News Archive

Hitting the Piste – Alderwasley’s 2019 Ski Trip

Students and staff at Alderwasley Hall School has just returned from their skiing trip to Pila in the Aosta Valley, Italy. The annual ski trip is open to young people in key stage 3, 4 and 5.

After an orientation visit to the town on the first night students got an early night, to get rested and ready for their first day on the slopes and the ski school which ran from 10am to 3pm each day.  The first day saw everyone making it down the slope on two feet, however one group did take the 20 minute gondola trip to the top, only to find that they’d left their ski’s at the bottom with a member of staff!

The weather conditions were fantastic for the duration of the trip and all the young people made fantastic progress, some even venturing from the nursery slopes and further into the mountains.

Enjoying Fitness at the Gym

Post 16 students at Pegasus School have a sports and recreation module incorporated in their programme of work, to ensure they develop their health and fitness.
We continually look for opportunities within the community that our student population can take part in, alongside other young people and members of the general public.

Two students have been attending The Greenbank Leisure Centre in Swadlincote weekly since the start of the Academic Year with their Support Staff.  at first they went the swimming at the Centre, but staff noticed that they appeared to be taking an interest in The Fitness Gym, which was visible through a glass screen in the Reception area of the Leisure Centre.

An induction session was booked for the students and a member of the Leisure Centre Fitness Gym Staff introduced them to the equipment in the gym which he thought would be of benefit to them in developing a level of fitness. Alongside our staff members they were shown safe usage of the equipment and a basic programme was put together for them to follow.
This opportunity has enabled us to link this experience to meet the objectives and outcomes from the ASDAN Personal Progress Unit accreditation scheme.


Keeping Young People Safe Online

Yesterday was Safer Internet Day and people all over the world joined in to spread the word about keeping children and young people safe online. Safer Internet Day 2019 was celebrated globally with the theme:

Together for a better internet.

More than 2000 organisations and schools across the UK got involved to help inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

It’s no different here at Bladon! Our young people were busy creating online safety messages during their IT lessons. Classes as well as houses across the school joined in to make this year’s Safer Internet Day a great success.

Andy Doughty
Teacher of Computing

Ecclesbourne Lodge is Outstanding in Meeting People’s Needs

Registered Manager, Jo Walker and the staff team at Ecclesbourne Lodge are celebrating their success following their recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The residential home, which is based on Wirksworth Road in Duffield provides care to young adults with autism and learning disabilities.

Inspectors found the service to be the top grade of ‘Outstanding’ in being responsive to people needs and ‘Good’ in the other inspected areas of Safety, Well Led, Effective and Caring.
Coming to their ‘Outstanding’ grade in the area of the homes responsiveness, Inspectors found significant evidence of service demonstrating how everything is tailored to meet the needs of the individuals living in the home and offers flexibility, choice and continuity of care.

Dawn Baker, ASDAN Coordinator with Jo Walker, Registered Manager

Dawn Baker, ASDAN Coordinator with Jo Walker, Registered Manager

The home held their first Graduation Day last summer to celebrate the achievements of residents who has progressed through the homes accredited Award Scheme Development Accreditation Network (ASDAN). The young adults worked through units, set at their ability level, in subjects such as cooking and sensory awareness. Inspectors praised this proactive and innovative approach in supporting residents to learn life skills.

Ecclesbourne Lodge Registered Manager, Jo Walker with her staff team.










The staff were also praised for their work in helping residents enjoy a wide range of activities, including reintroducing a resident to an activity that they had previously loved but had not done for a while due to a change in their circumstances. Their relative said “It’s been an absolute turn around in reintroducing them to life”.







Park House Are Celebrating CQC Inspection Success

Park House in Bromyard has been praised by Care Quality Commission in their recent inspection. The home which is part of the community in Bromyard supports residents with learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders and other complex needs.

The Inspectors found that people in the home were receiving consistently good levels of care, good outcomes and a good quality of life. Strong links and consultation with people family’s and external health and social care professionals ensures that residents receive care that is timely, responsive, flexible and constantly assessed and improved. The home has specialist trained staff for people with autism and those with special diets.

The consultation of residents in the running of the home was also praised ‘People were encouraged to be involved in decisions about the home and how these could be best used to meet their needs. Staff had developed “consultation books” which summarised individual meetings between people and staff and set out people changing decisions about what care they would like, for example, what interesting things people would like to do, and their food preferences and times they preferred to eat their meals.

The ability of the home to respond to meeting people changing needs was also evident with thorough and up to date care plans which made clear people needs, preferences really clear, helping staff to make suggestions for developing peoples independence further. The home included choice, the promotion of independence and inclusion. The report states that ‘People living with learning disabilities at Park House were supported to live as ordinary a life as any citizen.’

Staff also confirmed how well led the service is by the Registered Manager, Isobel Walshe. One member of staff told inspectors; ‘Staff are happy because you can talk to Isobel. You can have a debate and decide together what’s best for people.’

