News & Updates

Focus on First Base Bury St Edmunds Academy

First Base Bury St Edmunds Academy, a pupil referral unit for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children, is the newest addition to the Raedwald Trust family of schools.

First Base pupils attend the school on a dual registered basis – pupils spend three days each week in their mainstream school and two days at First Base. The team ensure they work closely in partnership with individual pupil’s mainstream teachers to ensure harmony with the mainstream school curriculum.

Pupils attend First Base for an average of two terms (the length of time varies according to their needs and progress) and the curriculum is designed to equip them with the academic, social and emotional skills to allow them to attend a mainstream setting full time. This approach allows First Base Bury St Edmunds Academy and the mainstream school to work together to give the child a personalised curriculum that supports both their learning needs as well as their emotional and behavioural needs.

The teaching at First Base is based on the ‘Nurture Group’ approach – a hybrid of the home and school environment, designed to bring together aspects of the National Curriculum with a social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) curriculum that addresses any unmet social, emotional and behavioural needs of pupils in the group.

The Nurture Group approach is underpinned by six principles:

– Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
– The classroom offers a safe base.
– The importance of nurture for the development of well being.
– Language is a vital means of communication
– All behaviour is communication.
– The importance of transition in children’s lives.

The First Base Bury St Edmunds curriculum is designed to give pupils academic, social and emotional skills so they can attend a mainstream setting full time. It aims to develop and strengthen pupils’ core English, maths, speaking and listening, personal and social skills; widen educational experience and enhance engagement with learning that leads to accelerated academic progress and success in mainstream school; and ensure reading is fundamental to pupils’ success in school – this is front and centre of First Base’s academic offer.

First Base also include their pupils in a number of extra curricular activities. A recent coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support, raised an amazing £180 for the charity. There are also plans to hold a coffee morning for the residents of a local retirement home, Oxlip House.

First Base, also has a new ‘Meadow School’ thanks to funding from Tesco. The Meadow School includes a mud kitchen and resources for gardening and growing plants.

Sonia Myhill, Head of School at First Base Bury St Edmunds said: “We are proud of our achievements at First Base, and are delighted to be part of the Raedwald Trust.

“We have recently been awarded the Quality Mark Nurture Award for the second time, which is a brilliant recognition of our ‘Nurture Group’ approach to teaching.

“The aim of our approach is always that a child returns full time to their mainstream school, as a happy and successful learner – and this is what we strive to achieve with each of our pupils.”

For more information about First Base Bury St Edmunds, including contact details, please click here.