At Serenity Education we are dedicated to meeting the academic, behavioural, therapeutic, and vocational needs of our students. Our mission is to create, adapt, and implement functional curricula necessary to meet the diverse individual needs of our student population and increase current and future independence
Who we are
Serenity School is a unique provision following a therapeutic humanistic approach to education and childhood development; we are part of ‘The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities’. Our goal is to ensure that vulnerable children stay within an educational setting or return from home education before eventually returning back to mainstream or specialist provisions as quickly as possible. Serenity is built upon the vision and excellence of highly skilled professionals with over 20 years of experience in education and in clinical environments. Through experiences gained we recognise that the well-being and academic achievement of the majority of young people is significantly accelerated by addressing the root causes of behavioural, emotional, social difficulties, and without this some young people simply cannot access education.
Our staff members, including, but not limited to, special education teachers, instructional aides, speech language therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and administration.
Aims & what we do;
Humanist Carl Rogers realised that all people regardless of their backgrounds and biological differences have the potential to grow and develop rapidly when certain conditions are met, eventually they may reach their full potential (self-actualisation). This approach and Psychological Model form the basis of modern Psychotherapy and it is also highly suited as an educational model to enhance the growth and development of children with special needs and disabilities.
We realise that education is a major source of stress and anxiety for vulnerable students particularly those with self-esteem issues, therefore many challenges and barriers need to be addressed in a
different way. This is why many complex and vulnerable students cannot fit into traditional educational models including those provided by many special schools. Significant numbers of SEND children lack the emotional skills to cope with strong emotions such as anxiety, and their frustrations and past experiences tend to manifest as isolation, anger, defiance, and control.
Our mission aim is to ensure vulnerable young students are accessing full time education by focusing on their emotional development. At Serenity we want every young person to feel special and become more self-aware. We achieve this through our Socio-Education Model and its five-part cycle to ensure no children leave us and become Not in Education, Employment or Training. The Executive Team have a long and successful track record of eliminating NEET at Key Stage 3, 4 & 5 in the most challenging of both mainstream and special schools across the UK.
Emotional disturbances particularly feelings of guilt, shame and rejection are the main causes of poor or non-attendance, and not attending school means that many young people fail to develop the social and independent skills they need to cope in society once they reach adulthood. This again does not support society as a whole and ultimately it fails young people, we believe that it is important to offer alternative viable solutions to home education which will eventually help to break these reoccurring cycles we see.
Our educational model is highly inclusive and bespoke focussing on understanding how an individual’s unique quality’s including their perceived weaknesses affects their identity and subsequently achievement. The rationale is one of self-acceptance and the development of social awareness; this does not require a young person to suddenly change and then try to fit into a traditional educational model which did not work for them in the past. We realise that cognitive needs can only be met once; biological; safety, belonging, and esteem needs are fully addressed. This forms the basis of our therapeutic work since we know that outcomes are directly related to meeting these needs.
Students at Serenity currently range from ages 5-18 and classrooms contain 4 – 8 students with student to staff ratios varying from 2:1 to 1:1. Students are provided a balance of academic and vocational instruction (depending on age) while learning communication strategies, incorporating speech and occupational therapy methods, participating in Affective Education, and engaging in community immersion via volunteer activities, service learning projects, and community outings. Serenity provides a balanced curriculum to ensure that all students receive a high quality and appropriate education and move seamlessly to the next stage of their education and or career pathway such as key stage, college or apprenticeship.
The three facets of inclusion within our schools that make us unique;
Inclusion has many forms but one principle, the right of a person to have the same opportunities and respect as anyone else.
- 1. Responding to need for each and every individual pupil
- 2. Providing opportunity and support to both the pupil and the family as a unit
- 3. A sense of identity for each pupil – Our schools ensure that children who follow their personalised curriculum leave school with a strong identity and a sense of who they are, why they are as they are and the impact that this has on their families and their lives. It also helps them to understand how they see themselves, their families and the wider world.
Maximising individual achievement is central to the purpose of Serenity School. Inclusion is the common thread woven into this narrative. It shows in the exceptional efforts made to help children and young people in our schools rise above their difficulties through highly skilled teaching, therapy and care that we have built into our overall curriculum offer at all key stages.
Children and young people can experience a spectrum of difficulties which make it hard for them to make progress at school. There are many ways in which we exhibit educational practice at its best.
- High expectations and aspirations and a profound and well-justified belief that every child and young person can learn and achieve
- Refined skill in finding and applying the most effective approaches to communicating with, relating to and teaching children and young people with special needs and challenges
- Exceptional expertise in assessing progress and recognising the smallest steps as well as large jumps in learning, and in using assessment to guide teaching directly
- Highly effective and indispensable teamwork across our schools workforce in which varied skills combine and best practice is readily shared
- Strong partnerships with other professionals and providers, not least in reintegration and transition
- The provision of ambitious and exciting opportunities through well-designed and individualised curriculum arrangements
- Respect for individual children, young people and their parents, with the power to bring cheer and self-belief to children, and relief, optimism and support to parents
- Unremittingly committed, inspirational and forward-looking leadership which believes that every professional challenge has a solution.
The curriculum at Serenity is complex, yet despite its complex structure our curriculum ensures that all our pupils have the very best opportunities, as is appropriate to their age, ability and entitlement. We have high expectations – we believe that all pupils can achieve, and through our creative curriculum we ensure they have opportunities to achieve by promoting our core values of positive attitudes, supportive relationships and respect for everyone. Our curriculum is carefully planned and structured to enable all pupils to develop their personal characteristics, attitudes and values, to their fullest potential.
Our curriculum is based on:
- Early Years and Foundation Curriculum;
- The National Curriculum;
- A Creative Curriculum
- Accreditation at an appropriate level at Key Stage 4
Our Curriculum is guided by 5 student focused principles:
5. SEMH/ASD Specific