Penwith Alternative Provision Academy

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

Contact Us

Penwith APA

Principal and main Contact: Clare Barden

Chair of Governors: Chris Liles

Enquiries are dealt with by the Senior Administrator: Sheila Richards

Old Lescudjack Infant School, Penbrea Road, Treneere, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 3NX

01736 332341


Open today

08:30 – 13:45



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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 and 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.

Naomi Watts - Raising Standards Leader Primary

After graduating from the University of Plymouth with a Bachelor of Education with a specialism in Physical education  Naomi got a job working a small rural school in Cornwall teaching Key Stage 2. Whilst working there she became interested in working with pupils with challenging behaviour. The year after her NQT year she completed the SENCO qualification. After having her son she got a job in a large town based Primary school where she worked as a senco for 3 days a week. It was here that Naomi became aware of the APA's and began working at Restormel APA as the Primary lead teacher 3 years ago. She then became the Primary raising standards Lead and last year relocated to Penwith APA. Naomi's interested in providing outreach support to primary schools to try and help pupils with challenging behaviour stay within their mainstream setting. She is looking to continue to develop the outreach that could be offered to try and reduce exclusions in the Penwith  area and provide timely and targeted support to schools.

academy info

Penwith OFSTED Report 2015 (pdf)


2013 Penwith AP Academy funding agreement (pdf)


Penwith Deed of Variation - 24 November 2016 (pdf)


Penwith PPSG Attendance 2017-18 (pdf)


Penwith APA Declaration of Interests 2018 (pdf)


Penwith OFSTED Report 2019 (pdf)



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
  • 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

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
  • PSHE
  • Art
  • PE
  • Land-based Studies
  • PE including Outdoor Education.

Key Stage 4

Students in a Key Stage 4 groups will be progressing towards various qualifications including

  • English GCSE Language and Literature and/or Level 1 or 2 Functional 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 (pdf)