Welcome to Overley Hall School
Overley Hall School in Shropshire is an independent, residential special school and children’s home. We provide education and care for children and young adults aged from eight to nineteen years who have a range of complex needs, including autism and learning disabilities.
We are dedicated to offering every student a wide variety of good quality experiences, through which we nurture each individual’s progress towards their personal potential and level of independence. This is done through the delivery of a specialised waking day curriculum and in close partnerships with parents, carers and a range of professionals.
Overley Hall’s main residential school and home site is registered for twenty two children and young adults. Our approach is to keep class and home groups small with the aim of sensitively accommodating young people who have a range of complex needs. Some of whom found larger schools and class groups challenging or overwhelming. We are dedicated to providing a calm environment, high staffing ratios and a consistent approach across the school and home settings in order to support every individual to develop and thrive. We assist all students to acquire a range of skills and to safely access a variety of experiences, both on site and in the wider community. This is done in order to encourage each young person to fulfil their own potential and to enjoy life.
Overley Hall School was established in 1980 by co-principals/ husband and wife, Anita and Paul Brown; both from special education teaching backgrounds. They purchased the building from the RNIB who ran a ‘Sunshine Home’ for children with visual impairments there from 1950 to 1979.
The independent school/home was established to provide a specialised, residential learning and living environment for children and young people who have a range of complex needs in a peaceful rural setting.
Co-founder Paul Brown died in 2008 and Anita Brown remains the independent proprietor actively involved in the running of Overley Hall, alongside the school’s senior management team.
Anita Brown – Proprietor
I would like to welcome you to the Overley Hall School website.
Here I am 50 years later, still involved in special education, having been told as a young teacher that I couldn’t have special education training because if I got married I would be: “a waste to teaching”. Not true. Luckily, I had a forward looking tutor who pushed through my application.
I’ve been involved in many aspects of education from play groups to secondary special education for many years and managed to fit in 5 years as a teacher overseas in a Bermuda Special School.
Overley Hall School was set up by my husband and myself in the early 1980s and I am proud to say that the school and home have gone from strength to strength.
We provide education and residential care for 22 pupils all with complex needs and learning difficulties. We pride ourselves on our friendly and calming atmosphere and for children in our care a small and nurturing environment is the ideal.
The culmination of many years of hard work and experience has resulted in an Ofsted Outstanding judgement for our care setting for the last 3 years.
I hope our website gives you an idea of our special ethos.
Download a brochure here Overley Hall School Prospectus 2015
Overley Hall staff are proud and committed to working together with students, parents and professionals to achieve the best possible outcomes for our young people. Through a committed and person-centred approach we can help reduce the barriers to learning, raise self-esteem, nurture aspiration and support active engagement in a curriculum for life.
Primary – Key Stage 2
Overley Hall School will provide an individualised curriculum, delivered therapeutically and tailored to individual needs. Emphasis will be placed on developing strong foundations for the development of a positive outlook on developing knowledge and skills in a safe and caring environment where individuality is respected and celebrated. A cross curricular approach to developing the skills of attentiveness, concentration, communication, comprehension and self-regulation to support and prepare for future development will be emphasised across the waking day curriculum.
Secondary – Key Stage 3
Overley Hall School will provide students with a highly structured day, a curriculum delivered through an eclectic combination of tailored approaches and strategies within a calm, nurturing and attentive setting. We will provide individualised curricula which build on individual interests, strengths and needs where emphasis is placed on holistic progression through the delivery of the full National Curriculum. We aspire to supporting the development of emotional well-being and effective communication, social skills, tolerance, self-control including an inquisitive mind.
Secondary – Key Stage 4
Overley Hall School will provide opportunities for a seamless passage through to adolescence through an inclusive curriculum which promotes autonomy, a problem solving mind-set in a familiar, caring environment delivered by familiar staff. We aim to provide a rich and varied curriculum, one which aspires to the highest level of accreditation as is possible but also paying attention to anxiety levels, getting the balance right through a flexible approach to ensure an overall positive outcome.
Post 16 – Key Stage 5
Overley Hall School will endeavour to equip students with the skills necessary for a bright and active adult life which allows them as much independence as is possible. A vocational based, inclusive curriculum which promotes British values, independent thinking, social skills, and effective communication in the familiar and safe environment of school, coupled with much focus on less familiar community settings. Students will be gradually supported to function confidently in less predictable situations, with less familiar people, through their involvement in work experience in preparation for future life. Students will be encouraged and supported to reach their full potential.
