The Lioncare School is a specialist educational setting linked to The Lioncare Group’s residential provision, but equally able to accept children living elsewhere (please see our admissions policy).
Designed for children with complex social and or emotional needs, it offers an innovative therapeutic curriculum that can be tailored to the individual needs of each child. These needs may be rooted in developmental trauma and have emerged from disruption caused by moving home and/or school placements, the experience of abuse, neglect or rejection from their families, self-injurious activities and related behaviours that challenge adult and institutional boundaries.
Most children will have an education, health and care plan (EHCP) that identifies additional learning disabilities and/or difficulties. Our aim is to assist children in coming to terms with difficult areas of their lives, consolidate areas in which they function well, begin to view education as a positive and rewarding experience, and where possible enable the achievement of qualifications and promote their successful return to a mainstream school or on to work experience and college placements.
While we recognise that achievement entails much more than simply meeting academic milestones we also know that strong functional skills, a knowledge of how the world works and a capacity to engage and enjoy are among the strongest indicators of healthy adulthood.
Our Curriculum, C2020, is based on the following principles:
- All children, whatever their start in life and however they challenge, defy and subvert expectations, deserve the joy of learning and opportunities for success.
- The capacity to learn from experience and, from this, work towards goals, strive for achievement and acknowledge success, is a pivotal positive factor in a healthy and productive adult life.
- Learning also contributes to a rich and fulfilling life through our intrinsic development; self-belief, our joy in discovery and creativity, the enriched understanding of our world and, most of all, the relationships that develop as part of the process.
- For our children, the best route to such outcomes is to foster a skill set that engenders confidence, interest, enquiry, interdependence, reflection and resilience: knowledge will follow.
- The abilities and needs of each child are unique and must lead the curriculum, not follow it.
- Living is learning and all adults who interact with our children contribute to their curriculum.
C 2020 is made up of our three tiers of learning:
- Personal Development
- Making Good Progress.
Personal Development is made up of four curriculum areas (being at school, communication, being safe and healthy, and moving on) that thread through all areas of living and learning.
A range of tools such as psychodynamic assessments of emotional need support this, and set out appropriate ways of working for each child. The Lioncare School works with a large range of partners to ensure progress in this area is evident and sustained; this will include individual therapists, CAMHS, SALT, educational psychologists, virtual schools, social care teams, and families.
Participation is split into four curriculum areas (learning together, community, belonging and difference, and activities) that sit at the centre of our group-led approach to learning and development.
Building relationships, participating in groups, supporting routines and rituals, celebrating public successes and contributing positively to the environment are big challenges for some children. Targets are set and monitored termly and peer learning is hugely important to recognising and celebrating success. Key Stage Four children are supported to undertake work experience and college placements. Awareness of and engagement in our wider community are central to our activity days. There is twice weekly PE as well as informal activities and visits.
The PE offer for 2023/24 includes;
- Horse Riding
Making Good Progress is made up of four curriculum areas (human, creative, STEM and functional) which offer a broad and balanced academic curriculum that addresses gaps in learning and fosters opportunities for achievement for however long a child is placed with us.
We expect all children to make solid progress, whatever their starting point in both English/literacy and Mathematics/numeracy while they are at The Lioncare School. We report on progress every term, and we are well supported by a school partnership advisor and a consultant educational psychologist in this area of work. The broader curriculum is supported by three whole school projects focused on the arts, sciences and humanities.
The autumn term 2023 project is Brilliant Biomes (our human curriculum project for this year)
Each child has an accreditation pathway mapped out for them that can encompass ASDAN awards, NCEF Functional Skills certificates and iGCSES via Cambridge.
The Lioncare Group – Proudly Supporting;
|Head Teacher||Dale Brown B.A.[hons], M.A., PGCE|
|School Operations Manager||Lucy Steer L3.Dip.|
|Chief Operating Officer||Jane Rayner NNEB. PGDip. CMI level 4. M.A.|
|Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the School||Matt Vince B.Sc. [hons] PGDip. M.A.|
|Founding Director||Beverley Collins Cert Ed. Dip MS. Cert TCC|
|Student Capacity||Up to 17 children of both genders|
|Age Range||7-16 years on admission|
|Qualification of Staff||Ranging from Level 3 Awards to Masters Degrees. Details can be found in the school’s prospectus.|
|Staffing Ratio & Composition||Headteacher, school operations manager, therapeutic support team manager, 2 full-time and 2 part-time qualified and experienced special needs class teachers, 3 full-time and 4 part-time learning support assistants, 2 part-time school administrators, 3 adults-in-school (classroom support), maintenance team, school cleaner.|
|Professional Guidance||In addition to regular direct oversight, guidance, and support by the chief executive officer and the chief operating officer, The Lioncare School has regular access to independent professional consultants trained and experienced in education, childcare, and social work. They assist the head teacher through regular meetings with the team of adults, consultation with the leadership team, and monitoring visits to the school. Involvement of specialist services is sought as and when required for individual cases. The school also benefits significantly from the expertise and knowledge offered and received through the organisation’s safeguarding monitoring group that meets monthly to advise, scrutinise, and challenge the school’s safeguarding and child protection practice. Scrutiny and challenge of the school’s leadership team is provided through monthly professional supervision of the head teacher and school operations manager by the chief executive officer of The Lioncare Group who also holds the role of chair of The Lioncare School.|
|Additional Services||Individualised programmes of gradual and successful reintegration to local mainstream schools or colleges with packages of ongoing support offered. Registered AEB examination centre. Recognised programmes of assessment for academic ability, social skills and competency.|
|The Lioncare School began in 1995 under the name Cornerstones Independent School. It was renamed in January 2011. The School was first registered in 1997 with the Department for Education and Skills: Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington DL3 9BGDfE number – 845/6043|