The challenges of curriculum design in alternative provision are unique given the vulnerable nature of the student cohort, the range of needs present, and the short periods of time which pupils often spend with the school. In this workshop, Sarah Jones, a former mainstream school leader and now executive vice principal at the Springwell Alternative Academies Spalding and Grantham, will discuss how curriculum design and delivery in mainstream primary and secondary schools can and must cater for our vulnerable learners.
The workshop will discuss the schools’ curriculum approaches and interventions for its students, who are aged from four to 16. Discussions will centre on reading & literacy skills, SEMH, and high-quality first teaching among other key approaches to ensure vulnerable children can access the curriculum. Ultimately, the workshop will help delegates to self-evaluate their schools’ own curriculum in the context of vulnerable learners and accessibility.
The handout for this session is available by clicking the handout icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the video player.
Executive Vice Principal, Springwell Lincolnshire (Four Alternative Provision Academies for 4-16 year olds)
Sarah qualified as a teacher in London, and has spent the majority of her career there working in mainstream inner-city comprehensives. Sarah has worked as a SENDco, senior lead for behaviour, pastoral and personal development, and headteacher. In 2012 she led a teacher and parent group to open a free school in South London, with a vision of creating a school that brought together high academic standards with a meaningful focus on student wellbeing and happiness.
Sarah moved into alternative provision in 2018, where she has the same aims of working with some of the most challenging and vulnerable students, and to ensure that their school gives them the chance to discover new things about the world and learn how to be a better human as well.
She has successfully led her schools through the Trauma Informed Schools Award and the Carnegie Mental Health Award, and has recently been an award winner of the Fair Education Alliance Intrapreneurship Award for her innovative project setting up an Early Years alternative provision at one of her schools.