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Our School Offer

Who we are 😊

Wells Park School is a LA funded residential primary school caters for children between 5 and 11 years old, who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties(SEMH). The majority of children board at Wells Park School from Monday to Friday during term time and are referred to the school by Essex County Council via the Special Educational Needs Operations team, following the approval of an EHCP. The site is based in a semi-rural area of Essex, close to the London Boroughs of Redbridge and Havering.

Wells Park School is committed to creating a structured, safe environment that encourages a positive learning ethos in social interaction and communication, delivered through a balanced, experiencial curriculum.

At Wells Park we strive to ensure that each child:

• Reaches their learning potential

• Uses their knowledge and skills independently and with confidence

• Fulfils their capacity for positive social interaction

• Understands and values themselves as members of a community

• Plays an active part in that community.

• Is able to use their leisure time to develop safe, healthy and meaningful interests

• Aspires to the development of their own happiness and those around them.

These are key performance indicators for the school and pupil progress against them is monitored by both education and care staff.

We aim to work with parents and carers to support them to:

• Enable their children to recover and develop these capacities

• Help their children to sustain their behaviour, social involvement and learning without reliance on medication

The aspirational outcome for each child is:

• The transfer to local or appropriate schooling

• The return to living in their home environment and community subject to the need to access a suitable educational and social curriculum

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Admission to the school is through the statutory assessment process where the school is named on the EHC plan.  The school has an admissions panel that meets regularly to discuss referred children. All pupils have SEMH as their main category of need on admission to the school. 

See current admissions policy.

How do we try to make our pupils and their families feel welcome?


We strive to develop positive relationships with our pupils and their parents from the outset. Parents say:

Wells Park has anchored [my son]. He can actually learn and has proven he is a clever little bean. They have given him confidence and goals and he could actually achieve GCSEs thanks to Wells Park.

The school treat each child as an individual and get to know their wishes and ways. This gives them the opportunity to ... [build] the child’s confidence and self-esteem. The staff really do care – all the staff do, from the teachers to canteen staff.

The school have exceeded our expectations on giving ongoing guidance and support. They have listened, supported and guided [our son] and us, resulting in us all benefitting...

The improvements he has made in the last years are massive.

Before attending WPS, [our son] was a square peg in a round hole and was often dealt with as a naughty child despite having a statement. WPS have enabled him to learn, make friends and become more rounded.

Family life was very negative [before he attended Wells Park]. Now, we all have meals together – we are all happier.

My son has made fantastic progress and has really grown as a person in the short time he has been here.

He is a different child – he has come on leaps and bounds in all aspects... He’s more aware of what is expected – he’ll be alright in the outside world now.

WPS are always happy to help us with any problems we may have and are always punctual at dealing with things.

What do we do to involve pupils in their learning and in their school?

Our pupils’ opinions are vital to the improvement and well being of our learners: we have a range of ways of gathering and assessing what they say, what they want improved and what they feel about being in our school family.

We are proud of our School Council where pupil concerns or views are shared and acted upon. Pupil voice is very important to us.

Individuals are able to talk or disclose to any staff concerns or worries they have and these will be followed up through the school’s established procedures.

A yearly survey of learners’ views and attitudes is conducted and reported on to the governing body, and actions follow from this.

Pupils regularly assess their own work and discuss their progress with the adults who work with them.

Pupils are part of the process of target setting and of assessing their progress against their targets. They also attend part of the annual EHC Plan review meeting and are involved in the process of thinking about and setting some of the targets they would like to work on in the upcoming year.

Pupils are involved in the creation of their own Pupil Profile page, which gives them the opportunity to let others know what their interests are, how they like to learn and what they are good at.

Pupils are involved in interviews with senior leaders.

Pupils produce their own pupil profiles which give all the adults who work with them clear information about how they see their strengths/areas for development and how they like to work.

All pupils have a key worker; the school works hard to ensure that pupils build and maintain a positive relationship with their key worker and that there are available times in which every child can discuss any concerns they may have with their key worker.

Residentially, the school has an Independent Visitor who is available to allow pupils voice their thoughts and feelings to a person who is unconnected to the school.


What types of provision and expertise are available at our school?

The school is specifically able to meet the needs of pupils at Key Stage 1 and 2 with Social and Emotional Difficulties.

We have a range of  highly experienced and well trained teaching and non teaching staff working in the education part of the school as well as a range of support workers and experienced care workers who work in the residential area of school.

