more than test resultsSchool for Inspiring Talents

The School for Inspiring Talents is an Independent therapeutic day schools in the South West. They support families and young people aged 5-16, helping those children who do not find it easy to fit into an existing mainstream educational provision for many reasons, including a range of behavioural, emotional and educational challenges including difficulties such as sensory processing disorders, attachment disorders and those having experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

They provide the appropriate support, care, nurture and educational strategies that will allow these amazing young people to succeed in reaching for their dreams, to achieve the skills and talents that they will need to flourish in their lives, despite their challenges and difficulties, indeed sometimes because of them. The school fosters the dreams and talents of our students, parents, staff and the wider community so that these young people can have successful life chances. 

Their innovative model directly addresses their students’ unmet needs through nurture, inspiration, motivation, support and care, to enable learning through a very different educational approach. The school has created an environment that combines both special school and alternative provision in a new and innovative way.  Working in the school’s holistic way will make the most positive difference to the life chances of these young people.


Rivermead Routes for Reintegration

We are a Social, Emotional and Mental Health specialist school; a holistic and educational wrap around provision, with an experienced team, supporting secondary aged learners in accessing education and finding their way back into a learning environment. 

We are all a friendly bunch who pride ourselves on offering a safe, caring and enabling environment and who are dedicated, supportive and understanding. 

Learning is not our only focus; primarily, it is about improving well-being and self-worth via Protect, Relate, Regulate and Reflect. We endeavour to help learners make informed decisions that will lead them onto the path of fulfilling their potential and go onto the next phase in their learning. 

By providing bespoke, personalised learning and well-being programmes that include an emphasis on regaining and building up self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth; we enable our learners to reintegrate and transition back into their home schools. 

Triple R is a relatively new and small alternative provision that provides both home and hospital tuition as well as school-based provision and reintegration support. In the short time it has been open it has established itself as a warm, caring environment for young people with very complex needs that has become a haven for those who attend. Staff are highly skilled in the jobs they do and the he passion and care shown by senior leaders in the school is exceptional. 
For many of the young people who attend school they have given up on education and can see no meaningful future for themselves. Triple R is helping them to recover, to develop a more positive view of themselves and to ignite a desire to live life well. The school richly deserves the Trauma Informed School Award. " 

Gladstone Primary

Gladstone is a large mainstream Primary School in Barry, The Vale of Glamorgan. We have 500 children and 2 SEMH ( social , emotional, and mental health) classes for Foundation Phase and Ks2 children who have experienced significant trauma within their lives.

We are a happy school with a fair number of challenges and we always hold our emotions and our relationships ( children and staff) central to all that we do.
We have embedded trauma informed practice through everything that we do and currently have 26 trauma informed practitioners ,including all senior management, throughout both Key Stages.
Gladstone is an inspirational school where children are cared for and nurtured by a team of highly trained and supportive adults. It is a school that enables children to develop within an environment that is sensorially rich, and carefully planned to support emotional wellbeing. All school leaders, including governors, fully appreciate the importance of supporting positive mental health and this is prioritised at all times. The school has created an environment that supports all children with safe spaces, quiet areas, a memorial garden as well as outdoor space. Children talked with enthusiasm about the school and clearly enjoy being part of the Gladstone family. Staff also love being part of this team and enjoy their work. The school richly deserves the Trauma Informed School Award."

Ysgol Bryn Derw

Ysgol Bryn Derw is the only dedicated ASD Special School in Gwent. The name of the school translates as Oak Hill, and we see our mission as to help pupils to overcome their individual obstacles to learning (the hill) and to help our pupils flourish into well-equipped adults who can function successfully in their community (the growing oak tree). 

Ysgol Bryn Derw opened in September 2017 and is a Local Education Authority maintained, special day school which educates children and young people with Autism and associated learning difficulties, in the age range of 4-19 years. The school has a range of facilities including independent living skills areas, a Rebound Therapy room, soft-play and sensory rooms, Forest School area and bespoke classrooms. In February 2020 a refurbished building for Secondary age pupils was opened with a living skills kitchen and two additional classrooms. The range of therapeutic interventions is broad and includes Music Therapy, visits from Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists, and Rebound Therapy. 

