We are a trauma informed day school for students aged 5-16 years old with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties.
Our students have complex life histories, having experienced significant trauma and multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and have an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP). Students are placed with us by referring Local Authorities (LAs) and therefore join our school at various points during their primary or secondary education; usually because their needs are no longer able to be accommodated within the framework of mainstream schooling.
All our students will have experienced toxic stress (occurring when someone experiences strong, frequent and/or prolonged adversity). Extensive research proves that excessive or prolonged activation of the stress response systems in the body have a cumulative effect, derailing healthy brain development. This is especially so in the absence of protective relationships. Damaged, weakened systems and brain architecture impacts upon learning and behaviour, as well as general health across a student’s lifespan.
For many of our students when they arrive at SfIT, they have an inner view of themselves and their needs as worthless and shameful with a negative view of their life chances. This is often caused by the insecure early attachments, neglect, and abuse they have experienced, compounded by a loss of those they care about, including having experienced their previous educational settings being unable to understand or meet their needs appropriately.
We offer individualised, integrated therapeutic care where needed and a trauma informed education overseen by a team of trained, professional staff. First and foremost, our key role is to build trusting, supportive and responsive relationships with our students; with research also indicating that such relationships, with caring adults, can further prevent or reverse the damaging effects of toxic stress response.
We use the Trauma Recovery Model (TRM) to inform and underpin our approach, ensuring a holistic education for our students that meets their specific needs. Alongside this we use trauma informed, attachment aware practice and relational behaviour management work as fundamental to our school ethos and culture, embedded within our curriculum offer to help students learn to manage their emotions and behaviours, ensuring a pathway to success in the future.
For more information about our therapeutic approach and the admissions process, you can view our School Information Report here.