Expertise includes highly qualified teaching staff who ensure that the highest quality of teaching takes place in the school at all times.

Staff are trained in:

- Trauma Perceptive Practise

- Safe use of restrictive interventions (Positive behaviour management)

- Transactional Analysis

- Social Pedagogy

- Attachment theory (6 Core Strengths model)

- Dyslexia

- Autism

- First Aid

- Forest Schools (Level 3)

Pupils are able to access appropriate child psychotherapy through on site services. The school has an excellent working relationship with health professionals who specialise in working therapeutically with children. Pupils are also able to access to other therapeutic interventions appropriate to individual need, including play therapy, drama therapy, family psychotherapy. In addition to this, staff members at the school are trained to deliver the ‘Rainbows’ loss counselling programme for small groups of pupils as appropriate.

The school has a high level of expertise in relation to support for families. We liaise regularly with our parents and are able to provide support and guidance to help pupils within their home setting, both when pupils are fully residential and during the process of reintegration back into the family home for pupils in our Pathways class group.

The school works closely with mainstream schools in the local area to help pupils who are struggling with behaviour to remain in a mainstream setting. Staff with expertise in behaviour management are able to provide advice and practical strategies to help staff achieve success with these pupils.


How do we deliver and adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils and offer a personalised environment?

At Wells Park, we find success in the holistic approach to our pupils’ education. The time the children spend residentially secures and builds on any classroom learning.  The 24-hour curriculum enables the children to grow in all aspects of their life.

We also have:

Small class sizes

High adult: pupil ratio

A token economy which rewards and reinforces positive behaviour

A positive approach to all interactions with pupils, including the language used

Highly skilled staff that personalise learning to meet the needs, interests and aspirations of the pupils in the school

A broad and balanced 24-hour curriculum

Phonics, Reading and Maths support and interventions

Other focused Therapeutic interventions

An outdoor learning ethos with ‘Woody Wells’ and the ‘Wells Park School Farm’

What transition arrangements do we make?

We have a staggered and gradual transition, working closely with parents/carers as well as pupils to ensure secure and successful transfer arrangements are made into an appropriate educational placement. We maintain contact with the schools children move on to and provide additional follow-up support, if necessary, to ensure pupils have the highest chance of success in their outgoing placements.

Essex Local Offer Link:   http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/

Review will take place with parents and carers as well as pupils on an annual basis and this document will change and develop as we develop as a school.

August 2019

What do we do to involve parents and carers?

The school sees parents and carers as partners in the process of education and development of their child.  We want to work closely with you to ensure that your child grows and develops into an independent and resilient young person able to cope with their life.  As a partner we have a range of ways that you can be an active part in this process which starts with an open door policy to parents and carers.  We also have a range of structured opportunities for you to consult us:

Parent meetings and regular school events throughout the year

Training for Parents on relevant aspects of the curriculum and school life 

Comprehensive admissions procedure that includes home and school visits before entry to build positive relationships

Feedback on your child’s progress through the chat book, parents’ evenings to report on pupil progress and achievement, and annual review meetings

Annual review / ECHP meetings

Parental Surveys and questionnaires


How do we identify specific needs?

It is acknowledged that we tailor our approach and style to meet the individual’s needs. Other professionals say:

All staff articulate the praise they regularly give to pupils. Clear statements about what is positive are used constantly and as a result pupils are highly motivated and it clearly results in outstanding behaviour for learning.

Ruth Sturdy, previously Commissioner for Standards and Excellence, May 2017

Over the ten years of working closely with the school, the changes that have occurred to the children that I have been involved with have been very beneficial. The quality of the training the staff receive and the support they receive is second to none.

Steve Whitfield, Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist, Essex, May 2019 

School work in close partnership with other agencies to meet the needs of the boys and hence help them attain their very best in school life and also in preparation for life after school.

Maria Barnard, School Nurse, May 2019

It is clear that [WPS] staff work hard to educate the ‘Whole Child’. Staff are friendly, approachable and professional. Communication was good during the transition [for pupils].

Nikki Jupe, SENCo, May 2016

The family I work with have commented about how much their child’s behaviour has changed since he started at Wells Park. They also speak positively about the behaviour management strategies the school have shared with them.

Samantha Dunne, Senior Practitioner, CSC, June 2016

Through working closely with Wells Park through the setting up of Choices, I am aware of the strong values and ethos of the whole team, looking at the individual needs of the child and family and putting in place strategies and systems to move forward. Mainstream primaries look to Wells Park for expertise...


