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What says..

The whole campus is considered to be a classroom. Students spend part of the day outdoors, perhaps in the woodlands where they learn to plant trees, and to use the wood to make charcoal for local artists or items such as benches and bird boxes, or working the vegetable patches, or helping with repairs to the buildings. Most children here have previously been at other schools which have been unable to engage them, and the difference in approach is stark, parents tell us. ‘They had the patience, knowledge and experience to understand that her sensory, behavioural and emotional needs…

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What the school says...

We are a Rudolf Steiner independent residential special school and children's home. Member of the Association of Camphill Communities.

What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Head of school

Since September 2016, Andy Walters, who returned to the fold - previously deputy head in 2013/2014. After training at Portsmouth University, Mr Walters taught science and maths in secondary schools before going on to work with children with autism in both care and teaching roles. He became an assistant head in 2010, working in school leadership within several schools. In addition to supporting schools to define, develop and improve their curriculum and assessment methods, he also has a passion for computing and DT and has been involved in developing these subjects for SEN students.

The school forms part of The Sheiling Trust – together with a college for pupils aged 19-25, the Lantern Community for adults with learning difficulties, the mainstream Ringwood Steiner School, and a farm community for...

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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.

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The Sheiling School was founded in 1951 and is a Camphill Rudolf Steiner School offering an adapted Waldorf Curriculum together with individual therapies. The school caters for children and students who have severe and moderate learning difficulties, including Down's syndrome, Autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, Microcephaly and others. Mainly residential (38 weeks), we also offer weekly boarding and day places. The school aims to fill the gap where local and national special school facilities are not appropriate, and to provide a total environment in which children can be helped to reach their full potential. The children and students live in extended family households with houseparents and co-workers (carers). Currently, places are purchased by 26 funding authorities throughout England and Wales.

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

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