Who the school is for
Students at this school have complex and inter-related special educational needs to the extent that their ability to learn, thrive and develop in a secondary mainstream setting is significantly affected. The vast majority of students arrive on secondary transfer from mainstream primary schools.
The majority of students will have significant needs in one or more of the following areas:
- Moderate learning difficulties with additional significant speech & language difficulties and/or social/emotional difficulties
- Speech, language and communication needs along with significant emotional or social communication difficulties
- A diagnosis of high functioning autism, atypical autism or Asperger’s Syndrome with underlying difficulties in social communication and flexible thinking
- Specific learning difficulties, often compounded by significant emotional issues
- Significant emotional vulnerability and/or mental health needs
- Severe and persistent attendance issues in association with significant emotional well-being and/or school phobia factors
Although students’ social communication, emotional and social development needs may impact on their behaviour at times, the school is not appropriate for conduct disorder or other emotional and behavioural difficulties that present an ongoing significant risk to others.
Number of places
The school currently has places for over 110 pupils. There are two classes of 10 pupils in each year group, caverning Years 7 to 11 (ages 11-16). There are 20 places in each year group.
Class sizes and staffing
Each class of 10 pupils is taught by a teacher and a Teaching Assistant (TA). There are sometimes additional adults working alongside the teacher and TA, for example creative professionals, specialist sports coaches, speech & language therapists. In some cases there may be two Teaching Assistants if any pupils in the class have an ongoing physical condition that affects their learning, or require transitional or additional support agreed with the relevant Local Authority.
How well pupils do
It is a priority for us to help pupils develop socially and emotionally as well as academically, so that they are well-prepared for life after school. When we recognise and celebrate their tremendous progress as young people at their leaving ceremony at the end of Year 11, it is often very moving for parents/carers, pupils and staff alike. The vast majority of pupils progress to appropriate courses at mainstream colleges near where they live, though occasionally a pupil will need a more specialised or residential college placement. Many ex-pupils return for help and advice, or just to let us know how well they are doing, many years after they leave.