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Alderwasley Hall School and Sixth Form Centre is an independent specialist day and residential school for young people aged 5 to 19 years with Specific Language Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorders, all of whom experience complex speech, language and communication needs. We also have expertise in working with children and young people with Acquired Brain Injury.
The School and Sixth Form Centre are located on separate sites within five miles of each other and are situated in
Derbyshire, close to the towns of Matlock, Belper and
Wirksworth. The City of Derby is also within easy access.
The aim of all aspects of the curriculum is to prepare students for adult life by fulfilling their social and academic potential. Young people are supported to develop and achieve academic and vocational plans, develop
independent living skills and a clear sense of identity enabling them to contribute to society in adult life.
The individual needs of students, as set out in their
Education, Care and Health Plan are met through Therapy and educational programmes, underpinned by high quality care.
How is a decision made about the type and level of support my child
will receive?
This is determined through the requirements in your child's Statement of Special Education Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan and other information gained during the referral and the assessment process. After we have assessed your child we send our assessment report to the Local
Authority. The Local Authority and other agencies then review the report and agree whether or not to fund your child's placement at the school.
Your child will receive a broad and balanced curriculum which takes into account their needs. Timetables and study
pathways are individually tailored to met need, ability and aspirations.
Targets for your child's progress (known as outcomes) are set when your child starts at the school and there is an ongoing assessment and review of progress against these targets.
How will staff support my child?
We have a multi-disciplinary team approach which includes Teachers, Therapists, Care Staff and Specialist Support Staff. This ensures that all areas of our students' needs are met. Any difficulties are addressed quickly and effectively and our students' progress is constantly monitored. In addition we can ensure effective liaison with parents and placing Local
We have a very high ratio of staff to students across both
education and care. Class sizes are very small. Ongoing regular training ensures that staff are proactive and flexible in meeting students needs.
Younger students, aged 5 to 11 years are taught in our Primary Centre. They are taught by a very small number of familiar staff and follow a primary curriculum.
At Key Stage 3, young people gradually begin to widen their sphere of familiar staff and access a greater range of specialist resource bases. When they reach Key Stage 4, young people will follow individualised timetables incorporating Entry Level and GCSE subjects along with a range of other subjects which are taught in tutor groups.
Our Sixth Form Centre offers post 16 students a highly individualised educational, therapeutic and residential
programme aimed at addressing the transition from Key Stage 4 to adulthood.
Young people who reside are allocated a Key Worker who is dedicated to ensuring that their individual needs are met. The Key Worker is an important part of our interdisciplinary team and is a key link between the school other professional and parents.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs and how do you track my child's progress?
The aim of all aspects of the curriculum is to prepare students for adult life by developing the social skills, knowledge and understanding needed to choose, set and achieve personal goals. These may include academic or vocational plans, hopes for independent living or choices of rewarding leisure and recreational pursuits. Our curriculum is broad and delivered from Entry Level to Level Three qualifications.
We have close links with local further Education colleges to support a wide range of courses to suit career aspirations.
Targets for your child's progress are set when your child starts at the school and there is an ongoing assessment and review of progress against these targets. Targets are set for Education, Therapy and also Care where a child has a residential placement. Progress is recorded and evidence collated. Parents and professionals are involved in these reviews.
How will my child be included in activities outside of the classroom?
Enrichment activities are a key part of the learning experiences which make up the curriculum. They encourage the
development of personal identity. Confidence and social skills which will enable our students to progress in their life choices when they leave us. Above all they offer students the opportunity to learn that choosing to do new things, to meet new people and join new groups, whilst daunting, can lead to life changing and fun experiences.
Enrichment activities take place at different times of the day and in various forms including lunchtimes, evening and
weekends. They can include trips to local, regional and
international venues and events, visiting speakers,
participation in fundraising activities and being part of theStudent Council.
Enrichment activities give students opportunities outside the classroom to:
Develop new interests
Develop new skills
Take on new challenges
Develop their language, numeracy and social skills
Provide enterprise opportunities
Develop links with local communities
Celebrate their learning and their success
Make progress towards and achieve their targets
Extend their learning through activities which complement and contrast with their main programmes of study
Think about themselves and make choices based on self awareness
Understand, contribute to and play their part in local, national and international communities.
What specialist services, training and expertise are available?
We have an interdisciplinary team consisting of highly skilled and experienced Education, Care and Therapy staff.
As part of their induction all staff undertake a comprehensive training programme which includes mandatory training. Staff are given additional training over their probationary period which is specific to meeting the needs of the students. All staff working in Children's Residential services are supported to complete Diploma Level 3 Children and Young People's Workforce. Registered Managers are supported to achieve Diploma Level 5 Leadership and Management in Residential Services. Training is regularly refreshed and any improvements and alterations to best practice are cascaded throughout the school.
We have a large onsite team of Speech and Language
Therapists and Occupational Therapists. The Therapy team work with the students to address individual needs to
provide strategies to access learning, to lead healthy and fulfilling lives and to communicate effectively and with
confidence. The team involve staff and parents in the
provision to ensure consistency of approach and success. In addition the Therapists play an important role in training staff and parents. As part of induction new staff have an
introduction into the Therapy needs of the students. This is followed by further workshops in which staff develop knowledge, strategies and skills for working with specific
areas of need.
In addition we have an integrated Mental Health Team comprising two Psychotherapists who provide weekly
support for staff and where necessary, the school has access to a local Educational Psychologist.
We also have a Health Promotions Manager who
oversees the well-being, medical and health needs of
students. We have excellent links with the local GP practice, Dentist and Opticians.
How do you work with and involve me in my child's placement?
We recognise the important role that you as their parents/family have already played in your child's early care and education. We work closely with you to provide
appropriate Care, Education and Therapy for your child.
Parents are integral to our work and we encourage all parents to become fully involved in school life. You will be involved in all key decisions regarding your child's placement and will be
invited to all review meetings. We also encourage parents to visit their child as often as possible.
Alderwasley Parents Together is the school's parent support group. The group meet six times a year to network and to share experiences. The School Trust supports students to take part in extra curricular activities which they may not have
otherwise be able to access due to affordability.
We encourage all parents to get as involved as possible in both groups.
How accessible is the school environment?
As Alderwasley Hall School site is a grade 2 listed building and as such wheelchair accessibility is limited, however the Sixth Form Centre is wheelchair accessible. To meet the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, we do have an Accessibility Plan which means that we frequently review how we can increase students participation in the school curriculum, improve the physical environment and expand the accessibility of the written information available.

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