Many of our residential students regard their units as a “home from home” and this is something we, as staff, must respect. To this end, the students are encouraged to take an active part in deciding how the unit is equipped, furnished, and where possible, decorated. The staff assigned to each unit have regular group meetings with the students to ensure their voice is heard. This gives them the opportunity to discuss any issues, requests, or suggestions they may have regarding their specific living space.
The students are free to personalise their rooms, often with posters, pictures, or items brought from home, such as bedding. Many have their own televisions, laptops, and gaming consoles.
The students access their bedrooms using a unique fob system. The staff hold a master fob to enable them to gain access if necessary, although the privacy and dignity of the students must always be respected.
The units are not exclusively used by the students who reside there. Day students are also welcomed to visit and socialise, although this may need careful monitoring to avoid overcrowding and the visiting students must agree to respect the environment and wishes of those who reside on that unit. It is an expectation that visiting students manage their language and behaviour positively whilst around the units.
Residential students are welcome to visit other units to socialise. This gives them the opportunity to broaden their circle of friends or develop a liking for a new activity.
The Flat Unit consists of three private bedrooms, a communal bathroom, a well-equipped kitchen/diner and recently refurbished lounge area with large screen tv. The sixth form students who reside on the unit are encouraged (and supported, where necessary) to be responsible for the general upkeep of their environment.
As these students are practically (or in some cases, are) adults, it is expected that they continue to engage in a comprehensive Independent Living Skills (ILS) programme in order to further prepare them for life beyond Breckenbrough. This involves weekly food shopping to a budget, the planning and preparation of meals, and the cleaning down after.
There is also a large communal room with a pool table and tv. This is available to all the students throughout the day and provides an alternative space to relax in the evenings.
During the latter part of 2020, the Middle Floor unit underwent a substantial refurbishment, both physically and aesthetically in agreement with the post 16 students. There is a substantial, well-equipped kitchen/diner where the students can cook their meals, but also use as a social hub. This gives them an alternative, quieter place to chat, read, play games, work, or perhaps, just relax.
Adjacent to the kichen is a large lounge area with a large digital tv.
This a very popular area with our students as we have endeavoured to make it as homely and comfortable as possible.
Post 16 students receive weekly budgets from which they are expected to purchase and prepare evening meals, throughout the day and evening, to aid their independent living skills
The staff try to do this with minimal prompting but are there to help any of the students who are unsure. This forms part of their social development programme and students are set realistic targets to help them. As they grow into young adults the staff help them to become more independent with various aspects of their life.
The Top Floor
This unit is a mixed age unit, generally for Year 9,10 and 11. Each pupil has their own bedroom which they are encouraged to personalise with posters and possessions from home if they want too, we of course respect a students wishes if they want to adopt a minimalist approach. . There are six students’ bedrooms on this unit with showering and toilet facilities separated from the rest of the unit.
This unit is where the independence training for the student really begins. Independent cooking and living is highly encouraged.
This unit has its own kitchen and laundry facilities, and the students are encouraged to use these. There are staff available to assist any students. The students are encouraged to partake in the cooking programme with the facility of a budget to go shopping and cooking the food that they have bought two nights per week.
There is assistance in menu planning and budgeting from the staff who work on the unit. They can join in with the communal meals if they so wish. While independent living is encouraged, ASDAN programmes and certificates can be achieved. The students are offered several activities and trips on an evening, including, cinema, swimming, walks, badminton, board games, jigsaws, card games, DVD nights and lots more. We endeavour to make the units a home from home experience, offering social support and a family atmosphere.
In addition to our waking night social educator, all units have a staff bedroom so that a member of staff is on the unit through the night.