Coronavirus: An Update from our School

Please click the link below for our latest statement.

Updated Covid Guidelines 22nd April 2022



The Caldecott School is a non-maintained, special school catering for young people with a wide range of special educational needs. In October 2020, Caldecott School was awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society. We work with pupils from Reception to Year 11. The Primary and Secondary School are based in separate buildings, and we also have a couple of satellite classrooms in Ashford and the East Midlands. Caldecott School also have a boarding provision on the school site.

Governors, senior leaders and all staff teams work tirelessly to provide a safe, stimulating and nurturing learning environment which allows the pupils to achieve their full potential. In helping children build a future, we are committed to developing support networks and strategies that young people will require, in today’s society.

Through a personalised curriculum offer, underpinned by a holistic approach to therapeutic interventions, we support every learner by removing barriers to learning.

Our approach supports improvements in pupil’s behaviour and builds the life-skills and prepares them for adulthood. All transitions – be that moving between a key stage, re-integration to a new school or transition to college – are carefully supported. Careers (Pathways to Adulthood) is a focus for all Primary and Secondary classes at Caldecott School.

We are proud of the outcomes that the learning community achieves at Caldecott School achieves. Our School Council meets regularly and play a valuable part in school development. The School Council listen to the views and ideas of the pupils and feed these back to the School Leadership Team.

Mission Statement

Every member of the Caldecott Team understands that it is their duty to keep the pupils, their colleagues and themselves safe. All stakeholders aim to give pupils their best education possible. They uphold the values of our school and work as a team, using their skills and talents to benefit others. Everyone shows they care for each other; there is no discrimination and religious and cultural differences are embraced.

Our pupils will be presented with and motivated to engage in a rich and broad curriculum to develop skills so, that in the future, they are responsible, caring and active members of their communities. Caldecott School pupils know that we need to value and care for our local environment and the whole eco system of planet Earth.

Information for Parents

This website ( has pages for all Caldecott uniform to be purchased online direct. There will be a sensory line of clothing added when it is available to us.

Parents can still buy your own items as before, but the hoodies and sweatshirts are all now online. Should you have any questions, please contact Sue Dashwood at the secondary school.

Vision and Values

Together, the staff teams at the Caldecott School are helping children with a variety of complex social, emotional, and mental health needs and communication difficulties needs build a future.

  • Relationships
    Through conversations and actions we build and model relationships that impact on each pupil.
  • Communication
    “The most important thing in communication is hearing the unsaid” Peter Drucker

    We take that one step further and teach how to voice the unsaid.
  • Resilience
    Learning ways to have the inner strength to keep going through the struggles life sends and believe in yourself. Each day is a new day having learnt from the last.


Robust and effective arrangements for Safeguarding and child protection are in place across the school. Staff follow clear policies and procedures and are vigilant to ensure that the welfare, health and safety of all our pupils are given the highest priority.

Governors, senior leaders (including those with designated responsibilities for safeguarding) and staff are fully trained. This includes the use of physical intervention, administration of first aid and the management of risk across the school.

“Safeguarding of pupils and the school’s work to promote pupils’ emotional well-being are very effective.” Ofsted, March 2017

Summer School

The aim of the Year 6 Summer School programme was to incorporate a blend of academic and enrichment activities, whilst given our students the opportunity to build relationships and confidence ready for their September start.

Due to the small cohort of young people transitioning into Year 6 we extended the offers of places for Sumer School to pupils identified as having missed a lot of school during the pandemic.

Summer School 2021 ran for one-week beginning Monday 26th July until Friday 30th July and during this time a variety of educational trips were offered, with each trip linking to the Autism Education Trusts targets. (AET)

Each trip provided engaging and fun activities encouraging teamwork and communication all aimed at students building positive relationships with peers and staff.

Parent/carer and student feedback was extremely positive with 100% of the feedback confirming that they would love Summer school to be a permanent date on the academic calendar.

