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What says..

The school’s USP is the consistent one-to-one teaching, provided to each child, each day, ‘The qualifications of the staff are phenomenal; lots have studied to masters level in specific learning difficulties’, says the head. The same one-to-one specialist remains with the child for up to two years. ‘I have been really pleasantly surprised at how devoted the teachers are. They have a real vocation,’ said one dad; ‘one teacher has a two hour journey...

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What the school says...

The Unicorn School is a special co-educational day school for children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and speech and language difficulties, aged between 6 and 16 years. The Unicorn School offers GCSE education. The Unicorn School provides a nurturing environment in which every child is helped to build self-confidence, appreciate their learning difficulties and develop their own personal learning style. The school has achieved accreditation status from CReSTeD and from the children's communication charity ICAN.

The classes are small, with a maximum of 12 pupils and every child receives at least half an hour of daily individual tuition. There is a speech therapist and an occupational therapist on site.

Educational needs are met in various ways. The primary target is to enable the pupil to attain the necessary skills and strategies to make academic progress and to achieve success in their future education. This is done by intensive, specialist teaching of reading, mathematics, writing, spelling and study skills.

The National Curriculum is appropriately differentiated for our children, with emphasis on learning through activity, discussion and multi-sensory techniques.

It is a vital tool in our teaching methods and touch-typing is taught from the outset, this is particularly valuable for children who find the physical act of writing a struggle and yet can still produce excellently presented work. It is important that children's spelling can reach a level where the spell checker can be accessed easily. There is a computer suite, laptops available, a computer in every 1:1 room and speech recognition and other specialist educational software available.

Interested parents are assured of a warm welcome when they come to visit The Unicorn School, where they may see the school in action and discuss their child's strengths and learning difficulties.

Children come to The Unicorn School at varying stages of their education. Clearly it is best for the child to receive help as early as possible, before avoidance habits set in, but it is never too late to start. When children move on from The Unicorn School, not only have they acquired literacy skills and learning strategies to help them to go on to achieve their full academic potential, but they have also learned something else of great value - they have discovered that even if a task, such as reading or writing, seems impossibly difficult, all that is required is hard work, practice, patience and a willingness to try out different approaches to the problem, until one is found that works for that individual child.
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What The Good Schools Guide says

Head teacher

Since 2015, Andrew Day BEd (40s), educated at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera (Welsh speaking comprehensive in West Glamorgan), then University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. Began career at Bristol Grammar Lower School (maths, ICT plus lots of games coaching), then director of studies at Hornsby House, followed by Wycliffe Prep then Cheltenham College Junior, prior to headship at Calder House School, specialist SEN prep in Wiltshire. Married to a teacher/artist with two daughters, one at a local sixth form, the other at university. Head hunted by the governors of The Unicorn School to take up the challenge of extending the specialist dyslexia teaching to year 11. ‘It came from the parents. They had seen the progress their children had made here,’ he intones in his modest Welsh voice. Passionate about helping special needs children, ‘school...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Special Education Needs

The aim and philosophy of the Unicorn School is to provide specialist education for dyslexic children, from both the independent and mainstream sector, and to teach strategies and skills to enable them to return to mainstream education as soon as possible. All children must have an Educational Psychologist report prior to entrance. Specialist teachers teach pupils in small classes of 8 to 10, with a daily half-hour of individual tuition. Educational and emotional needs are met on an individual basis as well as through a friendly atmosphere and community spirit. Parents are supported throughout the time they are associated with the school and helped to find supportive schools for their children to move on to.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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