The de Ferrers Academy is a highly inclusive academy. We go to great lengths to ensure every child can and does succeed in education. As part of our provision we have developed our Alternative Curriculum; a small, specialised class on the Sixth Form Campus for those students who struggle to access mainstream education. This may be due to safeguarding or additional needs, or they may even be at risk of exclusion. Being on this campus allows them access to positive role models and a calmer environment.
Many students access this provision for a fixed period of time and are then reintegrated back into their normal timetable, after having the time to catch up on gaps in their learning and build their resilience.
As part of our alternate provision unit we provide opportunities to develop skills to benefit them outside of the AC classroom. We look at what makes a good citizen and cover relevant pastoral issues that may be relevant to the individual students. We support them in thinking about why they are in need of a period of time in AC and giving them time to reflect on their behaviour choices.
We also introduce our students to the world of work and the different and exciting opportunities that are available to them by linking lessons to the workplace and working closely with the career’s advisor. We support them in writing a CV and applying for courses they wish to apply to post-16.
Students attend the AC classroom between the hours of 8:30 and 14:30. Where possible, all students accessing the alternative curriculum provision carry on with all the subjects they were previously studying by following their individual timetables. Work is provided, and often marked, by specialist subject staff and all students are supported by a qualified teacher and learning support assistant within the classroom.
Additionally, all students work towards achieving AQA Unit Awards. These may be in the subjects they are studying, but also in other areas that they show an interest in.
The de Ferrers Academy is also a registered centre for ASDAN Short Courses. Therefore, students attending the provision who don’t have a full timetable can gain additional certification in a subject of their choice.
Entry Level Certificates in Maths and English are also obtained for students who find GCSE level a challenge.
AC Teacher – Sarah Glover
Mrs Glover is the Academy Lead Teacher for Vulnerable Students and has over 25 years experience of working in the classroom. She is also the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children.
Learning Support Assistant – Wendy McCord
Miss McCord has worked in the AC classroom for several years and often works one-to-one with students who require a high level of support in certain areas. She has a background in Young People’s Services, including careers. This is hugely beneficial when AC students are applying for Post 16 courses.
Students who attend AC for a short period of time (often a half term) have regular reviews with senior staff and parents with a subsequent plan for reintegration into mainstream lessons put in place when the student is ready. This may begin with them remaining in AC two or three days a week and then moving back full time.
A weekly report is also written, stating the strengths and areas of improvement seen that week. These are shared with senior staff and with parents/carers.