A News story by Humayon Pramanik 10 August 2020

Located at Hareclive E-ACT Academy in Bristol, the Launchpad is a specialist therapeutic setting for pupils attending our Bristol academies.

Working hand in hand with our community

The Launchpad is located beside Hareclive E-ACT Academy in Hartcliffe, Bristol, where sadly over 30% of children live in poverty. The proportion of Hareclive pupils supported by pupil premium funding is 66% which is three times higher than the national average.

The building that now houses the Launchpad was formerly the site of a council run youth club which remained unused for years before the trust acquired its lease. In that time, the building was subject to vandalism and arson and had become an eyesore for the local community.

Having acquired the lease, the trust invested its sugar tax funding in renovating and re-purposing the facility so it could be used as a specialist therapeutic provision for our pupils. We have also committed to relaunching part of the building as a youth and community centre for our wider community.

What is the Launchpad?

The Launchpad is an early intervention provision for children with social, emotional, mental health needs which may be preventing them from fully engaging with mainstream education.

It offers a 12-week specialist programme for up to 12 pupils in years 1-6. It is a part-time provision which pupils attend three days a week, spending the other two days in their mainstream academy. Referrals to the Launchpad are made by the pupil’s academy.

Launchpad children are supported by a specialist team including our own educational psychologist, speech & language therapist and other SEMH specialists.

Our approach

To ensure that each child feels comfortable and secure, we provide them with consistent and nurturing relationships with people who understand their needs.

Each child will have their own plan but will always begin with experiences that focus on developing their understanding of who they are, their strengths and things they find difficult.

The next part of their journey will involve exploring, especially through sensory learning activities, linking sensations to how they are feeling.

The last part of their Launchpad journey involves solving, so they can learn to regulate their emotions and build resilience.

Links with mainstream education

On the days that the children are back in their academies, our staff will visit each child to build on the work being done at the Launchpad.

We also work closely with members of staff at the academy to ensure the strategies developed at the Launchpad are maintained in their mainstream classroom.

It is our goal to set up a mental health hub in every E-ACT region.