“Ethan really benefited from going to summer school by having the opportunity of building new friendships and socialising with his peers and allowing him to get to know the new peers in his class and meet his teacher in a more relaxing environment outside of school. There were a great variety of trips that were both educational and fun. The whole experience promoted his well-being, enthusiasm and happiness and gave him the opportunity to visualise, experience and discuss information on a subject”

“I was scared to go into the war tunnels at first but was excited as I was allowed to set off the siren” (Jake, aged 12)

The week was a resounding success and ensured that the Year 6 cohort were confident in their transition to Secondary School and students who had missed so much interaction during the lockdown, to mix with their peers and enjoy being outside.

Autism Spectrum Conditions

Autism (or ASC) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people.  It also affects how that person makes sense of the world around them.

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) is the name for a range of similar conditions – so while all people with ASC share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.  People with ASC may also experience over-or-under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

At the Caldecott School, we have two ASC leaders who support the teaching staff in creating ASC friendly spaces.  The pupils are supported to achieve academically and socially through tailored lessons; understanding and educated staff; and an environment conducive to their needs.  Our ASC classrooms meet sensory needs using low-stimulus with carpeted and adapted, well-labelled structured areas.  Provision is always reviewed and updated in response to the developmental changes of the pupil.

All members of staff provide individualised planning to meet each pupil’s specific learning needs in relation to four core areas:


  • social and emotional needs
  •  language and communication
  •  flexibility of thought
  • sensory processing needs

The ASC Leaders, a Clinical Psychologist and a team of therapists support our pupils, staff and families in relation to ASC.  Our aim is to:

  • Support teachers to enable them to raise attainment and progress for students with ASC by demonstrating and sharing good practice.
  • Analyse the functions of behaviour and identify effective strategies to implement at home and school.
  • Develop a holistic approach in meeting all the needs of the student, including their sensory needs.
  • Support families/carers/guardians with educational, social and leisure needs.
  • Work collaboratively with families and professionals from other disciplines in meeting individual needs.
  • Provide bespoke training for staff and parents within the School to enable full support of our pupils.

By providing ASC friendly environments and tailoring our lessons and strategies to each individual, we are creating the best learning opportunities for our pupils and preparing them for their future.

Therapeutic Approach

A range of therapies is a central and integrated aspect of our offer and is provided on an individual, group and sometimes whole-class basis. Therapy is an essential driver of pupils’ progress and is organised in accordance with pupils’ Progress Plans and Education, Health & Care Plans. Our therapists are fully qualified and experienced professionals who work collaboratively and seamlessly with teaching & support colleagues to maximise impact on improving pupils’ social, emotional & mental health.

Whilst we employ or commission all our therapy services directly, we work with the multitude of agencies in as joined-up, efficient and effective a way as possible. This includes local authority SEN & EHC teams, NHS colleagues and social care services

Our therapy offer includes:

Learning & Progress

We offer a personalised curriculum model that is broad, balanced and relevant to the stage of learning of each pupil. Termly projects provide opportunities for pupils to access core subjects, develop skills for life and experience vocational alternatives to the traditional academic subjects. Throughout the year teachers will provide enrichment activities linked directly to the specific topic.

Therapy is woven into this curriculum model, which is also underpinned by a ‘values based approach’, whilst pupils are given every opportunity to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding and gain a deeper understanding of British values, preparing them for life outside of school in a diverse and modern Britain.

Pupil Outcomes

  • Year 11 Qualifications
  • Qualifications achieved against total number of qualifications entered for Qualifications
  • All KS 2/3 pupils were identified as working towards their individual Education, Health and Care Plan Targets at 'Expected Level Or Above.' 48% of KS 2/3 pupils were working towards/achieving one or more Education, Health and Care Plan Targets at 'Good Level or Above' KS1, KS2 & KS3

Preparation for Adulthood

Caldecott School understands that preparing pupils for life after school is an important part of their development. From Primary through to Secondary we aim to give pupils numerous encounters with a wide range of employers to challenge stereotypes and raise aspirations.

Pupils from Years 7-11 will have access to independent and impartial careers guidance focusing on the specific needs of the individual student to promote self-awareness and personal development.

