At the Holden School, our ethos is focused on individuality. We pursue the promise that everyone involved in our school – staff, pupils, parents and families – are recognised for their unique value.
We embed this in how we approach learning. Each student benefits from a bespoke curriculum, organised around their individual educational healthcare plan.
Classroom learning is supported by clinical professionals. We are a trauma-informed therapeutic school, with our own therapy team on-site. This includes psychotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy – all backed up by teaching teams and pastoral care.
The result is a learning framework that really rewards the pupil’s strengths, and supports their vulnerabilities. We encourage students to develop resilience and inner discipline – to own their choices and to take on responsibility for their education.
The school has two sites, Firs Lane and Chapel Street, each based in the town of Leigh. Our catchment area covers local authorities that are within a 45-minute drive from the school including Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Warrington and Wigan. We follow the regular 38-week school calendar.
What extra support is provided?
The work of our highly-skilled classroom teachers is supplemented by a wider team including a family liaison worker, child protection officer and a number of therapists and counsellors who come into school to work with children on an individual basis.
Our personal approach to education starts from the moment a child is referred to us. Children come to us with a range of complex needs and challenging personal experiences and it’s important that we assess these against our provision to ensure that we are the right school for them. We take time to look through each child’s education, health and care plan, but most importantly, we meet with a child and their family in person – this may be in their own home or in the child’s current school. If we understand a child’s situation better, then we will be able to provide more personalised support.
Many of the children we support will have spent considerable time out of the classroom or had negative experiences of education that have adversely affected their self-confidence. We work hard to rekindle their love of learning, by taking a creative and fun approach to the curriculum that’s built around our children’s individual interests. We may explore a topic around football, animals or even The Avengers, depending on what engages and inspires our children. Our lessons include a range of learning activities both inside and outside the classroom and we are fortunate to have a wonderful park right on our doorstep.