The Higher Needs Base (HNB) at Sunnyside Academy caters for pupils aged 7-11 (Y3-Y6) from across Middlesbrough, who have been identified as having a significant learning need, beyond those usually supported within a mainstream environment. Pupils usually have a report from a professional: such as paediatrician or psychologist, which indicates that they have significant cognitive, memory or processing difficulties. Often pupils will have a diagnosis of Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) or Global Developmental Delay.
Two teachers and five Specialist Teaching Assistants support 26 pupils within the base. The high ratio of staff:pupils enable pupils to be taught in small groups with opportunities for one-to-one support. The pupils follow a modified National Curriculum, focusing on English, Maths, Science and ICT and PSHCE skills. Curriculum delivery facilitates opportunities for repetition and consolidation through independent and ‘free flow’ activities. Pupils access a personalised programme of intervention deigned to address gaps in learning. Life skills and wider opportunities within the community help to prepare pupils for transition to Secondary school and onwards into adult life.