Calman Colaiste:
Learning For Life


CALMAN COLAISTE is an independent specialist college providing further education for young adults with autism, learning difficulties, challenging behaviours and complex needs.

It offers a range of bespoke programmes for learners at our new college base in Thorney, near Peterborough, alongside our existing satellite provisions in Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

All learners currently enrolled on the Calman Colaiste programme are resident at one of Kisimul Group's registered adult homes or supported living homes, although day placements from other provisions can be considered, subject to assessment.

Calman Colaiste is registered as a specialist college with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the Department for Education (DfE) to provide education for young people aged 16-25.

Calman Colaiste Local Offer


The aim of Kisimul's Learning for Life programme is to offer a broad, balanced and structured programme of vocational and learning opportunities to young adults who are resident in our registered adult homes and supported living services.

The purpose of the provision is to help our learners to continue to develop core functional skills, as well as vocational and life skills. The programme is designed to enable learners to continue to achieve, whilst living as independent a lifestyle as they are able to given their individual needs and abilities. Our method is to integrate a structured learning programme at college into their daily lives.


By working collaboratively with carers and young people we aim to:


To develop independent living skills, work-related learning skills and skills for adulthood, the college brings together the four pathways essential in preparation for adulthood:

Learners will access all four pathways, but the content of their programme will be weighted towards their chosen personal outcomes.


The curriculum provides learners with the opportunity to develop skills for adulthood through a range of enterprise, vocational and work-related learning experiences. Learners are supported to develop their independence skills through a holistic programme of health, therapy and care. Accreditation is gained through ASDAN, AQA and OCR awards schemes.

Our approach to education at Calman Colaiste is to inspire and engage our learners through a range of positive learning experiences. Each learner will be engaged in a personalised learning programme that is appropriate to their age and ability.

Baseline assessment is used to formulate learning goals and a curriculum targeted to the needs of the individual.

Literacy and numeracy are at the core of the curriculum which is taught through enterprise and vocational work-related learning experiences.

In terms of curriculum offer, Calman Colaiste college and farm can offer learners the opportunity to experience life at college and provide a study programme which reflects their education and career goals. We can identify through the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) the most appropriate pathway e.g. work experience or vocational qualification, to prepare them for adult life. Our learners can continue to develop skills and acquire a range of accreditation in the following areas:

Kisimul's Education Pedigree

Kisimul has several established years of experience delivering outstanding education and residential services to young people with SEN and challenging behaviour. This includes 8-19 school provisions in Lincolnshire, Surrey and Shropshire, registered childrens' homes, and residential and supported living provision within adult services. Assessment and attainment for young people within the group is outstanding, and externally accredited awards with a focus on vocational curriculum and independent living skills, such as ASDAN and Duke of Edinburgh, are embedded successfully within the provision.

Kisimul has its own multi-disciplinary team of therapy support, including psychological, speech & language, and occupational therapy teams. This ensures that all young people have detailed Individual Pupil Care Plans including education, care, behaviour, communication and health profiles, which are live documents, reflecting intervention and an approach based on analysis of pupil responses and behaviour over time. Similarly within Kisimul's adult services, all residents and learners have detailed care plans and positive behavior support plans, as well as individual learning plans, which are reviewed on a regular basis.

Training and Development

Kisimul has a comprehensive training package which ensures that all staff are appropriately trained in BILD-accredited approaches to dealing with challenging behaviour. This is augmented by an in house cyclical training programme in SEN pedagogy, and a persistent self-evaluation of needs and outcomes for young people reflects the evolving training delivery. Safeguarding training is given to all staff on an annual basis, and record keeping and interventions are recorded and monitored rigorously and are subject to local authority monitoring, external inspection processes and internal scrutiny.

Kisimul's Calman Colaiste – A Distinctive Approach to 16-25 Education

Kisimul has a raft of experienced staff with teaching qualifications and outstanding SEN pedagogy relating to SLD, ASD and challenging behaviour. Calman Colaiste is distinct from Kisimul's school provisions in terms of ethos and approach, having its own processes, internal monitoring arrangements, and acquisition of life skills within contextual environments. Kisimul is very experienced at managing transition from chilidrens' to adults' services within the group, and provides individualised and tailored support depending on the young persons' communication and cognitive profiles.

Kisimul Group established its Learning for Life programme in 2014 as a response to the initiatives behind the Children and Families Act and new SEND code of practice in extending the right to education for learners with SEND from 19 to 25. At the same time, Kisimul was asked by a number of placing authorities with whom the organisation has long standing relationships, to provide an education service for young adults placed in Kisimul's residential care homes in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire.

Inspection and curriculum documents to evidence the above statements are available on Calman Colaiste's Key Information page on this website, including a detailed college development plan and self-evaluation schedule. Rigorous self-evaluation and quality assurance processes underpin the quality of the service provided. Calman Colaiste has been established and continues to be overseen by senior education and residential staff within Kisimul group, including the Director and Assistant Director of Education and the Assistant Director for Adult Homes.

Therapeutic Support

Calman Colaiste has the added benefit of being able to draw on Kisimul Group's extensive network of therapy provision throughout Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire. The college offers bespoke packages of therapy including psychology, SALT, OT, aromatherapy and music therapy, which is integrated into learners' individual programmes of study.

Organisation of Learning for Life

The Kisimul Learning for Life programme has been specifically designed to include the development of suitable skills to equip our young adults to continue to develop in terms of their functional skills, vocational skills and socialisation skills; to enable them to lead as fulfilling and independent a lifestyle as possible, whilst continuing to gain accreditation and to make positive contributions to the wider community. In accessing the programme, a balance must be maintained between reaching a learner's full potential, and setting achievable and attainable outcomes. We aim to enable our residents to build upon their strengths and manage their emotional difficulties.

Much of this work takes place in the college and is reinforced within the home environment, but we believe that a structured programme of learning activities will help to embed the personal development that takes place there.

The programme is able to build on skills such as numeracy, literacy, computing and social development. These skills are strengthened through a functional and true to life approach to contextualised learning and practice of independent living. Core skills are developed in real life activities and situations, such as cooking, shopping, community-based learning, work-related learning tasks, house-keeping, self-help and socialisation tasks.

Our residents are given every encouragement to continue to move forward towards independence, which is the common thread of our 'Learning for Life' programme. Particular emphasis is placed on the way the environment is managed, and resources and materials used, though activities such as animal care and horticulture.

Our residents are encouraged to take ownership of their learning by choosing activities they wish to participate in and modules and courses they wish to achieve accreditation for. The learning tutors and support staff are committed to enabling all our residents to have greater control and choice in all aspects of the curriculum, through differentiated approaches to learning and communication styles and preferences.

Relevant accredited modules are planned and delivered, and tailored to our residents' individual choices and needs. They are given opportunities to access a range of off-site sporting and leisure activities, such as rebound therapy, swimming, vocational based tasks, business enterprise, and work experience placements. These opportunities help to develop engagement and personal interests. Included in the programme is access to a range of therapeutic experiences such as communication groups, musical interaction, aromatherapy and occupational therapy.

Kisimul's Learning for Life, adult residential care and supported living services work closely together to ensure that our residents gain maximum benefit from a broad, balanced and engaging 24-hour programme which meets their individual needs and interests.

Equal Opportunities

Entry to all programmes of study is based on academic willingness and appropriateness, regardless of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. In accordance with the statutory requirements the provider aims to make the programme accessible to all residents as far as is reasonably practicable.