We are proud to be Ofsted Outstanding 2019*** TES 2020 winners of Alternative Provision school of the year ***
At Stone Soup we understand that to learn we have to make mistakes. All of our students have made mistakes and whilst we recognise what has led to their referral, we focus on what we are going to do to support the student in moving forward positively and achieving their potential. We have developed a strong culture of mutual respect and operate a no shouting policy. This encourages a calm atmosphere and we welcome students voicing their opinions in a positive manner.
On arrival, all our students are allocated a personal coach from our engagement team. Our engagement team support our teaching staff with behaviour management and take the lead in the pastoral care of our students. The role of the personal coach is to develop and nurture a positive working relationship with their key students, setting clear expectations and boundaries and building a rapport. This then allows the the student to feel comfortable discussing any issues that may impact on them during the school day. The personal coach will set regular targets for their key students. Targets are set on an individual basis and can be daily, weekly or termly targets but will always be set with the needs and ability of the student in mind.
All of our staff have a role to play in supporting our students. Our teaching team and support staff are fully involved in the pastoral care of our students through our tutor group system and information is shared across the school to ensure our students educational, social, emotional and well being needs are met. We operate a reward culture and throughout their time with us we try to celebrate and reward positive behaviours.
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At Stone Soup, the timetable we offer each student is tailored to their personal interests and abilities. All students study maths and English at GCSE and Functional Skills level 1 & 2, (with Year 10 also studying GCSE Literature) and are then able to choose from a number of additional subjects. In these, they will work towards nationally recognised qualifications. In addition to this, we offer students the opportunity to broaden their experience with a range of short courses and enrichment.
Our careers and employability programme gives students opportunities to develop transferable skills, ensuring that they are fully supported to make informed choices about the next stage in their education, employment or training and also making use of expertise from other organisations such as Futures.
Our aim for all of our young people is that they go on to lead happy, successful and fulfilling careers in the future. Pupils receive advice and guidance to help inspire them towards further study and enable them to make informed decisions whenever choices are open to them. We are committed to ensuring our provision of careers and employability education meets the requirements of the Gatsby Benchmarks.
100% of students receive advice and guidance interviews from Jordan who has a Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development.
100% of students last year received conditional offers from their desired destination.
The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. The results show how our answers compare to the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks
Students can access work experience opportunities with this login through
the Futures website:
We measure the success of the careers programme through percentage of students in work, employment or training. In 2016/17 we had 94% of students either in education, work or training and in 2017/18 this increased to 96%, 2018/2019 it went to 97% and now in 2019/2020 it is at 100%
We review the careers programme annually.
Feedback from HMRC regarding our students
We had 5 students attend work experience at HMRC last year and they really excelled. Two students have been asked to go back as a representation to show how beneficial work experience can be.
When I arrived at Stone Soup Academy, I felt as if the education system had given up on me. Traditional schooling had failed me as a student, failing to support me in the ways I needed in a time of need. I was labelled as ‘difficult to work with’. I was excluded from multiple schools, this led to a lot of anxiety and a complete lack of ambition and self-confidence, especially academically. I had completely given up on myself and felt like others had too.
I did not recognise it at the time, but Stone Soup was my last chance for an education and though it was a long and challenging journey, Stone Soup supported me and encouraged me to explore interests and talents, things that had been forgotten due to my difficult time in mainstream school. I was given independent support that was tailored to my needs, such as one to one mentoring instead of a regular form tutor. I was often given opportunities to reflect on my own behaviour in an understanding environment, enabling me to progress as an individual and to gain a focus on positive behaviours instead of challenging ones.
My most memorable moment from my time spent at Stone Soup Academy was when I was announced as student of the term, this was my first ever positive academic achievement. My progress was recognised by everyone! I was rewarded with a trip to Sea world in Birmingham and a trip to Five Guys. I had never felt so acknowledged as a student before.
I am eternally grateful for my support at Stone Soup and for the inspiring and patient individuals I crossed paths with. I am now in my second year at The University of Derby studying a Degree in Creative Expressive Therapies, aiming to one day support students who are also too often described using the label ‘challenging behaviour’. Without the support I was given by Stone Soup Academy, none of this would have been possible.
I am 16 years old and I was excluded from school when I was 13 because I found it difficult to behave in school. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me and that made me feel nervous. I arrived at Stone Soup Academy and I haven’t looked back. My attendance is now 100% and I am doing really well. I study media, construction, multi skills and sport alongside GCSE’s in English and Maths and I’ve already achieved 2 qualifications in level 2 Media and level 1 hairdressing. Stone Soup has really had a positive impact on me by changing my behaviour, the staff try to help me in as many ways possible. They are polite and it is very different to mainstream. I never wanted to go to my mainstream school and now I look forward to coming to Stone soup and I come all the time. We always shake hands when we arrive and leave.
The teachers always discuss the future and what I can do which really helps.
We earn money for our behaviour and attendance which is just like the real world.
I have really enjoyed my time at Stone Soup and to be honest I will miss it when I leave but without Stone Soup I wouldn’t have become the person that I am today, a person with a bright future.
By the age of 14 I was already a failure. At least in the eyes of the education system. In mainstream school you are stuck in classes of up to 30 people and only one teacher. So when you want help you have to wait for the teacher to come round. This would take ages and so you would just give up waiting. They were some examples of the problems facing students in mainstream students into today’s world.
I attended a mainstream school in Nottingham, in my opinion the biggest issues were, there wasn’t enough staff to be able to support all the students in the school. As well as having packed corridors in between lessons made it very tight. This made the school feel like a very stressed environment for both staff and students. Also the school days are very long and you have to 5-6 lessons a day witch are about an hour long and still get given homework, this leaves no down time for students.
However ever since i have joined Stone Soup Academy school life has become a lot more easier, for example its first name terms with all teachers and instead of just walking around a cold field at mainstream you play FIFA and pool at break and lunch which can improve friendships and make it a better learning environment for both staff and students. Also class sizes are 10 times smaller than mainstream with no more than 10 students in a class. This means that students get help a lot quicker an therefor learn more in a shorter amount of time.
If I had to compare the two types of education the main differences would be that Stone Soup has a lot more relaxed feel to it than mainstream which results in people both staff and students feeling more able to concentrate on what they need to do. This is why at Stone Soup you can get work done a lot quicker and still feel like you’ve learnt something.
To conclude I think that if every mainstream changed the way they managed situations it would feel more relaxed and therefore student results would increase hugely. The problem is education is always getting budget cuts and are still expected to give students more support.