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EPICC

EPICC is the school’s provision to support a number of students who require additional needs. This resource is managed by teachers Stella Ellis (pt) and Jane Newton (pt), and a team of support assistants -
Lesley Laidlaw, Jackie Mather, Victoria Wallace, Sean Kirkup and Scott McKenzie.  Additional teaching and therapeutic input is delivered by a number of other staff in the school.  EPICC is an attachment friendly provision, an understanding of the principles of nurture underpins the broad and diverse curriculum currently available to EPICC students.  Nurture sessions are individually tailored to target a range of areas including social skills, self esteem, anger management, impulse control and thinking skills through shared activities/learning opportunities, ultimately building meaningful and positive relationships with staff.  Many of our KS4 students access their nurture sessions through a range of practical activities including caring for our chickens and gardening or cooking. The school has places for up to 22 students who have EPICC identified on their statement. Students access as many lessons in the main school as possible supported by EPICC staff according to their current assessed need. Students are withdrawn to EPICC for individual teaching in a variety of curriculum areas or for therapeutic input. 

EPICC students have individual behaviour targets which are assessed by staff each day, each student has the opportunity to earn ‘GoldenTime’ on a Friday afternoon where they can choose from a range of activities.  EPICC invite students on a half-termly trip or outing, this is offered to give students the opportunity to practise social skills outside of school, to work collaboratively and to encourage social cohesion.

The EPICC ‘Garden Project’ was devised by a group of EPICC staff in 2011 to create a project which staff and students could work together with the aim of discovering a more sustainable way of producing food from our school garden.  It also enables us to deliver ‘nurture’ sessions to our older students who can be more resistant and unwilling to engage in the more traditional classroom based nurture sessions. 

Through our project we hope to give our students the opportunity to gain knowledge, expertise and life skills outside of the classroom.  Our project is very ‘hands-on’ and focuses on skills based learning.  We hope that when our students leave school they will be able to grow their own produce and cook with it to make healthy meals for themselves and their families. The project also provides students with practical experience of skills using money, basic carpentry, and they assist with balancing our budget.

We have enrolled on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, we quickly were awarded Level 1 and Level 2, recently we received our level 3 award and were delighted to receive £250 in gardening vouchers.  We are also actively involved in the Food for Life Partnership and the Cooperative Green Schools Revolution.In the last two years, we have designed and constructed a number of vegetable beds and paths, learning a wide variety of different gardening and joinery skills and techniques. Sourced and built two storage sheds, a greenhouse,a hen-house and hen run.We have had hens at school since December 2011,students help to feed and care for them. Eggs are available to use in school.We have learnt composting methods, and have reduced food wastage.

Grown a wide variety of different vegetables,salad crops, legumes, brassicas, root vegetables, squash, peppers, tomatoes and a variety of different chilli peppers.Students have experimented with a variety of different recipes, many students have tasted and enjoyed new dishes.Involving the community by making valuable links with local businesses, eg Sainsburys, Tynemouth Tree Surgeons, Potts – Timber Merchants, Carltons Feed Merchants, Marden Allotments Society, Straughans Environmental Contractors – top soil, manure and compost, The Coop Supermarket.

We used some of the garden produce to make jam and pickles to sell.