Throughout the year, Camphill School Aberdeen provides a full range of services for children and young people with additional support needs: Residential School Placements, Day School Placements, Therapeutic Programmes, Young Adult Programmes for 16 to 25 year olds (both day and residential), Nursery Provision, External Training and Nature Nurture.
- Early Years' Service
- Care Homes for Children and Young People
- Flexible Care and Educational Placements
- Therapeutic Interventions
- Individual Therapeutic Programmes
- Support Services
- Young Adult Programmes
- Continuous Professional Development
Programmes are set up according to individual needs in partnership with families and local authorities. They are tailor made, both in relation to length (from 1 hour to 24/7) and type (any combination of the above can be made possible).
Our fee structure is both all inclusive and flexible. There are many fee bands, which are determined by an assessment of the level of dependence on adult support and length of stay (hours/day, days/week).
Camphill’s ethos is focused on valuing individual potential, respecting differences and promoting positive relationships between people. Our approach is fundamentally holistic and strength based in that it addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of children and young people through the provision of a therapeutic environment and practice.
Our intention is to facilitate growth and development by working collaboratively with children, young people, their families and other agencies/professionals to bring about change. We do so by collectively identifying desired outcomes and reviewing progress. In this way our approach is solution focused, systemic and takes full account of GIRFEC.
To achieve the above we place great emphasis on promoting reflective practice within the organisation, both in the training and supervision of staff. We have a large number of coworkers registered with SSSC and GTC, as well as a high level of qualification. In addition, we provide an autism-specific training and other accredited specific trainings (Nature Nurture). The school has developed a system of continuous professional development which begins with induction and foundation programmes in the first year. In addition, there is the BA in Residential Child Care run in collaboration with RGU, Aberdeen.
Attention to detail is one of Camphill’s core principles of care. We ensure children and young people are safe, healthy and nurtured through providing:
- high quality of nutrition (mostly organic produce and specific diets, individual choice, awareness and promotion of healthy eating)
- high quality of furnishings, buildings and grounds. These are extensive, beautifully cared for and maintained. Broken items that need replacement or repair are dealt with as promptly as is practicably possible
- high quality of relational environment, offering a supportive yet challenging space to encourage individual growth and development
- great diversity of opportunities for keeping active, e.g. cycling, swimming, gardening, sports’ days, outings.
Children and young people are actively encouraged to be involved in maintaining all aspects of their environment. They are encouraged to personalise their living space, and be involved in cleaning, gardening and cooking.
Co-workers develop an intimate knowledge of the children and young people’s needs through internal and external reviews and team meetings, as well as continuous and deep listening to all the many and often subtle ways they express themselves in daily life (a smile, a wink, a tear). This is achieved by working with them intensively in a shared life space.
The Student Council recently expressed the view that they felt safe in Camphill, “because co-workers make us feel protected, make sure nothing wrong happens …”
In order to achieve the above:
- we provide higher than one-to-one care staff/pupil ratio
- we provide child protection officers resident on site
- all staff working with pupils are trained and regularly updated in Behaviour Support Strategies (BSS), manual handling, first aid and child protection
- all co-workers are instructed on issues of health and safety, and infection control
- issues of safety and protection are raised with children and young people on a day-to-day basis and as the need arises
- co-workers are recruited according to Scottish Executive guidance, “Safer recruitment through better recruitment” (2007).
We ensure children and young people have a sense of achievement, and feel respected, responsible and included by:
- providing a variety of communication aids (visual timetables, PECS, Signalong, etc.) that support children and young people to express their likes, dislikes, preferences
- providing a trained communication facilitator who works with speech and language therapists, in implementing communication systems across the school
- ensuring that children and young people are involved as far as possible in contributing to their personal and individual educational plans
- encouraging children and young people to take part in annual reviews to the best of their abilities; we attempt to find creative ways to involve them, such as phoning the review instead of being present as this is less intimidating
- publishing children and young people’s views termly in an internal newsletter which is made widely available
- ensuring that the Student Council meets regularly and addresses concerns raised by the children/young people. The Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees attends the Student Council meetings and makes sure that relevant concerns are addressed
- working closely with children and young people to identify next steps in their development and making sure we celebrate their achievements (birthday celebrations, items made in craft workshops, swimming galas, outdoor pursuits, etc.)
- encouraging them to take initiative and increasing responsibility as they become more independent (developing life skills such as going to school without adult support, learning to use transports independently, handling money, cooking, etc.).
Our work in Camphill is carried out across a number of disciplines: health, education and social care. In our daily work we integrate knowledge, approaches and methods from all these areas. Consequently these are only a few illustrative examples of the complex ways in which we attempt to work with children, young people and families.
Camphill offers top-quality services for ASD pupils because it can provide:
- a highly qualified workforce with a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with diverse developmental challenges
- social pedagogical approaches
- autism-specific approaches (accredited with the National Autistic Society)
- trauma-specific approaches
- systemic family work.