Mill School Bury will be the 13th provision to join the Kedleston Group, which operates specialist residential and day schools, along with children’s homes, across the UK and which is celebrating its 13th birthday this year.
Based in Bury’s Wellington Street, the school will support up to 50 pupils across Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 including those who mainstream schools have not been able to meet their special educational needs. Assessment placements will also be available at the school.
Headteacher Shazia Sarwar-Azim, who has had two previous Headships in special settings and brings a wealth of experience, said: “We are creating a school which provides specialist learning environments where the curriculum is designed around pupils interests, with input from pupils, and lends itself well to ensuring our children access their learning journeys, make accelerated progress and celebrate their achievements.
“As we work from their baseline assessments and measure the progress they are making academically, socially and emotionally, this increases their chances of success. You notice the Young people grow with confidence, independence and they take pride in all that they do.
“What we offer will really enable the Young People to leave school with a passport to their future success.”
The specially-designed and state-of-the-art learning environment which will offer a calm and welcoming environment that will support the needs of children with an autism spectrum condition.
These enabling environments will see the use of muted colour schemes, specialist lighting, individual work stations and visual communication. It will include two sensory rooms – one based on light, the other on sound, as well as a solar room with a sensory swing.
There are also outdoor learning pods and classrooms and teachers can use them creatively to teach horticultural activities, science lessons and art, as well as other subjects from the varied curriculum.
Shazia added: “There are some real innovations within the building, which we hope to open early in 2020. It will feature a rebound therapy room which helps young people develop relaxation, sensory integration as well a host of other life-changing skills.
“The sensory studio, a 360-degree ICT room which works with smells and other sensory elements, can help children deal with any phobias or anxieties they may have.
“Each Key Stage group will have their own areas both within and outside the building, creating three schools within the school.”
The school will also foster close relationships with Bury College and offer a range of vocational opportunities for students in Key Stage 4 and which will be led by their interests.
Shazia added: “Creating curriculums that reflect the needs of young people and working in partnership with parents, agencies and local colleges increases the engagement of young people and offers the opportunity to achieve meaningful qualifications which will set them up for further education, training or employment”.
“The school will truly be a holistic rich environment which supports children and families. We want to build strong relationships across the local community and offer the best possible outcomes for our young people. We’re excited to see the vision come to life in 2020 and celebrate our children’s achievements.”