The residential accommodation and educational facilities have been carefully designed to provide a welcoming environment which reflects the special needs of pupils with autism.

The environment is adapted to be:

  • highly structured
  • calm, tranquil and low arousal
  • safe
  • provide opportunities to learn, exercise, socialise and relax onsite
  • support transitions
  • support the strong focus within our approach on physical exercise and the development of leisure and vocational skills.

Residential accommodation:

Young adult in residential settingA range of residential accommodation, including both purpose-built and carefully converted houses, has been designed to provide an adapted environment that is autistic-specific, homely and suited to the age and needs of the child. The homes are carefully organised with clearly defined areas (ie for play, snack, relaxing, group and activities) with visual and physical structure as appropriate to support and encourage independence.

Each house has comfortable living accommodation including a kitchen and dining area, sitting room and a room which can be used as a quiet or sensory room or for activities depending on the needs of the students within the house.

Each student has their own bedroom which they may personalise with soft furnishings, pictures, toys or music and computer equipment. Houses either have en-suite or shared, single-sex bathroom facilities. Each has it's own enclosed garden where students can practice their horticultural skills.

  • the residential environment is homely and structured to support the focus on building independence and learning throughout the waking day.
  • students are grouped according to age, ability and compatibility.
  • accommodation is varied to reflect a range of student needs.
  • there are between 4 and 7 students in each residential house.

Leisure, exercise and recreational facilities include:Student swimming through octopus cave during sensory story

  • 50 acres of safe parkland including 10 acre wood with sculpture trail and quiet garden
  • indoor, heated sensory swimming pool
  • all-weather activity track for walking, running, cycling, scooting, rollerskating
  • swings, trampolines, trim trail and outdoor gym equipment
  • art room and library
  • contemporary art and sculpture throughout the site gifted by Founding Patron, Dame Stephanie Shirley.

    Vocational facilities include:

    • kitchen garden and horticulture area with greenhouse, polytunnel, horticultural classroom, raised beds and vegetable plots, flower beds, fruit trees and orchard
    • Countryside Learning Centre with outdoor classroom, stableyard and paddocks housing a range of animals including pigs, goats, sheep, guinea pigs, chickens and rabbits as well as Pets as Therapy (PAT) dogs as part of an Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) programme
    • IT suites that reflect an office environment to encourage and support vocational skills

      Further specialist facilities to support and extend learning:

      Student in the multi-sensory suite at Prior

        • occupational therapy room
        • multi-sensory suite with interactive multisensory and soft play rooms
        • food technology and independent living skills classroom
        • spacious, purpose built dining room that enables students and staff to eat as family groups in a social setting. Movable screens can subdivide the space and windows are high to minimise distraction.

        Staff make sure that pupils receive maximum benefit from using the school’s exceptional facilities, such as the countryside learning and horticultural areas and those very well-equipped areas that support pupils’ artistic and physical development.

        Ofsted Inspection Report, November 2017

        Wheelchair access:

        The main teaching areas are wheelchair accessible but some residential areas are not. Please contact us for further information about your specific requirements.