Shapwick School in Somerset is one of the few remaining independent schools for young people with specific learning difficulties. The strict admission criteria mean that the school specialises in a niche area of educational need. They believe that otheir students deserve the best specialist education possible and this being delivered in a conducive and empathetic environment.
Shapwick School is located close to the Avalon Marshes, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The surrounding area provides a wonderful teaching resource and an astounding outdoor classroom especially for Art, Photography and Geography.
For every student, the school aims to personalise their learning experience. They do not expect their students to fit into the Shapwick educational provision rather they fit the educational provision around the student. This can only be achieved by establishing a thorough understanding of how the specific learning difficulty has impacted upon the individual. Once this has been established, it is then possible to build a personalised programme to include some or all of the following – specialist, in-class teaching with class sizes of 6-8 students, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Counselling, 1:1 Literacy and Maths support, the use of Assistive Technologies, Sensory Integration, Social Communication.
The school sees its role as developing their students as independent and confident young people, who will contribute positively to their community on leaving school, as well as seeing them achieve academic success.
The school motto states ‘The same road by different steps’. This captures the ethos of the school. They have high expectations of both students and staff.
The school may have to find alternative solutions and think tangentially in order to work with individual students but that makes for a very dynamic and buzzy school environment. The staff team, along with parents, will always work together to find a unique plan for unique individuals
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