About Kisimul Group

Award Winning Education

KISIMUL GROUP is a long-established provider of quality education and care services to children and young adults with complex learning difficulties, challenging behaviour, autism and global developmental delay. Twice winners of The Teacher of the Year Award (Excellence in Special Needs Teaching - East Midlands Region), we are committed to providing excellent teaching and continuity of service to very vulnerable young people for whom drastic change is overwhelming.

"Teaching and assessment are outstanding. Teachers respond successfully to the learning needs of a group of students with low prior attainment who have previously had periods of time out of school, so that they make outstanding progress. Teachers and the excellent teaching assistants display a caring and teaching commitment of a very high quality. Most teaching and learning is successful because it is based on outstanding one-to-one relationships with students. Specialist staff in sign language and speech therapy lead some lessons and create a highly positive learning experience. Teaching is based on the needs of students who often begin with poor skills in retaining knowledge, and ensures that key learning points are regularly practised and repeated. Teachers plan effectively with the use of students' attainment data and targets. In the great majority of lessons, teachers create active learning opportunities where adults work with students to develop themes according to the needs of each individual."

Lincolnshire Education Ofsted Report Nov 2012

30 years' experience

The original Kisimul School was established in 1977. Pronounced "kishmul" the name comes from Kisimul Castle which overlooks one of the safest harbours in the British Isles. Like their namesake, Kisimul Schools are a safe haven, providing care and protection for their pupils whilst preparing them for the journey ahead.

Kisimul Upper School, which opened in 2003 as a specialist post 16 facility, is located in Acacia Hall in seven acres of grounds in a small village to the north of Lincoln. Responding to requests from placing authorities in the South of England, Woodstock House opened in May 2008 in Long Ditton, Surrey. This beautiful Edwardian house in its stunning country grounds offers Kisimul's quality services to up to 75 pupils aged from 8 to 19 with learning disabilities. All of our schools and homes are within easy reach of towns and major road and rail arteries, making it easy to keep in touch.

"The provision for students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Students' behaviour is outstanding because they all make exceptional progress due to the support of experienced, dedicated, expert adults in school and care, who build one-to-one relationships with the individuals."

Lincolnshire Education Ofsted Report Nov 2012

A broader Autistic Spectrum

In November 2009, Kisimul Group Ltd. acquired Cruckton Hall School. This school complements our group by providing a different specialist service than our current schools.

Situated in a beautiful rural location within 4 miles of the large town of Shrewsbury, Cruckton Hall School has, since 1981, become a leading resource in the UK for boys with Asperger's Syndrome, ADD and ADHD.

Cruckton Hall School provides a long established and successful option for boys with a range of difficulties within the Autistic Spectrum of Disorders. The school specialises in integrating young people with Asperger's syndrome and their associated vulnerability and/or challenging behaviour.

Cruckton Hall has continued to respond to a variety of presented needs and now boasts residential provision as a children's home for 93 boys on a range of placements from day to 52 weeks. We can continue to provide support through school, Further Education at our local post 16 service, Harlescott House, and into adult life.

24-hour curriculum

Residential placements are available from 38 to 52 weeks per year. Our aim is to provide a warm, caring environment in which a child can flourish and develop skills to his or her full potential. Residential and school staff work as a team to provide a consistent 24-hour approach. Day placements are also available.

Each young person follows an individualised programme based on an assessment of his/her needs. Parental views are considered to be an important part of the process. Emphasis is placed on providing a stimulating and rich environment, including such activities as horse-riding, wall climbing, sailing, swimming, cinema and ten pin bowling, as well as outings to zoos, theme parks and theatres. Children have the opportunity to go camping and hill walking and take part in weekend activities associated with the Duke of Edinburgh award.

"There is a rich and varied programme of extra-curricular activity including sporting and outdoor activities, music and drama, and attending local youth organisations. There is a good range of physical activities in the converted barn at Acacia and the Sports Hall at Swinderby which are used extensively in the evening for leisure activities as part of the 24-hour curriculum."

Lincolnshire Education Ofsted Report Nov 2012

Dedicated staff, effective programmes

The schools offer a very high staff ratio, small groups, and a consistent, structured and multi-disciplinary approach. Residential care is offered on a 38, 50 and 52 weeks basis and is committed to a non-aversive approach. We follow a broad and balanced curriculum including a modified National Curriculum, and offer an extensive range of therapeutic and developmental programmes, including speech and language therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, HANDLE, EASIE and structured play development. The post-16 curriculum is underpinned by a wide variety of ASDAN programmes, through which the pupils gain external accreditation.

Safety, comfort and fun

Our schools and houses are well-equipped and the bedrooms bright, warm and friendly. There are soft play areas, multi-sensory rooms, and adventure playgrounds. At Swinderby we have our own large indoor swimming pool, and at Acacia Hall a little farm with characterful animals!

Some teachers working at Kisimul have extra qualifications for working with children with special needs and/or many years’ experience. Most classroom assistants and Care staff have NVQs, Learning Support Certificates, relevant degrees or other suitable qualifications and experience. Most staff are of very long standing and staff turn-over is low.

Adult care: tailor-made services

Kisimul Group offers continuing care and support for young adults from the age of 18+. This means that many of our Kisimul School leavers can now remain in the area they have grown up in, with the people they trust; embarking on their adult life in a Kisimul Group home. We are in a position to offer the same high-quality, tailor-made service to authorities throughout the UK, for individual school leavers or groups of school friends who would like to share a home together.

We have several small adult homes in Lincolnshire offering over 60 residential places. The company has plans to further increase provision due to the large demand for these services, both in Lincolnshire and in the vicinity of our school in Surrey.

"We found that the provider had systems in place to gain the consent to care and treatment of people who used the service. We found staff had an understanding of the needs of people who used the service. We found care and treatment was planned and delivered in a safe way, which met people's individual care needs. People we spoke with were positive about the care they received. One person told us, "I like it here and I like the staff.""

An Caladh House CQC Report Feb 2014

Our adult homes have received positive feedback from all agencies and are deemed to offer an exceptional service by our inspectorate (CQC).

In 2004, we established An Darach Care, our own domiciliary care agency. This agency provides an exceptional level of service in specially-designed individual properties to hypersensitive autistic individuals with a significant range of needs, for whom group living has proved too challenging. Those who would benefit from this arrangement would probably be school leavers who may not thrive in a more traditional style of placement. With an entire household arranged around the needs of one service user, we find that the transition to adulthood is smooth. Life skills are quickly acquired, which is invariably followed by remarkable improvements in behaviour.

"We found that the home placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that people received support from staff who were familiar to them and who knew their needs well. We saw evidence that the home had worked hard to understand people's individual communication needs and to equip staff with the skills to communicate effectively with them. We found that people had opportunities to take part in leisure activities, to go on outings and to enjoy active social lives."

Tigh Grianan CQC Report Nov 2013

If you would like an informal chat about any of our schools or adult services, or would like to come and visit, please get in touch.

The Kisimul standard means: