“TAS has turned my son from being an underachiever with low self-esteem, to a young man with the world at his feet and the confidence to be whatever he wants in life.”

TAS Parent

Here at The Alternative School our aim is to give every pupil that comes through our doors the opportunities and resources to flourish. The following case studies are examples of how we can help…

Case Study 1

Female Pupil – Year 11

This pupil was referred to The Alternative School through Pupil Access in March 2018, following on from a short stay in a short term PRU. She came to TAS with social anxiety, for which she was medicated and supported by CAHMS. Group situations were terrifying for her and she had trust issues with adults. Her anxiety meant that she was unable to travel anywhere without her parents and coming into school was incredibly stressful.

When she first started at TAS, she was working with a teacher on a 1:1 basis. She
was able to manage a group setting of two other pupils on a good day but her
anxiety meant that even this was sometimes too much for her. A personalised
timetable meant that she could access school whenever she felt able to and worked from home on other days. She built up a close relationship with one teacher and found the therapy dogs in school a positive help with reducing her stress levels when she was in school. She even took part in a therapeutic school trip to walk some local alpacas.

She was supported at TAS through a CAF assessment, as her needs were
emotional based, rather than SEN. Over time, positive relationships were created
with her parents, who understandably found supporting their child upsetting at times as they wanted the best for her. Originally, she wanted to stay at TAS for Year 12 but with support from school, she has now decided to transition to Craven College and has now started a Beauty Therapy course.

GCSE English – Grade 4
Functional Skills Level 1 Maths
BTEC Level 2 Home Cooking
BTEC Level 1 PSD
Arts Award Bronze
AQA-Making a cushion cover
AQA- Introduction to animal care: Handling Alpacas
AQA-Introduction to mindfullness
AQA-Graffiti Art
AQA -Confidence building

“Every member of staff actually cares about my son and his future, as much as I do.” 

TAS Parent

Case Study 2

Male Pupil – Year 9

This pupil was referred to The Alternative School in March 2018, through the Virtual School as a looked after young person, who need support with his social and emotional mental health. He originally started at our Accrington school but struggled to have positive peer relationships and jeopardised his place in TAS due to his extreme behaviours. After a fresh start at our Barnoldswick school in May 2018, many timetable reviews were needed to help him settle and develop positive friendships. A named teacher and a small, nurturing classroom environment helped him to move on from his previously negative experiences in school.

At his previous school, he would run away every day as he found the school environment too stressful. At the end of his first year at TAS, he won our award for attendance as he had 100% and he never ran once ran away from school during his time at TAS. Despite him experiencing significant ACEs as a younger child, he has started Year 10 in a mainstream school and has maintained his 100% attendance. TAS will continue to support him with his transition in the long term.

Entry level 3 Maths
Entry level 3 English Reading
Entry Level 3 English Writing
BTEC Level 1 PSD
BTEC Level 1 Award Home cooking
Arts award -Bronze
AQA -Designing and making a wall hanging
AQA-Potting seedlings
AQA-Money matters
AQA-Christmas activity
AQA-Mini enterprise
AQA- Graffiti Art
AQA-Digital photography with support
AQA-Emotional well being
AQA- Controlling anger
AQA-Introduction to mindfullness
AQA-Photography:Theme of reflections and distortions
AQA -Confidence building
AQA -Internet safety
AQA -Introduction to Sex and Drugs education
AQA-Introduction to climbing on an indoor climbing wall

Case Study 3

Primary Pupil – Transition

This pupil started with The Alternative School after being excluded from two different mainstream primary settings. She came to us with very low self-esteem and presented with some very challenging behaviours. Mum had lost all confidence in education and so there was a vast amount of work to be done.

We managed to build a strong relationship with Mum after daily communications, home visits and attending family support meetings. We also assisted with behaviour in the home enabling us to give Alice an all-round consistent approach. This pupil began at TAS in the small nurture class of only two pupils. She was given lots of nurture and self-esteem building activities. She also took part in regular Lego

Therapy sessions which were valuable in order to get her focused-on education. With specialist teacher input, robust Positive Behaviour Plans and SMART Individual Education Plan targets, Alice started to achieve academically again and we saw significant improvements in her behaviour. Alice progressed from two or three major incidents a week, and many minor incidents, to no major incidents and only occasional minor incidents per week.

She progressed from the Nurture Primary Class, into the Transition Class, where there are larger numbers (six pupils) and less intensive support. She continued to thrive and progress in this class and actually set an excellent example to her peers and took on many class monitor roles and responsibilities.

Her attendance went from 0% to now between 95% and 100%. She has recently started to reintegrate into mainstream with our full support and is approaching this with a positive attitude and confidence. Mum has also now got a more positive outlook in relation to Alice’s future in education and has been working with us in order for Alice to have a successful transition back into a local mainstream school of there choice.

This pupilhas gained many qualifications during her time at TAS and has taken part in Educational Visits which she has gained from massively. She has achieved AQA awards in Gardening, Farm Work, Test Tube Testing, Writing Letters, Introduction to Agriculture, 3D Shape Construction, Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Eating, Making Pancakes and many more. She has responsibility for looking after an allotment in the local area, takes part in weekly visits to Hawes Farm, and has been using Muay Thai Boxing as a means of positive anger release and extra hours of physical activity.