“Ysgol Bryn Derw has fully embedded the principles and practice expected in a Trauma Informed School. Over the last four years it has grown into a fully inclusive environment for children with complex learning, communication, and ASC needs. Staff are dedicated to ensuring that all young people feel safe and are cared for. The structure of the day and the curriculum is carefully planned to meet the individual needs of the young people and they are celebrated for their own unique achievements. Young people know that the adults are there to help them and care for them. They have a positive sense of self-worth and despite their difficulties those who could were able to reflect back the compassion and care shown to them in their relationships with others.” 

Penrice Academy

Penrice Academy is a happy, safe and welcoming school community with highly effective support, care and guidance to allow all students to flourish and excel. Alongside the support we provide we are relentless in our expectations and ambitions for each and every one of our students, because our students are incredible and deserve the very best life has to offer.
"Penrice has been on a journey over a number of years to improve the quality of support for mental health and has some outstanding practice. Students, staff and my observations confirm that the school is committed to ensuring that mental health is supported by everyone. Mental health supports the high aspirations set by the school and is not compromised by these. Students are lucky to be at the school and they know this. Staff have a place to work that is supportive exciting and rewarding."

Stonelow Junior School

Stonelow Junior School is a warm, happy and nuturing school where the children are encouraged to challenge themselves, develop resilience and learn from their mistakes. We strive to support individuals so that they are respectful, independent young people who have healthy positive relationships.
Our reflective and empathetic response to learning and relationships enables our children to flourish through school life and to prepare them to shine in adulthood.
“The children, staff and families are supported without judgement in a safe environment which has created an incredible foundation for our school and comminuty to work and learn together".  

Springwell Learning Academy Barnsley

Springwell is a genuine community of parents, pupils, staff, governors and multi-agencies working together for the best possible outcomes for our children and young people.

At Springwell, unconditional positive regard is at the heart of the work they do both with the pupils and with their parents/carers. Positive relationships are the foundation of their success, enabling children and young people to thrive because of the authentic care they receive.

“Springwell is a truly inclusive academy. It supports some of the most vulnerable students in Barnsley that have not had their needs met in mainstream settings. The school, through its personalised approach and strong values linked to unconditional positive regard has become a haven to these young people. Many of these students now have good attendance and are willing participants in the learning environment. The school has a dedicated team of professionals working with students who are all well trained, have a secure understanding of trauma, its impact and what they are able to do to repair the damage for young people.”

Newhaven Gardens School

Newhaven School is an exciting and dynamic place to learn and work where they aim for all students to gain the skills, attributes and experiences that prepare them for genuine opportunities in life. It is a place to celebrate the diversity of their students and families and they work hard to ensure they are an inclusive community.

Through the breadth of their curriculum and their focus on non-academic attributes alongside the traditional subjects taught, Newhaven School offers a supportive environment for young people to overcome the barriers to learning that have brought them here and to develop their talents so they can take full advantage of their skills and abilities.

“The school has a well embedded philosophy that understands and promotes the value of positive relationships and the development of a culture that is safe, warm and caring. Students and staff all commented on the importance of these relationships and the way in which they feel supported, listened to and cared for. Staff know the children well and are able to relate to them as they understand some of the challenges and complex issues they are facing.”

Discovery Multi Academy Trust

Discovery Multi Academy Trust is made up of three primary schools- Beechwood, Oakwood and Weston Mill and a time limited nurture placement for children across Plymouth struggling with their SEMH -The Edison Centre.

Through the vision of our CEO, the Trustees and the work of the team they strive to provide all stakeholders with a Trauma Informed approach developing relationships and opening the door to communication. Each school follows a strategic vision but has developed their own strengths- biophilia at Beechwood, pupil voice at Oakwood and SEMH intervention at Weston Mill.

Discovery are keen to help children and adults in Plymouth and the local area and do this by providing CPD, hosting and leading the Plymouth Children Affected by Parental Offending Group and being part of the Trauma Informed Network in Plymouth. They are also looking forward to adding a nursery to their organisation and developing provision for children across the city and beyond.

“Discovery Mat is committed to ensuring that all children and adults are well supported, and that positive emotional and mental health is a priority for the organisation. This vision is reflected in the values and actions of all members of the Discovery Mat Community. The CEO is an inspirational , passionate and determined leader who has made positive mental health and emotional wellbeing the focus of the life of the organisation.”

