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What says..

Sheiling adapts teaching methods to suit likes, interests and needs. For example, one student loves swimming so they laminated the teaching resources, headed to the pool and taught him there. Students are able to retreat to the glorious grounds if they are finding the classroom difficult. Staff will accompany them and adapt teaching by using the surroundings. By engaging with hands-on activities like gardening, students start to have fun and gradually learn to take instructions. From there, it is possible to broaden their horizons and introduce new things. Most children here have previously been at other schools which have been unable to engage them, and the difference in approach is ...

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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.

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Head of school

Since 2016, Andy Walters, previously deputy head in 2013/2014. After training at Portsmouth University, Walters taught science and maths in secondary schools before going on to work with children with autism in both care and teaching roles. ‘He is very supportive of parental involvement with learning and will take on board any recommendations,’ parents reported.

Principal since 2011 is Corine van Barneveld, previously head of care at the school after starting as a volunteer 25 years ago and working her way through roles. ‘The principal is very approachable and very well informed,’ parents told us.


Pupils can join at any age but the majority join around the age of 9 onwards, having first tried schooling elsewhere which hasn’t worked out.
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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.

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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