We realise that pupils who have trauma and attachment difficulties can find the school environment extremely challenging. The attention and regulation issues pupils may have can be a real barrier for them to reach their full potential academically and repeated failure can really knock confidence and lower self-esteem.

At Cressex Lodge we incorporate a PACE approach to working with pupils.  PACE is a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and behaving that aims to make the child feel safe. With PACE, the troubled pupil can start to look at himself and let others start to see him, or get closer emotionally. He can start to trust.

PACE stands for, Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. PACE focuses on the pupil as a whole, not simply the behaviour. It helps pupils be more secure with the adults and reflect upon themselves, their thoughts, feelings and behaviour, building the skills that are so necessary for maintaining a successful and satisfying life. The pupil discovers that they are doing the best that they can, and are not bad or lazy or selfish. Problems diminish as the need for them reduces.

Through PACE and feeling safer, pupils discover that they can now do better. They learn to rely on school staff and trust them to truly know them. They learn that adults around them can look after them in a way that they could never do on their own.

When pupils experience the school staff doing the best they can to understand them and trying to work out together more effective ways for the pupil to understand, make sense of and manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviour they start to believe that the school staff really will keep on trying until things get better for all of them.

For school staff, using PACE most of the time, they can reduce the level of conflict, defensiveness and withdrawal that tends to be ever present in the lives of troubled pupils. Using PACE enables the school staff to see the strengths and positive features that lie underneath more negative and challenging behaviour.

Cressex Lodge provides a nurturing environment, offering education and quality care in ensuring young people reach their full potential.

We are committed to:

  • Educational development
  • Emotional and social development
  • Independence and life skills
  • Development of communication skills

Education Development

We offer a range of subjects. Along with core subjects, English, Maths and Science, we offer History, Geography, Citizenship, Art, French, Values, Design Technology, PE and Computing/i-Media. Young people access a range of qualifications and extra-curricular activities which enable them to prepare for the next stage of their lives.

We provide a safe learning environment to enable successful learning.

Emotional and social development

All of our pupils have emotional and social needs. These can impact greatly on young people’s abilities to learn and make positive relationships. Building relationships and attachments with pupils is key in our approach to learning. Pupils and teachers work on building relationships and each boy is allocated their own Education Mentor. Respect for everyone in the school environment is fostered and a full school meeting at the end of each day is the opportunity for pupils to speak about their school day, share positive experiences or open up about any issues or grievances they may have. We encourage pupils to speak out and to encourage each other.

Independence and life skills

Life skills are a vital part of the school environment to enable young people to move on to the next stage of their lives, either in further education or in the workplace. We develop life skills through our Citizenship and Values lessons, covering topics of social and emotional themes. These include looking at careers options, keeping safe online and on social media, understanding the issues around substance misuse, getting a good standard of relationships and sex education, health and wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, being aware of radicalisation and understanding core British Values.

Development and communication skills

Communication is a key part of every school day. Pupils are supported with their needs and intervention programmes are planned and implemented on a case-by-case basis. All staff model effective and pro-social communication skills and adapt their use of language to meet a pupil’s communication needs. We work with Occupational Therapy services and can make on-site adaptations such as allocating a specific classroom/resources/teaching staff as appropriate. Our specialist teacher and Speech and Language Therapist have both received training in understanding and supporting young people with sensory processing difficulties.