Springwell Academy Spalding and Grantham

Springwell Alternative Academies Spalding and Grantham provide an education for children who have been excluded from mainstream schools, or who are at risk of exclusion. All of their students have special educational needs, the majority in the area of Social, Emotional and Mental Health. They aim to provide a loving and nurturing environment in which their students can experience safety, enjoyment, and personal as well as academic growth.

“Springwell Academy in Spalding provides a warm, caring and safe environment for vulnerable young people with complex needs. Many of the young people who attend the school have had extremely poor educational experiences and have a background of trauma. Staff at the school welcome these young people with open hearts and genuine delight. This enables them to build strong , trusting positive relationships quickly which in turn helps young people to ask for help and to learn to value themselves.”

“Springwell Academy in Grantham is a warm and caring school that supports the most vulnerable young people by providing an environment that is psychologically and physically safe. Young people are well understood and valued, and all adults understand the importance of having unconditional positive regard when working with the young people. Children are greeted at the beginning of the day by adults that are trusted and showing genuine delight at seeing them arrive.”

Oaktree School

Oak Tree School is a specialist provision positioned near Truro. who provide full-time specialist co-education for up to 51 children (growing to 60 this academic year) aged 7 to 16 who experience social, emotional, mental health, communication difficulties and associated challenging behaviours. The aim is to provide a structured, nurturing approach, with pupils accessing a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum to meet their significant needs. 

The key to their setting is quality relationships, with staff committed to ensuring students feel not only safe, but also valued as individuals so they are in a much better place to learn. This underpins all they do as a school. Their class sizes are very small, and this allows them to support students well, with a high staff ratio, and an incredibly personalised curriculum.

“This is a school that has the individual needs of the children at the heart of its provision. Through positive relationships, rooted in the principles of PACE, and carefully targeted interventions young people grow and develop transforming their life chances and social experiences.” TISUK Senior Consultant

Penryn Primary Academy

Penryn Primary Academy is an above-average sized school in Cornwall for children from 2-11. It serves a diverse catchment and prides itself on responding to individual children’s needs, based around a Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools approach.  Their aim is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to enjoy their school life and to achieve their maximum potential within a supported, vibrant, whole child centred environment. It is Penryn’s belief that working closely with families is the key to success.

“Penryn is a truly inclusive school. The school has been on a journey of transformation and cultural change. There is now an agreed and collective vision focussed on fostering positive relationships and meeting the needs of children whatever they may be. The school is calm and happy. The children all spoke warmly about the school and how much they like it including children in the ARB or those who are engaged in TIS interventions. The school has a clear understanding of trauma and the impact this has on the lives of children and is also clear about what it can do to improve this. The focus is on ensuring that children are mentally well so that they can engage in the learning environment. The school have moved from one predicated on controlling and containing behaviour to one which supports and encourages positive relationships and emotional wellbeing.” TISUK Senior Consultant

Holte School

Holte School care deeply for all students; for their education, and safety, their personal development and their well-being. The School value all children as individuals, nurturing their creative talents, working relentlessly to make sure that they have the highest aspirations and are motivated to flourish and succeed in everything they do.

The school believe that education is about more than just academic achievement and work to engage and enhance all aspects of their student’s lives and in doing so help them to determine their own future, with a good understanding of the world and opportunities around them.

The school is a highly inclusive school community where every individual matters. The community that they serve is blessed with a rich diversity of languages, cultures and faiths. This is a school where students of every ethnic background, boys and girls, student with disabilities or special educational needs are celebrated and thrive equally.

“Leaders and other adults are passionate and committed to supporting the mental health of the children and young people.  The provision is enabling young people to experience success academically but fundamentally to repair and restore their mental health and wellbeing and develop positive self-esteem.” TISUK Senior Consultant

Connor Downs Academy

Connor Downs Academy is situated in the village of Connor Downs and currently has 204 children on roll. Connor Downs is a very happy, inclusive and successful school. Their high standards are sustained because staff, hub councillors, parents/carers and children work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust and care, respecting the distinguishing features of the local community.

