About Castlewood

Castlewood School is a special day school for 96 pupils aged 5-16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH).

Many of our pupils also have additional needs, often due to the co-morbidity of related medical conditions. Additional needs presented include Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) including Asperger’s Syndrome, Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD), Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) including dyslexia and dyspraxia and Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). Some pupils have medical conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) requiring medication or visual and hearing impairments.

All pupils at Castlewood School have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and are admitted following close consultation with the referring Local Authorities.

Pupils are taught in groups of a maximum size of eight by an allocated Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant. Sometimes additional adults are allocated to a group or an individual for a short period of time to meet specific needs.

At Castlewood School we aim to nurture pupils by building trusting relationships, enabling pupils to feel valued and to develop self-worth, raising self-esteem and supporting them to engage with learning, leading to achievement and experiencing success.

Our main focus rests on supporting all pupils, regardless of their starting points to reach their academic, emotional and social potential – we want pupils to be the best they can be, enabling them to move on and become a functional member of society. This is achieved by challenging pupils and staff to take the next step for their personal development.

Many of our pupils arrive feeling that they are not successful learners and with significant self-esteem difficulties due to their prior experience of learning.  It is also common for our pupils to arrive with limited and underdeveloped skills due to missed opportunities and challenging behaviour acting as a barrier to learning.  Pupils are valued as individuals and time is taken to identify learning styles and to understand the needs of the child.  This approach allows us to identify activities and learning opportunities to close the gap and to move children along their educational journey.

Our school is a successful and happy one, where pupils feel valued and learn to take responsibility for themselves and others. We are blessed with children of many different age groups. The consideration and patience shown by our older pupils towards their younger peers is only one of the many remarkable features of our school.

All pupils benefit from:

  • in-house catering
  • a fully-equipped drama studio
  • a multi-purpose sports hall, with space and equipment to host 5-a-side football, badminton, basketball, gymnastics and trampolining
  • a design technology suite
  • a mechanics room
  • a food technology room
  • a science lab
  • a music room
  • an art room
  • a library
  • landscaped grounds
  • spacious classrooms equipped with interactive screens
  • Lower School and Upper School pupils additionally enjoy their own outside areas

Our pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum, aiming to meet their individual special educational needs.  The school is committed to equal opportunities and all our pupils are expected to leave school with accredited qualifications.  At all times pupils and staff are expected to work and behave responsibly, showing respect and consideration for others.

We are developing a culture of aspiration, achievement and personal growth for all pupils and we are committed to broadening their experiences through our enrichment programme. Themed days, residential excursions and an active School Council combine to make this a busy school where everyone’s talents are nurtured and stretched.