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  • Dawn House School
    Helmsley Road
    NG21 0DQ
  • Head: Mrs Jenny McConnell Bsc, Npqsl
  • T 01623 795361
  • F 01623 491173
  • E enquiries@dawnhou…
  • W
  • A special independent school for boys and girls aged from 5 to 19. Type of SEN provision: ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder; Aspergers; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders; Dyscalculia; Dyslexia; SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health; SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Nottinghamshire
  • Pupils: 85; sixth formers: 30
  • Religion: Does not apply
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Outstanding 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 1
    • 1 Full inspection 12th March 2014
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Good on 7th April 2011
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Some children need certain props, such as a prompt key ring, to keep them focused. It’s part of life at Dawn House, the children are as likely to remind others not to forget their wobble cushion or whatever as staff.

More academically able students attend lessons such as English language and English literature at partner mainstream schools, supported by Dawn House staff. One child did maths A level with help from an external tutor who came to the school.

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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2018, Jenny McConnell, principal. Interestingly, she has a therapy background, rather than an educational one. Says that this brings knowledge ‘about how these young people learn best’.

Joined Dawn House 24 years ago as speech and language therapist. In 2000 became speech and language therapy co-ordinator, which included leading on behaviour and safeguarding. Promoted to head of therapy from 2010, before becoming vice principal in 2016.

Previous head only stayed for about 10 months, and Mrs McConnell was made acting principal in 2017, before her appointment was finalised in 2018. Parents approve of the appointment. One who had been worried about the previous head leaving after such a short time, said, ‘I do think they’ve got the right head in place now’. Others say that she is...

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Special Education Needs

Dawn House School is committed to the highest quality education, therapy and care for day or residential pupils with a communication disability. Children and young people work towards external accreditation (GCSE, CoA, Youth Award Scheme), national awards for academic, sporting and personal achievements while developing their communication skills and growing in confidence and experience. The Ofsted inspection report commented: ‘A very effective school, where teaching and learning are very good. Pupils make very impressive progress in developing their speech, language and communication skills, as well as their personal and social development. Pupils demonstrate outstanding attitudes, behaviour and social skills, which are the result of highly positive and thoughtfully structured support that always seeks to encourage independence.’ Dawn House School's FE provision, in partnership with West Nottinghamshire Further Education College, enables students aged 16 to 19 to access mainstream college opportunities whilst receiving specialist support. Please note: the school will cater for mild emotional and behavioural difficulties where this emanates from the communication difficulty. School has experience of other genetic disorders eg Worster Drout which have associated communication difficulties.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dyslexia 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 Y
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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