Live and Learn

"Creating a Culture
of Gentleness"

Elm Home

Elm house has undergone numerous changes over the past year moving from a home in the Woodlands to a brand new facility that was finished in July 2016. In September 2017 there were further changes with Elm becoming a home for a mixture of 38 week and 52 week residents. We had 5 young people move to other homes in the school and had 4 new young people arrive.

The new group of young people are really getting on well and some nice friendships have been made. 


The young people in Elm home use a variety of communication aids to help them understand the information they are being given, and to break it down and allow this information to become more manageable. All the young people in the home have person centered communication formats that are specific to their levels of understanding and are used across the 24 hour curriculum.

Staff use now and next books, transition cards, Makaton signing, writing with symbols and communication boards to navigate through a young person’s day promoting as much choice as possible.

The young people in Elm rely on these resources to have a voice within the home and community, and have shown good understanding and regular use of these aids to communicate their wants and needs.

Keyworker sessions are presented to each young person and give the individual time to communicate anything they wish, ranging from activities that they would like to attend to any concerns within the home.

This has been very successful in the home and has promoted and encouraged the young people to play an active role within their home and to speak openly about anything they would like to.


The young people in Elm have coped marvelously with the big transition to becoming a home for 38 week and 52 week residents. All the young people got involved with the move and have helped to make Elm a fun and nurturing place to live with a really positive atmosphere. 


We had a fantastic Summer in 2017 which included a variety of brilliant activities out in the community. We have visited Dreamland on a couple of occasions where the young people and staff had a great time trying out all the rides and games. Some of the young people were particularly brave and made the staff go on the scenic railway and the big wheel. This trip was so successful we also went further afield and had two excitement filled days out at Chessington. The young people loved seeing all the animals and going on the thrilling rides.

We also had some lovely trips to the rare breed’s center, Wingham Wildlife Park and a funfair in Dymchurch. As well as some great days out we took advantage of the occasionally lovely weather and had some lovely trips to the beach, where one of our particularly intrepid young people braved the cold water and went surfing. 

Staff and young people also enjoyed lots of walks out and visited most of the parks in Thanet, with Minster Park being a favorite. We also made the most of the school site, with regular swimming sessions and lots of races on the school bike track.

Life Skills

In Elm home the young people are always striving towards achieving their targets set across a 24 hour curriculum, these targets are set with developing the young people’s skills for interactions and abilities that may allow the young people opportunities to work and live within their local communities. These skills can range from respecting others wants and needs through sharing, developing skill sets that may be transferable in different work based settings, or even building tolerance to sensory overloaded environments and equipping the young people with skills to overcome their anxieties.   

Home Visits/ Parental Contact 

In Elm it is important to maintain strong relationships between the young people and their families, this year Elm has helped facilitate and support several visits to family homes and/or activities out in the community. This has helped families that can sometimes find it difficult to support the needs of their child,

Elm have helped combine our knowledge and support to ensure families can relax and enjoy spending time together rebuilding family unity that may have broken down previously. Many of our young people have benefited from our support and have progressed well in parental contacts with Elm staff supporting. We had a particularly lovely birthday meal out with one young person and his family. 


This year Elm has enjoyed celebrating many milestones in the young people’s lives, through birthdays and certain events throughout the calendar year. The young people have adapted and coped well with celebrating Christmas, Halloween, Easter and the summer holidays within the home as this would have previously been a time they may have been at home for. As a home we try to provide a strong family value within the home and create a home from home for the young people to relax and celebrate throughout the year together.










Ofsted Outstanding 2008-2009, BCS, Cache, EFQM, Wandsworth, Sen Specialist Schools, Healthy School, Investors in People | Champion, Silver, iNet, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
Bradstow School
34 Dumpton Park Drive
CT10 1BY
T: 01843 862123
F: 01843 866648