St. John’s is an independent specialist college, working with learners who have complex learning disabilities including some learners who may have difficulties resulting from behavioural, mental health, emotional difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Asperger’s Syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome. We have expertise and experience in supporting young people with identity issues.
St. John’s is a place where learning is shaped around the hopes and aspirations of the learners; where their courses are tailored to meet their goals and where they are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect their choices and lifestyle.
Our comprehensive curriculum provides a full range of exciting, challenging and meaningful learning experiences (both accredited and non-accredited) that prepare each student with relevant vocational and personal skills that will significantly impact on their future lives.
Our focus on vocational skill development is delivered through theoretical and practical learning activities along with highly relevant work experience placements within the college departments and community organisations. We hold high expectations for our student cohort with respect to the development of their employability skills and have dedicated staff who actively identify and manage a wide-ranging work experience programme. Students are supported to increase their work skills using strategies such as systematic instruction and job coaching techniques.
Maths, English, communications and ICT are embedded throughout the college timetable and within the residential setting. Students undertake PSHE, life skills, physical recreation activities and community access. There are a variety of lunchtime clubs, awareness days, educational visits and events planned throughout the academic year that students may choose to participate in.
Students are supported to access local mainstream colleges in order to expand their learning experience and to promote further education opportunities.
St. John's students access a variety of well-equipped learning environments that meet individual needs and intend to inspire continuous learning. These include a theatre for performing arts, creative arts and media facilities, a music and recording studio, a craft workshop, a print studio for enterprise projects, garden areas and biodome for the development of horticulture skills, an in-house cafeteria and deli kitchen providing work based learning opportunities in catering. Outdoors areas include an all-weather sports pitch, hardcourt area, outdoor gym, specialist bikes, access to community swimming pools and leisure centres. There are three onsite learning pods dedicated to students who have difficulties in learning as a member of a group. Students are supported in their learning across the waking day curriculum with bespoke support strategies and resources including communication aids, talking mats, now and next boards, visual references etc. A car valeting company provides a weekly work placement for small groups of students, a number of employers who we work with regularly have a good understanding of the needs of our students and are proactive in adapting and accommodating their environments to maximise learning outcomes.
There are seven residential houses: three located onsite, three in the city and one in Seaford, all of which are resourced according to the needs of the peer group. There are sensory rooms and resources throughout the education and residential provision.
During their journey at St. John's, students are supported by our qualified and experienced wellbeing team, who provide speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, positive behaviour support, nursing and counselling. Access to additional external services such as psychiatry and psychology are arranged on an individual basis.
We have a dedicated transition officer who supports students and families in identifying and visiting potential services for their future lives. A multi-disciplinary team prepare students for life beyond St. John’s.