“Connor Downs is an inspirational school where children are cared for and nurtured by a team of highly trained and supportive adults. It is a school that enables children to develop within an environment that is sensorially rich, and carefully planned to support emotional well being. The value placed on the natural environment and the opportunities provided is excellent enabling children to explore the world through horticulture, animal husbandry and engaging in outdoor play. The school is calm and purposeful. Children talk with enthusiasm about the school and clearly enjoy being part of the Connor Downs family. Staff also love being part of this team and enjoy their work. The school richly deserves the Trauma Informed School Award.” TISUK Senior Consultant

Castle Hill Infant and Junior School

Castle Hill Infants and Juniors is large school that feels like a small school – they know each and every one of their children well and as a result are able to make sure that each child achieves their personal best. The school is a happy place with a curriculum designed to excite, inspire and motivate children to acquire the knowledge and skills that will successfully prepare them for their future. They are very proud of their happy and nurturing ethos, where each child is valued and supported as an individual. The children are at the heart of everything that they do.

“Castle Hill is a caring and nurturing school that places children at the heart of everything they do. The leadership of the school is passionate about the wellbeing of the children and is completely dedicated in its approach to the development of positive mental health. This single-minded determination has enabled them to positively transform not only the wellbeing of individual children but also the behaviour of children across the school. The school is a happy environment that supports learning though excellent relationships and a creative and engaging approach to learning.“ TISUK Senior Consultant

Springwell Alternative Academy Lincoln

Springwell Alternative Academy Lincoln is a provision for pupils who have been permanently excluded from mainstream schools, or who are at risk of being permanently excluded. They are passionate about it being run on Nurture principles and embedded with PACE and trauma-informed and mental health-informed practice. Staff give students a fresh start every day. Grudges are not held, and relationships are rebuilt. They seek to see the best in every student, build caring, trusted relationships, and help students be the best they can be. Springwell Alternative Academy Lincoln wants to provide a safe and secure environment in which its students and staff can thrive.

"The school has clearly been on an exciting and inspiring journey. It has developed from one where a behaviourist approach dominated to one that is underpinned by positive, caring relationships based on an assumption that with the right support and care children can achieve, flourish and have the potential to live life well. The passion, commitment and skills of the adults enable children to feel safe, develop their self-worth and to develop the capacity to recognise and manage the challenges they face . The culture and ethos of the school is one of care for everyone in the community - staff , children and young people and families." TISUK Senior Consultant

Wilds Lodge School

Wilds Lodge School is an independent specialist boarding and day provision for boys and girls (girls are accepted as day students only) with social, emotional and mental health difficulties aged between 5 and 19. It was established in 2007 and aims to place an equal emphasis on the educational, social and psychological development of our students. The key to the success of the school is a strong ethos, developed by a highly experienced and capable staff, and the strength of the relationships between the staff and the students.

“The school is founded on a strongly held belief that children need and are entitled to, a high quality therapeutic, academic and social environment in which to thrive. The development of these principles within the setting of Wilds Lodge is giving children who had no hope and were lost within a mainstream system, opportunities not only to engage in learning but to thrive. The adults that work in the school are highly trained empathic and caring people who interact positively with the children at all times. Children achieve well at Wilds Lodge because they are emotionally well cared for and understood.” TISUK Senior consultant

Meadow View Farm School

Meadow View Farm School caters for up to 36 boys and girls SEMH needs. The aim of the school is to work with the children to help them to learn how to manage their behaviour enabling them, where possible, to return to mainstream or area special provisions. Meadow View Farm School has a strong belief built around “readiness to learn”. The school promotes positive mental heath for all and does everything in its power to ensure that our systems and expectations do not have a detrimental impact on the children and families we are working with. 100% of the children and families we work with have experienced trauma in their lives, as part of an early life experience or as part of the journey leading to them joining the school.

“Meadow View is an inspiring school that is committed to improving not only the education but the lives of the children who attend there. Its unique and carefully balanced approach to the development of emotional well-being, high aspirations and academic outcomes enables children opportunities for success that has previously been denied them. The school knows that academic achievement is important and strives to ensure that the curriculum is exciting and engaging to support this, but it also recognises that first and foremost the children need to feel safe, trusting and emotionally well in order to access and benefit from this.” TISUK Senior Consultant

Crownbridge School

Crownbridge school aim to provide a rich leaning environment with a variety of learning experiences which are geared towards enabling each pupil to experience success in a happy, caring and secure environment. However, more and more, they understand that the pupil’s well being is as important as their curriculum needs. They strive to promote positive mental health in a variety of ways to help pupils and staff through not only their school/work experience, but through all aspects of their life. They are proactive in ensuring an ethos, environment and relationships to not only protect all children and young people from harm, but also actively promote positive emotional and mental health and social development. The school works closely with families and outside agencies such as, social services to ensure they have a well-rounded picture of their pupils. Within the school, there are staff specialised in TIS, Positive Behaviour, MOVE, Pet Therapy, Rebound, SALT, Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Attention Autism amongst many that support our pupils needs.

