Located within Chester Cathedral’s historic grounds in the heart of the city, Abbey School’s residential offer will accommodate children aged eight to 19 years old. The residential provision caters for children with autism who may have additional learning difficulties and behaviours that challenge, and who require a residential placement that offers 24/7 support.
Abbey School combines learnings from special education research and best practice to provide an outstanding teaching and learning experience, with the wellbeing of pupils and staff sitting at the heart of the school’s philosophy. Its residential offer will extend the school’s offering through a waking day curriculum bringing learning and development into everyday life through engagement and participation.
The residential accommodation will be located in beautiful mews properties that overlook Chester’s ancient falconry and city walls, enabling children and young people to benefit from being located in a tranquil space within the community with easy access to everything Chester has to offer.
Pupils will live in small groups based within houses with a highly skilled and well qualified team of residential care staff in each house to support and nurture them. Each house will have its own garden and outdoor space along with a lounge, kitchen and activity area as well as bedrooms and bathrooms, all beautifully decorated and equipped to provide a home away from home. Pupils will be encouraged to personalise their own area of the house based on their interests and preferences.
Each house will function as a family group with a home manager, key workers and residential care staff. Waking-night staff will support pupils throughout the night. Pupils will follow a waking-day curriculum of fun-filled activities, extending the knowledge and skills acquired at school into their home setting while also developing daily living, social, personal care, and leisure skills.
Dr Katy Lee, Principal at Abbey School, said: “We’re thrilled to be nearing completion on the construction of our brand new residential accommodation, which will provide much-needed support for children with additional needs who would benefit from a residential model, where their development and wellbeing can be nurtured and supported by our outstanding team of SEND specialists.
“Working closely with families and local authorities to provide children with a superb residential experience that links as seamlessly as possible into their existing support frameworks and positively supports any necessary transitions in their lives, is a key focus for our team.
“Abbey Green benefits from being right in the heart of the city, but set within Chester Cathedral’s leafy and tranquil grounds. This provides a peaceful yet stimulating environment where children will be able to grow and thrive and develop important and empowering relationships as part of a friendly, engaged community.
“Abbey School for Exceptional Children is committed to offering children an outstanding education, and the opening of our residential offer will extend this focus – with an ambition to provide children and young people with a holistic, specialist education that ensures their continuing development and supports their growing independence and capability.”
Ensuring that children have a regular and meaningful presence in the community is at the heart of the Abbey School residential approach and pupils will have the opportunity to attend a variety of recreational, social and fun activities and clubs. They will be able to take part in a wide range of trips and activities such as swimming, visits to the cinema, bowling, using the gym, and climbing and hiking.
Relationships with family and friends will be supported for all pupils accessing a residential placement. Family visits are welcomed and families can keep in touch through regular phone calls and video calls.
Pupils will have a number of residential options available, including weekly placements with weekends and school holidays spent at home; or half-termly placements including weekends, with all half term breaks and holidays spent at home; or termly 41 week placements including weekends and half term holidays but returning home for Christmas, Easter and Summer.