The Cheshire School

Helping students make positive changes to reach their full potential

The Cheshire School is a specialist primary school for children with significant social, emotional and behavioural challenges.

Our intervention program is designed to partner closely with the student and their family to identify the causes of any behavioural challenges that may be affecting their everyday life.

Over the course of a minimum of 18 months, we work on the development of self-esteem, resilience and coping strategies, as well as facilitating a change in behaviour.

This allows students to successfully re-integrate into the mainstream school system, equipped with strategies to handle any future challenges they may face.

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high student-to-teacher ratios

Small class sizes and a high student-to-teacher ratio allow us to provide a unique and personalised learning experience for every child.

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partnership with parents & caregivers

Our team works closely with parents and carers, to establish a strong, collaborative relationship and build the student's confidence.

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high quality curriculum

Our lessons are highly engaging and based on the same Australian Curriculum used in mainstream schools. This ensures your child is on track with their education.

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fortnightly excursions

We take our students beyond
the core academic curriculum
and encourage them to make deeper links with their learning through regular excursions.

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self-regulation activities

Our students participate in a
range of additional activities
that help build the tools of self-regulation, such as meditation, warrior fitness and yoga.

What is the Cheshire School?

Not all students successfully manage the transition to a mainstream primary school setting.
For those who have difficulty integrating and for those with diagnosed behavioural conditions, this challenge can cause anxiety, stress and a misjudgment of social context.  A feeling of failure or rejection then leads to lower self-esteem and further impacts behavioural challenges.  

It becomes a vicious cycle for the child and their family.

The Cheshire School provides a specialised intervention program that seeks to:

  • Identify and address the root cause of behavioural challenges
  • Build self-esteem and resilience
  • Equip students with the coping strategies

The program, combined with the same Australian Curriculum used in mainstream schools, prepares the student for a successful re-integrate into the mainstream school system.

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Helen Barrett, Principal of The Cheshire School

A word from our Principal

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, excluded or have simply had a negative experience in school, we are tearing off the labels they have been given and the 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.

Enrolling at The Cheshire School

To be considered for attendance at The Cheshire School, students need to meet all the following criteria:

  • Be eligible for Foundation (Prep) to Grade Four.
  • Be experiencing significant social, emotional or behavioural difficulties which place them at risk of disengagement within the mainstream educational setting.
  • Have speech and language skills within the normal range.
  • Have a prognosis for change within 18 months.
  • Have a full scale IQ of 80 or more.
In addition to this, parents/carers need to be aware of and support the policies and procedures of The Cheshire program and actively work with staff to support behavioural change.

Referral

Students can be referred by their parents/carers, or by educational and health professionals.

Eligibility Assessment

Upon initial contact, basic eligibility is determined. After this, parents/carers or any others involved in the wellbeing of  the student are invited to attend a meeting and tour the school. Parents/carers are required to bring any paediatric or psychological assessments to this meeting. 

Visit to student’s current school

Following the meeting, a visit may be arranged to the student’s current school by The Cheshire School’s psychologist.

Trial Period

Students who are invited to trial will usually visit The Cheshire School between 4-6 times.

The initial visit is for an hour and subsequent visits progress to a full day over the trial period.

The purpose of the trial is to:

  • Engage the child in the program so that they want to continue attending.
  • Determines the likelihood of significant behaviour change within an 18 month time frame
  • Allow our team to observe how the student fits with the current cohort of students 
  • Allow our team to observe how the student copes with the behavioural management practices of the program.

Offer of Placement

When The Cheshire School has determined the student to be a suitable placement, an offer is made to the parents/carers by the Principal.

Parents enter into an agreement with The Cheshire School, regarding the conditions of enrolment, requirements of the program and tuition fees.

Commencing the Program

Students generally begin their placement at The Cheshire School at the beginning of the next school term, if a place is available. If no place is available, the student is put on a waiting list and a deposit is required to hold their place.

The Cheshire School staff are available to assist parents in identifying schools that may be suitable for their child, and are available to attend meetings to discuss student needs.  

Our teachers also visit the new school with the student prior to them graduating from The Cheshire School and speak with the new teacher and support staff.

After the student commences at their new mainstream school, our staff continue to provide support and advice to the student, their family and the new school as required.

Student Well-being staff, external consultants (such as mental and allied health professionals) and the Primary School Nursing Program also assist with the transition process, through regular monitoring of the student within their new school.

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Our Supporters

Without our supporters, the The Cheshire School would not exist! bestchance would like to acknowledge and thank the following organisations who support The Cheshire School.

If you would like to contribute to the ongoing work of our vital intervention program, there are many ways to do so. 

Click below to find out how you can help!