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Executive Principal – Chris Mulqueen

Aspire’s Intent

Aspire’s Educational Intent Framework

“Inclusive, accessible and re-engaging for all”

This framework sets out the aims of Aspire’s programme of education, including the knowledge, understanding and personal development to be gained and the curriculum designed to achieve it.

Context and School Aims

Aspire’s students have not followed a traditional educational path. Aspire’s admissions have experienced disrupted lives and disrupted education, to varying extents, and for a number of reasons. On admission, students present behaviours demonstrating disengagement with education, often alongside feelings of low self worth, low resilience, rejection, failure and anxiety. High numbers of Aspire students have known ACE scores of 4+ and consequently trauma, attachment and mental health and well being issues. Aspire’s trauma informed PACE approach, runs throughout the curriculum.

At Aspire every child is recognised, and importantly ‘Accepted’. Our students are unique individuals with their own needs; own required level of support and guidance; own aims and ambitions; own timeframe to develop in personal and self-awareness skills; as well as academic achievement. 

The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of knowledge and the development of student thinking skills. However, all students must have their physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualisation needs met to be able to learn and progress. Aspire’s curriculum intent, ethos and approach immediately meets physiological and safety needs whilst developing relationships foster their sense of belonging, esteem and self-actualisation. Playfulness and shared moments of joy form part of this trauma informed approach.   

Aspire actively seeks to provide enrichment opportunities and build cultural capital to engage to extend learning. Our curriculum creates new life experiences and shared moments of joy for our students, building on existing resilience levels in preparation for life post-16. We promote a range of ways all stakeholders can positively impact on the communities we belong to; local, national and global communities. We provide opportunities to work within the community and to support the community developing resilience and belief of self-worth.

Aspire promotes positive attitudes, recognising that negative responses are a symptom of underlying issues: Trauma, attachment, low self-esteem; low levels of resilience; low confidence; learning needs not previously identified or met (such as Speech, Language, Communication); conditions or neuro-diverse disorders. Aspire aims to actively work with students, relevant specialists and professionals around these areas to increase individual students’ capability, self-management, resilience, personal and academic development both pre and post 16. 

Aspire’s Curriculum Intent Continuum Statement

  • The provision of a trauma informed curriculum and approach that meets physiological needs, where students feel safe, that’s inclusive, intent on re-engaging students in learning and accessible for all.
  • The provision of a broad, balanced and flexible curriculum that meets the individual needs of learners.
  • To enable regulation and thereafter a platform from which individuals build upon levels of self-confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem resulting in increasing levels of engagement and resilience.
  • To enable SMSC, enrichment and cultural capital opportunities, equipping students to be empathetic towards others and supporting the development of their social and moral sense of responsibility.
  • To support the personal and academic development of individual learners, from their baseline at admission to the point of transition to the next stage.