Welcome to The Pinetree School website


Thank you for taking time to look at our website. Whether you are a prospective or current pupil, a parent/carer, a member of staff, or are just interested in what we do and how we work, we hope you will find the information here both useful and helpful.

The Pinetree School, previously the Thetford Alternative Provision Free School, was established in September 2013 as an Alternative Provision Free School to provide education for pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 who have been excluded or who are at risk of exclusion from their mainstream schools. The school provides for pupils who have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. A significant proportion of pupils also have mental health issues or learning difficulties. All the pupils are supported either through school support or have an EHCP relating to their behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

  • The school is situated in Norfolk’s rural town of Thetford
  • The school places are commissioned by both Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils
  • This is a small school, with the capacity to educate 40 pupils.
  • 88% of pupils travel to school by taxi.
  • The school is part of the Engage Trust, a multi-academy trust sponsoring special and alternative provision academies in the East of England since March 2015.
  • The majority of pupils are of White British heritage with the overwhelming majority being boys (88%).
  • All pupils have special educational needs and the proportion who have an EHCP is significantly above national average (63%).
  • The proportion of disadvantaged pupils eligible for the pupil premium is above national average (67%)
  • The proportion of looked after pupils is high (21%)
  • 100% of our KS4 pupils are at risk of being NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training)

Our Mission Statement:

To provide a safe, supportive and personalised learning environment that enables all pupils to reach their full academic, social and emotional potential; to become responsible and valued members of society

Although our pupils are considered as both vulnerable and challenging, we at The Pinetree School have high expectations of every individual.  They all have special or additional educational needs which are primarily based around a range of social, emotional, behavioural and mental health needs.  Our pupils’ needs are addressed through a number of teaching and learning strategies that include Quality First Teaching and targeted interventions which are underpinned by outstanding pastoral care and support.

The curriculum at The Pinetree School:

  • Is broad and rich, giving all pupils the opportunity to follow the core and foundation subjects of the national curriculum at KS3 and KS4. Pupils work towards a range of accreditations and qualifications including Functional Skills and GCSEs.
  • The curriculum is extended to develop literacy, numeracy and SEMH skills through 1-1 sessions. Further bespoke opportunities are provided for pupils to access Work Experience (KS4) and/or 14-16 vocational courses offered by local Alternative Providers.
  • Subject Leaders have a degree of autonomy to structure and plan their teaching of the curriculum because of the knowledge and expertise they have in their subject.
  • The curriculum is delivered through a 33 lessons-a-week timetable.

Pastoral care is strong at The Pinetree School.  Our pupils need to feel safe and secure in order to thrive academically and socially, and our pastoral team of tutors and leaders work hard to ensure that our pupils are safe and to help them and their families deal with problems if and when they arise.

The pastoral system is organised into a year group system, which includes form tutors, pastoral leaders, CAIG lead, SENCO, first aiders, internal mentors and external counsellors.

Our Pastoral programme also includes a clear strategy for careers guidance and partnerships with employers which is aimed at getting our pupils ready for the next stage of their education as well as promoting a wider range of progression routes available for our pupils. In addition, as a strong school community, we actively work together to create experiences and opportunities for our pupils relevant to their abilities, needs and future aspirations.

If you have any further questions or would like to talk to a member of staff, please do not hesitate to contact us at the school. We are always keen to help in any way.

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Engage Trust
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'The Pinetree School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, governors, directors and volunteers to share this commitment'

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