Many of the children we support have complicated backgrounds and many have been involved with a variety of agencies and local authority services. To put a bespoke structure of support in place, we work very closely with Social Workers, the Youth Offending Service, Family Liaison Officers, teaching staff and any other significant individuals who are involved in a child’s life.
Whilst children are grouped into small forms of around five or six children, each child has their own personalised timetable, carefully designed around their own skills, interests and needs. Direct therapy sessions are built into the timetable for those who need them, however our whole approach from all staff is informed and shaped by a therapeutic model, maintained through staff training by our therapists and advice and guidance for specific individual groups Our full range of therapy resources include art therapy, lego therapy, pyschotherapy, speech and language therapy, rebound therapy and the support of educational psychologists. Younger students can also enjoy sensory play and visit our dedicated sensory room as part of their time table.
We are fiercely ambitious for our children and have seen many overcome incredible adversity. We are also realistic. The targets we set stretch the children to their full potential, but remain achievable. We have developed our own robust spiritual, moral, social and cultural development framework against which we can monitor a child’s progress and assess them discreetly throughout the year. We can then adjust their care plans depending on their progress.
Removing Barriers to Education
Many of our young people have extremely complex, deep-rooted issues, that have been formed over many years. Four of our team are accredited Thrive practitioners, qualified to assess the gaps in our children’s social and emotional development and create action plans to help them build the resilience they need to be healthy and happy. All our staff take part in Thrive training, so we can deliver consistent care for all our children.
Working with parents and carers
For many of our children, an unsettled home life is one of the greatest barriers that prevents them thriving in school. Every day our teachers speak with a child’s parents or carers to give them an update on what’s happened at school and to see if there is anything else that might impact a child’s behaviour. Our Family Liaison Officers play a crucial role in building relationships with a child’s parents or carers and offer that extra layer of support. Extending help outside the classroom is vital for our children, because we know that when life at home is stable, children do much better in school.
Many of our children are struggling with specific challenges such as depression, bullying, substance abuse and self-image. To help them cope, we have an Interventions co-ordinator who helps to arrange appropriate support from our Educational Psychologist and a range of therapists. Our therapy dog, Floyd, is a very popular asset to the school. Children love taking Floyd for a walk if they need a little time away from the classroom or are feeling anxious. He’s also a great listener and many children love reading to him. It’s been wonderful to see the children actively caring for Floyd and he’s inspired a number to pursue further education in animal welfare.