Winton and Glenmoor Academies created the Alternative Curriculum Centre (ACC) as an intervention for our students with social, emotional and behavioural barriers. The ACC is used as a safe-base for students and a temporary provision to provide them with the skills and confidence to re-integrate them back into mainstream lessons.
The ACC ultimately has two aims
- 1-To support students who are vulnerable, due to SEND or a medical needs. These students need to be integrated back into mainstream education with a personalised timetable.
- 2-To intervene withstudents who are ‘not getting it right’ in regards to their attitude towards learning and behaviour of learning.
Each function of the ACC has two separate referral processes and delivery programmes for students to access.
The ACC is run by two experienced members of staff who utilise Positive Behaviour Intervention.
Positive behaviour interventions seek to improve attainment by reducing challenging behaviour. This intervention aims to improve social and emotional skills which will impact upon a students’ behaviour. Ultimately, it empowers all young people to develop the fundamental social and emotional learning skills, which will enable them to make positive choices throughout life.
The centre uses a Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach, which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour; and teaches student’s coping skills for dealing with different problems. This is a bespoke programme and each intervention is tailored to the young person’s needs.
The ACC runs three internal programmes, where students are referred by the pastoral team. The programmes are run in small groups and last appropriately 6 sessions.
Dealing with emotions – Anger
This programme uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help students understand and manage their emotions. It aims for young people to:
- examine the causes of anger, how we respond to it and the effects it can have.
- examines how anger makes people think, feel and behave, and how we can begin to change this.
- addresses the purpose of anger and how to deal with it in a more positive way.
- understand coping strategies for challenging situations.
Self-esteem and Stress
The programme develops an understanding of why we develop low self-esteem, what we can do to improve it and how all this links to coping with stress. In addition, the programme introduces long and short-term coping strategies for managing difficult situations. It aims for young people to:
- examine the importance of self-esteem and where we develop it.
- use the positive and negative thought spiral to examine negative thinking patterns.
- examine how and why stress affects us before looking at how changing our thinking patterns means we can cope better with the inevitable stress we will encounter.
- examine ways in which students can plan to make changes that can improve their future.
- look at different coping strategies for dealing with stress.
Social Media and its effect on Mental health
The programme examines how social media can affect our mental health. It uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques linked specifically to the demands of social media. It aims to build resilience against possible harm and an understanding of what can be done to reduce negative experiences. It aims for young people to:
- examine the advantages and disadvantages of social media before looking at the effect it can have on our mental health, and what we can do about it.
- examine the dangers of social media including meeting up and sexting.It sets out to question why people do this.
- examine the illusion of perfection and uses the ‘status of mind’ report to investigate the advantages/ disadvantages ofspecific social media sites.
- look at the effects of cyber bullying by using the This Morning ‘Be Kind Campaign’. It examines police advice for people receiving online abuse, and what to do if you have been part of online bullying.
Additionally we work in partnership with external agencies to support our students, such as health service and charities.
Addaction are a charity, who provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Addaction run the Be Urself programme at Winton and Glenmoor. It is a 6-part programme which aims to support young people to identify what characterises good health and mental wellbeing across key areas of social, emotional, mental and spiritual areas. A qualified counsellor runs the programme. Students on the programme identified as needing further counselling, will be given up to 12 one to one sessions.
As well as counselling around drug use, Addaction also offer one-to-one counselling for our students experiencing mental health issues.
Drop in sessions
The ACC is open every day for break and lunch, before school and after school. Students can drop in at any time to talk to our trained mental health team for any support they may need around wellbeing and mental health.