The Mount Camphill Community is an Independent Specialist College for Students aged 16-25 with a range of learning difficulties, offering day and residential places. The Mount offers art and craft-based education for young people. Embedded within our approach to working with young people is a commitment to developing positive relationships between students and co-workers that is uniquely possible within a community setting. This allows opportunities for sociability, communication, self-awareness, co-dependency, mutuality and self-reliance to flourish.
How does the college assess a young person's needs?
Initial contact should be made to the admissions group, who will manage the referral process for anyone wishing to use our education, health and care services. The group gather information so we can understand your young person's needs.
If a young person is interested in joining The Mount, they will be invited to come for an assessment visit over 2 days and/or nights. The observations of the visit, in combination with the parents'/carers' views and reports from previous settings, will be used to develop the needs assessment which informs the Individual Study Programme and the care and support plan.
Both residential and day assessment students attend lessons undertaking activities with other students, as well as individual assessments in functional skills and cooking. This allows us to fully understand all needs of a young person and how we could support the development of the young person.
Following the assessment, the young person and their family will be advised as to whether a place can be offered at The Mount. The young person and their family need to decide whether to accept the placement, based on the information and experience gathered during the assessment process. If appropriate, a funding request would then be made to the young person's local authority.
How does the college teach and support young people?
The Mount is a residential college where the households and the educational provision work closely together to support young people in a holistic way.The ‘Co-ordinator for Education' is responsible for overseeing the Study Programmes for all individuals and the ‘Co-ordinator for Care and Support' oversees the individual care and support in the households.
Young people will be supported by a designated College tutor and House Co-ordinator.
The curriculum incorporates Study Programmes, tailored to each individual, which include a varied programme of crafts and practical activities including cooking and baking, artistic activities, movement sessions of gym and eurythmy. Students also have individual sessions as appropriate with specialist staff in functional skills, travel training, and therapeutic support.
We work with a number of employers for work experience.
We always endeavour to find placements, which meets students aspirations/wishes and which are also supportive of and consistent with their transition plan. The individual Study Programme is designed for each student based on the needs assessment and the Education, Health and Care Plan.
What support will there be for my young person's overall wellbeing?
Young people benefit from shared living, working and learning with House Co-ordinators and co-workers (live in staff). Through shared living House Co-ordinators get to know young people well and are able to offer pastoral care and support according to individual need. Day students are also assigned to Houses at The Mount and benefit from day to day Pastoral care and support.
Young people share their college lives with peers and take part in many leisure activities as well as educational activities. Through this young people learn social and interdependence skills as well as independence skills.
All young people who are residential at The Mount are registered with the local GP for medical support and tutors, House Co-ordinators and Co-workers are trained in first aid.
Trained House Co-ordinators and co-workers support the administration of medication.Individual needs assessments determine how student's personal care needs should be supported by house co-ordinators and co-workers. During weekly student forum meetings and house meetings students' are encouraged to voice their views regarding all aspects of their life at college including transition. Students are enabled as much as possible to take part in the planning of their own support and care.
What training do college staff have and what specialist services are available?
All staff take part in regular mandatory trainings such as First Aid, Health and Safety, Safeguarding Children and Adults at risk, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, prevent Duty, Equality and Diversity, Infection Control, Mental Capacity Act and trainings regarding different diagnosis, Positive Behaviour Management and Total Communication.
All teaching staff hold relevant teaching qualifications. All residential staff are trained or training in level 2 or 3 qualifications health and social care. Managers of the residential setting are trained or training in level 5 diploma in health and social care. Continual professional and personal development are encouraged to inspire staff to offer education and support of a high standard.
We offer a broad spectrum of in-house therapies, each of which addresses the whole person in a specific way:-
Massage Therapy - the focus is on harmonising the whole body.
Gymnastic Therapy - students are helped to orientate themselves in space.
Eurythmy Therapy - aims above all to improve posture and enhance balance, strengthening the awareness and co-ordination of the limbs.
Painting therapy - addresses and encourages expression and awareness of emotions.
Speech and Language Therapy - the student is guided in developing communication skills.
