Hello and welcome to the Cedars Academy.
We are an all-age school for children and students aged 5 to 16 years. We also have close links with our neighbouring mainstream school Joseph Swan Academy, which allows our pupils to remain in education for a further 1 or 2 years post 16 where this is felt to be appropriate.
We are one of a number of Special Schools in Gateshead. We specialise in providing education for children and young people with physical and medical needs, speech and language disorders, some types of autism, and a wide range of other complex needs often associated with emotional vulnerability.
We normally accommodate between 80 and 90 pupils ; the average class size is currently 9 pupils.
All of the pupils at the Cedars must have a Statement of Special Educational needs, although it may be possible for this to be drawn up whilst they are in attendance. This Statement protects all of the child's individual needs and is formally reviewed at least annually.
Pupils are admitted at any time during the school year, referred via a range of routes. We work closely with all involved professionals to ensure that pupils are correctly placed and that they receive appropriate provision for their individual needs. We aim to maximise the potential of every student at the Cedars, given their individual starting points.
From Key Stages 1-4 (5-16 years) National Curriculum Programmes of Study are followed, adapted and differentiated to meet individual and group needs.
The curriculum for Key Stage 1&2 pupils has a strong focus on the promotion of Literacy and Numeracy. At Key Stages 3&4 the focus is on the development of basic educational and practical skills together with independence skills, so that pupils can gain qualifications and become prepared for life after school.
At all ages and Key Stages our focus is on the needs of the individual student, whatever they may be.
Students are able to leave at the end of Key Stage 4 to move on to colleges of Further Education locally, or to specialist provision out of Borough. In recent years our close links with Joseph Swan Academy have allowed our students to enrol in their sixth form, but to be taught by Cedars staff, either at Cedars or at JSA for part of the week. This depends on pupil ability, and the availability of accommodation.
In the past students have achieved excellent exam results and have gained employment ; a few have even graduated from University following their education with us.
We enjoy positive links with other local schools, colleges and training providers. We have an active and supportive Governing body whose members regularly come in to school during the day to fully involve themselves in the life of the school.
We have held Sports College status since 2005, and have worked as an Inclusion Partner for the Youth Sport Trust since 2011.
School has also gained Artsmark Gold for 3 consecutive terms, and has been a Comenius partner since 2010.
Our last Ofsted inspection was in September 2012, shortly after gaining Academy status. We were judged to be "Good" in all areas, as we have been during all our recent inspections, despite the ever changing Ofsted frameworks and criteria.
In 2010 Cedars became Gateshead's first Trust school, securing partnerships with several local and national organisations, working together for the benefit of our students. Even now we remain an Academy Trust, with our Trust patron being Stephen Miller, Paralympic athlete.
The school premises are fully accessible to any individual with physical disabilities. We have a delightful outdoor area which includes a garden, play area with swings and a roundabout, picnic table and benches, a yard and grassed area for play.
Every child deserves the finest educational opportunities; we provide this - plus a huge range of extra activities. Our focus is on the positive. We want every child to be happy, secure, and to achieve, and to gain self-confidence through achievement. This may come via sporting, creative, educational or social opportunities.
We focus on the individual needs of every child, working in close liaison with their parents or carers. A high adult: pupil ratio at school helps facilitate individual care and progress.
Our very active and supportive Governing body involve themselves on a daily basis with the school, in order to guide the progress of the school.