About the Academy

I am proud to welcome you to Springwell Harrogate!

We are a small unit based in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, and are a new member of the Wellspring Academy trust!

Springwell Harrogate caters for pupils with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. It provides for children and young people from diverse social and emotional backgrounds who have a wide variety of complex needs and abilities ranging from high academic ability to autistic spectrum disorders, moderate and sometimes severe learning needs. Many of our pupils come from vulnerable groups, some are undergoing Statutory Assessment and some have Statements of Special Educational Need or Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP).

Springwell Harrogate believes that the school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences which are planned for its pupils and that the National Curriculum and NURTURE curriculum are an essential part of this. We believe a well-planned and robust curriculum is a fundamental route to the social, emotional and behavioural development, and overall well-being, of our pupils.

The central philosophy of the Springwell Harrogate Curriculum aims to provide a broad-based academic and pastoral curriculum based on the Six Principles of Nurture:

  1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom offers a safe base
  3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4. Language is a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. The importance of transition in children’s lives

Springwell Harrogate provides education for children at risk of permanent exclusion or who have been excluded. Such children come with a range of social, emotional and mental health needs. Many have experienced traumatic experiences during their early years’ development. Some have been excluded during a period of family crisis which has led to a rapid deterioration of their mental health and behaviour at school. Others have unrecognised cognitive conditions such as ASD which have been compounded by social and familial factors.

Consequently, Springwell Harrogate aspires to provide a therapeutic and nurturing environment by recreating as far as possible a family environment for each of its young people. The intention is to understand each child’s needs through a series of evidence-based interventions that generate an individual learning and pastoral plan. The curriculum will seek to:

  • Build affective bonds: Staff will help children to build positive, trusting relationships with others in an inclusive social environment where respect for the individual needs and identity is the foundation for building effective social relationships.
  • Cognitive restructure: Children will be given pastoral and curriculum opportunities to develop strategies for managing their emotions and behaviour effectively. They will have access to dedicated professionals who will help them to recognise their own emotional and mental states, such as triggers for anger, and conduct systematic therapeutic work to develop individual self-help strategies to combat negative or destructive thought patterns and create positive strategies for mental well-being such as perspective-taking and psychological resilience. Children will be encouraged to see themselves as active agents in changing their behavioural habits with the active support of staff.
  • Emotional literacy: Children will be taught how to express emotions more effectively and to empathise with others. Children will be taught to be more self-reflective and self-aware and given strategies to manage conflicts at home, with peers and with adults. Numerous opportunities to practise and develop social skills in different social situations will encourage a more broad-minded openness to other people and the local community.
  • Develop the self through behavioural modelling: Staff will model effective social relationships and social skills. The need to solve social problems through positive engagement with others and constructive dialogue is central to the Grove approach. Appropriate and positive adults role models will seek to build trust relationships and a positive sense of self. Staff will communicate compassion, affection and care with clear behavioural expectations and boundaries.
  • Relaxation and therapeutic opportunities: All children will have access to a range of therapeutic activities through the pastoral curriculum. This will include the appreciation of the beauty of the natural world, care for the environment. The therapeutic power of creativity to express emotional and mental states will pervade the curriculum.
  • Consensual goal setting:  target setting for an individualised pastoral and academic curriculum will be informed by recognised assessments. Families and students will be encouraged to play an active role in making choices and a sense of control in shaping their curriculum through shared achievable aims and goals.

Mr John Warren