Meet Bev Doran – Meet the Head

View our latest Ofsted Report Education Ofsted Report

Overley Hall School is an independent special school for young people with Autism.  All students have an Education, Health, Care Plan and many have additional diagnoses, including learning difficulties, epilepsy and various syndromes. Our students require a special provision which will tailor the curriculum to meet their needs, and one which will build on the interests, strengths and aspirations of each young person with a particular focus on developing emotional wellbeing. The curriculum is designed to address the holistic needs of the child in a way that raises their confidence, and boosts self-esteem and resilience to pave the way towards a brighter and happier future adult life. Through structured programmes, young people are helped to develop their communication and social interaction, alongside nurturing their academic potential in a therapeutic, fun and motivating way. If you would like to read more about our therapy department, please click the following link – Meet the Therapy Team

Click here for details about our ‘Mission Statement’ and the ethos in education at Overley Hall School, including ‘Aims’, ‘Values’ and ‘Curriculum Drivers’.

Students greatly benefit from this individual approach and the opportunities created through a continuous waking day curriculum. We believe the child’s holistic needs should be addressed through a well-planned programme that is delivered therapeutically and flexibly, guided by experienced therapists and a staff team with specialised training.

Students are encouraged to reach their full potential academically and vocationally. We offer a range of accredited courses and our ethos promotes celebration of success no matter how big or small. Our aim is to develop skills for life and therefore encourage our young people, when the time is right, to experience work opportunity and social inclusion in our local community. We support many of our students to attend local college which provides real life situations in which to further develop social skills.

School Curriculum

Click here to read about our curriculum policy. Here you will find information about Curriculum principles, expectations and subjects that are offered, focus and structure across Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5.

At Overley Hall School our person centred approach (see example for Oak Class or Willow Class) is delivered through a thematic curriculum, driven by British Values and themes that promote independence towards adult life (please see our Curriculum Drivers).

Each term the thematic curriculum is mapped out to suit an array of subjects and needs (please see our Termly Curriculum Map). Each tutor group has an individualised 3 year plan highlighting the thematic curriculum overview (Willow, Cherry, Ash, Holly and Oak).

Click the following links to see our progressive approach for English, Maths and Post 16:

English Yearly overview YELLOW                   Maths Yearly overview YELLOW                      Post 16 Curriculum (Breadth)

English Yearly overview PURPLE                     Maths Yearly overview PURPLE                      Post 16 Curriculum (Depth)

English Yearly overview BLUE                        Maths Yearly overview BLUE

English Yearly overview GREEN                    Maths Yearly overview GREEN

You can also find our     PSHE Curriculum Overview

and                                 Curriculum Overview for Computing,

and                                 Computing Progression Mapping

and                                 RE Curriculum

School Structure and Organisation

The school caters for children 8 – 19, spanning four key stages and offers the full National Curriculum. The school is very well resourced and greatly benefits from having three sensory rooms, a hydropool, soft play area, workshops and horticultural opportunities. It is set in 12 acres of beautiful woodland which is used effectively to enhance the curriculum. All young people have access to Forest School sessions and are supported to learn in this natural, relaxing and tranquil environment.

Students are currently grouped into one of five groups ranging from two to five students. Overley Hall School caters for twenty two residential children with an additional two placements for children who only require day time provision. We are small and this provides the opportunity to be bespoke and truly person centred. When deciding upon a group for a child, factors such as chronological age, cognitive ability, social communication skills, language skills and emotional wellbeing are taken into consideration.  We try hard to give all of our students the maximum opportunity to work in a peer group that provides stimulation, appropriate challenges, social integration, acceptance and friendship.

A school day starts at 9:00 and finishes at 15:45 (except for Wednesdays which concludes at 15:00). The day is broken up into 9 periods, however we operate a very fluid structure to accommodate the emotional and sensory needs of our young people. Please also see our Education Staff Structure.

Our aim is always to reduce anxiety to enable learning to take place. Overley uses autism friendly interventions recommended by the National Autistic Society (NAS) to help learners engage and achieve across the curriculum. Such interventions help capture attention, reduce social demand and promote success, self-worth and self-esteem. Please refer to our Behaviour Support Policy.

Overley Hall School takes ‘Safeguarding’ very seriously across its ethos, curriculum design and through the delivery of our person centred approach. Please refer to our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Whistle Blowing Policy Our aim is to provide young people with education that can be accessed, enjoyed and promotes active and enquiring minds.

To see what is happening throughout the Autumn Term click the following link – Calendar of Events for Autumn 2019

Alternatively you can see what happened during the Autumn Term 2018Spring Term 2019 or Summer Term 2019

To find out about school terms and holidays click the following links – Term dates 2018 – 2019 or Term dates 2019 – 2020

‘Pip the penguin’ continues to keep joining the different classes so that you can take a look into the life of Overley Hall School. Click the links below to follow his adventures:

Pip’s adventure in Holly September 2018

Pip’s adventure in Oak October 2018

Pip’s adventure in Ash November 2018

Pip’s adventures in Cherry January 2019

Pip’s adventure in Willow February 2019

Pip is currently visiting his family in the Transantarctic Mountains. I wonder what he will bring us back?

To hear what our parents think about the quality of their children’s education  click here


To ensure that every young person in our care achieves their full potential and as an adult with skills to live a good, happy and meaningful quality of life we aim, over time, to support our young people to develop the skills to:

  • Communicate their wishes and express their preferences
  • Progress from their individual starting points, attaining accreditation across core and vocational subjects
  • Exert self-control by using strategies independently to regulate their behaviour
  • Think independently, solve problems and reduce their reliance on others
  • Be confident but reflective, self-aware, content and proud of who they are
  • Attend to work, give joint attention and work as part of a team or individually
  • Interact positively with others
  • Cope with unexpected change in an acceptable way
  • Make transitions both small and large with minimal support
  • Live a meaningful life and positively contribute to society
  • Be kind and accepting of the differences of others
  • Feel a sense of belonging
  • To make them aware of their Families and the part they play in those families.

Policies and Procedures

To download a selection of our core policies and procedures please go to our Documents page

In addition, all of our policies are available on request from the main school office in digital or print format.

Further detailed information can be found in Overley Hall School’s Statement of Purpose, which can be download on our documents page.