Individualised Curriculum

Every one of our students has their own learning style and strengths.

Our role is to create an individualised learning pathway for each student.

And learning outside the classroom

To complement formal learning, we also offer a comprehensive life skills programme of study designed to develop independence and open up new learning opportunities. Our Life Skills programme extends into our community, and includes voluntary work, and for the older students, apprenticeships and work experience. The focus here is on being led by curiosity to develop new skills and habits. We encourage our students to participate in outdoor personal challenges and Duke of Edinburgh Awards, many of which carry a recognised national accreditation.

Developing self-awareness & other essential life skills

Positive Habits

  • How do we form habits? How do we evaluate our own habits (self-reflection)?
  • How do we break bad habits?

Financial Literacy

  • How do I open a bank account?
  • What do interest charges on a credit card really mean?
  • What are the basics of making an investment? (mortgage, yields, rentals, etc)

Positive Behavioural Support

Trauma-informed education purposefully links together educational opportunities with therapeutic interventions to create a healing environment.

At Dovecote School, this means teaching young people about mental wellbeing. Adverse Childhood Experiences alter a young person’s developing brain in ways that can result in enduring emotional, behavioural, cognitive, social and physical problems.

All of our staff are trained in Thrive techniques that, together with guided therapeutic interventions, help students understand the context and meaning of behaviour, build better coping strategies and positive emotional control.

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What is Thrive?

Thrive is a therapeutic approach to help support children with their emotional and social development.

The Thrive approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around online assessments which identify children’s emotional development and provides suited action plans for their individual needs.

Research has shown that how we behave is linked to how we feel and our emotions are linked to how we learn. By teaching children to recognise and notice these feelings and emotions it can help with their development and learning.

Children sometimes need some extra support with their emotional growth and this can be temporary or over a longer period of time.

Thrive promotes their emotional and social growth by building positive relationships between a child and their peers and helps them explore and understand their feelings through various activities.

Children cannot always put their needs into words, but the way children behave can tell us a lot about how they are feeling.

The Thrive Approach draws on the latest research from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and current models of child development – in order to help the school to understand the needs being signalled by children’s behaviour. It gives us targeted strategies and activities to help them re-engage with learning and life.

Testimonials from our team

We’re looking forward to working in the fantastic, personalised and individualised approach that Thrive offers.


Coming from mainstream school; I think it’s amazing to look at behaviour in a new way. Thrive helps us to see that behaviours are signs of distress NOT a child being deliberately challenging.


Using Thrive to learn through creativity and play is going to be awesome! The team here are amazing at thinking about teaching outside of the box and in a student focused way.


Knowing that play is ok at any age and can look like many different things depending on the individual.


I’m looking forward to embedding the nuances of social interaction into my practice.


I’m going to incorporate more play into my practice.


It’s given me a greater understanding of the fundamental things that may affect a child or young person and the ways in which they can be supported.


The Thrive training we’ve received opened my eyes to a different way of thinking about behaviour. I’m looking forward to learning more to help students develop.


I feel more confident about how to support students to be grounded and will explore using meditation within the garden and grounds of Dovecote to benefit them.


Positive Family Outreach

Our support for families is unique at Dovecote School.

Led by a dedicated Head of Family and Inclusion, Dovecote School works closely with our families to improve inclusion and engagement in their child’s learning. Many of our children are at risk of being taken into care because of their behaviours at home. A key and innovative part of our offer will be to use Functional and Thrive Family Therapy to work on a support basis with the whole family. This is a fully evidenced based, clinical, and therapeutic intervention.

What we measure (outcomes)

Dovecote School measures attendance, learning engagement, educational achievement, and emotional wellbeing. We measure specific baseline and on-going attainment in student’s curriculum achievements as well as emotional and behavioural learning. All outcomes are regularly tracked and evaluated, enabling personal learning plans to be updated and adopted to the emerging strengths of each student.

All student outcomes are recorded in a secure, cloud-based platform for dynamic analysis.

Discuss a referral

For details of open mornings, to arrange a visit, or discuss our admission process, please contact:

Jason Goddard, CEO

Neil Gage, Headteacher