Overley Hall School
To ensure that every young person in our care achieves their full potential and as an adult with skills to live a good, happy and meaningful quality of life we aim, over time, to support our young people to develop the skills to:
- Communicate their wishes and express their preferences
- Progress from their individual starting points, attaining accreditation across core and vocational subjects
- Exert self-control by using strategies independently to regulate their behaviour
- Think independently, solve problems and reduce their reliance on others
- Be confident but reflective, self-aware, content and proud of who they are
- Attend to work, give joint attention and work as part of a team or individually
- Interact positively with others
- Cope with unexpected change in an acceptable way
- Make transitions both small and large with minimal support
- Live a meaningful life and positively contribute to society
- Be kind and accepting of the differences of others
- Feel a sense of belonging
- To make them aware of their Families and the part they play in those families.
Overley Hall School
We support our young people to be kind and friendly to those around them. To offer encouragement and comfort to those in need of reassurance. Be accepting of differences and recognise and celebrate the special qualities in all.
We encourage all those in the school community to respect themselves, each other and the environment. We promote acceptance of differences in beliefs, views, abilities, and uniqueness.
We expect our young people to be honest and be accepting of their mistakes.
We support our pupils to become independent thinkers and problem solving to support their ever growing independent skills needed for future life. We encourage young people to navigate through their day as independently as possible, learning to transition with reduced levels of support. We support our young people to be attentive, work hard, become good listeners and make contributions to sessions.
We promote communication skills, both expressive and receptive to enable our young people to interact, learn and develop effective friendships.
Overley Hall School Values
We promote such values through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. Overley Hall School aspires to values of the British People. British values permeate throughout our curriculum and emphasis is placed on them in our enrichment theme days and assemblies. Such values are modelled and promoted by the staff of Overley Hall. The development of understanding and effective communication skills are key to being able to ‘voice’ your opinion which may be through Makaton sign, objects, symbols, photographs. We create opportunities for young people to make choices, express their feelings & opinions and place value on efforts. We endorse democracy.
We support young people to follow a Code of Behaviour, which includes:
Be polite and kind
Listen to others
Be a friend
Young people are supported to speak openly and honestly about their own and others’ behaviour to help them make responsible choices at school, home and in the community. Young people are encouraged to become good, contributing citizens through participation in community work experience, fund-raising events, and organising coffee mornings for parents and school, becoming members of community clubs, creating art exhibitions etc. Democracy is our spring term (2015) theme. We have a School Council notice board in school library and our students are encouraged to edit our termly newsletter.
We focus on rewarding and celebrating positive behaviour, and use social stories and comic strip conversations to develop better understanding when things do not quite go according to plan.
We offer structure, consistency, routine and a caring person centred approach to ensure anxiety levels are low. This creates an atmosphere which is conducive to effective learning.
We promote cultural respect and appreciation which permeates throughout the curriculum. Programmes are delivered which help young people to learn about their own culture and that of others. They are enriched by inviting guests to make topics real and multisensory. We regularly have cultural theme days or weeks which are thoroughly enjoyed by all. Our assemblies help young people to learn about their own cultures and faiths within their own community, nationally and globally. Students are given opportunity to attend services and in the local community places of worship.
The curriculum promotes fair play and a team spirit. Students are given opportunity to take part in competitive sporting events, reflective sessions, opportunities to make choices, judge, discuss each other’s work which helps to infuse a ‘sense of fair play’, justice, democracy;
Overley Hall staff are committed to working in partnership with parents and professionals across the community to ensure our children feel a sense of belonging, both at school, at home and in the community;
All of our young people are encouraged to express their opinion and we regularly hold council meetings to include young people into the decision making process. Recently young people chose what they wanted to be included in the Friday Awards goody basket. Instead of chocolate they asked for water, fruit and cakes. Their decision has been listened to and acted on
Policies, Procedures and Statement of Purpose
To download a selection of our core policies and procedures including our Safeguarding Children policy go HERE (link to download).
In addition, all of our policies are available on request from the main school office in digital or print format. To contact us regarding this click HERE (link to contact)
Further detailed information can be found in Overley Hall School’s Statement of Purpose, which can be downloaded HERE (link to download).
To download other policies and procedures, go to the DOCUMENTS page