We are really quite different to other local secondary schools because of the courageous decision we made in March 2019, to replace our sanction-led behaviour policy with one that is based on Attachment Trauma awareness and its direct link to behaviour. After much consultation, we launched our new Relationship Policy which focuses on building strong relationships and helping our students undertint the impact of their actions and learn how to recognise triggers for their emotions and regulate themselves.
To become attachment secure school, it is also essential to have high quality teaching in place so that students enjoy lessons, and want to attend. They need to feel secure enough to try new things and of course make mistakes in a safe and protective environment. To be able to provide this, we strive to have a curriculum that is aspirational, engaging, accessible and above all well taught.
To help us with this work we have undertaken extensive research, visited other schools, joined the Attachment Research Centre (ARC), taken part in the Alex Timpson Attachment Trauma Programme and worked with the Rees Centre (Oxford University). Most importantly we have focused on building strong, trusting relationships with our students and their families. This approach takes time to embed; it is not a ‘quick fix, but is essential if we are to develop our students into adults who can have positive and meaningful relationships in their adult lives.
To support our students, we have a wide range of high-quality interventions including the following:
- A Personalised Learning Provision (PLP) - The personalised support is, as the name suggests, bespoke to the individual student. It can range from a ground floor base for those with injuries, additional subject specific intervention, additional literacy and numeracy lessons, bereavement counselling, play therapy, emotion coaching, or a range of other supportive strategies.
- Wellbeing Centre - The WBC is one of the places students can come to if they are upset or have any particular issues. We have our counsellor based here and it is managed by Mr March, who is our Deputy Safeguarding Officer.
- Breakfast Club - We have a breakfast club every morning for some of our students. This is really important as it not only provides an opportunity for students to eat breakfast with their friends – to socialise, and feel safe. It also gives staff a chance to ‘check in’ with them, to ensure they are well regulated and well prepared for the day ahead.
- Sensory Room - The sensory room or as we like to call it ‘The Snug’ is brand new for September 2021. This is a safe space used for students who reach the top of the anxiety curve and gives them somewhere calm where they can re-regulate.
We are proud to announce that we have recently won the ARC Award in the Secondary School category, here is our submission on our journey to becoming an Attachment Secure School.