The School Day
Our school day is divided into 6 teaching periods; four in the morning and two in the afternoon. The day begins with registration in pastoral groups. There is a mid-morning break and lunch break. In the afternoon we meet again for registration and a pastoral session or assembly followed by the afternoon teaching sessions. On Friday we have a celebration assembly at the end of the afternoon.
Each school day begins at 9:00am and finishes at 3.35pm
Lessons are 50 minutes.
|8.40-9.00||Transport arrives and drops off pupils|
|9:00-9:10||Registration and Pastoral time|
Friday afternoons have a different timetable to enable us to hold a Celebration assembly. Times are as follows:
The curriculum for Years 7, 8, and 9 (key stage 3) covers similar areas. Within Years 10 & 11 (key stage 4) and Post-16, the focus changes in preparation for pupils’ destinations on leaving Alfriston.
For more information please see our detailed breakdown of curriculum areas here.
Healthy snacks and drinks are available to buy from the school kiosk at morning break. This includes fruit, rolls, juice and bottles of water.
Our kitchen provides a healthy, nutritious (and delicious) 2 course meal at lunchtimes. Menus may be viewed on the portal, and students may order this each morning at pastoral time.
Lunchtimes are busy with a range of clubs and activities being offered around the two lunch sittings. Meetings of the Student Council, Sports Council and Eco Council are regularly held as working lunches. After school there are further clubs and activities offered and pupils are encouraged to join as many as they are able.
The reward system at Alfriston has several layers. Good conduct is recognised through the award of Green Cards and any pupil in receipt of five green cards earns a certificate. We have a House system and House Points are awarded for a range of activities and achievements.
Exceptional work or behaviour can be recognised through the Head Teacher Award and good work is often displayed on prominent notice boards, the school portal, school blog or our Twitter feed.
A pupil who shows a good attitude over a period of time is nominated to receive a Headteacher’s postcard which is sent home by post to celebrate with parents.
All of our pupils have moderate learning difficulties and cognition needs. Most pupils also have speech, language and communication needs, delayed or disordered language skills. In addition, they may have physical, complex or emotional needs.
Our pupils join the school in year 7 from a range of settings, including mainstream schools, special schools or specialist units. Occasionally pupils transfer to older year groups from different secondary schools.
Once at Alfriston all pupils are encouraged to participate fully in school life. This may be through their learning, creative, sporting or other extracurricular activities. Pupils also take on other responsibilities alongside staff such as the running of the school through roles such as prefect duties.
We offer a bespoke curriculum that includes choice and flexibility as pupils move through the school.
Girls are allocated to one of 4 Houses when they enter Alfriston. House points are awarded for a wide range of activities in and out of the classroom. Points are totalled each week and results are announced in assembly along with a running total for the term. At the end of each term, the House Cup is presented to the winning House Captain.
We encourage girls in the upper school to take on roles of responsibility. In Year 10, some are chosen to lead and carry out specific tasks within their House. In the summer term, all year 10 students are offered the chance to apply to be school prefects when they go into Y11. To achieve this, they must complete an application form, attend a formal interview and carry out practice duties. In return for doing prefect duties, year 11 students enjoy the use of the log cabin when they are not on duty, to make refreshments, socialise and listen to music.
We are very fortunate here at Alfriston to be able to offer approved pupils the opportunity to board at school for 3 nights each week. All pupils go home on Thursday and return as day girls on a Friday. We promote a supportive and consistent environment working on positive praise and encouragement, building the girls’ confidence and self-esteem as well as their independence and social skills. We believe it is paramount that we provide a safe and secure environment for our boarders. Our excellent residential team are dedicated to meet the emotional, physical and medical needs of all the girls during their stay.
Homework club – As soon as school finishes, boarders attend homework club and are supported in completing tasks by both residential and school staff.
Evening activities – Pupils are involved in the planning, running and development of the evening activities include sporting activities, arts and crafts.
Youth Club – Weekly visits to a local SEN Youth Club enable girls to practise these skills with other young people in a safe and secure environment.
Life skills – Girls also learn to travel independently (when appropriate), and practise life skills such as using money and timekeeping in a well-supported environment.
Free time – Free time is also included where pupils can socialise with each other and staff members so that they can build appropriate relationships.
These activities are fun and also help the children develop their social skills and self-confidence and to build their self-esteemOfsted March 2019
Independent flat – Senior boarders have the opportunity to experience considerable independence living in a spacious, comfortable self-contained flat where they are able to shop, cook and clean for themselves whilst being supported and guided by residential staff.
The girls living in the flat love this opportunity. They are proud of their achievements. This work is invaluable in preparing the girls for the next stage of their lives.Ofsted March 2019
Ofsted states that:
“Pupils receive high quality, individualised care from dedicated team of staff, who are very child centred. The girls said that they feel listened to, that their ideas are valued and where possible implemented.”
Staff have built strong relationships with the pupils whom they care for and their families and have high aspirations for the girls whom they care for“Ofsted March 2019
Within each year, pupils are placed in mixed ability pastoral groups led by a pastoral tutor. Pastoral sessions are held at the beginning of every morning and afternoon, with extended pastoral time or assembly each afternoon. Pupils are encouraged to use these times for talking about issues concerning them and may request extra time to discuss particular problems.
Assemblies are held twice weekly for the whole school. Afternoon pastoral sessions and assemblies use fortnightly values as their focus and pupils are fully engaged in these activities.
Pastoral meetings for staff are held weekly, raising and discussing issues concerning pupils and identifying how these might be addressed.
The school has a strong commitment to the added value of learning beyond the statutory school day and beyond the school premises.
The Governing Body has given its approval to the following types of activities being arranged in support of the educational aims of the school:
- Lunchtime and after school Clubs (music, drama, art, science, sport, homework etc)
- School teams
- Regular nearby visits (village halls, libraries, shops, woodlands, place of worship, farms)
- Day visits for particular year groups
- Residential Visits
- Adventure Activities, which might be classed as higher risk.
Residentials are overnight trips that take place throughout the school year. Alfriston encourages pupils to participate in residential activities each year so that pupils become more independent, experience new activities, socially interact with others and become confident in new situations. The trips include a range of adventurous and cultural experiences.