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A Special School

(29 Posts)
Thimbleberries Fri 20-Nov-20 20:59:33

Is anyone else watching this, about a special school in Wales, one of the biggest in the UK apparently.

They seem to care so much about the children, and it's lovely watching the children's increased confidence with things like the outdoors centre trip, or the surfing, etc.

OP’s posts: |
nitgel Fri 20-Nov-20 21:02:07

We need so many more of these schools. Its fab

purpleme12 Sat 21-Nov-20 21:24:29

What channel's it on?

Thimbleberries Sat 21-Nov-20 21:41:54

pretty sure it was BBC1, possibly BBC2. But it's available on iPlayer now anyway, as I think that was the last of the 3 series.

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purpleme12 Sat 21-Nov-20 21:47:34

I don't know how I missed this
It's the sort of thing I'd watch

Thisyearcandoone Sat 21-Nov-20 21:47:47

Yes, I saw a couple of episodes in the week. Are there more series?
It's amazing, I want to work there!

Carriemac Sat 21-Nov-20 21:51:40

Amazing
And the staff are inspiring

purpleme12 Sat 21-Nov-20 21:57:53

On iplayer it says there's just 3 episodes from September?

Thimbleberries Sat 21-Nov-20 21:59:16

I think there are 3 episodes in total. It was originally shown in September but filmed some time before the first lockdown from the looks of it. I hope they do more some day.

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Toddlerteaplease Sat 21-Nov-20 22:52:31

Watched this on iPlayer a while ago. Amazing school.

ineedsun Sat 21-Nov-20 23:10:45

It's great, reminds me of my sons school. I was in floods at the end when they closed up for Christmas and were looking forward to 2020 being a better year.

BackforGood Sat 21-Nov-20 23:30:33

I watched it a while back.
I do wish all LAs provided a proper education, geared to the dcs' needs, properly funded like this. With enough places available for all the families that want it.
We, as a society are just SO far away from where we should be.

OneInEight Sun 22-Nov-20 08:23:32

Amazing school. We were exceptionally lucky that ds1 went to a primary EBD school with the same ethos and aspirations for their pupils & they made a huge difference to him. Yes, it takes a substantial amount of funding but it is also an attitude of mind to see what pupils can do rather than what they can not.

MoonJelly Sun 22-Nov-20 10:08:26

I'm a little sceptical about one-size-fits-all special schools like this one; it feels a bit like shunting all the disabled children out of the way together regardless of the nature and level of their difficulty,. The ones that aim to specialise properly in one particular type of difficulty seem to do better because staff have very targeted training, children have a more appropriate peer group and they really are geared to using the right sort of expertise. This programme didn't really reassure me.

Skipsurvey Sun 22-Nov-20 10:20:27

oh i thought it was amazing.
i presume there are classes rated by ability/disability

i was really impressed by it.
there are special schools and this was obviously a purpose built huge special school, with brilliant facilities

OneInEight Sun 22-Nov-20 10:38:43

Actually I would love to know if anyone has a child who has been there and what their experience was / is like. When we were looking at independent special schools we did find a lot of the head-teachers did a brilliant sales pitch but the reality was quite a lot different when you looked deeper into what was offered.

Toddlerteaplease Sun 22-Nov-20 11:19:07

@MoonJelly I wondered about that two. There is such a vast difference between the needs of a child who is physically disabled with major medical needs and a 16 year old with behaviour issues. Some of the kids must have a very long commute.

Skipsurvey Sun 22-Nov-20 11:21:45

I guess it is like the idea of Superhospitals
rather than your local district general hospital you now have a huge superhospital taken over

movingonup20 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:23:29

It was amazing. I do wish there was a school like that when my dd was school age, we had the choice of mainstream or not education - this school had kids doing a levels!

movingonup20 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:28:54

@MoonJelly

Yes there's an issue but by being bigger they can serve those with different abilities in groups. My dd was offered a special ed place at 14 but there were only 6 students and none of the others were studying for GCSEs (she was straight a* kid) so we had the option of an appropriate setting emotionally but no education or education in the wrong setting, we opted for mainstream but I basically homeschooled her because she spent less than half the week at school, and most of that was at a desk in the school office on a laptop! She would have benefitted from a nurturing environment like this school, they mentioned they had kids doing a levels

Thimbleberries Sun 22-Nov-20 12:48:48

yes I wondered about that too, but thought they must have a whole variety of separate classes with different abilities, and possibly able to mix and match depending on the children's abilities in different areas and what was needed when.

I don't think children are 'shunted' there though, as it is apparently very over subscribed. But I don't know what other provision is like for those who can't get in.

They said something about some children spending up to an hour in taxis to get there, which is why they did all the morning exercise, yoga, surfing etc first to get them ready to learn afterwards. Whether that means an hour straight drive from a long distance, or whether it's because a taxi has to go around more than once place to collect, I don't know.

OP’s posts: |
x2boys Sun 22-Nov-20 15:44:24

I haven't seen it but my son is in year six at a special school ,for a child to go to the school it goes to a panel to ascertain which is the best setting for the individual child in my LEA we have two special primary school,s and two special high school,s ,and places are allocated on need and ability also once the child is in the school they are placed in classes theoretically with children of similar ability.

x2boys Sun 22-Nov-20 15:48:15

And yes regarding transport my son gets a mini bus with several other students ( it's a bit different this year because of COVID and bubbles) but normally my son would be on a mini bus with children who live in the same area ( the school serves the whole of the LEA) and although we are only about 3 miles from school ,because of pick ups it can be a long journey.

buildingbridge Sun 22-Nov-20 16:53:01

I'm a little sceptical about one-size-fits-all special schools like this one

Thank you! I nearly lost hope in humanity when I saw the previous comments. In all honesty, it looked like overglorified babysitting. Though the staff are very be try caring.

MoonJelly Sun 22-Nov-20 19:31:50

Thimbleberries

yes I wondered about that too, but thought they must have a whole variety of separate classes with different abilities, and possibly able to mix and match depending on the children's abilities in different areas and what was needed when.

I don't think children are 'shunted' there though, as it is apparently very over subscribed. But I don't know what other provision is like for those who can't get in.

They said something about some children spending up to an hour in taxis to get there, which is why they did all the morning exercise, yoga, surfing etc first to get them ready to learn afterwards. Whether that means an hour straight drive from a long distance, or whether it's because a taxi has to go around more than once place to collect, I don't know.


Even with different classes, you still have the issue of, for instance, children who are physically vulnerable sharing corridors and playgrounds with children who may be quite clumsy or have unpredictable behaviour; or children who can't cope with sudden loud noises being with children who make unpredictable loud noises; or children being simply unable to cope with the way some disabilities manifest themselves. And you can have constant difficulties in ensuring that all staff receive the full quota of ongoing training in relation to the range of difficulties they cover, especially for people like therapists who cover a lot of classes.

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