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Within the home setting, young people are offered a wide range of opportunities through which to develop their independent living and social skills, supported by the structure of the waking day curriculum. A wide range of activities are offered both on site and in the community. These can include after school clubs, art & craft sessions, playing & listening to music, watching films, cooking & baking, parties, youth clubs and outdoor activities.

Waking Day Curriculum – Residential Setting

Students at Overley Hall are encouraged to live and learn within an environment that provides imaginative and alternative learning opportunities appropriate to individual needs using a Waking Day Curriculum.

We provide an excellent range of resources and facilities to stimulate learning and supportively encourage and enable young people to actively engage in purposeful and enjoyable activities, both indoors and outdoors. We also place particular emphasis on the development of independent living and social skills.

There are many opportunities for learning to be fun through a variety of regular and varied activities both on site and within the community. The activities include cooking and baking, arts & crafts, social gatherings, outings, sports, play and much more.

After School Clubs provide a further range of creative opportunities for students and offer practical support to make progress in their educational potential – both in and out of the classroom.

The residential care staff support students to gain external accreditation within the AQA Unit Award Scheme in the residential setting in a range of independent living and practical skills.

Consistent across both education and care the Waking Day Curriculum provides each young person with the opportunity to:

  • Access the whole school curriculum, together with individual planned learning programmes that are linked to continuous monitoring and evaluation of progress
  • Build communication and social skills
  • Develop independent living and personal care skills
  • Develop appropriate sleeping, toileting and eating programmes
  • Reduce instances of challenging behaviour
  • Experience successful transitions

We support all students in developing a range of skills that are transferable to family and community settings and future adult placements.


Staff members support all young people in our care to ensure that good general health and structured habits of personal hygiene are developed and maintained via daily routines. Any medical care required is provided by general practitioners at a local surgery with whom all of our students are registered. Specific medical treatment where necessary is provided at local clinics or hospitals. All young people are supported in attending regular check-ups at a dentist and optician. Other services such as podiatrists, orthodontists and the local sensory inclusion service are accessed as required.

Menus at Overley Hall are devised to offer a varied and nutritionally balanced diet. Young people are informed of healthy options during meal times and are supported to make their own choices. They are encouraged to try the variety of different foods on offer to further explore and develop personal preferences, as well as to ensure good nutrition and health. Any special dietary, cultural or religious requirements can be accommodated through discussion with the catering department.

Opportunities for physical activity and exercise are included in the home in addition to time tabled school PE sessions. This is offered through regular walks, forest school activities within our grounds and woodland areas, longer walks accessing local parks and footpaths and rural and seaside locations further afield. We have facilities for a variety of sports activities within our outdoor spaces and for active sessions indoors including use of our hydropool, dancing and other physical & sports activities via game consoles. All home groups attend swimming sessions at local pools and some young people attend a local tag rugby team for children and young adults with learning disabilities.


At Overley Hall we favour reducing drug intervention where at all possible, apart from essential medication prescribed for particular conditions such as epilepsy. All pupils who have been prescribed medication are reviewed on a regular basis by their GP, child consultant and adolescent psychiatrist attached to the local CAMHS Learning Disabilities Team. All medication is pre packed and dispensed on site by trained staff using the Boots Medication Administration Records System.

Behaviour Management

At Overley Hall we employ a holistic yet individual approach to behaviour management which follows the ‘Team Teach’ model focusing on diversion, diffusion and de-escalation. Our in house Team Teach instructor has day to day contact with all of the children and young people and is able to tailor courses to be able to address individual behaviours to real time experience. A fundamental keystone of our practice is that 95% of situations where a child is in crisis can be resolved without the need for physical intervention. Where a physical intervention is required it is always pre-planned and all staff undertaking the intervention are trained and up to date with current practice. This principle is adopted by all staff across both school and home settings, with a consistent approach and guidelines agreed upon by teaching staff and key workers. Team Teach is accredited by the Institute of Conflict Management.