THE BASE

At the start of the academic year September 2012 the Academy opened a new facility for the children. We call it ‘The Base’.

Children with worries on their minds are less able to concentrate in lessons and engage in learning.

So, during the summer holidays one of our former classrooms was converted into an area designed specifically for children who are having problems.

The reasons for children having difficulties can be many, but to each child their own problem is the most important thing in their life at that time.

For some it can affect their ability to engage with their peers, or the adults within the classroom. At other times children may feel angry or sad and be unable to control outbursts. However their issues manifest themselves, they need help and understanding.

Bearing this in mind, we aim to offer the child individual attention and the time to talk about their issues in a relaxed and completely supportive, empathic and non-judgemental environment.

Firstly, The Base doesn’t look like a traditional classroom.

We have a soft seating area where we can talk one-to-one with pupils about what may be troubling them. Given time to simply sit quietly for a while with a soft cushion to squeeze, or a fleecy throw to cuddle up in is often enough and the child is happy to return to class.

When this is not the case we find the setting, décor and quiet unhurried atmosphere helps the child relax enough to discuss their worries with an adult.

There is always an adult in The Base – from 8.30am to 3.30pm – so there is always someone to talk to.

We do of course have a system:

If a member of staff feels a pupil needs ‘time out’ they can send the child to The Base. The adult completes a referral slip briefly explaining the reason why.

Alternatively the child may ask for ‘time out’ if they feel unable to stay in the classroom for any reason. Again, the teacher will send the referral slip with the child.

We aim to ensure that children are always accompanied to The Base by either an adult or a trusted classmate. By making sure the child is always with someone, we hope to help the child feel they are never alone.

The overriding aim of The Base is to positively address the child’s issues and help them return to the classroom and social learning environment as soon as possible.

Where this proves inappropriate or contrary to the needs of the child, The Base is set up to allow the pupil the opportunity to complete their work without having to return to the lesson.

In addition to the soft seating area we have a large, colourful table for group work or working individually with the help of an adult. There are laptop computers to enable pupils to continue or complete work requiring the use of ICT. Finally there is a carrel with four individual seating booths for pupils to complete work in private – either by their own choice or by suggestion of the adult on duty in The Base.

The Base also opens onto a beautiful courtyard area where there are shrubs, flowers and a pond with a trickling water feature. Well maintained gravel, paved and seating areas are available for when we feel the need to get outside for fresh air.

 

In all, we hope that children who are struggling for whatever reasons feel supported and that their concerns are being addressed. We also hope parents and carers feel confident that we are doing out utmost to ensure their child is receiving the best possible personalised care whilst at Weatherfield.

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Weatherfield Academy

Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable

Bedfordshire

LU6 1AF

© 2019 Weatherfield Academy