Although we are an alternative provision, we have the same aspirations for students as Mainstream Schools and we aim high for all our students.
The heart of the Education 1st ‘s ethos is to ensure students’ progress in all areas of their lives. We believe in nurturing the whole child. Although we deliver aspects of the National Curriculum, we treat our students as individuals and know that different young people have different learning needs and styles. Students are at the heart of all that we do, shaping a curriculum to enable them to make progress both socially, emotionally and academically. The curriculum we offer is broad and balanced and offers specific provision for students’ emotional and mental health difficulties.
We offer a range of options, in terms of qualifications and the learning styles that go with them. Every young person will receive quality advice and guidance to help them and their parents/carers make decisions about the best courses and pathways for their future. Courses can change on a yearly basis as we aim to personalise our curriculum to meet the needs of each student.
Our ethos means that we demand the highest standards of teaching and mentoring from our staff, and the highest standards of engagement, cooperation and resilience from our students. We believe that teachers have a right to teach, students have a right to learn and that we work together to ensure nothing must get in the way of this. We pride ourselves on the excellent relationships between staff and students.
Staff monitor student progress across the different subject areas. Parents/Carers are invited to discuss their child’s progress and to see their child’s work. Staff seek to involve students actively in their own learning and assessment and to encourage them to recognise their achievements and to be aware of their own potential.
The curriculum includes time- tabled 1:1 mentoring sessions. Our students have complex social and emotional needs. The mentoring is a key strategy to enable students to develop a mind set that enables them to learn effectively.
How do Education 1st staff support students?
The teacher and mentors will have day to day responsibility for ensuring that academic, social and emotional support is given to every student. This will happen through giving every student time to communicate and discuss issues that are worrying them, proactive plans to support skills development and differentiated work in lessons with staff who promote independence.
Students have access to literacy/numeracy support and interventions as appropriate and according to their level of need. This is alongside multi- agency staff support when necessary.
We will also endeavour to stay in regular contact with parents/carers. Strategies include phone calls, texts and emails. More general information sharing is communicated via the website.
All staff are accountable to Education 1st policies that ensure student and staff wellbeing and safety.
How do we know how students are progressing? Assessment Statement
The commissioning body must provide progress data when making a referral to Education 1st . This enables us to plan and provide an appropriate personalised curriculum for every student. We will also use quality initial assessments to indicate students’ current knowledge and understanding and areas for further development. Excellent differentiation in lesson planning ensures that tasks are matched to students’ abilities and provides high challenge for all.
We have high expectations of the progress to be made by all of our students and set ambitious targets for them. On a termly basis we evaluate progress towards the targets based upon up to date assessment data. This is analysed and senior leaders work with teachers to consider students’ progress and where necessary consider how strategies can be changed to enhance outcomes.
Staff are accountable to Education 1st’s Assessment for Learning Policy so that all students clearly understand their next steps and recognise their strengths as learners.
The use of high quality assessment opportunities including written and oral feedback and self-assessment indicate how students have progressed against learning objectives and success criteria. Completing practice questions/papers for all courses with an examined element is an expectation (fortnightly as a guidance). Papers are marked against exam criteria and marking will be moderated by staff at another school.
Parents/Carers have the opportunity to meet with staff on a termly basis throughout the year. In addition to this, a report and meeting will be convened for the annual review of Statements/Education Health and Care Plans, if this is appropriate.
How is the curriculum matched to student needs?
At Education 1st students are organised on the basis of their age/key stage and the coherence of the potential peer group.
Provision for vocational and foundation subjects and the amount of time tabled mentoring depends on the ability and emotional wellbeing of the student. Sometimes the mentoring takes precedence.
The curriculum for short term/part time provision will contain elements of the core programme. The details will depend on the ability of the student, advice from the commissioning body and the nature of the placement.