The Grove is the home of two Alternative Provision units based at Orchard Mead Academy. It is made up of a Designated Specialist Provision (DSP) and Orchard Mead’s own Alternative Provision Unit. They are aligned with their beliefs, systems and staffing structure.

Our aim is to support all of students to ‘be the best version of themselves’. This flows through everything that we do at The Grove. In turn it is how we aim for our students to view themselves and their progress. We consistently link this with our Orchard Oath.

“Orchard Mead is committed to providing the best educational opportunities for each young person in order for them to learn and flourish. Positive relationships between all members of our academy community are the cornerstone of our approach and underpin all of our interactions.

The Orchard Oath of Work Hard, Be Kind, Be Responsible, encapsulates our expectations of each student, has its basis in the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.

In addition, the Orchard Way sets out daily expectations for our students and aims to ensure that there is a consistent structure in place, detailing what is expected and why these actions are important.”

We want to inspire a love of learning through a purposeful and rich learning environment. Our curriculum is child centred and focuses on key aspects of the world and character. This ensures that children focus on what is important to them whilst they are with us.

Our ambition is that children will make accelerated personalised progress. Gaps in learning will be supported through our assessment procedure and bespoke curriculum.

Emotional literacy is at the forefront of everything that we do. By building effective positive relationships staff will support the children to develop their emotional intelligence.

Ali Williams – Alternative Provision Lead

Abbie Shaw – Alternative Provision Teacher

Rhian Comley – Pastoral Officer (DSP)

Adilson Hernandez-Evora – Alternative Provision Safeguarding Officer

Chelsea Payne – Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Reece Palmer – Alternative Provision Key Worker

Charley Moreland – Alternative Provision Key Worker

Liam Coleby – Behaviour Mentor

Luke Spicer – Behaviour Mentor

We use a pathway system to determine groupings and support our transition process in to the main building. The following pathways are used:


All students enter The Grove on the bronze pathway. This means that they access all of their curriculum and social times within The Grove and have full pastoral support from Grove staff.


Students move to the Silver pathway when the begin their transition. Students are set a target of ten consecutive days on Gold in order to reach this. They also have to have no C3s. In addition, we look at their A2L data to support which subjects are targeted first.


Students are accessing their full timetable in the main building but we still look after them pastorally.


English and Maths lessons follow a similar pattern to the students in the main building. Staff adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of the learners within the classroom. Students receive between three and four lessons of each subject during their weekly timetable. Lessons follow a clear learning journey that must be displayed in all classrooms. This supports our learners and helps to emphasise the learning taking place.

Students books demonstrate our high expectations for work produced and presentation. Books are marked by staff before the end of each week.

Students at The Grove receive 3-4 lessons of pillars provision per week, whereby geography and history are taught on a rotational basis. Students also look at some aspects of citizenship, PSHE and SRE to encourage the changing of perceptions linked to homophobia, racism and sexism. During the course of their study, they follow the National Curriculum through a range of creative, well planned and inspiring activities that encourage progression and enthusiasm for the subject. The pillars curriculum enables students to learn skills and knowledge that incorporate the 5-year curriculum so that they are ready for KS4.

The pillars curriculum also allows for students to take part in planning charitable events through the Orchard kindness aspect of the ‘pillar’. Each half term, students have the opportunity to explore a different pillar that is linked to their curriculum as well as promoting acts of kindness, resilience and independence.

Pillars is an important and inclusive curriculum that is constantly redeveloping to suit the needs of our pupils. At both key stages, appropriate intervention is developed and support packages can be put into place. Our main aim is to create a positive learning environment, and encourage students to progress through increased participation, motivation and engagement. Students will have many opportunities to enrich their curriculum during pillars lessons as well as being given the chance to be involved in extracurricular activities once it is safe to do so.

Students will develop their knowledge of the world around them as well as understand key points throughout history. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills through a series of class discussions, speeches and presentations. Pillars lessons also help students develop reading and writing skills which help within other curriculum areas. ICT is embedded into all work schemes allowing students to be creative and technologically minded.

Assessment in pillars is in the form of presentations, speeches, extended writing and test format. Assessments will be marked by staff but there will also be opportunity for self-assessment as well as peer assessment.

Our Emotional Literacy, Values and Growth sessions are delivered across The Grove three times a week. These sessions are designed to support the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs of our students. For any of our students with EHCP’s then these also target specific outcomes. Examples of sessions are focusing around resilience and grit. Students have looked at what makes resilience and how we show it. Furthermore, they are then provided with opportunities to ‘practice’.

The Grove offers students specific ‘Life Skills’ sessions every week. The sessions allow students to learn new skills and also apply skills learnt in through their Emotional Literacy Curriculum. The sessions range from indoor activities such as cooking to outdoor activities like gardening or woodworking. Progress in these lessons are tracked within their Attitudes to Learning Assessment and towards any EHCP targets.

These subjects are taught by staff from the main building. They follow a similar curriculum plan to the students in the main building. Progress in these lessons is tracked within their Attitudes to Learning Assessment and towards any EHCP targets.


Our policy is built on a mutual understanding of respect and positive relationships. If this is not first achieved then behaviour may be communicated negatively.


Building positive relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding is at the heart of our behaviour policy within the DSP. All staff have a responsibility to build these relationships with all students.

Our timetable is set up to provide opportunities to break down the typical ‘teacher-student’ barriers. Staff are encouraged to ‘play’ with students at break and lunch time. Furthermore, lunch times take place around a table to build the image and feeling of family.

Staff use humour to ensure the students feel relaxed in their environment. Students are encouraged to also develop their sense of humour with staff in a friendly but respectful environment. This helps to build the students sense of belonging.

Once these relationships have formed then students will feel safe to accept gentle challenge towards their learning and behaviour. Moreover, students will be able to communicate their emotions through conversation rather than through their behaviour.

All of this supports the child’s emotional literacy and their attitude to school.

Attitudes to learning

Students attitudes to learning play a huge role in the level of success of lessons. In order to support them we have established clear expectations and a structured monitoring system.

At the end of every lesson students are graded out of nine points. The following expectations are used for every session.

Work Hard

Bronze: I showed an interest in my lesson by attempting the task

Silver: I actively engaged in the learning and the task

Gold: I can work independently, overcoming challenge

Be Kind

Bronze: I attempted to be kind

Silver: I am kind to others

Gold: I supported others through kindness

Be Responsible

Bronze: I attempted to follow instructions

Silver: I actively followed all instructions

Gold: I show positive behaviour in challenging situations

It is the responsibility of the tutor team to ensure grades are collected after each lesson. These are tracked in a tutor group folder.

At the end of every day they are then inputted onto an excel document that provides a grading for the student’s day.

This provides opportunities for targets throughout the day/week for individual students. In addition, this also fuels rewards and sanctions

Working with parents/carers

We share all success with parents, and they are invited in to discuss successes and any concerns. Staff are always happy to talk to parents and we have an honest and open relationship. This contributes to the success and progress seen in our students.

Pupil Voice

Students speak positively about The Grove and the impact that it has on their behaviour and wellbeing. They build great relationships with staff, and this is evident in their dispositions towards the provision.

Admission information

Students are referred to the DSP side of The Grove through the Local Authority. We consider all consultations, and these will often include a member of staff from The Grove visiting the pupil to assess their needs and suitability for the provision.

Referrals for the Alternative Provision side of The Grove are made through the pastoral team at Orchard Mead Academy. Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.

We welcome visits from parents who have been referred to us through SES.