Every child learns differently
At Daldorch your child’s learning is designed specifically for them. We carefully assess their abilities, strengths and challenges, and by finding out what interests and motivates them, we can engage them in their learning. Through the curriculum we help your child to become a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.
Our school day
The school day starts at 9am, when young people go to assembly or to our ‘ready to learn’ yoga session. After this, your child has an individualised timetable which allows some pupils to work in blocks of no more than five minutes. Some work always on their own, some with one or two others, some in small groups. We are completely flexible and will create a timetable that is just right for your child. However your child learns, their timetable will be rich with rewarding experiences and motivating activities.
Classes are of six to eight pupils. If your child has a residential placement with us, they learn in a class that mirrors the group of young people they live with. Your child’s curriculum runs through all 24 hours of the day so that the learning that takes place in the classroom transfers into a range of settings.
Learning is planned and assessed using the Curriculum for Excellence. It is relevant, functional and engaging, and designed to develop your child’s independence as they mature. Lifelong learning becomes our particular focus as our young people approach adult life.
Learning is structured and consistently delivered and we choose activities to reflect your child’s strengths and interests.
We work closely with our colleagues in the support for learning team to ensure out teaching matches your child’s developmental stage and helps them learn effectively and with enjoyment.
We have eight curriculum areas: literacy, maths, health and wellbeing, science, technologies, expressive arts, social studies, and religious and moral education. We deliver these curriculum areas across all levels of development.
We have good links with our local colleges, so if your child would like to do some of their learning in a mainstream setting with our support, we can arrange this.
"I like to go on the computer. I like to do maths and English, health and wellbeing. In my spare time I like to look at Dr Who."
Michael, Age 17
"I’ve designed a penthouse. I’ve been checking the prices of a bathtub big enough for eight people – a Jacuzzi."
Connor, Age 17
Animal assisted activities
Our animal assisted activities programme is exciting, fun and brings our young people enormous benefits. Animals are non-judgmental, and interacting with them can give your child confidence and skills without being aware that they are learning.
We’ve found that dogs make excellent listeners, so if your child is a reluctant reader we may encourage them to read aloud to a dog. One child has learned to wait by throwing a ball to a dog out on the Meadow, and waiting for it to bring the ball back. Others have learned to overcome their fear of dogs with our phobia training.
We ride horses on the Meadow, and visit local stables for horsemanship and stable management.
We volunteer in Dean Park, walking dogs and feeding animals, including goats, rabbits and lambs. We have regular visits from the ‘animal man’, who brings us ducks, rats, snakes and giant snails. One of our young people is fascinated by reptiles, so we visit specialist pet shops with him, and ask him to share his knowledge with his classmates.
Find out more about our work with PAWS, autism assistance dogs.
Clubs and activities
We encourage your child to take part in a wide range of activities beyond the school day, from volunteering to sport, from wildlife to cooking. At our weekly lunch club, for example, your child will prepare a meal, set the table, complete with mats and napkins, eat with the other young people in the club, clear up, and plan the next week’s meal. They enjoy this hugely, and learn valuable skills such as turn-taking, sharing, co-operation and waiting.
We also do a wide range of outdoor and adventurous activities, which are valuable in helping your child increase their self-confidence, their ability to solve problems, their co-ordination and physical stamina. All of these benefits are excellent preparation for moving into adulthood.
MyProgress® at Daldorch
At Daldorch we use MyProgress®, The National Autistic Society’s programme for working with children with autism. For your child, MyProgress® means that from the day we meet them to the day they leave our school, their learning will be completely tailored to their needs. With MyProgress®, we will assess your child regularly, plan the approaches and strategies that will work best for them, deliver them and monitor your child’s progress. We are systematic and thorough, and above all, we work with you and your child to create the best education for them as an individual.
"In the years since Ross has been a pupil at Daldorch, we have never doubted that his education was of the utmost importance. No amount of effort was ever considered too great, and no problem insurmountable. All staff involved in his care and education have shown an unwavering loyalty to and faith in Ross's abilities. All this makes the sacrifice of allowing him to stay away from home from a relatively young age worthwhile."
Jim Parker, Parent