Personal Development and Student Welfare
At Unity City Academy one of our key focuses is student welfare. We understand the difficulties that young people have within our community and we as an Academy work tirelessly to ensure each student’s personal needs are met so they can strive to be a better individual in their community and achieve what they are capable of academically.
What we do…
World Changing Initiatives
Every child in the Academy will embark on a voluntary initiative to allow them to change the world. These initiatives allow students to challenge themselves in a completely new way of thinking. They test themselves personally and deepen their understanding how they can be change makers in their community and wider community. These initiatives include: The ‘First Give’ programme, Archbishop of York Award, Duke of Edinburgh Award and fearless futures.
Every student has their own tutor and is their main point of contact for help and advice. Tutorial time happens every morning and this is where ‘character education’ is delivered. Tutors also deliver topics such as anti-bullying, digital resilience (staying safe on line), a variety of religious festivals and key days of remembrance/celebration.
Students will attend an assembly every week that is led by a member of the leadership team or their year team. External speakers will also deliver assemblies on key topics that will support our students with their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
All areas of our curriculum have key messages to support our young people with their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All students have timetabled Personal Social Education to explore in further depth some really difficult topics that can only be delivered by specialists and external speakers.
Retreat – The retreat is a team of highly skilled professionals that undertake a variety of different personalised interventions. These interventions range from a 12 week full time mentoring programme to a weekly bereavement session. Students who attend the retreat have a need that is not met through the curriculum and require in depth support to ensure they can enjoy their time at school.
We are fortunate as an Academy to have a full time Student Welfare Officer who supports families who are under Children in need, Child Protection or Looked After. Complementing the Student Welfare Officer we have a full time Family Liaison Officer who is the Early Help - Lead Practitioner for any families’ who engage in support. This team of staff work tirelessly to engage our most vulnerable families and students are support with the appropriate external agencies to really make a difference to those families and children.
School Counsellor and Reach
Through funding from HeadStart we have a full time counsellor and a part time low level mental health worker. This is the next step beyond the retreat interventions and is designed to really provide high quality therapy to our most vulnerable learners.
We have a weekly referrals meeting with our CAMHS support worker who informs school of any external support that our children are receiving. We are due to begin CAMHS clinics in 2019 where children are seem by the CAMHS team in the Academy. This is designed to reduce missed appointments and hold the meetings in a safe and familiar environment where the students feel more comfortable.
We work very closely with many external providers that provide a specialist support for students who demonstrate risky behaviours outside of the Academy. We work with Barnardos (Child Sexual Exploitation), Harbour (Witnesses to domestic violence), Youth Offending Service, Cleveland Police (Community Liaison Officer/Police Community Support Officer), Safer in Tees Valley (Anti-social behaviour), Social Care, Early Help (My Family Plan) and Stronger Families to name a few.