Isobel said ‘We want people to be happy and safe, and know this is a real home. You watch the relationships with (people) and staff. You can see they will go to any staff member when they want help’.

Park House currently have two vacancies. If you are interested in a place please contact Caroline Parker, Group Referrals Manager Tel: 01332 378 840.

To read the full report visit:


Alderwasley Hall School Visit QUAD Cinema as Part of WW1 Centenary Celebrations

Alderwasley Hall School have been preparing for the centenary of the end of WW1 by putting together a range of memorial activities for students to take part in throughout the week. Students and staff were invited to The QUAD Cinema in Derby for a private autistic friendly screening of ‘Journeys End’. The film is an adaptation of the play by R.C Sherriff, of which some students have studied in English classes. Set in the trenches during WW1 and is based on the experiences that R.C Sherriff experienced as a soldier fighting in France during WW1.

The film gave students and staff, not only an artistic impression of what life was like in the trenches during WW1, but the reality of waiting, the stillness and how quiet the environment was, rationing and friendships made and lost whilst fighting on the front line.
Students successfully travelled and watched the film together, across KS3, KS4 and KS5. This was a huge achievement for the students; experiencing a new environment with lots of new people and accessing a historic topic that has raised lots of questions and thinking points in continuation of the WW1 Centenary celebrations throughout school.

Residential Provision at Sixth Form Centre ‘Outstanding’ Again

The Sixth Form Centre of Alderwasley Hall School has achieved their third consecutive ‘Outstanding’ grade for the care and support of young people placed with them on a residential basis.

Accommodation for older students, aged 16 to 19 years, comprises of two houses, one located on the Sixth Form Centre site and another located just down the road in Matlock.

Inspectors found staff to be passionate about ensuring young people had long term positive outcomes, which was reflected in the close working with education and therapy staff and the fact that most young people went on to higher or further education or joined apprenticeship schemes. They also commented on the effectiveness of the staff in working with young people with complex mental health conditions.

In September the residential home on the site of Alderwasley Hall School,for students aged between 5 and 16 years, was also graded ‘Outstanding’ for the third time in a row.

Read the full report here


‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Inspection Three Years Running for Alderwasley Care

The care team at Alderwasley Hall School have been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted grade for the third year running following their recent inspection in September 2018.

Inspectors found the children’s home at the school provided a service which consistently exceeds the standards of good and contributes significantly to the positive outcomes and experiences of young people who are placed at the school on a residential basis.

Staff were praised for their partnership working with parents and the warm nurturing relationships they build with young people. A strong key team of care, education and therapy meet regularly with parents and the young person to work out strategies to ensure progress.

The inspectors also commented on the wide range of activities young people are able to take part in, the strong safeguarding process and the strong leadership team.

Read the full report here

Partnership Working with Derby Museum and Derby City Schools

Thank you to Katy Brentnall and Peter Backler, both Music Teachers at Alderwasley Hall, Philippa Jones, Class Teacher at Alderwasley Hall and Charlie Jennings, Class Teacher at Bladon House School for their work with Derby Museum.

Katy, Peter and a student in the school band performed to visitors at the exhibition family launch day, whilst Philippa and Charlie worked with the museums School Programmer, Bill Hindmarsh and Activity Facilitator, Tricia Howlett to develop strategies and tips for staff to work with students from Alderwasley and Bladon who had exclusive access to the exhibition and took part in a ‘Bare Bones’ Classification session in September. We also invited young people from St Benedict’s School in Darley Abbey and St Martins School in Derby to enjoy the exhibition on Monday 1st October.

Sixth Form Student has Art work Commissioned by Local Business

Becky, a student at the Alderwasley Sixth Form Centre, visited the Deception Escape Rooms, located in Matlock, to see if she could beat the Doctor and escape with his secrets along with some of her peers and staff. The room was very challenging and after being locked in a secret lab Becky drew an ‘inspirational dragon’ on the chalkboard to try and help us find the clues to escape.
Unfortunately the dragon didn’t bring us any good luck as 16 minutes later the Doctor returned and we unfortunately became a name in his victims book.

Becky’s art work however impressed the owners and they asked her to return to show them some of her artwork stating they would be interested in her painting in one of their new rooms “scarytale.”
Becky worked hard on some example sketches and after a few visits back to the Deception Rooms the drawings that they were going to commission were decided. Little did Becky know though that she would actually have to draw and paint these upside down!
Becky worked hard over the coming days and weeks, and as the pictures show, did a fantastic job in bringing the ‘scary’ into the otherwise fairy-tale escape room. The pictures are only a small glimpse of the room that has been put together and it is definitely worth a visit to see if you  can escape!
Becky finished her placement at Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre in July and is now enrolled at a mainstream college in a Level 3 Games Art course where she is pursuing the graphic design of videogames as a career.