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A very warm welcome to St Dominic’s and thank you for considering our school. At St Dominic’s we accept and celebrate difference; and make a difference.
In this brief introduction, we share our special approach and passion that is enabling our pupils and students to achieve ambitious goals and to live life to the full.
About Our School
We are a learner- and family-centred Academy meeting the complex educational, health and care needs of children and young people aged 7 to 19 typically with a primary diagnosis of Speech Language & Communication Needs and/or Autistic Spectrum Condition. We are proud to have ‘Autism Accreditation’ from the National Autistic Society.
We offer up to 100 placements – either day or part-residential (Monday to Fridays), depending on the needs of the child or young person. Our pupils and students are all state-funded.
We are part of the Orchard Hill College Academy Trust and have an independent governing body made up of Trustees, parents, staff and foundation governors.
Meeting Your Needs
St Dominic's supports the statemented needs and education, health and care plans for children and young people with a wide range of ability levels and complex special needs. For example, our current cohort has the range of needs shown below.
- SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties
- ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- AS - Asperger’s Syndrome
- SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia & Dyspraxia
- ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
- ADHD - Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder
- ODD - Oppositional Defiance Disorder
- OCD - Obsessional Compulsive Disorder
- SEBD - Social, Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties
- Moderate Learning Difficulties
- Fine and Gross Motor Difficulties
- Motor Planning and Co-ordination Problems
- Sensory Processing Difficulties
- Perceptual Difficulties
- Emotional Vulnerability
However, we will consider the specific needs of any child and assess whether we are able to meet them at St Dominic’s.
It is our firm belief that families and family life play an important role in meeting the needs of the children and young people, hence the part-time residential offer only.
Each child or young person benefits from the skills of specialist teachers, therapists and support staff as well as an in-house nurse. Our therapists work alongside teachers in the classroom as well as providing one-to-one sessions in speech & language and occupational therapies.
All our staff members, regardless of role, are part of a team committed to securing positive outcomes and meeting the education, health and care needs for each child and young person.
At St Dominic’s we accept and celebrate our unique identities and respect and value each other for who we are and what we can achieve as individuals and as a community.
We believe passionately in a multi-disciplinary, ‘blended’ approach to meeting each child’s and young person’s needs, resulting in carefully managed groupings, including specialist intervention work from our in house therapeutic team.
The school works closely in partnership with families, referring authorities and external agencies to coordinate the best possible education, care, guidance and support for its pupils and students.
Our Success Rates
Our approach and ethos is about delivering exceptional outcomes for our children and young people. The results are evident: last academic year 100% of Year 11 pupils achieved a GCSE pass and 38% achieved five A*-G grades. Our forecast this year suggests our Year 11 cohort will outperform national averages across all schools types in term of educational attainment in Maths and English.
We ensure that all of our Year 11 and Sixth Form leavers emerge as self-confident, independent individuals, able to manage their own learning and behaviour and equipped with the competencies, skills and strategies to take the next steps into further or higher education and the world of work. Our track record in this regard is exceptional, with every leaver in the last four years either having secured employment, training or proceeded into further or higher education.
Waking Day Curriculum
Pupils and students follow a needs-based and skills-led curriculum based on National Curriculum requirements. Significant emphasis is placed on communication, functional independence and accessing the community. The curriculum is individualised for each pupil and student and adapted to ensure it is both functional and meaningful. The skills learnt are transferable, with appropriate planning and support, into the home, the local community and future placements.
Our Waking Day Curriculum is consistent across both education and residential departments and provides each pupil and student with the opportunity to access the whole school curriculum, including the National Curriculum together with individually planned learning programmes linked to continuous monitoring and evaluation of progress.
Space To Learn, Rest & Play
St Dominic’s School is full of tradition and character. The main house dates back over 100 years and was formerly the home of a wealthy family. One of our children recently said ‘I love this school; it is just like Hogwarts!’ [from the Harry Potter books]. It is set in 56 acres of beautiful, wooded grounds which offer plenty of space for horticulture, sports and recreational activities as well as a safe and therapeutic environment.
All our learning, living and play spaces are on one site, creating a campus feel about the place. The children and young people also enjoy many escorted visits and adventures outside the school, either on educational trips or to pursue their hobbies and interests or just for fun.
The school is located in the heart of the Surrey Hills, in the southwest corner of the county, a few miles from the borders of Hampshire and West Sussex. It is easily accessible by road and by rail - being less than a mile from the main line station at Witley, with its frequent links to London Waterloo and Portsmouth.
What Do Others Say?
Our latest full Ofsted Inspection (November 2017), judged the school as ‘Good’ overall. The school continues to improve and our objective is to build on this to secure an overall ‘Outstanding’ judgment at the next full integrated inspection.
You may also be interested to know what our pupils and students and their families/carers say about the school. See our website, which includes ‘Messages From Our Parents’ and ‘Comments From Pupils’ and shares some of the great feedback we receive.
Recap – So Why St Dominic’s?
Ten good reasons to consider St Dominic’s School:
- Our safe and supportive community, which celebrates difference, the individual and the community.
- Our vision and drive for every pupil/student to achieve ambitious goals, enabling them to live life to the full.
- Our specialist skills in autism and other special educational needs.
- Our passion for ‘blended’ educational/therapeutic learning.
- Our small class sizes with high staff-pupil ratio.
- Our residential option which provides a unique, 24-hour curriculum opportunity.
- Our results showing better educational attainment for our pupils and students than mainstream schools and 100% track record of leavers’ pathways into education or work.
- Our great feedback from parents and pupils.
- Our recent Ofsted ‘Good’ ratings.
- Our beautiful, traditional setting and grounds – 56 acres in the Surrey Hills.
Want To Find Out More?
On our website you will find some pupil and parent Questions & Answers that will tell you more about the school. If you would like to find out more, do not hesitate to contact us. You may wish to attend one of our open days or to arrange a visit on your own. We would enjoy the opportunity of welcoming you to our wonderful school community.
Please contact Sarah Kennedy, our Admissions & Family Liaison Manager by:
Phone: 01428 684693