017.
The key feature of the school will be the flexible and creative ways in which the different social, emotional and behavioural needs of each individual boy and girl are met. The curriculum will be designed to ensure the holistic development of the child with an emphasis on the social and emotional aspects of learning as well as ensuring accelerated progress in literacy and numeracy.
The school’s curriculum will be influenced by the concept of forest schools and will therefore have an emphasis on outdoor learning. Children will spend a significant proportion of their time learning outside the usual classroom context with the gradual introduction of more formal ways of learning as part of the process of reintegrating into mainstream schools. This approach will support the development of children’s social skills, self-confidence and self-esteem thus increasing the likelihood of successful reintegration into mainstream education.
The environment that the school is in, i.e. the building itself and the grounds, will be another key feature of the school. The right environment is crucial to the delivery of the school’s curriculum and the realisation of its aims.
Working with parents to develop parenting skills will also be a key feature of the school’s work.
Cohort of pupils for whom the school will cater
The school will cater for four main groups of children with SEBD:
• children who are unable to meet the expectations of mainstream schools and whose behaviour puts them at risk of fixed term or permanent exclusion;
• children that have been excluded for a fixed term who would benefit from a period of alternative provision before being reintegrated back into their school;
• children that are experiencing specific social, emotional and behavioural difficulties who would benefit from a part time programme or nurture group provision to address their particular problems;
• children that have been excluded permanently.
Proposed age range
The school will cater for children between the ages of 4 and 12, i.e. Reception through to Year 7. The school will not accept referrals into Year 7 but some children at the school in Year 6 may need a phased transfer into their mainstream secondary school.
The curriculum will focus on equipping children with the knowledge, skills and attributes required to successfully reintegrate into mainstream education. Addressing the children’s specific SEBD needs will inform all aspects of the curriculum which will be built around developing their personal, social and emotional skills and understanding.
In addition to Personal, Social and Emotional Development, the curriculum will aim to develop the following areas of learning:
• Communication, Language and Literacy
• Problem solving, Reasoning & Numeracy
• Knowledge and Understanding of the World
• Physical Development
• Creative Development
A range of programmes will be used to support the development of children’s literacy and numeracy, including intervention programmes for those that are below age related expectations.
Another key feature of the curriculum will be children working outdoors, including caring for animals and growing plants, especially fruit and vegetables.
Approach to teaching and learning
The approach to teaching and learning will be based on Building Learning Power which aims to create a culture in the school that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable children to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively.
Pupils who are more confident of their own learning ability learn faster and learn better. They concentrate more, think harder and find learning more enjoyable.
Building Learning Power prepares children better for an uncertain future. It aims to teach children how to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative and logical, self-disciplined and self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive.
The approach to teaching and learning will also involve the use of specialists who will bring their particular area of expertise to the different projects being studied.