What does it mean to have a Progressive and Nordic Ethos?
All our teachers have QTS and are educated beyond their honours degree level, some are currently taking masters level studies. All our teachers are experienced in SEND. All our teachers have to complete additional mental health training. All our educational support and interventions staff are qualified beyond usual Teaching Assistant level.
We also have young adults in mentoring and volunteering roles who recieve CPD and support.
Core subjects are taught 1:3, with an additional 1:1 mentor if needed. Some GCSE subjects and diplomas are taught 1:1 or 1:2 depending on uptake.
Resilience has become a 'buzz word' in the UK, where as the Nordic Sisu is a philosophy and life style. We work on building capacity in our young people and families to not just cope with life's difficulties, but to relish challenge; our young people leave us not 'hopeful' but 'expectant' with a clear path to the positive future they desire. As a result of their tenacity and requests, we have a wider GCSE, Functional Skills and Diploma offer than any other SEND school locally - very impressive considering our total intake is 20 students.
3. EVEN MORE QUALITY!
We have a fully qualified well-being team who all recieve weekly individual and paired clinical supervision and work not as an 'add on' but as a totally integrated part of the team - working holistically in classes and the community.
4. Hygge / Fika / Fredadymas - with lots of care and love
These are NOT tokenistic theme days, but rather embedded into the young person's experience so they start to develop a culture of positive mental health.
5. A place and purpose in the world
Many of our young people arrive without a valid passport as their anxiety means they can't travel. We want them to leave us being able to get involved in the world, widen their horisons and travel if and when they would like to. With our Proprietor also being a director within the Bravura group we have lots of opportunities! This year Big Bear Bespoke Education may be visiting the child safe refugee zones in Uganda to see a menatl health research project in action. The school is able to get involved via postcard writing and may also be talking over skype with our proprietor Beverley-Sarah as the trip takes place.
Due to Beverley-Sarah links in Finland and Norway we are also going to run a Nordic walking trip in Norway for a selected group of students who are ready in the summer, hopefully visiting a link school too!
All our toilets are twinned with latrines in Africa, we sponsor 2 Moon Bears in Vietnam and these provide real links with the wider world.
6. The community and nature heals
We 'embed' the students in the local community around beautiful Bramley (It really is, just look at the pictures below - all this is on our doorstep). We aim to be outdoors every day (students join us when they are ready for this - don't worry if your child is agorophobic - we will work with them to get them joining in). Nordic walking, regular walking of our therapy dog,forest bathing, sports, equine mindfulness are a must but we also locally source work experience, support local events, travel train, use local eateries (yes, they get a full cafe lunch for free each week!) ..... our young people often arrive hunched up and not wanting to face the world, they leave saying 'hi' to the people they pass and serving coffee at our regular student voice charity events. Student Voice is important and we always listen to their suggestions. We have student reps for 'creativity and the arts' 'safeguarding' 'health and safety' as well as an active debating group.
Our School AIM: Arun Court School has a clear remit of taking students who have suffered a mental health breakdown, making them well through intensive therapy held within a school setting, then slowly re-introducing them to a lifelong love of learning. We advoctae a progressive education system where students experience nurture, greater choice and the chance to thrive at interests they choose to develop. We feel such a holistic approach would prevent breakdown in the first place and therefore also exist to campaign and support that approach in other settings.
We aim that students leaving us are re-entering the system at the point that they would have been at if a breakdown had not occurred or some will continue with us on their educational journey, preferring our progressive approach. We are a progressive educational establishment where mutual respect and student involvement are at the heart of all we do.
Our school logo - the hardest shell, the seed of the wawa tree. In Akan culture the symbol represents someone who is strong. Our young people have often been through very difficult experiences but they are still alive, and still trying; they do not realise how brave and strong they have already shown themselves to be. We want to build on that strength to get our students truly healthy and able to fulfil their potential. Therapy is hard. School is hard. Life is hard. But under their tough shells, our students all have the potential to break through new shoots and become impressive trees - we provide the first crack in the shell - they then find the rest of the force needed.
SOURCES OF HELP
These services are not associated with us. We are not responsible for the quality of service they provide, we are recommending them based on the positive experiences of some young people known to us. By inclusion in this list nor are we suggesting that we are in any way affiliated with these servcies.
ANXIETY UK - Support, online counselling, magazine, advice
Text line: 07537416905
Info line: 03444775774
A magazine packed full of useful articles around not just ASD, but the mental health aspects associated with it - fascinating reading and lots of signalling to specialist support.
Website provides support for young people, professionals and parents. Young people who feel they are having a mental health crisis can get instant emergency support by texting YM to 85258
OCD UK - advice, online counselling, support and magazine. Dedicated youth services.
PAPYRUS - suicide prevention young people's hotline 0800 068 41 41
An eating disorder support service - smaller than some of the bigger associations, but specifically aimed at young people.