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Darwin

The Darwin Centre

Address:
114, Beacon Park Road, Plymouth PL2 2PH

Tel:
01752 365128

Email:
l_duffy@mounttamar.org.uk | k_wentworth@mounttamar.org.ukhttps://www.facebook.com/TheDarwinCentre

About the Darwin Centre

The Darwin Centre is a nurture -based, educational assessment provision based in Beacon Park, Plymouth. We offer an alternative interim placement for children from Year 5 to Year 11 who are struggling in their mainstream setting for a number of reasons. Referrals are usually made via direct contact from schools or through the Pioneer Project, whilst a small number may come through the Quay Partnership.

Using a PACE approach, the Darwin team provides a six to eight week long programme of therapeutic based learning which aims to begin to identify the barriers to learning and provide SEMH support to the students, in a small setting which allows for personalised planning . We work closely with the mainstream setting and the families to provide any new information, and in many cases support an EHCP application.

The Centre is a therapeutic environment. We use a balance of guided group activities, talking therapy and independent work to motivate learners and support each pupil to find the best way of learning for them. We are a Trauma Informed setting and understand that many children who are referred to us will have had adverse childhood experiences. The curriculum is broad and balanced and covers both academic and foundation subjects, including PE, cooking, music, art, animal care, personal development and drama based social skills activities. In addition to the onsite facilities, we have use of a public gym, the Mount Tamar School vocational centre and our partnerships with the National Marine Aquarium and Dartmoor Zoo.

Each student has a key person assigned to them and will have a 1:1 session on their timetable, as well as informal opportunities to talk as the need arises. The centre also has a number of therapy animals.

Our goal is to enable each child to make good progress towards their targets and make a success of their mainstream education.

Referral and Assessment Process

  • Referral form requested from Mount Tamar school SENCo, Darwin Lead Teacher or button below, to be completed and emailed back.
  • Receipt of referral form and initial meeting with the mainstream provision, parents/carers of the child and the Darwin Team. 
  • Visit and observations of the child by the Darwin Team in the mainstream setting where appropriate.
  • Child with parents/carers to visit the centre. Completion of paperwork, including risk assessment.
  • Attendance at the Centre. Support and strategy plan drawn up in the first week. Daily logs/scores completed and sent to the mainstream setting on a weekly basis.
  • Darwin staff attend any meetings that are planned within the placement period.
  • Support plan reviewed at mid point. Communication assessment completed. Staff from mainstream setting to visit student at Darwin.
  • Meeting with mainstream setting in penultimate week to discuss going forward plan which may include initial transition support in mainstream setting. Support plan evaluated. Closing report completed and emailed to SENCO.

 

 

The Staff

Louise Duffy - Lead Teacher

Louise Duffy
Lead Teacher

Louise is a qualified Science teacher with 23 years’ experience in both mainstream and special needs education.

She holds a certificate in Transactional Analysis and is also trained in many areas of specific SEN including Attachment Disorder.

She enjoys Science, art and music and believes in helping children to develop a wealth of personal skills and talents alongside their academic learning.

Shannon Fuller - Learning Support Assistant

Shannon Fuller
HLTA

 

Shannon has over ten years’ experience of working in both mainstream and special needs education in various roles including nurture teacher for KS4 and student support advisor. She has also delivered the Hidden Harm programme to a mixture of KS3 and KS4 students. Alongside her SEN qualifications and training, she holds certificates in mental health awareness and counselling skills. Shannon is a Strengthening Families facilitator and is passionate about supporting and guiding young people.

Claire Allen - Learning Support Assistant

                                                                 

 Claire has worked as a community support worker in                                            mainstream schools and has now moved into SEN. Prior                                        to education she has been a healthcare assistant as well as a performing musician. She studied Drama at University and advocates learning through play techniques and the PACE approach, alongside music and craft. 

 

      Claire Allen

Learning Support Assistant

Georgina Larke - Learning Support Assistant

    Georgina is a Registered Nurse who has worked in both London and        Plymouth hospitals, in various areas including A and E, specialist consultancy, and complex post-operative and end of life care.

 With a young family she is now making a career change into                       education, bringing her many skills to the role. She enjoys a good technical challenge.

 

    Georgina Larke

Learning Support Assistant

Curriculum

The Darwin day for students runs from 9:00am to 2:30pm Monday to Thursday. Placements can be full time or part time depending on specific need.

Example timetable:
 

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

9 – 9.30

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club

9.30 – 9.50

Daily walk

Daily walk

Daily walk

Daily walk

9.50 – 10.00

Core skills

Wolseley workshop

Core skills

Core skills

10.00 - 11

English/Maths

Wolseley workshop

PSHE

Current Affairs

11 – 11.15

Break

Break

Break

Break

11.15 -12.00

Cooking

Wolseley workshop

Science

Personal Development

12.00 – 12.30

Mindfulness

1:1 with key person

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

12.30 – 1.10

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

1.10 – 1.40

Social Skills

Music

Social Skills

Social skills/PE out

1.40 – 2.15

Current Affairs

Gym

Art

Social skills/PE out

2.15 - 2.30

Daily Review

Daily Review

Daily Review

Daily Review

In addition, the students have opportunities to learn in the community, using our partnerships with the National Marine Aquarium, Dartmoor Zoo and the historical parts of the city and surrounding locale.