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Head's Welcome

 

 “PERSISTENT CARE IN THE PURSUIT OF ACADEMIC OUTCOMES”

Welcome to the Sky College website and the life-transforming education and residential care we provide for young people with complex social, emotional and learning difficulties. 

We provide an education that engages pupils and develops positive attitudes to learning, while developing key skills that they need for life beyond school. We strongly believe that teaching is a relational activity where the teacher and the students work together to solve problems using a theoretical framework based around relationships which informs policy and practice.

Through a clinical therapeutic approach to trauma, we aim to understand educational needs of the students and rectify the deficiency whether it be social, emotional, attachment or an undiagnosed educational need and stabilise the pupil so they are ready to learn. This work involves intensive engagement with families, local communities and multiple agencies.

We believe that attachment deficits and trauma in formative years creates SEMH difficulties. With this in mind, we actively use an attachment aware and a trauma informed approach in school, using techniques of managing the young people such as creating emotional safety through sensitive attuned care, becoming stress managers, being responsible for holding boundaries and having a flexibility of approach to behaviour management.

We recognise the learner story as a starting point for engagement and using this knowledge of what has come before to fully understand their needs, what has worked previously and what has not.

At Sky we provide education on a human scale where, because of the structure and the small numbers, each student is known very well. The pupils are taught a flexible curriculum in small classes by a small number of teachers, and as a consequence the staff know the academic and personal needs of all the students. The learners are challenged to learn and the staff are challenged to maintain the highest standards.

At Sky we believe that the relationship with the students and their family is fundamental to successful academic outcomes and based upon mutual respect. The positive relationships developed in school between the keyworkers and the students are used as a springboard for learning. Schooling is seen as more than just acquiring knowledge, it is part of the child’s journey from childhood to early adulthood.

The staff collaborate as a professional group, thinking and planning together, they are highly reflective of their work and given daily opportunities to debrief.

Behaviour is seen as a communication of need and the staff are trained to understand this communication. Staff actively ask the question why are these young people behaving like this, and intervene therapeutically, building resilience. They do not take these behaviours personally, and treat each day is a new day, where the possibilities for that child are endless and expectations of social behaviour are equally high.

Positive behaviours are constantly modelled by the adults in the school and expectations during social time are the same as those in the classroom. Learners are trained to become pro-social. Clear boundaries are set and high levels of structure and routine are used to support learning, and young people are held consistently within a framework of expectations. We help our pupils develop the skills that enable them to be independent and to manage their own behaviour.

The experiences and learning aims within the curriculum align closely with the student’s aspirations and there is an element of choice in academic and non-academic experiential subjects that align with the students onward routes.

We see transition as vitally important for the existing group and the new student, as well as keeping transitions during the school day to a minimum- as changes to expectations causes additional. If there are changes to student’s time tables these are well planned, discussed and agreed with the young people beforehand. 

We are proud of the learning community that we are building here at Sky and if you would like to be a part of it, or would like more information about the school get in contact at office@skycollege.somerset.sch.uk.  You will find a great deal if useful information on this website or simply get in touch with us.