The school provides a specialised, small, nurturing environment for traumatised students who have been unable to manage in larger class settings or mainstream education. The students attending the Phoenix Bay School will have often been excluded or unable to manage both ordinary schools and other specialist educational provisions.
Phoenix Bay staff believe that every child is a competent learner from birth, who can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured. The students who come to Phoenix Bay are often functioning emotionally and developmentally below their chronological age, but at Phoenix Bay, all students can learn to be strong and independent from a base of secure relationships with staff and others. We recognise that students develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected. At all times we keep at heart, both the developmental age of the student and their readiness for learning.
Formal education and larger group working is likely to have invoked anxiety and corresponding disruptive and destructive behaviour or withdrawal. Through small groups and individually tailored education packages, the education team provide sensitive, creative and empathetic approaches to learning. This enables the students to begin to engage in education properly, perhaps for the first time. Readiness for learning comes from the combination of being able to be on task and to trust those supporting them to engage.
Curriculum content and strong relationships can then provide the hook for further enjoyment of learning. The Education Team work closely with the students’ carers/parents. This enables an integrated approach that puts the students’s emotional trauma and corresponding impediments to learning at the centre of their detailed curriculum planning. Support with peer relationships and associated conflict resolution enables Phoenix students eventually to manage larger group learning and potentially to be integrated into more mainstream educational settings and/or employment.
The Phoenix Bay Mission
To create authentic opportunities for students in a trauma-informed education setting, leading to students thriving beyond the classroom and prepared for the challenges of everyday life. To support all students to become intuitive and to reach their potential.