Teacher Writing a Formula on a Blackboard

AVFC Testimonial June 2019


The Aston Villa Foundation has worked with Newbury Independent School for the last twelve months providing several enrichment opportunities for their students through a combination of educational sessions and sports based activity.  Our provision has helped to re-engage pupils with education, through an alternative style of delivery. The project has included interventions and support in subjects including Maths, English and PSHE. Students selected from across KS3 have worked with our trained mentor delivery staff to increase their engagement within school. They have partaken in workshop style activities, discussions around specific topics and tasks that are relatable to the individual, by using football as the main tool for learning.


Our work has delivered the following outcomes;


  • Raised aspiration towards education

  • Improved self-esteem and self-confidence within the classroom

  • Motivation in wider curriculum subjects through the medium of sport

  • Improved awareness of self-worth and respect for other in the community

  • Greater understanding of societal issues and negative community behaviours

  • Develop self-esteem, self-efficacy and confidence

  • Be a positive role model through support and mentoring of other students


Aston Villa Foundation are a strong advocate of the work undertaken by Newbury Independent School and have a strong relationship with their Head Teacher, Gary Belcher and his staff.  We will continue to support the school moving into the next academic year 2019/20 and develop a partnership that will support and enrich their lives of the students.

Pete Ezard, Programmes Manager
Aston Villa Foundation

Forward Thinking Birmingham Testimonial June 2019


Dear Mr Belcher,


Thank you for your assistance in engaging this difficult young man with his much needed mental health interventions. As you are aware, he has experienced a very difficult, traumatic and unstable upbringing leaving him with a clear deficit in “life skills” and a reliance on some quite unhelpful and at times risky coping mechanisms.

The team at Newbury school have been invaluable in assisting me in engaging him, and I firmly believe that it is the care, education and stability that he receives at Newbury school that is allowing him to effectively access vital therapeutic interventions. The young man often expresses to me that he has very good relationships with all the staff in school and that Newbury school has been a very big part of getting his life back on track.


Please keep up the good work and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Giles Hadfield
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Youth Offending Service, Dialectical Behaviour Therapist
Forward Thinking Birmingham

Police and Crime Commissioner Testimonial June 2019

I am the Partnership Engagement Manager for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. My role is to work with schools in the West Midlands and help support reduce the risk of their students getting involved in youth crime.

I have been working with Newbury Independent School (NIS) for the whole of this current academic year. During the year I have supported the school to provide external organisations that can work to address certain subjects or offer extra provision. Some examples of these are as follows:

  • Round Midnight – Interactive theatre who address themes of youth crime / knife crime / decision making

  • Fearless – Funded provision around 1-2-1 or group mentoring

  • APM – Post year 11 providers, linked in to create extra pathways from NIB

  • Aston Villa – Funded an enterprise programme for the students as well as working collaboratively to create extra community sessions

Mr Belcher has also been very proactive in increasing the visibility of NIS and showcasing the great work they are doing. He led a consortium group and received some PCC funding to deliver extra provision in the community and the school. As well as this, he has linked in with David Jamieson to discuss future plans at a very high and strategic level.

Whilst many schools see available funding as something to tap into while its available, Mr Belcher works in a very ‘sustainable minded’ way. He ensures that the provision that comes in (that has a positive impact) has the ability to come back in and have a long lasting change as well as understanding the local issues which feed into the young people’s issues.

I have enjoyed working with NIS and the support will continue into academic year 2019-20.

Darryl Moffatt, Partnership Engagement Manager
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council Testimonial June 2019


T is a young person that has been known to various statutory and indeed non statutory services from an early age.


He has a variety of complex needs and issues including ADHD, Conduct Disorder, specific learning difficulties and dyslexia. He also has a Statement of Special Educational Needs and a chequered educational history that can be characterised by disruptive and aggressive behaviour.


T’s thinking was historically described as being consistently risky and impulsive, especially in the community or educational setting.


He began his educational career on May 23rd 2005 and while this placement was somewhat difficult in terms of his disruptive behaviours that were evident from the onset, the placement was seemingly, quite stable.


As T moved towards the end of his primary education in 2010, his behaviours became more problematic and evidence became increasingly clearer, with him receiving a number of fixed term exclusions for physical assault, verbal abuse and threatening behaviour towards staff.


Due to this difficult behaviour in school, he was subsequently transferred to a primary aged Pupil Referral Unit in November 2010 and remained there until July 2013. T’s difficulties in managing his behaviour in this placement, resulted in 10 recorded incidents which led to fixed term exclusions, 5 were due to persistent disruptive behaviour, 3 for physical assaults on adults, and 2 for physical assaults on pupils.


