The ARC and the Inclusion Room
What is the ARC?
ARC stands for Achievement, Resilience and Challenge. These are the core values that we strive for in this alternative learning space. There are three main specifically trained members of staff who run the lessons in the ARC and support the students who work there. Students choose to do their work here rather than in the classroom for a variety of reasons including:
Some of the alternative qualifications that are available:
This is an online learning platform providing vocational and technical qualifications which provides our students with an alternative curriculum option that creates more suitable and meaningful career pathways. The courses we currently offer are:
NCFE Technical Award in Business and Enterprise
NCFE Technical Award in Health and Fitness
NCFE Technical Award in Child Development and Care
BTEC Level 1/2 Technical Award in Digital Information Technology
Gateway courses provide us with far more flexibility in our approach which greatly improves our ability to meet the needs of the wide variety of students that we encounter. We currently offer the Gateway Qualifications Level 2 Award and Certificate and Diploma in Progression. Within these, students complete a core unit and will then have a choice from some carefully selected optional units based on their skills, interests and career intentions. The Award, Certificate and Diploma are awarded depending on the amount of units that are completed. This means that the qualification can be built upon if the student finishes the initial units and is afforded more time in the ARC.
What is The Inclusion Room (IR)?
In line with our Behaviour Policy, we are occasionally required to issue a student with a fixed term exclusion (FTE) as a result of their behaviour. Nationally, but more importantly at Biddenham, this has not been proven effective in adjusting behaviour. At Biddenham we believe that bad behaviour should result in learning for all parties involved, not just the restoration of justice. The IR offers a place for students to work in isolation on an adjusted timetable where they can get help with work that they should be doing in school but also addressing the issue that would otherwise have led to a FTE. Having spent a day in the IR students are then monitored on their return to the classroom and offered help and guidance in follow up sessions in order to ensure they move on in a positive direction.
Restorative Justice (RJ)
The ARC and IR are also used as a base for RJ sessions where incidents of conflict in school are dealt with in a way that enables everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.
The ARC and the IR are also the base from which we run Levels Best. This is a self-improvement tool which uses the psychology of Flow States. Level Best can help anyone improve anything, but is particularly useful as a mentor tool and is very effective in helping students improve their own behaviour and attitude towards school and their work.
All of the work that is done in the ARC, and the students who do it, are treated in exactly the same way as everywhere else in the school. Work is set by teachers, marked by teachers and students receive regular feedback from teachers.
The ARC and the IR, along with our other departments such as EAL and SEND, are vital parts of what Biddenham has to offer in ensuring that there is something for everyone regardless of their individual needs. Everyone has an opportunity to shine and they usually do.