Challenger is one of the five KS4/KS5 classes within the Academy. At present there are 9 male and 2 female members of the group, aged between fourteen and sixteen years.
The students in Group 1 are working within the following ranges:
English: Entry Level 3 - Level 2
Maths: Entry Level 3 - Level 2
Science: AQA Entry Level Single Science & AQA Single Science Chemistry GCSE
All students in the group are mobile and all can communicate well. Most have a diagnosis of Autism or ADHD and need time and space to express their thoughts. They are good communicators and can interest peers and adults with conversations. Most have a developed sense of humour and are able to regulate, some with and some without support.
There are two members of staff in Challenger: Mr Tom Fewtrell (Tutor)), Mrs Karen Hicklin (Teaching Assistant).
The students use all classrooms well and appropriately. They make use of Academy facilities and know how to behave appropriately in different situations. They are aware of safety issues and can look after themselves and each other. All the students follow accredited courses in English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Computing and PSD. In addition to this they work on a Preparing for Adulthood curriculum, which continues to develop skills, knowledge and understanding within Employment, Community, Independence and Health.
In Challenger, we try to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere in tutor time. Students are encouraged to read age appropriate material and have meaningful and light-hearted interactions with the staff and peers, or play a range of social card games. Everyone is encouraged to join in class discussions and often students will work in small groups and feedback any issues arising. There is time for more in-depth one-to-one conversations if there are any obvious issues for individual students. We value the whole student and encourage them to express whatever is either making them feel upbeat or downcast. In Challenger we spend a lot of time trying to prepare them for their future lives. We look at independence skills, good communication skills, appropriate ICT skills and developing lasting interests.
We work closely with professionals involved with students in Challenger, and this currently includes working with speech and language therapists and CAMHS. Communication between home and the Academy is especially important. Students’ planners are checked each morning and a note written from the Academy if appropriate. A phone call or email is always welcome – it is good to get to know how the students are getting on away from the Academy to see if any support can be offered or advice given back.
Students in Challenger are offered careers advice and are well prepared for transitioning from the Academy.
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