Our Education

Our Approach

Our current school is situated in the Ynystawe area of Swansea, is a privately managed specialist children’s home and independent school run by a highly trained, professional, experienced and pro-active team. Our leadership and staff teams are fully committed to the pursuit of excellence and best practice.

We are registered as an Independent Specialist School with Welsh Government and are subject to all legislation in relation to this, including Annual Monitoring Reports conducted by ESTYN.

Our Provision

Each home has a potential onsite school, we have teaching staff and an approved curriculum provision in place and are now waiting for a response from Welsh Government about each site‘s registration. This process can take three months. Should your identified home open as a residential home before the school is open we will:

A yearly training programme is in place to build staff skills and knowledge. This is provided both internally and by external agencies.Additional training opportunities are available through Horizons Educare to develop individual knowledge and skills. Every staff member has a personal development plan to support their progress and goals and this is reviewed every three months.

  • Provide a place at our current Horizons Educare School
  • or support local authorities to find appropriate local school provision
  • or support attendance at a private educational facility

We will help assess each child’s educational needs and fund the best option for each child from the time a child is placed with us. We will offer bespoke onsite education as soon as possible. We will notify the placing authority every month of progression towards registration. We will notify and adapt this Statement of Purpose should approval and registration not be granted after five months and our plans for supporting educational attainment should this delay occur.

The pupils and young people placed with Horizons EduCare will have faced significant Adverse Childhood Experiences which has led on to the development of complex social, emotional and behavioral difficulties. These will have emerged from experiences of abuse and/or rejection from their families, disruption caused by multiple placement and school moves, self-injurious activities, risk taking behaviors and behaviors that challenge the boundaries of their home, community and society in general. The school offers personalized learning programs of education tailored to the complex needs of each young person placed with us.

Our Model

Our aim is to enable all of our children and young people to develop as fully as possible by aquring the skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes, including personal, social and emotional skills, to enable them to be able to function in society successfully.

We will assist our students in coming to terms with difficult areas of their lives, consolidate areas in which they function well, begin to view education as a positive rewarding experience and, where possible, facilitate the achievement of recognised educational qualifications to aid their transition from Horizons to their next educational provision, special school, unit, mainstream school or post 16 provider.

Our short term aims are to enable our pupils to:

  • Re-engage with the education and their learning
  • Provide a nurturing and stable environemnt
  • Reduce the frequency and intensity of any challenging behaviours
  • Develop our pupils’ functional skills
  • Provide opportunities for community participation and social integration

Curriculum Pathway

Each pupil/student has an Individual Curriculum Pathway which is informed by our suite of initial assessments. These assessments will highlight what is important for the child/young person to progress and develop to enable them to successfully transition from Horizons EduCare

The curriculum is delivered in six Areas of Learning which are:

  • Expressive Arts
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Humanities
  • Languages, Literacy and Communication
  • Mathematics and Numeracy
  • Science and Technology

Whilst it is important for our pupils to experience a broad curriculum, we also recognize that strong functional skills are key to their development. These Areas of Learning are therefore underpinned by the Basic Skills of Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Competence.

“The school focuses well on developing pupils’ Literacy and Numeracy skills”
(Quote from ESTYN – 2017 regarding one of our schools)

Enrichment Curriculum

We also deliver an Enrichment Curriculum which is designed to support the more “formal” curriculum and helps our pupils to apply their skills in a wide range of environments. It is also designed to meet the objectives identified in their Transition/Exit Plan. Each young person will have a voice in developing their Enrichment Curriculum and will be tailored to meet their needs and interests, ones which will hopefully enable them to become successful members of society. The Enrichment Curriculum currently includes; College links – Motor Mechanics, Horticulture, Building and Construction, Hairdressing and Barbering, Agriculture, Animal Care and Equine, Art and Design, IT and Computing, training Provider links, Site Safety qualifications, Duke of Edinburgh, Enterprise, Forest Schools, Work Experience, Photography. Where we do not currently provide opportunities in areas of interest to our young people we will strive to seek them out.

“The curriculum provides valuable opportunities for pupils to practice and develop their social skills in the community”
(Quote from ESTYN -2017 regarding one of our schools)

Curriculum Interventions

As each pupil progresses through their placement at Horizons EduCare their needs will change and therefore our approach will also evolve. To ensure we meet our target of developing functional skills, we offer the following Curriculum Interventions for accelerated progress:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Speech and Language
  • Communication
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Occupational Health Programs
  • Careers guidance
  • Sex and Relationship Education
  • Talking therapies

Qualifications

Where possible the school will also facilitate the achievement of recognized external qualifications which range from Entry Level to Level Two. The qualifications we currently offer are:

  • GCSE
  • GCSE Entry Level
  • ASDAN Short Courses
  • BTEC
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • ASDAN Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards
  • ASDAN Transitional Challenge

Whilst the above list of qualifications is quite extensive we will always seek to add any that are relevant to the needs and interests of our students.

