TWAPA at Lee Mount Academy
The Whitley AP is a school commissioned by Calderdale Council to provide places for young people who have either been permanently excluded from mainstream school or who are at risk of permanent exclusion. The academy works with some of the most vulnerable children across the borough, from Year 3 to Year 11, supporting them to re-engage with their education, with the aim of returning them to mainstream education.
Due to an increase in permanent exclusions across Calderdale, Whitley AP Academy was asked to increase Key Stage 3 capacity from 80 to 90 pupils, starting from September 2023. It was agreed that the Academy would relocate their Key Stage 2 children, increasing capacity in Key Stage 3, whilst also enabling primary-aged children to learn in a specialised primary environment, more suited to their needs.
The decision was made to repurpose the former Lee Mount Academy nursery building and surrounding grounds as a satellite provision of the AP Academy. Although located on the same site, the new provision would operate completely independently of Lee Mount. Whitley AP would continue to provide KS2 places for a total of 16 pupils, all aged between seven and eleven.
Following the renovation of the building during the summer holidays, Whitley AP’s KS2 children successfully relocated to their new classrooms in September. Their first term has been a great success, with positive feedback given by both pupils and parents. The relocation has enabled Whitley AP to improve its offer for primary-aged pupils in several ways:
- Bespoke classrooms designed around the needs of the pupils
- An outdoor space for exclusive use by Whitley AP pupils, which includes a picnic area and a garden for growing fruit and vegetables throughout the year
- Being able to incorporate successful Whitley AP pupils into some mainstream lessons at Lee Mount, this will then hopefully support us in returning more pupils back into mainstream
- Greater opportunity to work more closely with mainstream colleagues to develop teaching and learning practice
The pupils are taught in two groups: Years 3 & 4 in Ash class and Years 5 & 6 in Beech class. The staffing structure includes three full time teachers, a Behaviour for Learning Lead, and four Behaviour for Learning Mentors. Members of the Senior Leadership Team are also on-site throughout the school week, including the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and two Phase Leaders.
Whitley AP is developing a brand new KS2 curriculum, focused on experiential learning and working with external partners; other primary academies are welcome to get in touch to access these learning opportunities and resources. Whitley AP is also the lead academy for Safeguarding within Impact, supporting all Trust academies in developing best practice regarding keeping children safe at school, as well as staff training to support effective behaviour management of more challenging pupils.
We are looking forward to seeing the new provision continue to flourish in 2024,