Visitors to St Ann’s frequently comment on the school’s positive, ‘can do’ empowering culture where students are always active participants in their own learning. The needs of each young person are the starting point for highly personalised educational and therapeutic programmes which capture imaginations, motivate learning and incrementally build on success.
Governors, the Local Authority, school staff, the large multi-disciplinary team, parents/carers and some of the young people themselves, dismiss mediocrity, and have high aspirations as to the outcomes they would like by the end of secondary education in Year 14.
At St Ann’s we never lose sight of the fact that not only are we supporting, teaching and challenging our students to excel, throughout a sometimes turbulent period of great change, adolescence, but we are also preparing each young person for their future adult life.
Commensurate with each young person’s cognitive ability, but not constrained by it, we are working towards maximising each student’s ability to communicate, to self manage behaviour, to make choices, to use knowledge and skills functionally and to be as independent as possible.
By age 19 we aim to ensure that all St Ann’s students are confident, happy young people with a love of learning and high self esteem, ready to embrace (and demand!) a future adult life rich with possibilities. St Ann’s students, like other school leavers, can positively contribute to and shape the world in which they live. They just need to be provided with ongoing and meaningful opportunities to ‘enjoy and achieve’ throughout their adult lives.
That is the challenge for St Ann’s and the rest of society.