Nestled in the rolling hills of glorious Montgomeryshire, The Lifehouse draws from all that the countryside has to offer to shape and influence it's curriculum.
In many ways, an old fashioned view of what every child needs has guided how our learning pathways have developed. We consider that in every day a child should experience
From the outset we had Maslows heirarchy of need in the forefront of our minds as we worked on building a curriculum around each child. We believed that each child should have those basic needs met every day in their school environment or, as many had experienced trauma or disruption, their adrenalin and 'fight or flight' instincts would override their ability to learn.
In February 2007, Meg and Kay were both working with children who had additional needs. Kay was in mainstream education and Meg in a pupil referral unit. Their paths crossed and they soon realised that their own personal ethos towards pupil inclusion was very similar. They wanted to create a provision that could provide holistic education to children who may have experienced failure in the normal local authority educational opportunities.
Holistic education is based on the principle that pupils can find identity and purpose in life by connecting to their communities, nature and human values. The purpose of holistic education is to not only provide opportunity for academic success, but also to learn to cope with challenges of life and living beyond the structures of school. Important emphasis is placed on learning about themselves, healthy relationships, responsibility, resilience and empathy.
It was decided that the best way to provide the environment they wanted to produce at The Lifehouse was through a nurture group ethos, balancing features of a home and a school in the same place. Nurture groups were originally designed to help children experience nurturing and warm relationships with an adult in a safe and predictable environment, which in turn promoted social, emotional and cognitive development (Boxall 2002).
Over the years we have developed and evolved, learning from pupils and families, experts and authorities, to create our own unique setting. We now provide a recognised and respected option to local authorities looking for a specialised provision. We are registered with the Welsh Assembly Government as a Special school providing for children aged between 7 and 19
However, as an independent school, we can take private pupils if parents or carers feel that our setting is the education they want for their children.
We are inspected by Estyn (the welsh equivalent of OFSTED) regularly and reports are freely available on the web.
The Lifehouse is recognised as providing a therapeutic setting for children from a myriad of backgrounds and needs.