Our school motto is 'Unlocking Potential'
Castledon School is a community special school based in Wickford, Essex, that aims to unlock the potential of learners aged 5 to 19 with moderate learning difficulties and complex needs. Our motto is "Unlocking Potential", and this is underpinned by our 5 key values:
Compassion and kindness
Achievement and recognition
Connection and belonging
We work closely with parents, staff and students to create a safe and inclusive community that is based on mutual respect and understanding. Staff, parents and students helped devise the Castledon Code which encourages all within our community to be safe, kind and responsible.
Every learner has personalised learning intentions (PLIs) linked to their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which are reviewed and updated regularly to ensure progress is being made. We have a dedicated team of Family Liaison officers who support families with new placements and transitions, referrals to wider services and supporting family and learners' wellbeing.
Our Speech and Language therapist and Occupational therapist work closely with teachers and teaching assistants to provide a supportive environment that allows all our students to thrive. They collaborate with the teaching team to offer continuous professional development opportunities, as well as the necessary resources and strategies to help our students succeed in the classroom. We also have a dedicated team of school counsellors who provide emotional support to our students and work closely with our teaching and therapy teams to ensure that every student's needs are met.
Our school has a range of facilities and resources to support our students' learning and development, including specialist classrooms and equipment, therapy rooms, a sensory room, a soft play area, a music studio, a swimming pool, animal care shelters and an art room. Our students have access to a range of pathways, including life skills, vocational, and academic. We work with our learners and families to identify their goals and aspirations and offer bespoke pathways that are tailored to each individual student.
At Castledon School, we take a holistic approach to our learners' development, aiming to develop their academic and social skills as well as their independence through activities such as Bikeability training, visits to the Cardrome in Romford for driving lessons and access to community facilities such as local gyms and swimming pools.
We have established strong partnerships with other local schools, both special and mainstream, to collaborate on curriculum events and to provide bespoke pathways for children who are more able in certain areas. "The curriculum is designed to support learners in developing essential skills for life, including independent living, access to further education, and to support our learners to gain meaningful employment."
In addition to providing an extensive range of lunch clubs and after-school clubs to support the social and emotional development of our students, we have a community café called Poppies Café where students can develop work skills and gain experience in a real-world setting.
We have a classroom at Wat Tyler Country Park where younger children undertake forest schools and older learners develop skills for work through the Skillsbuilder programme, which focuses on developing key skills in communication, self-management, creative problem-solving and collaboration.
Our school has won several awards, including the 2022 Essex SEND Teacher of the Year award. We also recently won the Educational Business Award for Environmental Practice in 2022, and the Community Award in 2021, Academy Partnership Award, and SEN Provision Award in 2019.
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