ACC, Who we are
The Alternative Curriculum Centre (ACC) is a wellbeing hub for students with social, emotional and behavioural barriers. The centre is run by two members of staff, Ms. S Barrett and Ms. Hilton-Garner, who have backgrounds in psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling and mental health. Students can access the ACC before/after school and at breaks/lunch. Heads of Year need to refer student to the programmes and interventions the ACC run. 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.
The ACC has two aims:
- To support students with issues around mental health and wellbeing.
- To intervene with students who are ‘not getting it right’ regarding their attitude to learning and behaviour.
Programmes and Interventions
Positive support programme seeks to reducing challenging and maladaptive behaviours and reduce isolations. This intervention is one-to-one and empowers all young people to develop the fundamental social and emotional learning skills, which will enable them to make positive choices throughout life. This is a bespoke programme and each intervention is tailored to the young person’s needs.
Wellbeing support intervention involves working one-to-one with an ACC member and working through issues that are causing distress. Students are taught coping strategies for issues such as low mood, worry, anxiety and phobias.
Strengths based Anger Management KS3: This programme can be run in group sessions or one-to-one. This anger management programme tries to develop social and social intelligence will be capable of greater academic achievement since they are not psychologically involved with inner tensions and emotional turmoil. Programme teaches: Self-awareness, self-management, impulse control, active listening, empathy, ability to understand non-verbal cues, stress-management, conflict resolution, mediation, and acceptance of other people. Central to the programme is how to deal with angry outbursts – known as ‘emotional hijacks’ when the brain floods with chemicals and all rational thought becomes impossible. It includes ‘pre-emotional hijacks’ where biochemicals such as adrenaline and flight or fight hormones start to kick in, right through to the ‘post-emotional hijacks’.
Anger management and beyond KS4: This programme can be delivered one-to-one or in small groups. The programme plans to improve communication and assertiveness and involves steadily increasing the level of maturity a young person has about both managing their emotions and being skilful enough to negotiate and collaborate with others in order to get to a win-win situation where both parties feel satisfied enough with the outcome. Being able to choose an assertive behaviour option allows young people to find reasonable ways to deal with difficult people and difficult situations. It also means they are more likely to be calmer and more open to reason than stressed and tense. It will enable students to form deeper, more satisfying friendships because they are able to be more honest with themselves and other people. Areas covered include: Personal rights, Body language, Making requests, Expressing feelings in an emotionally literate way.
Behaviour 4 My Future: This programme has been developed specifically for students at risk of exclusion. This highly practical emotional literacy resource engages young people and motivates them to improve their behaviour at school. It consists of 13 structured sessions that have been designed to appeal to different learning styles and to encourage the development of the key skills and attitudes associated with emotional literacy. The sessions include: an audit of students' work and behaviour; linking feelings, thinking and behaviour; managing stress and anger in the classroom; understanding and profiling students' multiple intelligences; and, linking behaviour to future opportunities.
Pupil Reintegration Programme: This is a bespoke one-to-one programme for students with low attendance, who struggle to attend lessons and school. Students may experience anxiety, worry and stress. This programme offers students return to lessons and parenting support with with ACC staff.
Anxiety and Resilience: This is a group programme that uses a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach to positively modify the everyday thoughts and behaviours of young people. Combining a summary of CBT principles and step-by-step guidelines on how to use the materials appropriately with a mixture of games, handouts, activities and therapeutic exercises. The programme is designed to encourage resilience and self-esteem and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Exam Anxiety Support: Students meet in a small group and work through some strategies to help them feel better prepared for upcoming exams. The course involves looking at what is happening in our bodies when we feel stress, and moves onto understanding personal triggers, as well as ways we can feel better able to cope and practical strategies. Sometimes students will self-refer, otherwise a referral will be passed through by the Head of Year.
Mentoring is to support and encourage students to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be. The monitor the students and touch-base regularly to ensure the student is doing well.
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.
Social Media: The ACC has two social media accounts; Instagram ACC-GLENWIN and Twitter ACC_GlenWin. Twitter is aimed for students and parents and Instagram is aimed at students only. They provide information about mental health, wellbeing, parenting and outside agencies that can support specific issues and problems. Students are also able to direct message ACC staff if they are worried, need to speak to someone or need some advice/information.
Relaxation: A lunch time relaxation session is run which can then also be practiced at home too.