Further Education Pathways

Dawn House School provides a highly inclusive yet specialist model of provision for (currently) 30 young people between 16 years and 19 years who have severe or complex communication difficulties or Asperger Syndrome.  Students take up the provision on either a day or weekly residential basis.  The residential element adds enormous value to the provision and some element of residential take up is encouraged for all students.


Core Curriculum

All students access the core curriculum in the Dawn House School study centre, collaboratively planned and delivered by the specialist staff of the school.  The core curriculum includes social communication, adult literacy, adult numeracy, lifeskills work (including employability, independent travel and personal financial management) and Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education, delivered both discreetly and embedded within CoPE and Young Enterprise.   Work in these areas is accredited through relevant qualifications.

Academic/ Vocational Course

In addition to the Core Curriculum, students follow one of three pathways depending on their aspirations, academic ability, communication  skills, learning styles, independence and self management skills.  The pathways relate to the academic or vocational element of the overall provision.  Transfer from one pathway to another is appropriate and easy to facilitate.

Pathway 1: This is chosen by the majority of students currently.  Students take up an academic or vocational course of their choice in a Partnership college or training provider, supported by the Dawn House Specialist staff team.  The school has a strong and very well established partnership with Vision West Notts College, Strategic Training Solutions and Portland Training College, where most of the courses are provide, and we are embarking on a new partnership with Newark College - see model of support below.  Students have access to the full range of courses on offer in both mainstream and specialist college settings, as appropriate to the individual.

Pathway 2: Students access a vocational qualification through an extended work placement, supported by the specialist staff from Dawn House School. 

Pathway 3: Students who are not yet ready to make the transition to inclusive settings may access an academic or vocational course on site at Dawn House School to support transition to pathway 1 or 2 or to other specialist colleges ( at which stage the DHS placement would cease)  

Model of support for offsite learning

Students are supported in their offsite learning by a range of professional staff which includes teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapist, learning mentor and specialist learning support assistants in the following ways:

  • Raising the awareness of the college staff or training provider or employer in the needs of YP with communication difficulties or Aspergers syndrome and providing training to college and other providers' staff in meeting these needs.
  • Liaison with tutors or training provider or employer to support understanding of the specific needs of individual students and providing advice in meeting these needs.
  • Monitoring of students progress in college courses or in the work placement and providing early intervention to address any difficulties.
  • Undertaking preparation work with students in the study centre and supporting students with follow up work.  This can relate to course content or other aspects of college or workplace life where students may be having difficulty.
  • Side by side support where necessary though it would be expected that students would undertake at least some elements of offsite learning without a member of DHS staff beside them. It is expected that side by side support in the workplace is minimal.

Dawn House remains responsible for students during offsite learning.

Residential Element

The residential element provides increased opportunities for students to develop life-skills and PHSCE but in particular in making and maintaining friendships and appropriate use of their leisure time.

This extended curriculum provides opportunity for skills taught to be practiced and further developed in wider functional settings.