“Crownbridge School is a warm, caring school that supports its young people trough carefully constructed personalised plans that are delivered within an environment that is playful, accepting , curious and emphatic. The adults are exceptionally supportive towards the children and the levels of care given ensure that children settle quickly and love coming to school. The school environment has been carefully developed and is sensorially rich. Children are encouraged to follow learning pathways that reflect their needs and interests and as a result they are developing positive self esteem and better mental wellbeing.”

Ysgol Y Deri

Ysgol Y Deri is a special school for pupils aged 3 to 19 who have a very wide range of conditions, diagnoses, mental health difficulties and cognitive ability. Within the same school, there are pupils who have profound and multiple learning difficulties working on the very early developmental skills as well as pupils who are working towards GCSEs who have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and experience very high levels of anxiety. They strive to ensure that the environment, innovative curriculum and trauma and mental health informed approach ensures all pupils can flourish.

“Ysgol Y Deri is an inspiring environment in which young people are nurtured and supported to thrive, often in the most complex and challenging of circumstances. The foundation underpinning the work of the school is that positive relationships and connectedness with the young people is paramount. Then and only then is it possible to secure the best outcomes.”

Clements Primary Academy

Clements Primary Academy is a mainstream primary school in Haverhill, Suffolk that supports all children to achieve their potential. The needs of the children are paramount. Children and staff feel safe, respected and cared for. Relationships are at the absolute heart of the school’s core values.

"In the consistent embodiment of the school’s core values, and the embodiment of PACE and WINE, staff have created an environment in which children feel safe, trusting relationships flourish and children feel a true sense of belonging."

Open Box Education Centre

In 2005, many years before a comprehensive understanding of the neuroscience of trauma and attachment was commonplace in education, a small group of volunteers decided to set up an educational charity based on the premise that kindness, nurture, understanding and community are vital for supporting students who have experienced trauma and exclusion from mainstream education.

16 years later, Open Box Education Centre operates as a small independent alternative provision school, providing a nurturing, caring and vibrant environment which supports KS4 students to meet their full potential, academically and as individual young adults, and prepares them to take the next step towards realising their aspirations with hope and confidence.

“The school clearly meets the criteria for the TIS award. Open Box doesn’t stand still and consistently explores how to broaden and deepen the students’ experience. In the consistent embodiment of the school’s core values, staff create an environment in which trusting relationships flourish. Every adult is an Emotionally Available Adult and over time, students re-shape and re-frame their sense of self and their belief in what they can achieve. The school has strong and effective partnerships with agencies/support systems beyond school and refers out without hesitation if a need is identified that cannot be met within school.”

Highfields (Stockport)

Highfields has been on a journey of change these past 3 years, transforming from an old-style Pupil Referral Unit - primarily as a containment centre for excluded students - to a school with a specific focus on rebuilding the child-adult relationship.

We are about academic results at Highfields - we have to be. But we are equally about providing an education to a specific cohort that particularly requires a trauma-informed and attachment-friendly approach.

We have found the process of applying for the TISUK award to be affirming and challenging in equal measure - and we look forward to continuing to evolve our practice over the coming years alongside TISUK and other connected schools.

“Highfields (Sockport) has been on a journey of improvement over recent years. Due to the commitment and unwavering determination of the Head, Deputy, Governors and other key staff it has transformed practice to become a truly inclusive, nurturing environment. There have been no permanent exclusions and there are no unofficial exclusions either. Staff have been given access to a range of training and as a result are skilled in supporting all children who attend the provision. The Head is clear that attending Highfields is not as a result of losing a mainstream placement but winning a place there. Students are valued for who they are and encouraged to engage in a range of activities that reflect their interests. All staff understand the impact of trauma and poor mental health and are skilled at supporting children and each other to ensure that there is always someone to talk to and who cares about what is happening in their lives. Children who attend Highfields have a second chance at education that staff and Governors are determined will be positive and successful. Their care, commitment and determination ensures that no child is unsupported or overlooked.”