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Principal’s Address 

I would like to extend to you and your family a very warm welcome to The Cheshire School.

Our caring, dedicated and enthusiastic team create an environment that nurtures independence, resilience and a desire to learn. Together, through a creative curriculum and positive behaviour management strategies, we strive to ensure that each student reaches their potential, has the skills to be a life-long learner and is able to make a positive contribution to society.

At The Cheshire School we are passionate about challenging assumptions that are quickly formed and shifting perspectives about students. When we are working with students who have either been expelled, not included or have simply had a negative experience in school, we are tearing off the labels they have been given and those labels they have already created for themselves. Arriving at The Cheshire School can often be a last resort for students and their families. They start with little or no self-confidence, after being rejected and labelled a failure. When they leave they love learning and believe they can change the world.

Every student deserves that pathway.

“It helped me in the best way possible, after going from doing nothing, I couldn’t do anything, to going big, doing everything.” – Former student.

“[I am] communicating more, I didn’t really communicate at all…. at my old school whenever I got in trouble and I had to go to the office, I didn’t really communicate at all, I didn’t communicate with my friends much, I lost a lot of friends and I was bullied. When I came to this school, I learned if you can communicate it solves your problems easier…you shouldn’t be angry when you do it.” – Former student.

Helen Barrett – The Cheshire School Principal

Our intervention program

We are a specialist primary school for students with significant social, emotional and behavioural problems. We offer an 18 month intervention program to help students gain the necessary skills to re-engage with learning and transition back into mainstream schooling.

Who we work with

The students at The Cheshire School have a diverse range of needs and abilities. The team has extensive expertise at supporting students diagnosed with, for example:

  • Trauma
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Depression and Anxiety.

Students with these diagnoses often present with associated behaviours, such as verbal and physical aggression, defiance, self-injury, withdrawal, helplessness and difficulties in forming friendships.

Some students may not have a diagnosis but may still present a range of challenging behaviours associated with the list above.

Typically students have missed formative years of school and their learning, therefore they may be working below their expected academic level or exhibit learning difficulties.

Strategies we use

The Cheshire School adopts a range of strategies to assist students self-regulate and re-engage with their learning in a small and specialised school setting. These strategies are based on staff identifying and rewarding positive behaviour and classroom engagement, along with staff disengaging from students who make poor behavioural choices. Staff encourage students to adhere to the school values of Tolerance, Respect, Teamwork and Perseverance.

The overall key objectives for students are to:

  • Increase positive participation.
  • Develop a sense of self-respect and desire to learn.
  • Accept responsibility for their behavioural choices.
  • Develop and build resilience.
  • Respecting themselves and others, including property.

The Cheshire School Mission:

To provide a physically and emotionally safe environment, where the students’ experience of themselves and school is positively transformed. Through a partnership between educators and parents, students and their families are empowered to make positive changes, which will enable them to successfully return to a mainstream educational setting.

The Cheshire School Objectives:

For the community:

The Cheshire School will contribute to the broader community by providing children and their families with the skills and capabilities to achieve meaningful participation both now and into the future.

For the child:

The Cheshire School will contribute to children successfully engaging with and benefiting from educational opportunities, improving their knowledge and skills – and then enjoying optimal health, well being, relationships and quality of life. We facilitate children and their families to create positive change which will allow them to successfully return to mainstream education.

Democratic Principles:

The Cheshire School supports and promotes the principles and practice of Australian democracy, including a commitment to:

  • Elected government
  • The rule of law
  • Equal rights for all before the law
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech and association
  • The values of openness and tolerance

The Cheshire School complies with all reporting requirements under Commonwealth and State funding agreements and makes available on request reports on all aspects of school performance to members of the school community.