Our ethos and aims at Ivy Lane School

The principal aim of Ivy Lane School is to enable each young person to develop independence through learning in school and a community environment that offers warmth, security and consistency. A purposeful and calm atmosphere will be encouraged through the professional approach adopted by all staff. Trust and a positive rapport between the young people we support and the staff underpin the ethos of the school.

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is the framework we use for everything we do. It is values driven, evidence-based and practical. Focusing on young people’s rights provides the ethical compass which guides our approach. We understand that behaviours that challenge arise from an interaction between a young person’s needs and the environment and strive to provide a school environment which maximises learning. Holistic assessment enables high quality personalised support to achieve learning outcomes for young people which are meaningful to them. PBS is a compassionate approach to supporting young people to have a good quality of life and in doing so, minimises the risk of behaviours that challenge.

We aim to meet the spiritual, social, moral and cultural needs of the young people we support by promoting the following principles:

  • Helping young people to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • Helping young people to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law and other young people’s rights;
  • Promote positive behaviours for learning to help all the young people we support reach their full academic potential
  • Encouraging young people to accept responsibility for their behaviour where this is possible and appropriate, given their specific needs and to show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life;
  • Providing young people with a broad general knowledge of citizenship in respect of public institutions and services such as the police and emergency services, in England, at a level appropriate to their understanding;
  • Assisting young people to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures, in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions.

Positive, non-aversive approaches are used to change or reduce the severity and frequency of complex behaviours that may challenge. All behaviour is seen as meeting a particular need, or occurring for a specific reason. We therefore make sure we understand and identify what may underlie or trigger particular behaviours and what might be done to support change for such behaviours, which may challenge or trouble the young person and those around them.

By encouraging and reinforcing behaviour which is more positive and helpful for the young person, distress is reduced and the young person is supported and enabled to engage more positively in an enjoyable and meaningful life. This can of course take time and there are often ups and down in progress, but staff remain committed to enabling young people to maximise their potential. No actions that threaten the dignity of a young person are either used or permitted.

Equality, diversity, disability access and Fundamental British Values

There is a commitment to providing equal opportunities for young people with differing needs relating to culture, religion and beliefs.

The school supports young people who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) by providing access to resources in their first language. We will endeavour to produce written documentation in the preferred language and, where appropriate, the services of an interpreter will be sourced. We operate a ‘Total Communication Approach’ where young people have access to information in a range of formats including speech, signing and symbols.

Everyone we support, including staff, will receive fair and equal treatment based on their abilities or needs, in all aspects of our employment and service provision.

Acts of unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination are prohibited and we respect the fundamental human right of every young person not to be discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.

We are committed to promoting community cohesion and strive to ensure that each young person and staff member is supported to realise their potential. Our philosophy and practices are aimed at ensuring that everyone, whatever their background or their circumstances, have the support they need to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy life and achieve, make a positive contribution and attain economic wellbeing.

Ivy Lane School actively promotes the Fundamental British Values in our curriculum and everyday actions. All staff and young people are supported in displaying respect for the Fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect/tolerance of all faiths and beliefs in a way that is meaningful for them.

Individual Learning Plans

Everyone has a carefully designed Individual Learning Plan (ILP) based on their specific needs and aspirations.


Speech and Language Therapists work with each young person to help develop the best and most appropriate communication methods for them. Communication profiles are detailed and specific to enable staff to ensure each young person has adequate time to process information and make informed decisions.

Trust and relationships

Secure and familiar social networks are extremely important and these will be developed and built upon from day one, creating trusting and valued relationships with not only the young person, but also their immediate and extended family and friends, and our staff team.

Healthy living

At Ivy Lane School we encourage healthy living through support to engage in exercise, eat properly and develop confidence and self- esteem. During term time young people will enjoy lunch in the school dining room. Staffing levels are carefully monitored to encourage and support young people to make independent choices when selecting, eating and enjoying their meals.

Health and safety

We are committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the young people we support and staff. Ivy Lane School adheres to all procedures in place under the policy of Hesley Group and wider legislation and regulations.

Working with families

We believe will have the most effective education where schools and parents/carers work closely together to support each child to maximise their progress. Daily written communication will enable parents/carers to understand their child’s day at school and provide details on behaviour and learning throughout the day; food/drink and other health needs and relevant information for the next day. Staff will always make time to promptly hold required conversations to celebrate successes and share any short/long term plans in place for each child. Parents evenings will be arranged through the year to discuss in detail a child’s progress and next steps in learning. EHCP and other formal meetings are held at the school and parental/child views are sought throughout these processes. On a more social basis, parents/carers are encouraged to be join school life through attending a range of celebration assemblies; themed lunches; sport and music events.

Within the school day we also encourage and support young people to keep in contact by letter. Families and friends will be invited to the many events held by the school and wider Hesley Group such as seasonal celebrations and open days.

Place with us

If you’re thinking of placing with us we’d love you to get in touch