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Springwell Leeds Offer

The Springwell Leeds Academy Offer

Springwell Leeds Academy is the same as other schools in that we:

  • have high expectations of our pupils and want them to achieve as much as possible
  • want our children to feel safe and happy 
  • create a calm and purposeful atmosphere where children can learn 
  • give our children the opportunity to access a broad range of subjects and qualifications, including GCSEs
  • aim to build strong relationships with parents and carers
  • have a school uniform that we expect all our pupils to wear 

Springwell Leeds Academy is different to other schools in that we:

  • are a special academy and only accept pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan that identifies SEMH difficulties as their primary need
  • are based on three sites across the city – each one has up to 115 pupils between the ages of 5-16
  • work in small classes, usually with children of the same age, typically up to 9/10 pupils and 3 staff members in each class
  • do not provide full time 1:1 support for pupils
  • build the school day and our curriculum to support pupils with SEMH difficulties
  • have specially trained staff to support the special educational needs of our pupils
  • offer a range of interventions to support pupil needs
  • work closely with a range of external agencies and professionals to identify and meet the needs of our pupils


Our Approach

Unconditional Positive Regard

At Springwell Leeds Academy we show unconditional positive regard for our children. 

That means we treat all our pupils with:

  • Genuine warmth
  • Genuine care
  • Flexible consistency – we understand the needs of the individual


We also:

  • Show and model resilience
  • Offer multiple fresh starts
  • Find a way that works
  • Act positively at all times


Central to the philosophy of nurture is attachment theory, an area of psychology that explains the need for any person to be able to form secure and happy relationships with others in the formative years of their lives.  We adapt this approach as by successfully addressing barriers to learning, academic attainment and health and well-being are improved. 

All of our practice is guided by the six founding principles of nurture, which are:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  • The classroom offers a safe base
  • The importance of nurture for the development of self-esteem
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The importance of transition in children’s lives

Trauma Informed 

We are a trauma informed school, which means we are able to support children and teenagers who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose behaviour can sometimes act as a barrier to their learning.

Springwell Leeds Academy received the Trauma Informed Schools Award in 2021 which recognised:

“Relationships with children are a strength of the school, interactions are positive and peaceful. Young people articulated that they have strong relationships with adults that help keep them safe. Students know that staff care about them and they also care about the adults.”

“The school provides a personalised approach to the learning and SEMH needs of all students. They have bespoke packages in place that best meet their needs.”

“Staff are fully invested in children and support them out of school when necessary this was particularly notable for leavers who stay in touch with the adults often returning to them for advice and support”

Restorative Practice

At Springwell Leeds we believe that everybody has the right to work in a safe and positive environment. We work with our pupils to give them the skills and capacity to build and keep productive relationships, cope with conflict or being upset and rebuild friendships if problems arise. To do this, we adopt a restorative approach.  

Restorative practice is made up from a range of methods and strategies which we use to prevent relationship-damaging incidents from happening and to resolve them if they do happen. All our staff are trained in this approach.

Specialist Interventions

Where our typical offer does not fully meet the needs of a pupil, we are able to offer specialist targeted interventions:

  • Educational Psychologist support
  • Occupational Health support
  • Counselling service
  • Play Therapist
  • Thrive
  • Theraplay
  • Therapeutic Art
  • Therapeutic animal intervention 
  • Therapeutic Music intervention
  • Catch up Literacy and Numeracy and Numicon

Not all of these interventions are appropriate for all pupils and are limited by available resources to those children with the greatest need.