Statement, Principles and Practice
Breckenbrough School is a non-maintained residential Special School. The school is a limited company by guarantee governed by a registered charitable trust school with a Quaker (Society of Friends) Foundation.
The Quaker ethos at Breckenbrough School underpins all we aspire to build in our students: respect, tolerance, equality, understanding and forgiveness. We deliberately avoid punishment and forced discipline, believing that resolution of conflict can come about through behaviour modelling and restorative justice. Our aim is to nurture and sustain the intellectual, social and emotional development of students, towards a fulfilling and independent adulthood. We achieve this through an inclusive, effective and caring community, encompassing empathy, trust and respect for all its members.
There are eight specific objectives:
The ethos for the students reflects the Quaker philosophy and is designed to embrace Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Silence is used for reflection, particularly in assemblies.
The atmosphere in the school is deliberately relaxed and calm, aimed at reducing anxiety levels and the opportunities for conflict, yet remaining safe and purposeful. Each residential student, and some day students have their own room to provide personal space and security. Day students are encouraged to stay on after school and participate in evening activities as and when the occasion allows. The school does not have a fixed uniform policy, but is flexible which allows for individual needs, preferences and supports any sensory needs.
The school traditionally has a low turnover of staff, allowing for the formation of purposeful and effective relationships with students, whilst at the same time providing a stable and nurturing environment.
The curriculum reflects the ethos of the school in both content and delivery. The students understand and appreciate this and strive to achieve and progress, which for the most part they do, despite experiencing considerable barriers to learning and often struggling in their availability to learn. A holistic approach is adopted to allow students to address their problems and progress through flexible planning and a student-centred approach, supported by highly individualised programmes of learning.
The teaching and residential environments are well supported by the work of a full time psychologist who uses a range of approaches, including cognitive behaviour therapy, and an occupational therapist, who delivers interventions to meet sensory processing needs and supports the students in developing a greater degree of regulation. Other therapists are brought in as and when required.
The school places very high importance on all aspects of child protection and safeguarding. The Head of Social Education is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and is supported by two deputies and a Governor with a safeguarding brief.
Next review September 2020