Chelfham Senior School - Devon

Bere Alston
Yelverton
Devon
PL20 7EX

Tel. 01822 840 379

Fax. 01822 841 489

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Chelfham Senior School is a specialist day and residential school for boys and girls aged 7 to 19 years who have complex learning difficulties including behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) and autism.

Located on three sites in the Devon countryside and on the border with Cornwall, two of the school’s main sites at Bere Alston and Kilworthy House are registered by Ofsted as separate schools for education. This allows Chelfham to maximise the specialist provision and expertise provided to young people who have complex learning difficulties.

To achieve this, each site focuses on the following specialisms:

  • Bere Alston School - Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD)
  • Kilworthy School - Autism

Services offered:

  • Continued and ongoing support with learning and life skills
  • Individually tailored programmes for education, social and personal development
  • Strong links with local employers to provide an extensive work experience programme for pupils
  • Opportunities to integrate into community life
  • A positive environment to bring about positive change
  • Safe, secure and independent living environment
  • For more information about the education services we provide in your local area, click here

Placements can be either on a residential or day basis for up to 52 weeks of the year depending on individual need. We can provide places for up to 63 students.

Outcomes and achievements

Chelfham Senior School aims to help young people to develop socially acceptable behaviour. This is achieved this by providing a coherent, predictable and reliable daily routine. We follow an approach that values each individual, celebrating their individual achievements and demonstrating that each young person is a valued individual.

This has been illustrated through being awarded an Outstanding Ofsted grade for our 'Safeguarding pupil's welfare, health and safety' category, our Sportsmark Award in 2008/2009 and Investors in People award.

Students achievements and progress are celebrated through their involvement in:

  • A proactive school council
  • A stall at Tavistock market two days a week, staffed by pupils
  • A café run by pupils on a Friday
  • The school newspaper 'The Chelfham Moon'
  • Charity and fundraising events
  • Open days and activity weeks in the summer term
  • Trips out locally to the moors and the coasts, residential trips home and abroad, outdoor pursuits
  • Work experience

Accessing education and care

Chelfham Senior School has a nationwide intake of boys and girls aged 7 to 19 with complex learning difficulties, including autism. Many young people may also have additional conditions including Asperger's Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Young people are referred to Chelfham Senior School via local authorities, social services, education departments and health departments.

Placements can be for 52 weeks, 38 weeks or on a day student basis.

Admissions criteria

  • Aged between 7 and 19
  • Significant behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, associated complex needs, autism or behaviours which are in accordance with such conditions or diagnoses

Education

A broad and balanced curriculum is on offer, including the National Curriculum where appropriate. Courses are based on a modular structure as this is better suited to the learning style of many of our pupils. Students can be entered for Entry Level Certificates and GCSEs plus vocational BTECs and ASDAN. There is a strong emphasis on outdoor education and media and students are given the opportunity to participate in a varied and stimulating educational programme based on the new secondary curriculum.

Chelfham Senior School is committed to providing students with a 24 hour curriculum which addresses the individual physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of each student. Learning is personalised through a flexible approach with team teaching, themed days and appropriate accreditation. The courses are set up to cater for a smooth transition through 14 to 19 and we make full use of modern technologies to accredit and assess progress made.

Care

Chelfham Senior School is registered and inspected by Ofsted as a children's home and promotes the Every Child Matters outcomes. The 24 hour curriculum links the care and education programmes and provides a structure in which the development of students as individuals is encouraged and facilitated. This is achieved by pursuing interests in the wider community, taking part in courses at local colleges and through supported work experience.

Every student is allocated a key worker and co-key worker. Students have regular meetings with their key worker, usually the person who will have the most contact with their parents and / or social workers. The key worker also maintains close contact with the tutor to cross the 24 hour curriculum. Detailed profiles of students abilities in a wide range of social and life skills are kept and any challenging or difficult behaviour is closely monitored. Each term the key worker and student, with guidance from senior therapists, negotiate targets and areas of improvement. Key workers will aim to contact parents or guardians on a weekly basis and keep them updated on progress and achievements.

Accommodation, facilities and activities

Chelfham Senior School is located on two sites in the heart of the Devon countryside, close to Dartmoor National Park and the many wonderful beaches of North Cornwall.

Bere Alston: 7 to 16 years
The main house is divided into four family living units with TV lounge, dining and drinks facilities. The living unit a student joins depends on his individual needs and levels of development rather than age. Students may move units during their time at Chelfham Senior School in response to a change in his need and an increase in levels of confidence and maturity.

Kilworthy House: post 16 provision
The extensive grounds provide students with the space and facilities to access the curriculum and the opportunity to 'step away' from it when the company of others is too great. Year 11 students may move to Kilworthy House where they can focus on vocational awareness courses and independence skills training.

The nearby towns of Tavistick and Plymouth offer shops and leisure facilities and Dartmoor National Park is only a 15 minute drive away. A direct rail link is available to London.

Separate teaching blocks provide general classrooms plus specialist rooms for science, life skills and cookery.

Activities

During the evenings, weekends and holiday periods the residential care teams organise a wide and diverse range of leisure activities, some of these will be based on site, whilst others offer students the opportunity to participate and contribute in the wider community.

Students are given a free choice of activities and we encourage them to become involved in a varied programme, with the specific aim of matching their individual needs. This should include some type of physical activity or sport where they can not only promote their health and fitness but also their social model, communicating with and supporting others. 

Therapeutic approach:

The whole curriculum is underpinned by an appropriate range of specialist therapeutic interventions.

  • Individual care pathways tailored to individual needs
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychological support where needed
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Art psychotherapy

The input provided by the therapy services is incorporated into the 24 hour curriculum, through:

  • Individual therapy sessions with students
  • Assessment and programme development
  • Developing strategies and interventions in conjunction with education and residential staff
  • Incorporating strategies into Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and
  • Care Plans
  • Ongoing training and staff development
  • Liaising with wider services as required

Kilworthy House: post 16 provision

When a student transfers from Bere Alston to Kilworthy House, the transition is phased to ensure continuity and minimise any anxieties about 'moving on'. Very often this will include staff transferring with them.

Quality assurance and Policies

Priory Education Services has a system for auditing our services against the regulations outlined by Ofsted Care and Education Inspection Standards and National Minimum Standards where appropriate. Our policies, procedures and systems are implemented at an individual school level by managers and staff.

Quality Assurance systems include Ofsted care and education audits of our standards and practice. School performance is monitored against the standards set by regulating bodies and internal company specific performance indicators on a monthly basis.

Policies

Chelfham Senior School operates the following policies:

  • Anti-bullying policy
  • Child protection policy
  • Complaints policy
  • Curriculum policy
  • Health and safety policy
  • Ofsted report
  • Sanctions policy
  • Staff list
  • Statement of purpose
  • Teaching and learning policy