The principal aim of the school is to enable each person to develop independence through learning in an environment that offers warmth, security, consistency and understanding within a 24-hour curriculum. A purposeful and calm atmosphere is encouraged through the professional approach adopted by all staff. Trust and a positive rapport between the people we support and the staff underpin the ethos of the school.
We aim to meet the spiritual, social, moral and cultural needs of the people we support by promoting the following principles:
- Helping people to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Helping people to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law and other people’s rights;
- Encouraging people to accept responsibility for their behaviour where this is possible and appropriate, given their specific needs and to show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life;
- Providing people with a broad general knowledge of citizenship in respect of public institutions and services such as the police and emergency services, in England, at a level appropriate to their understanding;
- Assisting people to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures, in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions.
Positive, non-aversive strategies are used to change or reduce the severity and frequency of complex and challenging behaviours. All behaviour is seen as meeting a particular need, or occurring for a specific reason. We therefore make sure we understand and identify what may underline or trigger particular behaviours; and what might be done to address such behaviours, which may challenge or trouble the person and/or those around them.
By encouraging and reinforcing behaviour which is more positive and helpful for the individual distress is reduced and the person is supported and enabled to engage more positively in an enjoyable and meaningful life. This can of course take time and there are often ups and down in progress, but staff remain committed to enabling people to maximise their potential. No actions that threaten the dignity of a person are either used or permitted. All staff attend training in the Hesley Enhancing Lives Programme (HELP), which emphasises empathy and proactive support.