Smallbrook School is an Independent School based in Wem, Shropshire. It delivers Independent educational provision to pupils whose needs make education in a mainstream setting inappropriate. Where progression to mainstream College is inappropriate, pupils can also continue to access a full time education at Smallbrook beyond year 11.
The aim of Smallbrook is for all students to achieve their full potential in a safe and structured environment responsive to their individual need.
The underpinning ethos of the school is based on a pupil centred curriculum framework that is currently expanding to encompass a broad, balanced and alternative learning provision that provides flexible learning opportunities. The curriculum has been designed and tailored to meet individual learning needs in line with the National Qualifications Framework, DfES and Ofsted recommendations.
Admissions to the school come through Bryn Melyn Care, to whom the school belongs. Pupils who attend are in residential care and have often been permanently excluded, are at risk of exclusion or are currently without a school placement. Pupils on roll are years 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. The school provides 25 hours of education per week either on or off site, inclusive of a range of vocational training Forest school, Outdoor Education activities and school trips and projects.
The provision offered covers a wide remit including on-site full time support, college placements, vocational training and work experience placements on a very individual basis. Support for individuals is paramount and a framework for a multi-disciplinary partnership is currently being developed which takes an innovative, flexible approach to individual needs and educational progression. Initial learning targets are carefully planned and tailored to meet the individuals’ needs. Targets may also consider attendance, behaviour, motivation to learn, communication skills and participation. A range of experienced and suitably qualified teaching staff are timetabled to work on and off site in a variety of flexible ways to support all pupils. The National Curriculum is followed for those pupils who come to us at the appropriate Key Stage and an ‘Alternative Curriculum’ is also offered to all.
The school accommodation is modern and airy with pupils work on display and a bank of resources that are continually being built up to support the delivery of the curriculum. A mixture of 1:1 teaching and small group work is carried out within the school. Pupils are strongly encouraged to participate in group learning which aims to develop social interaction, working with others, group and team work and turn taking.
Extensive work to date has allowed numerous aids to learning to be implemented. These include quality resources and materials to support a structured timetable and appropriate accreditation opportunities which complement the concept of personalised learning. The quality of the personalised learning offered, the capacity of the whole programme and the monitoring and tracking of individual pupils supports the nature and ethos of the school and encourages positive results in the most challenging pupils accessing the provision on a part and full time basis often at crucial points in their education.
The school fully supports individuals at optimum times in their learning and is fully reliant on the flexible approach of the curriculum. This flexibility also addresses the acknowledgement that the young people come to us with complex social, emotional, personal and behavioural issues that require considerable specialist and intensive support over a period of time. Our practice is underpinned by the ‘House Model of Parenting’ and all our staff have undergone ‘Foundations for Attachment’ training.