We are adept at gaining students’ trust
Reset. Re-engage. Rebuild.
Patience and unstinting encouragement fosters students’ loyalty
I feel very privileged to be the Principal of Southway and each day that I walk around our school, I feel extremely proud of the way staff and students work together.
At Southway the relationships between all colleagues and between staff and students, is extremely special. It is the strength of these relationships that make Southway the amazing provision that it is. There is a very strong feeling of trust throughout all stakeholders; everyone works together with a determination to raise aspirations and create positive futures.
Our resilience curriculum is designed to unpick and challenge the misunderstanding students feel when joining Southway; many students joining us have already learnt to think of themselves as having not succeeded by one measure or another; their very attendance at Southway represents, they think, a failure to get ‘it’ right, whatever ‘it’ may be. Our aim is to either restore or develop and then to imbue a fundamental and crucial feeling of self-worth. We do this not by encouraging students to ignore or make light of their mistakes, of the times they ‘fall short’; Resilience is about seeing these experiences for what they are: life-learning, not life-defining.
At Southway, we adopt a trauma-informed approach to our support and intervention work. Students that join us typically have ‘Social, Emotional and Mental Health’ SEND. Many students have other complexities, are involved with one or more agency, or have missed significant portions of their Primary or Secondary education. The structure of our pastoral system has been developed so that we have teams of professionals who are able to address these areas of need and provide appropriate, targeted support.
Southway is a unique setting by many different measures and as such, requires a distinctive and creative approach to its curriculum design. One facet of our vision for Southway is to take the best, most successful features of a traditional ‘Alternative Provision’ and blend them with the best features of a high-performing Independent School. We don’t hide from the fact that our Independent School status, places us at the same table as some of the country’s most salubrious, esteemed, and long-established schools.