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About Us

Belief and direction

Our school is a community day school for pupils aged 3-19 years with severe learning difficulties and Autism. 

Our school subscribes to the beliefs set out in "Every Child Matters’" that children and young people have a right to:

· Be safe and be healthy

· Experience enjoyment and achievement as they grow

· Have the opportunity and encouragement to contribute to the society in which they live

· The prospect of economic stability, an income and a decent place to live

Our plans and actions seek to contribute to securing these things.

Aims for our work are:

· To prepare pupils well for each successive stage of their development and to benefit from those experiences, opportunities and responsibilities that help build maximum independence in adult life.

· To provide a curriculum that is broad and balanced and also appropriate to the physical, emotional, developmental, social and spiritual needs of the individual.

· To provide an environment that is safe yet stimulating, supportive yet promotes independence and has strong community values, whilst recognising the individuals' need for autonomy.

· To provide an education which discourages prejudice, discrimination and unequal opportunity based on such things as race, religion, class, sexuality or disability.

· To enable pupils to participate in mainstream experiences and to build a relationship with mainstream schools so that at every suitable opportunity, wherever appropriate, awareness of the wider world is encouraged.

· To work holistically with other children’s services, both within and outside the school, to benefit the whole child and their family.


Our school shares a site with a local secondary school, Ash Hill Academy (1250 pupils aged 11-19 years), in the centre of a popular village community, approximately 7 miles to the north east of Doncaster town centre and benefits from nearby links to the M18, junctions 4 and 5.

Our school has growing links with local secondary schools and enjoys wider links with the local pyramid (local family of feeder primary and secondary schools) and our school, Governing Body and Local Authority wish these relationships to continue and be enhanced with other schools in the area.


Our school occupies two adjacent buildings approximately 200 yards apart. The two buildings have undergone some internal remodelling to meet new curricular needs, disability access and care needs, mainly around specialist facilities for independent living and toilets. There are secure hard and grassed play areas and a landscaped pedestrian route between the two buildings.

Our school manages its own transport fleet and the school grounds contain parking for approximately 15 minibuses.

Our Pupils

Our school is for pupils aged between 3+ years and 18+ years; that is from the start of the term after their third birthday and leaving at the end of the academic year in which they reach 19 years of age. The gender balance runs at around 20% girls and 80% boys.

Pupils usually join the school following a multi-professional assessment and determination of needs and appropriate provision. Most will be recognised as needing extensive support before they reach school age although trauma, infection or changes because of maturity may be the cause of later referral.

Pupils may join the school from anywhere within the Doncaster Borough. The majority will attend on a full time basis, though some pupils in the early years may only attend the school for shortened weeks or part days.

Older pupils may begin attendance on a part-time basis at the local college or with a specialist training provider. Some pupils may be dual registered with a mainstream school and every pupil will have an Inclusion Plan showing how they access learning and social experiences, alongside their wider peer group outside the school.

Distribution in year groups and across the Key Stages varies year on year. However, the low numbers in each year group, with a range between 0-11 pupils per year group, means that flexible grouping arrangements are used to ensure that appropriate programmes, taking account of age and maturity, are provided.

The range of special educational needs at Coppice is wide. Most pupils will demonstrate performance below Level One of the National Curriculum. Some pupils will, at the completion of their education be able to live independently and work in well-supported places of work. Most will require services, throughout their life, to access and participate effectively in the community.

Some pupils will have medically diagnosed conditions that have an effect on their learning, including Autism or related communication difficulties. There are also pupils who, because of a complexity of needs, require support that is additional to and different from that which can be provided in other settings so that they can make good progress with learning. They are placed here because of the particular skills and strategies used and the adapted environment available in the school.

Communication and Language Development

Our aim at Coppice is to promote spontaneous and independent means of communication throughout. Many of our students benefit from multi-sensory approaches to learning and communication. We therefore make full use of sign and symbols to support speech so that pupils can draw on a wide range of cues to support their understanding.


Our school is well equipped with computers. Teachers are expected to use information technology to prepare and deliver teaching programmes in all areas of the curriculum as well as a distinct ICT curriculum structure that promotes skills in using information technology. For many of our students, ICT is also a tool that can extend their ability to find a means of self-expression and communication.


Our school is developing and establishing a clear policy for the delivery of health and sex education that has been agreed with parents and is taught at levels to match the age and understanding of the pupils throughout the school.

Drugs Education

The Governing Body places a very high value on a full programme of Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education that includes both awareness and measures to combat any attraction a drug culture might hold for pupils.

Religious Education

The Governors require the school to work in line with the curriculum agreed and revised in the Local Guidance form SACRE.

Work Related Learning

Our school uses a wide range of contacts and services so that pupils have access to knowledge and understanding of work as they progress. Enterprise and related activities leading to work experience, appropriate to students’ level of ability and understanding, will be made available towards the end of their full time education.

Extended Resource

Our school holds a range of resources, both conventional and digital, available for loan to support parents and families as they contribute to the learning of their children. Resources are available for other schools to borrow and evaluate in their own settings.

