The Base is our specialised environment which currently consists of two classes (C10 and C11), supporting twelve learners, from ages 8-18, with high anxiety levels and extreme challenging behaviour.

The unit allows these learners to get the one-to-one support from dedicated staff that they need and where they struggle to access lessons on a full-time basis at the academy.

The level of staff ratio to learner and individualised structure and routine within the Base are paramount to reducing challenging behaviour. It provides a positive environment and also one that is safe for learners and other learners if they display any extreme behaviours.

There are a number of rooms that provide a supportive environment for the learners who access it, with varying sized rooms designated to learners to meet specific requirements. All of the rooms are kept clutter free, decorated using appropriate materials and have low lighting.

Learners can also access a large enclosed outside area known as ‘The Green’. We provide equipment such as large balls for encouraging sensory modulation, bean bags and weighted blankets – learners are provided timers to ensure they know when activities start and end, and are monitored and assessed by staff.

Mealtimes are undertaken in The Base as this offers the calm and quiet environment needed by these learners. Breakfast is offered to learners at the start of the day, ensuring there are less distractions for learners – distractions can lead to them not finishing meals, with hunger often a trigger for a number of behaviours.

We also encourage learners to access The Base at break times, where a choosing activity will be offered. This usually happens during the change of lessons when classroom environments may become busy. The Base environment is predictable, so learners understand where their safe spaces are meaning they can take themselves there when they become anxious or feel challenged.

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