A multidisciplinary team are responsible for caring for the therapeutic needs of each student. Recommendations are in most cases informed by the specialist knowledge of the college's medical advisor, a GP who will identify therapies to balance and strengthen specific aspects of each student.If we are unable to meet a specific need from the in-house team we will liaise with external professionals.
How will the college prepare young people for the next stage of their education or life?
Prior to joining The Mount, the young person will have visited for an assessment:
For Day Students a 2 day assessment visit or for Residential Students a 2 day/ night residential assessment visit. This gives the young person a taste of what to expect prior to joining the community.
We ensure that the level of support the student requires is always available, at the same time, our aim is always to work with each individual to ensure they reach their maximum potential and lead as independent and interdependent a life as possible.
From the moment a young person joins us we are working towards their transition to their next step in life. We work closely with students and families to understand the individuals' hopes for work and living after college, and together produce a plan to achieve these aspirations and learning.
How are young people involved in reviewing their progress and planning support?
The progress of all students is monitored closely. We have a formal system of reviews in place to ensure the young person is progressing and developing in line with their Individual Study Programme. As a student's needs change the programme is revised.
Our Student programme Coordinator will support study programme planning, monitoring and progress tracking of all students at The Mount. Students are actively involved in setting and reviewing aims in line with aspirations.
How are parents and carers involved in reviewing progress and planning support?
Parents'/carers' are consulted and made aware of how they can help their child. Designated House Co-ordinators/ Tutors will set up regular contact arrangements with the parents/carers, as well as the annual progress review.
The Mount offers 3 parents' days per year where they can consult with tutors/House Co-ordinators about life/learning at The Mount, be it in the college, house or therapeutic aspects of the student's education. Meetings at the end of each term are available for parents/ carers to meet with tutors.
How accessible is the college and how does the school arrange equipment or facilities young people need?
The Mount's site is diverse including a former Victorian monastery building, craft workshops, gymnasium, walled garden and residential houses all set within 26 acres of land. Disabled toilet facilities are available along with portable wheelchair ramps but not all areas are wheelchair accessible.
At the outset young people are fully assessed to join the college and any adaptations necessary to enable them to access the curriculum will be included in the funding calculation. We have hearing induction loop equipment, aids for visual impairment, software and hardware to assist communication. Students with mobility issues are also assisted, as necessary, to access their curriculum.
As a special educational needs establishment, The Mount has considerable expertise and experience in arranging activities for students in and out of the classroom. A range of activities are available depending on the young person's interests and abilities. These include swimming, shopping, bowling, cinema, theatre, concerts, outdoor activities which include abseiling, rock climbing, zip wire and camping activities.
How does the school measure how well it teaches and supports young people with SEN?
The Mount is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and Ofsted.
As part of our quality assurance cycle is an annual self-assessment report and quality improvement plan Quality improvement is a continuous process and this is managed through the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). The QIP is a ‘working' document in which new areas for improvement are identified during the annual cycle; and where a regular record of review by the Management.
Areas addressed in self-assessment processes include:- The effectiveness of leadership and management - Quality of teaching and learning- Personal development, behaviour and welfare of learners- Outcomes for learner.
What do I do if I am not happy or if I want to complain?
Everyone involved with the students at The Mount carries the primary concern for their welfare. Co-workers and staff within the community are aware that families, friends, carers, social workers, advocates etc. are vitally concerned in the young people's lives. For this reason we wish to create an environment of open discussion, where students and their representatives feel that improvements can be suggested, and difficulties can be resolved as promptly as possible for the benefit of all concerned.
We shall always take views expressed seriously, and hope that in most cases complaints can be resolved quickly and amicably through discussion. We undertake to listen, investigate fully, and offer a solution and/or apology where appropriate.
The first step in any complaint will usually be an informal conversation with the relevant house co-ordinator or tutor. If this is not appropriate, another co-worker, college tutor or personal tutor will be happy to discuss the issue. If resolution cannot be found in this way, then a formal complaint should be initiated. Click below for the Complaints Procedure.