Clay Hill School is part of Priory Lyndhurst, which has a total of eight associated children’s homes. Two of these homes, Kiln House and Forest View, provide residential services exclusively for pupils at Clay Hill School. Whilst these homes are on the same grounds as the school itself, they are independently registered provisions.
Kiln House and Forest View both offer residential placements for up to 52 weeks per year. We are also able to offer respite care for existing residents who have less than 52 week placement. For example, one of our pupils is on a 38 week placement but we have a contract of agreement with the local authority to fund additional respite care in the extended holiday periods. This is done on an individual basis and is a great way of offering extended support to families and carers that need a little more help at times outside of the academic term time.
An integrated approach to care
Clay Hill School places a strong emphasis on integrating the educational and residential care that our young people receive. We pride ourselves on the very close working relationships between teaching staff at care staff at our residential homes.
Ahead of dropping off a young person at school in the morning, care staff will send a written precis to education staff, detailing any events in the home the night before. This allows teaching staff to keep informed, be aware of any issues and greet the children personally. At the end of the school day there is a second handover between education and residential staff, similar to what would take place between teachers and parents in a mainstream school when collecting their child.
The school also requires that residential staff attend parents evenings and open evenings. Similarly, residential Year 9 pupils will always be accompanied by their key worker when they attend ‘Options Day’ so that they have 1:1 support when making decisions about their future.
Creating a homely environment
Clay Hill School aims to cultivate a very homely feel in all of our children’s homes. We want to empower our residential pupils so they feel confident in contributing to creating an environment in which they feel safe, comfortable and valued. Care staff regularly consult young people, asking for their input into:
- Activity planning
- Food menus in the home
- Home décor
- House rules
- New residents
- Recruitment of new staff
Involving young people in the care they receive
Both Kiln House and Forest View hold regular house meetings where young people are encouraged to discuss the plans for themselves and their home arrangements both short and long term. Each of our residential pupils has a key worker who will meet with them on a weekly basis to discuss their recent progress, success, problems and concerns.
Making positive choices
We want to help all the children and young people at Kiln House and Forest View take control of their lives and make informed, positive choices regarding their future. To achieve this we try to help those in our care to build meaningful and appropriate peer and adult relationships with adults whom they can emulate.
Supporting family relationships
We help residential pupils at Clay Hill School to maintain and develop positive relationships with friends, family and other significant adults in their lives. Key workers will encourage young people to stay in regular contact, whether in person, by letter, email or telephone, to help maintain these relationships.