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Creating a soft landing for our new residential pupils

Exceptional children at Abbey School

 

This year marks an exciting milestone at Abbey School as our beautiful new residential accommodation Abbey Green opens in September and we look forward to welcoming new faces and friends as pupils join us from all over the country.

New beginnings, such as when starting off in a brand-new school and living away from home for the first time, can be both an exciting and challenging experience. Ensuring that the transition to a new way of living is a positive experience for every child is a priority for our team.

Our staff work closely with each pupil’s family, school, care teams, and other relevant organisations and individuals, to create highly personalised and considered transitional support into and away from Abbey School.

Prior to placement, out team meets each child’s family to assess and create a personalised transition plan based on a comprehensive exchange of information. Family involvement in the transition process ensures each move to Abbey School is as smooth as possible.

Our residential team is committed to learning about every new pupil before they arrive at school thereby creating a ‘soft landing’ among people who understand their routines. Important details about preference and routines help to create a comfortable and familiar environment for exceptional children from the moment they join Abbey School. Every detail, no matter how small, is vital to this aim.

Upon arrival our residential pupils are able to immerse themselves in a nurturing and caring environment – a home from home. Accommodation is available in one of four carefully-refurbished terraced mews houses on the Abbey School grounds, a short walk to their classrooms via beautiful walled gardens. Each house is family-sized and has a dedicated team of support staff. Residential pupils have access to private gardens and outdoor spaces. Internally there is a lounge, kitchen, and activity area, alongside bedrooms and bathrooms.

Children are supported by a highly skilled and well qualified team of residential care staff with relevant social care qualifications. Home teams comprise of a home manager, keyworkers, and a high ratio of residential care staff. A waking-night staff supports pupils throughout the night. All of the residential support staff work in close partnership with families and carers, and with our own school staff, to create a safe and nurturing environment.

Supporting positive family relationships is central to helping children remain happy and connected to their community of origin while learning important skills that will enhance their ability to develop new relationships over their lifetimes.

At the end of a school placement our team is able to work with receiving authorities to ensure the service and social supports are in place locally for a smooth transition and onward journey through life.