Journeys and Residential Experience, Educational Visits

The Head Teacher and staff provide a range of visits and experiences outside school that enhance the curriculum. We also expect to make a residential visit available to each child, where possible and appropriate, so that that they can gain in learning and social skills through the experience.

Behaviour and Discipline

Our behaviour policy will be linked to our Home School Agreement and emphasises our positive approach to managing behaviour.

Equalities Policy

The Governors and staff have a zero tolerance approach to overt or covert behaviour that discriminates in any way and, if it appears in school, expect quick intervention through raising awareness, applying sanctions and, in serious or persistent cases, involving outside agencies, including the police. We will also examine our own practices in an attempt to ensure that we do not inadvertently use or perpetuate discriminatory behaviour, but promote inclusion and harmony.

Accessibility Scheme

The Governors and School Management Team will work with external advice and through consultation with its community of children, parents, carers and staff to develop an accessibility scheme so that all who use our school can access premises, curriculum and information according to their needs and to benefit the pupils.

Records and Reporting

Our school reports, as all other schools, through the provision of Annual Reports for students and, where appropriate, results from national assessment processes. In addition, there will be determination to make effective contact with parents, both on an individual basis and through parents’ interest groups and parents’ evenings. Teachers and mentors will develop personalised plans for pupils and these will be frequently discussed with parents, when targets are changed significantly. The programme of Annual Review will be rigorously pursued and pupils, parents and carers are to be involved fully with staff in carrying out those reviews.

Relationships with other Agencies

Our school continually promotes networks and links with other agencies so that the resources that are available can be targeted effectively and a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding brought to the support of pupils.

Partnerships with other Schools and Outreach

Our school acts as a resource for other schools. The nature of support will normally be through outreach work and consultation. For example, where our school has a staff skilled in the development of communication or behaviour management, this will be offered as a resource for training and the generation of solutions to teaching and learning needs in neighbouring mainstream schools.

The outreach function of our school will be operated on a Partnership Agreement between the Local Authority and the school on behalf of other Doncaster schools. The Agreement will establish clear referral routes, detail delivery expectations and establish robust success criteria. The Agreement will be negotiated between the new Head Teacher, Governing Body and the Local Authority.

Organisational Information


Our school has a Special Educational Needs Policy which is available on request. Mrs Tracey Conlon is the SEN Coordinator.

Provision for Sport

Our school’s swimming programme ensures that all children have excellent opportunities to become competent swimmers. We have our own small swimming pool which is used primarily for EYFS and Key Stages 1 & 2. The older students have access to swimming sessions at Thorne Leisure Centre. We also take advantage of visiting coaches to develop particular skills for all pupils. Badminton, rugby, boccia and football have been offered in recent terms.

Disabled Access

Our school is accessible for wheelchairs and physically disabled adults and children.


Our school is a secure site with access codes on main doors.

Charging for School Activities

Our school believes in using the environment to make the children’s learning more meaningful. When making visits or trips, we try to keep any expense as low as possible. When some costs are unavoidable, such as hiring a coach or using public transport, the parents are invited to pay for the cost of the trip. Parents have the right to decline to pay but, if many were to do so, it would make the funding of trips impossible. In practice, nearly all parents are happy to pay to cover such costs.

With prior approval of parents; a charge may be made for ingredients or materials that are to be taken home.

School Dress

Parents may purchase sweatshirts and polo shirts which bear the school logo from school, if they so wish.

Parents are requested to mark all items of clothing that are brought into school in order to prevent mistakes being made with identification.

Pupils should be supplied with clothing appropriate to the season. Further, for pupils who are likely to have 'accidents', a change of clothing should be sent to school.

Pupils will need a towel and swimming costume or trunks for their sessions in the pool. For physical education, pupils will require a pair of shorts, a t-shirt and plimsolls. Parents will receive notification of physical education sessions.

Parents are advised that jewellery is not to be worn for school, except for watches and stud earrings. Any pupil wearing jewellery will be asked to remove it for safe keeping until the end of the school day.  (All jewellery will be kept in a locked cabinet until reissued).


Medication is monitored in school by the School Nurse for students who are on regular prescribed medication within school hours. Medication such as antibiotics may be administered by the Nurse or school staff in consultation with the Head Teacher/Deputy.

All medication sent into school must be clearly labelled (pharmacist) and cleared for administering by the school office. All drugs are stored in a locked drug cabinet which is accessed by the School Nurse and specifically authorised staff.

Safeguarding Children in Coppice School

Our school community has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are our pupils. We take the safety and well being of our children very seriously at Coppice School.

This means that we have a Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Procedures in place, which we refer to in our Prospectus. All staff, including our volunteers and supply staff, must ensure that they are aware of our procedures and policy.

Parents and carers are welcome to read these on request. They are readily available on the school website, or alternatively you can request a paper copy to be sent home.

Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will always ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with their parents/carers first, unless we have reason to believe that this is not in the child’s best interests.

Our Child Protection Governor is Paul Burns.

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