These incidents supported the need for a Statement of Special Educational Needs to be granted and this was put in place in September 2013 when T started at a secondary age specialist provision (PRU) catering for boys with behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties.


This placement, which was more used to managing T’s behaviours, offered less by way of early recorded exclusions, but his behaviour seemed to deteriorate and he was also then referred to the Youth Offending Service in March 2015 in respect of a Youth Caution, Referral Order and subsequently a Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO).

In June that year, he received a further 3 fixed term school exclusions for physical assaults against staff or pupils. Then in January 2016, he was permanently excluded from this placement following a further physical assault against a member of staff.


It was at this point, that T started at an alternative provision in March 2016. In April that year T’s educational statement was then reviewed and transferred to an EHCP.

He was then unfortunately permanently excluded from this provision in April 2017, following a report from staff that he had in his possession a knife (although only the handle was seen). This expulsion resulted in him then being registered as a Child Missing from Education until September that year. By this point, T had exhausted all of the provisions that his home authority usually provide, which would cater for his EHCP targets.


The YOS subsequently worked alongside the SEN Placement Officer, to find a further suitable alternative and an out of borough provision Newbury School, was sourced in Birmingham, some considerable distance from his home address. He began there in September 2017 just as his YRO was completed. My assessment of him at that point, was that he remained very risky and indeed there were 3 matters of Robbery with violence still outstanding, which had yet to be dealt with.


He came back to my case load in the autumn of 2018, in respect of these offences and what soon became very evident was that this young person had changed dramatically. The first thing I noticed was his initial handshake on meeting me again and what followed was the evidence of a maturing young person who had settled, reflected and decided to make changes to his life. It was really interesting to see T at this point, because he started to dispel my previous assessment and professional judgement, that he remained a very risky individual. It was clear that Newbury School had managed to engage him, where others had not managed to and he really enjoyed attending. What was also clear at that particular point, was that the investment made by the staff in T, was total and that this had delivered for him.


While T was waiting to be sentenced for the Robberies, Mr Belcher provided written testimonies and character references regarding him, that aided my pre-sentence report and the court’s decision making. Mr Belcher also attended court that day, to speak to the District Judge and advocate on T’s behalf and when it seemed that custody was the likely outcome in this case, the court decided to give T a further chance, due to his placement at Newbury School. I have to say that this decision was the right one and he continues to go from strength to strength. It is really encouraging to see him become more socially responsible and involved in local community and charitable projects, via the Newbury School. The T of 3 years ago would have without doubt, opted out of these opportunities and voted with his feet.


I have also been really impressed with the vocational work experience that he is involved with and I have visited the school a number of times to see T, talk to staff and just as importantly, taste the excellent food he has cooked. It is clear to me that his educational journey will remain positive, with a clear path to a positive future. T has also now started to mentor other young people at school and it is clear that other young people will relate to him, due to his first-hand knowledge and cultural competency.


T will also be in due course, meeting with one of his victims parents and he had been working with the Youth Offending Service to prepare for this meeting, which will bring a more personal measure to the victim work with him and once this has been completed, I will be returning him to court in August 2019, to ask the District Judge who dealt with him, to grant an early revocation of his YRO due to excellent progress.


Well done T and well done to Newbury School.        

David Lambert, Dudley Youth Offending Service

The teachers are very nice and understanding and they are expertly trained to handle young people who may be emotionally challenged. I have learnt over the many years friends come and go but education is for life. I try extremely hard to keep up with the other students but no matter what people say if you want something in life you've got to hold that dream firmly in your hand and will make it in life.
Follow your heart and chase your dreams until you catch them. Negative people say you can't do something because they are only speaking for themselves.

John, Newbury Year 12 Student

Liam has found his niche in secondary education. He has been able to form great relationships with all the members of staff which has allowed him to flourish. The behaviour displayed at his two previous schools has not been replicated. His emotional needs have been met allowing him to regulate his behaviour.
Newbury has not only focused on the academic but on the whole child in partnership with the parents. Liam's physical well-being is as important as his academic attainment. His self-esteem has improved greatly and positive changes have lead to improved behaviour at home also.
Whilst still a young school, the Head has ensured it plays a positive part in the local community. Positive involvement of the police and Aston Villa staff have afforded the students opportunities  to learn how to be socially responsible and have provided excellent role models. The end of term assemblies have been engaging and have stretched the children to present outside of their comfort zone.
As a parent I have been able to see all of the students flourish at Newbury. Students have spontaneously thanked staff for their support. In short Newbury caters for the emotional needs of students allowing them to build their social skills and academic attainment.

Mother of Liam, Newbury Year 10 Student

 

0121 794 4039

Newbury Independent School, Cuckoo Wharf, 435 Lichfield Rd, Aston, Birmingham B6 7SS, UK

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