Curriculum Interventions

As each pupil progresses through their placement at Horizons EduCare their needs will change and therefore our approach will also evolve. To ensure we meet our target of developing functional skills, we offer the following Curriculum Interventions for accelerated progress:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Speech and Language
  • Communication
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Occupational Health Programs
  • Careers guidance
  • Sex and Relationship Education
  • Talking therapies

Pupil Development

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The above model highlights the process from initial placement with Horizons EduCare to their Transition from us. The model highlights 8 stages but obviously this is for illustrative purposes. The Transition Plan will depend on a number of factors and will vary in time scale.

Our Specialist Staffing

Lead for Educational Strategy

We employ a Lead for Educational Strategy to provide support for the Head of Education and to ensure that the school continues to develop. He holds the National Qualification for Headship and has worked for 18 years in the field of residential SEBD provision in various Senior Management and Leadership roles. This has also included setting up and developing an independent special school from inception to practice. He currently provides support to a variety of educational provisions which will prove invaluable to ensure we achieve our aim of becoming sector leading.

Staffing

The school is led by our Head of Education, Lynne Mills, who has a wealth of experience in teaching, leadership and managing residential schools and provisions. She manages each onsite school which in turn consists of a Teacher/Unit Leader, one Higher Level Teaching Assistant and three Learning Support Assistants. There is a high level of staffing, at least 1:1, to deliver the Individual Curriculums to ensure we meet our aims.

Our Specialist Services

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The Educational team is supported by the Care Team and the Health and Wellbeing Team. We strive to work together to ensure that our pupils are progressing at their Optimal Development.

Care Team

The Care Team Support Education by providing opportunities for developing functional skills in the home i.e. reading games, completing forms, board games, planning activities etc. They also assist in the transfer of skills by accessing activities that are relevant to our pupils and aid in social integration in the community.

Health and Wellbeing Team

The Health and Wellbeing Team, which is headed by our Forensic Psychologist Emma Devonport, conduct a range of clinical assessments prior to the placement of a young person, and during their subsequent transition program, which informs the Interventions that our young people require to progress. They will also continue to monitor and assess the progress of everyone during the Quarterly Reviews contributing to each new Individual Curriculum Pathway.

The Team will also use their assessments to formulate their Health and Wellbeing Pathway, which is designed to ensure that each young person can progress and grow, and to signpost the therapeutic interventions they may need. See separate Health and Wellbeing Provision Guide for more details.

Our Therapeutic Interventions

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To meet the complex needs of our children and young people, we deliver the above interventions to help them with their progression and to reduce their challenging behaviors. These are reviewed and reported on a quarterly basis to evaluate their impact.

We also work in collaboration with additional services, external to Horizons EduCare, to address these specific needs and compliment those, which are of particular benefit and application to children with SEBD.

Assessments

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Contact

If you require any further information, please contact: –

Richard Byng NPQH – Lead for Educational Strategy
Email: rlbyng@icloud.com

Lynne Mills – Head of Education
Phone: 01792 446366

Katie Allen – Operations Director for Horizons Educare Ltd and school Responsible Individual
Email: katie.allen@horizonseducare.com
Phone: 01792 449500

Our Physical and Social Environment

Children with Social. Behavioral and Emotional Difficulties will encounter difficulties with social interaction, communication skills and in relation to their emotional comprehension of the world around them. To optimize learning and promote a welcoming atmosphere, there needs to be a consideration of the starting point of the child, and what a school can offer in relation to a responsive environment. We are responding to this by creating an environment that is welcoming, warm and safe and conducive to all aspects of the children’s development.

In the grounds there are raised growing areas for seed to feed projects. Adjacent will be specific vegetable and flower gardens where the young people can grow items for sale or cooking. There is also an external play area.

There are lovely local parks in the localareas. This offers young people the opportunity to enjoy playing football, rugby, cricket, tennis, bowls, skate park and basketball court. Within a short drive we have access to various activities including: fishing; an indoor climbing/activity center; volunteering opportunities; and kayaking with the canal trust.

All these facilities enable us to promote a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with a healthy diet made onsite daily.

Curriculum provision at Horizons Educare current school in Swansea

Prior to entry to the school, the children will be assessed using PIRA and PUMA. (PIRA provides a standardised assessment of children’s reading attainment, plus a profile of comprehension and reading skills. PUMA provides a standardised assessment of children’s knowledge and understanding of the national curriculum programme of study for Maths.)
Both assessments enable the staff to pinpoint where the children may be underperforming or making good progress and target learning in these areas. These assessments will be completed termly, to monitor progress and inform future planning. Maths and English targets will be set from the results of this testing.

Pupils will also be assessed using the Boxall Profile. This provides a framework for the precise assessment of children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. After assessment staff can plan focussed interventions and it provides an insight for staff into the child’s world and what lies beneath the behaviour. The profile suggests targets and strategies to help support the child to manage his or her behaviour.

