School Information – Harding House
We are part of the Vale Federation of Special Schools. Harding House is the Post-16 Provision of Stocklake Park School and is in the centre of Aylesbury. Harding House is within walking distance of many local community facilities, close to other local secondary schools and with good local transport links.
Harding House caters for students aged 16—19 with a wide range of needs. Students come into the Post-16 Provision from local, and out of county, SLD, MLD, specialist and mainstream schools.
The staff team currently includes Head, Teachers, Learning Support Assistants, Administrator and lunch-time supervisors. There is also an input from other professionals to support students when appropriate – Connexions, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Social Services (Children’s and Adult Disability Teams), residential providers and employers. Some services are based at the Stocklake Park site.
Teaching groups allow for enhanced learning opportunities and may subdivide depending on the activity. Teaching staff will attend Annual Reviews, transition meetings, interviews, etc. and be the primary contact for home-school communication.
Our new student intake usually commences in September, but mid year applications will be considered. After initial transition, students usually begin their Post-16 programme in the Gladstone Group and undertake an induction programme. The Walton and Harding Groups cater for Year 13 and 14 students, with increased emphasis on vocational skills, functional key skills and transition to post school provision.
There is also alternative 14-19 provision based at Stocklake Park School main site, catering for students who have more complex difficulties and may need a more sensory curriculum, access to therapies and a higher level of physical support and care. Please contact Sophie Robinson at Stocklake Park School for more information – 01296 423507 or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Vision and Values
Inspire – Enable – Achieve
Through a multi-professional approach, we will create a high quality, inclusive, happy and safe school environment where pupils with a range of learning difficulties are:
- Inspired to engage in learning
- Enabled to realise their greatest level of independence and emotional resilience
- Supported to recognise and celebrate their achievements now and in the future
We aim for our pupils to give their best in everything that they do. We recognise all their small steps of progress and their achievements. Whatever the child’s starting point, we have high expectations of them. All children can make progress with their academic skills, their physical skills, their communication skills, and their personal development.
Staff have high expectations of themselves and fulfil their role to a standard of excellence.
We aim for our pupils to learn in a school environment that is safe and secure, and to develop trusting relationships with others. Over time, we want our pupils to develop a sense of responsibility. We aim for children to develop an awareness of who they can trust in the wider community.
Staff always act in a trustworthy manner. They are honest and reliable at all times.
We aim for our pupils to show courage in the challenges that they will face in life. It takes courage to have the confidence to have a go, to be willing to make mistakes, and to bounce back after a mistake.
Staff model being courageous and support children’s resilience.
We aim for our pupils to always persevere, even when something may be difficult, to keep going and not give up, and to develop a positive “can do” attitude.
Staff are unfailingly determined to support pupils in achieving their very best.
We aim for our pupils to show kindness to others. We value being polite, friendly and welcoming to others.
Staff always act in a manner that demonstrates kindness towards children and towards each other. Staff are positive role models for children.
We aim for our pupils to develop communication and social interaction skills in order to develop positive friendships with others, and to take pleasure in shared experiences.
Staff demonstrate friendship by being caring, supportive, having fun, and sharing ideas.
We aim for our pupils to learn and develop in a school environment that promotes tolerance and respect for individual differences, abilities, needs and beliefs.We aim for our pupils to develop into individuals who respect themselves and respect others by treating them with consideration and care, and recognising that not everybody is the same.
Staff are positive role models at all times and demonstrate their respect for others through their behaviour.
We aim for our pupils to experience a school environment in which fairness is promoted. Equity is achieved by understanding that individuals need different levels and types of support to achieve their goals.
Staff are committed to ensuring that each individual has their needs well met.
The Foundation Learning Curriculum at Harding House is specifically designed for young adults with a range of learning difficulties, as they prepare to leave school and enter the adult community. Teaching programmes engage students in structured learning and are personalised with identified progression routes. At Harding House we focus on delivering functional literacy and numeracy to support independence in the community.
Students continue to work on core skills – Communication, Number, I.C.T and Personal Skills, but there is an increasing emphasis on the skills and knowledge and understanding that students will need for successful transition into their adult life and local communities. This Foundation Learning Curriculum will include Functional Skills, Personal and Social Development and Work Related Learning.
The curriculum at Harding House is rich and diverse. We recognise that learning can take place in many non-classroom based environments. Partnership working with other agencies is a real strength at Harding House. Personalised learning promotes the recognition of individual aspirations, talents and needs.
Students have the opportunity to enrol on Step Up, our 19–25 course based at Harding House. The course is personalised to meet individual needs and aspirations, and to complement students’ College and/or community provision. Students may, for example, spend two or three days at college, and then follow a range of modules as part of the Step Up provision at Harding House.
The learning focus is on applying understanding and skills in real contexts in the community, with an emphasis on vocational, employment and functional skills. Functional Skills underpin all learning programmes and learners develop and extend appropriate Communication, Numeracy, ICT, Personal and Learning Skills in all units.
Referrals can be made by learners themselves, their families, local Colleges, Connexions, and Social Services.
Our Harding House Student Council is made up of six students. We hold regular Harding House School Council Meetings where the views, or requests, of all students are put forward. These are then discussed and explored. Representatives are responsible for sharing the information with their peers.
Members have also contributed to recruitment interviews and Federation wide questionnaires. Activities have included a decorating project, planning social events and fundraising activities.
This work supports our Citizenship and Personal Development Skills curriculum.
All Harding House students have the opportunity to take part in work experience placements. Work experience is usually arranged through the Bucks Education Business Partnership and Connexions Service. Work experience enriches our curriculum and offers students the opportunity to extend and develop their work related learning and functional skills in real life contexts.
Placements vary according to students’ and employers’ requirements – two or three week blocks, one day a week, work shadowing, etc. Students work independently or with staff support, as appropriate.
We have built up an excellent partnership with local employers and have a wide range of potential placements. We also work in partnership with the National Trust at Waddesdon Manor, where students volunteer in all areas – restaurants, the Plant Centre, cafes, shop and the house itself. We also participate in volunteering projects with Aylesbury Youth Action and Impact Bucks.
Students also have the opportunity to work at the other sites within the Federation – Booker Park and Stocklake Park. Work options can include the office, school kitchen, classroom and caretaking activities.
Work Experience is also accredited by O.C.R. in Practical Work Skills and Vocational Skills modules. Entry Level units in the Life and Living Skills qualification may also be used to validate students’ achievements on work experience. Students are also entered for the Bucks Silver/Gold Work Experience Award.