Jackie Scott, Extended Services Coordinator for Epping Local Delivery Group, May 2016


Without doubt, they have made my YP feel safe and not only supported his education but also his emotional wellbeing which is crucial to his life chances.


Jackie Masters, Social Worker, May 2016


The staff have been extremely supportive and have been able to provide advice when we have needed it and also have worked with some of our staff to help them to understand the complexities of working with some children in a mainstream environment.


Tamara Nichols, Senco of feeder school, May 2016


[Wells Park] is a very organised environment that always seems calm and consistent with effective strategies in place for the YP to ensure their progress and success.


Sophia Wareham, Link Educational Psychologist, April 2018


Pupils with high level of SEN, many of whom were from homes with significant problems – DV, drugs and/or alcohol, parental mental health conditions and so on – were incredibly well behaved, calm and purposeful in class, and with very good table manners at lunch, for example. I was moved and humbled in meeting them, your teaching staff and the catering staff.

Chris Kiernan, Director of Commissioning for Essex, March 2015

Leadership sets the standards at WP.  There is an ethos of making things work no matter how hard the challenge may seem.  This is engrained in the culture and ethos of the school.  Each pupil is treated as an individual and given the support that they need to flourish...  There is a strong feeling of resilience in the school.

Ralph Holloway, Head of SEND Strategy and Innovation 2018

I would like to thank and commend the excellent work you and your school staff do and certainly, I see a significant and positive transformation in B...’s behaviour including significant ADHD control.

Dr Harish Mahadevappa, Consultant Neurobehavioural Clinic, March 2015

We have a very well established transition process where staff work with pupils, parents/carers and, where appropriate, the pupil’s current school to get to know them before they join Wells Park.

We work with other agencies if they have worked with a pupil to ensure that we have a full picture of their needs, strengths and current situation.

We also ensure that we:

-Complete baseline assessments

-Have ongoing assessments for behaviour, social learning and academic learning

- Have daily monitoring of our token economy system

- Monitor individual progress

- Ensure seamless linking and sharing of information between care staff and education staff

- Use observations to develop our understanding of individuals

- Have admission meetings with parents/ carers and professionals

- Complete annual review /ECH plan documentation

- Screen for Dyslexia if required

- Link with a wide range of agencies including Children’s Social Care.

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What specialist equipment and facilities do we have to meet the needs of our pupils?

Swimming pool

ICT equipment including laptops and I-Pads

Residential provision for 40 pupils

Day provision for 10 pupils

Woody Wells Forest Area

School Farm and allotments

School Radio Station

A Youth Club, Cinema Room and Biking equipment for evening activities

Provision of a Children’s VIP lounge for pupils to meet visitors or conduct counselling or other sessions

Complaints procedure

(See also the schools Complaints Policy available on the school web site and yearly parent information document accompanying the Home School Agreement)

We want to know when things aren't right with your child's learning;

Your first approach is to the class teacher, this may be through the home school chat book, a letter or a phone call, or to our Family Officer, who maintains regular contact with parents/carers. Jenny Walling, the school’s Family Officer, can be reached on the main school number – 0208 502 6442.

If this does work then you can approach the Headteacher, Matthew Surman, or the Head of Care, Amy Antoniou by letter or telephone. It is the Headteacher's job to hold staff to account if things are not right, or to explain why the school is unable to meet your request. No problem that the school is ignorant of will be able to be resolved, so please share concerns early so that they do not become a problem.

The school’s Governors are the next stage in trying to resolve a complaint. Sally Elliot, the Chair of Governors, is the named governor for this, and she, alongside the other school governors, is expected to hold the school to account if any issue arises. The Chair of Governors can be contacted through telephoning the school on the main number, or by confidential letter addressed to the school at: Wells Park School, School Lane, Lambourne Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6NN.

Should none of these stages resolve your complaint, you can contact the Local Authority who retain responsibility for your child's education and for the education part of the EHC plan. They can be contacted on 01245 204338 or email at send.iass@essex.gov.uk 

If your concerns are about Health or Social Care and the support that these partner colleagues and organisations provide you or the school, the school will help you find the right contacts to help resolve these issues. The school cannot make other services act; both health and social care have complaint procedures you can follow. Talking about concerns early and understanding who can help resolve them is important to getting a prompt response.

For specific details please see our complaints and whistleblowing policies (these can also be requested in paper format via the school office).

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