At Horizons Educare we aim to offer as broad and balanced curriculum as possible which includes:

English – Taught at Key Stage accessibility
Maths – Or Entry Level, GCSE (WJEC) or
Science – ASDAN according to age and ability

Sweet
Accredited PHSE programme (GCSE) (WJEC)

ASDAN
Individual preferences, including Transition Challenge and a wide variety of short courses.

Creative Media
Entry Pathways (WJEC)

Project
A pupil led, cross curricular activity focusing on their personal interests and incorporating, Literacy, Numeracy, Digital Competency and Social skills.

Curriculum Cymraeg
Incidental Welsh and visits to local community. What is means to be Welsh or to live in Wales.

Youth Project
Community based project which concentrates on improving the immediate environment and potentially will lead to an enterprise project.

Community Learning
Helping and volunteering in the community, links with local Police and using local amenities.

Independent Livingand Leisure
Skills – including shopping, budgeting and cooking, personal hygiene.
Fishing, walking and playing games.

PE
Choices from swimming, aqua aerobics, walking, cycling

Teaching of lessons is differentiated according to the potential, progress and ability level of each child. The school aims to meet the needs of each individual by being flexible and responsive to each child’s needs. Through sound experience, excellent knowledge and understanding of our pupils needs we adopt a flexible approach to providing teaching and learning experiences which are pupil led and incorporate many practical and social activities whilst learning. We utilise a wide range of activities to address individual needs including skills based, practical learning wherever possible.

There is a strong focus on pupil’s social, emotional and behavioural development. This runs throughout all activities in school; staff modelling appropriate social and behavioural interactions, the curriculum design and external visits and practical activities.

Our children and young people have access to support from a variety of therapy services. All of these are offered to our children as appropriate; and according to objectives set out in their Statements, Health Plans, Individual development Plans and Placement Plans. Speech and language assessments and Occupational Therapy assessment are requested if necessary and programmes carried out. If identified from on-going assessments; that the children would benefit from having therapies such as: Play Therapy, Counselling, input from Child Psychologist etc. Horizons Educare will commission them and ensure they are implemented into the 24-hour curriculum. Participation in these therapies is carefully planned to ensure the children do not miss curricula opportunities. Where possible the recommendations are incorporated into everyday activities to ensure frequent access and reinforcement of skills.

Most of our children and young people will have a residential placement with us. We aim to provide a 24-hour curriculum, where Education and Care staff work closely together to provide a consistent approach to behaviour management and learning. The evening and weekends will focus on Key social and emotional skills as well as Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Competency.

At all key stages young people are encouraged and enabled to participate in activities which take place in the community, such as visits to places of interest and relevance to the curriculum, outdoor activities, community events and the use of local community facilities. We are beginning to forge strong and positive community links with the local police, who have been in to school to deliver lessons. We have visited the Horse and dog training and handling centre at Bridgend, accompanied by local PCs and PCSOs with a view to creating positive and supportive relationships with the Police. We run a Youth Project in conjunction with the Swansea Volunteer Service; with the aim of providing a service that will benefit our local community. Our project focuses on growing fruits and vegetables in our garden; leading to a potential enterprise initiative; using the produce grown.

We aim to use the local community facilities as often as possible and visit shops in the locality for budgeting, Project, Creative Media and Living Skills. We use the local leisure centre for Aqua Aerobics and swimming and the children have the opportunity to take part in the National Standard in cycling Level 1 to 3 run by Swansea County Council and funded by the Welsh Government.

Personal and Social Education (PSHE) forms a core of the curriculum and we have introduced and accredited programme (SWEET) which will gain the children GCSE qualifications in Personal and Social Education and will be tailored to meet the individual student’s needs. It aims to teach young people how to keep themselves safe, adopt healthy lifestyles and develop the personal, social and economic skills needed for adult life. A specialist Sexual Health Nurse visits the school to ensure appropriate sexual health education is delivered.

Opportunities for work related learning are provided for those in Key Stage 4 and 5, links between Ty Morfa a specialist Skills and Training centre have been developed with a view to our young people accessing the skills and training they offer for the world of work.

Careers education is provided for students in Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 and involves the PSHE Programme and external careers advisors from Careers Wales come to school to assist the young people in their transition from school to work or Further Education. It is designed to support the young people’s individual need and support is offered during this transition period. We liaise with local colleges to arrange placements and transition to them.

The curriculum at Horizons Educare provides opportunities for each young person to achieve according to their needs and abilities. The focus and support in giving each the skills for self-help, resilience, communication and social, leisure and recreational will provide them with the best possible future irrespective of ability. It ensures continuity and progression for every young person in relation to their learning and social and emotional development and relates to Individual Development Plans and Placement Plans. We seek to adapt and utilise our expertise in meeting changes and national initiatives to provide the best experience for our young people.