Alternative Provision



This year a pilot ‘Alternative Provision’ scheme was set up by highly qualified staff at Orchard Head Primary School, to focus on social skills and emotional literacy.  It was recognised that at times some pupils ‘emotional, behavioural and social difficulties’ (EBSD) meant that they were at risk of permanent exclusion from their ‘home school’.  The Pontefract Academies Trust has supported the funding of the pilot scheme and after its success has opened this up to all PET schools and associate members.

 The Vision

The Aim of the Alternative Provision (AP) was to deliver a contemporary approach to inclusive education which increases the access to learning for children who are marginalised by their EBSD. Each afternoon the children attend a session where the curriculum will focus on social aids and emotional literacy, teaching them skills to enable them to become better students in their ‘home schools’.

 The AP Class

  • A small discrete class, which provides a safe and predictable structured environment and gives children opportunities to revisit early, missed ‘social’ experiences.
  • Staff model positive relationshipsand there is an emphasis on the development of language and communication skills and a focus on social and emotional literacy.
  • As well as developing curriculum-based skills, young people are encouraged to celebrate their own progress with acquiring skills such as listening, sharing and turn-taking that will reduce or remove barriers to learning thus enabling success back in the mainstream classroom.
  • 'Everything is verbalised' with an emphasis on the adults engaging with the children in reciprocal shared activities e.g. play/meals/reading/talking about events and feelings. Children respond to being valued and thought about as individuals, so in practice this involves noticing and praising small achievements.

Julie Craig, PAT CEO says. "The first year of running the Alternative Provision was a success, although, as with starting any initiative, there were some challenges. With a skilled staff member designated to run the provision in 2015-16, we are confident that the Alternative Provision will continue to provide high quality support for those children at risk of permanent or repeated fixed term exclusions." 

If you are a PET school and wish to register your interest in the alternative provision please click here