We are dedicated to helping boys with a range of learning difficulties and styles, who require a small, supportive learning environment in which to flourish. We will only accept students whose needs we feel we can meet, and have in place an admissions process to reflect this ethos.
The website and prospectus information only give the bare facts about the school, and parents are urged to talk to the Admissions Tutor via the School Office, on 01252 792 303 to discuss the needs and situation of their child.
The usual process of admission into the school comprises five elements:
1. initial communication with the Admissions Tutor;
2. sharing of relevant documentation regarding the prospective pupil’s educational and social profile;
3. parent meeting with the Headmaster and school tour;
4. day experience, including overnight stay if a potential boarder;
5. offer of a place.
Consultation with the Admissions Tutor and sharing of information
Following initial communication with the Admissions Tutor, it is likely that the parents will be asked to share with the school any documentation providing useful information about the boy’s educational profile. This will include the most recent school report from his current school, and for some boys may comprise reports from educational psychologists or other professionals.
Should it seem that there is likely to be a match between the school and all that a boy may need in order to make the academic and social progress of which he is capable, an appointment can then be made for the parents to meet with the Headmaster and view the school’s facilities.
Meeting with the Headmaster and tour of the school
When parents are invited to visit the school, their visit is likely to last up to an hour, and will include an informal discussion of their son and his needs, and of the school’s aims and how it operates.
During the visit the parents will be invited to tour the school grounds, affording an opportunity to experience the school in operation. They will observe classrooms with lessons, facilities for the performing arts, for sport, for music, for creative arts, for engineering and science, for the Sixth Form, and will also visit the school’s Learning Development Centre, in which speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and small-group literacy and numeracy tuition is delivered. Parents who are considering a boarding placement will also be invited to visit the residential accommodation and facilities.
Having visited the school and met with the Headmaster, if a parent then wishes to pursue a place for their son, we will invite him to experience a day in the school.
Experience and assessment visit
When a prospective pupil attends for a day he will experience the school environment under the care of a current pupil in the same age group. For prospective boarders, this experience will include an overnight stay.
He will attend classes, eat in the refectory with his peers, and have a chance to see the school’s buildings and facilities. The experience also provides an opportunity for the school staff to observe how the prospective pupil responds to our environment, and he will meet with a lead speech and language therapist and with a lead occupational therapist for sensitive assessment.
During the visit, we hope to be able to answer three questions:
o What are the boy's needs?
o Can we meet those needs?
o What would be the effect of the placement on other boys in the school?
If the answer to each of these questions is positive, it is likely that we will offer a place.
Offering a place
There is usually an opportunity for immediate verbal feedback when a parent arrives to collect their son following his day’s experience. When, very occasionally, this is not possible, the Admissions Tutor will make contact with the parents as soon as possible to provide feedback.
The Headmaster will then contact the parents in writing to provide more detailed feedback and to confirm whether or not the school is able to offer a place. If a place is offered, the letter will ask the parents to confirm whether or not it is their intention to accept the place.
Additional information and trial period
Choosing the right school is a very important step for any parent. Often parents may wish to telephone the Admissions Tutor with additional questions. Both the visit and the questioning are encouraged by the school. We do all we can to build good relationships with each boy's parents because we view education as a partnership between the child, the parents and the school. It is vital that everyone is happy with the arrangements, so that the boy may progress and be able to contribute fully to the life of the school.
The first term after admission will be regarded as a trial term, during which the child may be withdrawn by his parents, without financial penalty, in the rare event that either the parents or the school feel that the child is wrongly placed.