The Nurcombe Centre
The Nurcombe Centre is our specialist provision at Caldicot School, which supports students aged 11-19 with a variety of complex needs. These include severe learning difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder and other significant barriers to learning. It also includes our alternative provision, for those very few students who struggle with a mainstream curriculum and would benefit from a less traditional model.
Our provision provides support to small group learning across the whole curriculum. These groups are arranged by 'stage of learning' rather than age, based on social communicative ability. This is in order to create and nurture the best possible environment for our students to thrive. High staff to student ratios ensure we are able to maintain a caring atmosphere.
The curriculum has been designed to incorporate high quality teaching from specialist teachers, as well as allowing students opportunities to participate in vocational activities and incorporate their own interests into their learning both in and outside the classroom. We seek to maintain a person centred ethos for all out students and provide meaningful opportunities for students develop the independent skills to prepare them for adulthood.
The resource base provides a thematic approach to the delivery of the curriculum to students, which covers the four core purposes of the new curriculum in being developed in Wales. These form the starting point for all decisions on the content and educational experiences to support our students to be
- ambitious, capable learners ready to learn throughout their lives;
- enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work;
- ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world; and
- healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society
At key stage 4, the majority of our students pursue Entry Level courses with bespoke arrangements made to ensure special interests and talents are catered for wherever possible. Despite having its own designated facilities, students with the resource base receive opportunities to access specialist areas throughout the school, wherever appropriate for them.
Students at key stage 4 receive guidance from a specialist ALN Careers Advisor from Careers Wales, who supports them in the transition to the workplace or continuing life-long learning. In addition, staff at the resource base liaise closely with the ALN support teams at Coleg Gwent at their Newport, Cwmbran and Crosskeys campus where many students continue their education. We offer places at post-16 for learners whose needs may be difficult to meet at college.
Facilities and Environment
The Nurcombe Centre has a designated area of the school site, with its own entrance. Our classrooms are designed with 'autism-friendly' principles, which include access to outdoor space and an abundance of natural light. Our bespoke 'apartment' supports the development of life skills to help prepare students for independents as adults. The multi-purpose sensory room is designed to support students with a variety of specific needs and provides a calming space for those who require it.
To develop wider social skills, we offer a range of enriching activities. Our monthly youth club offers students the opportunities to interact with peers and engage with a broad range of activities. This includes the offer for Year 5 and Year 6 students who are likely to transfer to the school in the near future.
Staff at the resource base work with a range of external agencies, including occupational therapists and local authority specialist teams to ensure that student needs are met, not just academically but socially and developmentally. Our school wellbeing dog Poppy, is also available on a daily basis to help students who may be experiencing heightened anxiety or emotional distress. Students are able to, by appointment and agreement with their family, spend time with Poppy (our trained school therapy dog) to help them relax by taking her for a walk with a member of staff or just spend time with her.
Student admission to the specialist resource base differs from the process for mainstream students. Places are managed by Monmouthshire Local Authority, in accordance with the current Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for Wales. All students must have a complex needs and a Statement of Special Educational Need.
Once a place at our provision has been agreed and a Statement of Special Educational Need is finalised, staff will develop a bespoke transition programme dependent on individual need. This is likely to include a series of visits to help familiarise students, and their families, with the school site and arrangements.
For more information about our specialist resource base, please contact Mrs Rogers, Head of Centre (Inclusion) by email.