Participation in career and work-related learning activities gives individuals valuable opportunities to discover more about themselves: who they are, how they are changing and who they could possibly become. We understand the delicate balance of raising aspirations while managing realistic expectations.

We aim to engage parents and carers at all stages, and we encourage them to be fully involved with their child’s decisions about their future. We are committed to using the Gatsby Foundation’s 8 benchmarks of Good Career Guidance to develop the careers programme and tailor this to meet and support each pupil’s individual needs.

As part of their entitlement, students have access to a range of external providers, to ensure they learn about approved technical qualifications and apprenticeships as well as alternative provisions and supported internships.

If you are interested in working with Caldecott School, please contact the Careers Leader or see our careers and provider access policy.

Who to contact for more information:
Clair Turner (careers lead)
01303 815685 / 07392 08258

Monitoring and Evaluation

To understand that events and activities delivered within our career programme are suitable and fit for purpose , it is essential that they are evaluated regularly.
The programme must engage pupils and provide the necessary facts that are both meaningful and informative.

Our Careers programme is monitored in a number of ways.

Using the Careers and Enterprise Compass tool we are able to evaluate our careers activity against Gatsby’s eight benchmarks of best practice. This report is completed once a year.

Pupil voice and parent/carer questionnaires are collated after each event and this feedback is invaluable to measure the impact of each activity.

An annual report will be submitted to the Board of Governors for discussion.

Work Experience

Work experience should be an integral part of a young person’s development and should prepare them for the transition from life at school to work. The aims of our established work experience programme is to give pupils;

  • an understanding of the work environment and what employers expect of their workers
  • an opportunity to explore possible career options
  • increased self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence
  • increased motivation to continue study and/or undertake further training
  • a better understanding of how the school curriculum can help prepare young people for work
  • an introduction to workplace recruitment practices
  • enhanced opportunities for part-time and casual employment
  • the opportunity to include the employer’s work experience evaluation in future job and course applications
  • the chance to ‘try out’ a workplace

Work Experience is offered to all year 10 and 11 pupils and where possible we attempt to match them to their particular interests. Initial placements are for one day a week for 6 weeks and can be extended if both parties are happy to do so.

Partnership: We work in partnership with a variety of local companies who provide a wide range of opportunities for the pupils. These include Ashford International Model Railway Education Centre(AIMREC), who have worked with pupils to engage them in some quality work experience while working towards personal targets.


The Caldecott School’s residential boarding provision, Garden House, offers weekday boarding and education for children from the age of 7 to 16 years. Our Primary and Secondary schools are just a short walk from the home.

Garden House

We are delighted that you may be considering our 38 week therapeutic residential special school for your child and welcome you to Garden House.

We know that the right placement really can help children to thrive. Our school and residential boarding staff have persistently high expectations for children and what they can achieve: our aim is to give children both a great education, along with the specialist support to meet their individual needs. We want your child to feel as though Garden House is a home from home, and that they can look forward to making new friends and having lots of fun.

The children are cared for by experienced, dedicated house parents with an excellent team of tutors, nursing staff and qualified teachers.

We also provide Forest School programmes for our young people and have fully trained Level 3 Forest School practitioners who are able to offer opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment.

Our therapeutic staff are supported by our own in house:

Clinical Psychologist
Occupational Therapists
Art Therapist
Speech and Language Therapist
Music Therapist

Ofsted comments: “Residential pupils enjoy their boarding experience, the structure and routines, together with committed staff who enjoy their company, provide a warm, friendly and supportive environment. Residential pupils are seen to be relaxed in the company of staff and there is an ease of communication and mutual respect – pupils report feeling safe and secure living in the boarding provision.”

The children are part of our extended family and their voice is of utmost importance to us. Pupils are supported and guided with much patience and care. Your child will be given many opportunities to develop their talents and learn new skills whilst benefiting from an enriching and happy environment.

Please come and visit us, we would be proud to show you around our Garden House home along with our Primary and Secondary schools provisions. Join our House Parents and Therapists for a coffee morning and get to know us.

If you’d like to discuss a potential placement at Garden House please click here