Penwith OFSTED Report 2015

Penwith APA is a 40 place mixed sex APA for KS1 – KS4 pupils.  We serve the Penwith area that includes some of the most economically disadvantaged areas in Europe.

Penwith APA was judged to be Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted in May 2015.


Penwith AP Academy Deed of Variation – 24 November 2016

Penwith APA PPSG Declaration of Interests

Penwith PPSG Attendance 2016-17


Staff Biographies

Clare Barden  – Principal

Clare completed her Degree in London, and moved to Cornwall in 1992. She worked for a few years in a Secure Unit for adults with Severe Learning Disabilites in Falmouth, before completing her PGCE in London in 1996 and working at Pool School (now Academy) for 10 years. In 2007 she took up post as Deputy at Penwith AP Academy, before taking the post of Head at Restormel APA in February 2015.  Clare became Principal at Penwith APA in April 2017.  Clare is passionate about giving vulnerable young people every possible opportunity to succeed in life, striving for ways to help them academically, socially and emotionally. Her interests outside of work include playing saxophone and keyboards, walking, travelling, gardening, cooking…..and sleeping!


Emma Vyvyan, Vice Principal & SENCo:

Emma graduated from Cambridge University, after reading Geography with Education, in 1998 and has since been a teacher in mainstream primary schools working across Key Stage 1 and 2, and latterly at Nine Maidens APA. After setting up the first Key Stage 3 Nurture Class in Cornwall she has grew into the role of Lead APA SENDCo, ensuring that our students’ special educational needs are identified and interventions put in place so that they can make the best progress possible in their learning and emotional/social development, before becoming the Vice Principal at Penwith. Emma considers it a privilege to work with the young people in our APAs as they bring a zest to every day, encouraging you to be your very best to enable them to achieve and succeed. Emma also loves being with her family, pets and friends, and usually finds time to go Gig rowing, cycling and surf life saving coaching.

Latest Ofsted Report

Penwith is judged to be Outstanding in all areas May 2015

Penwith APA Ofsted Report.

Our Curriculum

Penwith APA bases its practice on a nurturing, relational, Trauma-Informed approach built on trusted relationships. We aim to ‘fit our school’ around a child’s needs where possible. Our individualised curriculum is designed to enable students to develop a sense of personal responsibility towards learning in collaboration with their teachers and support staff. Progress is monitored carefully and targets are designed to challenge and provide opportunity for progression. We baseline students academically and socially/emotionally on entry to Penwith, and review their progress on a half-termly basis.

In the Summer months we offer Surfing sessions and mountain biking run by Penwith staff. KS3 and 4 students are encouraged to make use of our on-site gym. We are growing into our outside space and now offer construction on-site, and we also have a polytunnel to ‘grow our own’. Students have timetabled sessions and take it in turns to cook lunch for everybody using our own produce (when in season).

Penwith also has two dogs who come in regularly to help students to understand a sense of ‘responsibility’, encourage the development of empathy and enjoy a regular therapeutic intervention as required.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 students access a ‘bitesize’ approach to their learning. Daily literacy and numeracy tasks are interspersed with sensory play, physical activity, therapeutic crafts and project work.

Key Stage 2

Students in Key Stage 2 have a timetable with a strong focus on emotional and social development, literacy, numeracy and science. We provide a nurturing environment delivered via a relational approach in which students will receive a full and varied curriculum, including: English, Maths, Science, Humanities, PSHE, Art, PE, and Land-based Studies. Students will have access to swimming at some point in the year. Some students may have access to Music Therapy from an outside provider.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 offer is focused on increasing resilience and developing an ability to self-regulate. A typical timetable includes English, Maths, Science, vocational studies, Art, Food Studies, Enrichment and global affairs and PE including Outdoor Education. Progress in Literacy remains a key focus during Key Stage 3. Some students will also have the opportunity to further enhance their curriculum by attending outside providers (such as horse-riding), some access a ‘mindfulness/outdoors in Nature/wellbeing’ session. We also offer daily access to our Gym, plus afternoon sessions off-site to engage with boxing, football and basketball.

Key Stage 4

Students in a Key Stage 4 groups will be progressing towards various qualifications including: English Language and English Literature GCSE and/or Level 1 or 2Functional skills; Maths GCSE and /or Level 1 or 2 Functional skills and/or Entry Level Certificate; Science GCSE or BTEC ; BTEC Home Cooking Skills Level 2; Art GCSE or BTEC; BTEC vocational studies Level 1; BTEC Employability Skills Level 1.

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is often highly individualized, with a number of pupils pursuing vocational accreditation in addition to GCSE qualifications. Students are supported to develop resilience and the ability self-regulate and access Mindfulness/Outdoor in Nature/Wellbeing sessions, Music, Enrichment and Global Affairs plus horse-riding, daily access to our Gym, plus afternoon sessions off-site to engage with boxing, football and basketball.

We also accommodate workshops delivered by Third Party Providers including YZUP (drug advice and guidance), the police (E-safety), Taiko drumming, Raising Aspirations with Pirate FM Radio Station to name a few.

We also support our young people, with an aspirational approach, encouraging them to visit College open days, working closely with Careers South West, taking them to Careers Events and accompanying then to College interviews.

Penwith AP Academy sample timetable 2018-19

Penwith AP Academy Exam Results

Penwith AP Academy Progress and Attainment Data Autumn Term 2017

Penwith APA Pupil Premium Strategy 2017-18

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Referrals to APAs are made through the pupil placement panel. Please contact the secretary to discuss referral at your local APA.

When considering the placement of pupils into an APA, the panel must consider not only the appropriateness of the placement for the pupil referred but also the effect the placement will have on the wider group. The decision of the APA Headteacher as to the suitability of the placement in their APA will be the determining factor over placement in any particular APA. The Executive Principle of the Multi Academy Trust will ensure that the MAT meets its obligations in discharging the Local Authority’s statutory duties with regard to Section 19 of the 1986 Education act (the full time education of permanently excluded, medical and other pupils). AP Academies are not an alternative to special schools for pupils with statements of SEN. They are a mainstream provision able to offer intervention and assessment placements for pupils with statements whose behaviour is preventing them from succeeding in a mainstream setting.

You can contact the school using the following information:

Penwith APA
Penbrea Road
TR18 3NX

Telephone: 01736 332341


Principal and Main Contact: Clare Barden

Chair of the PPSG:  Chris Liles

Please note all of our documentation is available in hard copy and different languages.