Developing a healthy body and mind

Developing a healthy body and mind

The physical, emotional and positive mental health of all of our young people is at the heart of everything we do here at Hope Wood Academy. Below outlines ways in which we approach this. This is not an exhaustive list and any support that young people need regarding physical, emotional and positive mental health will be completely individualised.


Duke of Edinburgh award

The award is offered at Bronze and Silver to our key stage 4 and 6th form pupils. All our programmes are driven by the following ten guiding principles. These are:

  • Non-competitive
  • Balanced
  • Achievable by all
  • Progressive
  • Voluntary
  • Achievement focused
  • Personal development
  • Demand commitment
  • Personalised
  • Enjoyable

By following these ten guiding principles, we aim to give any young person the opportunity to do their DofE programme, regardless of their personal circumstances. The personal and non-competitive nature of a DofE programme means that participants from different and diverse starting points can equally proud of achieving a certificate based on their personal challenge and journey.

Forest school

The Forest School ethos aims to promote emotional intelligence, resilience, self-esteem and confidence by engaging in outdoor immersive learning experiences.

The ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in children’s right to play; the right to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction, to build resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential.

Lego therapy®

Lego therapy is part of our therapies and supports young people at Hope Wood. In LEGO® therapy young people work together to build LEGO® models and through this have the opportunity to develop social skills such as turn taking, collaboration and social communication.

LEGO® therapy can be used individually or in groups.  Natural opportunities for developing social competence are facilitated by the adult facilitator.

Key to this approach is how engaging and enjoyable it is for the participants! Building LEGO® collaboratively is great fun, and young people develop social skills while enjoying themselves.

Physical education

At Hope Wood Academy we recognise the massive positive impact that PE, Sport and Physical Activity can play in our Pupils’ lives. We aim to develop pupils’, confidence, knowledge and physical skills needed for lifelong participation in physical activity.

Our curriculum approach follows the Hands, Head and Heart model, allowing all pupils the chance to succeed in PE. The three strands cover movement skills (Hands), knowledge of keeping healthy and of tactics and techniques (Head), and resilience, teamwork and communication skills (Heart).

A mix of selected sports and activities are revisited each year to allow sufficient time and opportunity for pupils to develop their competency, leading to an increase in confidence and motivation.

Foundation of light

We have weekly sessions delivered through the Foundation of Light to our pupils. This helps to support the physical well-being of our young people and are vital in developing confidence in communication, team work and sportsmanship. Each session is tailored to support the individual learning and physical needs of pupils.

For further information around the Foundation of Light charity please visit:

Learning outside the classroom

The aim is to embed Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC) across the Curriculum engaging learners in activities and experiences that will develop their 5 R’s.

Resilience, Relating, Respect, Resourcefulness and Reflection.

Learners will embark on a journey across a practical based curriculum, providing opportunities to take part in Team Building, Outdoor Adventure and Activities’, Local Discovery and Exploring the Environment, Community Engagement, Forest and Woodland Education, and Wildlife and Conservation.

The leaners will access a curriculum that is exciting, engaging and provide new opportunities and experiences that would benefit them in day to day life, creating real positive memories.

LOTC uses an assessment framework of Head (keeping healthy and the use of thinking/thought processing), Hands (Practical based skills) and Heart (Communication and Teamwork) working alongside and in-line with PE.

Rebound Therapy

Rebound Therapy describes a specific model of trampoline therapy:- exercise therapy which uses a full sized trampoline to provide opportunities for movement, therapeutic exercise and recreation for people across almost the whole spectrum of special needs. Rebound Therapy is more than just Trampolining, it is a unique programme that aims to engage all SEN learners with a bespoke plan aiming to support their needs and open up an avenue of potential benefits.

Rebound therapy is used to facilitate movement, improve balance, increase or decrease muscle tone (specific to the pupil) promote relaxation, improve sensory integration, increase fitness, to promote exercise, improve relationships and communication skills.