A Personalised Approach
Spring Hill High School has a very personalised approach to education that focuses on the holistic development of the child. This simply means that the school develops, with the student and their parent/carer/foster carer/social worker, a personalised programme of education that is designed to meet the complex needs of the student. Our approach is child centered and is based on elements of Social Learning Theory, Cognitive Behaviour Theory and to some extent the Psychologically Informed Environment(PIE).
Within this personalised programme of study we offer a very individualised curriculum. With the input of the student, the parent/carer/foster carer/social worker, the school designs an engaging curriculum for the student, which meets all government expected standards while capturing the interest and ambitions of the child.
A Robust Reward System
A strong underpinning factor to the work we do lies in establishing of a positive environment where staff model good behaviour, the students are offered options, and positive behaviours are constantly recognised through a very robust reward system that is managed by a set of Responsibility Points. Through this system the students are taught to reflect on their behaviours and make the right choice. The whole concept of reinforcing positive behaviour by ‘catching students doing things right’ culminates into a big celebration ceremony at the end of term where student’ achievements are recognised before an audience of peers,teachers, parents/carers/foster carers, social workers and Governors. These are major school events to which ‘all’ are invited.
A Strong Home-School Relationship
A strong relationship between the school and our parents is paramount. We recognise our students thrive when there is consistency between home and school. Built into our approach is a high level of communication between site deputies and home.The deputies speak to parents every morning to find out the risks of the student before they come into school. This information is cascaded to staff in a morning briefing that takes place daily. It also help the deputy to reshape the students programme so that support is in place to meet the students’ need that day. Likewise, the deputy or the teacher leading the site that day speaks to the home every evening to inform the home of the students day. This forms a part of the school’s ‘Open Door’ policy which means that deputies, in house professional, as well as the Headteacher is available to talk with parents at anytime.
One to One Teaching and Small Groups
In order to create a safe, positive environment for the students we organise the school into small sites of a very nurturing nature. Sites are organized based on compatibility risk and based on student’s needs, not key stage or ability. There is a very high level of 1:1 teaching where students are taught in a personalised safe space. Where students are able to access groups, the group size are relatively small, consist of no more than three students. There is always a safe space for students to withdraw to, when they feel that they cannot manage and where staff believe that their behaviour is impacting on the learning of others. One to one teaching and small groups give the school an opportunity to establish firm boundaries while enabling students to develop trust in the staff and each other, so that the behaviours that are preventing their progress in learning are diminished and more positive behaviours are practised.
Functional Analysis and Robust Risk Assessments
We are very aware that many of our students come to us with extremely high levels of anxiety and very complex emotional needs that often may compromise their academic ability. The success of our approach very much lies in understanding the barriers to individual student’s learning and identifying strategies to overcome these so that the environment is right, and the students feel safe within their environment. With the use of the the Antecedent Behaviour Consequence(ABC) approach we use functional analysis to create a deeper level of understanding of the students behaviours. This informs our staff of how the student’s thinking, emotions and past experience impact on the way in which the student operates enabling robust risk assessments of how to support them . Equipped with an understanding of where the student’s behaviours originate, staff work more creatively and constructively with the challenging behaviours, plan their learning more effectively and help them to reach their full potential.
The success of our approach is also heavily dependent on our use of interventions to support the students. Students have access to peripatetic music therapy, speech and language therapy and counselling. They also have access to impartial careers advice.