At Sheiling School, our priority is to provide a flexible and creative environment where children can find joy in learning whilst also finding security in clear structure and consistent expectations. We offer a holistic curriculum that balances the physical, emotional, intellectual, and cultural needs of each pupil.

Our Curriculum

The Sheiling School Curriculum can be termed ‘holistic’ in two respects:

  1. It understands and addresses all pupils in respect to their:  cognitive, physical, emotional, developmental, and social needs. Many educational approaches treat cognitive development in isolation, the Sheiling School Curriculum recognises the influence of every aspect of human life on the child’s ability to learn.
  2. The Curriculum is structured in such a way that all pupils have a carefully planned program of study that incorporates termly learning aims in all aspects of their education, which may include; English, maths, science, history, geography, and citizenship. This is balanced by our practical curriculum that has been developed throughout the school’s long history, and is based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings. The strengths of this holistic curriculum come from students experiencing learning in subjects such as weaving, baking, pottery, art, horticulture and animal care.Our curriculum is structured to enable pupils to understand the wider world, their place within it, and the relationship between themselves and the community. This in turn supports pupils to develop the skills to regulate their own behaviour, develop self confidence and the enjoyment that comes from being part of the Sheiling School.

Our Educational Principles

Creativity at the heart of education

We use creativity to overcome obstacles to learning by always searching for new ways to inspire and engender interest, for example through using art, music and movement.

We develop an appreciation of community and the environment 

We take the time to help pupils experience the strength of working in a community and the outdoor environment. We believe the moral education of young people is strengthened by maintaining not just a functional environment but a beautiful one.

How we do things is as important as what we do

When educating and supporting young people, the process, is at least as important as the end result. We consistently model positivity and support all young people with warmth and enthusiasm, ensuring their individual needs are met. 

How is Holistic Education differentiated for each child?

Crucial to our child-centred educational approach is the deepest understanding of the specific needs and learning styles of each pupil. Although all pupils access the same topics and skill sets, the ways in which they are enabled to do so varies enormously. It is just as effective (if not more so) to teach numeracy with hammer and nails, or spade and flower bulbs, as with pencil and paper. It depends on how the pupil learns best.

Based on the assessments of a number of professionals (including Teachers, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Medical Consultant, and in some cases our Developmental Psychologist), we establish the most suitable approach for each pupil and ensure we are working at the right levels. The pupil’s individual goals are set out in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is regularly assessed and updated.

Support for Education at Sheiling School

Our education, care and therapy departments work together and meet regularly to ensure that pupils thrive and succeed. As well as the input from a range of Therapists and specialist Class Teachers, Sheiling School pupils also benefit from a high staff-to-pupil ratio and small class sizes. The overall structure of each day remains the same and each pupil receives their own visual timetable to provide them with added security. The class teacher and LSAs stay with each group for most lessons throughout the day, so that pupils can feel comfortable and confident when exploring new learning experiences.

Total Communication

At Sheiling School, we use total communication as part of our teaching methods. Total communication is a system using a variety of communication methods, including verbal communication, sign language and symbols. This enables staff and pupil to communicate effectively in ways which suit each young person’s individual needs.