The ARC of Success
This is perhaps the hardest won, but most rewarding of the ARC's 3 pillars. Many students when they join us will have under-developed or diminished resilience. This can result from traumatic experiences, school placement breakdown or a generalised awareness of challenges they experience that their peers may not. Lowered resilience can also come from misguided or inappropriately implemented support. If students have not been allowed to experience failure, they can not have a sincere understanding of success. Resilience is primarily gained through our vigorous physical programmes of education, but also through the ethos and approach of the leaders, teachers and support staff at the school. Our lessons are planned with structured independence as a core part of the learning experience and our support staff are trained not to provide support prematurely. We are not a school that specialises in behavioural challenges, but we are of course a school and with that comes the journey of being a teenager and learning by both trial and error. We take a direct and rigorous approach to any negative choices made by our students in the course of their studies. Direct, but structured and supported challenges, develop resilience in our students. High levels of resilience prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities that life will present them with.
Every week in assembly we issue a Headteacher's award in each of these 3 distinct areas. The recipient receives a certificate, 5 commendations, and has their name on the Wall of Success for the duration of the following week. We also report weekly to parents and carers using the ARC of Success as the basis for measuring challenges and progress through the previous week. All students have two week targets in each of the 3 areas to help them focus on their journey and development. It is essential that parents and carers work collaboratively with school to promote the wider learning recognised through The ARC in order to provide rigorously high expectations for their child. If we aim low, we crash land. If we aim high, we might just make it a very long way indeed.
Phonologically, 'Reading' doesn't fit into the ARC of Success, this probably counts as irony. This doesn't stop the school having a integrated and integral focus on reading throughout each subject as well as in dedicated reading sessions. The school has a phonics intervention programme for students who require support as well as differentiated reading resources to give students access to age appropriate themes and topics to give comparative cultural capital and reference points in keeping with age appropriate texts.